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Best Drones to Film a Wedding

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Drone Blog
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Did you read my article about photographing weddings with a drone and thought, “Wow, I wish I had a guide like that, but for filming weddings with a drone instead?” 

You know I got you covered! 

Filming a wedding is a different beast than photographing one. You must be the calm, stable presence who stays out of the way yet gets in the center of all the action. 

If it was easy, everyone would do it, but it requires patience, precision, and skill. 

Today, I’ll highlight my favorite drones that are quiet enough that you don’t hear them over the vow exchange and have a long enough battery for filming the entire ceremony and then some. 

Top 5 drones for wedding videography  #

The art of wedding videography requires the right drone for the job.

While DJI leads the charge, they’re not the only manufacturer I personally recommend based on my hundreds of hours of flight experience with these drones. 

Let’s get right into the list, shall we? 

1. DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine #

Of course, a magnificent drone like the DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine gets its flowers. 

You’ll recall I acknowledged this masterpiece as a great drone for wedding photography, but it’s just as good for videography. 

I know, I know, this drone’s triple-camera system mostly gets acclaim in its photography department, but let’s dig deeper. 

The 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera adjusts its aperture from f/2.8 to f/11.

The 1/1.3-inch CMOS has a fixed aperture of f/2.8 and zoom, while the half-inch CMOS tele camera features an f/3.4 aperture and two zoom modes.

The apertures for each of the three cameras are darn-near perfect, as DJI designed each camera with the most careful care, consideration, and attention to detail.

I also love the collection of zoom features, as you can get near the bride, groom, best man, and maid of honor without being right beside them. 

And lifelike colors? C’mon, would you expect anything less? The main Hasselblad camera includes the Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution or HNCS.

**» MORE: **DJI Mavic 3 Pro vs. Mavic 3 Pro Cine (Here’s My Choice)

If you can see colors when shooting the wedding, this mode can retain them.

Think of how vivid the bride’s bouquet will be, the gentle flush of her cheeks, and the tears glistening in her groom’s eyes. 

Oh, as if that isn’t enough, this drone also includes 10-bit D-Log for access to more colors. You could post right from the reception.

Your videos will have so much vivacity you won’t need to spend time in post.

Ah, and the video quality. It’s 5.1K when shot at 50 fps or 4K at 120 fps. The Mavic 3 Pro Cine offers more advanced Apple ProRes support codes for high-quality imagery and less time in post. 

The Mavic 3 Pro Cine has an advertised battery life of 43 minutes. I’ve clocked this drone in at close to 40 minutes, which is long for a DJI drone! 

This drone also has all the obstacle avoidance you need to feel confident when flying indoors, from APAS 5.0 to multidirectional sensors all over this drone.

**» MORE: **DJI Mavic 3 Pro Review (I have NEVER flown a drone that I enjoyed so much)

Automation is in your hands with the Mavic 3 Classic. Use cinematic modes like MasterShots, trajectory modes like QuickShots, or create your own route with Waypoints.

Then, send your footage to LightCut, the free DJI app with One-Tap Editing. 

You’ll have some truly zippy turnaround times for drone projects with the Mavic 3 Pro Cine!  

2. DJI Mini 3 Pro #

The Mini 3 Pro proves that good things come in small packages. 

This FAA-friendly drone weighs under 250 grams, making it portable and light enough that you’ll want to film all your drone projects with it. And why not, considering it gets 4K HDR video?

The Mini 3 Pro has a night mode I simply adore.

The FAA has a lot of tight rules about nighttime drone photography and videography, but if you get a chance to use this feature on the job, especially at a wedding, you won’t be disappointed.

****» MORE: ****Autel EVO Lite vs. DJI Mini 3 Pro (Which One Is Better?)

There is far less noise than you would expect when taking videos in the dark, which is one way of many the Mini 3 Pro saves you time in post. 

Let’s talk battery for a minute. The default Intelligent Flight Battery is advertised to fly for 34 minutes, but I only ever cracked close to 30 minutes in my many, many flights with this drone. 

If you want, you can upgrade its battery to the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus.

This will cost you, but the battery life increases to 47 minutes. Well, it was always a little under 45 minutes when I tried it, but still, more than 40 minutes is great for a wedding videographer. 

