Good beginner drone with camera 2018

So you've been looking for a good beginner drone with camera.

Drones are commonplace in our lives now.  Their popularity has escalated significantly over the last few years.  Initially, drones were extremely expensive and mainly used by TV companies and filmmakers.  This provided that perfect aerial shot which greatly enhanced the world of TV and cinema.

As drones have evolved and technology has become more reasonably priced they are now being used for everyday use and more importantly for lots of fun!

Now drones are affordable for everyone, and even at the cheaper end of the scale, the technology allows striking results.  As a beginner, the price will be important but there are other factors to consider when deciding on your first drone.  Buying a good beginner drone with a camera is key to long-term enjoyment of your new hobby.

Here I've listed below what I think are excellent beginner drones with a camera.

Beginner drones would normally be a lot cheaper.  This is due to the lack of extra features that you would find on a professional drone.

This review should help you decide what good beginner drone with a camera is the best for you.  Whether you're a complete novice or if you would like to advance up to a higher spec drone.

Good beginner drones with a camera comparison table

Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3

good beginner drone with camera

The Cheerwing Syma is a good beginner drone that also has a camera,that is very affordable when just starting out. 

This drone isn't quite ready to fly out the box however don't let that put you off. As the assembly process is nice and quick and easy even for the complete beginner to drones.

If you want to learn how to be an aerial photographer and open up the fast opportunity that it brings this is a good drone to invest in.  With the enabled WIFI you can then send any video or images straight to your smartphone on the fly. You can even take some dronies

Safety is also a consideration when looking for the right beginner drone.  Propeller guards are worth considering so any collisions or any dodgy landings shouldn't cause any damage.

Most recent drones have FPV (First person view) that allows you to see what the drones camera sees as your flying.  This is with real time feed back to your phone via the app. This is a cool feature as you get a real birds eye view straight to your phone.

Weight and size of the drone when flying make a difference to how the drone flies.  This is especially true when you are a beginner to flying drones. A bigger lighter drone can get blown about a lot more than a smaller drone.  This is because there is less for the wind to get hold of in breezy conditions.

Being a beginner you want a stable machine.  The Syma does give you confidence when first getting to grips in calm conditions. When in windier conditions it's worth getting the drone at a lower altitude until you get use to how it handles.

Keep the speed low to start with and slowly build up the speed once your more confident.  Don't rush! It's easy to get into trouble and you don't want to end up with too many crash landings!

It's well worth having some spare batteries as you will soon go through the charge.  This is particularly true if your using the camera all the time. So it would be worth only using the camera once you've had plenty of time practicing flying. This Syma is a excellent beginner drone with camera for the money.

Specs
  • Weight: 635 g (1.4 lbs.)
  • Battery: 3.7V 500 mAh Li-po
  • Charging time: 90+ min (1.5+ hrs.
  • Max flight time: 7 minutes
  • Max speed: Not known

Pros
  • Good beginner drone
  • Lightweight
  • Camera
  • Affordable

Cons
  • Flight time is a little low
  • Doesn't like windy conditions

Sky Viper Video Drone

good beginner drone with camera

Being a beginner to drones you will more than likely have a few mishaps, the sky viper has durable body that can withstand a good few knocks and the propeller guards will also limit any damage.

With the adjustability of this drone you can start off with the controls not being too sensitive.  You can then work up to more advanced flying once you've got used to it.  The result being that you don't call yourself a beginner anymore.

The Sky Viper doesn't come fully assembled. There are a few parts you need to attach before you can take it for it's maiden voyage. Assembly isn't over complicated for this drone even for a beginner.

You want a drone that has a camera.  The Vipers camera does a good job however it's not the best for image quality. As a result, for an entry level beginner drone, that doesn't cost big bucks, it's value for money.

You can hone your flying skills and once you've mastered the art of flying a drone, you can consider an upgrade in the future and know you will already be capable at flying.

Some owners have reported it's not a good drone for beginners. When looking into the problems, they have been down to trying to fly the drone too fast before learning how to control the drone.  Therefore the issues should be considered more user error than drone error.

When first setting up, the drone needs to be calibrated on a flat surface so the drone knows which way up it is and that it is level. Consequently, some owners never did this step correctly which is why they had problems.

general Specs

The camera has the ability to take 360° panoramic images.  As a result, the drone can be controlled with a touch of a button.  The quality isn't the best as previously said, however for an entry level drone with camera its a good option.

