Best Long Range Drones For Sale [6 Outstanding Camera Drones!]

Drone technology is evolving surprisingly fast, and drones can now fly much longer distances than before.

We reviewed the best of the farthest flying drones.

Top of the list is the DJI Phantom 4, with a range of up to 5 km, and an outstanding flight time of around 28 minutes. It also has a 4k camera, and obstacle detection.

The Hexacopter Typhoon H by Yuneec also impresses with a 1.6 km range and a flight time of around 25 minutes. It carries a 4k camera, and can detect and navigate around obstacles.

Reviewed below are 6 Awesome Long Range Drones with Cameras:

ModelRangeFlight TimeCamera
DJI Phantom 45 km28 min4k Video 12 MP Photo
DJI Inspire 1 v.25 km18 min4k Video 12 MP Photo 360⁰ Range 9 Layer Lens
3DR SOLO1 km20 minGoPro
Yuneec Typhoon H1.6 km25 min4k Video 12.4 MP Photo 360⁰ Rotation
DJI Phantom 3 Standard1 km25 min2.7k Video 12 MP Photo

DJI Phantom 4

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DJI Phantom 4 is a long range FPV drone that was unveiled on 1st March  2016.

The flight time of 28 minutes is very impressive, and almost unheard of in prosumer drones.

The range is equally impressive with a control range of up to 5 km.

It also has “Follow me mode” and an advanced obstacle detection.

It’s more powerful and efficient than its previous predecessor, the DJI 3 Phantom, and has set the bar very high for affordable consumer drones.

Aircraft

The drone weighs 1380 g. It has a maximum ascending and descending speed of 6 m/s and 4 m/s respectively. It has a maximum cruising speed of 20 m/s and a flight time of approximately 28 minutes.

Obstacle Sensing

It has frontal obstacle sensors that have coupled with an advanced computer vision processing to enable the drone spot and avoid obstacles on its flight path.

Camera

The camera captures images in 4000 x 3000. It’s capable of both a single shot and burst shooting of 3, 5 and 7 frames.

It’s capable of both Time lapse and High Dynamic Range imaging (HDR). The image formats supported include JPEG and DNG.

Live view

DJI GO is a mobile application that enables you to control the DJI 4 Phantom with your smart device.

It also enables you to create and share content.

It is compatible with iOS 8.0 and Android 4.1.2 or later versions of the two.

It has a Live View Working Frequency of 2.4 GHZ ISM.

Gimbal

The gimbal has a controllable pitch within a range of -90° to +30°. It has 3 axes, the pitch, roll, and yaw.

Remote Controller

The controller operating frequency varies from 2.400 GHz to 2.483GHz.

Its maximum transmission distance ranges from 3.5 Km (for CE compliant) and 5 Km (for FCC compliant).

Intelligent Flight Battery

It uses LiPo 4S battery with a capacity of 5350 mAh.

Pros

  • Outstanding flight time of 28 minutes
  • Very powerful range of up to 5 km
  • Unique obstacle avoidance
  • Active Track capability able to recognize and naturally follow objects
  • It has Sports Mode which enables the drone to cruise fast
  • It comes with an integrated gimbal and 4k camera

Cons

  • The set-up time is quite high
  • Fairly high price tag
  • Extra batteries also pretty pricey

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DJI Inspire 1

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The Inspire was created by DJI to be an all in one flying platform for photos and video. It has retractable carbon arms that can move out of the cameras view and give a  360⁰ unobstructed view perfect for film making. 

Focused more on film makers than normal consumers, the DJI has an outstanding range of up to 5 km and a flight time of around 18 minutes.

Aircraft

The drone weighs 2935 g. It has a maximum cruising speed of 22 m/s and a flight time of approximately 18 minutes.

It connects to both GPS and GLONASS hence it connects to satellites faster and positions itself very accurately.

Camera

The Inspire 1 v.2 is fitted with a 4k camera, shooting 12 MP photos and using a 9-layer lens. You can shoot in 360⁰.

