Best Drone for Photography of Breathtaking Views

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Are you an architectural photographer or a cool graphic designer who's into photography? We've assembled a neat list of some of the best drones in the market for you. We understand that having the best drone for photography is your ticket to the sky and all those beautiful views waiting for you.

Drones have now become an essential tool for both amateur and professional photographers worldwide. With great drone technology, you can reach areas that you wouldn't otherwise reach and shoot from incredible angles. Aerial photography and videography of buildings and landscapes will be accessible to you without needing a crane or helicopter.

Let's look at the best drones for photography that will open up your world.

Best Drones for Photography

1. DJI Mini 2 Drone Quadcopter

DJI Mini 2 – Ultralight and Foldable Drone...
  • 【PACK LIGHT, FLY FREE】: at less than 249 g, it weighs about...
  • 【3-AXIS GIMBAL WITH 4K CAMERA】: a 12mp camera in the sky...
  • 【OCUSYNC 2.0 VIDEO TRANSMISSION】: mini 2 supports up to 10km...
  • 【POWERFUL PERFORMANCE】: with a max battery life of 31...
  • 【4X ZOOM】: there’s no need to get so close for your dream...

Starting us off is this ultralight and foldable drone that is loved by consumers worldwide. The impressive Amazon reviews speak for themselves that this camera drone is a must-have in your photography toolbox. These DJI drones will allow you to capture landscapes and buildings in beautiful angles that will make your audience swoon.

The design of these DJI drones makes them super light while still maintaining their exceptionally durable construction. You can comfortably charge these professional camera drones thanks to the USB-C socket at the back of these drones. This allows you to travel light. You can mount this drone on a 3-axis gimble that absorbs almost all the twists and turns while in flight.

The control of these DJI drones is super simple, and even inexperienced drone pilots can manage without much hassle. Unlike other DJI drones, you don't have to worry about the range when using this remote controller. The video of this photography drone is in 4K and 100Mbps. You have the option to process in Raw and also shoot Auto Exposure Bracketed shots.

The automated panoramas also make this flying camera quite a delight. Get ready to capture interesting perspectives with these best camera drones.


  • Extremely portable
  • Affordable
  • Easy to fly
  • Free registration in the USA, China, and other countries
  • Has 4x digital zoom
  • Works with the DJI fly app for convenience
  • Gives Raw photos


  • Has limited tracking features

2. DJI Mavic Air 2 - Drone Quadcopter UAV

DJI Mavic Air 2 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera...
  • 【UP YOUR GAME】: The Mavic Air 2 camera drone takes power and...
  • 【NEXT-LEVEL CONTENT】: Capture impressive 48MP photos with a...
  • 【IMPROVED FLIGHT】: An impressive flight time of up to 34...
  • 【INTELLIGENT TRACKING】: Mavic Air 2 features intuitive...
  • 【APP COMPATIBILITY】: The DJI Fly app requires iOS v10.0,...

Our second option combines long battery life with ease of flight. If you want a camera drone that will fly like a breeze, this DJI Mavic Air 2 is for you. You can comfortably shoot a 4K video at a great price. This DJI Mavic Air for drone photography can fly with winds up to 23.6 mph.

Therefore, you can focus on taking those awesome videos and images of superb architectural structures instead of worrying about keeping your DJI Mavic Air 2 drone steady. This drone also features DJI smart-flight modes like the ActiveTrack.

This feature directs your drone to follow and film your subject autonomously. These DJI Mavic Air 2 automated flight modes allow your DJI Air 2s to avoid any obstacles that may be in the way. The battery life lasts for 34 minutes which is ample flight time for your DJI Air 2s to record all you want. The design of this DJI Mavic Air 2 is seven by 3.8 by 3.3 inches when folded and weighs 1.3 pounds. This means that you can comfortably carry it with you wherever you go.


  • Portable
  • Good battery life
  • Cool intuitive shooting functions
  • Has low-noise propellers
  • Can stand winds
  • Great camera quality


  • Not compatible with DJI goggles

3. Parrot Anafi - FPV Drone Set

Parrot Anafi - FPV Drone Set - Lightweight and Foldable...
  • PARROT ANAFI FPV DRONE Fly your drone as if you were in it! The...
  • Powerful and compact equipped with a stabilized 4K HDR camera...
  • Parrot FPV pack everything is included so take off right away for...
  • Easy and intuitive use a user-friendly interface and an intuitive...
  • Maximum transmission distance - 4km with the Parrot Skycontroller...

Flying drones has never been as easier like it is now with this Parrot Anafi camera drone. Coming with a hard-fabric zip case that allows you to carry it anywhere you want with ease, this drone has an automatic take-off and landing and GPS-based return-to-home features you'll love. The folding controller is a bonus with a hinged phone grip that makes it easy to use.

A disadvantage of this best drone for photography is that you'll get charged extra for in-app features such as follow-me modes. These modes are standard with other DJI drone cameras. Nonetheless, other numerous features still make these drones one of the best in the market. You can turn the gimbal all the way up for an unobstructed angle.

You will rarely get this incredible angle in other drones. The 180° vertical-turn gimbal and the zoom features on this great drone at this price point make this first drone great for aerial photos.


  • Portable
  • Convenient 180° vertical-turn gimbal
  • Produces 4K at 100Mbps with HDR
  • Has a compact design


  • You have to purchase some important features
  • Only has two-axis control

4. DJI Mavic 2 Pro - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad Camera

DJI Mavic 2 Pro - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad...
  • Equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera with a 20MP 1” CMOS...
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 907G takeoff...
  • Functions include ActiveTrack 2. 0, Omnidirectional Obstacle...
  • The standard remote controller offers up to 135 minutes of...
  • DJI GO 4 App requires iOS 10.0.2, Android 5.0 or above....

