If you are looking to the best camera for drones (some refer it to as quadcopter), great! You are on the right page!
I am guessing you are here because you have tried out a quadcopter and now you want to up your game by adding a camera to your drone.
Or if not, the camera from your drone probably sucks so you want to change your camera.
Still wrong? Ahh… whatever :P.
Anyways, in this article, we will discuss on some of the things you should look out for when getting a camera, best drone cameras that I recommend and lastly, how you can mount your action cam to your quadcopter.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
Features To Look Out For
Below are some of the features I feel are important to have, especially for a camera that spends a lot of time in the sky.
Most action cameras have about 140˚ to 170˚ horizontal field of view whereas smartphones only have about 60˚ to 80˚ field of view, making action cameras very ideal for capturing wide amount of detail.
2. Video Stabilisation (Gyro or Digital)
It is important to have it except if you already have a gimbal fitted into your quadcopter because shaky videos are really a pain to the eye.
Of course, having said that if you are a beginner, you wouldn’t mind shaky videos but after a while, when you become more experienced, you will realise the importance of shaky videos.
There are actually 2 main types of stabilisation in action cameras, anti-shake and gyro. Simply said, anti-shake is used in photo while gyro is used in video. If you want to read more about it, more can be found here.
Having said that, in this case, gyro would be more important and you should definitely look for cameras with gyro stabilisation because most of your footage would be recorded in video mode.
3. Good Video Quality
This should be quite intuitive because the quality decides how clear and smooth the video is.
Hence, it is important that the camera you are buying uses a real/native resolution and a frame rate of at least 30fps. The bare minimum is 25fps. Anything lower than that becomes a photo slideshow that is choppy and rough.
Having said all of that, if you were to ask me, I’d recommend going for cameras capable of filming 1080p 60 frames per second or higher.
4. Durable and Rugged
Many of the times, due to changing wind conditions or weather, the drone isn’t able to adapt, and before you know it, it’s on the floor all shredded to pieces. (just an exaggerated example :P)
There is definitely a small chance that the drone will crash (even the best drones do) and if that happens, you don’t want your footage to be gone as well.
Hence, you’ll need something that is capable of taking a beating so that in the event of a crash, all your precious footage will still be retained. And if you’re lucky and it is not really a hard crash, you can still continue to use your camera 🙂 .
I’d recommend something that is shockproof and waterproof, which almost all action cameras have.
If the camera is too heavy, it will affect the drone center of gravity and hence it will not be able to fly properly unless you calibrate it.
Therefore, as far as the weight of the camera goes, the lighter, the better.
Best Action Camera for Quadcopter
All the cameras below that I recommend are action cameras because I feel they are ideal for mounting onto and filming on drones.
Below are some cheap alternatives to GoPro, all below 100 that can fit into GoPro compatible quadcopters.