Top 13 for 2021 : Best Mini Drone with Camera

by | Spy Gear

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Small drones with a camera have picked up a lot in terms of popularity in the past few years. At one point you had to spend hundreds of dollars on something from DJI, but now, there are a lot of brands and a lot of models that make some really great mini drones.

How small can a drone be and are they worth it, even if they’re cheap? And not all of them will do the job well, especially in the camera department. Therefore, we’re here to help and we’ve got a list of some of the best mini drones with camera options you can get on the market today. We’ll sort them from best to worst, and we’ll give you small reviews for each so you can see which one works best for you.

We’ll also include a buyers’ guide right after the list, so even if you aren’t sure which one to go for, we can clear that up for you as well.

 

Quick Summary: Best Mini Drones with  Camera

Our editors go through and research, test and qualify our recommended products. We receive commissions on purchases from certain links.

  • Best Overall: STS S167 4k Mini Drone 
    “Packs great features, GPS, 18 minutes flight, 500m remote distance, etc. – it’s deserving of the crown!”
  • Best Foldable: LF609 Fodable Optic Drone 
    Great foldable drone, cost-effective, long flight time, good handling, very stable
  • Best WiFi: GW89 1080P Wifi GPS Drone
    “The popular Wi-Fi option including headless mode, altitude hold and one button takeoff and landing
  • Best Features: DBPOWER X400W
    “Provides excellent quality videos, headless mode, one key return home and most importantly it does flips!”
  • Best Portable: DJI Spark
    “With great build quality, awesome camera and it’s portability this overall is an excellent pick”
  • Best Drone Camera: DROCON Ninja Drone
    “The drone camera can record in 720p resolution with a frame rate of 30fps.”
  • Best Beginner: DJI Mavic Mini
    “With 720p quality, headless mode, one key return – this is an excellent drone to start your adventure in the skies “
  • Best Budget: 4DRC Mini Drone
    “For it’s price, it sure doesn’t lack any options. You get 720p quality with 6-7 minute flight and up to 50m control range.”
  • Best Toy: Hubsan X4 H107D
    “As good as a drone toy gets! Lightweight with great durability, live video feed and up to 100m control distance!”
  • Also Good: WEMLB Spy Camera USB Phone Charger
  • Also Good: SIMREX X300C Mini Drone
  • Also Good: Holyton Mini Drone
  • Also Good: DEERC D20 Mini Drone 

The Top Mini Drones With Camera This Year (Our Top 3)

RankingModelResolutionFeatureFeaturePrice
#1S1674K ULTRA HDGPS enabledImage FollowCheck Price
#2LF6091080P HDFoldableOptical flow positioningCheck Price
#3GW891080P HDHeadless modeAltitude holdCheck Price

The Best 13 Mini Drones with Cameras (Reviews & Guide)

Best Overall – Great Pick!

Resolution: 4k Ultra HD
GPS Enabled
Frame rate:
20FPS
 

Experience the best at it’s value! Take a glance in 4k video from up above with the S167.

When it comes to getting a drone, not many people tend to believe that a budget-oriented drone that isn’t made by a big name brand can be worth it. Well, this is a drone that begs to disagree, as it comes at a very reasonable price, yet manages to give you excellent performance and great footage.

To begin with, the drone is made of a combination of both metal and plastic, so it’s pretty durable. It charges in around two and a half hours, and you get around 18 minutes of flight time. The distance is 500m, which is pretty impressive considering the price. The remote control is easy to get used to, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. You’ll be flying this drone like a pro before you know it.

And whoever said that a budget oriented drone can’t record great video, they were terribly wrong. The S167 comes with a 4K camera that records at 20 frames per second, which is excellent considering the price. You also get the ability to quickly share the photos and videos, and to make it more impressive, there’s a hand gesture shooting.

You will also have a one-button return which uses the GPS module to get back to where you took flight from, which is another thing you don’t see very often in budget drones. While it may be lacking things such a s a gimbal, at this price, it’s still a great choice.

Best Budget Pick!

Resolution: 1080p Full HD
App controled
Wi-Fi enabled 

One mini drone that comes at a very reasonable price, the LF609 is the best budget variant you can go with.

