/The 10 Best Drone Cameras for Beginners

The 10 Best Drone Cameras for Beginners


Getting a higher perspective is a big plus for any photographer. It’s an awesome way to capture the landscapes, making them look larger and longer than they actually are. Fortunately, with modern technology, you don’t need to book a helicopter for the job nor do you need to build platforms on top of your car like Ansel Adams used to do. The best camera drones for beginners make it painlessly easy for you to scale the heights of photography, quite literally. Talking about camera drones, here’s a run-down of 10 affordable and value-oriented choices worth pondering upon.

Heres our list:

Upair One Drone1080p8MP2.9 poundsCheck Price
Syma X5C RC Quadcopter720p2MP1.5 poundsCheck Price
Hubsan X4 (H107C) 720p0.3MP0.9 poundsCheck Price
DJI Phantom P3-Standard
(Editor's Choice)
2.7K HD12MP8.2 poundsCheck Price
TOZO Q1012 X8tw720p2MP0.3 poundsCheck Price
Holy Stone F181
(Editor's Choice)
1080p2MP1.7 poundsCheck Price
UDI U818A HD+720p2MP0.28 poundsCheck Price
Hubsan H501S X41080p5MP3 poundsCheck Price
Parrot Bebop 21080p14MP1.1 poundsCheck Price
Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3720p2MP0.26 poundsCheck Price

1. Upair One Drone – Great value for money


One thing that makes this drone an instant darling to budding aerial photographers is the fact that it has 2 different cameras. You can go for the cheaper one which is a 2.7K camera to start you off. This would still help you capture solid aerial shots. However, if you’re looking for crisp clear images, then you can always upgrade to a 4K camera. The Upair One is rated one of the best camera drones for beginners for good reasons. Its powerful battery claims to last up to 18 minutes on full charge.

Another awesome thing about this drone is its controller. It looks stylish but most importantly it’s stylish. You will fall in love with its sleek design and clean white finish. Each dedicated controller comes with a 7-inch display monitor. You really can’t cast any doubts on its display quality because it’s way above board.

The Upair One has a strong GPS component which enables it to successful record the Home point. Therefore the mini aircraft always finds its way home by itself. Best of all, if anything should go wrong with this unit the company is always there to offer tech support.

Notable Features:
* Built-in GPS functionality
* One-key operability to return home
* Intelligent orientation control

  • Flies extremely well
  • Legs and props are sturdy enough for daily use
  • Great customer service
  • Some of their customer service responses are written by people whose English is a little difficult to understand. It could be that English isn’t their first language.

2. Syma X5C RC – A great entry-level drone

Syma X5C is known for two things: a 720p HD camera and affordable pricing. It certainly isn’t a high-end, professional unit, but it really enables you to learn more about aerial photography for cheap. The camera captures some impressive images though there’s clearly need for stabilization. That said, only a few of its photos appear shaky meaning you can rely on it 95 percent of the time.

The X5C’s battery pack is a wonderful addition by itself. At 3.7 volts, it gives you about 7 minutes of flight on a fully charged battery. You can actually get a few more minutes airborne if you remove the landing gear and prop guards. It takes approximately 90 minutes for a full recharge.

Some people prefer to buy extra batteries (because they’re cheap) for replacement as used ones recharge.This quadcopter stands tall among the best camera drones for beginners thanks to its 2MP 720p HD camera. It even comes with a 4GB memory card for convenient storage of images.

Notable Features:
* 2.4Ghz remote control with LCD info screen and two control sticks
* USB recharging cable
* Four propeller guards

  • Very light and feathery at 0.2lbs
  • Directional LEDs included
  • 6-axis gyroscope stabilization system
  • Extra propellers provided
  • Maneuverability decreases when the prop guards and camera are attached
  • Does not handle well in windy conditions
  • Records in both (Portrait and Landscape Modes)

3. Hubsan X4 (H107C) – Lowest priced

Looking for a drone that can clock over 10 miles per hour and swerve around sharp corners? You may need to take a closer look at the Hubsan X4 (H107C). When fully charged, this drone can deliver an incredible 7.5 minutes of uninterrupted flight. Best of all, the battery takes only 60 minutes to recharge – which is faster than average. For added flexibility recharge, a USB port is provided. You may need to buy a second cell if you want to fly this back-to-back but overall it offers an outstanding experience.

