Best Surveillance Drones for Sale Today

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With the introduction of drones the surveillance through the air is becoming more popular. Unmanned surveillance drones were first used by the police and the military. However, the technology has developed and these drones are becoming more and more prominent in society today. Also, it is expected that the popularity will continue to grow within the coming years.

What is drone surveillance?

Drone surveillance is the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to capture of still images and video to gather information about specific targets, which might be individuals, groups or environments.

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Top Commercial Drones You Can Buy For Surveillance

We will focus on the drones that a regular pilot can buy since the actual military-grade surveillance machines are out of reach for us, mere mortals. Despair not, however, as you can do a lot of tracing and intelligence gathering (now I feel like an FBI agent on a secret mission) with ordinary drones that can be bought on Amazon.

So, let’s see what birds are a good fit for security industry and surveillance.

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DJI Mavic Air 2

This is a brand new DJI drone that was released in April 2020. The drone saw huge improvements over its predecessors. This machine is a real beast with impressive flight time of 34 minutes, 48 MP photos and HDR capabilities.

The Mavic Air 2 weighs 570g (1.3 pound) and feautres a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor capable of 12MP and 48MP photos (JPEG and RAW). When it comes to video, the Mavic Air 2 can shoot up to 4K 60fps at 120 Mpbs. Mavic Air 2 is also capable to shoot in the H.265 HVEC video codec to improve efficiency without any loss in quality.

It is a bit more expensive but also much more feature rich than the Mavic Mini as you can see in our comparison of Air 2 and Mini.

DJI also introduced some new smart camera features on the new Air 2, called Scene Recognition and Hyperlight.

  • Scene Recognition is made for detecting sunsets, blue skies, grass, snow, and trees. It then optimizes images with these objects for a stunning final photo.
  • Hyperlight is a feature that is drumming around mobile markets – it aims to increase the quality of night shots by taking multiple photos and merging them to reduce the amount of noise (graininess) that’s common in low-light images.
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FIMI X8 SE

Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi Tech’s new camera drone X8 SE Drone has made its debut in 2019.

The X8 SE drone is marketed under the subsidiary brand FIMI. The Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE has a 4K camera and a three-axis gimbal and, thanks to its foldable design, resembles the DJI Mavic Pro or DJI Mavic 2 (Pro/Zoom).

The consumer drone has very small dimensions of only 204 x 106 x 72.6 millimetres with the arms folded in. This makes the drone about the size of a conventional smartphone. By comparison, the DJI Mavic 2 measures 214 x 91 x 84 millimetres when folded. The take-off weight of the FIMI X8 SE is 790 grams.  The integrated positioning system consists of a modern GPS and Glonass module. In addition, the XIAOMI FIMI X8 SE has a Vision Positioning System (VPS) on the underside of the housing.
It is quieter than its competitors and can develop decent speed of 65 km/h

When in video mode, the camera can record 4K images at up to 30 fps or 1080p images at up to 60 fps.

The data is stored at a bit rate of 100 Mbps on a local microSD card with up to 64 Gigabyte storage capacity in the drone. The drone is easy to fly and is suitable for beginners and professionals alike.

The Xiaomi FIMI Xiaomi drone has 33 minutes flight time.

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Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 565 x 420 x 240 mm (22.2 x 16.5 x 9.4 inches)
  • Wingspan: 565 mm (22.2 inches)
  • Weight: 1100 grams (2.4 pounds)
  • Battery: 11.1V 5400mAh Li-Po 3S
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Maximum Speed: 29 km/h (18 mph)
  • Maximum Flying Altitude: 122 meters (400 feet)
  • Camera: 12MP 4K camera
  • Operating Range: 800 meters (2625 feet)
  • Controller Frequency: 2.4GHz

The Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon is an RTF drone. This means that it is already assembled and packaged for flight. This drone comes with 3-axis stabilized CG30 12MP 4K precision gimbal camera that is perfect for shooting professional-level video. This is the highest video recording quality available on a built-in camera and records at 120 fps. The camera is situated to experience first person flight experience and the drone also comes with a hand mount to use the camera as a mini handheld stabilized system.

The radio controller incorporates a touch-screen Android device into its design. It has touch screen features that allow you to adjust the video quality, exposure and white balance. The footage, the flight data, telemetry and FPV are also directly viewed from the controller, without further need of a mobile application.

To ensure maximum performance and to deliver high quality surveillance videos, some users recommend upgrading the firmware once you have bought this model. The drone is powered by a powerful 11.1V 5400mAh Li-Po 3S battery and has a flight time of about 25 minutes. Also, the drone ships with an extra battery and a carrying case if you opt for the more expensive package. The manufacturer lists the Q500’s top speed at just under 18mph and the operating range of about 800 meters.

