Vlogging has become a standard profession for many young people now. From people making videos in their homes to those using drones to film their lives, vlogging is everywhere. There are thousands of vloggers on YouTube and thousands of them on Instagram and Snapchat as well.
Perhaps, you want to become one of them. You want to become a vlogger who films with drones, but you don’t know how to get started. You’ve looked up the list of the best vlogging drones on Amazon and it’s just overwhelming. Don’t despair, here’s a list of the best drones you can buy for vlogging.
Before we get to that, we should know what features are the most important for vlogging drones.
What Features Should a Vlogging Drone Have?
When you’re filming your vlog, there are two things that you want to be relieved of.
The first is the constant tension of having to control your drone.
The second is worrying about your drone’s battery life. While you can’t do much about the latter, since drones have poor battery lives, you can improve the former.
Any drone you buy should have a user-friendly control interface. You should be able to control the drone with your smartphone or your tablet if you have to. You shouldn’t have to take the controller everywhere with you.
Your drone should also have a precise GPS tracking system and a good flight range. Tracking will allow you to find the drone if you ever lose it, which you will at some point.
The flight range will allow you to operate it at far-off distances. Remember, this doesn’t just mean how horizontally far the drone is from you, but also the height at which it is hovering.
The obstacle avoidance systems on your drone should also be up to the mark. Remember, you’ll be taking this drone out to follow you around. You can’t be worrying about guiding it everywhere. Eventually, you’ll come across a power line or a tree or a letterbox. The drone should have the capability to swerve out of the way or avoid the obstacle beforehand.
As far as the battery life is concerned, there is little you can do about it. Most drones don’t go over 30 minutes of flight time. That’s just the way of the drone world today.
Also, the camera should be decent. If you’re just starting, don’t worry about camera quality too much. 4K isn’t a necessity. A standard 720p-1080p camera will do, but don’t go for some bargain bin deal just to save money. Otherwise, you’ll just get a camera with footage people will never click on. It should be decent enough for YouTube so that people aren’t tempted to close your video.
Finally, realize that your drone will fail from time to time. This technology is still very new. Flight times rarely exceed half an hour; drones bump into objects and get lost.
There is also a bit of a learning curve to operating a drone. Hence, nothing will come easy with the drone vlogging life. Just remember to take it one step at a time.
Top 4 Drones For Vlogging
Now let’s get to the best drones for vlogging.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the best drone for vlogging.
There aren’t any noticeable flaws in the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. It’s preferred by vloggers and filmmakers alike.
Its price range is a little over budget for sure, but it’s a fine specimen through and through.
It has over a half-hour of flight time, about 31 minutes. That means you won’t be swapping out batteries as often as other models. It has excellent obstacle detection systems, which means you won’t have to worry about it hitting trees too often. It is also very portable, weighing two pounds and having a foldable design.
That’s all of the boxes of an awesome drone ticked. It’ll let you vlog without you being worried half the time.
Finally, the Mavic 2 Pro has a 4K capable Hasselblad camera installed. This 20 MP beast will capture stunning footage that will put any competitor to shame. Not only will your videos look crisp, but they will also look vibrant.
All in all, if you’ve got this, you don’t need any other equipment to vlog.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
While a little less expensive than the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, this drone packs in all the essential features minus the camera. While this may not be ideal for those that want 4K, it’s great for filming faraway locations.
The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom has a camera that has 2X digital zoom and 2X optical zoom. This allows it to zoom in 4X without losing quality.
With a little bit of software optimization and hardware polishing, this drone is the best for filming faraway objects. Unfortunately, this means you’ll be filming at good old 1080p. Still, that quality is pretty standard for YouTube, so no worries.
This model is particularly useful if you want to film sports events or wildlife. If you’re into filming animals or live events, it’s best not to interfere with the subjects. Filming any interaction or conversation has to have a natural feel to it, especially for YouTube. Anything remotely fake will register as inauthentic. Hence, the 4X lossless zoom will come in handy here.
Finally, the Mavic 2 Zoom still has a 31-minute battery life, foldable design, and obstacle avoidance system. You’re just trading in a little of the camera quality for extended zoom for a few dollars less. That’s a solid deal, and one you can take without any regrets.
The DJI Spark is a much less expensive model from DJI. It’s a third of the price of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom.
