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The Ten Best Mini Drones with Camera

Introduction

The best mini drones with camera are suitable for beginner photographers who need a small and portable quadcopter for taking pictures or even shooting short videos. These devices are quite common nowadays since they are affordable and can be used in tight spaces, where other larger drones may not be able to fit.

Additionally, most of them have a flight time of between 5 and 10 minutes which is just enough for capturing beautiful pictures on short trips. If you are considering buying the Best Mini Drones with Camera, below are some of the points to consider.

Camera technology

Nowadays, there are many mini drones packed with cool camera features that you’d normally expect from a larger top-range drone. Some of these quadcopters have 12-megapixel cameras, paired with 2-axis gimbal and f/2.6 25mm lenses that deliver crystal clear and rich picture quality. Others also have UltraSmooth camera technology that helps to reduce unnecessary shaking when the device is in use, so that beginner photographers can take great pictures from the air. Likewise, this technology reduces rolling shutter effects so that your videos can also look better if you are planning to record as well.

Furthermore, some mini-quadcopters are equipped with QuickShot technology that allows you to choose from various cinematic shots to capture professional-level footages with your device. Including ActiveTrack camera function that allows the mini-drone to recognize objects of different sizes and shapes within its range, plus you can also keep track of subjects when they move around.

Additionally, FaceAware technology embedded in some cameras can identify you as the user and specifically respond to your gesture signals, by following instructions such as move forward, backwards, left or right when you simply wave your hand to the corresponding signal.

Modern control functions

Your quadcopter should be equipped with advanced control features for safe and simple flying. Nowadays, some are even operated from mobile apps that are connected to the mini-drone through GPS, you can be able to fly 360 degrees in all directions and even fly high up to take top elevation pictures. Not to mention the special shot modes that this technology also offers.

In addition, some mini-quadcopters allow you to control the device from your phone, using a small video-game-style controller and a headset that provides first-person-view of the machine from up in the air. Furthermore, there are devices that after launching you only need to tap twice on your smartphone screen to make the quadcopter follow your face. After getting your ideal shot, the drone shall then fold back to the size of a small hardcover book that you can easily carry with you.

Best Mini Drones with Camera Comparison

Name
Camera
Range
Flight Time
Rating
Price
1.
Holy Stone HS170C
2 MP
50 m
7 min

4.1/5
from $270.00
Read Review
2.
DBPower X400W
HD
100 m
8 min

4.3/5
$72.99
Read Review
3.
DJI Spark
12 MP
30 m
16 min

4.1/5
from $288.00
Read Review
4.
Holy Stone F181C
720p
100 m
8 min

4.4/5
$71.99
Read Review
5.
Syma X5C
HD
50 m
7 min

3.8/5
$46.98
Read Review
6.
Cheerson CX-10WD-TX
0.3 MP
50 m
5 min

4.4/5
$42.98
Read Review
7.
Contixo F3 RD Mini Drone
720p
30 m
7 min

3.6/5
from $34.99
Read Review
8.
Hubsan X4 H107D
HD
100 m
7 min

3.5/5
$52.00
Read Review
9.
Parrot Airborne Cargo Mini
VGA
20 m
9 min

3.3/5
$119.00
Read Review
10.
Zerotech Dobby Pocket
13 MP
100 m
9 min

3.1/5
$149.00
Read Review
Last Updated 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET -
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The practicality of the design

If possible, choose a mini-drone that’s robust inbuilt, but also has a modular design so that if you accidentally snap a motor arm during use, a new one can easily be installed to get the machine back in the air. Likewise, since most mini quadcopters with a camera are for beginners who are just trying out their hand in photography, it’s recommended to go for RTF models which simply stands for ready-to-fly.

It means the drone is fully built coming from the manufacturer, everything has been pre-assembled, and the machine is ready for a basic flight test straight out of the box. RTF mini-drones are highly recommended for practicing photography newbies getting into the field since they are cheaper and easily affordable, plus they contain basic modules that are quite simple to understand by anybody.

Even if you bang up, crash or break some few propellers when practicing photography with your RTF drone, it’s still affordable to replace these parts compared to other designs such as BNF or bind-and-fly models which have expensive machine parts.