You won’t have to miss a second of the main ceremony!

The Mini drones are kind of notorious for their sporadic obstacle avoidance, but not the Mini 3 Pro.

It has APAS 4.0, which–while not as robust as APAS 5.0–still gets the job done from a safety standpoint. The multi-direction obstacle sensing also certainly helps. 

**» MORE: **DJI Mini 3 Pro: One-Year Review (Video)

Its O3 transmission system, while not the newest, can send video footage 12 kilometers away in 1080p quality at 30 fps. It’s not the best, but it’s passable for this drone’s age and price point. 

How about smart features?

You know to expect the best from DJI’s Intelligent Flight Modes, and the Mini 3 Pro has plenty, from True Vertical Shooting to send your footage straight to Facebook or Instagram and triple the Panorama modes to capture the entire reception hall. 

3. DJI Mini 4 Pro #

Listen, the Mini 3 Pro is one of DJI’s masterworks without a doubt, but it’s also not the newest drone on the block.

That doesn’t stop a lot of pilots in this case (myself included), but in case you want its newer successor, let’s talk about the Mini 4 Pro. 

While DJI made a lot of changes between the Mini 3 Pro and Mini 4 Pro’s respective releases, one trait they left untouched was the drone’s weight. The Mini 4 Pro is still under 250 grams and is just as travel-friendly.

****» MORE: ****DJI Mini 4 Pro – How to Use Active Track 360 (With Video)

Another area DJI left untouched? The battery life.

That’s right, you still have to pay for the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus for a longer flight time, but it’s worth it for wedding videography. 

After a few gigs, the battery will pay for itself! 

Although your video resolution when transmitting footage is still 1080p, the Mini 4 Pro has a greater transmission range of 20 kilometers.

Its obstacle sensing and avoidance is also beefed up, with omnidirectional obstacle sensing for more confident flights at every event you cover, not just weddings.

The ActiveTrack 360 is one of DJI’s most responsive, innovative tracking modes yet, giving other drone manufacturers a lot to make up for.

Besides that, you can also select your Point of Interest, such as the new husband and wife, or use the Spotlight mode. 

**» MORE: **DJI Mini 4 Pro Review (Is It Worth to Upgrade?)

All your favorite DJI Intelligent Flight Modes are also there, including Panorama, MasterShots, Hyperlapse, and QuickShots.

The QuickTransfer mode is right at your fingertips.

You can use it to send your drone wedding videos to your phone, or edit them first with LightCut, then send them to your happy clients. 

4. Autel EVO Lite+  #

The colorful, compact, concise Autel EVO Lite+ is a worthy contender for best wedding videography drone. Actually, it’s so good that it might become your new go-to for all your commercial drone projects.

The one-inch CMOS RGGB camera with an adjustable aperture has an f/2.8 to f/11 range for configuring light settings just the way you need them, whether you’re filming an indoor or outdoor wedding or one on a clear versus rainy day. 

****» MORE: ****Autel EVO Lite+ vs DJI Mavic 3 Classic (Here’s What I Like)

The video quality of the EVO Lite+ is out of this world! Like seriously, it’s just wicked good at 6K at 30 fps. 

The EVO Lite+ outpaces even some DJI drones with its default battery life of 40 minutes. Its true battery life never reaches quite that long, but it’s more than 35 minutes.

However, keep in mind you have no option to extend the battery life. 

I have always loved Autel’s obstacle avoidance in its drones. Even though I think DJI drones have the better obstacle avoidance today, the wide-angle obstacle avoidance the EVO Lite+ has is still great.

That ultra-wide angle provides more than enough frontal coverage that you can fly without worrying about a disaster scenario, like your drone getting tangled in the bride’s trailing veil. 

Instead, you can use fun modes from Orbit to Rocket or Flick and Fade Away.

Each delivers a unique cinematic experience, but only Orbit is really a possibility for indoor drone videography, as the others involve ascending to capture a long-distance shot.

**» MORE: **Autel Evo Lite+ Video Review (VIDEO)

The Dynamic Track 2.1 is some of the best tech Autel has ever released.

