When talking about journalism, buying a drone that will help you out on the job is pretty easy. You just need to look at specific criteria, and if one particular model meets those criteria without breaking the bank, it is perfect.
Usually, you need to go for a model that has a good camera, although 4k isn’t necessary, and long battery life to stay in the air while the story unfolds. Additionally, it needs to be easy to deploy so you don’t miss out on anything, and it needs to be easy to control.
We’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best drones that a journalist could use, as we balanced out the pros and the cons, while also taking budget into consideration.
Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.
Holy Stone HS100 Navigator
If you want an intelligent drone that will help you out on your work duties, then the Holy Stone HS100 Navigator is a very good choice. It features an advanced GPS system that allows it better positioning, and it is also smart enough to return home when on low battery.
Additionally, it features a high-definition camera that captures everything around it, making it great when staking out a large area of land from a bird’s-eye view.
- Provides you with accurate positioning details of your drone
- Will automatically return to home precisely when its battery is low or the signal is weak
- Optimized 1080P 120° FOV FPV Wi-Fi Camera: 90° Adjustable angle
- The drone will automatically follow and captures you wherever you move.
- Up to 500m control distance
- Bigger body and powerful motors keep the drone hovering stably in wind.
- Perfect for beginners
- Flying time of only up to 15 minutes
DJI Phantom 4 PRO
The camera can shoot 4K videos at 60 FPS without any issues, and the long 30-minute battery life means it will be staying in the air for as long as news needs delivering.
- Camera with 1-inch 20MP sensor
- The onboard camera has been redesigned to use a 1-inch Megapixel CMOS sensor
- Five-directions of obstacle sensing
- Supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps, both with a 100Mbps bitrate
- Max flight time of up to 30 minutes
- You need to get additional warranty if you are prone to crashing drones
You can plan flight routes with the built-in map on the app, and the Potensic T25 drone will fly just as you want it to once Customize Flight Path function is activated.
- Comes with an aluminum silver carry case
- Features headless mode, altitude mode and one key to take-off/ land function
- 1080P HD camera with 120° FOV and 75° adjustable wide-angle
- Wi-Fi camera provides you faster but clearer image transmission.
- Equipped with dual gps+9-axis gyro space
- It will automatically return home when it is with low power or weak signal or lost
- Follow Me mode and dual GPS free your hands
- Has customized flight path function
- The battery lasts only 15 minutes
The DJI Spark is a drone that manages to mix a compact body with great stability and aerial performance. It features a 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera that allows you to take high-quality photos and make video recordings regardless of the angle the drone is at that very moment.
More so, it is very agile in the air and has quite an extensive autonomy, making it great for scouting large areas of land.
- Includes remote controller and standard spark accessory Kit (see details below)
- 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera 12MP Still Photos/ 1080P/30 Video gesture
- Has Tap Fly control
- Flight autonomy with obstacle detection subject tracking from various angles
- GPS- and vision position-based navigation
- Top speed of 31 mph in sport mode
- Up to 16 minutes flying time
- Up to 1.2-mile control range control, edit, share with DJI go app
- Has connectivity issues with some phone models
DJI Inspire 1
The best thing about this drone is that it is extremely easy to deploy at a moment’s notice, thanks to the latest aerial technology that is packed into one simple, ready-to-fly system, putting you in the sky within minutes.
- Capture 4K video and 12MP stills
- 3-Axis gimbal stabilizes camera
- Up to 1.2-mile radio range
- A GPS-based flight control system
- Vision Positioning for indoor flying
- Live 720p HD monitoring with Lightbridge
- Thrust-boosted motors
- Retractable carbon fiber arms
- Unobstructed 360° shooting
- Dual transmitter operation supported
- 20 focal length
- The battery casing is not as big as it seems
Closing thoughts on drones for journalists
If you’re on the prowl for the next big story or are reporting live from a disaster area, going in all by yourself can be dangerous. That is where a bit of technology can be extremely helpful, as it allows you to access areas few others can.
More so, the bird’s eye view gives you the chance to take pictures that will definitely attract an audience if done right.