If you’re looking to get a drone but you’re very, very limited with your budget, you might think that you don’t have a lot of options. You might think that you’re limited to only a few drones, and that none of them will really do a good job. Well, the LF609 is an excellent choice for exactly that scenario, and it comes with a couple of pretty great features.

First of all, the build quality is great. With a combination of metal and plastic, you not only get a drone that’s pretty durable, but one that’s also lightweight enough to allow for a decently long flight time. With a full battery, which you can get to in one and a half hour, you will get up to 30 minutes of flight. Flying it is easy, with a one-button take off, and LED lights to help you find it easily in the sky.

You also get a pretty good camera that can record at either 1080p, or even 4K. What’s nice here is that you get the ability to share HD video within a pretty wide range, something you don’t really get with a lot of budget drones.

Add to this the one-button return, follow me mode, altitude hold, and 360 rotation mode, and you see that this little foldable drone can be a lot of fun, without having you spend hundreds of dollars. It’s controlled with an app, and  you can carry it around pretty much anywhere – it’s really excellent.

Best Features for a Drone

Resolution: 1080p Full HD
WIFI transmission distance: about 80m
Gps enabled

An excellent option, the GW89 covers all the basics of a good drone, and comes with a decent camera.

Ask around anyone who has experience with quality drones, and chances are they’ll tell you that you need to spend a lot of money to get something that’s usable as a drone, especially if you’re after a drone with a camera. Well, they’re wrong, and the GW89 is here to prove them that they’re wrong.

What is the GW89? It’s a small, compact drone that you can carry around everywhere. It comes with a controller, but the G-sensor and headless mode also let you steer the drone by tilting the phone while you’re flying – a nice little feature you don’t see too often.

Aside from this, the drone is built out of plastic, which allows it to be lightweight, but it does somewhat compromise on durability. You’ll need to be careful with it. With two hours of charging time, the 1200mAh battery will give you about 13 minutes of flight time.

The camera is another selling point here. You get 1080p re cording, but the FPV transmission system lets you see footage in real life, something that’s very beneficial if you’re going to be recording any kind of video with the drone.

You do get a lot of additional functionality here. 360 flips, altitude hold, gestures to take photos and videos, one-key take off and landing, emergency stop, the GW89 does cover everything. If you’re looking at a good compact drone that won’t make a significant dent in your wallet, this should be where your money goes.

DBPOWER MJX X400W FPV Drone with Wifi Camera Live Video Headless Mode 2.4GHz 4 Chanel 6 Axis Gyro RTF RC Quadcopter, Compatible with 3D VR Headset

Resolution: 720p
Real-time FPV
6 Axis
 

The DBPOWER X400W is one of the best budget drones that cover all the basics, such as beginner-friendly modes, HD video and FPV.

DBPOWER is another one of those brands that don’t advertise heavily, but have some great products once you take a closer look at them. Their X400W is a great example of a budget-oriented drone that covers all the basics, and then some, and still costs a fraction of what high-end drone manufacturers ask for their models.

The first thing to know is that you have Headless mode, which will make everything a lot easier, especially if you’re a beginner. You also have a 6-axis gyro, which allows the drone to be very stable, and perform rolls and flips very easily. The remote is also pretty simple, and has a phone holder which will come in handy, you’ll see why in a minute.

The camera itself is decent – you can record HD video, and you can get real-time FPV video, so you can easily see what you’re recording. This is where that smartphone holder comes in handy. Unfortunately, there is no gimbal, so you’ll have to keep the drone steady yourself.

What’s new, and pretty impressive for a budget drone, is that DBPOWER provide all of the ASIN numbers for spare parts, from the motors, to the blades and batteries. If you’re looking to replace any of them, finding them should be really easy. 

Resolution:  1920×1080 Full HD
Battery: 2970 mAh
Flight time: 16 minutes

Anyone who’s ever looked at drones has heard of DJI. The brand was among the first on the market, and they have a host of excellent options today – from small, budget drones, to high-end, movie industry-worthy models. 

They also have the best mini drone with camera on our list – the DJI Spark. The Spark isn’t the smallest, or the cheapest drone on our list. However, it manages to offer a great combination of performance and price. 

