Just over the last two years alone, manufacturers have really stepped up their game, by offering many different types of outdoor quadcopter drones with cameras, for fairly low prices. Now the amateur hobbyist can explore areas such as canyons and beaches, take aerial photos of events such as soccer games, and learn the basics of maneuvering around before they make the decision to upgrade to a different model. When you begin to get serious with flying an outdoor quadcopter with a camera, you will be amazed at the perspective of locations you have been going to for years from overhead.
With all of the options out there, sometimes it can be especially helpful for any outdoor drone enthusiast to narrow it down by comparing pros and cons, and looking into details about their performance that will affect your purchase. Whether you want to start in the under $100 range or opt straight for something that is a bit more expensive, this guide can give you an idea of what you can expect before you get behind the controls of each outdoor drone with a camera. Here are 5 of the coolest ones out there with some features and stats to check out to help you locate the best outdoor quadcopter with camera for you.
|#1 Best Outdoor Quadcopters|
Altair Aerial AA108
|See Best Price|
|DROCON U818Plus||See Best Price|
|Force1 F100||See Best Price|
Best Outdoor Quadcopter Drone With Camera:
Altair Aerial AA108 – #1 Ranked Outdoor Drone With Camera
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The Altair Aerial AA108 is a new drone on the market that has fantastic specifications and is backed up by a US Based company in Nebraska. I spoke to these guys when I wrote my complete review of the Altair Aerial AA108 which you can read here. They picked up their customer service phone line on the 2nd ring, which in itself is amazing when you’re talking about drone companies. I’m so used to trying to reach a company only to find out they operate out of China!
I spoke to the founder Matt Cookson and he told me that customer service is their #1 priority. They have a great product, with specs at least as good as any other drone in this category.
Overall you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for in the toy drone section with something for a camera to play with. The HD 720p camera takes great video and pictures. The price is right at under $130.00 amazon, and really the customer service is the kicker. No other drone company we’ve spoken to has displayed such dedication to making sure their customers are happy.
Drocon U818 Plus
The Drocon U818 Plus has lots of the same features that make the Altair AA108 so great – the HD camera, the beginner-friendly design features, the real-time transmission, etc. But it also has a feature that’s almost unheard of in drones under $200: it can get 15 minutes of flight time off of a single battery. This makes it one of the best camera drones available in the less-than-full-size category because it means it can actually handle a long photoshoot. Even better, it comes with everything you need for photography/videography right out of the box – the AA108 lacks a TF card for capturing video.
As we said before, finding a drone with more than 10 minutes of battery life for under $200 is exceedingly rare. So it’s pretty crazy that we’ve found two. The second, the Force1 F100, is also incredibly durable and can pull off 3D aerial stunts with ease. The brushless motors also provide a near-silent “stealth mode” for flight, which makes them perfect for videography projects here you don’t want to have to use much ADR.
It should be noted that the F100 doesn’t actually come with a camera – instead, it has a mount that works only with the GoPro Hero 3 and 4. That’s not too bad when you consider that this quadcopter comes with a lot of features for only $150, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind. Also, it takes awhile to configure the transmitter, which means that the U818 Plus or the AA108 are probably better for beginners.
SYMA X5C Explorer 2.4G 6-Axis RC Quadcopter with HD Camera
This model is really one of the better versions of an entry-level outdoor quadcopter, that provides you with the ability to learn the controls, get a feel for what it takes to manuever in the air, with kind of a short flying time. You are able to charge this outdoor quadcopter by means of USB, and the control distance is around 30 meters.
The things about this that are on the good side are definitely the price. If you have never owned a drone before, you are going to learn how to do quick flips, work with the accelerator, and how to stay within range and (hopefully!) avoid the usual hazards such as trees and power lines.
Generally, the feeling about this model amongst users is that it does a good job of taking a beating, as much as any plastic device can. For the price, most of these models are going to have a pretty short flying time. Even if you are doubling up on batteries, you will still be waiting for over an hour to charge after flying.
But that is fairly normal, and many who are graduating to more expensive models are beginning with ones such as this. The camera is the main drawback here. It is a good medium to learn how to fly something that is recording video, but the format cannot be copied or read by VLC or smartphones.
Some RC enthusiasts say that this drone is one of the easiest to control, and that it is their number one go-to for a quick fly, even among more expensive models.
Best Full Size Outdoor Quadcopter Drone with a Camera
DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter 4K UHD Video Camera Drone
When you begin to try your piloting skills with a device like this, you are graduating into the much bigger leagues of modern drone offerings. What many reviewers are saying is the 4k camera really ups the ante on the experience of flying a drone after you have used entry-level models.
Flying over farmland, capturing some images for real estate, and just exploring any area of the city or country is going to offer you a very souped-up experience once you have mastered the basics with a more inexpensive model. This really is one of the absolute best outdoor drones around.
If you are learning to fly this indoors, be careful! you can be prone to crashing just because of the difference in the way it handles compared to others. This is the first very high-tech purchase that many enthusiasts make, and they are thrilled. Once you open this up and take it to a grassy park, area with a river or stream, or other place with diverse scenery, you will be impressed.
