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Best 4k Drones to Buy

13 mins
Drone Blog
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In the past few years, drone technology has advanced beyond human comprehension.

Nowadays, good drones are affordable and pack fantastic cameras with 4k capabilities and sensors, allowing us to perform low-light photography and filming. 

But what are the best 4K drones you can buy?

DJI Mini 3 Pro, DJI Avata, DJI Mavic 3, DJI Mini 3, and DJI Air 2S are our top 4k drones capable of filming in 4K and beyond. These drones are designed for pilots looking for budget drones, professional-level drones, and more.

This article will explain why these 4k drones are the best, with pros and cons!

1. DJI Mini 3 Pro – The best overall 4k drone #

Takeoff Weight: Under 249 gramsMax Speed: 16m/s in Sport Mode**Max Flight Time: 34 minutes with Intelligent Flight Battery and 47 minutes with Intelligent Flight Battery PlusSensing System: Forward, backward, and downward precision sensing systemCamera Sensor: 1/1.3″ CMOSCamera Resolution: 48 MegapixelsVideo Resolution: Max 4k60fpsOther Unique Features: **New DJI O3 Video Transmission for excellent video and radio signal strength, foldable

✅ Pros  #

  • The drone has excellent flight performance.
  • The battery will allow you to stay a long time in the air
  • The camera can photograph up to 48MP and record up to 4k60fps
  • It has excellent avoidance sensors to help you avoid unwanted crashes
  • It weighs under 250 grams, is very lightweight, and portable
  • The video bitrate is outstanding at 150Mbps
  • The price is reasonable for the performance
  • It’s compatible with DJI RC, eliminating the need for a mobile phone to fly the drone
  • It does have an Active Track system

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro ActiveTrack (Explained for Beginners)

❌ Cons #

  • It may not be the best choice to fly in harsh weather conditions
  • It’s already an old drone
  • In rare cases, you can have issues with the drone
  • Does not have an upwards and side sensing system

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro Issues: 7 Things You Should Know

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is still our most recommended 4k drone. It was released in May 2022 and weighs under 250 grams.

When we look at drones at that weight, we must consider that in most countries and territories worldwide, including the US, these drones may benefit from relaxed drone laws, such as flying over people, closer to buildings, etc.

Moreover, the Mini 3 Pro has excellent flight times, as it can fly for 34 to 47 minutes (standard battery or Battery Plus).

Beware that your drone will exceed the 250-gram barrier with the Battery Plus, and the relaxed drone laws mentioned above will not apply.

Mini 3 Pro is a tiny drone compared to others, and it may even fit inside your pocket. It’s easy to transport and take it out nearly anywhere.

Who is the DJI Mini 3 Pro for? #

DJI Mini 3 Pro is an excellent drone suitable for most people looking for a drone to film in 4K with outstanding capabilities and flight times, a reasonable camera sensor, and to take advantage of relaxed drone laws.

This drone is also perfect for travelers, especially those looking to keep their setup lightweight (e.g., backpack travel) where every gram matters.

2. DJI Avata – Best FPV 4K drone #

Takeoff Weight: 410 gramsMax Speed: 8m/s in Normal Mode, 14m/s in Sport Mode, and 27m/s in Manual Mode**Max Flight Time: 18 minutesSensing System: Downward precise hovering sensorCamera Sensor: 1/1.7 inch CMOS sensorCamera Resolution: 4000×3000 single image, JPEG photo formatVideo Resolution: Max 4k 60fps or 2.7k 120fpsOther Unique Features: **It has excellent Electronic Image Stabilisation and an extremely low video latency with the goggles

✅ Pros #

  • It can provide an immersive experience when flying with the goggles.
  • The easiest drone to start flying FPV 
  • Has excellent camera capabilities and can film in 4k at 60 frames per second
  • What you can record with DJI Avata you cannot do with other standard drones
  • It can also be flown in Normal and Sport Modes on top of Manual Mode
  • Incredibly fun to fly and fantastic for adrenaline-rush pilots
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Very fast compared to other standard drones
  • Can be flown near people and objects because it has duct guards
  • Has a return-to-home function.

