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Top 3: The Best Drones for Photography & Videography

Last updated on

September 12, 2018


    If there is one thing drones are good at, it’s taking pictures and videos. They make an excellent add-on to any photographers equipment, allowing you to take images that would be almost impossible to get otherwise. Think about the unusual wedding photographs from above the church spire or the amazing wildlife photography you’ll be able to create flying above the trees.

    But while most photographers see the benefit of using drones, they are often not sure which is the best UAV platform to go for. With hundreds of drones on the market, that come with a bewildering array of options, choosing the right drone can be a minefield. So in this post, we are going to look at three of the best drones for photography.

    The following three drones, all from market leader DJI, provide excellent platforms for creating high-quality photos and videos. But they are aimed at different levels of the market. As such, what’s right for one photographer isn’t necessarily right for another. So we’ll provide a rundown of the specifications of each and then recommend the type of photographic work they are most suitable for.

    Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom

    The new DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom are follow up models to the hugely successful Mavic Pro series. Based on the Mavic’s easy to fly platform these new drones allow the user to take stable HD 4K video during flight, thanks to the improved gimbal and cameras which have been developed specifically for the device.  

    The DJI Mavic 2 is available as two separate models, the Pro and Zoom. Essentially they are the same drone, with the difference being the camera fitted as standard. As a photographer, this is likely the bit you’re most interested in, so let’s have a look at them separately.

    DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Coptrz

    DJI Mavic 2 Pro

    As its name would suggest, the Mavic 2 Pro is aimed at professional photographers, but amateurs will also love the image quality of this device. It comes with a high-quality Hasselblad camera fitted as standard, which is equipped with a 1 inch CMOS sensor enabling it to take 5472 x 3648 (20MP) resolution images.

    The camera also supports an improved 10-bit colour profile which provides four times the amount of colour levels per channel over the original Mavic Pro. This is a clear upgrade which photographers will love and should provide you with greater flexibility for photo and video editing.

    DJI has also improved the obstacle avoidance system on The Mavic 2. The new system has omnidirectional obstacle sensing, giving it a 360-degree view of its environment. This is important for photographers who regularly fly in areas with high obstacle counts such as woodland or metropolitan areas.

    Camera specs

    • Camera: Hasselblad
    • Sensor: 1 inch CMOS Sensor
    • Resolution: 5472 x 3648 (20MP)
    • Lens: 28mm wide angle
    • ISO: Ranges from 100-6400 and 100-12800 in HLG
    • Shutter Speed: Max 1/8000s
    • Video: 4K UHD @ 30FPS, 2.7K @ 60FPS, FHD @ 120FPS

    DJI Mavic 2 Zoom  

    While the camera on the Mavic 2 Pro provides astounding image quality, the one thing it is lacking is zoom capability. This is due to the size of the sensor fitted on such a compact drone. To solve the problem DJI provides designed the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. This is equipped with a smaller CMOS sensor capable of capturing 4000 x 3000 (20MP) images.

    But it is the zoom capability which really makes the difference, this features 2x optical zoom (24mm-48mm) allowing you to take close-ups without moving the drone too close to the target. A useful feature for all you budding wildlife photographers.

    DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. Coptrz

    Camera Specs

    • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch CMOS Sensor
    • Resolution: 4000 x 3000 (20MP)
    • Lens: 24-48mm optical zoom
    • ISO: 100-3200 (no HLG)
    • Shutter Speed: Max 1/8000s
    • Video: 4K UHD @ 30FPS, 2.7K @ 60FPS, FHD @ 120FPS

    Both of these drones are hugely capable devices, which should suit any hobbyist or professional photographer. They are most suitable for general photography. So if you intend to use your drone to shoot property, wildlife or corporate media, the DJI Mavic 2 series will serve you well.  

    So which one should you choose? Generally speaking, the Zoom is recommended for people who want to take general photos such as property or weddings. It also makes the perfect travel companion for those who want to capture special holiday moments. The Pro, on the other hand, is a more serious device, which can be used for more commercial work.

