The best camera drones in 2024: take your photography & video to the skies

It’s amazing to think that a few years ago camera drones were little more than novelty toys for gadget-heads; now they’re a creative tool few photographers or filmmakers want to go without.

There are choices for amateur and professional, offering a choice of creative angles and unique perspectives that simply wouldn’t be possible with any other camera. Of course, the possibilities have always been exciting – what makes it practical, and what is the right choice?

When we look at a camera drone, we're looking for the right balance of price, camera capability, and practicality. That last category is affected in most countries, including the UK and USA, by laws that make it easier to operate drones under 250g (0.55 pounds).

If you're looking for high-quality results, you'll need to look for larger image sensors and perhaps even the ability to record using cinema-grade codecs like ProRes. These can be hard for most people to work with though. More important are the essentials – a gimbal to keep the camera stable and a good battery life.

AI is also a key factor for shooting, with many drones having different levels of subject tracking that can greatly ease getting a good flowing shot, while safety is a factor bolstered by collision sensors, though these can come at a price.

Adam Juniper with a drone
Adam Juniper

Adam has been looking at cameras and gadgets since long before drones arrived, so he dived into the flying tech with enthusiasm, building several of his own before off-the-shelf possibilities emerged. He is not just our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, but the author of several books on the subject including bestsellers The Complete Guide to Drones and The Drone Pilot's Handbook.

Top Picks

The best drones in 2024

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Best drone overall

Editor's Choice

(Image credit: Future)
A full set of pro functions in an ultra-light drone

Specifications

Weight: 249g
Dimensions (folded): 148×94×64mm
Controller: Yes
Video resolution: 4K @ 100FPS or 60fps HDR
Camera resolution: 48MP
Battery life: 34 minutes
Max Range: 20km / 12.4 miles
Max Speed: 58kph/36mph

Reasons to buy

+
All-round collision sensors
+
Good quality AI for orbiting etc.
+
Camera switches to optical portrait mode
+
4K 60fps shooting capability
+
Up to 200fps slow-mo

Reasons to avoid

-
Light drones subject to gusts
-
Priced to match Pro drones too
-
Fly More kit doesn’t include filters
Buy it if:

You want the ultimate power under 250g: The weight limit has a big impact on where you can fly and this drone is the best equipped in the weight category.
You want great range: The excellent range also means control is reliable at more normal distances.

Don't buy it if:

You're looking for the best value: There are a lot of features here, and you can get away with less while still capturing high-quality content.
You want true telephoto: If you want to zoom, then only digital zoom is on offer with this drone.

This drone's predecessor, the DJI Mini 3 Pro, had a massive effect when it arrived in May 2022 – it redefined what DJI was doing with the ultra-light category, bringing some collision sensors and a 4K 60fps camera which could physically rotate to vertical mode (a feature still not equalled by much bigger craft). 

Under 18 months later, the Mini 4 Pro finished the job, making the collision sensors omnidirectional (all-round) and adding 10-bit D-Log M video and waypoint programmable flights while keeping under the magic weight. It can also do HDR at a full 60fps rather than the 30fps limit of the Air 3 Pro.

The Mini 4 Pro also sports DJI's updated O4 radio system which offers up to 20km (over 12 miles) of theoretical range or, more importantly, top-notch reception in sensible operational distances. The updated DJI RC 2, as seen with the DJI Air 3, is an option, which feels very pro in hand, giving the choice of a model with a screen to save the (fairly minimal) fuss of connecting a phone). In some markets (start chanting "USA, USA...") there is also a choice of batteries if you don't mind pushing the weight limit, meaning you can go from the already decent 30 minutes to over 40 (again, always take these with a pinch of salt – it depends on conditions and flying style). You should note, though, that the drone will know about the weight change, and can alert authorities.

