The Best Professional Drones for Commercial Use in 2021
Here we focus on the best commercial drones that are readily available to professionals and the general public. There are some extremely powerful ones out there, but we find that many are overkill for what most people are looking for.
The Best Commercial Drones
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Our favourite professional drone that can be used for a variety of commercial tasks is without a doubt the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
- Flight Time: 30 minutes
- Range: 7 kilometers
- Camera: 4K resolution at 30 fps; 20 MP stills
- Weight: 1.64 pounds
- Gimbal: 3 Axis
When it comes to blurring the lines between consumer and commercial drones, nothing does it better than the DJI Mavic 2 series.
It’s jam-packed with specs and advanced features that make it the top choice among professionals and business owners everywhere.
Let’s start with the difference between the two before we delve into their commonalities. Both the Zoom and Pro versions have identical specs and features, save for one thing – the camera.
The Pro version has the better camera of the two by a long shot. It’s equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c 4K camera paired with a 20 megapixel 1″ CMOS sensor. This fantastic combination produces one of the best quality images and footage possible in a drone. For photographers and videographers, the Pro is the obvious choice.
When it comes to performance, the Mavic 2 Pro is unparalleled. This drone has one of the most extended flight times ever in a consumer drone, at 31 minutes. The transmission range is also one of the lengthiest at up to 8 km.
For commercial applications, this is a beast. It means you can fly the Mavic 2 for more extended and farther without interruptions. For surveying and construction, this is especially crucial.
The long-range also makes FPV transmission work smoothly, great for navigating the drone during roof inspections, for example.
The Mavic 2 is also chock-full of safety and auto features. It has staples like Return to Home, as well as a very robust Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing. The forward, top, and side sensors can detect and avoid obstacles autonomously, while the bottom sensor can detect the ground for a safer landing.
The autonomous flight modes like Follow Me and Waypoints are also exceptional, using the DJI’s ActiveTrack visual recognition technology. This is an excellent feature for videographers to auto-tracking their subjects.
This just scratches the surface of what this drone is capable of. If you want the best all-around drone to tackle whatever commercial task you throw at it, the Mavic 2 shines bright.
The sister of the Mavic 2 Pro, the Zoom offers exceptionally flexible camera zooming.
- Flight Time: 31 minutes
- Range: 8 kilometers
- Camera: 4K resolution at 30 fps; 48-MP super resolution stills
- Take-off Weight: 905g
- Gimbal: 3-Axis
The Zoom version of the Mavic 2 uses a 24-88mm camera with 12-megapixel resolution and a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor. It’s inferior photo quality-wise to the Mavic 2 Pro, but where it shines is in its flexibility. It can achieve up to 4x lossless zoom, giving you many more options in framing shots. With specific industries, this is the preferred way to go.
Knocking on DJI’s dominance of the consumer and commercial drone scene is the EVO from Autel Robotics.
- Flight Time: ~30 minutes
- Charge Time: ~210 minutes
- Range: 7050m / 4.4 miles
- Remote Controller: WiFi 2.4GHz (included in the set)
- Camera: 3-axis gimbal 4K 60fps camera with 12MP
- Live Video Transmission Range: 7000m / 4.3 miles
- Weight: 863g / 1.9lbs
- Carry Capacity: N/A
- Working Temperature: 0°C ~ 40°C
- Rated for outdoor use
The EVO drone is one of the few advanced drones that can compete with the Mavic 2 head-on. But where the EVO has a leg up on the DJI version is in its ruggedness.
This drone is a durable little flyer and can withstand crashes intact. It can also hold itself against strong winds while maintaining its altitude. Plus, the best thing is that it can survive a little drizzling of rain or snow. For commercial uses, this is a pretty big deal.
The battery life of the EVO is exceptional as well at 30 minutes, which is comparable to the best drones in the market. The range is an impressive 7 km, giving it excellent signal strength. FPV is, therefore, smooth and lag-free even at maximum distance.
The EVO’s camera is also a powerful number, capable of shooting at up to 4K HD resolution, with a 3-axis gimbal for stabilization.
It’s also one of the few drones that can shoot full 4K at a frame rate of 60 fps – giving it the ability to shoot great looking slow-motion footage. Not even the Mavic 2 can do that, which can only do up to 30 fps. This makes the EVO a good trick up a cinematographer’s sleeve.
Where this little flyer shines, however, is the advanced features in its compact frame. You can have access to its many autonomous flight features like Orbit and Follow Me, which is powered by Autel’s own visual recognition technology. These are really great for construction and surveying applications.
