It's that time of year again when we round up the best of the best in long-range drones. As drone technology continues to improve, it's fair to ask: what makes a drone truly 'the best' in 2023? Is it the incredible reach they possess, or is it the superb camera quality that leaves us in awe? Maybe it's the longevity of flight, or those additional features that take them to the next level?
Here's the thing, it's a blend of all these elements and more. Let's break down the specifics of what we’ve looked at to bring you our top picks:
- Transmission Range: Now, when we say 'long-range drones', what do we mean? Picture this: you're flying your drone above a mesmerizing mountain range or a sparkling beach. You want to go further, reach higher, and capture more. But how far can your drone go before it loses connection? The transmission range is the invisible leash that binds your drone. A greater range means more exploring, more freedom, and more stunning footage, wouldn't you agree?
- Camera Quality: What's the point of going the distance if the images and videos you get are grainy or out of focus? A top-quality camera is a drone's eye, its way of capturing the world from dizzying heights and unimaginable angles. From 4K resolution to image stabilization, to low-light performance, we're looking for drones that turn the world into art, frame by frame. Who wouldn't want that kind of clarity and detail in their footage, right?
- Flight Time: It’s the question that hovers in the back of all our minds, how long can my drone stay airborne? A drone that has a longer flight time allows for extended periods of exploration and footage capturing. Imagine finally getting the perfect angle for that sunset shot only to have the drone's battery die. Frustrating, right?
- Other Features: This is the cherry on top of the already delicious drone cake. Does the drone have an obstacle avoidance system? It’s like a protective shield that helps prevent those oops-moments when your drone kisses a tree instead of avoiding it. Does it fold up neatly, making it a perfect travel companion? And of course, the million-dollar question (or hopefully less): what's the price tag? Getting more bang for your buck certainly sweetens the deal, doesn't it?
Overview Of Top Picks: An Infographic
The best long-range drones of 2023 are a perfect combination of these factors. Here is a quick summary of our picks:
Now let’s really dig into what models bring on board with full reviews, including the notable features that make them tick:
Review Of 2023’s Top Long Range Drones
1. DJI Matrice 350 RTK
2023 saw DJI launch their new flagship – the Matrice 350 RTK. This marvel of drone engineering is setting a new benchmark in the commercial drone industry. From public safety and energy, to mapping and forestry, this drone's adaptability and efficiency are second to none.
Let's dive right into the juicy details of what has landed it the #1 spot on our list of 2023’s long-range drones:
- Transmission Range: The DJI O3 Enterprise Transmission system gifts this drone with a max transmission distance of a whopping 20km (longest ever for a DJI product). It achieves this with a four-antenna transceiver system, meaning the drone can select the best antennas to transmit and receive signals, enhancing anti-interference capabilities.
- Camera Quality: The M350 RTK can handle a range of payloads and offers a wide choice of cameras, like the Zenmuse H20 series with its zoom camera, wide camera, thermal camera, and laser rangefinder. It also offers support for third-party payloads like gas detectors, loudspeakers, and multispectral sensors.
- Flight Time: One of the most impressive things about the M350 RTK is its max flight time. Ready for this? It can fly for up to 55 minutes on a single charge!
But there's more! The M350 RTK also comes packed with safety features that make it a standout choice. It cranked things up from IP45 with its predecessor to an IP55 rating, meaning it's more resilient to tough flying conditions. Night flights are safer with the enhanced FPV camera. It also has a six-directional binocular vision and infrared sensing system for better awareness, positioning, and obstacle detection.
Oh, and did I mention the AI Spot Check feature? It automates routine inspections and captures consistent results each time, which is incredibly handy in search and rescue operations. Check out the DJI M350 RTK vs DJI M300 RTK – A Comparative Analysis to see how it compares to the previous flagship.
Watch our review of the M350 RTK here:
The DJI RC Plus controller, coming standard with the drone, is designed for a flexible and intuitive piloting experience. With an operating temperature of -20° to 50° C, it's ready to support operation in even the harshest environments.
And let's not forget about cost efficiency. The new TB65 battery comes with a 100% increased battery cycle count and you can charge it up to 400 cycles, translating to lower costs for each single flight.