The message of the Mini 4 Pro is that DJI will not let the weight restriction prevent creatives from achieving their goals. The inevitable downside is the pricing, which is quite a lot closer to the company's higher-end models than other ultralights. If you want to save, there is the less-expensive DJI Mini 3, which lacks the collision sensors and some of the output options, but will capture similar video and stills for the average user.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesHigh resolution, 10-Bit video, with rotating camera, mission planning★★★★★
DesignEfficient styling but simple to use and★★★★★
PerformanceFlawless performance within wind parameters★★★★★
ValueA good price for all the features, but there are cheaper ultralights if you can compromise★★★★

Read our full DJI Mini 4 Pro review for more details

Best for flexibility

DJI Air 3

(Image credit: Future)
Dual camera drone for switchable zoom makes this hard to beat

Specifications

Weight: 720g
Dimensions (folded): 207×101×91 mm
Dimensions (unfolded): 259×326×106 mm
Controller: Yes
Video resolution: 4K @ 60FPS
Camera resolution: 48MP x 2
Battery life: 46 minutes
Max Range: 20km / 12.5 miles
Max Speed: 75kph/45mph

Reasons to buy

+
Dual-cameras offer creative choice
+
All-round collision sensors for safety
+
4K 100fps slow motion
+
Long-range and long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
HLG and D-Log M 4:2:0 best output
-
Smaller sensor than Air 2S
Buy it if:

You want a true telephoto: Digital zoom is one thing; the option to switch to a dedicated lens is another – the Air 3 is now DJI's cheapest option with tele.
You want a great all-rounder: The drone balances features, a bit of extra size for stability, great range and performance against a sensible price.

Don't buy it if:

You want to stay under 250g: While the drone is relatively light and easily portable (earning it EU C1 certification), it is still 720g.
You shot 5K video on the Air 2S: If resolution matters to you more than tele, you might find DJI's reversion to industry-standard 4K a bit disappointing. Personally, I'd take that every time!

The DJI Air 3 has a lot to recommend it at price which – while certainly not pocket money – is less of a stretch than others on this list. Some can't look past the slightly smaller image sensor than its predecessor, the Air 2S, but the new image sensor is a modern stacked CMOS and – more importantly – there are two of them. One with a 24mm EFL (wide) lens and one with a 70mm EFL (what DJI call a medium telephoto) lens.

Since both have equally good 48-megapixel sensors, both can produce 100fps 4K slow-mo (or 200fps at 1080P) and all the other promised features, making the drone much easier to use than others which mix-and-match the sensors and lenses. In other words, switching zoom lengths works here at a pure hardware level, and DJI haven't had to strain their software in the way that a lot of phones try to (and often don't quite succeed at). Not just phones either – the complaint can be levelled at the Air 3's bigger brother, the Mavic 3 Pro, and especially that drone's predecessor the Mavic 3, but that's a whole other story!

The Air 3 is more like a slightly cut-down Mavic 3 Pro which, in being trimmed, has actually become a little bit easier to use. It nevertheless still gets all the cool features of its bigger, heavier cousin, like AI subject tracking and even Waypoints, plus excellent battery life, not to mention weighing a bit less. Why spend more?

If you want to do occasional survey work, and perhaps get some images, then I found the 4x zoom looked very impressive and, honestly, this drone seems to aggressively eat into the use-case for the Mavic 3.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesDual 48-MP camera system, waypoints, >40 flight time★★★★★
DesignExcellent cameras, though fixed aperture, no D-Log and cannot switch while shooting★★★★
PerformanceGreat 4K video at up to 100fps, and good AI★★★★★
ValueThis doesn't seem a lot more than the Mini 4 Pro for a better camera★★★★★

Read my full DJI Air 3 review for more details and flight experience

Best follow-me drone

(Image credit: Future)
A drone that can follow you and take video without any help

Specifications

Age: 12+
Use: Outdoor
Type: tracks subject with camera AI
Flight time: 11 min
Weight: 125g

Reasons to buy

+
Rotors inside a safety cage
+
Brilliant folding design
+
Automatically follow you and records

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs a phone for first use
-
Not ideal for younger kids because
Buy it if:

You want a drone that can fly itself: The HoverAir X1 is designed to follow you using AI, and it do so very well – brilliantly, in fact, considering it's all done with the main camera.
You're looking for something fun: The genius of the X1 is how safe it is and how little effort it is to fly; even a phone as controller is optional.

Don't buy it if:

You're expecting a high workload: The drone can only record to its in-built 32Gb storage; no memory cards.
You want 4K video: The drone maxes out at 2.7K, more than good enough for sharing but perhaps not exactly broadcast quality.

This might not be ideal for younger kids without a bit of parental supervision, and it's certainly not the cheapest toy, but it's not too pricey either compared to many on this list and it does offer a very different take on drones that I found very compelling. It's one I've added to my collection, and it's one I find the whole family can enjoy.