Overall, the Autel EVO is an advanced and powerful drone that ticks all the boxes. But what we love about this drone is its flexibility. It can certainly go where a lot of drones dare not. You can use it as a powerful photography drone one day, and an inspection drone for construction the next.
We like to think of the Hubsan Zino Pro as a Mavic 2 or Autel EVO in a more affordable package.
- Flight Time: 26 minutes
- Range: 4 km
- Camera: 4K UHD camera with 3-axis gimbal
- Weight: 710g
Granted that the specs have been pared down when compared to other professional drones in this post, but overall it’s still an impressive drone, especially at less than $500.
Let’s start with the performance. The Zino Pro has a flight time of up to 23 minutes, which is decent enough to be used in commercial applications. It can hover and maintain its position pretty well, plus has wind resistance up to Class 5. For outdoor applications, this drone definitely has the chops to deliver.
The Zino Pro’s range is also quite impressive at 4 km. This is the ideal range to have for most tasks that require standard distances. The transmission power also gives a smooth and fluid FPV experience, even when nearing the maximum range.
One of the selling points of the Zino Pro is its camera, making it great for photographers. It can shoot crisp and clear images and footage at 4K UHD resolution. It also has a 3-axis gimbal installed, so videos you shoot are buttery smooth without that annoying handheld amateur look.
The camera also features a removable lens, which can be swapped or equipped with filters. This gives you some creative freedom when taking photos. The lens is also adjustable, which can be rotated from 90 – 360 degrees, making framing easier.
Flight modes are limited, but what’s there is definitely useful. You can choose between Line Fly and Orbit modes for preset flight paths. If you want to set your own, you can use Waypoint Mode.
Safety-wise, the Zino Pro also got you covered. It has a smart failsafe installed, which directs the drone on what to do in case it reaches critical battery levels or loses signal strength. What sets it apart is that the Zino is smart enough to know if it can return to its origin point; if it can’t, then it will simply land in place.
All in all, we’re impressed with how the Zino Pro has all the essential features of a commercial drone in a relatively cheaper price tag. It’s a good drone for photographers, videographers, and real estate agents with smaller budgets.
If your work requires the drone going anywhere near a body of water then you might want to consider the SwellPRO Splash Drone 3+.
- Flight Time: ~22 minutes
- Charge Time: ~90 minutes
- Range: 1600m / 5250ft
- Remote Controller: WiFi 5.4GHz (included in the set)
- Camera: 90° adjustable 4K / 13MP camera
- Live Video Transmission Range: 1600m / 5250ft
- Weight: 1447 g / 51.04 oz
- Carry Capacity: 1000g / 35.27 oz
- Working Temperature: -10°C to 40°C
- Rated for outdoor use
The Splash Drone 3+ is a durable drone that’s completely waterproof, snowproof, and windproof. This makes it excellent for heavy-duty use.
The 3mm reinforced ABS body of this drone keeps everything sealed from the outside. This gives the Splash Drone 3+ the ability to float in water repeatedly. Heck, it can even take off from the water if it has to.
The applications of this drone are tremendous. You can use it to photograph subjects near bodies of water safely. You can deploy it to inspect structures or sites that are directly on the water. For surveying in harsh environments, few drones can do it other than the Splash Drone 3+.
The performance of the Splash Drone 3+, fortunately, matches up with its durability. It can achieve flight for up to 22 minutes and has a range of 1.6 km, which makes this drone usable for most applications.
Flight handling is agile and tight, and controls are pretty responsive. The powerful motors and S3 flight controller allow it to navigate rough waters and strong winds with ease.
The equipped camera of this drone shoots at a resolution of 4K UHD, which is enough to make this a decent photo drone. The wide-angle lens also accepts a more light, making it take great photos even in murky conditions. You can even shoot underwater since the camera is located in the drone’s underside.
One of its more unique features is the ability to carry a payload, which is done through its optional PL2 and PL3 add-on modules. Both allow you to take objects, such as bait or life vests, for search and rescue, up to 1 kg. They also have their own cameras built-in.
So if you ever need a heavy-duty drone, that would be the SwellPRO Splash Drone 3+. Being able to resist wind, rain, snow, and saltwater, it gives you the freedom to deploy it anywhere.
A staggeringly powerful commercial drone that comes with a pricetag befitting of its capabalities.
