The best mini drones open up a whole new world of capturing epic shots of your trip that are entirely your own. Beautiful panoramic and overhead views are just the beginning though, as the photography features continue to grow with each new generation of drones. The newest mini drones often include things like “follow-me mode” for hands-free filming, facial recognition, and even collision detection to avoid crashes.
1. DJI Mavic Mini
DJI is one of the most well-known and trusted drone makers on earth, and the Mavic Mini is a solid little machine. The max video resolution here is 2.7K HD – more than enough to shoot some nice-looking videos, as well as 12MP photographs.
The 3-axis motorized gimbal keeps the unit stabilized in flight, resulting in clearer shots with way less blur. The hover feature holds it steady in mid-air, for you to get that perfect panoramic pic (or just an epic selfie). This folds up to reduce its overall size, making it ideal for travel and outdoor hikes and treks. Most impressive of all, the Mavic can be controlled up to 2.5 miles away.
You won’t need to register this for flight in the US or Canada either, as its weight is just 249g. And its low weight lets it stay in the air longer than other, heavier competitors – up to 30 minutes of flight time with a charged battery. Though it flies fast, at 29mph, there’s no obstacle avoidance system here, so be careful of crashing it at high speeds.
2. Holy Stone HS510 GPS Drone
This user-friendly flight machine captures 4K videos at 16fps, and 2.7K videos at 25fps, with a wide 110º field of view. There’s no gimbal, but the camera is manually tilt-able to get the angle you’re going for. This can take microSD cards, up to 32GB, and can be controlled up to 300 meters away.
The controller has two folding antennae (though one is purely cosmetic), with a one-button takeoff and landing command. There’s also a convenient photo/video button, along with a return-to-home button, and the expandable phone-holder keeps most smartphone models in place during flights.
An optical sensor on the bottom assists with landing, and built-in LED lights let you locate it during night flights too. This is a well-made quad-copter with tough plastic arms and plenty of ventilation slits all over to prevent overheating during its 16 minutes of flight time.
3. RUKO F11Pro Drone
The F11Pro picks up a strong and upgraded 5G signal that’s lag-less, with a GPS locator that can pinpoint its height and location (this can also be a major help if it gets lost during a flight).
You can create your own flight path here by simply drawing it on your phone’s screen, having the drone follow up to 16 pre-set points, with picture and video quality that’s detailed and clean. With a relatively fast charge of 3.5 hours on the 2500mAH battery, the F11Pro can stay in the air up to 30 minutes, and fly up to 500 meters at 26.8mph.
There’s no gimbal, but even still, this does an impressive job at remaining stable and silent, thanks in part to its brushless motors and strong wind resistance. It has a designated beginner mode, and can stand up to some light damage from crashes and collisions (plus it comes with extra propellers too).
These are the best mini drones for photography.