When you are exploring the great outdoors, you’re probably always looking for opportunities to capture some epic shots to make stunning memories of when you were defying nature. Whether you are out camping, fishing, skiing, or even ziplining, a good waterproof and weatherproof GoPro goes a long way to withstand the ever-changing environmental conditions and get you the footage you want.
However, most importantly, you need your GoPro to always be stable and conveniently positioned, so you can get beautiful and clear shots of the landscape surrounding you. Sure, you can attach the camera to your gear, be it your helmet or the front of your bike, but nothing beats a spectacular birds-eye view, for which a drone is an excellent tool.
A GoPro attached to your drone gives you the advantage of capturing a wider perimeter, thus carrying all the valuable memories with you. The photo and video quality that this camera can capture is excellent and will let you capture an incredible amount of details. Listed below are the 10 best GoPro drones in 2021 – each outlining their unique features and why they will work great for you outdoors.
How To Choose A Drone For GoPro – Buying Guide
When looking for the best drone for GoPro to invest in, compatibility is an obvious feature to look for. The best GoPro drones will feature at least two mounts designed to fit both the brand’s action cameras and GoPro cameras.
These types of drones are built specifically for aerial photography and videography. Other drones will be built with GoPro compatibility only, meaning that they are designed with mounts only compatible with GoPro cameras. However, you should note that not all drones will support all GoPro cameras.
The majority will support Hero 4 and 5 whilst others will support Hero 3 and 3+. Thus, depending on your GoPro model or the model of GoPro you want to invest in, make sure you examine the drone’s features to know which GoPro they are compatible with.
Also, remember that some of the best drones feature full GoPro compatibility, allowing you to mount any GoPro model. The payload is another important sub-feature to consider because this will determine whether your drone can support the load of the camera installed on it. The majority of mini-drones do not have the payload capability to support GoPro cameras, so you will have to look for a larger option.
The best GoPro drones will deliver a flight time of at least 15 to 20 minutes. Unfortunately, due to all the mechanical and electrical components that need to be operated, GoPro drones require significant battery power to get them to operate and keep them in the air.
This means that your GoPro camera will be left with ample battery energy even after 20 full minutes of operation, even if the drone is already empty. The power needed to ascend, operate propellers and bear the weight of the camera rapidly takes a toll on the drone’s battery. Thus, to get the best drone for GoPro to complement our camera, look for added value such as drones that come with extra batteries.
This relatively extends your battery life. Thus, with two fully charged batteries, you have 40 minutes of operation for a 20 minute flying time drone. But don’t expect to be shooting skiing footage all day long!
Size is also an important feature especially for the outdoors. If you want to use your drone for more mobile activities that keep you moving such as hiking, backpacking, or biking, you may want to invest in a smaller-sized one. You don’t want to be moving around whilst hauling a heavy load on your back. However, if you are in a more stable setting, such as RV camping, size may not be an issue for you.
Larger drones are more likely to boast more versatile and functional features compared to smaller ones. Thus for professional and outdoor photographers, larger options tend to be more favored. Additionally, some of the best GoPro drones are designed with more convenient features such as foldability and detachable parts. This means that when you want to use them, you will need to take a couple of minutes to set up and start flying them. The space-saving gains you can make, though, more than compensate for the little extra time you need to spend putting the drone together.
An attractive design makes everything appealing and magnetic even without thinking of the specifications. However, it is important to examine both before investing in the drone you want. The best drone for GoPro will feature a design that correlates with its function and does not hinder it.
Drones with brushless motor systems and propellers that have a wide distance from each other typically exhibit a larger size, which can be quite appealing to many. However, this design feature is also functional – allowing the propellers to work efficiently and reducing friction on the motors.
Thus, when you come across a drone that you are interested in because of its appealing design; take the time to go through its features to understand the scope of its functionality. Going through the drone for GoPro reviews also helps you further understand how it works. You never know, you may even come across some tips (from customers who own it) on advantageous features you otherwise did not find from the product’s listing description and features.
Like the size, the weight of drones for GoPro varies greatly between models. On the one side, you don’t want a drone that is so light that it cannot manage to support your GoPro. ON the other hand, for activities that involve a lot of walking or having you on your feet whilst carrying your load, a lighter drone is ideal.
For other activities such as camping or an afternoon at the beach, weight may not be an issue, unless you are in remote areas that you might not be able to access with a vehicle. Typically, the best drone for GoPro will weigh anywhere between 3 and 4lbs, but then again, if you can manage it, weight shouldn’t be an issue as long as the drone boasts the features you are looking for.
