Camera drones are gaining popularity nowadays. It allows you to capture aerial pictures and videos of yourself in your environment. You can fly it for recreational purposes or shoot footage to create content for social media. If you are new to drone flying, there are a few things to know.
So, before you invest in a camera drone, get to know the rules to fly a drone in India. Scroll down and read our buying guide to learn more. We have also curated a list of the ten best camera drones for beginners from popular brands like DJI, FIMI, Mi, Syma, and more.
mybest editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in India in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
Table of Contents
Read through to learn how to choose a drone depending on your needs and factors like range, flight time, camera resolution, and more. You will need this information while you are shopping for a camera drone later in the top 10 section.
For recreational flying or capturing videos of house parties or aerial photos of yourself and your friends, a range of 100 meters is more than enough. When it comes to range, a drone's altitude limit is also a deciding factor.
The higher a drone goes, the larger the area that gets captured. But if your intention is to shoot a video of yourself in an aesthetically pleasing environment (for example, beaches, islands, canyons, lakes, etc.), you won't need to go any more than 50 meters. Check out this YouTube video to get an idea of how much area a drone 50 meters high can cover.
Drones do not cause shaky videos when they are hovering. But it is possible when the drone is changing directions or if the wind is blowing against it. Video stabilization feature becomes necessary in situations like this. There are three types of stabilization technology available—mechanical, electronic, and digital.
A gimbal uses mechanical stabilization technology. It pivots a camera on a single axis to offer stabilization. Drones with a gimbal move the camera in the opposite direction of a force to keep it steady. Electronic stabilization is not as effective as mechanical since it compensates for jerks and shakes only by adjusting the lens inside the camera.
If you want a steady frame even while attempting complex cinematic shots, go for a drone with a gimbal. Digital image stabilization is the most inferior technology of the three. It zooms into a video or an image and actively adjusts the frames to remove the shakes. It is not a desirable solution as digital zooming in can reduce video quality.
Longer flying times are always desirable. But this factor too changes according to the price of the product. Inexpensive ones offer an average flying time of 10 minutes, while flight times can go up to 30 minutes for beginner drones as the price goes up.
If your budget only allows drones with less flying times, plan and practice ahead to finish shooting quickly before the battery runs out. But for shooting public events like parties or capturing travel videos, you need to invest in a drone with at least 30 minutes of flight time.
Some companies also offer combo packs that come with multiple batteries. This enables you to switch batteries when the current one runs out and continue shooting while the circumstances are ideal.
Camera drones come with several features to assist the user in flying them safely and easily. Let's go through the most common ones.
Imagine that the drone is facing you while you are controlling it. When you move the control stick in a specific direction, the drone moves accordingly. What if you go behind the drone? Now, moving the control stick to the left will make the drone move to the right, from your perspective.
When the headless mode is turned on, you can position yourself anywhere you want, and the drone will fly accordingly. Going back to the example above, the drone will now move left when you move the control stick left, even though you are behind it.
Wondering how to mimic your favorite shots in movies? You can do it using a drone, but it requires a lot of experience and practice. To make it possible for beginner drone pilots, companies pre-program complex shots into a drone.
You can select the one you like in the smartphone app, and the drone will pull it off automatically. For example, for a "dronie shot", the camera will lock onto a subject and fly backward and then upwards.
For a rocket shot, the camera will point downwards and lock on to the subject while moving up. You can also set your drone to track a subject. For example, you can set the drone to track your body while cycling and even click pictures using hand gestures.
It also makes the drone stop and hovers when it approaches a no-fly zone, thus avoiding accidents. Drone controllers normally have two control sticks and a smartphone holder for viewing live video footage.
But you can control it directly from your smartphone too, either using touch controls or using the gyro sensors. Some drones come with one-hand controllers too, which allows you to control the drone movement intuitively by hovering your thumb over a sensitive joystick.
Drones need to be lightweight and under a specific weight for two reasons—legal and portability. The legal reasons will be discussed in the following section. A lightweight drone is easy to carry when you are traveling. To make it even more compact and travel-friendly, companies make drones foldable, thus saving space in your luggage.
If you are a travel vlogger, it is advisable to go for a foldable drone for the reasons above. Another feature to look for is the propeller guards (a propeller is a rotating fan that lifts a drone up). Some companies sell propeller guards separately, while others incorporate them into the drone design. Beginner drone pilots tend to bump into walls which can damage the propeller and motors.
