Autonomous drones revolutionize the way pilots engage in flight, allowing them to adopt a more hands-off approach, directing their attention towards photography and videography. The incorporation of automatic features facilitates flawlessly executed stunts with ease. If you’re seeking the best autonomous drones currently available, here are some exceptional options to consider:
1. Potensic Dreamer Pro
The Atom SE from Potensic has been a popular topic of discussion, but among autonomous drones, the Dreamer Pro stands out as one of the best offerings from this brand.
Engineered for exceptional performance, the Dreamer Pro incorporates Potensic’s innovative PowerAC Dynamic System. This system empowers the drone to intelligently assess its power needs and provide the necessary boost accordingly, resulting in impressive acceleration of 10 meters per second within a mere 0.1 seconds, effectively tripling its power output.
Following in the footsteps of DJI, the Dreamer Pro boasts hands-off Intelligent Flight Modes, ensuring ease of use even for inexperienced pilots. The classic follow-me mode enables the drone to track you, while the Orbit Flight mode allows it to elegantly rotate around a subject. Notably, you can customize the flight range, speed, and direction to suit your preferences.
For added convenience, the Return to Home feature automatically brings the drone back to you, equipped with obstacle detection for a safe and seamless return journey. The Waypoint Flight mode allows you to set specific GPS coordinates as waypoints for the drone’s flight path.
Safety remains a top priority at Potensic, evident in the Dreamer Pro’s use of auto-RTH (Return to Home) in case of weak signals or low battery levels. This feature ensures the drone autonomously returns to you if you begin to lose control.
The camera on the Dreamer Pro is equipped with a high-quality 1/3-inch Sony CMOS sensor, capturing stunning 16MP images and breathtaking 4K HDR videos as you fly, providing an impressive flight time of up to 28 minutes.
2. DJI Air 2S
DJI’s Air 2S, the latest iteration of the Mavic Air series, continues the tradition of offering advanced autonomous features to enhance each flight according to your objectives.
Staying true to DJI’s reputation, the Air 2S comes packed with an array of Intelligent Flight Modes, catering to both photography and videography enthusiasts. Among these modes are Sphere, Wide-Angle, 180-Degree, and Hyperlapse, providing automatic flight options for capturing stunning visuals.
A noteworthy addition is MasterShots, an evolutionary step from DJI’s QuickShots feature. By simply selecting a location or subject, the Air 2S orchestrates ten different maneuvers, expertly filming your target while keeping them centered in the frame throughout. The feature further offers Landscape, Portrait, and Proximity modes for added versatility.
FocusTrack is another highlight, featuring three more Intelligent Flight Modes: Point of Interest 3.0, ActiveTrack 4.0, and Spotlight 2.0. Tracking subjects has never been easier, allowing you to effortlessly follow and capture captivating footage.
To alleviate the concerns of manual flying and potential crashes, the Air 2S incorporates DJI’s Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 4.0, providing reliable obstacle avoidance technology. Additionally, the drone is equipped with four-directional obstacle sensing to ensure a safe flying experience.
The Air 2S boasts a high-quality 1-inch CMOS camera capable of capturing 20 MP photos and recording videos in 5.4K at 30 frames per second, delivering impressive visual results. With a flight time of approximately 31 minutes, the drone offers a decent duration for its age, ensuring you can capture your desired shots without rushing.
3. Parrot Anafi
The Parrot Anafi has earned its well-deserved reputation as one of the most renowned drones available, owing to its impressive features and capabilities.
Powered by AI technology, this drone offers a diverse range of autonomous modes that are sure to captivate users. Among these modes are “Follow Me,” “Standard,” and “Cameraman.” The latter ensures the subject remains in focus while capturing overhead videos, allowing you to adjust the Anafi’s movements to maintain perfect framing.
Additionally, the Anafi presents the remarkable “Hyperlapse” mode, enabling the creation of fast-paced videos showcasing dynamic scenes like moving clouds, bustling traffic, or mesmerizing sunrise-to-sunset transitions. On the other hand, the automated “Slow-Motion” mode offers the opposite effect, delivering stunningly cinematic footage. Furthermore, the “Dolly Zoom Effect” automatically adjusts the zoom according to the Anafi’s visual tracking system, adding a touch of cinematic flair to your shots.
For those seeking aerial selfies, the “SmartDronies” mode is perfect, while “CineShots” offers a selection of exciting modes like “360-Degree,” “Rise,” “Epic,” and “Reveal.”
Safety features are well-integrated into the Anafi’s design, including “Find My Drone,” which utilizes mapping to assist you in locating your lost UAV. While “Geofencing” might sound restrictive, you have control over the parameters, and “Smart RTH” guides your drone back to you when needed.
Constructed with a carbon fiber body, the Anafi achieves a commendable balance of durability and weight, ensuring optimal performance. However, since it surpasses the 250-gram threshold, registration is still necessary.
The drone’s 1/2.4-inch CMOS camera boasts an impressive 2.8x lossless zoom, delivering exceptional 21 MP image quality and stunning 4K video footage. Additionally, the gimbal allows for a 180-degree tilt, enhancing the versatility and creativity of your shots.
4. DJI Mini 2
While the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro may be newer releases, drone pilots can’t help but be enamored by the Mini 2 for several compelling reasons.
One significant draw is its affordable price point and compact size, making it an attractive option for many enthusiasts. However, what truly sets it apart is the plethora of autonomous features it offers.
Equipped with QuickShots, the Mini 2 unlocks a world of fun modes, including Helix, Boomerang, Circle, Dronie, and Rocket, allowing you to effortlessly capture dynamic aerial shots. Moreover, the drone supports various photo and video modes, such as Sphere, Wide-Angle, and 180-Degree panoramas, providing ample creative opportunities for budding drone photographers and videographers.
The Mini 2’s 1/2.3-inch CMOS camera further enhances its appeal, capable of shooting in 12 MP image quality and stunning 4K video resolution, ensuring your visual content is of high caliber.
Being foldable, portable, and lightweight, the Mini 2 enjoys the advantage of more lenient drone laws due to its weight. This means you can enjoy flying without the need for FAA registration, adding to the convenience of owning this drone.
In terms of flight performance, the Mini 2 impresses with a remarkable 31-minute flight time, which remains quite commendable even considering its age in the market. All these features combined make the Mini 2 a favored choice among drone enthusiasts, sparking continuous discussions and admiration in the drone community.
5. Holy Stone HS700E
The Holy Stone HS700E exemplifies that you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy the benefits of autonomous features in a drone.
This drone comes equipped with Intelligent Flight functions, and its capabilities are further enhanced through the free Holy Stone app. Users can take advantage of modes like “Follow Me” and “Point of Interest,” making aerial filming and photography a breeze.
Another useful feature is “Tap Fly,” which allows you to draw a flight path, and the HS700E will dutifully follow the designated route.
The HS700E is also equipped with a remarkable 4K camera, complete with electronic image stabilization, ensuring smooth and steady footage. The camera can transmit images at 5 GHz, and its adjustable 90-degree tilt and 130-degree FOV lens provide ample flexibility to capture the perfect shots.
Powered by brushless motors, the HS700E maintains steady performance throughout its flights, providing an impressive 23 minutes of airtime per battery. This combination of affordability and outstanding features makes the HS700E a compelling choice for drone enthusiasts seeking a high-quality and user-friendly experience.