DJI Air 2S

The best 4K drones are a long list of machines, all with at least a 12MP 4K capable camera that hangs by a stabilized gimbal. Truth is, the more capable the gimbal, the more we value the drone. The following list is not really in order, the drones are fairly well ranked by their prices, the more expensive, the better the camera and gimbal.

Choose your budget and do a bit more research before you purchase, but each of these machines should serve you well for standard aerial photography.

Jonathan Feist, Drone PilotJonathan Feist

Why trust Drone Rush?

I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.

Best 4K camera drones

1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro: Best consumer drone

DJI Mavic 2 Pro: Best consumer drone

DJI-Mavic-2-Pro-flying-camera

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a powerful and capable consumer camera drone. The 1-inch Hasselblad sensor with solid optics shoots 4K video and 20MP photos, and the 3-axis gimbal keeps everything look super smooth. The folding design of the Mavic series make it very portable, but the Mavic 2 series is considerably heavier than the smaller Mavic Air and Mavic Mini series drones. We are not inclined to grab this larger drone if we’re going hiking, but it’s our first choice when we need superb camera results.

Launched in 2018, the Mavic 2 Pro is an older drone, evidenced by it’s ‘limited’ 4K video capability. Newer drones are now shooting 5.4K and higher resolutions, but few have as powerful of optics as the Mavic 2 Pro, resulting in comparable imagery.

Should I buy the DJI Mavic 2 Pro?

The Mavic 2 Pro is a hard sell right now. It is one of our favorite drones, and will serve any camera drone enthusiast very well for a while longer, but, it is an older drone, we would not be surprised if it is replaced by a new version and discontinued, soon.

Pros

  • Great 4K camera
  • Display in the remote
  • Great flight time
  • Fast and fun to fly
  • Easy to operate
  • Very safe
Cons

  • Older drone
  • Large for casual packing

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

(9.7)
  • 31 - MIN
  • 4K - 30 FPS
  • 44 - MPH

2. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom: Optical and digital zoom

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom: Optical and digital zoom

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom front angle

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is the same airframe as the Mavic 2 Pro, but launches with a different camera. With a smaller sensor, this is the lesser of the two drones for overall image quality, however, the Zoom has a cool function, camera zoom! There are many drones that offer a digital camera zoom, cropping in on the pixels to change your view, but the Mavic 2 Zoom remains one of few consumer drones that has optical zoom, meaning the glass lenses provide the change in FoV, resulting in far higher quality zoomed images.

Should I buy the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom?

Like the other Mavic 2 series drones, the Mavic 2 Zoom is an older drone that will satisfy most pilot’s needs of a zooming camera, but do not be surprised if it is replaced with a newer, more capable drone before the year is out.

Pros

  • Great zoom
  • solid 4K video
  • Great flight time
  • Safe and easy to fly
  • Fast and fun
  • Display in remote
Cons

  • Older drone
  • A little large for hiking

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

(9.5)
  • 31 - MIN
  • 4K - 30 FPS
  • 44 - MPH

3. DJI Mavic Air 2: Best camera drone under $800

DJI Mavic Air 2: Best camera drone under $800

DJI Mavic Air 2 side folded

The DJI Mavic Air 2 may look a lot like the larger Mavic drones on this list, but it is much smaller, and much lighter. There are a few compromises in terms of the number of safety sensors and power, but the result is a perfectly capable camera drones that is reasonably fast and has superb flight time.

Should I buy the Mavic Air 2?

The Mavic Air 2 was a favorite drone around here for but a short time. We love the flight time, but the newer Air 2S launched not long after the Air 2. The newer drone is far more capable, in terms of the camera, but it also more expensive. Bottom line, if you can afford the Air 2S, get that instead, but if the Mavic Air 2 is the top of your budget, no worries, you’re getting a fun drone that’s perfectly capable.

Pros

  • Superb flight time
  • Easy to operate
  • Fast and fun to fly
  • Good 4K camera
  • Easy to transport
Cons

  • Limited obstacle avoidance sensros
  • Older drone
  • No display in the remote

DJI Mavic Air 2

(9.6)
  • 34 - MIN
  • 4K - 60 FPS
  • 42.5 - MPH

4. Yuneec Typhoon H3: Pro hexacopter

Yuneec Typhoon H3: Pro hexacopter

Yuneec Typhoon H3

The Yuneec H3 is the kind of drone a professional aerial photographer should be looking at. The hexacopter design offers stability and reliability, and the big Leica camera is a step above anything hanging from a Mavic drone. Yuneec also tends to offer payload upgrades over time as well, so this airframe can continue to fly when you are in need of a bigger and better camera.

Should I buy the Yuneec Typhoon H3?

Please do some research in your area for sales and support services, while we very much enjoy Yuneec products, they have scaled back some global operations and may not be available in your area. As for the drone itself, if it’s in your price range and you want a really good camera drone, we absolutely recommend the Typhoon H3.

Pros

  • Hexacopter stability and reliability
  • Great camera
  • Big and powerful drone
  • Highly capable remote control
Cons

  • Fairly expensive
  • Large drone to transport
  • Limited availability

Yuneec Typhoon H3

(9.5)
  • 25 - Minutes
  • 4K - 60 FPS
  • 45 - MPH

September 2019

Release Date

5. DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0: Iconic powerhouse

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0: Iconic powerhouse

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2 stock image 2

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is the cream of the crop in terms of DJI’s consumer-focused iconic Phantom drones. Solid flight time, good range, and a decent 4K camera make this large and powerful airframe ideal for many pilots. That said, the Phantom series has not seen an update in a while, and we have no reason to expect that DJI will release an update anytime soon. The Mavic series is producing comparable camera quality, in drones that are far smaller and easier to transport.

Should I buy the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0?

If you need a powerful drone to haul a decent payload, yes, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a worthy purchase, but if all you want is a capable camera drone, have a look at the Mavic drones instead.

Pros

  • Large and powerful drone
  • Safe and fun to fly
  • Good camera
Cons

  • Older drone
  • Large, tough to transport easily

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

(9.7)
  • 30 - MIN
  • 4K - 60 FPS
  • 45 - MPH