    If you really can’t decide which is for you, DJI will be making the cameras available separately. So you won’t have to purchase both drones to benefit from the different feature sets. You can simply purchase the other camera separately and swap payloads when required.   

    Phantom 4 Pro

    The Phantom 4 Pro is a step up in terms of capability compared to the Mavic 2. Designed as a commercial drone from the outset, the Phantom 4 is a popular choice for taking both still and moving images. It comes with a 1 inch CMOS sensor as standard which is capable of shooting 4K video at up to 60fps.

    One of the best things about the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is that it is incredibly easy to control using the remote controller. This controls the 4K camera and the flight controls allowing the drone operator to easily take shots while piloting the device. And with the DJI FlightAutonomy system as standard, which features infrared and dual rear sensors, you won’t have to worry about crashing your drone either.     

    DJI Phantom 4 Pro. Coptrz

    Camera Specs

    • Sensor: 1 inch CMOS Sensor
    • Lens: FOV 84° 8.8 mm/24 mm
    • ISO: 100-3200 (Auto), 100-12800 (Manual)
    • Mechanical Shutter Speed: 1/2000s
    • Electronic shutter Speed: 1/8000s
    • Video: 4K UHD @ 40/60FPS

    The Phantom 4 is the perfect drone for any professional photographer/videographer. It has a generous 30-minute flight time with payload, is easy to fly and capable of shooting incredibly high-quality UHD 4K video while on the move. One other useful feature of the Phantom is that it comes with DJI beginner mode which allows complete novices to take control of the device without fear of crashing it.

    The Phantom 4s is particularly suitable for anyone wishing to shoot UHD 4K video due to its high-quality camera, excellent stability and ease of use. It is also more budget-friendly than the Inspire 2, so makes the perfect entry to a quadcopter for any professional photographer.

    Inspire 2

    The DJI Inspire 2 is the most capable drone in the group. Designed specifically for professional drone users the Inspire 2 can carry multiple payloads to suit specific image taking tasks. Camera options include the Zenmuse X4S, X5S and X7, with the X7 able to support Apple ProRes RAW format.

    The image quality of all three cameras is a step up from what is available on the Phantom 4, so this is the perfect drone for professional photographers and videographers. The Inspire 2 also has excellent flight time, despite its heavy payload options. When carrying the lightest X4S camera the battery life is around 27 minutes.   

    DJI Inspire 2. Coptrz

    Camera Specs

    Zenmuse X4SZenmuse X5SZenmuse X7
    Sensor1 inch CMOS 20MP1 inch CMOS 20.8MP23.5 x 15.7mm (still)
    LensF/2.8-11 8.8mmMFT15mm/ 1.7ASPHDL-S 16mm F2.8 ND
    ISO Range100-12800100 – 25600 (stills)100 – 25600 (stills)  
    Shutter SpeedMechanical Shutter: 8 – 1/2000s Mechanical Shutter: 1/1000-8sMechanical Shutter: 1/1000 – 8s


    The Inspire 2 is aimed at photographers who already have experience flying drones. As such, there is no beginner mode so the user will need to have at least some experience piloting a drone before they step up to this model. Also, this is not a cheap drone, once the camera options are added the price can add up to a tidy sum.

    All three drones on the list are excellent choices, but you can see that they are aimed at different experience levels and sectors. The Mavic 2 is aimed at both hobbyists and professionals looking to get their first drone. The Phantom 4 is a more capable device which can be used to create professional-quality video and stills but is still beginner-friendly. While the Inspire 2 is for professional photographers and videographers looking to take their aerial photography skills to the next level.

    If you would like more information about any of the DJI drones listed here, get in touch with the experts at Coptrz. As the leading DJI commercial UAV dealer in the UK, we can provide you with the information you need to make the right choice whether it’s for business or pleasure.

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