It has a full HD 1080p video recording and no zoom. The drone weighs much less than either and can be folded up to the size of your hand. You can take this drone to school and conceal it pretty easily.
All the important features of a drone are there. The obstacle avoidance system and the flight stabilization are still present. The included controller allows you to pilot it pretty well.
The 12-megapixel camera can take decent enough shots and help you create an awesome video for Instagram and YouTube.
There are certain caveats that you can’t forget. It doesn’t have three-axis stabilization like its big brothers. Vertical shake won’t interfere with your video, but horizontal shake will. That being said, the omission of the three-axis gimbal means that the drone is ultra-portable and weighs less.
The DJI Spark also gives up the half-hour flight time. It can only fly for about 16 minutes on a single charge. That may seem very short, but it’s enough for a continuous vlog. Just make sure you keep batteries handy. With all the extra weight taken off this model, you can afford to carry an extra few.
This isn’t the best drone for professionals, but then if you’re an amateur, you’ll need something smaller to get started.
DJI Mavic Mini
So this model can be called the little brother of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
It costs a fifth of that price and can shoot 1080p videos at 60 fps.
The drone also weighs much less and still has 30 minutes of flight time, and it might be the best budget-friendly drone out there.
It also has a flight range of up to 4 km. This means that you’ll be able to film far away from your current location.
The one caveat that the Mavic Mini has is the lack of an obstacle avoidance system. It’s a real bummer.
For an otherwise perfect package, this is a deal-breaker for some. If you need a drone to follow you in wide-open spaces, get this. On the other hand, if you’re going to film wildlife, sporting events, or vlogs in the city, be ready to pilot constantly.
What Drone Do YouTubers Use?
If you’re interested in drone photography and videography, you’ve probably heard of Casey Neistat. He’s considered the king of vlogging on YouTube. His innovation in the vlogging space has created a lot of room to grow. If you want to know what drones YouTubers use, he’s your man to follow. Not just because he’s a professional, but because he uses so much equipment.
Casey Neistat uses a lot of cameras and a lot of drones. Since he uses a lot of GoPro cameras to record footage, he uses the GoPro Karma, the company’s first drone. He also uses a lot of DJI’s drones including the Phantom 4 and the Mavic 2 Pro.
The Mavic drones allow him the freedom to film wherever and whenever he wants though. This is due to two major features. The first is obstacle avoidance technology and the second is flight time. Both the Phantom 4 and the Mavic 2 Pro have excellent obstacle avoidance and flight times. They can also both be controlled through smartphone and tablet applications.
This allows Casey to focus on what he needs and leave the flying to the drones. While he has occasionally flown his drones into power lines and trees, his operation is mostly smooth. This is not a failure of a specific company, but that of drone technology in general. It’s simply not as advanced yet.
What is the Best Drone for Filming?
The DJI Mavic series seems to have the lion’s share of the best drones for filming. Depending on your budgetary constraints and your needs, you can choose either one. They have awesome cameras and stabilization features so you can shoot with a lot of liberties.
That means you can shoot a bird’s eye view of your car traveling down a road. You can also film yourself bicycling down the street. The stabilization and the flight time will also help you shoot video on mountainous terrains, and continuous moving shots.
Their increased range will also help you shoot video in inaccessible areas like atop huge hills or above forests. That kind of footage was considered out of reach for independent creators not so long ago.
Most DJI drones start around $1000. Anything below that and you’re compromising on one of three things. You will get reduced camera quality, reduced control, or reduced battery life. Either of the three can impact your ability to shoot breathtaking long-form video.
In case you’re not too concerned about video quality or about long-form video, you can settle for cheaper drones. Many of them cost as little as $100, but these will be just capable enough to shoot video within a kilometer or so. They may also have a weak signal tracking app and will undoubtedly have dreadful battery life.
In the end, whatever you get, be wary of. Invest in something that has longevity and capability. Don’t cheap out, but don’t go overboard either.
Go for a DJI Mavic series drone and get filming.
Conclusion: Best Drone for Vlogging
These drones are meant to help you begin your vlogging career or upgrade you from the novice level. Make sure to read about whichever drone you buy first and decide what you need most.
If you’re going for the best camera quality, get the Mavic 2 Pro. However, if you want to shoot faraway events, get the Mavic 2 Zoom. If you’re on a budget, get the DJI Spark.
There are all sorts of options out there for any budget.
All you need to do is start.