The main drawback with this model is the customer service, as many have claimed that they have waited as long as three months if they are unlucky enough to crash it. Just a sign of a very outsourced-and overworked world, this can be unfortunately the case with many devices that are in every other way amazing.
Force1 F100 Ghost GoPro-Compatible Quadcopter
This is a prime example of a fantastic outdoor drone that allows you to customize the camera and the experience that comes with it. It’s relatively low in the price range, focuses solely on the drone aspects until a GoPro is attached, and is a great choice.
This quadcopter is perfect for both entry-level and expert outdoor drone pilots, has simple controls that anyone can understand, and gives you a feel of what it takes to be a professional drone photographer even before you mount your GoPro.
You get a maximum transmission range of up to 300m, it has a light on the front that helps you see when you are turning the drone to come back to you, and can support some minor amounts of wind.
Because it’s made to be able to hold a GoPro Hero 3 or Hero 4 model, you won’t be able to narrow down the exact camera specifics unless you are looking at the ones that relate directly to the model of GoPro you’re using. Just remember that the 15 minute flight time will have 3 minutes cut once your GoPro is mounted!
UDI U818A HD+ RC Outdoor Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera:
At the current time, this drone is light enough so you don’t have to register it. This may change, but it is one definite advantage. On a calm day, the hover capability of this model is said to be excellent, and the pitch and roll capabilities make for it being able to do some far out acrobatics.
Many choose to just start the video rolling right at takeoff, so you don’t have to fiddle with it while flying; if you are in an area with no trees at all, this won’t matter as much.
One of the biggest drawbacks that users have reported about this is the weight; winds can really carry it quickly. As far as the camera on this model, you are going to want to be flying during a very sunny day for the images to come back with any level of true quality.
This is what it really boils down to with the drones in the lower end of the spectrum: they fly great, teach you the ropes, but you cannot really expect too much from the camera. Some users have also reported a bit of difficulty with the return-to-home feature, but for just flying around and getting used to the feel of a drone, this is the front-running favorite of many.
Force1 DYS XDR220 FPV Racing Quadcopter With Camera
You will have to supply your own battery, but that’s where it gets interesting. You can try a number of different LiPo batteries to gain the speed and overall movement that you want based on your experience, need for speed, and whatever else will make your day. The total amount of flight time will be different depending on the battery you use, as well, so make sure you choose wisely!
The goggles use FPV and an easy channel searching button to ensure that the overall setup is an absolute breeze to do that will only take minutes, if that. The LCD screen allows you to tap into the camera, set everything else up, and gives you readings for all the flight information you’re going to need to ensure that everything is smooth sailing from there.
Best Mini Outdoor Drone with a Camera
Hubsan X4 Quadcopter with FPV Camera Toy
One of the best features about this is the video preview. Even though this is not going to appear anything like the quality you will get when you step up the game and spend around 700 more dollars, this will help those who are trying to master flips, other stunt moves, and getting a feel for controlling and hovering while recording video.
What many purchase these for is flying indoors, but some users claim that it can even perform well in up to 20 MPH winds.
This is a great toy for outdoors, and doing things like inspecting gutters for leaves, while just getting used to the fun you can have with a drone. Some would consider the very small size a drawback, but it has a unique appeal, and many people will also take it to indoor courts and the like during winter when they get a big craving to fly.
The rotor shield can really help, because it will guard the outdoor copter a bit from the crashes you may have when you are first learning with this one. The best tip we have seen for this one is to simply keep your eye on the copter when you are learning to fly, and not on the screen, this little guy can escape from you in a hurry!
Best Micro Outdoor Quadcopter with a Camera
Cheerson CX-10 Mini 29mm 4CH 2.4GHz 6-Axis Gyro LED RC
For the price, this is actually a very stable model! even though the flight time is quite short, the charging time is a third of what some others need to be fully powered up.
It does not come with a blade protector, which is a pretty minor detail. It is said that this drone is easy to crash, just because it handles completely different than some of it’s counterparts. Some who have piloted other outdoor models will also notice that the controller is a bit small, and the motor can seize up after a few crashes.
What you really have to keep in mind when you test fly this drone is that for the price, you are getting something that will get up and fly around, even with a few glitches. This one is truly a toy, but will prepare the pilots in your family for something bigger. Just that fact that it will perform some flips, and respond fairly well to the controls is a big plus, and episodes of cabin fever are opportune moments to try this one out. When taken outside, one user flew it to its maximum height, and it fell like a rock on the pavement and still flies. Stock up on replacement blades and let the fun begin!
Outdoor Camera Drones In Summary
There are many different models to choose from on the market for outdoor drones with a camera.
The Phantom 3 Pro is what you are really looking for if you want high battery life, great images, and a durable model.
From miniatures on up to the SYMA X5C Explorer, there are many other options to have fun with, learn to fly around indoors, and learn the ropes on.
In the years to come, we expect even the ones that are not as pricey to have more features, more stability, and offerings of selection. With spring officially here, Hubsan makes some great products that are in the upper-end of what are considered toy drones, and we are definitely looking towards them for some interesting product lines and upgrades in the near future.
Read our recent post on the comparsion of the Hubsan x4 h107c vs h107L.