Two momentous occasions are right around the corner – the summer and the end of the coronavirus pandemic. (Actually, they might already be here by the time you read this.) With a lot of countries beginning to roll out the vaccines and reopen their borders to tourists, almost everyone will be itching to take a well-deserved trip. A good drone is quickly becoming one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery in a new locale, and if you already have a GoPro, then you might want to find a drone compatible with your camera. This will help you streamline everything and enjoy previously impossible views and heights with your personal flying FPV camera. With the right GoPro drone, you can get the best vacation pictures possible, or enjoy your hometown in a new light.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best GoPro drones, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
What Should You Look For in a GoPro Drone?
Drones are still a bit of an unknown for a lot of customers. While these flying robots have become more and more popular, they haven’t quite broken into the mainstream yet. That goes doubly for GoPro drones. This means that you may not know what to look for in your drone of choice, but, luckily, that’s what we’re here for. We’ve made a simple and easy-to-understand rubric that will break down all of the necessary criteria that you’ll want to check when looking at a GoPro drone. Keep reading for your crash course in GoPro Drones 101.
Criteria #1: Range – The entire appeal of a good drone is that you can fly to unprecedented heights and capture breathtaking views that humans can’t usually access. It stands to reason, then, that you don’t want to be tethered too close to your controller while you’re flying through the air. The actual range of each drone varies by a decent amount, but we’re going to look for the longest range possible so you can feel completely free to explore the skies.
Criteria #2: Flight Time – A long signal range won’t do much if your battery starts to die before you can even get that far, and we don’t want your drone time to be cut short before you’re ready to pack it in. The best drones out there will have a battery that can support about 15-20 minutes of flight, so that’s what we’ll be looking for in the drones on our list. That being said, we may feature products with a shorter flight time if they excel in other areas.
Criteria #3: Design – Each aspect of the physical structure of your drone will come together to contribute to the overall experience. You can have a drone that’s small and portable, or bulky and difficult to travel with. You can find a drone that’s easy to connect to your GoPro or a drone with a terrible interface. There are drones that will give your camera room to swivel completely on its axis, and drones that will keep your camera locked in place, hindering your view. We want your drone to offer the full package, and we’re going to make sure the drones on our list streamline your experience as much as possible and make everything simple, efficient, and fun.
Criteria #4: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best GoPro Drones
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best GoPro drones” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We’ll also make sure to include a wide variety of products that covers different niches and price points. Finally, we’ll take note of any important feature that doesn’t fit neatly into the criteria we laid out above. This way, everyone can find the perfect product that will satisfy their needs and their budget.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best GoPro drones.
#1: Altair Blackhawk (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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If you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of drones, you probably don’t want to go ahead and spend a ton of money on a crazy-expensive product. For beginners, it’s best to get a reasonably priced and reliable drone, even if it isn’t the absolute peak of current technology. The Altair Blackhawk drone is one of the most competitively priced products out there, and it’s perfect both for beginners and experts who need to save a couple of bucks.
Our top-ranked GoPro drone is designed to be used with GoPro Hero 3 or Hero 4, and it’s also compatible with any similarly-sized camera. This Altair GoPro drone is made from a sturdy heavy-metal frame that can handle a few crashes, which will be very comforting for beginners. Plus, even if something does break, most of the parts can be purchased separately, so you won’t need to buy a brand new drone. This greatly adds to the value of the Altair Blackhawk.
The Altair Blackhawk boasts a powerful motor and a high top speed that will make help you make full use of the solid 15-minute battery life, and it features a range of 300-500 meters. This drone was praised for having responsive controls, and it’s nice and light despite its durable frame. The gimbal features a flexible design that will let you use future cameras with this drone, so it’ll stay relevant as long as it can still fly.
On top of that, the Altair Blackhawk has flight modes for both beginners and experts, and once you’re feeling more comfortable you can start doing some fancy flips and tricks to impress your friends and get some incredible footage.
With a solid range, a decent battery, and a design that’s both durable and flexible, the Altair Blackhawk GoPro drone really is the full package. The fact that it’s so cheap is just the cherry on top. This drone isn’t just for people trying to pinch their pennies. The combination of performance and price makes the Altair Blackhawk the best value on the market, and that makes it an easy choice to be our best GoPro drone.