Perhaps one factor that makes this the best camera drone for beginners is its internal gyroscope. This advanced technology guarantees you of a lateral flight which also makes it easier to capture still shots. There’s also a 2.4GHz radio transmitter that, though not fancy, makes the drone even much easier to control.

The drone comes with a 720p camera which offers some pretty decent footage. This is a pretty good deal given that you are getting it for under $50. You only need to insert an SD card into the rear of the unit and you’re good to go.

Notable Features:
* Reasonably priced beginner drone
* Excellent footage quality
* 6 axis gyroscope for increased precision

  • Quite powerful
  • Easy to fly
  • Above-average LiPO battery
  • The manufacturer needs to improve on product instructions

4. DJI Phantom P3 – Expensive but well-worth it

DJI have built a good name for themselves in drone production. Their beginner-recommended quadcopter, though pricier than the competition, promises to offer nothing short of jaw-dropping results. The P3 Standard is no doubt home to the best camera drones for beginners. It may not have an outstanding operating range or the power of a 4K recording device but its 2.7K resolution is still capable of capturing crisp footage.
Just like its other siblings in the Phantom 3 family, it comes with 1 battery and charger. The so-called intelligent battery is capable of flying for 25 minutes on a single charge. Moreover, it only takes 60 minutes to recharge.

Each unit comes with GPS-assisted features which let you concentrate on capturing the shots you need. Best of all, you can monitor live images streamed from your drone from over half a mile away using the DJI Go app. Just to make sure you’re well covered for the long haul, this unit comes with an 8GB SD card.

Notable Features:
* GPS-assisted flight features
* High-end, sturdy body
* Half a mile range of live stream

  • Easy to manage even with no prior experience
  • Easy to assemble
  • High-end drone available at a competitive price
  • Pricier than average

5. TOZO Q1012 X8tw – Great for travel

If you’re the busy kind, then purchasing a foldable drone like this one is a sure way to improve your convenience. Its unique design allows it to fit into spaces as small as 122x94x71mm. That’s however not the sole reason why the Tozo is ranked among the best camera drones for beginners. It’s 6-axis Gyroscope technology gives it an edge as far as aerial control is concerned. Its stable flight and easy operation make it easy to capture clear shots.

Underneath the drone is a 720P HD real-time camera. This is powered by an optional WiFi auto connection technology which supports the live transmission of images to iOS or Android devices. Its battery lasts for up to 7 minutes on a single charge (takes 80 minutes to recharge). Being a beginner’s unit, this quadcopter manages a range of about 100 meters.

Notable Features:
* Foldable design to fit size 122x94x57mm
* Headless security mode for easy flying
* Altitude hold function for maintenance of constant height

  • Easy to shoot videos and images
  • Stable flight path thanks to 6-axis gyroscope
  • Extra propellers, screws, and screwdrivers included
  • Difficult to control in windy conditions
  • Extra batteries may be needed for longer, productive flights

6. Holy Stone F181– Best bang for your buck

The F181 is a fun and affordable drone that is great for beginners and pros alike. It comes included with a 720 HD camera that performs better than what you would expect at the price. You can, therefore, shoot great images and videos. Above all, it boasts a key return function plus headless security system. This prevents one from losing the copter.

Besides that, it features 6-axis Gyro stabilization system that contributes to its flexibility and stability when flying. Four protection frames, user manual, four rotating blades, a screwdriver and two landing skids also come handy. It can thus survive any form of beating. In addition, the drone has about 50 to 100 meters of flight range.

Notable Features:
* A key 360 degrees 4-ways flip
* Flight time of around 7-9 minutes
* Powerful air-pressure altitude-hold functionality

  • Can be flown both indoors and outdoors
  • Includes a 2.4G remote transmitter
  • It comes with two batteries for longer flight time
  •  Allows for continuous roll which ensures great performance
  • The batteries drain quickly especially when recording video

7. UDI U818A HD+ – Good for beginners

When it comes to best camera drones for beginners, the UDI U818A is a favorite among many players. It is a great drone for those looking to explore different aerial photography techniques and to grow their flying skills. Featuring an HD camera, you can easily take high-resolution images and videos.