So, for all you commercial drone operators out there, the DJI Matrice 350 RTK is a game changer! It's more than just a drone; it's an incredibly adaptable, safe, and efficient tool for any aerial operation. The DJI M350 RTK Drone Combo with Care Plus goes for $12,559.00 USD, or you can go for the package with the Care Basic Package at $11,729.00 USD.
Who it’s best for: M350’s features make it an ideal drone for professionals requiring to perform detailed inspections, precise mapping, and efficient monitoring over large areas. Its adaptability makes it a valuable tool for emergency services & search and rescue teams, infrastructure maintenance, the energy sector, and agricultural operation including monitoring crops, assessing plant health, and managing large forestry areas.
2. DJI Mavic 3 Pro
Sitting comfortably at the number 2 spot on our list is none other than the phenomenal DJI Mavic 3 Pro. Let's get into what makes this beast a must-have for any serious drone hobbyist or professional user:
- Transmission range: 15km HD Video Transmission
- Camera quality: Triple Hasselblad camera system, with a native dynamic range of up to 12.8 stops. It can capture up to 5.1K at 50fps or DCI 4K at 120fps, presenting breathtaking image details.
- Flight time: A generous 43-minute maximum flight time
DJI has been making some serious waves in the drone world with the Mavic 3 Pro. This flagship drone features a world-first triple camera system, allowing you to switch between shot compositions with just a tap. Each camera provides a different focal length (24mm/70mm/166mm), providing you with incredible versatility for your aerial storytelling.
Not only is the Mavic 3 Pro a game-changer when it comes to capturing awe-inspiring aerial content, but it's also a dream to fly. With DJI's signature Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, you can navigate with ease, and the 43-minute flight time lets you concentrate on your storytelling rather than battery life.
The drone's camera quality is nothing short of outstanding, courtesy of the Hasselblad camera. It supports 12-bit RAW photos, delivering enviable shots with accurate colors, thanks to the Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS). And when it comes to video, this drone can capture up to 5.1K at 50fps or DCI 4K at 120fps!
Furthermore, the Mavic 3 Pro packs in DJI's full suite of intelligent features. These include FocusTrack, which includes ActiveTrack 5.0, Spotlight, and Point of Interest. It also offers MasterShots, which auto-generates cinematic footage, and QuickShots for diverse camera movements. You can get your hands on this - together with the RC controller, for $2,199.00 USD.
Who it’s best for: Given its superior features, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro is a perfect match for both seasoned drone pros and enthusiastic hobbyists who want to push their creative boundaries. From exploring visual storytelling to capturing mesmerizing scenic views, this drone has got you covered!
3. Autel Evo II Dual 640T V3
Coming in at number 3 on our list of 2023's best long-range drones is a real heavyweight - the Evo II Dual 640T V3. It's a unit that blends infrared imaging and 8K video capability into one stellar package.
Key features include:
- Transmission Range: An impressive 15km, giving it a definite edge over its predecessor, the Evo II Dual 640T V2, which had a range of 9km.
- Camera Quality: A stunning 50MP ultra-sensitive camera equipped with a 0.8" RYYB CMOS sensor. This is a significant upgrade from the V2’s 48MP camera and 0.5" sensor.
- Flight Time: A robust 38 minutes, giving ample time to capture all the data you need.
This machine has several notable features that give it the edge over many competitors. For starters, it's equipped with a 640 x 512 high-resolution thermal imaging camera, offering 16x digital zoom for observing distant targets. Its 360° obstacle avoidance, using 19 groups of sensors, enables three-dimensional mapping and real-time path planning.
And all this for $6,999.00 USD (Enterprise bundle).
Further, the Evo II Dual 640T V3 has multiple temperature measurement modes, offering central, spot, and regional temperature measurement, a temperature alarm, image enhancement, and even a powerful infrared thermal analysis tool. This drone offers 10 thermal color palettes and a picture-in-picture display mode to aid in critical decision making.
The upgraded Autel Skylink 2.0, enhanced with tri-band communication, ensures maximum anti-interference capabilities. Coupled with the Smart Controller V3's 7.9-inch high-brightness screen, it's a game-changer for long-distance operations. Moreover, it supports Live Deck 2, providing real-time HD video transmission for enhanced situational awareness.
Who it’s best for: This drone is suited for professionals in fields such as security, search and rescue, construction, and environmental monitoring, thanks to its high-resolution thermal imaging and superior flight time. Moreover, it's an excellent tool for hobbyists looking for a long-range, high-performance drone that offers top-notch camera features.