#2: DJI Mini 2 (Best Overall GoPro Drone)
While the quality of the Altair Blackhawk far surpasses its price, there are more powerful drones out there. Of course, they’re anything but cheap. If you’re willing to buy a more expensive drone to house your GoPro camera, then you’ll have to check out the DJI Mini 2 drone. As one expert said, “If it’s DJI, it’s good.”
This mini GoPro drone manages to be one of the most powerful drones out there despite its size, and some of our pickier customers just might not be able to pass up on this mighty mouse. If you need the drone that does it all and you don’t care how much you need to pay, then this is probably the choice for you. Here are the features that might just convince you to splurge and treat yourself to the DJI Mini 2.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: The Insane Range
You don’t really have to look past the unparalleled range of the DJI Mini 2 to see why DJI is such a juggernaut in the drone world. This mini DJI GoPro drone features OcuSync 2.0 technology that allows the drone to switch between two different frequencies and extends the total range to an incredible 10 kilometers. You’ll be able to fly higher and farther than ever before and explore the entire neighborhood without moving an inch. The world is your oyster when you have the DJI Mini 2, and you’ll have access to the most amazing footage you’ve ever seen.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: The Extra-Long Flight Time
With all of that range, you’ll want to make sure your battery doesn’t die on you mid-flight. Thankfully, the DJI Mini 2 features an amazing flight time of 30 minutes, so we can pretty much guarantee you’ll get your fill of the skies before it’s time to return to solid ground. The best drones out there usually have a flight time of about 20 minutes, so that really drives home what a specimen the DJI Mini 2 is. You’ll never feel like you’re on a clock with this mini drone.
In addition to the 10km range and the half hour flight time, the DJI Mini 2 boasts level-5 wind resistance, which will work together with the aforementioned features to make sure you can really fly wherever you want, whenever you want. Next, this top-of-the-line drone features a blistering max speed of 35 mph so you can cover those 10 kilometers faster than ever before.
The DJI Mini 2 is foldable and the best friend of travelers, as it shrinks down to 55 × 32 × 22 inches and weighs just a few pounds. You won’t need to worry about your baggage being overweight with this DJI drone. Just to round everything out, the DJI Mini 2’s controller features a dedicated slot for your smartphone to provide a streamlined FPV experience while you’re flying.
Connecting your GoPro camera to this drone will take a little more know-how than with some of our other drones on this list, but honestly, the DJI Mini 2’s camera is so good that you might decide you don’t need to bother. It boasts 4K video quality and lightning-fast response time to give you the smoothest experience possible.
The Altair Blackhawk may be the best value, but the DJI Mini 2 is the best drone overall. It’s expensive, but one look at the numbers makes it clear that this mini drone is worth every penny.
#3: Holy Stone HS700E 4K UHD Drone (Best Long-Range Drone)
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I have to start things off by providing the caveat that “best long-range drone” here really means “best long-range drone that isn’t the DJI Mini 2.” The Holy Stone HS700E 4K UHD Drone is one of the most popular GoPro drones on the market, and its range of 1 kilometer might not seem very impressive after reading about the 10 kilometer range of our previous drone, but the Holy Stone HS700E 4K UHD Drone also doesn’t cost one month’s rent, so it’s a solid compromise for anyone who wants some freedom but can’t afford the DJI Mini 2.
In addition to the great range, the Holy Stone HS700E 4K UHD Drone features a 20-minute flight time that will allow you to explore that distance in every direction, and it boasts a gimbal that provides a 130-degree field of vision. This Holy Stone GoPro drone is easily compatible with the GoPro Hero 2, GoPro Hero 3, and GoPro 4, so no matter what model you have you’ll be good to go.
The Holy Stone HS700E 4K UHD Drone features some fantastic safety features that makes this one of the best beginner drones for GoPro users. Instead of using the standard controller, you can draw a path on your smartphone and the Holy Stone HS700E 4K UHD Drone will take that route. This mid-priced drone also features a “follow me” feature that will make it lock in on you and give you your own personal flying photographer.
Finally, our Holy Stone GoPro drone features an automatic return to home feature that will send the drone back to its starting point once the battery is low, so you’ll never have to worry about wandering too far and losing track of your battery. Of course, the Holy Stone HS700E 4K UHD Drone also features the same smartphone cradle in its controller as the DJI Mini 2, so you’ll get the same amazing FPV view.
