• Mavic
    More Info

    DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

    (9.5)
    $1299.00 BUY
    • 31 - MIN
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 44 - MPH
    • 4.3 - MILES
    Along with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, the Mavic 2 Zoom is one of the safest drones in the sky. You'll enjoy the flight with...
  • Inspire
    More Info

    DJI Inspire 2

    (9.8)
    $2999.00 BUY
    • 27 - Minutes
    • 6K - 30 FPS
    • 58 - MPH
    • 4.3 - MILES
    Generally recognized as one of the best camera drones on the market, the DJI Inspire 2 offers great cameras, superb flight and robust controls for...
  • Parrot
    More Info

    Parrot Anafi

    (8.9)
    $699.00 BUY
    • 25 - MIN
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 32 - MPH (50 km/h)
    • 2.5 - MILES
    The Parrot Anafi is one of few drones that looks up as well as it looks down. The 4K front mounted camera is on a...
  • Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

    (9.4)
    $1899.00 BUY
    • 28 - Minutes
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 30 - MPH
    • 1 - MILE
    The hexacopter design of the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus offers a reliable and smooth flight experience for the attached 20mp camera.
  • Commercial
    More Info

    DJI Matrice 200 series: 200/210/RTK

    (9.5)
    $6500.00 BUY
    • 38 - MIN
    • 6K - 24 FPS
    • 50 - MPH
    • 5 - MILES
    DJI designed the Matrice 200 series to offer a versatile set of inspection capabilities. Choose from various payloads and mounting points to look up, down...

When it comes to drones with zoom lenses, we’re talking about fairly capable machines with great cameras.

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Make no mistake, near any drone can offer a digital zoom within the captured image, in this list we’re focusing on drones with optical zoom, that is, lenses that handle the change in focal length. This is a surprisingly short list, and a few of the machines use interchangeable lenses instead of fully functioning zoom capabilities, but if you need a new look, these drones can help.

We’re going to stick to mostly consumer-class drones here today, when you dive into the full commercial drone market, there are many customizations you can make, including a wide array of cameras to choose from. We’ll slowly be adding those types of drone to the site and lists like this, but if you are buying off the shelf, we’ve got you covered.

Mavic

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

August 2018

Release Date

If you run down the spec sheet, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro are the same machine, with one major exception, the camera. The folding quadcopter design offers great portability, the multi-direction obstacle avoidance sensors assist in safe flight and the new capabilities of OcuSync 2.0 add versatility for control and accessories. That is true for both of the drones, the Mavic 2 Zoom, on the other hand, rocks a 2x optical zoom lens on top of a 12MP camera. It shoots 4K video at 100Mbps and can digitally double that zoom for an impressive close-up.

Launching with a price of $1299, plus $319 for a Fly More kit, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom was an instant crowd favorite.

Inspire

DJI Inspire 2

November 2016

Release Date

The original DJI Inspire may have set a tone for what a professional drone should look like, but the newer DJI Inspire 2 set the tone for what it should be able to accomplish. At launch, the Inspire 2 was equipped with the Zenmuse X5, a 5.2K camera with interchangeable lenses, ready to take on tasks in Hollywood. Since then, DJI has added the Zenmuse X7 camera, a 6K shooter even more capable of professional filming tasks.

Check out the base DJI Inspire 2 for around $2999, but expect to spend at least $6200 for a well appointed flight package with cameras, extra batteries and more.

Enterprise

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise

October 2018

Release Date

After finding success with the second version of the Mavic Pro, along came the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise, using the same platform as the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom, but adding mounting points for accessories. The accessories are designed for tasks such as search and rescue, with a spotlight, loud speaker, beacon and more. Available in two versions, the Zoom Edition uses the same camera as the Mavic 2 Zoom, and the Dual Edition adds a thermal camera to the mix, but removes zooming from the visual camera.

DJI did not initially display the purchase price for the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise, we understand it has a starting price of $1999, the accessories are added from there.

Parrot

Parrot Anafi

July 2018

Release Date

The Parrot Anafi is one of the best entries from Parrot for the consumer camera drone market. Recognizing the power of an articulating gimbal, the new 21MP, 4K camera is able to point all the way down and rotate to pointing all the way up. This is extremely powerful for inspection services on commercial drones, but is built into a consumer friendly folding quadcopter design.

The drone itself is a step up from Parrot's usual mostly-foam build. Foam is great for building size without adding much weight, instead the Anafi is a much sleeker package with a plastic body.

Look for the now-common set of features in the Anafi, such as folding propeller arms, folding propellers, a compact size and a stabilized 4K camera. The remote control uses your phone as a display and you can swap batteries to expand your flight day. The Parrot Anafi sells for $699, but you can often find deals to save a few dollars.

Typhoon

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

July 2018

Release Date

The hexacopter design of Yuneec's Typhoon line of drones has been quite popular, if not successful. The design has become an icon in the industry and the safety of having extra propellers has been well accepted in the commercial market. The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is a second generation model of their consumer focus. The Typhoon H Plus lands somewhere in between the DJI Phantom and DJI Inspire line of drones in terms of specs and price. Packing a 20MP 4K camera on a 3-axis gimbal, folding design and market average flight times and speeds, the Intel RealSense obstacle avoidance sensor may a leading reason to consider this drone over others.

You'll be able able to check out the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus for about $1899 from a few retailers.

Commercial

DJI Matrice 200 series: 200/210/RTK

February 2017

Release Date

When DJI re-imagined their commercial drone platform, they had inspection services in mind. Previous drones struggled with looking up, so DJI added a mount to point a camera up. Previous drones struggled with only having room for one payload, so DJI put three mount points, and thus the DJI Matrice 200 series was born. The Matrice 200 is the started machine, a quadcopter that accepts two bottom mounted payloads. The Matrice 210 adds a third mount on top of the drone, for an upward facing camera. The Matrice 210 RTK adds in that crucial GPS performance for demanding environments and precision operations.

These are powerful, fast and weather resistant drones that are almost custom order from DJI. Budget about $6,500 to get started, with a full flight package of the 210 RTK running north of $10,000.

Yuneec

Yuneec H520

September 2017

Release Date

After some success with the hexacopter design, Yuneec decided to head over to the commercial drone market with the Yuneec H520. A commercial-grade, folding machine that ships in construction orange. A range of payloads are available, mostly allowing the H520 to serve your inspection, surveying, mapping and search and rescue needs. Retractable landing gear allow 360 degree rotation of the camera, and the platform promises stability, even in high winds.

The Yuneec H520 alone costs less than $2000, but you should expect to pay around $4000 for a full flight package with multiple batteries and a camera or two.

Don’t forget that any drone designed to haul a DSLR or camcorder is, technically, capable of zoom as well. That includes big machines like the Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus and Intel’s Falcon 8+.

Fun nano drones for the living room: