Unmanned aircraft vehicles, or, drones, have been around for some time, and were originally designed to be used in the military to strengthen certain arears of their operations, such as target practice on anti-aircraft, they were a source for gathering information, and the most controversial was the use as a weapons platform. Over time, drones began filling roles in civilian life. Drones began being used to help monitor weather, traffic, used in search and rescue missions, firefighting efforts, and soon began emerging into the world of entertainment, agriculture, delivery services, photography and videography, and even businesses, like delivery services for one. They are a very useful tool for many aspects of life. They make work a lot more efficient for energy companies who use them to survey power lines and operational equipment, and can monitor crops for agricultural companies, making it easier to see things that would otherwise be difficult for humans to get to. Despite all their technological benefits, they still spark a lot of controversy due to safety issues related to aircraft, and the ability to infringe on people’s privacy, such as in cases of paparazzi obtaining video and photos of celebs without knowledge. Drones are pricey high-tech items. They can run into the multi-thousands of dollars to purchase, it all depends on what you want and need your drone to do, and how much you are willing to spend on such an item. If you’re curious to know how expensive drones can get, keep reading, because here are the ten most expensive drones you can actually buy.
10. LanLan DJI S1000 – $1,500
When you want to get your drone up and flying quick to capture a shot, or get the video going, you want a drone that has the capability of getting the equipment loaded quick. The LanLan DJI S100 has a design for just that. Just lift the red clips that lock the arms into place, then, simply power-up the system and you are off. You can get this drone up and flying in record time – just minutes, really. It’s lightweight, only weighing 4kg, which surprises most people who are drone-savvy, especially because the components of this drone might make you think otherwise. Not only that, but the takeoff weight is 11kg, which also lets you know how tough this drone is. The way this drone was designed, creates an even distribution of weight so that it is stabile in flight for better, smoother flying and better quality of photos and videos. Both drone hobbyists and professionals, alike, will enjoy flying this drone, and although it is one of the most expensive you can buy, it’s affordable too, running about $1,500.
9. DJI Mavic Pro – $1,900
For capturing aerial views easily and smoothly, the Ultra HD DJI Mavic Pro uses 2 ultrasonic range finders along with vision sensors to eagerly detect obstacles, then avoid them to give the drone an obstruction-free flight. It is designed with 5 cameras, but one of the best features of the drone is that it’s compact and foldable, which makes it easy and convenient to use and store. This drone also gives the operator a 7km transmission range, which is largely in-part due to the FCC-compliant remote. You won’t miss a shot, not with this drone, as its abilities and stability only allow the sharp focus filming and is still in the affordable range for many, at $1,900.
8. DJI Inspire 1 PRO – $3,400
One of the smallest and easiest aerial filmmaking platforms for a drone, is one the DJI Inspire 1 Pro. No matter what you are trying to capture, professional pictures, or Hollywood film footage, your work is always what you want and expect when you use the DJI Inspire. The cameras used on this drone are some of the smallest; the Zenmse X5 and X5R, and are made specifically for taking aerial imagery. They can both capture pics at 16 megapixels in Adobe DNG RAW. Not only are they among the smallest, but they come with a choice of lenses to use, plus you will have full wireless control over your aperture, your focus and much more. To get some of the most innovative technology in a drone, you will have to pay $3,400 to get this uniquely designed drone, but you get so much.
7. Yuneec Tornado H900 – $3,500
You get about 24 minutes of flight time with the professional multirotor Yuneec Tornado drone. The unique platform for photography and videography gives you top-of-the-line film and photos, thanks to the long, dedicated development process that spans nearly two decades. The results of the years spent perfecting this drone, you get ease of operation and reliability with the Tornado H900. With four flight modes, Smart, Angle, Throttle and Home Modes, you won’t miss a shot, especially with this drone’s ability to hit high altitudes of 4000m (13124 ft) absolute height, and its ability to travel 47 mph in horizontal speed time. Hobbyists and professionals will both love what you can do and capture with this drone, but you’ll have to come out of pocket $3,500 to find out.
6. Ouku Unique OEM DJI Inspire 1 – $3,600
The lightweight Ouku Unique OEM DJI Inspire 1 packs all the features you want and need in a drone, into this one powerful and very stable drone. This is a ready-to-fly system that allows you to be up and running in no time. You can be in the sky and getting the shots you want, without all the fiddling around trying to get equipment loaded and ready to go. It’s simple, easy to set up and operate. The Carbon fiber arms are highly maneuverable in-air, and quickly move out of the way on a dime, so that you never miss a photo op. When your battery starts running low, you’ll know in live time so that you can plan your remaining flight time accordingly. For $3,600, you can get all of the latest technology in this drone, and although on the pricey end, you get some of the coolest features put into a drone.