Live view

DJI GO is a mobile application that enables you to fly the DJI Inspire 1. It also enables you to create and share content. It is compatible with iOS 8.0 and Android 4.1.2 or later versions of the two.

Gimbal

It’s fitted with a ZENMUSEX3 gimbal. The gimbal is detachable and has a controllable pitch within a range of -90° to +30° and pan of ±320°.

Remote Controller

The controller operating frequency varies from 2.400 GHz to 2.483GHz or 5.725 to 5.825 GHz.

Its maximum transmission distance ranges from 3.5 Km (for CE compliant) and 5 Km (for FCC compliant).

It can hold both tablets and phones. It has two video ports for USB and mini-HDMI output.

Intelligent Flight Battery

It uses LiPo 6S battery with a capacity of 4500 mAh.

Pros

  • Outstanding range of up to 5 km
  • Professional camera quality
  • Has vision positioning sensors to hold it in position
  • Capable of dual remote functionality (at an additional fee though)
  • It’s fitted with a versatile ZENMUSE X3 gimbal

Cons

  • Fairly weak flight time at 18 mintues
  • The vision positioning sensors are inefficient over some surfaces
  • The price tag makes it a choice more for professionals rather than regular consumers

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 3DR SOLO DRONE

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Claimed to be the worlds first smart drone, 3DR Solo drone has more than 35 sensors and 20 microprocessors fixed onto it to ensure easy and smooth flying experience.

It has some really cool aerial photography and videography modes such as cable cam, orbit and follow me. This is a great long range personal drone designed for use with GoPro.

It has a range of around 1 km, but you can buy a range booster that will significantly boost this range. The flight time is approximately 20 minutes.

Aircraft

The maximum ascending speed is 10 m/s when in stabilized mode and 5m/s while in fly mode.

It has a flight of 20 minutes without payload and 15 minutes with the payload. The maximum speed is 55 mph.

It can achieve a maximum altitude of 400 ft. When fitted with both the gimbal and camera, it weighs about 1.8 kg.

Live View

3DR Solo app for both Android and iOS enable you to receive an HD live stream from the Solo.

Camera

It does not have an inbuilt camera but is compatible with GoPro Hero 3+Black and Hero 4.  It has several smart shots making the taking images and videos easy and fun. They include the cablecam, orbit, selfie and follow me modes.

Gimbal

The gimbal is bought separately.  It has HDMI video output.

Remote Controller

The controller’s operating frequency is 2.4 GHz. Its maximum transmission distance is around 1 km. It can hold both tablets and phones.

You can get a booster kit to extend the range of the 3DR SOLO.

Flight Battery

The drone is powered by a 5200 mAh, Lithium polymer. It takes 1.5 hours to charge the battery to full.

Pros

  • Low price
  • It has a relatively high cruise speed of 55 mph
  • Is capable of autonomous flight modes
  • Designed with GoPro in mind

Cons

  • The gimbal and camera are bought separately
  • Does not have obstacle sensing technology
  • Range could be better, but can be extended with a range booster

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YUNEEC TYPHOON H

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The Yuneec Typhoon H is a hexacopter, unlike the other drones on this list. That makes it more stable when taking pictures, and it can keep going if a propeller fails.

Yuneec also has a great reputation and a long history of manufacturing hobby drones. They are know for their excellent customer service.

The Typhoon H comes with a 4K UHD camera and has a flight time of up to 25 minutes and a very good range of 1.6 km.

Aircraft

Its 520x457x310mm in dimension and 1695g in weight. Its maximum altitude range is 400ft. Its maximum ascending and descending speed is 5m/s and 3m/s respectively.

The Yuneec Typhoon H offers up to 25 minutes of flight time.

Camera

The Typhoon H has a 12.4 Mp camera. The camera produces a video output of 4K at 30fps. The camera is equipped with a 14mm/F2.8 lens. It can be rotated 360° .