The brand name may not pique some kind of interest for drone enthusiasts. However, in terms of camera this model is on par with leading brands such as DJI Phantom.

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Parrot Bebop 2

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 382 x 328 x 89 mm (15 x 15 x 3.5 inches)
  • Weight: 500 grams (1.1 pounds)
  • Battery: 11.1V 2700mAh Lithium Ion
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Maximum Speed: 58 km/h (36 mph)
  • Camera: 14MP 1080p camera
  • Operating Range: 300 meters (984 feet)
  • Controller Frequency: 2.4GHz

The Parrot Bebop 2 is the second generation of the Parrot Bebop series and it definitely improves on the original. Using a Smartphone app, anyone could fly this drone easily, no experience required. The Bebop 2 features a slender design and 14MP 180-degree fisheye camera. Also, the drone’s well-designed structure gives a first person experience like no other. It also features an onboard memory of 8GB to save all your recorded surveillance.

The drone itself comes with a fast processor. This feature enables it to fix image distortion due to the fish-eye effect while live streaming it straight to your Smartphone. Thanks to its powerful 11.1V 2700mAh Li-Po battery you can have an average surveillance time of 25 minutes with a maximum speed of up to 38 mph.

The Parrot Bebop 2 can be controlled directly from your Smartphone using a specified iOS/Android app. You can also buy SkyController, an optional controller. This controller can increase your flying distance and give you an easy grip in flying your drone. Many users praise the drone’s durability. They claim that they witnessed how this drone went to failsafe and landed from a 20-feet fall with only scratches and two broken props.

The Bebop 2 is also equipped with rear LED lights that will provide more visibility during night time. They will also help you if you have trouble shooting in the dark. Users also suggest buying a GPS autonomous option inside the app. This feature can help you set GPS tracks for the drone to fly.

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Traxxas Aton Plus

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 472 x 472 x 94 mm (18.6 x 18.6 x 3.7 inches)
  • Weight: 771 grams (1.7 pounds)
  • Battery: 11.1V 5000mAh Li-Po 3S
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Maximum Speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • Camera: compatible with GoPro and other Action Cameras
  • Controller Frequency: 2.4GHz

The Traxxas Aton Plus is reasonably priced drone that is loaded with features, such as a return-home feature, air brakes and a really tough composite frame. These features can make professionals and novices stare in admiration. This drone functions better than many of the other drones on the market although it may look like a toy.

The only real disadvantage to purchasing the Traxxas Aton Plus is the lack of camera. However, it is compatible with GoPro and other action cameras and once a camera is attached you can create very smooth, quality media. The 2-axis gimbal is designed to carry a GoPro camera. Thanks to its 2-axis gimbal the drone also provides the pilot with amazing stability. This device provides the videography with a clean and crisp quality product by absorbing all movement.

In Sports Mode the Aton is capable of very aggressive flight and a pilot can easily reach 50+ MPH! With the press of a button you can couple its amazing speed with aerial manoeuvres, which allows for a different and more exciting level of fun. The Traxxas radio for the Aton Plus looks game control- ler-ish. However, it gives you all the functionality you need right at your fingertips and it features super smooth movement on the sticks and their non-skid rubber surfaces. You can have an average surveillance time of 20 minutes, thanks to its 11.1V 5000mAh Li-Po 3S battery.

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DJI Inspire 1 Pro

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 574 x 533 x 297 mm(22.6 x 21 x 11.7 inches)
  • Wingspan: 559 mm (22 inches)
  • Weight: 2870 grams (6.3 pounds)
  • Battery: 22.2V 5700mAh Li-Po 6S
  • Flight Time: 22 minutes
  • Maximum Speed: 64 km/h (40 mph)
  • Maximum Flying Altitude: 120 meters (394 feet)
  • Camera: 16MP 4K camera
  • Operating Range: 5000 meters (16404 feet)
  • Controller Frequency: 5.8GHz

The DJI Inspire 1 Pro combines the finest quality with a reasonable price and it is the go-to drone for surveillance and commercial videographers. This drone’s style, with the state of the art mechanical scheme, lives up to the next generations’ era. This drone can be intimidating to behold and it is a large piece of professional equipment and not a toy for your kids.

If you have set your eyes on the Phantom 3 you should know that all functions of the Phantom 3 are included in this model. The Inspire 1 Pro comes with even further enhancements. It is equipped with Zenmuse X5, the first in the world to feature Micro Four Thirds camera, with a DJI branded 15mm f/1.7 lens capable of shooting crystal clear 4K video and high-definition images.

