Ted’s Top 5 Travel Drones
Heading off on an adventure? Whether you’re going to the coast, country or city, a drone is the ultimate travel partner. The latest drones can capture professional images and cinematic video, and they won’t weigh you down. And if you’re flying to your destination, don’t worry. Most airlines will let you store a drone in your carry-on, as long as you remove the batteries.
To help you to narrow down your packing list, these are the 5 best travel drones in 2019:
1. DJI Spark
Sensor size: 1/2.3”
Video resolution: 1080
Flying time: 16 minutes
Maximum speed: 50kph
In the drone world, the DJI Spark is known as the king of pocket drones – and it definitely lives up to its name. The compact drone can take off within seconds of powering on thanks to facial recognition technology, and fly for 16 minutes. It can reach a speed of 50kph, an amazing feat for a small drone.
The drone is fitted out with a high-resolution camera, and offers full 1080 HD video and 2km transmission to your smartphone – which is handy when you can’t wait to share content from your adventures! It also has a built-in panoramic mode to help you to capture stunning landscape photos (and reduces your time in the editing chair).
When you’re travelling, you want to focus on photographing the scenes in front of you, not fiddling with controls. The DJI Spark is easy to use. Instead of using a remote, you can control the drone from your smartphone, and with the help of hand gestures. For example, if you wave your hands to the right, the drone will fly in that direction.
As a pocket drone, it fits into the palm of your hand, making it the perfect choice for travel.
2. DJI Mavic Air
Sensor size: 1/2.3”
Video resolution: 4K
Flying time: 21 minutes
Maximum speed: 68.4kph
If you regularly play pilot, you might want to invest in a video drone. The DJI Mavic Air is one of the best drones on the market because of its powerful technology. With the help of its 24mm fixed lens and f2.8 aperture, it can capture crisp, 4K videos and 12MP stills. The video and photo quality is excellent, and the drone supports more advanced skills, such as hyper-lapse videos and sphere panoramas.
The drone has a top flight speed of 68.4kph and a flight time of 21 minutes – which gets every traveller’s tick of approval. It’s the smallest DJI drone to feature a 3-axis gimbal. This not only leaves you with smooth, blur-free footage, but it also allows you to experiment with new angles and perspective – without the risk of camera shake.
The Mavic Air is easy to control from your smartphone, and DJI’s FlightAutonomy feature ensures your drone says out of harm’s way while it’s soaring across the sky.
Though it’s powerful, the drone has a compact design. Even the remote is foldable, so you’ll be able to store it safely in your camera bag.
3. DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Sensor size: 1”
Video resolution: 4K
Flying time: 31 minutes
Maximum speed: 72kph
For the most professional travel photography and videography, look no further than the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
First and foremost, the image quality is remarkable. It’s all thanks to the 1” CMOS sensor and 20MP Hasselblad camera, which work together to produce stunning detail. The drone also boasts an adjustable aperture range from f2.8 to f11 – and this feature will make a huge difference to your landscape photos. When you want to switch to video, you can rely on the 3-axis gimbal and 4K resolution to leave you with crisp, clear footage. The Mavic 2 Pro can also transmit 1080HD video at up to 8km.
Another perk for travellers is the flight time. Fully charged, the drone will fly for 31 minutes and reach a top speed of 72kph. Given that most video drones last 15 to 20 minutes in the air, this sets the Mavic 2 Pro apart from its competitors.
The Mavic 2 Pro features Active Track 2.0 to help you to monitor the subjects you want to capture, and omnidirectional technology to steer it away from obstacles, such as trees. Finally, the foldable drone design is more suited to travel than previous models. DJI, you did it again!
4. DJI Tello
Sensor size: ⅕ “
Video resolution: 720
Flying time: 13 minutes
Maximum speed: 28kph
Just starting to dabble in drone flying? The DJI Tello is among the best beginner drones, and a perfect companion for travels. Designed with new pilots in mind, the Tello is lightweight, durable and easy to use. It takes off automatically and lands on command, and you can control it via the Tello app on your smartphone. It’s a great way to learn the basics of flying while worrying less about theft and damage.
While it’s tiny, the Tello holds its own in the air. It can capture 5mp photos and 720mp videos, and reach a maximum speed of 28kph. With these specs, you can try techniques like the 360, circle, and ‘up and away’ and end up with awesome footage.
The drone has a 13-minute flight time, and an alert will pop up on your phone when the drone is running out of juice. If you don’t make it to the ground on time, never fear – the Tello is fitted out with failsafe protection, so it’ll land safely even if you lose the connection. Depending on where you’re travelling and how long you’ll be exploring, it might be a good idea to pack a spare battery.
5. Kaiser Baas Alpha Pro Drone
Video resolution: 720
Flying time: 7 minutes
Flying range: 60m
Maximum speed: 7m/s
Fast charge battery: 90min
The Kaiser Baas Alpha Pro Drone is another toy drone you’ll have a blast flying – and have no problem fitting into your carry-on luggage! For a small drone, it has some impressive stats. It has a 60-metre range, and offers 7 minutes of flying fun, which is just enough time for you to play around with a few perspectives and snap ‘the’ shot.
The built-in 6-axis gyroscope steadies the drone and leaves you with smooth, blur-free footage. As one of the best budget drones, the Kaiser Baas Alpha Pro boasts a 720HD camera with adjustable angles.
Ask any drone enthusiast, and they’ll tell you: the hardest part of flying is taking off and landing. The drone does this automatically. Plus, it’s fitted out with a 1-key return, which means you’ll never lose track of it in the air. It’s remote-controlled and with the preset commands, you can easily try your hand at acrobatic tricks, like the 360 flip.
Our top tips for travel drone photography
Chase the golden hours - The soft light just before sunrise and sunset often leads to beautiful landscape shots.
Experiment with flying closer to the ground - You might capture detail and depth you may not have hundreds of metres in the air.
Snap panoramic shots - If your drone doesn’t have panoramic mode, take several photos while panning the camera, and then stitch them together during the editing phase.
Search for symmetry - For beautiful birds-eye photos, look for interesting patterns and lines.
Find the best drone to take on your travels
Before you jet off, visit the team at Ted’s Cameras for expert advice about the best travel drones. Many of us spend our spare time flying, and we’re always happy to share our tips!
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