Gimbal

The drone comes with a 3-axis gimbal allowing for a 360-degree view. The gimbal offers manual camera setting while the drone is airborne.

Remote Controller

The drone is accessed and controlled through an ST16 Ground station.

The controller has a transmission range of 1.6 km. It has an inbuilt display of 7” and does not need a smartphone to display.

The data displays all the necessary flight system telemetry data. Its operating frequency is 5.8 GHz.

The resolution of the live stream on the screen is HD 720p.

Pros.

  • Comes with an inbuilt screen on the controller
  • Has an obstacle detection system, collision avoidance
  • Great customer support
  • Has been getting very good reviews online
  • It has better stability compared to quadcopters

Cons

  • The retractable landing gear is cool, but the camera is not protected during flights if you hit something
  • Even though foldable it is quite large to carry around and travel with

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DJI Phantom 3 Standard

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DJI Phantom 3 Standard is part of the larger DJI Phantom 3 family which includes the Phantom 3 Professional and Advanced. The Phantom 3 is a cheap long range drone, and it is of really good quality and provides great value.

It has a decent range of up to 1 km and a flight time of around 25 minutes. The range can be extended with the BlueProton DJI Phantom 3 Standard WiFi Signal Range Extender, and it is surprisingly cheap.

Aircraft

The drone weighs 1216 g. It has a maximum cruising speed of 16m/s and a flight time of approximately 25 minutes.

Camera

The camera’s FOV is 94°. The Phantom 3 Standard shoots video in 2.7K , and the photos are 12MP.  It’s capable of both a single shot and burst shooting of 3, 5 and 7 frames.  It’s also capable of Time-lapse image capture.

Live View

DJI GO is a mobile application that enables you to fly the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. It also enables you to create and share content. It is compatible with iOS 8.0 and Android 4.1.2 or later versions of the two. It has a Live View Working Frequency of 2.4 GHZ ISM.

Gimbal

The gimbal has a controllable pitch within a range of -90° to +30°. It has 3 axes, the pitch, roll, and yaw.

Remote Controller

The controller operating frequency varies from 5.735 GHz to 5.825 GHz.

Its maximum transmission distance ranges from 0.5 Km (for CE compliant) and 1Km (for FCC compliant).

Intelligent Flight Battery

It uses LiPo 4S battery with a capacity of 4480 mAh and an output voltage of 15.2 V.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Can buy range extender making it a quite cheap long range quadcopter
  • Good flight time
  • Has inbuilt GPS function
  • Camera and gimbal included
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • Not 4K video
  • No obstacle avoidance

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Vanguard

The Vanguard is manufactured by Airborne Drones and is arguably the king of the endurance challenge. Its flight time of 90 minutes is very impressive. Its range of 35 km is also outstanding. This long range commercial drone also has numerous technologies making it viable for use in many industries.

Aircraft

The drone weighs 10.5 kgs. When fully deployed, its dimensions are 835x835x350 (length, width, and height respectively). When stored, its dimensions are 540x300x340.

Its maximum forward speed is 18m/s. Its maximum ascending and descending speed is 5m/s and 2.5 m/s respectively. Its maximum operating altitude is 4500m.

Vanguard’s maximum operating speed is approximately 40 km/h.

It has a flight time of 90 Min.

The arms are detachable to ease the disassembly and storage process. Flight is either manual or GPS-assisted.

Obstacle Sensing

The vanguard has numerous sensors built into its nose to sense and avoid any obstacles on its flight path.

Camera

There are two cameras fitted on the gimbal, one 10x optical zoom camera with 4k recording and a thermal Imaging camera. The pilot is able to switch between the two when the drone is airborne.

Both are also simultaneously live streamed through the Ground Stations antennae tracker. The 10x optical zoom camera’s shutter speed is 60fps. The camera has large aperture optics making it ideal for use in inspection and detection. The HD feed occurs at a 24MB making the drone suitable for mapping imagery.