We take a deeper dive into the features here: Exploring the Capabilities of the Autel EVO II Dual 640T V3
4. DJI Mavic 3 Classic
Following closely is the Mavic 3 Classic. If you're seeking a premium flying camera without a hefty price tag, this drone could be your perfect match. While it may not match the Mavic 3 Pro in photography and filming, the Mavic 3 Classic certainly doesn't fall short in flight performance.
Here are some quick specs:
- Transmission range: Up to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) with the O3+ transmission system
- Camera quality: 20-megapixel camera, capturing up to 5.1K/50 fps, 4K/60 fps and 1080p/60fps videos; offering 12.8 stops of native dynamic range
- Flight time: Maximum 46-minute flight time on a single charge
The Mavic 3 Classic also sets itself apart from the original Mavic 3, with an offering that doesn't include an additional telephoto lens, which consequently makes it a more pocket-friendly option. The drone is compatible with existing DJI RC Pro, DJI RC, and DJI RC-N1 controllers. Compare the Mavic Series Drones here.
Other remarkable features include the Intelligent ActiveTrack 5.0 system for professional-quality videos, a night shot video mode for low-light scenarios, and the high-speed QuickTransfer for easy image and video downloads. Mavic 3 Classic comes with a full array of safety features too, boasting eight visual sensors for obstacle detection and APAS 5.0 for obstacle avoidance and route planning.
Who it’s best for: With its top-of-the-line camera and flight capabilities, it's a perfect choice for creators looking to upgrade their drone game without breaking the bank. Whether you're a seasoned drone pilot or just beginning to explore the world of aerial photography, the DJI Mavic 3 Classic is a solid contender to consider.
Just starting out? Here are tips and tricks to get the most out of your new Mavic 3 Classic drone.
5. Autel Evo II Pro V3
This new titan in the drone industry is the successor to the Evo II Pro V2, taking things up a notch with exceptional upgrades that make it an absolute powerhouse. Here's a quick overview of the Evo II Pro V3:
- Transmission range: Up to 9.3 miles (15km)
- Camera Quality: All New 6K 1" CMOS, 20MP Photo, 6k/30FPS Video, f/2.8 ~ f/11 Aperture
- Flight Time: An impressive maximum of 40 minutes
But the Evo II Pro V3 isn’t just about the numbers, there are some notable features setting it apart. Compared to the Evo II Pro V2, the V3 boasts a higher maximum ISO of 440000 in Night Mode, thanks to Autel's Moonlight Algorithm 2.0, offering superb low light performance. It also upgrades to the Autel Skylink 2.0 for video transmission, boosting the range to 15km. It comes with a next-gen 6.4-inch Smart Controller SE, offering better performance and convenience than its predecessor.
The V3 maintains the robust 360° obstacle avoidance system, providing safer flights even in complex environments. It's also highly compatible with applications like Pix4D, DroneDeploy, and SkyeBrowse, making it an excellent tool for accident reconstruction. The enterprise bundle comes in at $4,300.00 USD.
Now, a heads up - the V3 is quite heavy, tipping the scales at 2.62 lbs (1187 g). This could mean that in some countries and territories, you may need a specific license to operate it. We did a full review of the drone here.
Who it’s best for: The drone is best suited for those in professional fields like public safety, mapping, search & rescue, security, and firefighting. With its advanced features and strong performance, it is a reliable partner for operations requiring high-quality footage, night or low light functionality, and long-range transmission.
6. Parrot ANAFI Ai
Continuing our long-range drones list is the ANAFI Ai from the famous French drone manufacturer, Parrot. We’re particularly thrilled about this once since it is the first commercially available drone to feature 4G capabilities.
Here are some of its key specifications:
- Transmission Range: Range isn't a constraint here, thanks to the drone’s use of 4G connectivity. This advanced tech allows it to operate seamlessly anywhere within a 4G network, even beyond the visual line of sight.
- Camera Quality: Equipped with a 48MP sensor, the drone offers 4K HDR video and high-resolution imaging capabilities. Capture ultra-clear, vivid imagery with this top-notch camera.
- Flight Time: The ANAFI Ai boasts an impressive flight time of 32 minutes on a single charge, giving users ample time to capture everything they need.