Saving any images you capture while flying around is done with the included 4GB micro SD card.  This will save some images and around 20 minutes of video. Consequently, you will soon fill that up quickly so would be worth upgrading in card size. You can upload any photos and videos to your PC with the micro USB cable.

Flying time isn't great with an estimated flying time of between 5-7 minutes.  As a result, it would be well worth having a couple of spare batteries. Charging time is about 1 1/2 hrs.

The viper has a range of about 200ft which is pretty good for a beginner drone with camera. The 200ft range will depend on how windy it is and your battery power.

I would recommend the Viper for someone that is a beginner to drones.  It does what you want for not too much money.

Specs
  • Weight: 771 g (1.7 lbs.)
  • Battery: 650 mAh 3.7V LiPo
  • Max flight time: 7 minutes
  • Charging time: 90 min (1.5 hr.)
  • Control range: 200 m (656 ft.)
  • Max speed: 9 m/s (20 mph)

Pros
  • Good beginner drone
  • Sturdy design
  • Camera
  • Affordable

Cons
  • Flight time is a little low

UDI 818A HD+

good beginner drone with a camera

Next up in our beginner drone with a camera is the UDI. This drone can withstand a lot of abuse with the crash resistant design and the elasticated blade guards for them mishaps and inevitable crash landings. It does make it ideal for the complete novice to flying drones.

Most noteworthy is that with this drone, it's just a case of un-boxing this drone charge up the battery and find somewhere safe to have your maiden voyage.  Which is exactly what you want when first starting out with drones. You don't want complicated to get started as it can put beginners off.

Even though this drone is aimed at the novice flyer it does have some excellent features to keep even the more experience pilots interested. This little drone allows you to flip it 360° in what ever direction you want what will impress anyone watching.

Additionally, the 2MP camera attached allows you to get some very good quality photos and video the optics on this drone punches way above it's weight. One of the best in its price range for sure.

Controlling the little UDI is nice and easy and once you get the hang of it you can start performing some aerial stunts with the 360° button on the four channel controller while videoing. The controller is very simple to learn with up down left and right inputs. Furthermore, the LCD on the controller gives you the drones status while in flight.

The only negative of this drone by other owners is the lack of information in the user manual to get started. However this is a small concern as the drone itself makes up for that. 

Specs
  • Weight: 130 g (4.6 oz.)
  • Battery: 2 x 3.7v 500mAh Li-Po Battery
  • Charging time: 90+ min (1.5+ hrs.
  • Control range: 32 m (98 ft.)
  • Max flight time: 7 – 9 minutes
  • Max speed: Not known

Pros
  • Good beginner drone
  • Easy to learn
  • Can perform stunts
  • No FFA registation needed
Cons
  • Users manual not great
  • Rang not the best

Holy Stone F181 RC

good beginner drone with camera

The F181 is one of the best sellers, one of the things that frustrate beginners is the lack of flight time. However the Holystone takes care of that with an extra battery included. One thing to think about after each flight is let the drone cool down before flying again as the motor can get hot.

First of all, the camera is a 2MP and its also detachable so while you're getting use to flying for the first time it's worth taking the camera off.  This is so any crashes you might have you won't have to worry about damaging the camera. 

Also without the camera your flight time can be extended as there will be less weight for the drones battery to have to handle, while you get use to flying the drone.

The camera spec is 2MP with a decent 1280x720 so while not full HD its still better than SD, the image quality and video quality is good for a drone in this price range.

The blade guards will be worth attaching even if your an experienced pilot as mishaps happen all the time even for the professionals.

Some of the features that make this drone a good beginner drone isn't just the extra battery.  Its easy to learn to fly, a good design and also has headless mode.

Additionally, a great safety feature is the key return to base, so if you loose sight of your drone all you have to do is is press a button and the drone will return back to you. Loosing sight of your drone is all to common so this is something to consider.

I'd say this drone is good beginner drone that has a camera.  It also has a few more features than a basic drone might have.

Specs
  • Weight: 400 g (14.1 oz.)
  • Battery: 3.7V 750mAh Lipo (includes spare)
  • Charging time: 90+ min (1.5+ hrs.
  • Control range: 100 m (328 ft.)
  • Max flight time: 8 – 9 minutes
  • Max speed: 4.4 m/s (10 mph)

Pros
  • Good beginner drone
  • Return to home button
  • Spare battery
Cons
  • Little bit more expensive

Parrot Rolling Spider

good beginner drone with camera

The Rolling spider is an unusual drone with it's looks and design, It's a very simple drone to fly it doesn't use a stick controller like many other drones. 