When I first tried it, this drone surprised me with its sensibly safe design, and by how the AI could simply follow me, taking off and landing on my own hand. After initial set up, I didn't even need my phone to do it – there is a combination of a speaker inside so voices reassure you that you've asked for the right thing and simple buttons on the frame.

Think of it as an angel on your shoulder which can be passed between family members and follow them running, cycling, or undertaking any activity. An unusal drone, but amazing.

Choosing this drone does involve making a slight compromise when it comes to flight time and range; you can choose to fly it with your phone (wi-fi range) or just let the drone do the flying, but the resolution and flight time doesn't match even most ultralights. That said, it's not only cheaper and smarter but the caged propellors are notably safer than other drones.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesSubject tracking and remote-less operation★★★★★
DesignUltra-light folding cage ★★★★★
PerformanceAI tracking great, though battery could be longer★★★★
ValueSomething of a matter of opinion★★★★

Read my full HoverAir X1 review and see video samples

Best value drone

(Image credit: Adam Juniper / Digital Camera World)
A great choice for the beginner and often often found cheaply

Specifications

Weight: 248g
Dimensions (folded): 148×90×62mm
Video resolution: 4K 30fps (1080P@60fps)
Camera resolution: 48MP
Battery life: 31 minutes (2250mAh)
Max Range: 10km / 6.2 miles
Max Speed: 57kph / 35.7mph

Reasons to buy

+
Very portable
+
Registration-free in USA, China, and more
+
Easy-to-fly
+
Raw photos

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited tracking features
-
Feature enthusiasts should go for the Mini 4 Pro
-
No collision sensors
Buy it if:

You want a 4K ultralight: This might be all the drone you ever need; it can capture 4K video from a 48-megapixel image sensor while staying under the 250g threshold.
You're balancing cost and quality: Despite the low weight, DJI's tech copes well with light gusts and offers value and portability.

Don't buy it if:

You want collision sensors: DJI have kept the price down by not fitting collision sensors on this drone, though it can still land itself.
You want 60fps at 4K: While you still get the optics on the Mini 4 Pro, the camera has a more limited range of frame rates and is H.264 only, not H.265.

DJI defined camera drones as we understand them today way back in 2016 with the first Mavic. It was so usable that drones clearly became a consumer-friendly product and soon after the restrictions started to emerge around the world. 

Using a drone over 250g suddenly required registration, an online exam and a small fee in most countries, though by 2019 DJI's Mavic Mini had solved the weight issue. Because so few people love bureaucracy, and drone tech has progressed so well, it is no longer just a drone, but a whole category – ultralight. It is the obvious weight category for beginner drones, but there are also some surprisingly high-end options (like the Mini 4 Pro) and, in between, a sensible balance of capability and cost.

Knowing that history is useful because it explains why, even though the Mini 3 Pro is now superseded, this drone has a '3' in its name – it is essentially a lower-cost version of that, with the key feature removal being the collision sensors. In other words, a drone which was at launch in late 2022 verging on miraculous, became a lot more price more accessible.

You get all the key goodies of the Mini 4 Pro, including the 1/1.3-inch rotating camera for vertical format (selfie mode), and even the ability to shoot RAW images at up to 48 megapixels. Video is saved at 100Mbps, so looks excellent, though it does stop at 30fps (or 60fps at 2.7k). The automated ‘QuickShots’ (the drone keeps the camera on you and performs a cool pre-planned swoop) are also very handy; beginners can look like pro pilots and get dramatic video.

Given that the Mini 3 Pro only had partial collision sensors anyway (front and back), the Mini 3 not Pro was an excellent value choice (collision sensors can actually be very annoying). Now the DJI comparison is against the Mini 4 Pro which at least has more useful all-round sensors, but, again, while they have their uses when travelling sideways, a good pilot shouldn't need them.

