Over the past few years, drone technology has become increasingly better. The rise of surveillance drones has allowed people track things that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
For example, in 2016, a husband followed his wife with his drone to see if she was cheating on him. It turns out she was!
These drones can also be used to track wildlife and even potential trespassers on your property. In this post, we’re going to review the 6 best surveillance drones that you can buy today.
DJI Phantom 4
The first model that we’re going to talk about is the DJI Phantom 4. It’s currently one of the best RC drones that you can buy today. For surveillance purposes, there’s no other model I’d rather have.
Not matter who are what you’re surveying, flight time is critical. That’s why I included the DJI Phantom 4 on this list- it has an impressive flight time of close to half-an-hour!
It’s also relatively fast. At its quickest, it can travel at 45 MPH, which is great. Combined with a 1,200 FPS camera, you’re looking at one of the best surveillance drones for sale on the market.
To be honest, I can’t think of too many drawbacks to this quadcopter. Perhaps the only one is its price, but that can easily be overlooked considering how many features you get in return.
Also, if you’re looking for something that’s sleek and cool-looking, then the DJI Phantom 4 won’t disappoint.
Parrot Bebop 2
Another great drone for surveillance is the Parrot Bebop 2. It offers a respectable flight time of 25 minutes which, for the price, is phenomenal.
Since surveillance cameras are designed for observing a specific area (or object), they need to be good. Fortunately, the Parrot Bebop’s camera is high-quality.
The quadcopter features a 14-megapixel 1080 camera that will capture clear aerial footage while on-the-move. At 30 FPS, you won’t be disappointed.
What about range? The Parrot Bebop 2 has a range of about 300 meters. That’s typically the best-case scenario.
If you’re in a crowded city environment with many buildings and interfering signals, then the range will probably be shorter. Check it out and let me know what you think!
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced
Next on our list of best surveillance drones is the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced. Although it’s not quite as good as the DJI Phantom 4, it’s very close.
The flight time for this quadcopter is 25-28 minutes and it’s capable of streaming 720p video live. Even if you’re flying in windy conditions, the Phantom 3’s camera will still deliver stable footage.
That’s due to the fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal on the drone. The reason this drone is so great for surveillance is that it allows you to fly via FPV.
This means that you get to see what your drone’s camera sees in real time. As for range, you can fly the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced about a mile away before you start to lose signal.
Some flyers claim being able to fly theirs up to 3 miles away, but I’ve never been able to accomplish this with my own model.
Yuneec Typhoon Q500
The Yuneec Typhoon Q500 will make for an excellent surveillance quadcopter, and here’s why: it has a flight time of 25 minutes, a high-quality camera, and is super-easy to control.
Firstly, it’s powered by a 5,400 mAh Li-Po battery (sorry to disappoint all you gasoline-powered drone fans out there!). The live stream range is about 600 meters, which is pretty good.
I really like the fact that the camera has a 130-degree field of view. This will allow you to capture more scenery while doing surveillance.
The design is aesthetically appealing and the drone comes with a 2.4 GHz, 10-channel transmitter with a built-in FPV screen.
Traxxas Aton Plus Quadcopter
No list of best surveillance drones would be complete without mentioning the Traxxas Aton Plus Quadcopter. The Aton offers the best of both worlds: it’s super-stable and can surpass speeds of 50 MPH.
There aren’t many similarly-priced drones on the market capable of doing that! The quadcopter comes with a 2-axis gimbal, which should yield better surveillance footage.
It’s powered by a powerful 5,000 mAh 3s Li-Po battery. What I like about this drone is that it’s fast and agile enough for experienced flyers, yet, easy to fly for beginners. My favorite feature is the “Return-to-Home” feature.
Here’s how it works: If you get into trouble, just press the “return-to-home” button on the transmitter and the drone will return to its original starting location without you having to do anything.
This surveillance quadcopter is tough, comes with LED lights for night flying, and is fully customizable.
DJI Mavic Pro
Last but certainly not least is the DJI Mavic Pro. This small, yet, highly-powerful drone will take to the skies with seemingly infinite power. It’s much more compact and sleek than the other models on this list.
I’d go as far as to say that it’s DJI’s most sophisticated quadcopter yet. The best surveillance drones need to be extremely stable, and the DJI Mavic Pro meets this standard.
It offers a 4K camera, 3-axis gimbal, 4 vision sensors, and a range of about 4.3 miles. When folded up, the quadcopter is about the size of a water bottle. That says a lot about how compact it really is.
Also, with a 27-minute flight time and 4-mile range, you’ll have a ton of flexibility as far as what you’re able to accomplish with it.
New flyers will appreciate the drone’s “Obstacle Avoidance” feature that will help keep you in the air and reduce the risk of a crash.
Why Buy a Surveillance Drone?
The dictionary definition of ‘Surveillance’ means “close observation, especially of a suspected spy or criminal”. While you probably won’t be spying on criminals, there are other good reasons to own a good surveillance drone. They include:
- Trespassing: Whether you’re trying to protect a commercial or residential property, a reliable quadcopter can be used to check if people are trespassing. This is far less risky than going out and checking yourself. For example, if you own a farm and you think some pesky teenagers are playing in your cornfield, you can use a drone to check it out.
- Tracking Animals: Let’s say that you’re a hunter and you’re trying to find the most lucrative place to setup. Using your RC drone, you can fly around and see where the animals are spending their time. You can also use it to avoid potential predators.
- Spying: Do you have a sneaking suspicion that your significant other or child are lying to you about where they’re going? If so, why not use an RC drone to follow them? This guy did it and caught his wife cheating!
- Search and Rescue: Finally, a good surveillance drone can be used to find people who are missing. They’re especially useful in wooded areas where it’s difficult to navigate through by foot.
As you can see, the potential applications for these types of drones are endless. No matter what your reason for using them, the models above will be sure to get the job done.
5 Qualities to Keep in Mind
Here are the top 5 qualities to look for when shopping:
- Flight Time: First and foremost, you need something that can stay in the air for a long time (preferably more than 20 minutes). The DJI Phantom 4 offers the most flight time of all the models on this list.
- Camera: Aside from good flight time, you need a high-quality camera that can deliver pristine footage and that’s stable. If the footage is fuzzy or is shaky, then you wasted your money. The DJI Mavic Pro offers phenomenal video resolution.
- Stability: If you live in an area that’s very windy, then you need to make it a priority to buy a drone that is on the heavier/more stable side. Both the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced and DJI Phantom 4 are good choices for this.
- Ease of Use: Obviously, if the drone is too difficult or confusing to fly then it doesn’t matter how good it is. I really like how easy the Parrot Bebop 2 is to fly. If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend that you check it out.
- Price: Finally, you want something that’s not going to break the bank. On this list, the cheapest model is the Traxxas Aton Plus Quadcopter. All the other models on this list are $1,000 (or very close to it).
Since no drone is perfect, it’s unlikely that you’ll find one that meets these qualifications. The one that comes the closest to meeting them all, in my opinion, is the Phantom 4.
I hope you found this guide useful. If you know of any other drones that are good enough to make this list of best surveillance drones for sale, then let me know and I’ll add them to the list whenever I update it in the future. Thanks for visiting, and as always, good luck and fly safe!