best cameras for quadcopters

Best Action Cameras for Quadcopter

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.

What is field of view1. Wide Field of View

If you don’t already know what field of view (also known as angle of view) is, it is basically the extent of which your camera can see and is measured in angle ˚.

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.

Below is an example of the difference between what is captured on an iPhone and what is captured with an action cam.
Action Camera Field of View VS Smartphone Field of view iphone 6 plus vs gopro hero 4 silver

2. Video Stabilisation (Gyro or Digital)

Gitup 2 review - gyro stabilization

Gyro in Git2

I feel a way that yon need to have a way where you can stabilise your video be it though post editing or real time stabilisation.

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

VCD to 4K digital video resolutions

Credits: extremetech.com

This should be quite intuitive because the quality decides how clear and smooth the video is.

Other than looking out for the video resolution, the frame rate is just as important. Many manufacturers have used ‘fake’ resolution on their cameras, through interpolation or low frame rate.

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

Action Cameras Traits waterproof shockproof dustproof logo iconAnother thing that you should look out for is whether it is durable and reliable.

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.

5. Weight

action cameras are lightLastly, you would have to consider the weight of the camera.

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.

I’d usually recommend whoever purchasing to buy something below 85g (without waterproof housing, camera only) as my guideline.

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.

1. Mobius (Lightest and Easiest To Mount)

using mobius action cam on drone

mobius action camera Good and Light Action Cam for Quadcopters 40g