The largest, strongest, fastest and most capable drones on the market are targeted toward the professional community. These are the types of machines that the movie industry puts to work, that commercial agencies use to inspect infrastructure, and search & rescue teams rely on to save lives. We’re super excited that many of our favorite smaller consumer drones can handle some of the simpler professional drone needs, but we’ll explore more of that below.
If you are looking for a commercial drone, a machine for tasks like mapping, surveying and deliveries, we recommend checking out our Best commercial drones list instead.
You don’t have to fly a drone for work to enjoy these machines, but most do come with a hefty price. Join us for a list of some of the best professional drones.
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.
We’ll proceed today with little rhyme or reason, I plan to lump together camera drones with search and rescue drones and more. We originally thought we might approach this from a price perspective, making this a list of drones over $2000. Truth is, just like friends, great drones come in all sizes, and your professional needs may differ from other pilots around, so we have no price limits here today.
You can fly these drones at home for fun, but please remember that if you are being paid to fly, you need to have your Part 107 license in the United States. Hit up our preferred training provider Drone Pilot Ground School.
DJI Inspire 2: Powerful and balanced camera drone
The DJI Inspire 2 is easily the best professional drone for most users. The interchangeable cameras range up to 6K video capture, the drone has hat-swappable batteries for continuous use, and the drone can keep up with highway traffic. Make no mistake, there are technically more capable drones out there, but the Inspire 2 is surprisingly affordable compared to most drones you’ll see on a Hollywood shoot.
Should I buy the DJI Inspire 2?
The DJI Inspire 2 is designed as a camera drone. We enjoy flying it every chance we get, particularly when there is aerial footage we need to acquire. Enabling a dedicated camera operator allows us to keep safe, and focus on getting the right shot. If you have multiple operators, or will be flying in a safe place where you can manage flight and optics, and you’re not looking to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a high-end rig, we can think of no better professional drone on the market today.
- Easy to fly
- Great camera options
- Hot-swappable parts
- Limited obstacle avoidance sensors
- Best with two-operators
DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise: Powerful attachments
The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is not the camera drone you are looking for, but is a versatile machine for search & rescue type tasks. The optional infrared camera enables some intricate uses, and the accessory port allows you to connect things like speakers, lights, and more. It’s important to note that the Mavic 2 Enterprise is an advanced version of the Mavic 2 series of hobby drones, meaning this drone is easy to fly, and folds down nicely for transport.
Should I buy the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise?
If you are on the look out for a camera drone, keep looking. The Mavic 2 Enterprise is best suited to search and rescue tasks, making it ideal for generic inspection jobs as well. We like the fact that this drone is based on the Mavic 2 airframe, making it easy and safe to fly, and relatively affordable.
- Simple platform
- Interchangeable accessories
- Great for searching and rescue
- Good 4K camera, but not cinema quality
- Only one accessory at a time
DJI Mavic 2 Pro: Best consumer-class camera drone
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the best available consumer drone around. 4K video is captured from the 20MP Hasselblad camera, 31 minutes of flight time give you time to capture your shots from the sky, and the drone is super easy to fly. As a larger hobby drone, it folds down for portability, but is still a fairly heavy drone.
Should I buy the DJI Mavic 2 Pro?
It would be silly to think you can use this drone in place of a high-end camera drone, but it is perhaps the best flying camera you can get in the hobby-class of drones. We enjoy flying the Mavic 2 series of drones, and we think you will too.
- Easy to fly
- Great 4K drone camera
- Good flight time
- Superb hobby drone
- Fixed camera
Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus: Large hexacopter
The Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus is a huge drone, at least as far as hobby pilots are concerned. This hexacopter can easily haul your DSLR or similarly sized camera into the sky. Yuneec made their own camera for this drone, which very closely resembles the Panasonic GH4 micro fourth thirds camera system.
Should I buy the Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus?
We are always intimidated by the H920 Plus, it is a large drone, but we trust it to carry our cameras into the sky. Just b aware that direct connectivity to a camera is limited to a few shooters.
- Big and safe
- Easy to fly
- Big payload
- Large and heavy
- Tricky to transport
Autel Robotics Evo II: HDMI receiver
The Autel Robotics Evo II comes in three flavors, with different cameras, which record 4K, 6K and even 8K video. Superb flight time is appealing, but the camera sensor is the same as on the far less-expensive newer DJI Mavic Air 2, so there’s nothing too special about that anymore. The real reason the Evo II is on this list is for the optional HDMI receiver. Connect to a TV or external recorder to directly feed your live flight footage into a live stream.
Should I buy the Autel Robotics Evo II?
We appreciate what Autel Robotics has accomplished, but we can think of better drones for this kind of money. It’s safe and fun to fly, we love the flight time, and the HDMI receiver is very convenient.
- Multiple payloads
- Great flight time
- Easy and safe to operate
- HDMI receiver
- A little expensive
- Older drone
Drone Laws: Like it or not, there are rules to know before you fly
Intuitive Aerial Aerigon MK II
If you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it. A full blown rig from Intuitive Aerial can set you back $25,000 or more, including Hollywood style monster video cameras. The idea of the Aerigon MK II is simple, put your camera in the sky. We’re not talking about mounting GoPro, point-and-shoot, or even your DSLR, we’re talking about monster professional camera rigs.
With an example rig costing a full quarter of a million dollars, the media team at BrainFarm shoot 4K commercials and more, and you can too, if you can afford it.
FreeFly Alta 8
Introduced on this list, also on our Best camera drones list
The FreeFly Alta 8 is a massive drone with a huge payload. Measuring almost 4 feet across, the Alta 8 can pack up to 26 lbs of gear, including the batteries and such – so only about 20 lbs of camera. While FreeFly promotes themselves as film enthusiasts, the Alta packs an optional top mount for your camera. We introduced this idea with the DJI M200 series recently, but FreeFly has had it for a time already. Commercial drone pilots will be able to inspect the underbelly of bridges with either of these options.