To begin with, you have things such as Quick Launch and Simple Control, that make it a breeze for people who haven’t operated a drone before. You also have TapFly which lets you capture your shot easily, as well as ActiveTrack, that tracks you as you move.

To begin with, you have things such as Quick Launch and Simple Control, that make it a breeze for people who haven’t operated a drone before. You also have TapFly which lets you capture your shot easily, as well as ActiveTrack, that tracks you as you move.

The camera is an f/2.6 wide angle lens, with a focal length equivalent of 25mm. The 1/2.3” sensor lets you shoot either 1080p video, or capture 12MP stills. While we’re at the video, it’s worth mentioning that you have a two-axis gimbal and DJI’s UltraSmooth technology. When combined, both will let you capture incredibly smooth video, with no shaking and roling shutter effect.

Add to this the remote, that lets you transmit real-time video at up to 2km away, as well as the 16 minute flight time, and you’ve got an excellent drone. Oh, and you can also get a pair of DJI Goggles, for an even more immersive experience.

Resolution:  1280x1080p
Field of View: 120 degrees
Battery: 7.4V 450mAh Li-Po battery (drone), 4×1.5V AAA batteries (controller)
Playing Time: Around 7 to 8 min
Foldable body

The drone camera can record in 720p resolution with a frame rate of 30fps. With its 120-degree wide-angle lens, you can have a broad view of your surroundings. This drone includes an advanced barometer and a 7.4v motor. 

This drone has a foldable design. It comes with flexible blades, making it one of the smallest and portable drones. There is a headless mode function, single-key take-off or landing, and altitude hold functions for simple operation. 

You can operate the drone via the app but before that, connect it to your phone’s Wi-Fi network. It delivers a real-time transmission range of 50 meters for easy sharing. 

With three different speed modes, this drone can also perform 3D Flip. The drone runs on a 450 mAh Li-Po battery, and the Controller needs 4×1.5V AAA batteries. With about 60 minutes of charging time, it can fly for around 7 to 8 minutes. The operating range is 80 to 100 meters. 

Resolution:  712MP aerial photos and 2.7K HD videos
Battery: 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)
Flight time:  30 min

This compact & portable DJI Mavic Mini is so lightweight that it’s like just carrying your smartphone right into your hands or pocket. It only weighs less than 250 grams included here are the battery, propeller, and the micro SD Card.

When you say easy, this means easy to use and that is what this device promises to every end-user. The app for this device provides a very simple and the most intuitive user experience that you surely enjoy whenever you want to fly it anytime you wanted.

The accessories are also great! It has a snap adapter that enables you to accessorize your device to your liking, a DJI Care Refresh a warranty program giving you at least two replacements with a very minimal cost within a year in case your device is damaged due to collision, water splash, or other reasons. There is also a Creative Kit that will feed your creative side. This way you can fully express yourself by personalizing your Mavic Mini.

Resolution: HD 720p
Field of View: 360°
Flight Time:  9-10 minutes
Control Range: 60-80 meters

It has a built-in 720P HD-definition that allows taking high-resolution images and videos. Its flight time is at 30 minutes and has a headless mode that can let you fly without worrying about the direction of your flight.

The control range is 60 to 80 meters. The remote control is powered by a 2 x 1.5V AAA battery, but it is not included here. When the drone runs out of power, its light will blink continuously and after a minute it will automatically land on low electricity.

Package includes one unit of 4DRC V2 drone, one controller but the two AAA batteries are not included, three 3.7V/700 mAh battery, 8 propellers, 4 Propeller protection frames, one USB cable, one screwdriver for the propeller, and a user manual.

Control distance: 50 – 100meters
Battery: 380mAh li-po
Flight time: around 7 minutes

While we’re talking about the best mini drone with camera on a budget, we should mention Hubsan. They’ve got somewhat of a reputation when it comes to the budget market, and their X4 quadcopter is one of their bestsellers. It costs a touch more than the Syma X5C that we’ll talk about in a minute, but it offers a lot more functionality.

To begin with, there’s a 6-axis gyro stabilization which keeps things steady when you’re recording. The lightweight frame is excellent, and the drone itself is pretty durable. Unfortunately, you won’t find any advanced features such as headless mode or one-key return, so you’ll need to keep track of your drone at all times.

