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Best selfie drones 2020

Best selfie drones 2020

Selfie drones

DJI Mavic 2 Pro review of the new Hasselblad camera

The end of the selfie stick is approaching: more and more manufacturers of multicopters are presenting their so-called “selfie drone”. In principle, this new special form does not differ from normal commercial drones, which have experienced a real boom in recent years.

Due to their ability of autonomous flight and the object-related video function, Selfie drones hold a lot of potential and could be the next “big thing” in the field of consumer copters. Find out what you need to know about Selfie drones like DJI Mavic Pro & Air, Hexo+, DJI Phantom 4, Yuneec Breeze and Parrot Anafi, which was the first independently following drone and for whom a Selfie drone is worthwhile, here.

7 good Selfie drones in comparison

Due to technical developments in the field of sensor technology and robotics, multicopters are increasingly able to perceive their surroundings and react to them independently. On the one hand this makes them interesting for new target groups, on the other hand the autonomous flight opens up completely new fields of application. The Selfie drone in particular is a result of both points, since it is interesting for people who previously had little to do with multicopters and their control, but now want to enjoy the advantages of a following drone for the purpose of self-portrayal.

The predicate “following drone” can be taken literally: When using an appropriate copter, no RC remote control is necessary – the drone follows the defined object and simultaneously makes video recordings.

The best Selfie videos per drone (“Dronies”)

A compilation of great “dronies”, mostly using DJI drones.

A good selfie drone must be able to do this.
Low Budget
(max 200€)
5 Megapixel / 1080p

not a good FPV

no/bad selfie modes

max. 200m range

no GPS

middle class
5-12 megapixels / 2.7k-4K

solid FPV

Smartshots & Selfie Modes

large reach

If necessary, obstacle detection

Highend & Professional
(from 600€)
12-20 Megapixel / 4K

high-resolution FPV

impressive smartshots & selfie modes

very long range

obstacle detection

The Best Selfie Drones

DJI Mavic 2 Pro DJI Mavic 2 Pro 9.8
DJI Mavic Air DJI Mavic Air 9.3
DJI Mavic Pro DJI Mavic Pro 9.2
DJI Mavic Mini DJI Mavic Mini 9.1
Parrot Anafi Parrot Anafi 9.1

In recent years, the selfie drones market has grown rapidly and is no longer populated only by niche manufacturers and start-ups, but is increasingly occupied by top dogs such as DJI. With the DJI Phantom 4 Quadrocopter and the smaller models DJI Spark, DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Mavic Air and DJI Mavic 2, selfie recordings are also possible thanks to visual tracking, although this is more a side effect than a main feature of the drone from the Far East.

8 good selfie drones in comparison

Yuneec Breeze
Yuneec Breeze in comparison with other drones
Older 4K Selfie drone for 200 Euro

Flight time: 13 minutes

Range: 1 kilometer

Camera: 13 Megapixel / 4K Video

Charging time: 45 minutes

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Price: 200 Euro

Rating: 6/10

DJI Mavic Pro

Best drone for your holiday: DJI Mavic Pro
Can do much more than just Selfies: DJI Mavic Pro

Autonomous flight modes: Yes

Selfie drone: Yes

Weight: 740 gram

Video: 4K at 30FPS, 2.7K at 60 FPS

Photos: 12 Megapixel

Rating: 8/10

Even if the foldable Quadrocopter by DJI is not a pure Selfie drone, it must be included in this list. The DJI Mavic Pro is high quality, extremely easy to fly and has a number of flight and video modes that make it possible to produce shots in any position.

To avoid having to concentrate on the drone, the DJI Mavic can visually recognize an object and follow it independently. This is great for situations like kayaking and cycling.

With 4K video, 12 MP and a realistic flight time of about 20-25 minutes, the Mavic is the top dog of the small and performant drones. With a price of 1199€ it is however clearly above the level of other Selfie drones – with exception of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

Hover 2

Buy Hover 2 Drone
Foldable drone Hover 2

Autonomous flight modes: Yes

Selfie drone: Yes

Weight: 490 gram

Video: 4K at 30FPS, 2.7K at 60 FPS, 1080p at 120 FPS

Photos: 12 Megapixel

Rating: 7/10

A drone that folds in the middle like a book? Nobody dared to do that until the Hover Passport Camera drone. Now that the first models have been delivered, it is clear that the principle is quite airworthy, even if the flight and image stability in comparison to drones like the Mavic Pro leaves much to be desired. This is of course due to the price and the missing gimbal.