Spare-part availability

Sometimes, your mini-quadcopter may develop problems during operation that may affect its usability. You need spare parts such as rotor blades that can be used to replace the damaged parts, and allow you to continue flying the machine. It won’t cost you much to replace the broken parts provided the drone you buy has readily available spare parts. But when the spares are hard to find then you will have to fork out more money to get these accessories, since they are rare in the market, or alternatively you may have to buy a new mini-drone which is even more expensive.

One of the most common accessories to consider when checking spare-part availability is the rotors/propellers. These have a tendency of breaking down easily especially in mini camera quadcopters, therefore it’s advisable to have a spare or two in your maintenance-kit in the unlikely event of a crash or accident.

Additionally, you should be able to find suitable batteries for your machine, since after a certain amount of time batteries run out of power and provide lesser flight time compared to when they were still new. Ensure that you can get a few extra batteries for your mini-drone so that in case the ones you have run out of energy, you can simply replace them with fresh spare batteries.

Best Mini Drones with Camera Reviews

1. Holy Stone HS170C Review


(4.1/5)


from $270.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Stable flight performance
  • Headless mode
  • Great design

  • Low flight time
  • Low resolution camera
  • Short control range

This drone lets you take high resolution pictures using a 2MP HD video camera that has a 1280 x 720 resolution at 30 fps. This model comes with an upgraded 4 GB micro SD card to store you captured footage. The 6-axis gyro stabilized system makes this drone easy to fly, especially for beginners.

The headless mode feature makes this drone easy to fly for beginners. In this mode the forward direction is relative to the controller, not the drone orientation. This makes the flying learning curve easier, and lets beginners enjoy flying, while learning basic piloting skills. The prop guards also add a level of safety.
You can perform full 3D flips in the forwards, backwards, left, or right direction at the push of a button. Despite its small size, this drone has decent wind resistance on mild days.

The HS170C has a sleek look due to the ABS plastic blades, and coreless motors. The whole drone is covered with a dull polished surface with striking colored accents.

The flight time is limited to 6 minutes on one battery charge, so you may want to get a few extra batteries to increase your flight time fun.

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2. DBPower X400W Review


(4.3/5)


$72.99
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:02 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:02 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • VR headset compatible
  • Smooth stable flight
  • Realtime FPV Video

  • FPV lags slightly
  • No camera gimbal
  • Low flying time

The X400W has a good build quality and toughness due to its flexible plastic body. The prop guards eliminate the chance of damage to people or property. The red accents on a white body make for an elegant and sleek design.

This drone handles very well while flying and you will be impressed with its flight dynamics. You will notice this drone has good turning rates, and vertical climbs. The 6 axis gyro sensors, and the smart flight computer handles well even in windy conditions.

Your controller connects to your drone using a local wifi connection which allows you to view the FPV live stream. Using the iOS and Android app, you can record photos or videos on your smartphone. You will experience sharp photos and images using the HD 720p camera. The photo quality is not great, but this drone is intended for immersive FPV flying. You can also opt to use a 3D compatible VR headset.

If you are looking to get into FPV flying, but do not want to spend too much then this is a good choice.

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3. DJI Spark Review


(4.1/5)


from $288.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Gesture control
  • Compact design
  • Smart flight modes

  • Short flight times
  • Limited range
  • Dated camera

The DJI Spark has a lot of features packed in its small form. The arms cannot be folded into the body, but the props can be stowed away within the body. Instead of landing gears, this drone has stubby rubberized feet to cushion landings. DJI makes good quality drones, so it should not be a surprise that the Spark is built well. Most of the fuselage is molded from one solid piece of plastic, making this drone very sturdy.

Hand gestures can be used to control this drone instead of a standard controller. Before taking off from the palm of your hand, the drone scans your face, so it can track you. By making specific gestures, you can make the drone move away, to the side, and then take a selfie of you. You can have fun with your friends by passing control to someone else. This drone is also fun to fly indoors.

This drone has a compact design, a low price point, and intuitive controls. You do need some practice to get the hang of gesture control, but it only takes a few tries to get it right. You’ll want to get a few extra batteries to increase your flying fun time. The two-axis gimbal and electronic image stabilization provides for stable quality images. This stabilization mostly eliminates vibrations caused by windy conditions.