Range limits not a worry...Watch the drone hit 27km here:
One aspect that sets the drone apart is its AI capabilities. Coming with a powerful onboard AI processor, it analyzes data in real-time and identifies problems or issues that could arise during flight. This is especially useful for industrial tasks like inspecting power lines, bridges, or wind turbines.
Another striking feature is its thermal imaging capabilities, making it incredibly handy for tasks such as locating hotspots in electrical lines or identifying heat leakage in building structures. Through Parrot's Cloud account or the FreeFlight7 mobile app, users can easily delete their data through the 1-Click erasure, and opt out of sharing at any time.
Moreover, with a weight of just 1.1 pounds and a folding design, it's perfect for users who are on-the-go. Operate it using a smartphone or tablet for maximum convenience. The drone also comes with a hard case and an additional set of propeller blades. Retail price? $4,500.00 USD.
Who it’s best for: The Parrot ANAFI Ai drone is ideal for industrial applications, including infrastructure inspections, surveillance, and search and rescue operations, all while promising data security and GDPR compliance. With its AI capabilities, high-quality camera, and unmatched portability, this drone is a reliable ally for your professional requirements.
7. SIRAS – Teledyne FLIR
Up next, we have the SIRAS drone by Teledyne FLIR. It’s rapidly gaining traction, especially with the push in mainland USA for locally made drones.
- Transmission Range: Up to 9 km (6 miles) with no interference or obstructions. Typically 3.2 km (2 miles) in most settings.
- Camera Quality: Dual camera payload featuring a 16 MP visible camera with 128x zoom and an integrated 640x512 pixel, radiometric thermal camera with 5x digital zoom.
- Flight Time: Offers up to 31 minutes on a single charge.
One of the remarkable attributes of SIRAS is its patented MSX® technology. This fantastic feature overlays the visible camera's edge detail onto the thermal image, delivering crucial data instantly. Also, with a flight time of 31 minutes and front collision avoidance powered by radar, SIRAS assures safe, professional UAV flight experiences.
And talk about data safety! The drone stores imagery on the onboard SD card and doesn't have cloud connection capability, thereby safeguarding against potential online data breaches. Pilots won’t need to create an online profile, making usage hassle-free and further fortifying data security.
With the full combo priced at $9,695 USD, SIRAS's quick-connect dual radiometric thermal and visible camera payload make it perfect for industrial and utility inspections, public safety, firefighting, and search and rescue missions (drone alone set at $5,146.00). With geofence-free flight experience and hot swappable batteries, SIRAS brings flexibility and efficiency to your UAV operations.
Who it’s best for: The SIRAS drone is a great fit for professional drone pilots needing high-quality imagery, assured data security, and exceptional flight performance at an affordable price point – plus professionals seeking to have a drone that meets changing US regulations restricting the use of foreign-manufactured drones.
8. Autel EVO Lite+
Autel Robotics EVO Lite+ is an impressive drone that offers a range of features that rival the Air 2S, which we will cover next. For instance, in terms of camera quality, it boasts a 20MP Type 1 (13.2 x 8.8mm) CMOS sensor, which is on par with DJI's Air 2S. What sets it apart is its variable aperture and the ability to capture stunning 6K/30p video, and it can also stay airborne for 30% more time.
- Transmission range: Up to 12km with its Skylink image transmission system.
- Camera quality: 1-Inch CMOS Sensor capable of shooting 6K Video & 20MP Photo
- Flight time: An impressive 40-minute maximum flight time
Equipped with an intelligent moonlight algorithm, the EVO Lite+ ensures vibrant, detailed night captures even at high ISO settings, bringing nighttime photography to a whole new level. It also offers 8-bit video recording.
Here is a look at the quality of the visuals recorded:
The drone also boasts an adjustable aperture from f/2.8 to f/11, providing manual control over exposure and depth of field, letting you flex your creativity to the fullest. In addition, it features an obstacle sensing system in three directions to enhance safety during flights.
Apart from offering amazing image quality and long flight times, the EVO Lite+ drone also includes advanced features like multiple automatic flight modes, a wide-angle obstacle avoidance system, and a compact and foldable design for easy portability. With a bundle price tag of $1390, this drone offers a great balance of advanced features and affordability, making it one of the best drones on the market in 2023.