The EVO Lite+ can capture the entire wedding procession and even the bride and groom as they drive off into the sunset in their “just married” car. You can film them until they disappear into the dusk.

The rich color palette built into this drone’s camera and its two-way autofocus system further make the camera a showstopper.

The Autel SkyLink, with its 7.4-mile transmission range in 2.7K quality, keeps your video in HD so all the long-distance guests who couldn’t make it can see the wedding in high fidelity.  

5. Autel EVO II Pro V3 #

And one more Autel drone, because why not? 

Let’s jump straight to the V3 edition, as it’s the one Autel has poured the heart into, and boy, does it show. 

Its one-inch Sony CMOS sensor shoots in even higher quality than the EVO Lite+ at 6K Ultra HD.

****» MORE: ****Autel EVO II Pro vs. DJI Mavic 3 Pro (Here’s What I Like)

All that, and you still get an adjustable aperture (between f/2.8 and f/11), a 40-minute projected flight time, and a 9.3-mile transmission rate with HD video.

The Moonlight Algorithm 2.0 is an Autel exclusive, and it’s such a doozy.

Again, I recognize the circumstances you’ll be able to use it are limited by legal regulations, but you’ll be so thrilled if you ever get to bust this one out for a romantic moonlit wedding. 

Dynamic Track 2.0 is back, but it’s even better than the EVO Lite+, as this version can track 64 animals, vehicles, and people at once! 

Of course, I must also discuss the degree of obstacle avoidance featured in the EVO II Pro V3. 

It has nearly 20 groups of sensors, from a camera sensor to IMUs and visual sensors. This and its GPS technology allow the EVO Lite+ to create 3D maps to navigate its path. 

Drone videographers, you’ll love how the EVO II Pro V3 works with Live Deck 2 to expand your streaming capabilities. It can stream live and do projection monitoring with its multi-port HDMI outputs. 

**» MORE: **Autel vs. DJI – Which Drones Are Better?

The Live Deck 2 offers five hours of battery, a transmission range of 7.5 miles, and 1080p live streaming video at 60 fps.

Here’s the cherry on top.

The EVO II Pro V3 is available as part of a starter bundle deal with all the accessories you need to start flying, from one spare battery to a power cable, spare control sticks, a carrying case, an RC charging cable and charger, a power cable, and spare props. 

What to look for when buying a drone to film a wedding #

You’ve probably put together your shopping list after reading about the above great drones. 

Before you narrow down your choices to the cream of the crop, consider these factors that the ideal wedding videography drone should have. 

Size and portability #

If you haven’t been to a wedding in a while, or if it’s been forever since you got married, let me remind you of something.

Most wedding venues are pretty cramped, especially if it’s a full house. 

You need a drone that’s ready to travel. Ideally, it should fold up so you can stow it away in a carry case or backpack. When unfolded, it should be a good size and weight for indoor and outdoor use. 

That’s why so many of the drones on my list are mini. 

**» MORE: **The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with a Drone

CMOS sensor size #

Videographers need to pay attention to CMOS sensor size as much as drone photographers.

The size of your drone sensor dictates how much light gets in, which can affect the mood and tone of your videos.

You don’t want what should otherwise be a tender moment being ruined by a flood of sunlight through the stained glass windows.

The footage would require heavy editing, and even then, it won’t be up to your usual standards.

Keep in mind that even if your drone doesn’t have a sensor size you’re enamored with, many include adjustable apertures, and you can always use ND filters.

You can tinker with these settings until you get the right lighting. 

**» MORE: **Do’s and Don’ts When Shooting Drone Videography

Obstacle avoidance #

A videography drone for weddings must have obstacle avoidance, and not just any basic system, but an advanced one.

The drone itself needs sensors, and maybe a few camera sensors too, that detect obstacles in real-time and create an avoidance plan before you even know something is wrong. 

That’s the key to keeping your presence at a wedding to a minimum. You can capture the footage you need, get paid, and be on to the next gig. 

**» MORE: **Obstacle Avoidance in DJI Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Noise level #

Of everything I’ll talk about in this section, this might be the biggest consideration.