The camera is somewhat decent. It records at 480p, which is lower than other options on our list, but you have first person video so you can clearly see what you’re recording. This is something other budget manufacturers exclude, so it’s nice to see it here. At this price, you shouldn’t expect a gimbal, and there isn’t one.

The control distance and battery life are decent, with around 50 to 100 meters of distance, and a maximum 100 meters of live video distance. The battery life is 7 minutes, but it charges pretty fast. Also, the six-axis gyro lets you do flips and rolls really easily, which only adds to the fun.

Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Field of View: 140 degrees
Storage: Up to 128GB micro SD card 
Motion Detection 

Here comes another USB spy camera that can record the view in 1080p high-resolution to give clear videos. 

Another great feature is that this model allows you to reduce the video quality to enhance your storage space. It is available at an affordable price, weighs less, and includes a free app. This spy camera has a discreet design so no one would get suspicious. The camera comes with an ultra-wide 140 degrees viewing angle that gives an optimal range and improved visibility. Due to its wide field of view, there would not be any dark spots.

This USB charger surveillance system uses advanced motion detection technology. When the camera detects any activity, it will automatically deliver real-time alerts through email or the app (smartphone). Also, you can modify the sensitivity of the motion detection sensor as per your preferences. This USB spy cam adheres to USA surveillance laws, and because of that, it can not record any audio.

This spy USB camera simply requires an electrical outlet to record the video. It can connect to your Wi-Fi and allows you to watch live videos anywhere at any time through your smartphone. If there is no Wi-Fi connection, the camera can save the recordings on the micro SD card. Also, this USB cam is compatible with up to 128GB storage cards. You can install the free app on your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. Due to its durable Wi-Fi connectivity and easy plug & play design, it is easy to use the spy cam! 

Resolution: 720P HD
Remote Control Distance: 30-40 Meters
Flight time: 8-10 minutes

SIMREX X300C Mini Drone has a foldable Altitude that holds a headless RTF 360 degree field of view. Its vide resolution gives you a 720P HD Camera with 2.4Ghz WiFi. The remote control is one of the most super easy flies good for training purposes.

It has 360 degrees flips and rolls that are perfect for continuous capture and performance. The headless security allows you to not lose direction while this mini device fly.

Equipped with the latest 6-axis gyro flight control systems to provide anyone with a better and safer experience as you navigate it to the direction you wanted.

Flight time is at 8-10 minutes with a 30-45 meters range. You will be using a special cable intended for this device for you to recharge it. Its charging time is approximately 60 minutes.

Flight time: 15 to 21 minutes
Speed modes: 3
Gesture Control

Here, we have another simple mini drone. The best feature about this drone is that the propellers are covered by the protection guards. Besides that, you can buy this device at an affordable price. With a total weight of 33g (1.2oz), this portable device is one of the ultralight drones.
You can operate this drone using hands or through a remote controller. It features five different sensors, such as front, back, left, right, and bottom. The drone can perform 3D stunt flips, either forward, backward, leftward, and rightward. The three modular batteries will give a total flight time of up to 15 to 21 minutes. Moreover, these batteries are safe, and you can replace and charge them easily.

Press the one-key take-off button, and the drone will start flying and drifts around at a certain height. Besides that, it comes with three-speed modes, making it ideal for different types of pilots. The mini drone includes a few impressive features such as auto-rotating, circle fly, and 3D flip by gesture control.

Auto hovering is an altitude holding technology that allows the drone to become stable and suspend in mid-air automatically. When the drone can not detect the direction, it will enter headless mode to continue the flight. This feature is useful for beginners because it will give them directional control within a few minutes. The package comes with a drone, remote controller, three drone batteries, and other spare parts.

Resolution: 720p HD
Battery: Lithium Polymer batteries
Flight time: 20 minutes

The drone comes with a 720P HD Wi-Fi camera which can capture better aerial photos and videos. It is perfect for kids and beginners due to its simple mechanism.

With FPV transmission, it is possible to watch the live view via the smartphone app. It can transmit the recordings up to a distance of 131 Feet (40m). Besides that, this drone records better quality videos. The Altitude Hold function helps to keep the drone at a particular height, making it easy to monitor and record high-quality footage. 

