Drones have really gained popularity in recent years, and are now being used for a variety of reasons. For this article, we’re focused on ones best suited for aerial photography and for racing in first-person-view (FPV). Please note these are the author’s personal picks, based on his own experience and the opinions of AISB community members and tech experts.
“Anyone can pick up a drone and make professional-level content” — AISB Design Teacher, Erik Peterson.
#5: ARRIS X220 Pro V2
The ARRIS X220 is a great drone for beginners and anyone getting into the FPV category. The reason for this is because it is an easy-to-use and easy-to-repair drone, meaning that broken pieces can easily be found and swapped out. Not only is it easy to use, but it’s also quite affordable. The drone is capable of staying up in the air for 12 minutes thanks to its ARRIS 4S 1500mAh 50C lipo battery. And thanks to its carbon fiber body, the ARRIS X220 Pro V2 is light and can easily be packed.
“For a beginner or an FPV racing drone enthusiast on a budget, the Arris X220 Pro is a quadcopter you definitely don’t want to miss out on”— Ariel Tech Review.
- F4 Flight Controller
- Weight: 4.77 pounds
- Camera: Runcam Swift 2
- Antenna: 5.8G Pagoda
- Flying time: 12 minutes (hovering)
- Price: $410USD + Shipping (Amazon)
#4: DJI FPV
The DJI FPV is a drone that is meant for beginners; but in reality, the price of the drone would only be worth it if you are an experienced pilot and really like the hobby. While the drone comes with a steep price, it also comes packed with incredible technology like obstacle avoidance sensors, and is capable of reaching speeds of 150 km/h and does 0-100 in two seconds in a mode called “Acro.” With a 20-minute flight time, the DJI FPV is an incredible FPV drone.
“It can fly like a racer, hover like a traditional drone, accelerate like a homebuilt project and stop faster than any of them”— DP Review.
- Weight: 6.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 255×312×127mm
- Obstacle avoidance sensors on the front and bottom
- Flying time: 20 minutes
- Price: $1,299USD + Shipping (Amazon)
#3: DJI Inspire 2
The DJI Inspire 2 is a great drone for anyone looking for a high-tech, high-performance drone. It’s so good in fact that it’s been used on many movie sets. The most important thing to note is that this drone was built for professionals. The DJI Inspire 2 can fly to a height of 760 meters with no transmission issues. It can also stay in the air for 25 minutes while capturing in 5K.
“The Bottom Line. If money is no object, the DJI Inspire 2 is the best drone you can buy, delivering raw video capture at 5.2K quality, superb build quality, and top-end performance”— PCMag, Jim Fisher.
- Weight: 7.3 pounds
- 5K Resolution
- Obstacle avoidance system
- Video Tracking System
- Flying time: 25 minutes
- Price: $4,399USD + Shipping (Amazon)
#2: Mavic 2 Zoom
Using a three-axis gimbal, the Mavic 2 Zoom’s footage will always be smooth. The point of the Mavic 2 Zoom is to get up close, and the camera has a 2X optical zoom, which offers more perspective and safety. The Mavic 2 Zoom is able to go anywhere thanks to its compatibility; and thanks to its lightweight chassis and propellers, it is the quietest drone from DJI.
“Overall, the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom are extremely easy to use. You don’t even have to know a lot about drones to use it”— The Verge, Vjeran Pavic.
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Stabilization: 3 axis gimbal
- Max speed: 72 hm/h
- Max Distance: 8km
- Flight time: 31 minutes
- Price: $1,349USD + Shipping (Amazon)
#1: Mavic Air 2
The Mavic Air 2 is one of the best Mavics that has ever been released. It is compact, has a great camera, incredible motors and great modes. It’s also able to capture in 4K thanks to its 1/2-inch image sensor. Furthermore, the active obstacle avoidance system allows the Mavic to fly safer. The Mavic is able to achieve a top speed of 68 kilometers per hour, thanks to its four rotors driven by one high-energy lithium-ion battery.
“An incredible drone that is capable of taking professional-level photos and videos with no prior experience and it’s easy to fly” —AISB Film Teacher Troy White.
- Weight: 1.26 pounds
- Photo quality: 48MP
- Video quality: 4K/60FPS
- Speed: 68km/h
- Flight time: 34 minutes
- Price: $799USD + Shipping (Amazon)
Tell us: What did you think about this list? Comment below to tell us your favorite or most-wanted drone!