❌ Cons #

  • It’s expensive compared to custom-built FPV drones and standard drones
  • The drone, goggles, controller, motion controllers, and three batteries will weigh over 1.6kg, which is not the most travel-friendly drone
  • When flying FPV, you are susceptible to crashing your drone, including Avata, more often
  • You cannot photograph well with Avata; it is not made for photography
  • Flying Avata in Normal Mode does not mean it will fly like a regular drone – it has some limitations, such as narrow gimbal tilt range, single-axis gimbal stabilization, etc.
  • May tumble in high winds and when flying very fast
  • Will require skill to fly manually, and you must learn to fly FPV in simulators before flying Avata in acro mode
  • Does not have Active Track
  • Does not have any avoidance sensors

» MORE: How Much Does the DJI Avata Weigh?» MORE: Does DJI Avata Have Obstacle Avoidance?

The DJI Avata is yet another fantastic drone with excellent 4K capabilities that we recommend. As of this writing, it’s the newest FPV drone released by DJI.

There are only two FPV drones from DJI, with the other one being the older DJI FPV. But why FPV? Why on this top 4K drones list?

The flight style is different, and flying Avata in Manual Mode will allow you to take unique 4K video footage from diving to cruising. You can also create cinematic content at all speeds in ways you simply cannot do with standard drones. 

Moreover, Avata is a safe drone to fly close to people and objects because it is a Cinewhoop type of drone (it has duct guards).

» MORE: Why Does DJI Avata Have Duct Guards?

The experience of flying this drone with the DJI Goggles 2 is fabulous. You will have the headset on your head and see everything your drone sees in real-time. 

On top of being an FPV drone that can fly acrobatically, DJI Avata can also benefit from Normal Mode flights.

Even as an FPV beginner, having the Avata as your first FPV drone is a good decision because DJI made it safe to fly and learn FPV. 

Who is DJI Avata for? #

DJI Avata is a fantastic FPV drone that we recommend for people looking to create unique cinematic content with its outstanding 4k camera. 

Avata is also an excellent choice for pilots looking to start flying FPV for the first time.

Further, Avata is a perfect drone for pilots looking to fly indoors, at slow speeds, inside forests, and in places where other drones cannot safely fly. 

3. DJI Mavic 3 – Best 4K Professional drone #

When price isn’t an issue, and you’re looking to get the best 4k footage when flying, DJI Mavic 3 is top of the line.

Mavic 3 balances outstanding performance and flight time with state-of-the-art camera sensors capable of producing 4k 120fps for superb slow motion.

Mavic 3 can film at 5.2k 50fps with its Hasselblad camera or 4k 50fps at 28x hybrid zoom with the tele camera.

In this case, we’re talking strictly about the Mavic 3, as DJI has produced a few more types of Mavic 3 drones. 

  • Mavic 3 Classic: This is a newer version of the Mavic 3, but it no longer has the tele camera. It is slighter cheaper than the Mavic 3 and delivers roughly the same flight performance and camera quality.

  • Mavic 3 Pro: Awaiting release, the Mavic 3 Pro is the newest drone from DJI with extraordinary camera capability. In fact, it has three different cameras: Hasselblad, medium tele, and tele camera.

  • Mavic 3 Enterprise: For professional workers and agencies looking for drones for surveys, search and rescue, and so on, the Mavic 3 Enterprise can be customized for your work type.

  • Mavic 3 Cine: This drone represents a new chapter in aerial filmmaking destined for professionals looking to record videos at a very professional level, for film productions, and so on. 

DJI Mavic 3 Core Specs #

Let’s compare the core specs between the Mavic 3, Mavic 3 Classic, and the newest DJI Mavic drone, the Mavic 3 Pro drone.

