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For years, creating a great landscape picture has been one of the greatest challenges for photographers of all stages. Getting the right angle, lighting, and perspective was extremely complicated, especially for beginners.
However, with the revolution of drone technology, landscape photography has become immensely easier to get the hang of.
In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the best drones for landscape photography currently on the market, do a detailed review of each one, and walk you through the overall process.
What to Look for When Choosing a Drone for Landscape Photography?
If you are buying a drone solely for the purpose of using it for landscape photography, your main focus should be on getting one that has large sensors and a stellar pixel resolution.
You can get great image quality with 1-inch sensors, while at the same time, you won’t have to worry about the drone being too heavy or big.
In the case of video, flexibility is your primary concern, we recommend that you get a drone with a 12-megapixel resolution.
Also, it’s better to use built-in camera systems instead of drones that require DSLR and lens additions. A drone with a built-in camera is undoubtedly a lot lighter and will do the job just as well.
Other than the camera, some of the things you should look out for when choosing a landscape photography drone are plan location apps, RAW footage options with a low aperture, exposure bracketing, and automatic ISO. All of these features are needed for capturing the perfect angles.
Best Drones for Landscape Photography
Now that you know some of the features you should look out for, let’s check specific models.
After doing enough research, this is the list that we have come up with for the best drones for landscape photography.
DJI Air 2S
The DJI Air 2S is one of the most popular drones among landscape photographers – and for a good reason.
It’s small, lightweight, has a great battery life, includes numerous intelligent flight mode features, and it has a 1-inch sensor that can shoot some amazing pictures.
In terms of looks, this model is very similar to the previous version (DJI Air 2), but it comes with a bigger camera sensor which boosts the overall quality of your shots. With a weight of around 595 g, the footprint looks almost identical, both folded and unfolded.
One of the best things about this model is the high-quality camera. As we said, the Air 2S has upgraded its image sensor to a 1-inch type that can capture 20 MP images and around 5.4K video.
If you use the full 5.4K resolution, you will be able to shoot video at 30 fps, but if you decrease the resolution to 4K, you can shoot at 60 fps.
The Auto Mode is highly praised, and most photographers recommend this option for capturing the best quality images. You can also use the pro mode if you need granular control.
- Weight: 595 g
- Camera quality: 20 MP with 1-inch lens
- Video quality: 5.4K at 30 fps and 4K at 60 fps
- Battery life: around 30 minutes
- High-quality camera
- Lightweight and compact
- Lots of features
DJI Mavic 3
This model is considered to be one of the most powerful drones currently on the market. It features two cameras – the first one is a 24mm EFL which is the main camera, while the second one comes with advanced hybrid zoom features.
The main camera captures shots at 20 MP, and it brings plenty of features such as exposure, aperture, and an adjustable ISO to the table.
Also, the Mavic 3 is one of the best models when it comes to battery life. You can fly it for approximately 45 minutes, which means you will be able to capture some stellar landscape footage even in more distant locations.
There is also a ProRes 422 HQ video format which includes a 1TB SSD card – the most extensive on the market. Having enough memory space for your pictures won’t be a concern with this model.
- Weight: 895g
- Video resolution: 5.1K HDR 50 FPS
- Camera resolution: 20 MP, plus 12 MP
- Battery life: around 45 minutes
- Two cameras (including a ‘Hybrid Zoom’ feature)
- Great battery life
- Advanced features
- Firmware isn’t the best
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
The Mavic 2 Pro stands out as one of the best drones on the market for beginner and amateur landscape photographers.
First of all, this drone comes at a great price, and considering how budget-friendly it is, it’s a bit surprising that it offers so many features.
There is a 20 MP camera with a 1-inch sensor that guarantees high-quality shot-making. Plus, it has a Hasselblad lens, which is nothing short of remarkable.
You can also use the model for high dynamic range recording since it has a great Dlog-M and allows HLG HDR implementation.
The battery life can last up to around 30 minutes.
- Weight: 905g
- Camera resolution: 20 MP
- Video resolution: 4K HDR 30 FPS
- Battery life: 30 minutes
- Hasselblad lens
- Solid video resolution
- Advanced software features
- A bit heavy
DJI Inspire 2
DJI spent a lot of time reworking and upgrading the features of the Inspire 1, and to be honest – they did one hell of a job.
The DJI Inspire 2 stands as one of the most popular choices among professional landscape photographers.
It comes with several advanced flight modes, and it has an extremely high-quality obstacle avoidance feature. This makes it among the safest options for landscape photography in mountains, forests, and other risky areas.
There are two remote controllers – one for the aircraft and the other for the camera. This provides you with full control over the footage.
- Weight: 7250g
- Camera resolution: 20 MP
- Video resolution: 5K 30 FPS and 4k 60 FPS
- Battery life: 25 minutes
- Nice video resolution
- Interchangeable cameras
- Safety features such as high-quality obstacle avoidance
- May be complicated to use for beginners
Drone Settings for Landscape Photography
As we mentioned before, drones with larger sensors are the best option for landscape photography. This is because they contain a lot more pixels which result in more detailed photographs. They are also much better for low-light settings.
However, you should know that sometimes you will have to make some changes to your resolution in order to get the perfect one for your photography needs.
Here are some of the settings you can use to modify the resolution:
- Windowing – Makes the image sensor take out a cropped section of a higher resolution
- Line skipping – Overlooks resolution lines. This will fix the resolution but it can also lead to degraded picture quality.
- Pixel binning – A much better alternative to line skipping, this process involves combining the sensor values during demosaicing.
- Subsampling – This refers to image signal resampling. Depending on the method you use, the results will vary.
Drone Tips for Landscape Photography
These are some of the tips you can use when setting up the features on your drone.
👉 App Integration
By using drone apps, you can change the settings and gain access to crucial flight data. You can choose a suitable shooting mode and pick an option such as aperture priority, shutter priority, and full-auto.
👉 Shot Composition
Drones are great for landscape photography since they can provide you with a whole different perspective.
You can acquire a birds-eye view of different places and examine patterns and textures. However, the best thing is that you will be able to view hard-to-reach areas.
Landscape panoramas are one of the most beautiful drone photography shots. You can create them by using automated panorama shooting modes that work by positioning the drone in a specific place where you can take the shots.
👉 Shooting and Flight Modes
The Aperture Priority mode usually works best for landscape photographers. Drone cameras can automatically determine the appropriate ISO and shutter speed for your shooting needs.
For example, the Mavic 2 is great in this regard since it offers different flight modes like Tripod mode and Sport mode that enhance image resolution.
👉 RAW Support
To create stellar landscape photos, you should also make sure your drone can shoot in RAW. This feature allows you to take full advantage of the sensor data.
Out of the drones that we have reviewed, the one that stands out with the best image quality is the DJI Mavic 3. Although they all have a 20 MP camera, the Mavic 3 also includes a ‘Hybrid Zoom’ feature.
All of the drones on our list are able to shoot in RAW. This provides photographers with much more detailed shots.
The DJI Inspire 2 might be the most popular amongst professional landscape photographers. However, depending on your individual shooting needs, the Inspire 2 doesn’t have to always be the perfect option.