The drone also still has GPS and downward vision sensors for landing, so auto return to home and other 'standard' features are available, and the older 'O2' radio system is rated for 6.2 miles/10km – so still perfectly adequate when flying legally.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Features4K at 30fps video, rotating camera, option of Plus battery★★★★
DesignTypical DJI usability and choice of controllers★★★★★
PerformanceBrilliant, even in some gusts★★★★★
ValueThe price is very appealing if you don't need 4K at 60fps★★★★★

Read my full DJI Mini 3 review with sample video

Best premium drone

(Image credit: Future)
The most powerful folding drone money (and plenty of it) can buy

Specifications

Weight: 958g / 963g
Dimensions (folded): 221x98x95mm
Dimensions (unfolded): 348x291x108mm
Controller: Yes
Video resolution: 5.1K:HDR 50fps
Camera resolution: 20MP + 12 MP
Battery life: 46 minutes (5000mAh)
Max Range: 15km / 8 miles
Max Speed: 68kph/42.5mph

Reasons to buy

+
Triple camera system for zoom and wide
+
Main camera has a 4/34ds sensor
+
Excellent 60fps live video feedback

Reasons to avoid

-
Average looking telephoto
-
ProRes video recorded onto unswappable memory
Buy it if:

✅ You want triple-camera power: The power afforded by the zoom cameras gives serious pros options even where airspace restrictions can hamper them.
✅ You want all the features DJI offer: This is a flagship, so you'll find all-round collision sensors, subject tracking and mission planning.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You just want one MFT camera: DJI have catered for you with a Mavic 3 Classic, that still gives you the excellent Hasselblad camera but leaves a smaller hole in your wallet.
❌ You don't need survey-level zoom: The 7x zoom might not be what you're hoping for; seriously look at the Air 3 as a money-saving alternative.

The Mavic 3 Pro is a powerful machine, capable of lifting a triple-camera system based around a 24mm EFL main camera and two secondary cameras (at 70mm EFL and 166mm EFL) that serve to provide a “hybrid zoom.” If the approach hadn't already been adopted – almost certainly – by your phone it might seem a bit confusing and it is a little strange at first but the excellent 20-megapixel main camera
brings the pro features of adjustable ISO, exposure, and, crucially, aperture. 

The secondary cameras are less impressive, but they still represent a notable improvement over the original Mavic 3's dual camera system. The Medium Tele is f/2.8 and the tele ƒ/3.4 so you'll get the best imagery from the 'Hasselblad' (main camera – and ProRes video with the Cine option – but the other cameras don't give you the same camera system (unlike, say, the swappable Inspire 3). You can opt to switch between lenses, or have the computer create a long digital zoom (again, like a phone), all the way to 28x, though you'll see the jumps at 3x and 7x (again, like a phone).

Nevertheless, the Mavic 3 will do the job in a lot of situations, and it can do it for much longer too; hovering for up to 43 minutes, which means it can cover over 15 miles in a flight – not too shabby for survey missions either. Some might see the folding form factor as belonging to consumer territory, but that’s an old-fashioned perspective in the drone world and amongst clients; this is an aerial camera that (while being over most weight limits) is more portable than most and certainly priced for professionals.

The Mavic 3 Pro Cine is a variant exclusively for those requiring ProRes 422 HQ format video which also holds onboard a 1TB SSD to store the uncompressed video it can capture, and ships with a “DJI RC Pro” (controller with built-in screen). The video needs to be downloaded directly from the drone as the SSD is fixed.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesAcross the Pro & Cine models a lot of choice★★★★★
DesignExcess is kept to a minimum despite a MFT main camera★★★★★
PerformancePowerful machine and impressive battery★★★★★
ValueThe Cine variant, with on-board 1TB is pricey★★★★

Read my full DJI Mavic 3 Pro review for more details and video

Best drone for creative control

EVOLiteplus

(Image credit: Future)
Folding mid-weight drone with 5.4K video and adjustable aperture

Specifications

Weight: 835g
Wing span (unfolded): 433x516x95mm
Video resolution: 5.4K: 60fps / 4K @ 60fps
Camera resolution: Lite: 50MP / Lite+: 20MP
Battery life: 38minutes
Max Range: 12km / 7.4mi
Max Speed: 18m/s / 40mph

Reasons to buy

+
5.4K 
+
Adjustable aperture
+
Night mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Props can get in shot when flying fast 
-
Plasticky controller
-
Subject tracking could be better
Buy it if:

You want aperture control: With so many drones having fixed aperture, including this drone's obvious competitor the Air 3, the ƒ/2.8-ƒ/11 aperture is a feature that offers a point of differnce.
You want to capture video over 5K: Some editors prefer to crop from 5.4K video, and the EVO Lite+ makes that possible.

Don't buy it if:

You want collision sensors: DJI have kept the price down by not fitting collision sensors on this drone, though it can still land itself.
You want 60fps at 4K: While you still get the optics on the Mini 4 Pro, the camera has a more limited range of frame rates and is H.264 only, not H.265.

