A Good Drone’s Hard to Find
Even if you have no good reason to justify buying one, you have to admit that drones (or quadcopters) are cool. Some models out there are glorified tech toys, but the ones we highlight here are fit for use in imaging and cinematic applications small and large. If you think you can use a flying camera in your next project, there’s some good news—the tech has come a long way in a very short time. There are models on the market now that put earlier copters to shame in terms of video quality and stabilization.
And now the bad news. You get what you pay for, and if you want an aerial video platform that can capture stunning footage, you need to be ready to spend some cash. Because drones are such pricey propositions, it pays to do your research before buying one. We’ve tested many of the ready-to-fly models on the market to determine what’s important to look for, and the best models available.
There are low-cost drones on the market (we’ve rounded some of the top-rated options under $100 on Amazon), but you’re still looking at spending around $500 to get a solid model that’s stable in flight with an excellent integrated camera. The DJI Phantom 3 Standard is our favorite budget model, and while it doesn’t support 4K capture, its 2.7K video capability is better than 1080p and leaves some room to crop footage for HD projects. You’ll be hard pressed to find a quadcopter that delivers the video quality of the Phantom 3 Standard for less money.