6 Best Long-Range Drones with Cameras

If you are a drone enthusiast like me, you should love drones that have a long-range and a good camera. However, not all drones might work for you, whether you’re taking pictures or going live. It’s important to think about your needs and how much experience you have before picking the right one.

Hello everyone! My name is Lavelle and I am a long-time drone enthusiast and a licensed drone operator. For the past 10 years, I have been flying my drones for both recreational and commercial purposes. During this time, I enjoyed some nice outings with drones that have exceptional range and excellent camera quality.

In this article, I will go over some of the things you should look for in long-range drones. I will also share with you my list of the best long-range drones that have onboard cameras.

Key Takeaways

  • Look for drones with long transmission ranges and a good camera system to optimize your flying experience.
  • The DJI Mavic Mini is the best overall long-range drone with a camera on the market.
  • Consider drones with intelligent features that help you remain safe and allow you to enjoy your drone.
  • Look for a drone with the live feed video option so you can share your flying experiences in real time.
Is GPS important for drones?

Yes, GPS is important for drones. With the GPS function, you can keep in contact with your drone and locate it if it gets lost. The GPS also gives you the option to have the auto return to home feature that is found on many long-range drones with cameras.

The cost of long-range drones with cameras varies. Depending on the options on the drone and the drone specs, they can range from as little as $300 to as much as $1000 or more. 

What Makes The Best Long-Range Drone with Camera

When you are looking for drones with a long-range and a good camera, there are some specifications that you want to pay close attention to.

  • Transmission Range: Having a long transmission range gives you peace of mind in knowing that you will stay connected to your drone for a long distance. I suggest looking at drones that have a minimum transmission range of 2 miles. At that distance, you can still maintain your line of sight and it’s far enough to send your drone out to capture footage without having to move from your launch location.
  • Flight Time: Staying in the air for the longest amount of time without having to land, change a battery, and relaunch, is an important part of enhancing your flying experience. Look for drones with at least 25 minutes of flight time on a single battery charge.
  • Camera Resolution: We all want to capture those breathtaking images and one way to ensure you get it is to have an onboard camera with excellent resolution quality. You want a camera system with at least 12 MP of resolution.
  • Video Resolution: If you’re recording a video from your drone, one of the most important elements of the video is clarity. You want a high video resolution (a minimum of 4k video quality) and a steady flight to ensure a high-quality video. You can get away with 1080p video quality, however, 4k is a much clearer video.
  • Live Feed Option: Lastly, if you want to share your experience with others in real time, you will want to have a long-range drone that offers a live feed option. This option allows you to broadcast live on social media directly from your drone using its internal wifi connection.

Best Long-Range Drones with Cameras Reviewed

Now that we understand what to look for, let’s look at a list of the best long-range drones with cameras.

1. DJI Mavic Mini (Best Overall)

  • Transmission Range: 2.5 miles
  • Flight Time: 30-minutes
  • Camera/Video Resolution: 12 MP/2.7k
  • Live Feed Option: Yes

As you will see from this list, the DJI brand dominates this class of drones in my opinion. My top choice is the DJI Mavic Mini. This is an amazing mini drone with excellent features and it is very durable.

The transmission range on this drone is exceptional at 2.5 miles and the connection remains stable over the entire length of the transmission. The flight time of 30 minutes gives you plenty of time to shoot photos, capture video footage and go live, all on one single battery charge. 

The 12-megapixel camera resolution is also very good. The pictures come out clear and detailed. The high-definition (2.7k) video resolution gives great video production. Both the pictures and videos are of great quality, especially since the drone has a stable 3-axis gimbal for added stability.

It also has an advanced obstacle detection system which is excellent for safety.

It is difficult to find a flaw in this exceptional drone. However, if I could improve one feature of this drone, it would be the camera quality. I’d love for DJI to bump the camera up to 20 MP and full 4K video resolution.

My Verdict: This is an excellent choice for a long-range drone with a camera. DJI is the leader in the industry and this mini drone is often regarded as the best in its class.

2. DJI Mini SE (Best Range)

  • Transmission Range: 2.5 miles
  • Flight Time: 30-minutes
  • Camera/Video Resolution: 12 MP/2.7k
  • Live Feed Option: Yes

Landing in the number two position on my list is another DJI drone. The DJI Mini SE offers some great features, excellent range, very good camera and video resolution, and onboard wifi. 

This drone is closely aligned with the Mavic Mini. The specs on it are nearly identical to the Mini. It has the same 2.5 miles transmission range, 30 minutes of flight time on a single battery charge, and a 12-megapixel/2.7k resolution for the camera/video system. 

The Mini SE also has onboard wifi and a live feed option.

You might wonder what the difference is between the Mini SE and the Mini. The only difference is that the Mini SE doesn’t have an obstacle detection system. This is why I placed it at #2 and it is my only concern with this drone.

My Verdict: It is another exceptionally high-quality DJI drone with long-range capability and a good camera system. You can’t go wrong with the Mini SE. I do, however, suggest that you fly it carefully and perhaps use a spotter since it doesn’t have a way to detect obstacles along its path.

3. Autel Evo Nano Plus (Best Camera/Video)

  • Transmission Range: 6.2 miles
  • Flight Time: 28-minutes
  • Camera/Video Resolution: 50 MP/4K
  • Live Feed Option: Yes

In the number three position on my list is the first non-DJI drone. The Autel Evo Nano Plus is here primarily because of its amazing camera and video system. 