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4. Holy Stone F181C Review


(4.4/5)


$71.99
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:52 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:52 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Decent controller
  • Durable build quality
  • Fun aerial photography

  • Low flight time
  • No camera gimbal
  • Slightly noisy

This drone is one of the best mini drones with camera due to the extra features not commonly found on inexpensive drones. This drone will also satisfy experienced fliers due to its advanced features.

You will get some extra flying with this drone as you get an extra battery included. It does take about 90 minutes to recharge the battery, so it’s useful to have an extra battery handy.

The LCD screen shows relevant drone telemetry such as range, trim adjustments, and battery life. Be sure to keep a special eye on the battery level which is shown as a percentage on-screen. You can bring the drone back home to you at the push of a button. This feature is normally not found on inexpensive mini drones. The 2-megapixel camera takes photos at 1280 x 720 resolution, and video at a resolution of 720p.

If you are looking for a quality photo drone, you may want to pick something else since this drone is mostly suited for beginners. There will be some jitter in the videos, but the photos are of decent quality.

Want to know more about the Holy Stone F181C ?

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5. Syma X5C Review


(3.8/5)


$46.98
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:32 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:32 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Stable flight performance
  • Easy and fun to fly
  • Very affordable

  • Batter door is flimsy
  • Average flight times
  • Controller is ugly

The Syma X5C is a highly stable flier that has good agility and dynamic flight performance. This drone is fun to fly and has a good build quality. This drone is quieter than most while flying. The battery bay is enclosed at the bottom, with no wires sticking out.

The X5C-1 also comes with an extra set of propellers, a 500 mAh 3.7V battery with a USB charger, screwdriver, transmitter, micro SD card reader, a 4GB SD card, and a manual.

On one battery charge, you will get 8 minutes of flying time. If you leave the prop guards on, and use the camera often, your flight time will reduce to about 5 minutes.

You will get the standard low and high-speed modes. The drone is easier to fly in the low speed setting and is great for beginners who are first learning how to fly. Experienced fliers can opt for the high mode, which increases the speed. You can also do flips at the push of a button.

The included camera takes videos in 720p, and photos are 2 megapixel resolution. Even though the drone is at the lower price range, it does take decent photos and videos. If you are learning to fly, this drone will withstand a few crashes without worry of damage.

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6. Cheerson CX-10WD Review


(4.4/5)


$42.98
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Comfortable carrying case
  • Very stable flight
  • Good build quality

  • Short flight time
  • Non-removable battery
  • Average camera quality

This is a mini drone, but it has numerous features that include altitude hold, Wifi FPV, and transmitter that also serves as a carrying case. It is amazing that you can get an FPV feed in a drone this small size.

The small size of this drone makes it extremely light and have low inertia. This makes holding altitude difficult. The inclusion of altitude hold solves this problem. You also get headless mode, one-key return to home, 3D flips, and auto take off and landings. Some of these features were once only available on larger and more expensive drones.

The controller has good ergonomics and fits nicely in your hand. You can also adjust the distance between the control sticks giving you a customized fit. You can also use your smartphone as a controller using the downloaded iOS or Android app.

For a small drone, the camera takes decent 720 x 576 images, and decent quality videos. This drone is a great package and is becoming more popular. This drone is fun to fly indoors, and the controller also serves as a carrying case. There are some minor flaws and quirks, but given the low price of this drone, it is a solid package.

Want to know more about the Cheerson CX-10WD-TX ?

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7. Contixo F3 Review


(3.6/5)


from $34.99
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:43 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:43 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Great design
  • Very easy to fly
  • Good flight features

  • Low wind tolerance
  • App is a bit buggy
  • Slightly noisy

This drone is marketed as the world’s easiest drone to fly. When you look at the features available on this drone, you will understand why this is a true statement. You can use the transmitter or a smartphone to control the drone. You can use the app to plan a route on the screen and the drone will fly to the waypoints automatically. The touch-screen control also lets you control the drone using gestures.

The built-in camera captures HD video and photos giving you a unique perspective of family events, and parties. The gravity sensor mode allows the pilot to control the drone by moving the smartphone. You can also use the app to operate the camera functions right from the touch screen.

The one key landing and takeoff feature makes it easy to get this drone into and out of the air. The altitude hold makes it even easier to fly. You can also use the FPV feature to see what your camera sees. Flight handling is made easier with the multi-axis gyro which improves stability.

