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The competition for the best professional-level drones is fierce in today’s market. And now, it may be quite challenging to determine which drone is best for you, given the number of innovations in recent years. Even at the writing of this article, several exciting flagships are bound for release later this year.
Nevertheless, not every drone is equal when it comes to meeting the demands and workflow of professional applications. In this list, we’ve compiled the top four best drones for professional and commercial applications. All of the contenders feature large 1-inch sensors or higher, versatile imaging capabilities and robust flying experience.
4 – DJI Mavic 2 Pro
DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro is their flagship prosumer-oriented drone with a foldable design and a strong choice for those looking for a robust collapsible package. It features a 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor, 28mm f/2.8 lens, 4K UHD 30p, 2.7K 60p, 1080p 120p, 3-axis stabilization, and collision avoidance.
For control, it uses the DJI controller and connects to a smartphone using the DJI GO 4 app for a 31 minute flight time and 8000m range.
Unlike rivals, DJI’s equipped the drone with a variable aperture lens, opening to 2.8 and stopping down to f/11. This variable aperture design thoroughly avoids the need for purchasing external neutral density filters when flying in sunny conditions.
Given its large 1-inch sensor and 20MP resolution, it’s also the most compact drone available on the market with this configuration. And coupled with its full support for Dlog-M and 10-bit HLG color modes, it’s a force to reckon with for filmmakers.
Overall, the Mavic 2 Pro is an excellent choice and alternative to DJI’s Inspire series for those looking for a more portable and discreet option. It inherits much of its flagship performance, yet, it’s easy to fly and provides intuitive controls.
To date, it remains one of the most powerful consumer drones on the market, and a robust all-rounder for professionals.
3 – DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a steady refinement over the original Phantom 4. It features a large 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor, 24mm f/2.8 lens, Cinema 4K 60p, 4K UHD 60p, 2.7K 60p, 1080p full HD 120p, 3-axis stabilization, GPS, GLONASS, FPV support, and subject tracking.
For control, it ships with a controller with a built-in 5.5-inch screen with embedded DJI Go 4 app and the updated OcuSync 2.0 technology, allowing for 1080p live streaming at distances up to 8000m. DJI also rates the drone at an impressive 30 minutes of flight time.
Unlike rivals, the camera boasts an impressive 11.6 stops of dynamic range. It also captures video in the newer H.265 codec and the D-log color profile, increasing detail and provides professional high dynamic range footage. Plus, it uses a mechanical shutter, which completely removes the presence of rolling shutter and supports bursts up to 14 fps to match.
It even offers the DJI’s full suite of intelligent flight modes, gesture control, and obstacle sensing. Combined with its size and robust build, DJI has created a drone that’s steadfast in the most adverse conditions compared to its foldable rivals. It’s improved safety gives filmmakers the confidence they need, to capture even the riskiest images.
Overall, it’s sleek and glossy finish is sure to turn heads, and capture both professionals or enthusiasts alike. And with a compelling feature set to match, it’s a strong choice that builds on the proven successes of its predecessors.
2 – Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus
The H920 Plus is a powerhouse of a release from Yuneec. It’s a drone that combines Panasonic’s camera quality with Yuneec’s engineering prowess, creating the most capable hexacopter around. It features the CGO4 camera with a 16MP Micro Four Thirds MOS sensor, 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, 4K UHD 30p, 1080p 60p, 3-axis stabilization, and subject tracking,
For control, it ships with the ST16 ground station with an integrated Android platform with a 7-inch screen for 24 minutes of flight and a 1600m range.
Unlike rivals, it’s a modular platform that allows fliers to configure it to best tailor the shooting needs. Firstly, fliers can change the lenses on the CGO4, between one three Olympus variants available. Secondly, the package includes a Pro Action Grip. This handheld gimbal mounts either the CGO4 or a Panasonic GH4 for handheld work.
Lastly, the CGO4 provides full manual control via the ground station interface. And, better yet, that interface is fully touch-enabled.
Overall, the H920 is a versatile option that delivers the complete package. It’s six rotors provide unparalleled safety and stability during flight, making it the ideal choice for both ground and aerial needs.
1 – DJI Inspire 2
DJI’s Inspire 2 is the current flagship drone, and it’s a significant update to the original Inspire. It features 3-axis stabilization, object avoidance, and FPV support. For control, it ships with the DJI controller and also uses the DJI Go 4 app for a 27 minute flight time.
Like the H920, it offers the unique ability to swap lenses, perfect to tailor the lens for each specific flight. For professionals, that’s ultimately a must, as it provides maximum versatility and control over how the drone captures images.
When paired with the X5S, the drone captures images using a large Micro Four Thirds sensor and also supplies 5.2K 30p and 4K UHD 60p video. These specifications make it the leader of the class in resolution and among a select few who offers such a large sensor. Not only that, but it also boasts a 7000m range, plus a robust object avoidance system that tracks subjects at distances of 30m.
The result is a drone that’s tactile, responsive, and difficult to crash accidentally. This system also affords the drone with unparalleled subject tracking abilities.
Overall, DJI’s Inspire 2 is a worthy successor, and its sleek finish will surely turn heads. And not only is it responsive, but it’s also quick and packed with class-leading features. For professionals looking for a complete all-in-one package, here is your choice.
What are the best accessories for these drones?
VR Goggles for FPV:
We’ve compiled a list of the top four best professional drones for seasoned shooters looking for a robust ariel solution for a second angle.