The Nano Plus is a solid option for a drone with long range and a camera. The transmission range of 6.2 miles is by far the best on this list. It has a respectable 28-minute flight time and a remarkable 50-megapixel camera resolution with 4k video resolution. It also has onboard wifi and the live feed video option.

The thing that stands out for me about this drone is the camera system. Additionally, the newly revamped remote controller is very nice. It now has USB type C connectors for both the charging port and for a device to be plugged. It also has removable joy sticks now which is a cool option. 

While it is a good choice, there are a few things to note. Firstly, the 4k video resolution drops to 2.7k once it reaches about 2 miles away from the controller. Secondly, the stabilization is known to decrease as it gets farther from the controller.

Given the drop in video quality and the questionable stabilization, it gives me a reason for concern with the overall quality level of this drone. I do agree that it is a very good option, however, with a hefty price tag and limited quality at longer ranges, it causes this drone to fall a bit on my list.

My Verdict: The Nano Plus is a good purchase option for a long-range drone with a good camera system. It also has some nice advanced features to use and is fairly easy to operate for all user levels.

4. DJI Mavic Air 2 (Best Obstacle Detection)

  • Transmission Range: 6.2 miles
  • Flight Time: 34-minutes
  • Camera/Video Resolution: 48 MP/4k
  • Live Feed Option: Yes

Here comes the DJI brand once again. The Mavic Air 2 finds its way onto my list in the number four position. With 6.2 miles of transmission range, 34 minutes of flight time, 48-megapixel camera resolution, and 4k video resolution, this drone is certainly a contender in this class.

The Air 2 is a heavier drone than the others on the list so far. However, it is a very stable drone that uses a 3-directional obstacle avoidance system, which is its best feature.

It also has an advanced tracking system (Active Track) and a Spotlight feature. The drone has onboard wifi and a live-feed video option.

My biggest concern with the Air 2 (which was the first DJI drone I purchased) is the drop in image and video quality once it gets about a mile away from the controller. The expensive price point is also another concern since there are comparable drones on this list for a much lower price.

My Verdict: This is a very good drone with some nice features. The Air 2 is great for aerial photos and video and is one of the safest DJI models in its lineup. If you aren’t concerned about price and you want excellent quality, this is a great choice for you.

5. Bwine F7 (Best Flight Time)

  • Transmission Range: 1.8 miles
  • Flight Time: 50-minutes
  • Camera/Video Resolution: 4k
  • Live Feed Option: Yes

Next up on my list is the Bwine F7 drone. When it comes to flight time, you can’t beat this drone. It has an impressive 50 minutes of flight time on a single battery charge. This gives you plenty of airtime to enjoy your flying experience.

The other features of this drone are also noteworthy. The 1.8 miles of transmission range is relatively low but still gives you a decent range to work with. 

The camera and video resolutions are both 4k and the drone has a nice 3-axis gimbal to stabilize the drone in the air and provide nice, quality images and video. It also has onboard wifi and the live feed option.

I do have a couple of concerns with this drone. Firstly, it doesn’t have an obstacle detection system and that gives me cause for concern. Secondly, it is a fairly large drone that weighs about 20 ounces which is heavier than any other drone on my list. 

My Verdict: The Bwine F7 is a good, solid drone. It has respectable features and an exceptional flight time. It also has some very nice intelligent features to choose from. I certainly recommend it as a viable option and it is reasonably priced.

6. Holy Stone HS440 (Best Budget)

  • Transmission Range: Less than 1 mile
  • Flight Time: 40-minutes (on two batteries)
  • Camera/Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Live Feed Option: Yes

The last drone on my list is an honorable mention choice. It is the Holy Stone HS440. While you will find that the specs on this drone don’t quite match up to the others, it is worth noting that if you’re shopping on a budget and still want to enjoy a good flying experience, this drone is a good choice.

The HS440 offers a decent transmission range of just under 1 mile and it can remain airborne for a total of 40 minutes continuously using the two onboard batteries. The camera and video quality are decent, although not exceptional. Both the camera and video systems offer 1080p resolution. The drone also has onboard wifi and live feed capability.

The standout features of this drone are the intelligent modes. It offers voice and gesture control modes as well as one key launch and landing modes. Additionally, the Follow Me mode is a nice, fun feature on this drone.

My biggest concern is the limited range. While the transmission range is less than one mile, you can still enjoy a long time in the air using both batteries on the drone. I’m also a little concerned with how it withstands heavy wind gusts.

My Verdict: This is a great option for kids and beginner-level users and for those who are looking to enjoy the drone experience without breaking the bank. The intelligent features of this drone make it a lot of fun to fly and it has good-quality photos and video quality.

Final Thoughts

Long-range drones with cameras onboard are in high demand. Models like the DJI Mini, Autel Nano Plu. and the others listed above, are some great options to give you range and excellent camera quality. Look for a good flight time and some advanced features like obstacle avoidance and smart modes to enhance your flight journey.

I hope that you find some value in today’s article. Together, the features I mentioned today, represent the things you should look for in long-range drones with cameras.

Would you like to share your experience with long-range drones that have onboard cameras? Leave your comments and questions below and I will respond to you as soon as possible.

Until next time, happy flying and stay safe!

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