- Flight Time: ~25 to ~45 minutes (depending on the payload)
- Charge Time: ~6×180 minutes
- Range: 5000m / 3.1mi
- Remote Controller: WiFi 2.4GHz with 5.4Ghz video transmission (included in the set)
- Camera: FPV 2K Camera with 12MP
- Live Video Transmission Range: 5000m / 3.1mi
- Weight: 10Kg / 22lbs
- Working Temperature: Depending on the camera
- Rated for outdoor use
The DJI Matrice 600 Pro is undoubtedly the most powerful and capable commercial drone that we’ve included in this post.
For carrying top-of-the-range camera equipment and creating films, the Matrice 600 Pro is unrivaled.
In fact, the only reason we’ve not given this a perfect 5.0 rating as a professional drone is the fact that it probably includes too much for most people. For those looking for the best of the best and already have good camera equipment, this is arguably the best choice you could make.
Our favorite compact drone, the Parrot Anafi is the perfect tool when you want to take quick photographs or inspections.
- Flight Time: ~25 minutes
- Charge Time: ~240 minutes
- Range: 4000m / 2.5mi
- Remote Controller: WiFi 5.4GHz & 2.4Ghz (included in the set)
- Camera: 180° adjustable f/2.4 ASPH lens 4K Camera with 21MP
- Live Video Transmission Range: 4000m / 2.5mi
- Weight: 320g / 11.28oz
- Working Temperature: -10°C to 40°C
- Rated for indoor and outdoor use
What we love about the Anafi is that it’s a nimble and agile drone. It’s especially remarkable for real estate or construction applications. It has a foldable and portable frame, which makes carrying it around and deploying it easy.
While the Anafi is a consumer travel drone, its performance more than qualifies it for commercial applications.
For one, the Anafi has an extended flight time of 25 minutes, which is more than enough for most applications. The flight time is pretty consistent, even with the camera turned on, thanks to this drone’s smart battery.
The Anafi also has an excellent range of 4 km, which gives it above average transmission power and distance. It can also zoom in at speeds of up to 55 km/h, which can be beneficial for things like inspections or surveying.
The surprising thing about the small Anafi is its relatively powerful camera. It has a 4K resolution camera equipped that can shoot stills at an impressive 21 megapixels. The 3-axis gimbal makes image stabilization a breeze and allows you to produce smooth cinematic shots.
For more hands-off flying, you can count on the Anafi’s autonomous flight modes. For roof inspections, you have the basics like Orbit Mode and Waypoints for smooth circling around the roof. For creative shots worthy of film, you have things like Parabola and Dolly Zoom.
When you want to take amazing overhead shots of your real estate property, we recommend Cameraman Mode. This makes the Anafi focus the camera on a specific subject, such as your house. You can then move the drone around freely, with the camera fixed at the subject. The result is a video showing the house or building at different angles.
Overall, the agile yet powerful Parrot Anafi is a flexible hobby drone that’s more than capable enough to do commercial tasks successfully. If you’re looking for a drone for both work and play, this is it.
Not all commercial drones need to be premium, top-of-the-line machines, as shown with the HS720.
- Flight Time: ~26 minutes
- Charge Time: 5-7 hours
- Range: 800-1000m / 2624-3277ft
- Remote Controller: 2.4GHz transmitter included
- Camera: 2K HD (2048 x 1152) with shock absorption
- Weight: 459g / 1.01lbs
- Rated for outdoor use
Sometimes, you just need a dependable drone for light work, such as real estate photography or small scale inspections. For these situations, it makes much better sense to get a drone that’s inexpensive yet has all the essential features locked in.
Enter the Holy Stone HS720, an affordable drone that’s suitable for short-range work.
The HS720 has performance down pat. For starters, it has longevity for most commercial requirements. Its brushless motors are energy-efficient enough to make it fly for up to 26 minutes, not to mention giving excellent lifting power.
The range of the HS720 is a bit shorter for a commercial drone, at a little less than 1 km. This makes the drone ideal for applications that don’t require vast distances.
The camera equipped in the HS720 is at a decent 2K HD resolution, which is crisp enough but nothing to write home about. But the great thing about it is the shock absorption feature, which does a pretty decent job at stabilizing your image.
This makes the HS720 is a decent drone to do real estate tours with. It’s nimble and stable enough to fly around the property and record some really nice footage. The intuitive and responsive controls make navigating through tight corridors in the house especially easy.
GPS-powered safety features like Return to Home (RTH) are fortunately present in the HS720. It’s also the main driving force behind its smart flight modes like Custom Path and Orbit Mode, which are both useful for taking aerial shots of your property.
In the end, the Holy Stone HS720 is a cost-effective, light commercial drone. It’s actually a personal favorite for real estate projects, which you might like as well.