Buying one with propeller guards will avoid such situations. When drones lift off or land on the ground, the high-speed propellers splatter dust and dirt off the ground. This can damage the drone and the camera in the long run. Buying landing legs for your drone is a good idea to prolong its life. Most beginner camera drones don't have landing legs, so you may have to buy it from third-party companies.
Beginner camera drones usually come in the nano or micro category. You must register your drone on the Digital Sky website and obtain a Unique Identification Number (UIN) if it weighs more than 250 grams (micro category and above).
Drone operators require an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) except for nano drones flying below 50 feet and micro drones flying below 200 feet. Here are some rules you need to follow while flying. The drone must be in the visual line of sight of the operator while flying, and it must not go beyond an altitude of 400 feet.
If the drone you are planning to buy is in the micro category or above, make sure it has the following mandatory features: Return-to-home (RTH), GPS, ID plate, anti-collision light, flight controller (with the capability to log flight data), and No Permission No Takeoff (NPNT), as these are mandatory as per the Government’s guidelines.
Click to purchase
Mini 2 Fly More Combo
Supports 4K Video Recording at 30 fps
Mavic Mini Fly More Combo
Gives up to 30 Minutes of Flight Time
With Transmission Range up to 8 KM
Tello Boost Combo
Propeller Guards Prevent Accidental Damage
ZERO ZERO Robotics
Hover Camera Passport
Owner Mode Feature Automatically Detects You and Follows You
Automatically Returns When Battery Is Low
One-Hand Controller Allows Precision Controlling
Foldable Design for Easy Storage
Flies up to a Height of 50 Meters
Optical Flow Drone
Features a Dual Camera Set-Up
With a camera that supports 4K recording at 30 fps, the DJI Mini 2 is perfect for professional and recreational flying. It weighs only 249 grams, so you don't have to register your drone nor require a permit for flying. You can control the drone for up to 10 km, allowing you to shoot breathtaking landscape videos without having to travel far.
On a single charge, the drone offers 31 minutes of flight time, which is more than enough for professional works and capturing fun times with friends. The camera has mechanical gimbal stabilization that allows you to capture shale-free videos even during windy days, and the foldable design makes it compact and easy to carry.
It uses DJI's OcuSync 2.0 video transmission system that allows HD video transmission up to 10 km. You can also choose from several video and photo modes for creating stunning videos and shots of you and your favorite locations.
You can control the DJI Mavic Mini and receive a live video feed up to a distance of 4 km. The maximum quality at which you can shoot videos is 2.7K at 30 fps, and the mechanical gimbal allows smooth video capture. You can choose from several QuickShot modes to execute complex cinematic shots with ease.
This Fly More Combo comes with extra attachments and spare parts that give you flexibility and freedom of usage. The pack has three flight batteries, three pairs of spare propellers, two micro USB cables, 18 spare screws, a propeller guard, a 2-way charging hub, an 18W USB charger, and a carrying bag.
If you buy this combo pack, you will get a total of 1 hour and 30 minutes of flight time, with each fully charged battery giving you 30 minutes.
Weighing 765 grams, the FIMI X8SE comes in the micro category of drones, so you will need to register it on the Digital Sky website. It supports 4K video capture at 30 fps, with a 3-axis gimbal stabilizing your shots. With 35 minutes of flight time and a range of 8km, you can fly the drone to tough-to-reach spots and shoot breathtaking landscape videos.
The smart tracking mode allows executing tough cinematic shots by locking on to a subject or follow the subject from an angle of your choice. You can also make use of several photography modes like panorama and time-lapse to create beautiful memories of your travel.
FIMI X8SE also has the capability to detect a launchpad and land directly on it, so worry less about a soft landing—the drone can take care of it. It can go up to an altitude of 500 meters, and if you plan on flying more than 200 meters up, obtain an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP).
If you are new to drone flying, the DJI Tello is the right product to practice flying. Its 720p camera with electronic image stabilization is apt for people who want it for recreational purposes too. It is not foldable, but this 87-gram drone can fit in your palm, making it compact and easy to carry.
First-time flyers could bump into walls and accidentally damage the motor and propellers, but the propeller guards prevent that from happening. In this Boost Combo, you get three batteries instead of one and a battery charging hub. If the 13 minutes of flight time is not enough, the three batteries in this combo pack will give you a total of 39 minutes of flight time.
One unique feature of the DJI Tello is that it allows you to program its movements using the Tello Edu app. Advanced users can make use of the Tello SDK (Software Development Kit) to create custom software for the drone.
