Over the past couple of years, drone technology has taken travel videos to new heights. Who hasn’t been inspired by stunning images of cities bustling from above, or a hiker perched on the ridge of a mountain? If you ever wanted to be the star of your own epic travel video, your time has come. Finally, drone technology has caught up to the average consumer in both price and size.
Drones for Traveling Light
Average travelers probably don’t want to wander the world with a $3,000 Hollywood-grade hexacopter in tow. Thankfully, there are now plenty of small drones out there to help you capture your travel memories from a new angle. When shopping for the best small drones for travel, it’s easy to get lost comparing specific features, but much of the decision comes down to personal preference. Here are some of the best small drones available to help you decide which one you should bring along for your next big adventure.
For a starter drone, the DJI Tello is one of the smallest and most affordable options available. Weighing in at under 3 ounces, this drone is extremely portable, has a flight time of 13 minutes, and a can fly as far as 300 feet. The image quality maxes out at 720p, so this drone’s resolution is not as strong as some other drones. However, the controls are fairly easy. If you’re not looking to make a big commitment on price, this is a great drone to start with.
Another mini drone, the Eachine is so small you can launch it from the palm of your hand or carry it around in your pocket. This drone is foldable, light, and has some pretty advanced features considering its size and under-$100 price point, such as altitude-hold mode and a one-press return function. Both will be key in helping first-time flyers get comfortable with their new drone.
If image quality is important to you, but you still want something that feels light and easy, the DJI Spark is a small drone for travel that’s a step above the Tello, but not quite as pricey as some advanced drones. This drone can capture images in 1080p, and upgrading from the Tello means you’ll have access to the features on the DJI Go 4 App on both iOS and Android.
One thing to note about the Spark is that its legs are in a fixed position, so it’s not as portable as other foldable drones on the market. You’ll need to be extra careful while packing this drone in order to avoid damaging it.
Parrot Bebop 2
Another mid-price drone option, the Parrot Bebop 2 is a small drone that can shoot video in 1080p and boasts a 25-minute flight time. This particular package also includes FPV goggles, so you can be totally immersed in what your drone is filming. While this travel drone is on the small side, the legs are also fixed, and the controller seems to be much bulkier than necessary.
DJI Mavic Air
For a deal on image quality and portability, the DJI Mavic Air is one of the best travel drones available right now. Although it appears to be larger than the Spark, it’s actually smaller and more portable when fully folded. It’s more expensive, but it offers a lot better image quality and increased maneuverability. By flying higher, further, and for longer, this small drone packs a professional punch. Within the world of photography, the price is also extremely reasonable. This is an ideal first drone for anyone who has a lot of photography experience and wants to jump head-first into the drone world.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 12 Travel Photography Mistakes to Avoid
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- 10 Camera Accessories That Will Make You a Better Travel Photographer
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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.