The thermal imaging camera offers accurate real-time temperature measurement (of both structures and equipment). The drone is also capable of saving radiometric JPEGS (with temperature data embedded in every pixel). It saves the data in a format compatible with FLIR to ensure full data analysis and reporting. The videos are saved in MOV format.

Gimbal

The drone comes with a 3-axis gimbal for easy video and image capture.

Remote Controller

Vanguard is controlled via a Joystick RF module. The RF module is capable of both manual and GPS control. The pilot can use the joystick, to adjust the flight direction, camera angle or payload while the drone is airborne.

The controller has 5-hour battery life. It has a hard switch button to reduce in-field risk operating. The transmission range for the controller is 35 km. The drone can also be controlled from a tablet. The interface is simple and intuitive enabling easy navigation and display of information.

Flight Battery

The drone is powered by 50V offering 90 minutes of flight time.

Pros

  • Long range radio control of 35 km
  • Long flight time of 90 minutes
  • Onboard thermal imaging camera
  • Water resistant components

Cons

  • The Vanguard will set you back around $38,000

drone for farms

Uses of Long Range RC Drones

Long range drones travel far from the pilot. This makes them more ideal for several uses which include;

Research

Long range drones have lately gained adoption among researchers. Drones offer an overall overview which is very important in research. The larger the area of coverage, the better. More importantly, long range drones can be sent to areas that are hard to reach making it possible to gather information about these places.

Mapping

Easy to deploy long-range drones enables GIS specialists to capture aerial images. These images are later transformed into 2D maps or 3D models. This is made possible without the need for helicopters or piloting skills.  The longer the drone can travel, the better.

Agriculture

Drones with a long range are already being used to monitor crops in farms. They are deployed to take images of the farm. The images are then later analyzed to unearth any underlying problems for instance irrigation problems or pest. The areas identified to be affected, are then attended to.

Surveillance

Monitoring crowds or neighborhoods is quite difficult from the ground. Using drones with long range, they can be viewed from above making it easy to monitor. They also offer a means of risk-free and efficient surveillance owing to their low noise level making them discrete.

Long range drone and control

What to Consider when Buying a Long Range Camera Drone

You should not only be concerned about the range, you also have to consider things like flight time, safety functions and the quality of the camera. Some companies also stand out in terms of after sales support. You might also want to consider drone insurance especially is you are using the drone commercially.

Drone Specifications

Some important specs you might want to keep in mind are:

  • Camera
  • Flight time
  • Signal range
  • GPS navigation
  • Video streaming capability
  • Return home function
  • Obstacle avoidance capability
  • Gimbal
  • Portability

Skill Level

Some UAV’s are harder to fly than others. If you a beginner then you might need to buy a UAV that is easy to control and probably one that is fairly cheap, so that if you crash it while learning, the loss is minimum. You can buy more advanced and expensive ones as your skill level improves.

The Phantom 3 Standard and 3DR SOLO offers very good value if you are looking to fly fairly long distances without investing too much money.

Cost

If you want to fly long distances, you can pretty much rule out the budget quads. You need quality, and that will usually start at around $500.

Regulations Regarding Flying of Drones

The number of drones in the hands of individuals and organization is growing day by day. This has prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with rules and regulations to govern the use of UAVs to ensure that their use does not pose any dangers. FAA recently released a circular on UAVs. Some of the things covered in the circular include;

  • Registration of UAVs
  • Classification of air space
  • Operating limitations.

As a beginner, you need to go through the circular to understand these rules to avoid getting in trouble with the authorities. Read more at FAA.gov.

Peter Kipkemoi

Peter Kipkemoi

Peter Kipkemoi is a UAV enthusiast that owns and pilots a DJI Phantom 2. Peter has lots of hands on experience with operating quadcopters and octocopters, and loves reviewing and writing about civilian and military drones.
Peter Kipkemoi

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