Some of the best drones on the market are from the dominating Chinese brand, DJI. Airframes such as the Phantom and Mavic lines of drones have produced many successful and reliable machines, inspiring many similarly designed aircraft from the competition. While DJI may produce the iconic drones most people think of, there are a number of solid alternatives out there.
Let’s dive in, here are some of the best off-the-shelf non-DJI drones on the market today.
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.
No matter what drone you fly, please follow the drone laws in your area.
Best Non-DJI drones
Yuneec Typhoon H3: Pro hexacopter
The Yuneec Typhoon H3 is simply one of the best consumer camera drones on the market. The large 20Mp 4K camera shoots great images, and those images are dynamic with the full swivel of the camera gimbal. Six propellers make for smoother flight, and adds safety, as you can lose a propeller or two without crashing. This capable drone with powerful remote control has many flight features, and important tools for aerial imagery tasks.
Should I buy the Yuneec Typhoon H3?
We can think of no better consumer-grade camera drone outside of the DJI stables. There is a premium for the extra tech on the H3, but as long as you are not looking to haul your own camera up into the sky, and you do not want to invest in the DJI Inspire 2, this is the camera drone for you.
- Powerful hexacopter
- six-propellers for safety and smooth flight
- Powerful camera
- powerful remote control
- Below average flight range
- Below average flight time
Parrot Anafi: Versatile gimbal
The Parrot Anafi has a fun, and potentially very useful party trick, it can point its camera straight up. There are limited times when a hobby pilot would want to see straight up into the clouds, but the ability inspect the underside of a bridge is an invaluable use-case. For the average consumer pilot, the Anafi is an older craft with average, at best, specifications and features. The 4K camera is capable, and was one of the first with a zooming lens, and the ability to point that camera upwards is fun, but a newer Mavic drone might be better bang-for-the-buck.
Should I buy the Parrot Anafi?
If you have an inspection business, Parrot offers pro versions of Anafi built more for your needs, look for those instead. If you are a hobby pilot, the Anafi is a perfectly capable aircraft, you’ll not be disappointed.
- Can look up
- Zooming camera
- Unique folding design is portable
- Somewhat average drone
- Older drone
Yuneec Typhoon H Plus: Consumer hexicopter
The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is an exciting iteration of Typhoon line of hexacopters. The H Plus introduced an upgrade in almost every way over the older Typhoon H, particularly in the camera, safety features, and flight capabilities. While the newer H3 exceeds them all, the H Plus was a slight step up from the DJI Phantom series at the time.
Should I buy the Yuneed Typoon H Plus?
While the Typhoon H Plus is an older drone, we’d still be happy to put one into our fleet. While we have the highest respect for the airframe, we admit that the camera is now outdated, so we’d be considering custom payloads for this drone.
- Hexacopter stability and safety
- Powerful remote
- Powerful drone
- Older drone
- Average flight range
- Average battery life
Autel Robotics Evo II: Handy HDMI reciever
The Autel Robotics Evo II is a bit of a Mavic-killer. Make no mistake, the newest Mavic drones now have better cameras, but the Evo II continues to have far more flight time, and a superb camera that can record up to 8K video. The Airframes are fairly similar, and they fold up for travel in similar ways, but the Evo II remains the superior product for production, as it connects to an optional HDMI receiver that can directly provide live video to an external video platform.
Should I buy the Autel Robotics Evo II?
We’re hesitating to recommend this drone. It’s capable, but it’s older. It’s a valuable tool for live video production, but the camera is not as good as the latest small consumer drones, it’s super safe and has great flight time though, so we can see many professional uses for the Evo II.
- Superb flight time
- Great 4K/6K/8K camera
- HDMI receiver
- Older drone
- Perhaps overkill for a hobby pilot
Skydio 2: Best follow me drone
The Skydio 2 is unmatched in the consumer market when it comes to follow-me functions. The multitude of sensors, matched with powerful processing, enable the drone to do more than just safely follow you, it can predict your actions, so that it can keep up even if you disappear behind a tree for a few seconds. The capable 4K camera shoots solid video of your exploits, but this is not the kind of drone that you would pick up the controller and fly by hand. It’s not a hobby drone as we are familiar with today, it’s a bit of a one-trick-pony.
Should I buy the Skydio 2?
If you are desiring a hands-off piloting experience, so that you can capture epic video of you doing fun things, the Skydio 2 is a fantastic choice for you. If you want to pick up the controller and get the most out of piloting the craft, consider something more affordable.
- Fantastic object detection
- Very safe
- Limited flight features
- Limited camera modes