In Depth

The best drones on sale in 2019 for both pros and beginners

From lightweight models to movie-grade quadcopters, there’s something here for every drone lover

DJI Mavic Air

One of the newest drones on the market comes from the Chinese gadget firm DJI. Its latest model, the Mavic Air [pictured top], is designed to be light enough to be easily carried, while still offering the kind of first-rate camera that DJI drones are renowned for. The Mavic Air can be flown for up to 21 minutes and can record video in 4K at 30fps. Plus, it can take 120fps slow-motion videos at 1080p and shoot HDR (high dynamic range) photos. You can also choose between three colours: red, white or black.

DJI Mavic Air, £749.99, Amazon

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Unlike the Mavic Air in this list, which has been designed for more causal drone users, DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro is for those who know a thing or two about flying quadcopters. 

What makes the Mavic 2 Pro such an impressive piece of kit is its awareness of the environment around it, according to Digital Trends. The drone has ten sensors that can detect obstacles in almost every direction, meaning you’re far less likely to have your videos ruined by clipping a wall or tree.  

Another impressive feature is DJI’s new ActiveTrack 2.0 software, which allows the drone to autonomously follow subjects “with more precision than ever before”, the tech site claims. For example, the drone won’t lose track of a car if it were to momentarily pass out of view. 

There are also a host of recording options at your disposal, including 4K at 30fps or 1080p at up to 120fps, says Trusted Reviews. While it’s not cheap, it’s aimed at those looking for a professional drone without spending tens of thousands on a movie-grade quadcopter. 

DJI Mavic 2 Pro, £1,339, Amazon

Parrot Bebop 2

Great picture quality and a lightweight body are essential for drone owners, but many of them have to pay into the thousands for a high-quality product. However, those looking to get into the market for the first time have a cheaper alternative, the Parrot Bebop 2. This particular model includes all the key features a drone lover could ask for, including an HD video recording and a 25-minute flying time, for a fraction of the cost.

Parrot Bebop 2, £249.99, Argos

DJI Phantom 4 Pro

You don’t really need to look much further than the DJI Phantom 4 Pro for a do-everything drone. One of the key features on the Phantom 4 Pro is its Follow Me mode, where the drone follows your movements and autonomously avoids obstacles. This is particularly helpful if you’re in a car and want the gadget to film you on the move. It also boasts a 4K camera that shoots at 60fps and can be flown for up to 30 minutes. The Phantom 4 Pro may take some getting used to for first-time flyers, but it has something for both amateur and professional users. 

DJI Phantom 4 Pro, £1,650, Amazon

Freefly Alta 8

Many of the drones on this list are perfect for shooting high-quality 4K video that can be used for professional content creators. But if you’re wanting a movie-grade UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), then the Freefly Alta 8 is the gadget for you. The Alta 8 features eight propellers, a landing gear and is capable of carrying a payload of up to 9.5kg. There’s also a camera mount on top of the device, while vibration isolation technology helps keep the payload as stable as possible. 

Freefly Alta 8, $17,495, Freeflysystems.com

Parrot Anafi 4K

The Anafi 4K is gadget maker Parrot’s answer to the popular DJI Mavic Air, which many consider to be the best all-round device on the market. 

What gives the Anafi an edge over its rival in terms of performance is the added capability to record 4K video with high dynamic range (HDR) lighting features, bolstering contrast ratios for a more life-like image. The DJI, meanwhile, can only capture still images in HDR, yet costs around £150 more. 

Parrot Anafi 4K, £619.99, Parrot

DJI Inspire 2

A professional filming drone doesn’t just need to have impeccable build quality, but must also be incredibly versatile. Those are two areas where the DJI Inspire 2 excel, prompting Tech Radar to call it “the finest flagship-level drone in existence today”.

Users get between 23 and 27 minutes of flight time from a single charge,  long enough to get the perfect shot while filming. The drone can record footage in 6K resolution and relay live footage back to the user in 1080p. A host of accessories are available as well, including different cameras and lenses. 

DJI Inspire 2, £3,059 to £21,099, DJI

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