UAV: Phantom 4 | CASE: Manfrotto Drone Backpack | Phantom Accessories:  ND filters pack, Additional BatteryMini SD Card | Video Camera: Panasonic GH4 | GH4 Accessories: SD Card, Rode Videomic | Additional Camera: DJI Osmo | Osmo Accessories: Tripod, Extension Stick, Car Mount, Rode Mic, Video LightMini SD Card


Very popular for many reasons, the most recent creation coming from DJI, the Phantom 4 Quadcopter is probably the smartest choice you can make in 2016 as far as aerial photography UAVs are concerned. Safer to fly than previous models, easier to operate, easier to travel (smaller footprint than Phantom 3) and more convenient to set up (new propellers design that significantly reduces flight preparation time). Phantom 4 is equipped with a new camera that allows the user to capture 4K video and 8 megapixel still images (same sensor as Phantom 3 Professional). At the time of writing this article (April 2016) Phantom 4 is quickly gaining popularity among aerial photographers both professional and amateur. It has been used to create many images that you can see (and purchase) on this website.

If you have a little bigger budget and are more serious about aerial cinematography (or just can’t live with propellers getting into your frame every now and then) you will be aiming at the slightly more involved design, Inspire 1 also made by DJI. Currently Inspire 1 is available in its first edition ($2,449), version 2.0 ($2,889 with new, redesigned prop mounting system and an upgraded gimbal) or the really cool black edition ($3,899 with Zenmuse X5 camera and new, more menacing looks). The Zenmuse X5 ($1,699) is a treat in itself. It’s a micro four-thirds camera system on a drone, which means a bigger and cleaner sensor, better sensitivity in low light, better overall image quality and most of all interchangeable lenses (like the DJI 15mm f/1.7 MFT ASPH, the very good Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2.0 and the highly rated Panasonic H-X015K G LEICA DG SUMMILUX 15mm/F1.7 ASPH).

Other than these two most popular platforms at the moment you may want to research the very popular 3DR Solo ($779), the Yuneec Typhoon G ($441.76 especially useful if you want to use your GoPro camera!) or the Parrot Bebop 2 ($529) if you’re on a lower budget and/or are just starting out in aerial photography.