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a speciality drone created from improving the other drones on this line to give you a more fulfilling flying experience. The lower light, high-quality cinematic shots, and video make this one of the top drones in image quality and overall experience. The 20-megapixel stills from its 1-inch sensor will astound you.

The manual controls enable you to select up to 128,000 ISO. You can output the video quality in real 10-bit or HDR. The camera feed is exceptional, and so is the quality that this drone produces. Most drones cannot compare to the pixels on these photography drones.

Aerial photographers like yourself will love how well this portable drone and its camera system operate. The integration with Drone Deploy makes this best drone for photography able to handle 3D mapping easily.


  • Has a reliable airframe
  • Superb software features
  • Has a 1-inch sensor for convenience
  • Over 30 minutes of flight time


  • Expensive

5. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom - Drone Quadcopter UAV

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Optical...
  • Powered by a 1/2.3-inch 12MP sensor with up to 4x zoom, including...
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 905G takeoff...
  • Functions include ActiveTrack 2. 0, Omnidirectional Obstacle...
  • The standard remote controller offers up to 135 minutes of...
  • What you get: DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, Intelligent Flight Battery,...

Our fifth pick is the Mavic 2 Zoom that features a 2x optical zoom lens. This zoom lens has a focal length range of 24-48mm. These best camera drones have the same airframes as our last pick. However, these drones differ when it comes to the camera units. The advantage of the focal length range on this drone is that it gives you creative options in terms of lens compression.

The Dolly Zoom quick shot is a feature on this DJI drone that highlights this advantage. This drone can simulate the Hitchcock classic camera move. The 4K video at up to 30fps and 100Mbps is also an impressive feature on these best camera drones. However, the lack of 60fps at 4K is still an issue that irks many users.


  • Very portable
  • Has a cool optimal zoom feature
  • Has great software features
  • Over 30 minutes of smooth flight time


  • Lacks 60fps for 4K video
  • Expensive

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Drone for Photography

1. Battery Capacity

The battery capacity is a crucial factor when choosing the best drone for photography. Although higher capacities don't necessarily mean a longer flight time, this is an aspect that you should take into consideration as you choose which drone you want to use for your stunning views.

The overall weight of your drone can affect your battery life. For example, the DJI Mavic Mini may have a different battery life than the DJI Phantom. Therefore, the choice comes down to what you want. However, a useful feature that you can look at that almost trumps battery capacity is minutes of flight time. We've seen above that some have 31 minutes of flying time.

You can easily check the charge on the built-in monitors. Although Lithium batteries store lots of power, "Intelligent batteries" are way safer and a better option. Once you ensure that your affordable drone can last for at least 20 minutes, you should be good to go.

2. Drone App

How efficient the manufacturer's app is is a big part of your experience. You should know what you can do with the app. For example, with our third pick above, you have to make some extra in-app purchases to get some features.

Having this intel beforehand will allow you to plan. Especially for high-end drones, you'll need to browse through the menus to use many of the features. If you want to take your HD camera beyond auto, you'll have to use the app.

Advanced pilots and developers have discovered ways of using drone sensors and the manufacturer's app's abilities to create better-flying modes. Other cool visual effects such as the DJI Tiny Planet selfie clip are some of the “Quickshot” options you can get to enjoy with a good app.

3. GPS

As an architectural photographer, having good positioning technology accompany your drone can mean a lot for your work. Toy drones usually don't have the GPS feature included. When you have the GPS feature enabled, it becomes easier to position your drone how you see fit.

This feature allows you to have your drone stay in the same position. Whether you're doing test flights or it's the real deal, you don't want your drone to be easily pushed by the wind. This feature also allows for the automatic return of your flying drones to the take-off point.

This is a great safety backup that allows you to fly out drone as high and as far as you want with the knowledge that it'll come back.

4. Crash-Avoidance Sensors

When it comes to intelligent flight modes, ensuring that your drone doesn't crash is a good feature to have. Getting a model that senses when obstacles are approaching from any direction is important.

Once your drone senses this, it can adjust its flight path to avoid a crash. This will shower you with peace of mind as you fly your drone until you put it back into the bag. Choose the drones that sense obstacles from the front, back and even bottom. Get one that has omnidirectional obstacle sensing and object tracking.

5. Controller

The remote control of drones varies from model to model. Some of the controllers feature a twin-stick. On the more affordable and lower-end models, you'll find that they use standard Wi-Fi with a control range of 100m. You'll have video feedback with a clear line of sight.

For the higher-end models, they use radio systems such as the DJI’s Lightbridge. This one has a range of 4,000m (2.2 miles). You also get support for master and slave controllers. These enable there to be a separate pilot and camera operator. You may also get first-person-view goggles.

6. Autonomous Modes

Before you buy your drone or even consider your landing gear, ensure that it has a fail-safe return home mode. This feature automatically brings your aircraft back to the launch point with a press of a button. It can also happen when the drone loses contact with its controller.

Drones that have preprogrammed cinematic autonomous flight modes are even better. These drones allow you to press a button and tell your drone to follow you while you move. For example, you may be snowboarding down a mountain or driving a motorcycle around the Egyptian Pyramids, and the drones will follow you.

7. Portability

When doing architectural photography, you don't know where the journey will take you. After all, there are thousands of sites to see and having a drone that you can comfortably carry around is a great option.

Get a small and lightweight option that you can comfortably pack into your backpack or camera bag. The options that have foldable arms to make them more compact are a great option. Retractable landing gear can make the process easier. However, not all drones have this feature. Therefore, ensure that you take a close look at the best drone for photography before choosing it.


Which one of our best drones for photography did you love the most? Let us know which architectural marvel you want to use your best drone on as soon as you get it. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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