With about 600 Euro the Hover Passport Camera is not quite cheap, but delivers 4K video, 13 MP, a maximum flight time of 25 minutes and a range of about 20 meters. No drone for long flights, but for the selfie the handbag drone does!

DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air review of the new drone
Even smaller: DJI Mavic Air

Autonomous flight modes: Yes

Selfie drone: Yes

Weight: 430 gram

Video: 4K at 30FPS, 2.7K at 60 FPS

Photos: 12 Megapixel

Rating: 8,5/10

The DJI Mavic Air can come up with some chic flight manoeuvres. In addition to the usual DJI selfie modes there is the asteroid and boomberang. I really enjoyed it in the test, even though I prefer to fly with my big brother, the pro.

Nevertheless, the Air has everything you’d expect from a selfie drone: it’s small, foldable, lightweight, shoots really great pictures (12 MP) and videos (4K) and can fly to the end of the horizon (7 km) for over 25 minutes.

Not convinced yet? Click here for the DJI Mavic Air Test.

Parrot Anafi

Parrot Anafi drone just over 500 euros
21 MP, 4K Camera: The new Parrot Anafi

Flight time: 25 minutes

Range: 4 kilometers

Charging time: 25 minutes

Camera: 21 Megapixel / 4K Video

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Plus point: Top price

Rating: 9/10

I have been a great friend of the French manufacturer since the Bebop and the Parrot Mambo. Whether Skycontroller or cannon on the roof – drones from Parrot always have something fancy in stock.

So is the Parrot Anafi, which was certainly not designed by the developers as a selfie drone, but would master this exercise with ease. The Parrot Anafi has all the fine features and a 4K camera with 21 megapixels, which can be rotated 90° up and down.

Unusual perspectives are thus pre-programmed!

To my Parrot Anafi test.

Yuneec Mantis Q

Yuneec Mantis Q: Low-cost selfie drone for beginners
Cheap 4K drone: Yuneec Mantis Q

Flight time: 33 minutes

Range: 800 meters / 1.5 kilometers

Camera: 13 Megapixel / 4K Video

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Advantage: Low price

Rating: 7,5/10

A good and cheap selfie drone from 2018 is the Yuneec Mantis Q. The Quadrocopter is both lightweight and foldable and therefore fits in almost any lightweight luggage.

The drone can stay in the air for about 33 minutes and offers FPV live image as well as some selfie smartshots in resolutions up to 4K (video) /13 megapixels (photo).

In addition to gesture control, like the DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Mavic Air, you can even control the Mantis Q with voice commands. If you want to post the Selfie to the social networks right away, you can do so with the sharing function, a feature that current drones usually offer.
Compared to the DJI Mavic Air or DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom, the Yuneec Mantis Q has no obstacle detection via optical sensors, which is why you should take care when taking smart shots.

All in all, the Yuneec Mantis Q is a good drone for selfies and small film sequences. Although it has weaknesses in frame rate and image stabilization, it costs only a fraction compared to other 4K drones.

DJI Spark

Scope of delivery of the DJI Spark drone
Colourful Selfie-Copter DJI Spark

Flight time: 15 minutes

Range: 2 kilometers

Charging time: 35 minutes

Camera: 12 Megapixel / 1080p Video

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Price: 400 Euro

Rating: 6/10

Not the latest fashion in 2019, the DJI Spark is the first choice for many beginners and newcomers. The small Quadrocopter is not foldable, but still designed as a handbag selfie drone.

Although the DJI Spark shoots single pictures with acceptable resolution, 1080p videos are quickly over. In addition, the DJI Spark costs just as much as the significantly more powerful Parrot Anafi.

DJI Mavic 2

DJI Mavic 2 Pro: Comparison & Rating
DJI Mavic 2 Pro with Hasselblad camera.

