Aerial photography is growing in popularity as photography drones become more user and budget-friendly. If you are considering purchasing a drone for photography, there are a few aspects to look at prior to making your choice. The birds-eye perspective that can be gained with a drone is a really exciting prospect for both professional and amateur users alike! The main advantage of drones in the panoramic views that can be achieved with no tree climbing necessary! Most models offer both photography as well as video capabilities to increase the type of images that you can capture. The most typical first step is to purchase a cheap and bare-bones drone, such as the many available under $50, to learn how to pilot a drone and make your rookie mistakes on a cheap version!
The first consideration is of course budget. Drones are available in a surprisingly wide range of prices and if you are not using your for professional purposes, there is really no reason to break the bank. We like the camera drones that include stabilization which starts at around $400 for a quality model. If you are on a budget and already have a GoPro or similar camera you can attach your camera to a non-camera GPS enabled drone to save some cash. Be sure whatever you do, that you get a drone that has built-in stabilization, otherwise, it is highly unlikely that you will get the level of shot quality that you need.
If you are concerned about your piloting skills, choose a drone that contains a built-in GPS system that can fly the drone back to you should you lose sight of it as you are honing your flying and navigation skills. While this may cost a bit more money it is definitely cheaper than losing your drone completely! We can’t stress enough the importance of starting out with a cheap-o drone to hang the hang of things before you start flying a more expensive model. Good quality camera drones that are worthwhile start at around $500.
Another factor to look at while you are making your decision is battery life. This will dictate the range and length of your flights and will vary but the type of use that you intend to have for your drone. The top range of battery life averages around 25 minutes or so, with anything much less than that not really worth your time.
The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is our favorite photography drone for many reasons. It retails at around $1,000 which may be a bit on the high end but we think it is worth it. The battery life is a decent 26 minutes, the drone is foldable making it easy to travel with, and the flight range is 7km which suits most needs just fine. Most importantly the camera quality is great, with a 4K camera and fixed aperture of f/2.2, and it creates fantastic images with the 12mp resolution.