Hover Camera Passport by Zero Zero Robotics is a lightweight, compact camera fit for recreational usage. Weighing just 242 grams, you don't need to register or get permission to fly this drone. You can also set it to track your face and body and follow you while capturing a video. The drone can also orbit you and capture a 360-degree video featuring you in the environment.
Its carbon fiber frame protects it from accidental damage, and the foldable design lets you carry it in your travel bag. Hover Camera Passport can capture 4K videos at 30fps. Since this drone is not intended for professional use, there is no video stabilization, but it is stable enough to capture shake-free videos.
If you want a drone that is easy to learn and operate, Mi 4K Drone is for you. It weighs 1376 grams and comes in the micro category, so you have to register the drone and get the Unique Identification Number (UIN). If you plan to fly it above 200 meters, you will require an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) too.
You can set a location on the map, and the drone will automatically fly to that point. Or you can draw a flight route on the map, and the drone will follow it while capturing videos uninterruptedly. It has a return home feature that automatically flies the drone back to you if the battery is low or if the controller disconnects.
When the Mi 4K Drone detects no-fly zones, it automatically hovers near the boundary and sends you an alert, thus preventing accidents. It is not foldable, so you may find it inconvenient to carry while traveling far.
A compact drone intended for recreational flying. The key feature of the Shift RED is its one-hand controlling system that works on the Near-Field-Micro-Sensing technology. You can hover your thumb over the controller, and the drone moves in accordance with that, allowing precise and intuitive flight control.
The smartphone app lets you choose from eight different auto-pilot modes for pulling off cinematic shots easily. Shift RED can capture 1080p videos at 30fps and uses digital image stabilization since it doesn't have a gimbal system. It weighs only 93 grams and allows remote control up to 300 meters.
The Syma Z3 is categorized as a toy but has features suitable for recreational video capturing too. It weighs only 116 grams, and the foldable design allows you to carry it in your backpack. The drone can capture 720p videos, which will be saved directly in your phone's storage. Its headless mode allows you to control the drone intuitively, without worrying about its orientation.
Its gravity mode allows you to control the drone's movement using your smartphone's gyroscope (a sensor that measures orientation). You can draw a flight route on the app, and the drone will fly according to it. It only has a range of 80 meters and the flight time is just 8 minutes. So if you plan to use this drone for capturing your precious moments, you need to plan ahead and quickly.
Another affordable beginner drone from Syma. The X5SW comes with propeller guards, so beginners can fly without worrying about damaging the drone. It sends real-time video feed to your smartphone and is controllable up to 100 meters. Every footage is directly saved in your phone's internal storage.
It can capture videos in 720p resolution, but there is no video stabilization, so flying it during windy days can create shaky and blurry videos. Syma X5SW can only fly for 8 minutes on a full charge, which may be a drawback if you plan to take it with you for road trips.
Pioneer Optical Flow Drone comes with a dual-camera set-up, and it's the only drone on our list with this feature. One camera captures everything in the front, and the other faces down, allowing you to click aerial photos easily. You can switch between the cameras through the smartphone app while flying too. It comes with some features for convenient flying and shooting.
The headless mode allows you to control the drone regardless of its orientation, follow me mode that makes the drone follow you, and hand gesture selfie for clicking pictures easily. There is no in-built storage or SD card slot. It can fly only for 8 to 10 minutes on a full charge, which may be a drawback if you want to capture videos during house parties or your leisure travel.
Do you know you can connect a VR headset to a drone? You can use it for capturing videos of hard-to-reach places like mountain tops, valleys, and canyons easily. Like drones, cameras and power banks are also important pieces of equipment for a content creator.
Click on the links below to read the buying guides for choosing the best vlogging camera, VR headsets, and power banks in India. We also have a top 10 list with the best products available to buy online in India.
It is always best to invest in an inexpensive one to practice if you plan on buying a professional drone for work. But if you want one that's easy to control so you can learn to fly and later use them for your personal or professional needs, choose the best one that fits your budget. Some must-have features in a beginner camera drone are Return Home and Headless Mode.
For shooting videos during parties or landscapes, focus on the camera quality as well. A video with excellent quality is always fun to watch and ideal for social media uploads. Another important feature to look for is the stabilization system. A drone with mechanical stabilization produces smoother videos than one with digital or electronic stabilization.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
PC and Cameras
Home Appliances and Electronics
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Smartphones and mobile phones
Investment and asset management