Autonomous flight modes: Yes

Selfie drone: Yes

Weight: 907 gram

Dimensions folded: 21,4 x 9,1 x 8,4 cm

Video: 4K at 30FPS, 2.7K at 60 FPS

Photos: 20 Megapixel

Rating: 9/10

The DJI Mavic 2 is the best selfie drone as Pro and Zoom version – and unfortunately by far the most expensive. A good 1500 Euros have to be spent right from the start – necessary additional equipment such as spare batteries etc. are added.

For that you get a drone that would be a waste for simple selfie videos. HDR videos in 4K, dolly zoom, 10 bit DLog-M color mode, aperture selection and that with constantly extended range and flight duration. More is currently not possible.

Conclusion & recommendations: Which one should it be?

If you’re looking for the best price-performance ratio, you’ll certainly be able to ride very well with the discounted DJI Mavic Air and especially with the Parrot Anafi. The technically best selfie drone is definitely the DJI Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom – just as you like it.

Personally, I prefer to fly with the DJI Mavic Pro, which has also fallen significantly in price since 2016 as part of the product expansions.

More background knowledge:

Why Selfie drones had to come

With regard to the conceptual origin, one probably does not have to lose many words: The idea is borrowed from the English “Selfie” (self-portrait) in the mobile phone sector and extended to drones, which simply means that you have yourself photographed or filmed by the copter. This is of course an old hat and every hobby pilot has at least one aerial photograph of himself.

What’s new, however, is that you not only record aerial photos of yourself, but also aerial photos of yourself while doing something different – for example snowboarding or kayaking or … Since you would like to film yourself during these activities and of course you don’t have two hands free to control the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), the following drone – or Selfie drone – was only a matter of time.

The following drone without control? This is how it works

Since the real highlight of a Selfie drone is that you can be filmed during an impressive activity – of course from the air and without active control – the drones must know which object they have to follow. In the beginning there was a method for this, which included a so-called tracking device. This method was particularly well known from the Lily Camera Drone and was worn like a watch in a wristband. By this binding of Multicopter and tracking device important parameters like direction of motion, speed, acceleration etc. could be recorded and transmitted to the following drone. The UAV then knew how fast the carrier (and thus the film object) was moving, where it was going and how far away it was. By default it is possible to determine the distance at which the drone should follow and the direction from which aerial photos should be taken.

DJI has introduced another possibility with the Phantom 4 Quadrocopter, which is not a pure selfie drone per se, but which is capable of this function. While other, usually cheaper, manufacturers rely on the tracking device mentioned, the Phantom 4 drone knows how to orient itself by means of visual data generation. With the so-called visual tracking, a target object is defined before or during the flight, whereby the software uses the object size, shape, color, etc. to determine the target object. identifiers.

This procedure is now common for modern camera drones (here a list of the best drones with camera).

Beject detection, crashes and robust construction

If you want to use a self-controlling drone, you should either buy a model with object and obstacle detection, or look for as light a flying area as possible – otherwise every branch becomes a veritable danger of falling. Recognizing this fact, manufacturers rely on robust, easily replaceable materials and frames for a cheap selfie drone. In the event of a crash, the Selfie drone is to be protected from fatal damage to the sensitive electronics.

Alternatively, the Phantom 4, Mavic Pro/ Air also offers the option of purchasing a multicopter with object/backgauge detection and corresponding evasion function. Although the selfie drones mentioned above often also have a kind of obstacle detection, the system is cheap and rather intended for the simpler hobby area.

What does a Selfie drone cost?

If you want to buy a Selfie drone, you must be prepared to spend a few hundred euros (as the examples above show). The Hover 2 currently costs around 600 euros, as does the Parrot Anafi, a lowered Spark will soon cost 500 euros and the transportable all-rounder DJI Mavic Pro a full 1199 euros.

Those who want it cheaper must of course do without many (safety-relevant) functions and make clear sections in the area of video quality – but should also find a good 300 euros.

The extent to which these tiny devices are then suitable for outdoor applications such as kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing, etc., should be viewed critically. If you want to be filmed during such “rough” activities and want to use your own drone for it, you should not pay attention to the lowest price.

The safety issue

How selfie drones fit into the framework of the legal requirements may be interesting to consider: On the one hand, more and more people from outside the field are becoming buyers who have little or no previous knowledge of battery performance, flight behaviour, modes, etc. On the other hand, the use of selfie drones is becoming more and more important. In any case pilots should consider the legal requirements and the necessity of a drone insurance.

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