Most UAV drivers use Gopro cameras and equip them with filters to correct the main defects of the camera (distortion especially).
Some models offer more advanced integration allowing the driver to control the camera directly from the remote control of the drone.
Despite a sector strongly dominated by Gopro for obvious reasons of weight in flight, and because of the versatility offered by this mini camera, we are witnessing today the appearance of new players on the market. The major drone brands on the market are also starting to provide high quality embedded cameras.
Find our selection of drones compatible with the Gopro camera!
Embedded CamerasMajor brands offer models of drones with integrated cameras.
The quality is similar to that of the Gopro cameras with the added advantage of not having a Fish Eye effect and sometimes being able to take advantage of a camera with stabilizer (3 axes) detachable on some models.
Where the users of Gopro will have to invest in a DJI Osmo type hand stabilizer, the hand stabilizer is included in the pack, for example at Yuneec The stabilizer will soon be available on new models
Be wary because most models will not allow you to remove the original camera to replace it with yours!
Drone with embedded cameraDevices equipped with built-in cameras tend to be less effective video level but the trend is gradually reversing ...
However, civilian drones manufacturers are still offering more and better technology for better remote and in-flight control over devices equipped with an integrated camera.
If you are really serious about video, the must of course is buying a professional drone!
Reflex or Digital Camera
For the picture, if your budget requires you to stay in the range of civilian drones, you should get very good results with a reflex camera see some digital cameras.
I personally tinker my nacelles on my phantom 3 (my drone of choice for the photo and video) and uses a reflex camera rotating around 35 mm. Make sure to find a 3 axes platform available for your model of case!
There is a whole bunch of gimbal on the market, the best known being the DJI Zenmuse!
The use of DSLR or SLR cameras offers much more control and options to improve and fine-tune your images and videos (possibility of adjusting ISO and opening for example).
All adjustments are of course possible via this option but you will need a higher budget and be careful to master your craft! A crash of your multirotor will also mean potential loss of your camera.
For small drone models, do not expect exceptional picture quality or you will be really disappointed!
What about small drone models ?
Many offer a very limited quality and tend to distort the colors. Not great when you want to film landscapes on vacation!
If video is your main consideration, then opt for a bigger model allowing you to fix the camera as you see fit.
There are many alternatives to the Gopro (the latest Gopro Hero 5), the market leader (if your portfolio does not allow you).
The keychain which appeared on the market a few years ago is on the rise and many models are available such as Dimika, Mobius, E-Flite and other Boscam.
They offer very correct resolutions between 720p and 1080p and are really miniature compared to the leaders of the market and therefore offer good alternatives to the Gopro. It's up to you to see here ...