Looking at the word of drones it's easy to think there is only one contender, DJI, but the EVO Lite+ shows that another company can approach things in quite a different way and the result is a drone that, for a good few photo and video enthusiasts, is probably the right choice, especially now that it's price has settled a little since launch.

Despite the name, the EVO Lite+ is not Autel's most lightweight offering – that is the Nano, which is their contender against the DJI Mini 3. It's better thought of as a smaller version of their main EVO drone (If the naming seems weird, it helps to remember that the Mavic and EVO, at about 900g, came first and a lot of drone companies still think of the 'about 900g' as the normal size and everything smaller as the difficult miniature offerings in part forced on them by regulators!)

Anyway, as I said, the EVO Lite and Lite+ (for there are two choices with different cameras) are reasonably meaty drones with a choice of colors and reassuringly sprung arms that make quick setup in the field a breeze. The standard controller seems very console-inspired, but that wasn't actually an issue for me, instead makes it comfortable.

I like to think of this as a drone for folk who believe a little more in specs than digital solutions. The new DJI Air 3 abandoned the 1-inch sensor, but this drone (at least the Lite+ edition) offers it, with lovely big 2.4um pixels, and 5.4K video has its uses. The camera also has a 29mm EFL lens which is a matter of taste, but not as wide angle as most drone cameras.

Admittedly 10-bit video would be better than just a flat profile, and the subject following is a little more limited than DJI's, but low-light performance is excellent and I love the fact I can tweak all the settings.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesGood resolution, though lacks the dual-camera system of the Air 3★★★★
DesignNot 'light' but easy to travel with★★★★
PerformanceDecent battery, impressive camera and night modes★★★★★
ValueThe price is very appealing if you want creative control★★★★

Read my full Autel EVO Lite+ review with video samples

Best budget drone

(Image credit: Future)
A cheap ultralight drone that still packs a stable 4K camera

Specifications

Weight: 240g
Dimensions (folded): -
Dimensions (unfolded): 300 x 242 x 58mm
Controller: RF + Phone
Video resolution: 4K 30fps
Camera resolution: 12MP
Battery life: 32 minutes
Max Range: 6km / 3.7miles
Max Speed: 16m/s

Reasons to buy

+
3-axis gimbal-stabilized camera
+
Level 5 wind resistance
+
Subject tracking and waypoints
+
4K video

Reasons to avoid

-
Umm...
Buy it if:

✅ 4K stable video on a budget: This isn't a pricey drone but it has a 3-axis gimbal like all good camera drones.
✅ You want a lot of features: If you want access to the kinds of features DJI put on their mid & high-range drones, but want to pay entry-level prices, this is the drone for you.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want an established pro brand: Potensic have been around a while, but they've generally been a little more consumer.
❌ You want to use filters: There doesn't seem to be the option to fit an ND filter.

Potensic have been drones for quite a while, but until recently haven't really worried the market leaders. Until the Atom, their strategy seems to have revolved around getting products out for the family fun / toy market. The Atom, though, really caught me by surprise when I tried it.

On opening the very elegant box, I discovered a drone which had a build quality and styling which seemed to owe a fair bit to the DJI Mini 2. You might say "That's the previous generation, surely DJI is still superior?" but in truth DJI's cheapest offering – the Mini 2 SE – is still based on that drone's airframe. Not only that but DJI have reached the point where they seem to limit features, so their entry-level drone won't record video above 2.7K

There are no such limitations on the Potensic, which has a very clever controller design that accommodates a phone in an extendable body design, even my iPhone Por Max in a case. The app is good, and the drone's batteries charge either via individual USB-C socket or (if you get a Fly More Kit) using a charging hub.