Ease Of Set-Up
Drones require a lot of set up and putting together components or programming may be complicated for many of us – especially the non-tech savvy or first-time pilots. Thus, it is wise to purchase drones that require minimal process or none at all to set up. The majority of the drones for GoPro are quite simple to set up even for beginners. Plus, they come with clear manuals that guide first-timers on how to set up their units.
When choosing a drone, read through their features and descriptions because some do clearly state the level of expertise to which they are intended for. Some will state that they are designed for use with beginners/amateurs and experienced aerial photographers whilst some will indicate that they are designed for seasoned flyers. So you don’t want to find yourself with an expert drone that you cannot assemble or operate.
A gimbal on your drone supports and allows your camera to stay in a horizontal motion despite the movement of its surroundings. Thus, a drone that comes equipped with a gimbal helps your camera to produce higher quality and stable footage and photos.
The best drone for GoPro will come equipped with an electronic brushless gimbal. A brushless gimbal works as an electrical stabilizer that uses motors to securely hold the camera level to the horizon and stabilize the axes of the camera’s movement.
Some drones don’t come with gimbals but come with a mount that allows you to attach a separately purchased one. If you are looking to make clearer and professional-looking photos and videos with no vibrations it’s a good idea to go for a drone that comes fitted with a gimbal or purchase one that is compatible with one.
Flight Time And Range
The flight time and range of your drone are the most important indicators of how your drone operates. Flight time denotes how long your drone will be able to fly per charge before requiring it to be recharged. Range denotes the altitude to which the drone can ascend to. Typically, the best drone for GoPro will have a high flight time of up to 20 minutes on conservative usage and up to 17 minutes on high speed.
This means that in general, after at least 5 – 6 hours of charging, the latter is how long your drone will be able to fly. The flight time entirely depends on the drone’s battery capacity. If your drone’s flight time is longer, this means that you have a greater control distance. You can easily extend the flight time of your drone by investing in one that comes with a bonus battery unit.
This means that when you are out in the outdoors with two fully charged batteries of the drone, you have 20 minutes, for example, on each battery which ultimately means you have a total of 40 minutes of flight time. A good drone will also have a range of at least 500 to 700m. This gives your drone more power and the ability to cover a wider area thus, allowing you to capture more scenic views, but be careful not to exceed the range or you risk losing communication with the drone and losing it.
Q: Are Drones Legal To Use?
According to U.S. aviation laws, drones are legal however, you have to be aware of and correctly follow FAA regulations on owning and operating one. Under the FAA regulations, if you are flying a drone purely for hobby and recreational purposes below an altitude of 120 m in the outdoors or indoors, you don't need to register your drone or have a remote pilot's license.
However, if your operation doesn't meet any of the above guidelines (i.e. no for recreational purposes or flying above 120 m), it is wise to consult and go through the FAA regulations before heading out to the outdoors with your drones. It is safe to say that you need you to need to at least register your drone and acquire a pilot's license from 120m + above ground level – because this is where legal airspace begins.
Furthermore, it is advised against flying a drone (even with a permit) in densely populated areas, hazardous areas, or nearby airports that have high flight traffic. In some incidents, you may be required to notify the FAA of your intention to fly over some areas for safety purposes similar to how airline pilots notify the control tower (before, after, and during flights).
Q: What Other Camera Besides GoPro I Can Use With A Drone?
There are several other cameras you can use with your drone other than a GoPro. However, you must know your drone's compatibility specifications before investing in a camera you plan to mount on it.
Some of the best drones for GoPro come fitted with their cameras, for example, the AEE technology which comes with its AEE Technology series camera. Others come without a camera but their features and description clearly describe their brand’s camera models which they are compatible with.
Q: Are Drones For GoPro Safe?
Drones are safe if operated the right way and if all the manufacturers and FAA guidelines and regulations are followed. Like any other mechanized device, a collision or accident with a drone can be fatal. Furthermore, special care and attention should be taken when storing and operating a drone – keep your drone away from individuals under the age of 18 years old.
Globo Surf Overview
The drone for GoPro reviews outlines how they offer a greater solution to capturing those memorable moments. Delivering great quality videos and photos, they are the perfect tool for creating long-lasting memories. Unlike other equipment used to mount your camera to capture your action-packed moments – drones for GoPro are specifically built for this, thus, they can cover more ground and enhance the quality of your videos and photos.
The buying guide on the other end provides a resourceful guideline on what to look for when choosing the best GoPro drone to invest in and use. The list of the 10 best above also delivers that rigorous array of options to choose from – and you are guaranteed to find your match.