SpecsDJI Mavic 3DJI Mavic 3 ClassicDJI Mavic 3 ProTakeoff Weight: 895 grams895 grams958 gramsMax Speed:21 m/s in Sport Mode21 m/s in Sport Mode21 m/sMax Flight Time:46 minutes46 minutes43 minutesSensing System:Omnidirectional binocular vision system with an infrared camera at the bottom of the aircraftSame omnidirectional binocular vision system with an infrared camera as the DJI Mini 3 Has the same sensing system as the Mavic 3 and Classic versionsCamera Sensor:– Hasselblad: 4/3 inch CMOS– Tele camera: 1/2 inch CMOS– Hasselblad: 4/3 inch CMOS– No tele camera– Hasselblad: 4/3 inch CMOS– Medium tele: 1/1.3 inch CMOS– Tele camera: 1/2 inch CMOSCamera Resolution:– Hasselblad: 20MP– Tele camera: 12MP – Hasselblad: 20MP– Hasselblad: 20MP– Medium tele: 48MP– Tele camera: 12MPMax Video Resolution:– Hasselblad: 5.1k 50fps– Tele camera: 4k 50fps – Hasselblad: 5.1k 50fps– Hasselblad: 5.1k 50fps– Medium tele: 4k 60fps– Tele camera: 4k 60fps

Note: that the Apple ProRes is available only with the Mavic 3 Cine and further available with the Mavic 3 Pro Cine,

✅ Pros #

  • You get a consumer drone with the best video quality beyond 4k and a photography camera with large sensors
  • The standard Mavic 3 has a 28x hybrid zoom camera, offering you a unique perspective when doing aerial filming or photography
  • Has omnidirectional sensors, which is a complete cover to help you fly the drone safer and minimize the collision risks
  • Can fly for an extended period of time
  • Ideal for professional workers 
  • Choose from various Mavic 3 drones designed for your type of work
  • Mavic 3 has an advanced Active Track system and intelligent return-to-home function
  • Fantastic for low light and night photography and filming due to the Hasselblad 4/3 inch CMOS sensor
  • Perfect for 4k slow-motion videos (records up to 120fps)
  • Is foldable
  • Can resist harsher wind environments due to its size
  • If you can afford it, it would be the best drone to start flying due to the omnidirectional sensors and advanced functions

❌ Cons #

  • Pretty heavy
  • Mavic 3 is pricy, and the Pro, Cine, and Enterprise versions are even more expensive
  • There is not much difference between Mavic 3, Mavic 3 Classic, and even Mavic 3 Pro to justify three drones other than cameras

Who is DJI Mavic 3 for? #

The DJI Mavic 3 drone–with Mavic 3 Classic, Cine, Enterprise, and Pro versions–is destined for professionals looking for the best drones to record 4k videos and beyond, photograph professionally, and more.

The Enterprise edition is designed only for professional agencies and search and rescue parties because of the unique segments it can have, such as thermal imaging cameras, loudspeakers, and so on. 

4. DJI Mini 3 – Best 4K budget drone #

Takeoff Weight: 248 gramsMax Speed: 16 m/sMax Flight Time: 38 minutes with Intelligent Flight Battery and 51 minutes with Intelligent Battery PlusSensing System: No sensing system except for a downward vision system for hovering and landingCamera Sensor: 1/1.3 inch CMOSCamera Resolution: 12MP/48MPVideo Resolution: 4k 30fpsOther Unique Features: Foldable

✅ Pros #

  • This drone has fantastic flight performances and smooth control
  • Can stay for a long time in the air, up to 51 minutes, with the Battery Plus
  • Compatible with DJI RC, which will eliminate the need for a mobile phone to fly the drone (incorporated screen)
  • Weighs under 250 grams and may benefit from relaxed drone laws
  • Lightweight and portable
  • One of the most affordable 4k drones with outstanding capabilities and performance
  • Fantastic for photography
  • Return to home function
  • Very beginner-friendly

❌ Cons #

  • Can record up to a maximum of 4k at 30 frames per second
  • Does not have any avoidance sensors except for downward for landing and hovering
  • Does not benefit from Active Track
  • Although the DJI Mini 3 is beginner-friendly, having no avoidance sensors may limit you in learning to fly the drone without the need for an open space or particular location to do it
  • Has the older O2 transmission system

The DJI Mini 3 is the newest mini drone released in December 2022, and it took the drone pilot community by surprise, as it is one of the best 4k budget drones.