All of these amazing features come together to help you make full use of the 1 kilometer range of the Holy Stone HS700E 4K UHD Drone.
#4: Drocon Bugs 3 (Best Low Cost)
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If you told me you could find me a decent drone that’s as cheap as the Drocon Bugs 3, I’d probably laugh in your face. That would be a mistake on my part though, and the folks at Drocon are clearly determined to make me look like an idiot.
This super-affordable GoPro drone features a brushless motor that won’t overheat or melt like plastic, so your efforts to save don’t mean you’re getting stuck with a drone that won’t last. The Drocon Bugs 3 features a flexible 4K camera mount which means you can equip pretty much any GoPro camera on the market to this drone and start flying.
It has a solid flight time of 15-20 minutes, and there’s a low-battery warning that will let you know when it’s time to start returning to your take-off point. The flight range of 300 meters is definitely the fatal flaw of the Drocon Bugs 3, but that’s still some solid room to explore, and the warning sound that you’re approaching the edge of that range is a great feature.
The Drocon Bugs 3 has some preprogrammed trick buttons that will allow you to show off and do a flip or two with just the push of a button. This drone is both light and portable with a weight of a few pounds and a frame of 16.14 x 16.14 x 5.91 inches.
Overall, there are no real complaints to be had about this drone. It’s not exactly going to blow your mind, but there’s no competing with that price. The Drocon Bugs 3 drone is a fantastic beginner-friendly drone for GoPro users trying things out, or for anyone who just can’t spend the money that some of the fancier drones demand. It can also be a great present for your child, niece, or nephew. Whatever angle you’re taking, you can save your hard-earned money by purchasing the Drocon Bugs 3 GoPro drone.
#5: DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 (Best Luxury Drone)
We’re going to go from one end of the spectrum to the other very quickly, so I hope you don’t get whiplash. The Drocon Bugs 3 was just about the cheapest drone on the market, and now we’re offering you one of the most expensive products out there, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. We’ve already explained how highly regarded DJI is, and since the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is just about their best product, you can imagine what you’re getting from this luxury-grade drone. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 features just about every feature you can possibly think of, so you’ll have to forgive me if I miss something.
To start things off, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has 5-direction obstacle sensors that will make it all but impossible to crash while you’re piloting this drone. Since it’s so expensive that you definitely won’t want to damage it too soon, that’s very good.
It also offers multiple flight modes to give you the smoothest experience whether you need control, simplicity, or speed. Speaking of speed, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 boasts a top speed of almost 50 miles per hour, so you’ll have a pretty hard time keeping up with this drone, but you’ll have no problem covering all of your ground in the blink of an eye.
As for controls, there are more ways to pilot this drone than you can imagine, and it has all of the amazingly convenient features possible. Pick your path by tapping at a point on your screen or by drawing a line marking the exact route you want. This high-quality drone also has a return to home feature that will calculate the optimal route back to your take-off point, so there’s nothing for you to worry about.
Next, it has the amazing active track feature that will lock onto your position and follow you around, so you can get amazing footage of yourself climbing, hiking, swimming, or engaging in literally any other physical activity you can think of. Finally, the gesture control feature allows you to command this drone and have it center in on you or take a “selfie” with just the wave of a hand. Raise one hand to grab the drone’s attention, and raise both hands to snap a quick professional-grade self-portrait that will make a great addition to your social media profile or portfolio.
While a lot of drones feature smartphone compatibility, the controller of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has its own screen and interface, so you can leave your phone at home and still have the amazing features that only a screen can offer. To cap everything off, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has the same amazing 30-minute flight time as the Mini 2.
Just like with our last DJI drone, it’s a little less compatible with your GoPro, but its own camera is so good you might just change your mind. But be warned: I was not kidding when I said the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is expensive. Quite frankly, you should only be buying this drone if your livelihood depends on it or if you’re rich. But there’s no mistaking it – this is just about the most powerful drone that money can buy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Drones are mysterious machines, and throwing your GoPro camera into the mix just makes things even more confusing. I’m sure most of our readers still have a question or two that’s been left unanswered, but we want to do our best to make sure that changes. We’ve added this FAQ section to our article in the hopes that we’ll be able to answer every nagging concern you have. Keep reading to become a certified expert in everything related to drones for GoPro cameras.