Who is best for? The EVO Lite+ drone is a perfect fit for professional photographers, videographers, and drone enthusiasts who crave high-quality images and long flight times. The variable aperture lens is particularly useful for achieving desired shutter speeds in video recording. It's also great for adventure seekers who want to explore new heights and capture stunning landscapes from unique perspectives.
9. DJI Air 2S
Though it's one of the older drones on our list, launched back in 2021, this little wonder has proven time and again that it still has what it takes to stand toe-to-toe with its younger counterparts.
Let's delve right into its specs:
- Transmission range: A maximum of 12 km - the power of DJI's proprietary OcuSync transmission technology, O3.
- Camera quality: A beastly 1-inch sensor for 20-megapixel stills and 5.4K video, something unheard of for drones this size until now.
- Flight time: A solid 31 minutes, which provides ample time for capturing breathtaking imagery.
The DJI Air 2S is a true all-rounder, offering a range of standout features that elevate it from a mere camera drone to a comprehensive content creation solution. Most notably, the addition of obstacle sensors significantly improve autonomous flying. Also, its all-new MasterShots feature takes the grunt work out of capturing professional-grade content by automating flight path planning and video recording. Once you've finished flying, it'll even compile the footage for you into a single eye-catching video.
Another valuable feature is the APAS 4.0, an advanced autopilot system for DJI drones. This technology allows the drone to seamlessly maneuver around objects, letting you focus on getting the perfect shot. Coupled with the drone's foldable design, the DJI Air 2S offers a powerful package in a compact form factor.
The DJI Air 2S might be a veteran in the drone world, but it's a veteran that refuses to act its age, continuing to challenge and inspire us with its stunning capabilities. That's why it has earned its place as number 9 on our list of the best long-range drones of 2023 – and you can get the standard combo for $999.
Who it’s best for: Given the blend of power, versatility, and ease of use, we recommend the DJI Air 2S to a wide audience, from content creators, drone enthusiasts to frequent travelers. The Air 2S delivers on all fronts, whether you demand professional-grade video capabilities, smooth and reliable flight performance, or compact and portable design.
10. Yuneec H850-RTK
Now for a remarkable comeback story from one of the drone world's household names – Yuneec. Remember the Typhoon drone that was making waves a few years back? Well, Yuneec, despite stumbling through some financial turbulence, is back in the game with their new H850-RTK drone. Made specifically for commercial applications, this drone is a soaring phoenix, ready to take on the skies once again!
Here's what you can expect from the H850-RTK:
- Transmission range: It's equipped with a dual-frequency band controller, ensuring stable control over long distances. You get a 15km range with the T-One Controller.
- Camera quality: Supports various payloads including high-resolution cameras such as E90X, E30Zx, E20TVx, and more.
- Flight time: Can reach up to 65 minutes (max time without payload)
With a hexacopter design for extra stability and power, the H850-RTK isn't just about longevity and versatility; it's about resilience. Crafted for inspection work, surveying, public safety applications, and even fawn rescue, this drone carries significant weight without breaking a sweat. It's built with dual IMUs, compass, barometer, dual RTK antennas, and two smart batteries. Plus, it can still land safely even with only five motors running!
The H850-RTK keeps your data private and secure, affirming that your flight data belongs to no one else but you. As a bonus, the Drone-Tag device for remote ID can be easily installed, a feature that becomes mandatory in Europe in 2023.
Are you intrigued? Well, here's more - the H850-RTK is designed to work seamlessly with all existing H520E payloads. It offers an incredible payload weight of 3000g, making it a go-to for carrying heavy equipment. This compatibility allows you to effortlessly switch payloads between the two platforms. This model goes for €7,734.95 (approximately $8600.00 USD)
Who it’s best for: The H850-RTK will appeal particularly to commercial users who require a reliable, long-range drone with high-quality camera options, ample flight time, and advanced features. Its resilience in challenging conditions and exceptional payload carrying capacity make it ideal for complex surveying, inspections, mapping, and 3D displays.
11. DJI Avata
Next up is a drone that redefines what we know about immersive flight. Launched by DJI, the Avata stands to offer a truly exceptional flying experience, particularly with its innovative DJI Goggles 2 and DJI Motion Controller, though it does come in short with its flight time compared to other drones on this list.
