So you’re looking for a drone camera? Here’s what you should know first.
After buying a drone, the next common thing for people to do is stick a camera on it. But not everyone has the money for a top spec DSLR. So today I’ll be showing you 3 of the best drone cameras for sale right now, along with some benefits of using one over the other.
Before we start, I just want to mention that I’ll be putting these 3 cameras in the order of lowest to highest video quality, but just because one camera might have better looking video than the others, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider the cheaper ones. Each camera has it’s own benefits and drawbacks.
At the end of this post, you’ll find a chart with all of the most important specs listed for each camera.
#3 Mobius ActionCam
A lot of people think that in order to take decent looking video you have to spend at least $200. But thanks to cameras like the Mobius ActionCam, that really isn’t true anymore. The Mobius is a very small camera that records 1080p video at 30fps. It can also do 720p at 60fps, but I only use the 1080p option 99% of the time.
it weighs about 40 grams, which is about half as much as the GoPro hero 3 Plus Black edition. It’s also about half the size.
The most attractive feature of the Mobius is the price. With a price of $65 to $80 depending on where you get it, you could buy 5 of them for the price of one GoPro! Now obviously, you’re not going to be able to shoot a production quality film with a Mobius. The video quality just isn’t good enough. But if you’re just trying to record some video to go on youtube, or you want something with decent video quality that you won’t be afraid to crash with, the Mobius ActionCam is a great option.
If you don’t believe that the mobius is a good camera, click here to watch my latest FPV video on Vimeo. Let me know what you think of the video quality in the comments of this post.
#2 Sony AS100V
Another camera to consider buying is the Sony AS100V, also known as the Sony POV Action Cam. In terms of image quality, it’s in-between the Mobius and the GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition.
Just like the Mobius, the AS100V can shoot 1080p video, but it’s also able to shoot at a higher frame rate of 60fps. The image quality is definitely much better than the Mobius. It’s not as sharp as the GoPro, but it actually performs better in low light conditions and the colors can sometimes look more accurate.
Besides video quality The AS100V also has a few features that not even the GoPro has, like GPS data logging and built in video stabilization that works quite well. Using the GPS, you can track your flight path on a map, see your fastest speed and a few other things.
Another thing that the AS100V does better than the GoPro is sound. The sound quality of the Stereo microphones are very crisp sounding. It seems like you can hear more detail than the GoPro.
Besides the specs. the price of the AS100V is not bad at all. I’ve seen it anywhere from $210 to $230 depending on what it comes with.
If you think about it, you could actually buy 2 AS100V cameras and a Mobius for the same price as the GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition. The only downside with the AS100v is the shape. Because of its extruded bullet like shape, it’s not going to be the easiest thing to mount on your drone, but I guess that all depends on what drone you’re using.
#1 GoPro Hero 3 Plus Black Edition
If you’ve spent any time at all looking for drone cameras, then you’ve probably already seen the GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition. This is an expensive camera, retailing at just under $500. But is it really worth the price?
GoPro is the most well known Action camera company in the world, And the quality of their products are pretty good too, so It’s no wonder the Hero 4 costs more money than it’s competitors. But even being slightly over priced (in my opinion), the video quality of the Hero 4 Black Edition is superb.
The video and images it produces are very sharp compared to all the other action cameras out there, and It’s also one of the only small cameras that can record 4K video at 30fps, as well as 2.7K at 48fps and 1080p at 120fps. There are tons of other video resolutions and frame rates to choose from, but those are the main ones.
Like I said before, the low light and audio capabilities of the Hero 4 aren’t quite as good as the sony AS100v, but it’s still miles ahead of the Mobius!
One thing that you won’t find with any other action camera, is all of the great third party accessories made for the Hero 4. Also, if you’re planning on shooting professional aerial video, the Hero 4 has the widest range of brushless camera gimbals available, including the DJI dji zenmuse h3-3d which is what’s on the Phantom 2.
If you still want to buy a Gopro for your phantom 2 but you don’t like the price, you could also go with the Hero 4 Silver Edition. You just won’t get some of the high end features like 4K video recording. What you do get with the Hero 4 Silver Edition, is an integrated screen.
GoPro Hero4 Black vs Sony HDR-AZ1
Camera Specs Comparison
Below is a comparison between price, max recording resolution, weight and battery life. Before looking at the chart below, one important thing to note is that all three of these cameras can record at different resolutions and frame rates. Basically, the Gopro can Record at any resolution that the Sony can, and the Sony can record at any resolution that the Mobius can.
|Mobius||$65 to $80 (USD)||1080p 30fps||38g||80 min|
|Sony||$290 to $320 (USD)||1080p 60fps||67g||130 min|
|GoPro HERO4 Black||$500 (USD)||4K 30fps||80g||80 min|
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what your needs are. If you’re a cinematographer, then the GoPro Hero 3 Plus Black Edition is the best choice (other than in low light). If you don’t have a lot of cash to spend, then the Mobius definitely is the way to go. But if you’re looking for something with image stabilization, good low light capabilities and cool GPS features, you should take a look at the Sony AS100V.