How Do I Connect My GoPro to My Drone?
The first step (after turning on your GoPro camera) will be to make sure that the camera is connected to your smartphone. You’ll want to optimize the settings of your GoPro so it’s more suitable to flying around at high speeds and altitudes. I won’t go too much into the details of those settings right now, both because it’s a little off-topic and because it’s largely a matter of preference and will depend on what type of shot you want.
The next and final step is to simply place your GoPro camera into the cradle of your drone. It’s important to mention that while almost all drones can be mounted with an external camera in one way or another, most of the drones on our list are specifically designed to do so. Other drones – specifically the DJI drones – were included simply because the drones themselves are of such high quality that I couldn’t keep them off the list and still have a clean conscience.
If you’re looking at those drones but still want to attach your GoPro, you may want to look into ways to manually attach a camera cradle. It also may be worth knowing that certain experts have come to the conclusion that attaching a GoPro camera to a drone is not really worthwhile anymore due to the high-quality cameras that come with certain drones now.
Why Not Just Use the Default Drone Camera?
There are two main reasons you might want to use a GoPro camera or similar action camera with your drone. The first reason is fairly straightforward. Your GoPro camera might just be better than the camera attached to your drone. This will mean that attaching your GoPro camera to your flying buddy is the best way to get the best footage possible.
The second reason is that your drone’s camera may break, and it’s much cheaper to mod your drone to include your GoPro than it is to replace your drone altogether. Plus, GoPro cameras are very purposefully designed to be able to take a punch, and flying a drone can be risky business. If you want your camera to be as durable as your drone, then a GoPro is probably the best way to go.
Verdict: Your Best GoPro Drones
We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the GoPro drones that’s perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our GoPro drones and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each product has to offer for you.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Altair Blackhawk.
The top-ranked drone on our list is specifically designed to be used in tandem with the GoPro Hero 3 or Hero 4, and that makes it one of the best drones for GoPro owners before we even look at the specs. The Altair Blackhawk boasts a sturdy heavy-metal frame that features easily-replaceable parts, and it has a great battery life that offers a flight time of 15-20 minutes.
On top of that, you’re getting a decent range of 300-500 meters, and a gimbal that’s specifically designed to be suitable for future camera releases. That means there will always be a place for the Altair Blackhawk. Throw in some beginner flight modes to make things accessible for anyone buying their first done, and a super competitive price, and it’s pretty easy to see why the Altair Blackhawk GoPro drone earned the number one spot on our list.
If you need a small but powerful drone, pick the DJI Mini 2.
With the Mini 2, DJI proves that strength and size don’t always go hand in hand. Thanks to its amazing performance and its super-compact design, the DJI Mini 2 is one of the most convenient drones out there whether you have a GoPro or not. The range of 10 kilometers just can’t be beat, and the flight time of 30 minutes is top-class.
You’re also getting a max speed of 35 mph, a well-designed controller that offers a convenient FPV experience, and pretty much every other feature you’ve come to expect from DJI. The DJI Mini 2 is a true marvel of modern technology, and this mighty mouse drone is the perfect choice for frequent travelers who need something smaller.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Drocon Bugs 3.
If you went into this article thinking that every drone was going to cost a fortune, the Drocon Bugs 3 is here to prove you wrong. This drone offers fancy features like automatic flips, as well as solid specs like a great flight time of close to 20 minutes and a durable build. On top of that, the Drocon Bugs 3 is both small and light. The only real complaint is that its flight range of just 300 meters is pretty small, but that seems like a fair trade considering just how cheap this is. You can think of the Drocon Bugs 3 as an amazing beginner option, a fantastic budget choice, or both. Save your money with this reasonably-priced drone.
We’re finally ready to wrap up our list. We’ve shown you 5 top-tier drones for GoPro cameras, and we hope we were able to find the best one for you. If you aren’t interested in the drones highlighted above, you may be more interested in the long-range and beginner-friendly Holy Stone HS700E 4K UHD Drone. And there’s also the luxurious top-of-the-line DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0.
Remember, each of our products has one or two features that set them apart from the crowd, so that’s where you’ll want to look before you make your final decision.
That’s all for now. If we didn’t help you find your dream drone, we hope we’ve at least pointed you in the right direction. Whatever product you go with, we hope you enjoy the drone and capture the most amazing footage yet!