- Transmission range: An impressive 10 kilometers, thanks to DJI O3+ transmission technology.
- Camera quality: A 1/1.7” CMOS sensor with 48 million effective pixels, delivering 4K/60fps and 2.7K/50/60/100/120fps video.
- Flight time: 18-minute maximum flight time, which delivers a high-speed thrill ride on each flight.
Notable features of the DJI Avata include the first-person view offered by DJI Goggles 2, which gives users a breath-taking, immersive flight experience. It's like you're riding the drone yourself! The Avata is also designed with safety in mind, integrating aerodynamic propeller guards for added protection.
When it comes to pricing, the DJI Avata Pro-View Combo retails at $1388 USD. This combo pack includes the DJI Avata drone, DJI Goggles 2, and the DJI Motion Controller. The drone itself comes in at $629 USD (without the RC).
Who it’s best for: Well, if you're a beginner looking for a drone that offers intuitive controls and robust safety features, the DJI Avata should be amongst your considerations. However, even professionals seeking to push the limits of their drone flying skills will find the Avata's exceptional agility, performance, and immersive FPV experience truly hard to resist.
12. DJI FPV
Closely following the Avata is a true stalwart of the drone world, the DJI FPV. Debuted in 2021 as the first drone with first-person view (FPV), this beast has consistently been a popular choice for long-range pilots, and it's easy to see why.
Here are some of the features that put the DJI FPV on our list:
- Transmission range: Clocks a range of 10 km, courtesy of DJI's proprietary OcuSync technology (O3).
- Camera Quality: Equipped with a 1/2.3" sensor, this drone captures 12MP photos and records 4K/60fps video, providing rich detail and vibrant colors in your footage. RockSteady stabilization technology smooths shaky footage and eliminates the rolling shutter effect when filming fast-moving scenes.
- Flight Time: The DJI FPV offers a solid 20 minutes of flight time on a single charge, giving you plenty of time to capture stunning footage.
Notable features of the DJI FPV drone include its three distinct flight modes designed for all skill levels. It offers Normal (N) Mode for beginners, Manual (M) Mode for the experienced, and Sport (S) Mode, a hybrid blend that offers dynamic movement capabilities with key safety features. An Emergency Brake and Hover feature is available in all modes, as well as a dedicated obstacle detection system in N mode.
What sets this drone apart is the immersive flight experience it offers. With the DJI FPV Goggles V2, pilots get to see a crystal-clear, long-range, low-latency feed from the drone's perspective. It also includes a new intuitive motion controller option that steers the drone based on the movement of your hand, opening up new worlds of possibilities.
Who it is best for: This drone is ideal for both novices and experienced pilots. For beginners, the intuitive user interface and safety features will help ease the learning curve. For seasoned pilots, the high-performance motors, incredible speeds, and manual mode will provide a thrilling flying experience. So, if you are looking for a reliable, long-range drone that combines high-speed performance with cinematic camera capabilities, the DJI FPV should definitely be on your radar.
13. Skydio 2+
In the exciting world of drones, US-based Skydio has certainly made its mark with an impressive upgrade, when it introduced the Skydio 2+ during CES 2022. This remarkable drone got drone enthusiasts buzzing for all the right reasons.
Here are some key specs to get you started:
- Transmission range: Offers up to 3 kilometers with Skydio 2 Plus Beacon controller, and a 6 kilometers when paired with the optional twin-stick Skydio Controller – granting it a spot on our list.
- Camera quality: The Skydio 2+ drone's primary camera system features a high-quality Sony IMX577 1/2.3” 12.3MP CMOS sensor that delivers strikingly detailed images with a resolution of 4056x3040 pixels, and videos in various modes up to 4K.
- Flight time: Promises a commendable 27 minutes of flight time, thanks to a new high-density battery pack that offers nearly 20 percent more power.
The Skydio 2 Plus, largely identical in appearance to its predecessor, features two notable hardware upgrades. The first one includes a high-power 5GHz Wi-Fi radio coupled with pop-up antennas, significantly enhancing the drone's long-range robust connection. Secondly, it boasts an improved battery pack, giving drone enthusiasts a few extra precious minutes in the air.