First of all, flying is with bluetooth connection via the Rolling spiders smartphone app. It is as easy as it gets with controlling the drone and perfect for a complete beginner to drones.

Flying is simply a case of tap to fly on your smartphone and you have modes like tap to fly tap to land. Furthermore, there are many more advanced features and flying modes to explore once you get the hang of this drone. It's nice and stable and intuitive to control.

Once you've mastered the basics you can then move on to controlling how fast it accelerates, how high it climbs and it's turning rates.

This drone is a very capable in the sky and hovering.  Furthermore, the snap on wheels are a great safety feature than protects the blades when flying and landing.  This is because the blades are always protected from objects and the ground when landing.

The wheels do add an extra element to enjoying this drone because with some patience and flying skills you can get it to roll up walls and across ceilings. They also offer protection when flying indoors so now furniture damages is done. 

Once you've advanced from being a beginner you can also remove the wheels when outside, which will help with the weight of the drone and extend your flying time.

With using Bluetooth to control the parrot drone you don't want to let it get too far away as Bluetooth isn't as good as WiFi for distance.  Consequently, the controls might become a little slow to react.

One of the great features of the rolling spider and why it is a good beginner drone with a camera is that it's easy to get the basics.  However, once you start to improve and get use to its controls you can then start to push the drone and get in to some more acrobatic flying.

The camera isn't the best for image and video quality it's still better than no camera that's for sure, and you still get to video your flights and watch them back.

Specs
  • Weight: 55 g (7 oz.)
  • Battery: 3.7v 550 mAh
  • Charging time: 90+ min (1.5+ hrs.
  • Control range: 20 m (66 ft.)
  • Max flight time: 7 – 8 minutes (wheels removed)
  • Max speed: 5 m/s (11 mph)
Pros
  • Good beginner drone
  • Unusual wheel features
  • No FFA registation needed
Cons
  • Limited rang with bluetooth
  • Flight time low

Good BEGINNERS drone FAQ

What makes a good choice for beginner drone with camera?

When you've never had a drone before it can become overwhelming trying to find the right drone for you, As soon as you started to search you will find loads of options. The obvious one is which drone should you search for.

Drones these days can come with varying characteristics.  Possibly the most important characteristic for a beginner is how easy it it to use.  More expensive drones can be difficult to master and usually include an extensive training manual.  To avoid this it is recommended that you choose a model that promotes easy to use controls.  This will allow you to learn quickly and enjoy your drone from day one.

Build quality should also be a consideration for a beginner.  Whilst you are learning to master the controls you are likely to have a few crashes (which is completely normal!).  Less expensive models made from plastic are less likely to be forgiving when you crash, so I would recommend something more sturdy.  Prop guards are also highly recommended until you are more confident with the controls.

With these two things in mind, for your first drone, you should be able to select a model that will allow you to learn flying techniques but also gain aerial photography from the moment you make your purchase.

What is alt hold (Altitude hold) and is it needed?

Having Altitude hold is a great feature when taking photos.  This allows you to position the drone where you want for that perfect photo. Alt hold it normally a feature in higher spec drones as it normally uses GPS for its position. It's an excellent feature for a beginner to drones.  This way, you can concentrate more on taking photos/videos than than to keep the drone at the same height.

What to do when i loose orientation while flying?

When flying your drone its easy to loose orientation and not know which way the drone is facing.  This is even more so when in FPV mode (first person view) 

If your drone has headless mode, if enabled, when you pull the stick towards you the drone will then fly back towards you.  It doesn't matter which way the drone was facing which is a very handy  and useful feature to have. This feature is particularly useful when you lose sight of your drone.

If your drone has a return to home button then it's even easier to get your drone back into view as it will just return back towards you using GPS. Make sure the drone is fully set up so when you use this feature it then can get you out of trouble at the flick of a switch.

What is Collision Avoidance and is it needed?

Some more sophisticated drones have an on-board crash avoidance system.  With the aid of sensors the drone knows when it might come into contact with an object.

Its a great system that has now moved down from the more professional drones into more mainstream drones.  However, it does come at a price so not many cheaper drones will have it. So trying to find a good beginner drone with camera that also have collision avoidance that isn't many $$ is tough.

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