A drone has to be quiet at a wedding, because they’re full of moments so quiet you can almost hear a pin drop. If your drone is in the background going vrrrrr, the bride and groom might also regret their decision to hire you. 

You have to consider that while you’re the pro videographer, you won’t be the only one taking wedding videos.

Everyone will have their phones out, on, and facing the blushing bride and her new groom. They don’t want your drone noise interrupting their videos, either.

The more whisper-quiet your drone is, the better. 

**» MORE: **Drone Noise Reduction: 8 Ways to Make Your Drone Quieter

Battery life #

A good drone pilot always travels with a few spare batteries, but your drone’s baseline battery life with one (or two, depending on the model) batteries should be sufficient enough that you rarely have to reach for your spares. 

You need a battery of at least 30 minutes, but a longer life of 40 minutes is better. After all, the advertised battery life is never what you actually get.

It’s always several minutes shorter, so a battery life of only 30 minutes is really more like 26 or 27 minutes. 

**» MORE: **Flight Time of All DJI Drones (Explained)

Video quality  #

Of course, I was going to get to this. As a pro drone videographer, you compete with thousands of other pilots for every gig you land.

You need an advantage, a way to get a leg up over your competition, and cutting-edge video quality is the way.

Drones with jaw-droppingly good video resolution usually cost more, so you will need a bigger budget. 

**» MORE: **How to Choose a High Quality Camera Drone

Smart features #

You don’t always have to manually fly your drone today to take cinematic shots.

Drones from major names like Autel and DJI have automated smart features that will zip your drone around the room in a dependable pattern.

You must make sure you have a wide enough berth for these stunts before attending them! 

**» MORE: **Smart Features in Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Storage space #

You can have your battery situation taken care, but if your drone lacks enough storage space, it won’t matter how much battery you have.

You won’t be able to continue taking videos because you have nowhere to save them. 

Most drones don’t have great storage out of the gate, so plan on bringing a few spare SD (microSD) cards.

Video files tend to take up far more space than images, so the more cards, the merrier! 

**» MORE: **Understanding SD Cards for Drones (Explained For Beginners)

Download and Livestream capabilities  #

If the bride and groom give you permission, you can livestream their wedding via your drone to everyone who couldn’t attend.

Well, if your drone has those capabilities, that is. 

The best drones for wedding videography can transmit live footage miles away in excellent quality. You should also have good download speeds.  

**» MORE: **DJI Mini 3 / Mini 3 Pro – How to Live Stream on YouTube (Video)

Is wedding drone filming legal? #

It can be, but it depends on where the wedding takes place.

For the sake of simplicity, I’ll assume you’re having a wedding in the United States. That means the FAA creates all the rules about aviation use. 

If your clients have a wedding or reception in their backyard, you’re legally allowed to fly the drone on their property. You can even legally fly your drone over the neighbors’ property and across the neighborhood.

However, you can’t launch or land your drone on the neighbor’s property, as that’s illegal. 

If the wedding takes place in the client’s home, you can still legally film, but you can’t use your drone to enter another person’s home or invade their privacy, such as filming through a window. 

As for weddings that take place outside of the home, it’s not entirely up to the bride and groom. For example, if they’re getting married in a hotel ballroom, the hotel has the final say over whether drones are allowed.

You might have to get a videography permit, so ideally, the clients should hire you months in advance so you can get all your I’s dotted and T’s crossed long before the big day. 

**» MORE: **Best Part 107 Online Test Prep Courses (With Best Pass Rate)

FPV vs. standard drones to film a wedding – Which is better? #

Although I didn’t spotlight any FPV drones, they can be a suitable choice for wedding videography.

After all, FPV drones excel in flying in small places, such as indoor environments and tight wedding halls. They can also reach high speeds to take shots of everything going on during the wedding and reception as it happens. 

FPV drones are becoming more mainstream by the day, with major drone names like DJI producing two FPV drones: the DJI FPV and Avata. 

However, they’re only beneficial to fly if you already have the right training and experience. Otherwise, using an FPV drone would be a disaster!

Since they’re excellent at indoor filming, I’d most suggest FPVs for those types of weddings and standard drones for outdoor events. 

**» MORE: **DJI Avata vs. Cinebot 30 (Here’s My Choice)


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