What sets the Skydio 2 Plus apart is the exciting new mode called KeyFrame. This free update empowers users to set key moments or points in 3D space during flight, creating a storyboard of shots at the press of a button. This feature essentially automates cinematic filming, allowing for an intuitive and seamless experience, perfect for amateur filmmakers, property showcasing, or anyone wishing to create smooth, high-quality aerial footage.
Another noteworthy feature is the Skydio Care, a new insurance program for their drones. This gives customers the comfort of knowing that, despite the drone's self-flying capabilities and obstacle avoidance system, their investment is protected.
Who it’s best for: The drone does an excellent job of balancing the needs of both casual and professional drone users thanks to its user-friendly features and autonomous filming capabilities, while the increased range and battery life can accommodate extended, high-quality filming needs. For its $1,099 price, the Skydio 2 Plus proves to be a highly reliable, long-range drone worth considering.
14. DJI Mini 3 Pro
You've got to admire how DJI has managed to redefine the drone industry time and again. Even though the Mini 3 Pro has been around for over a year, it still remains one of the most sought-after mini drones on the market, and all under $1000!
Here are some of the key specs of this petite powerhouse:
- Transmission Range: Up to 12 km with the O3 transmission system
- Camera Quality: 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, Dual Native ISO, f/1.7 aperture, up to 48MP image capture, and 4K/60fps video recording
- Flight Time: For its regular battery system, you're looking at a flight time of up to 34 minutes. But if you're using the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, you're in for a treat with 47 minutes of flight time.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro is more than a simple upgrade in the Mini series. It stands out with its tri-directional obstacle sensing, 90° gimbal rotation for vertical shooting, and the introduction of the Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS) 4.0, which was previously only available in the Air and Mavic series. Additionally, its feather-light weight of under 249 grams makes it policy-friendly in many regions, without compromising on power or functionality.
Who is it best for? This drone is ideal for both new and experienced pilots seeking powerful performance in a compact, lightweight package. Whether you're a content creator needing a portable device for on-the-go shooting or a beginner wanting a feature-packed yet user-friendly drone, the DJI Mini 3 Pro has got you covered.
15. Autel Robotics EVO Nano+
Closing off our list is a compact powerhouse that weighs in under 250g and is available for less than $800! The EVO Nano+ effortlessly stands out on our list of top long-range drones of 2023, even while nestled comfortably in your palm.
Here are some of its key specifications:
- Transmission range: 6.2 miles (10km), remarkable for its size.
- Camera quality: 1/1.28" CMOS Sensor, 50MP photos, and Ultra HD 4K HDR video @30fps
- Flight time: A respectable 28 minutes
Although the drone’s flight time isn't the longest on our list, it more than compensates with other exceptional features. Importantly, this drone lacks geofencing, meaning you can soar the skies wherever you fancy (safety first, of course!). The benefits of its compact size cannot be overstated. Weighing in at a measly 249g, the Nano+ may fall under certain regulatory thresholds, offering greater flying freedom.
Check out the complete Nano series:
The EVO Nano+ boasts a three-axis mechanical gimbal, ensuring smooth, vibration-free footage, even in challenging conditions. Its camera also features an RYYB color filter for enhanced low-light shooting. Also, it's worth mentioning the dual autofocus system (PDAF + CDAF), which ensures quick and accurate focus. You can get the drone for $715.00 USD on DSLRPros.
Who it’s best for: Essentially, anyone who values portability without compromising on camera quality and flight range. With its blend of compact design and impressive features, it's a good choice for both seasoned drone enthusiasts and beginners. Whether you're exploring the great outdoors or shooting professional real estate footage, this drone will be up to the task.
Well, folks, that's a wrap on our roundup of the top 15 long-range drones for 2023. Each drone on this list brings something unique to the table, whether it's superior camera quality, extensive flight time, or cutting-edge features. As technology advances, drones are continually becoming more accessible and versatile, enabling everyone from professionals to hobbyists to explore new heights and perspectives.
Have you found your perfect high-flying companion yet? Don't stop here! Explore our website for a wider array of long-range drones, including parts and accessories to enhance your flight experiences.
Remember, at DSLRPros, we're not just here to find you the right drones for your operations—we're here to help you enjoy them. If you're facing any issues with your drone or if you're looking to expand your skills, we're just an email away at support@DSLRPros.com or a call away at (877) 299-1075. Enjoy the skies and keep those rotors spinning!