It feels like Potensic has taken everything it has learned, as well as a good look at what's around there, and successfully moved upmarket without pulling their prices all the way. That's a very tempting choice. On the strength of this, I don't see it being an economy brand for long.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Features4K camera, extensive app features including subject tracking★★★★★
DesignStyling folding airframe, clever controller, decent app★★★★
PerformanceSharp video, effective 3-axis gimbal ★★★★★
ValueGreat prices, especially in the fly more kit★★★★★

Read my full Potensic Atom review (or the cheaper, non-stabliszed Atom SE review)

Best for cinema

DJI Inspire 3 flying

(Image credit: Future)
Most powerful money-no-object drone

Specifications

Weight: approx 4kg (depending on lens)
Dimensions (folded): 176 x 710 x 501mm
Dimensions (unfolded): Width 695mm (gear up)
Controller: Up to 3 controllers inclduing focus op
Video resolution: 8192 × 4320 px / 8K @ 75fps
Camera resolution: 8192 x 5456 px (44.6MP)
Battery life: 28 minutes (2 x 4280 mAh)
Max Range: 15km / 8 miles
Max Speed: 94kph/58mph

Reasons to buy

+
8K cinema-grade camera
+
Option to have seperate camera operator
+
Precise RTK repeatable routes

Reasons to avoid

-
Costly
Buy it if:

✅ You want to use interchangeable lenses: Despite the price, this is still one of the cheaper and easier ways to do that.
✅ You need reliable broadcast quality output: The Inspire series is established

Don't buy it if:

❌ You just need good video: Nine times out of ten you can get what you need with a Mavic 3. There was a time people bought the Inspire 1 because it was cool; things are different now.
❌ You are regularly working alone: Although you can pilot the Inspire 3 alone, it can do more with a crew.

The Inspire 3, with the required accessories, will set you back the same amount of money as a small car, but for the cinematographers it is aimed at it'll be worth it. It could even save a bit compared to jibs and dollys, though it does have a bit more downdraft! The accuracy of repeatable routes can be centimeter level thanks to built-in RTK compatibility.

As for cameras, the detachable unit has its own name: the Zenmuse X9-8K Air camera. Perhaps more will come later? It can rotate 360 degrees beneath the drone's airframe, and can be operated by one pilot – with the assistance of AI subject framing if they choose – or a pilot and one or two camera operators.

This is serious professional stuff, which will only record to DJI's own costly SSD cards (the same as used with their Ronin cinema cameras), and editing will require crunching a lot of numbers, but the results are spectacular and the dual-native ISO full-frame imaging sensor certainly gets the results you'd expect for the investment.

Read my full DJI Inspire 3 Review with sample clips

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesInterchangeable lens, optional RTK positioning★★★★★
DesignGorgeous though delicate in places★★★★
PerformanceFast, powerful, though battery life could be better★★★★
ValueThis is very expensive, thoguh production costs are lower than many pro set ups despite dual batteries★★★★

Best cheap DJI drone

(Image credit: Future)
In terms of real cameras, the Mini 2 SE is a flying bargain

Specifications

Weight: 249g
Dimensions (folded): 180×97×84mm
Dimensions (unfolded): 159 x 203 x 56mm
Controller: Yes
Video resolution: 4K 30fps (1080P@60fps)
Camera resolution: 12MP
Battery life: 30 minutes
Max Range: 3.5km / 2.17mi
Max Speed: 72kph / 44.7mph

Reasons to buy

+
Side-steps registration fees
+
GPS and Altitude Hold
+
Mini SE (slightly) better in wind than predecessor 

Reasons to avoid

-
JPEG stills only
-
No forward collision sensors
Buy it if:

You want social media clips: This drone can produce 5 automatic selfies and shareable QuickShots

✅ You want to fly outdoors: The Mini 2 SE will survive Level 5 winds

You need 4K: I'd say it wasn't essential, the 2.7K from a stable camera is impressive, and here it is the limit.
You need collision sensors: What appear to be sensors are merely vents.

The best way to think of the DJI Mini 2 SE in terms of quality is as a flying smartphone camera from a mid-range device. That, though, is a high standard these days, certainly far higher than toy drones and their shaky video because this drone can hover perfectly thanks to its onboard sensors and has a 3-axis mechanical stabilizer for its camera.

Tech enthusiasts might feel that the 2.7K video resolution isn’t enough for them, but family members (and anyone watching socially shared versions) would be hard-pressed to spot the difference against 4K. The drone also scrapes in beneath the 250g registration barrier and has a much more welcoming entry price than anything else DJI offers, making it a perfect gift. Software-wise the app is intuitive and includes auto land, return to home, and some cool orbiting effects which will be sure to earn likes.

Note: This drone has effectively replaced the Mini SE which, in turn, borrowed the Mini 2's airframe – the only real change is the newer remote control.

Read our full DJI Mini SE review or our DJI Mini v DJI Mini 2 SE comparison