In addition, it boasts 360 degrees flips to perform different stunts. With its headless mode, the drone can easily flip direction to match the direction of the remote control. But if you want more precise flying you can always turn off the mode. LED running lights, a remote control with LCD screen really improve your experience with this drone.

The drone comes with many extras including an extra battery, USB power bank and charger, 4 extra blades and 2.4G transmitter. You can also upload files to Email, Facebook and Photoshop easily using the data port and USB cable provided.

Notable Features:
* 6 Axis Gyro stability function
* 2 Megapixels camera with removable 4GB Micro SD
* Low battery alarm
* Two swappable long life batteries

  • Offers versatile flying experience
  • Powerful motors
  • Strong and high-performance frames
  • Easy to use and budget-friendly
  • It is not very stable when flown during strong windy conditions

8. Hubsan H501S X4 – Easy to fly & reliable

Hubsan as a brand has a reputation for producing high-performance drones. Their H501S X4 is one of their best camera drones for beginners. With a flight time of around 19 minutes, this drone has what it takes to offer a fun flying experience. Whilst most beginner drones have a control range of less than a 100 meters, H501S X4 range goes up to 300 meters.

It features a 4.3-inch LCD display that allows first-person-view (FPV) monitoring. The FPV video feature is built into the controller that works with a 2.4Ghz connection. On the other hand, FPV uses 5.8Ghz which is much stronger and reliable.

Moving forward, it includes a Lithium polymer battery that takes around 2 to 3 hours to charge. You can use the drone with the follow me function and let it follow you as you surf, run, skateboard or ski. To top it all off, this fella comes with a return to home and headless flight modes.

Notable Features:
* Powerful brushless motor
* 1080P HD camera with wireless video transmitter
* GPS hold function

  • Boast a light and robust frame
  • Battery life is second to none
  • Excluded from FAA registration requirements
  • Can take some decent abuse
  • Lacks great stability when flown above 100 meter

9. Parrot Bebop 2 Drone – A great FPV camera

Parrot Bebop 2 Drone is one of the best beginner drones. Featuring reliable propellers, this drone automatically shuts down in case there is a collision.

The drone can be flown via the FreeFlight 3 piloting app available on Google Play and Apple App Store for free. That said, it sports enhanced fish-eye lens for better clarity and exposure, especially in low lighting. In addition, its stability is enhanced with its integrated 3-axis digital stabilization system.

Notable Features:
* 14-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording
* Automatic return home function
* Powerful 2700 mAh battery

  • Spare parts are readily available and inexpensive
  • Streams live HD videos to your Smartphone
  • Offers 25-minutes of flight time
  • Easy to fly in greater altitudes
  • Experiences a delay in the responsiveness as it gets far away from you

10. Cheerwing Syma – Simple and lightweight

Featuring a six-axis Gyro that is based on four channels, you can enjoy a fast and stable flight with this drone. The Syma X5SW-V3 boasts an HD camera to allow you to take videos and photos in real time. Thanks to its 500mAh battery, you can enjoy up to seven minutes of flight time. The charge time is around 120 minutes via a USB charger.

Included in the package, is a screwdriver, USB charger, phone grip and a remote controller. Besides that, the drone offers continuous roll which ensures you get the perfect action. What’s more, its Wi-Fi- connectivity is compatible with any Android and IOS phone. Finally, weighing 0.26 lbs, you don’t need to register the drone with FAA.

Notable Features:
*360 degrees 3D roll
*640 x 480P WiFi FPV transmission
*Headless/ IOC mode available

  • Includes 4 pieces of propeller
  • Easy to control on different modes
  • Sturdy and flexible
  • Suitable for players of all skill levels
  • Lacks the return home function


Final Words

I often recommend starting off with a simple system. This provides you with an opportunity to learn and perfect your skills before scaling up to bigger units like Yuneec Typhoon H and DJI Phantom 4. The models listed in this review of the best camera drones for beginners may not have all the niceties of high-end drones, but they sure are good at what they do. So, feel free to sift through the list once again in order to make an informed choice.

Gary Nguyen is a 24-year-old photographer and writer from New York City. Some of his works have been published in The Guardian, New York Times, Telegraph, and many others. Learn more