Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become one of the most sought after gadgets for conducting outdoor discovery and capturing real-time aerial video footage. And with precision GPS systems a key component of most drone models on the market, access to the most remote and untrodden areas is longer relegated to extreme explorers.
From exploring tight spaces to hidden mountain ranges, the following are the top 13 drones for exploring new landscapes and terrains.
The DJI Mavic Pro has garnered a multitude of positive reviews since it launched. Some notable features include 24 high-performance computing cores, 5 vision sensors, a 4K camera stabilized by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal, support for 4K video at 30fps, and more. The Mavic Pro can fly for 27 minutes between charges and has a maximum range of 8 miles (13km).
A favorite of GoPro aficionados, the Xiro Xplorer is capable of soaring to new heights safely during GPS-stabilized flights, a feature typically available only on bigger and more costly crafts. The Xplorer also features a gimbal for keeping aerial footage steady during recording.
This ready-to-fly (RTF) quadcopter features an in-built CGO3 4K camera and is capable of flying for 30 minutes on a single charge. Other stand-out features include an integrated LCD remote control system and automated flight features such as return-to-home and follow modes.
Constructed of high-quality materials, the Xplorer V is certainly one of the more distinctive looking drones of the bunch. The unit features an adjustable landing gear with silicone rubber bottoms, 14 MP camera, 4 rotors with 25 minutes of flight time, remote-to-home smart flight assistance, and more.
The Typhoon H is considered one of the most advanced compact drone photo/video systems available on the market today, capable of flying for 25 minutes between charges while filming with its CGO3+ 4K UHD camera. Its Android-powered 7-inch touchscreen ST16 Ground Station gives users live footage of their flights in 720p HD resolution.
The Nano QX is renowned for its ease-of-use and stability—in fact, the model comes with two flight modes: stability and agility. The agility mode allows full manual control over the quadcopter while stability mode will enable allow it to automatically level itself when controls are released.
The Proto-X is the world’s smallest quadcopter, perfect for exploring tight spaces and nooks/crannies. Despite its size, the drone packs on board 3 gyros, 3 accelerometers, 4 motor speed controllers, and a radio receiver.
The Parrot Bebop 2 is a highly compact and lightweight video drone with impressive shooting features, including a built-in 14MP first-person view (FPV) camera with a 170º view, live transmission to the pilot’s tablet via wifi, and more.
The sturdy Yuneec Typhoon 4k includes notable features like a 6-rotor retractable landing gear, 360-degree gimbal, and all-in-one Android-based controller. Other capabilities include shooting at 4k video quality and 1080p/120fps slow motion videos, obstacle avoidance, and flight times of up to 20 minutes.
Looking to fit your drone with a couple of action cameras? The K70C may be your the best option—whether you’re using a GoPro, Xiami or SJ Cam. Additional features include amazing LED lights for night flying, headless mode, one-key return, and a motorized gimbal.
Also known as “The Flying Telescope,” the Voyager 4 shoots with an 18x optical zoom camera and transmits in real-time 4k HD. Industry applications for this model include fire rescue operations and environmental monitoring for atmosphere and urban air quality control.
The Blade 350 QX3 is one of Horizon Hobby’s high-end quadcopter drones. The camera mount is capable of supporting GoPro cameras or—as part of a package—the supplied CGO2 16MP 1080p/60fps stabilized camera with an integrated 3-axis brushless gimbal. The Blade’s range is also impressive: 1km of control and 2.5km vertically, with a flight time of about 15 minutes.
The Walkera Voyager 3 is one of the best UAVs in its class, capable of shooting 1080p/60 FPS video and displaying it live on the remote controller’s FPV 5” monitor. Other notable features include GPS, GLONASS dual-navigation system, one key take off/landing, and more. The Voyager 3 has an average control distance of 1000 meters and a flight time of 20 minutes.
In short, capturing aerial footage of your adventures has never been easier—whatever new landscapes and terrains you plan on trekking across in 2017, be sure to chart your journey from above with one of these leading drone offerings.