It runs on two rechargeable Lithium Polymer batteries, and each battery offers 10 minutes of flying time. So, the total flying duration of this drone is 20 minutes. The real charging time of this drone is around 80 minutes. Press the One Key Start or Landing button to make the drone fly. 

The drone includes a low power alarm, emergency stop function, and 4 propeller guards to assure a safe and stable flight. Push the controller stick inwards to do an impressive 3D flip. It also had the Waypoints Fly feature. So, draw an aerial path on your phone, and the drone will fly through the flight course.  

You can control the drone using voice commands such as “ Take off” and “ landing.” If you pose a V sign or palm in front of the drone camera, it will automatically capture your photos or video.  

 Purchasing Guide

Even though we did do our best to keep the list short, it still stands that not each drone is perfect for everyone. Some may want a bit more battery life, some may want a better camera, so let’s take a look at the key features and see which ones are worth investing into.

Things to look for checklist:

  1. Battery
  2. Brushless Motors
  3. Camera
  4. Gimbal
  5. Headless mode
  6. GPS & follow mode
  7. Range

The battery life

Battery life is a critical aspect of a drone. Eventually, it’ll run out of juice, and you’ll want it to last as much as possible. However, even with some of the best high end models, you won’t be able to get more than 30 minutes. A long battery life can be important, but there’s also the option of getting a drone you can get extra batteries for, and carrying a spare or two when you fly it.

Brushless motors

Next, we have brushless motors. This is something you’ll see in a lot of drones, and they’re a lot better than brushed ones. To begin with, they have a much quieter operation, which can be important when you’re using your drone to record video. Also, they last significantly longer than brushed ones, so if you decide to keep the drone but replace the motors, these will need that much less often. Note, however, that they’re a bit pricier, but the difference is well worth it.

Camera

The camera is also pretty high up on the priorities list, especially since this is where many manufacturers decide to cut corners. If you’re looking at getting the best mini drone with camera, you’ll want one that can record in either HD, or even better, full HD. Note the photo and video resolution, and see if it has any special features as well.

Gimbal

While we’re talking about the camera, we should also mention the gimbal. Since you don’t want the camera to be stuck to your drone and change frames as you move the drone, a gimbal is what will keep it steady while moving. A gimbal is a significant upgrade from a drone that doesn’t have one, especially in terms of price, but it’s another one of those things that’s well worth it if you want usable video.

Headless Mode

If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to look into “headless mode”. Headless mode means that pressing the controller stick in a certain direction, the drone moves in that direction relative to you. Without it, it moves relative to where the joystick is pointing. This helps a lot when you’re starting out, and makes the learning curve a lot easier.

GPS and follow modes

The GPS and follow modes are also important, but this is usually something that’s reserved for higher end models. A GPS-enabled drone knows where it is in the world, and can easily find its way back home. This also improves the general stability, and lets it do things such as hover in one place. If it has GPS, it may also have a follow-me mode. This lets the drone track you as you move, whether it’s on the ground or the ocean. You can focus on your activity of choice, whether it’s surfing or mountain biking, and let your drone do its job.

Range

In the event that you were buying a gadget, you’d want it to last. These devices are fairly tiny and not constructed for demanding scenarios. But, it’s still possible to find some which are stronger than others are. The additional protective casing can help protect it from the components. Otherwise, you need to take additional care when they’re in use.

Can you Mount it?

Last, but certainly not least, we have the range. The range determines how far the drone can be from you before you lose control. A higher end drone will usually come with a bigger range, whereas cheaper models tend to compromise a bit here. Whatever the range, though, make sure you keep the drone in sight at all times.

Wrapping things up

At the end of the day, choosing the best mini drone with camera for you and your needs is a matter of personal preference. You need to choose what features you value most, and which ones you’re willing to pay a bit more for, and then choose from our list. You can’t go wrong with any of the drones above, but some will definitely do the job better than others.  

DJI Spark, Portable Mini Drone, Alpine White

1. DJI Spark

Our Pick

A very powerful and high-quality drone made by a reputable brand, the DJI Spark is the go-to mini drone with camera.

 

 

About Gadgets Spy

Hi, I’m Michael, a security and surveillance expert. I co-founded and write for GadetsSpy and help teach people about new tech and Gadgets.

STS S167 4k Mini Drone