There are cheaper 4k budget drones than the Mini 3, but we’re looking only at professional-level quality in this case.

The Mini 3 was released after the Mini 3 Pro, which it was removed some elements to cut down the prices and make it more affordable for beginners. 

As discussed earlier, the DJI Mini 3 is under 250 grams and may benefit from relaxed drone laws in some countries and territories.

This drone is also foldable and effortless to store, transport, and take with you. 

Who is DJI Mini 3 for? #

The DJI Mini 3 is absolutely one of the best drones you can get for the current price, and many pilots are very pleased with this drone.

We recommend this drone for new pilots or beginners who want to start learning to fly drones and for people who need B-rolls for their video content or basic aerial photography.

However, we don’t recommend this drone for vlogging as it has no Active Track/follow-me mode.

5. DJI Air 2S – Best balanced 4k drone #

**Takeoff Weight: 595 gramsMax Speed: 19 m/s in Sport ModeMax Flight Time: 31 minutesSensing System: **Forward, backward, upward, and downward-sensing system Camera Sensor: 1-inch CMOSCamera Resolution: 20MPVideo Resolution: 5.4k at 30fps or 4k at 60fpsOther Unique Features: Foldable

✅ Pros #

  • Has the highest resolution camera on our list (5.4k) and of most drones on the market
  • The camera sensor is very large, which is an advantage for low-light or night filming and photography
  • Has a decent flight time; not the best, but not the worst
  • As an addition to the Mini 3 Pro, the Air 2S has an upward-sensing system
  • Uses Active Track 4.0 (including follow-me mode)
  • Can record 10-bit videos

❌ Cons #

  • Does not have side sensors
  • It’s slightly expensive (somewhere between the DJI Mini 3 Pro and DJI Mavic 3 price range) and gets a lot costlier if you’re willing to buy the Fly More Combo plus the DJI RC
  • Does not benefit from the relaxed drone regulations for drones under 250 grams

Air 2s is a fantastic drone made by DJI, often overlooked because of the smaller ‘mini’ versions.

It may not have the best flight time, nor is it the lightest drone, but Air 2S has a fantastic camera with a sensor even larger than the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro.

Air 2S is also compatible with the DJI RC, dismissing your need to fly the drone with a mobile phone. 

Because of the larger sensor, Air 2S can film even beyond 4k, at a resolution of 5.4k – higher than any other drones on our list.

Who is DJI Air 2S for? #

This drone is perfect for drone pilots looking for a fantastic camera drone with a resolution beyond 4k that is not very expensive.

It’s a fantastic drone to transition towards professional work (filming) before investing in high-end camera drones like DJI Mini 3 Pro Cine.

Why do we need 4k drones?  #

If you’re a content creator, photographer, or videographer, you need a 4k drone.  

4k camera drones are also the best choice for professional work, where we need the best quality footage we can get. 

Drones with 1080p camera sensors are a thing of the past.

Today, most people have screens from phones to tablets and laptops capable of displaying higher resolution than 1080p, usually in the equivalent of 2.7k or 4K format.

For this reason, we need 4K. 

Why did we choose only DJI for our 4K top drones list? #

DJI is the leading drone market designed for consumers and professionals and offers most consumer drones at an affordable price

As well, DJI has a large number of drones to ensure they cover the needs of each pilot.

DJI drones are also beginner-friendly and have developed outstanding avoidance sensors and AI over the years with Active Track and other functions for some drones to be as autonomous as possible with very little input needed from pilots.


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