You will be impressed with this drone’s flight and image capture performance.

Want to know more about the Contixo F3 RD Mini Drone ?

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8. Hubsan X4 Review


(3.5/5)


$52.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Increased maneuverability
  • Decent imaging sensor
  • Good indoor performance

  • Low wind tolerance
  • Low flight time
  • Bulky remote control

The Hubsan X4 H107D features a live video screen camera, and lets you enter the world of FPV flying. This model has a 0.3 MP camera that enables video recordings as far as 100 feet away at a 640 x 480 resolution. It is impressive that a drone this small has a live video stream. The drone and controller connect using a 5.8 GHz wifi link.

This quad is highly durable and is able to withstand a few crashes with little to no damage. The cool design features stylish colors and two LEDs on the front that make look like a flying little monster. The two front propellers are white, while the rear propellers are red.

The X4 is relatively easy to fly, so even if you are new to drones, you will be able to learn how fly this drone easily. The drone is small, so it is not great in windy conditions.

The camera isn’t the greatest on this drone, but it is certainly good enough for some fun FPV flying. You also get good range for a drone this small. It is a great starter drone, but not great if you are planning to shoot quality aerial videos.

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9. Parrot Airborne Cargo Review


(3.3/5)


$119.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Great for kids
  • Attractive design
  • Smart flying features

  • Low flight times
  • Basic quality camera
  • Low wind tolerance

The Parrot Airborne Cargo Mini Drone is a great example of technology paired with a sleek design. This drone also has a large set of advanced features. This drone is great to fly both indoors and out. There is not controller with this drone, so you use your smartphone as the controller.

This drone has a number of flight sensors that are usually found on larger drones but are packaged but are utilized in a compact form. A specialized 3-axis gyroscope and accelerometer measures and analyses the movement and rotation of the drone. This information is fed into the flight control system to make for smooth and stable flying. This quad has a flight time of 9 minutes, and the battery takes about an hour to recharge.

This drone has a top flight speed of 5 m/s, and is capable of performing precise and accurate stunts at the press of a button. The drone also has a downward facing camera that takes images at 16 fps to measure the speed of the drone.

This drone comes packed with many advanced features and is really fun to fly. Its perfect for someone who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a photography mini drone.

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10. Zerotech Dobbie Pocket Review


(3.1/5)


$149.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:43 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:43 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Small portable size
  • Stable flight performance
  • 4K 1080p camera

  • Slightly pricey
  • Low flight time
  • No dedicated remote

This selfie drone features a highly portable design with a 13-megapixel camera that takes quality images and 1080p video at 30fps. You use your iOS or Android smartphone app to control this drone. It’s also small enough to fit in your backpack or purse. The onboard processing is handled by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which is powered by a 970 mAh battery.

The drone flight is stabilized through the optical and ultrasonic sensors on the bottom of the drone. You can adjust the camera to six different positions, so you can get the perfect shot. Any jerky flight movements are compensated for using the electronic image stabilization.

The photos and videos you capture are stored on the internal 16 GB memory before being downloaded to your smartphone.

The Dobby drone is a great choice if you are looking for a selfie drone. You do get impressive flight performance and stability, thought the battery life could be improved. When you consider the size of the Dobby, and its cost compared to other drones, the trade-offs are worth it.

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Best Mini Drones with Camera Summary

4.2

Summary

The best mini drones with camera can be convenient photography devices for beginners, they are affordable and easy to fly plus most of them are also built for durability and can withstand minor crashes. Nevertheless, with so many quadcopter options to consider sometimes it can be difficult to choose the one that will best suit your interests. One of the key factors to check out for is design of the machine, preferably go for a RTF or Ready-to-Fly model since it has already been preassembled by the manufacturer, and you can start flying it straight of the box if you are a beginner and know little about assembling a mini-drone.

Furthermore, ensure that your device is equipped with modern control features that allow you to use it even from your smartphone, through GPS and special command apps. This will allow you to fly the quadcopter even in tough conditions, where other regular drones that don’t have the requisite technology may struggle to operate. Similarly, ensure that the mini drone you choose has enough spare parts available in the market to replace any damaged parts.

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