5. DJI CP BX 000198 Professional Drone – $4,000
This drone is designed with multiple intelligent flight modes, one is the spotlight Pro, that gives pilots the ability to create more complex, and dramatic shots. It was upgraded from the Inspire 1, and now features even more technology for making movies and video even better and easier. One, is the Zenmuse X5 and X5R cameras, along with the image processing systems that record up to 5.2K in cinemadng raw, along with Apple Prores, plus more. This drone has a top speed of 67 mph, but goes from 0 to 50 in only 4 seconds. Another cool feature is the self-heating technology installed so that this drone can continue to fly, even in low temps by keeping itself warmed. It comes with a dual battery system to keep it flying longer and has amazing agility for keeping filming steady and stable. You’ll have to pay about $4,000 if you want this drone, and although it is a professional grade drone, it can be used by hobbyists.
4. DJI Inspire RAW – $5,400
The DJI Inspire RAW is meant for videography and cinematography and has a built-in Zenmuse X5R camera, plus several unique features that give you an edge on photography and videography. Unlike many drones that are designed with fixed landing gear, this drone was designed with a foot on the underside of each prop motor that acts as landing gear when the drone lowers to the ground. When in flight, the foot retracts and allows you to get unobstructed pictures and video with a full 360-degree view. For even better pictures, the camera was designed with a 3-axis gimbal to help keep shooting steady as the drone moves about, turning and banking. This is a very high-tech drone that is better used for experienced drone pilots, and really works best with two pilots, which is why it comes with two transmitters so that one can tilt and pan the camera while the other operates the drone. This drone sells for $5,400, making it one of the most expensive on the market today.
3. Faucon’s Drone Lifter Series V1.0 Octocopter – $6,995
The Faucon Drone has been through rigorous testing in order to be sure that it can withstand many different types of situations and conditions. Prototypes of this drone are intentionally dropped from heights of 20 feet, and crashed into hard objects in order to see what it can withstand. Although this drone has proven to be extremely tough and can withstand a lot of different types of shock, like with any type of drone, it does occasionally break apart when put through extremely rugged tests. The Faucon Octocopter from the Lifter Series V1.0 is not a sport drone or intended to flown for sport, but rather, it was designed to be used for videography, SAR, and commercial-type use. It is designed with 8 propellers, two per arm, and comes with a wide range of spare parts. This high-tech drone will cost you just under $7,000 to purchase and is one of the toughest on the market today.
2. AZ 4K UHD Camera Drone – $9,000
This is a large body drone and has a built-in 4K camera, which makes it the perfect drone for aerial photography and cinematography, due to its stability compared to many other drones on the market today. Improvement was made to this drone’s stability by 30% above the original version of its predecessor. The center mass was integrated, and the large, 4K UHD camera was secured and stabilized using strong duralumin for the arms, which give it high stability performances during sudden external forces, such as bad weather conditions or other issues that occur after the camera has been installed. This drone has a payload of up to 20kg, or 44 lbs, which is about the highest you can get among major drones. This is not a drone for drone-newbies, being that it can be a big difficult to fly and control until you really get the hang of it, not to mention that it’s one of the most expensive for civilians, costing $9,000. But the features and benefits of using this drone can be worth the price for serious cinematographers and photographers.
1. Freefly Alta 8/8 Rotor Aerial Drone UAV Optimized – $17,495
For those who are serious about videography and don’t have time to spend loading and unloading their video equipment from their drone, the Freefly Alta 8/8 rotor aerial drone gives you the ability to get your gear loaded on this multi-rotor and ready to start shooting in under five minutes. The drone has the largest payload on the market today. It can carry up to 20 lbs., far more than many of its lesser models and other competitors. You’ll be able to capture amazing cinematic aerial shots from any angle or perspective due to several reasons, one being that you can mount the MOVI on top of the drone. The Freefly Alta 8 is also able to fly in, and execute a wide range of complex flight patterns, and it can hold its position in difficult weather conditions. Flying the Freefly Alta 8 is not tiresome for the pilot. Pilots enjoy the fatigue-free flights using the SYNAPSE Flight Controller, along with the ease of loading and unloading the cinematography equipment with the quick release of both the top and the bottom trays. The drone is a swan-neck design, with carbon booms and proprietary carbon propellers. If you are serious about your videography and have a big budget, this drone has all you need and can want, but it will set you back $17,495 to buy it.