This camera will give you the next-next tier in aerial photography and it is designed specifically for aerial shots and surveillance. Also, DJI’s new vision positioning system provides stable tracking and the GPS is no longer needed to keep the drone stable. The drone is equipped with a powerful 22.2V 5700mAh Li-Po 6S that allows about 22 minutes of flight time.

Overall, the DJI Inspire 1 Pro is an amazing piece of professional equipment and those who can afford the price tag will be in store for a great treat worth every bit of money they paid.

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Cheerson CXHOBBY CX-20 Professional

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 360 x 360 x 200 mm (14.1 x 14.1 x 7.9 inches)
  • Wingspan: 509 mm (20 inches)
  • Weight: 980 grams (2.2 pounds)
  • Battery: 11V 2700mAh Li-Po 3S
  • Flight Time: 15 minutes
  • Maximum Speed: 30 km/h (18 mph)
  • Maximum Flying Altitude: 300 meters (984 feet)
  • Camera: camera not included, GoPro camera mount
  • Operating Range: 1500 meters (4921 feet)
  • Controller Frequency: 2.4GHz

The Cheerson CXHOBBY CX-20 Professional is a highly efficient and versatile drone and it is one of the best aerial surveillance drones in the market. This drone combines distinct features such as flight duration, the strength, durability into one to make it a powerful aerial surveillance drone.

The design of CX-20 Professional is quite impressive and this drone is better when compared to other models in terms of stability. The CX-20 Auto Pathfinder has the IOC function of the MX autopilot system. This means that the outputs of all command sticks from controller will go to the center position when the communication between the Mx Controller and the transmitter is disconnected.

The system will automatically trigger Return To Home if the GPS signal is good and the drone will land safely. Auto-Pathfinder also has two levels of low voltage protection that prevents your drone from crashing or other harmful consequences caused by low battery voltage.

The CX-20 is not equipped with a camera. However, this drone is compatible with external cameras such as GoPro camera that can easily attach to the drone’s main body via a compatible stabilization gimbal. The drone is fitted with LED lights to aid orientation during flight. It is also equipped with a powerful 11V 2700mAh Li-Po 3S battery that gives you about 15 minutes of surveillance time.

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DJI Phantom 4

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 292 x 292 x 178 mm (11.5 x 11.5 x 7 inches)
  • Wingspan: 350 mm (13.8 inches)
  • Weight: 1380 grams (3 pounds)
  • Battery: 15.2V 5350mAh Li-Po 4S
  • Flight Time: 28 minutes
  • Maximum Speed: 72 km/h (45 mph)
  • Maximum Flying Altitude: 6000 meters (19685 feet)
  • Camera: 12MP 4K camera
  • Operating Range: 5000 meters (16404 feet)
  • Controller Frequency: 2.4GHz

The DJI Phantom 4 has features that can outshine other surveillance drones, such as Built-In Redundancies, High-Speed Flight, Visionary Intelligence Elevated Imagination and Intelligent Flight Support Systems. This model is boasted as one of the smartest camera drones DJI has created yet.

The DJI Phantom 4 also features the ActiveTrack flight mode, which allows for an object to be focused on the device’s screen, and the drone will then follow it. This feature makes the Phantom 4 the perfect aerial surveillance drone. The drone can also avoid obstacles, like trees and buildings while following the subject. The best thing is that it will still maintain a steady frame for your media.

The DJI Phantom 4 comes equipped with one of the best cameras currently available on the market. The camera is ready to shoot 4K videos at 30 fps. It even comes equipped with fun features such as slow motion. This amazing feature allows for the production of creative and unique media footage.

The users say that the produced media is always top-notch even at impressive speeds of 45 mph. The manufacturer coupled these amazing stats with a broad field-of-view lens. This feature gives every flyer the ability to shoot the cleanest and most crisp aerial footage of today.

The Phantom 4 boasts an impressive 28 minute flight time and the range of 5000 meters is one of the furthest we have reviewed thus far. All in all, this surveillance drone is definitely one of the best on the market and it is worth every penny.

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Conclusion

The launch of drones has definitely revolutionized the area of surveillance. The surveillance drones make the life of people a lot easier. The development of these drones has also created a great impact on the media. Today, we can see the media using a drone for shooting photos and videos that are really difficult for a human being to shoot. Also, uses of these drones are becoming more and more popular in the armies in different countries.

The surveillance drones have also made it easy to keep a watch on big farmlands. You can also use them for hunting and anti-hunting. All in all, the surveillance drones are very popular and extremely useful today and we will definitely see the rise in the use of these drones in the nearby future.

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