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Drone with camera how can I choose(I)?

Apr 19,2023 | Autdrone

I.Drone with camera how can I choose(I)?

Camera drones, as the name implies, are drones that are mainly used for aerial photography, follow-up photography and other entertainment scenes.

It usually consists of a flight control system, a power system, a remote control and reception system, a cardan suspension camera and a drone frame.

At present, common consumer drones are fixed wing drones, helicopters, multi-rotors and other types, and multi-rotor drones have become the most common drone type due to the simple technology, low cost and simple operation, and all subsequent aerial drones in this article also refer to multi-rotor drones.

II.Drone with camera selection elements

The selection of drones with camera is mainly based on factors such as safety and stability, aerial image quality, cardan suspension stabilization, image transmission distance and resistance, which include.

1、Safe and stable

Safety and stability are the main criteria for choosing a drone with camera. After all, if the lens is good, the design is good, and the aerial photography is good, without safe and stable flight, if "drone explode", everything will be meaningless.

To ensure the safety and stability of the drone and ease of control, excellent flight control systems, good cardan suspension systems, stable image transmission systems, necessary systems to avoid obstacles and so on are important factors that test the technical strength of the manufacturer and distinguish the different degrees of drones, and the subsequent introduction will also focus on these points.

2、Aerial drone image quality

When we choose a drone with a camera, we naturally want to be able to produce images and videos in high definition, detailed and above all else.

HD here refers to the resolution of the image, usually a physical resolution of 1280*720, or 720P, as it is often called, is what we consider to be high definition.

As for drones with camera, to reach a certain height after flight to shoot the image can still be magnified to ensure clarity, it is necessary at least 800W pixel value, that is, the resolution of the camera is at least 4K.

Cameras below 4K are usually used only to give us a first view of the drone for better control, but the real shots are often poor.

In addition, the size of the camera sensor, the lens aperture and the viewing angle will also affect the image quality of aerial photography.

  1. cloud platform to avoid shaking

In addition to the quality of drone images, the stability of aerial photography is also an important factor in judging how good a drone with camera is.

The stability or anti-vibration function of the drone is achieved through the gimbal, which is the supporting equipment used by the drone to install and fix the camera. There are currently three main types of gimbal: fixed gimbal, two-axis mechanical gimbal and three-axis mechanical gimbal.

The fixed cardan suspension is a direct fixation of the camera to the drone, with no possibility of changing the angle of view and lower aerial image quality, usually only available in toy drones.

The three-axis mechanical cardan suspension, on the other hand, uses an integrated gyro and motor control to give the camera reverse power on the X, Y and Z axes when the drone is in motion, in order to prevent the camera from following the drone shake, thus achieving camera stabilization.

Current mid-to-high level professional drones are usually equipped with a three-axis mechanical stabilization cardan suspension, complemented by electronic stabilization EIS to ensure image stability.

The mechanical two-axis cardan suspension removes vertical stabilization and only compensates for the horizontal movement of the camera, which reduces the drone's power consumption, but reduces the effectiveness of stabilization and is most often adapted to entry-level drones.

4、Graphic transmission distance

The effective distance and signal stability of the image transmission also determines the range of drone activities and is an important factor affecting our experience in aerial photography.

There are about 5 main drone mapping forms (OFDM, COFDM, WIFI, Lightbridge digital mapping, analog mapping) and the two we commonly use are: WIFI mapping and digital mapping.

WIFI is, in fact, also a type of digital image transmission, a method of real-time image transmission based on the WIFI communication protocol.

The advantages lie in its mature technology, low cost and relatively wide application. However, the disadvantages are also very obvious: high time delays, low immunity to interference and reduced range.

Most low-range camera drone and low-cost toy aircraft currently use this type of image transmission.

Digital image transmission uses unidirectional image data transmission, similar to that transmitted from a TV tower on top, to solve the problem of wireless image transmission in "real time", and greatly increases the image transmission distance, allowing the drone to fly further and operate more stably.

The main drones with camera are currently using digital image transmission.

5、drone battery life

When playing aerial photography with drones, endurance is also a factor that requires extra attention, after all, no one wants to go flying for a few minutes and then have to worry about running out of power and changing batteries.

However, limited to the bottleneck of battery technology, current drones usually do not withstand a very long resistance, with high-end aerial drones usually around 26-50 minutes, while low-range drone with camera and toy planes are usually around 10 minutes.

Therefore, it is generally recommended that camera drones have at least one extra battery or purchase a package to ensure a better flight experience.


In addition to the basic factors above, there are some additional points to pay attention to, such as portability, waterproofing, smart mode, after-sales service, etc., which need to be considered comprehensively according to your needs. Another very important factor is, of course, the price. After all, whatever we buy, we have to live within our possibilities.

The next article will give a detailed analysis of the different classes and price points of camera drones available today, trying to give the most economical options for a limited budget.

(to be continued)