If you’ve ever walked through the drone aisle of a local store, you’ve almost surely seen an FPV drone. The inclusion of a camera adds a whole lot of versatility to drone usage, transforming them from simple toys into must have gadgets that you can also find professional or hobbyist uses for. And as cameras become increasingly less expensive in price, FPV drones are becoming more affordable with each passing day.
Unlike the racing drones we highlighted in our best of list, FPV drones put a priority on high resolution and easy controls over high speeds. But that doesn’t mean that ever FPV drone is a slam dunk. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best FPV drones on the market today.
TL;DR - 10 Best FPV Drones:
- Walkera F210 FPV Quadcopter Drone
- Parrot Anafi Drone Set
- EACHINE E61HW WiFi FPV Quadcopter
- SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi Drone
- Holy Stone HS700D Drone
- Potensic T25 GPS Drone, FPV RC Drone
- EMAX Hawk Sport 5″ Inch PNP FPV Racing Drone
- ARRIS X-Speed 280 V2 FPV Quadcopter Racing Drone
- Fat Shark Drone
- Hubsan H122D X4 Storm 5.8G FPV Racing Drone
1. Walkera F210 FPV Quadcopter Drone
There are few names in the drone market with as much cache as Walkera. And if Walkera is one of the best drone manufacturers on the market, the F210 Professional represents arguably their best model. This quad rotor drone comes with a price tag of almost $600, but it combines speed and performance into a single quality package and even includes drone goggles for immersing yourself in your photography or using it as a racing drone. The inclusion of a Devo 7 transmitter allows you to fly this drone greater distance without the risk of ruining your connection. It might not be the best choice for beginners, but it's a real winner for slightly more experienced drone pilots.
2. Parrot Anafi Drone Set
If you want to experience what it's like to fly, you don't have to earn your pilot license. With Full HD live streaming that you can deliver directly to your phone and an included set of VR goggles, you can feel like you're flying on your own wings. But the Parrot Anafi is designed to be accessible to less experienced drone operators as well. The variety of different flight modes make it easier to learn the ropes while also assisting you with the process of capturing the perfect shot. Image stabilization is built right in for less risk of blurry photos, and this drone goes well above and beyond practically any model on the market with a best in class flight time.
3. EACHINE E61HW WiFi FPV Quadcopter
The drones that have dominated our list so far are all pretty cost prohibitive, but if you want an affordable model that's great for kids and beginners, Eachine has you covered. Their miniature drone comes in for less than $50, and it's perfect for use both indoors and out. It's small enough to fit in your pocket but still manages to pack in a relatively high-quality HD drone. And a generous wealth of features allow you to line up the perfect shot or pick up the basics with ease. This drone will return to you with the single press of a button, keep its balance with headless mode, and automatically tilt for the greatest balance with trimming mode.
4. SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi Drone
The Snaptain S5C looks like it could have come off of the design sheets for the latest Terminator movie, but there's a lot more going on here than just a pretty face. For less than 100 bucks, you can get one of the most beginner friendly drones around. You can control your activities right on your phone screen, and if you have trouble learning how to fly it traditionally, you can even set trajectories by just clicking on the screen. And the presence of an altitude hold function lets you take shots without worrying about motion blur. Snaptain even makes it easy to share your coolest videos and photos thanks to the easily editing and uploading options.
5. Holy Stone HS700D Drone
Holy Stone is one of the most prolific manufacturers of drones in the world, but if we had to only choose one drone with FPV capabilities from their catalog, we'd make it the HS700D. The $250 price point is eminently affordable by professional standards, but the biggest selling point here is the ability to shoot in 2K video. That's practically unheard of for this price and constitutes a significant improvement over the 720p or 1080p options offered. And with a flight time of around 22 minutes, you'll have plenty of time to record video and explore the skies. It even makes use of a GPS transmitter so that you can more accurately get it where it needs to go.
6. Potensic T25 GPS Drone, FPV RC Drone
If you want something a little less expensive than the Holy Stone HS700D, take a look at the Potensic T25. The FPV camera is scaled down from 2K but still offers a reliable 1080p FHD resolution, and it comes with both a 120 degree field of view and the ability to rotate at 75 degrees for a more immersive experience while flying. The inclusion of GPS brings with it quite a few cool features too. Follow me mode is great for taking selfies and making sure that you don't lose track of your drone, but you can also customize flight paths so that you can completely automate the experience.
7. EMAX Hawk Sport 5″ Inch PNP FPV Racing Drone
The EMAX Hawk packs a whole lot of value into a tiny little package. The five inch props bring some serious power to the table, and while this drone doesn't come with its own camera built in, it's built to support GoPro cameras. That means that you aren't stuck with a low quality and low resolution experience. And if you want a drone with FPV functions that can doubly capably as a racing drone, you can achieve an exceptional speed of 105 miles per hour. That's about the best you'll find with an RTF drone, and it's enough on its own to earn this drone a spot on our best of list.
8. ARRIS X-Speed 280 V2 FPV Quadcopter Racing Drone
The Arris X-Speed looks like no other drone on the market, but its intimidating design belies some of the best specs on the market. This certainly isn't the drone you want to pick up for your kids, but high performance pilots will get a lot of value out of it. It's fast enough to go neck and neck with racing drones thanks to the new Arris 2205 motor and maintains a great level of stability due to the 5024 props. The X Speed comes ready to fly, and while it can work well as a racing drone, it also bears a 700 TVL camera that transmits in real time and provides you with a smooth viewing experience.
9. Fat Shark Drone
Fat Shark may be best known for their drone headsets and goggles, but the company that helped popularize racing drones has gotten into the business of building their own. This kit vehicle is a racing drone through and through, but that doesn't mean that it can't work just as well for delivering a first person FPV experience. And as you might expect from a Fat Shark product, it comes with its own goggles, so you can fully immerse yourself in the experience. This is a drone that's built to help people learn the ropes, and while it doesn't come with a wide selection of features, it employs a reliable controller and is constructed from highly durable materials.
10. Hubsan H122D X4 Storm 5.8G FPV Racing Drone
The Hubsan H123D is the closest thing to an all around performer on our list of the best camera drones. It includes a reliable 720p camera, but its top speed of 25 miles per hour and its ability to perform flips with a simple button press could conceivably earn it a place on the lists of the best racing drones or best stunt drones. That level of agility - combined with the relatively compact size of this drone - makes it one of the best choices around if you're trying to experience action as it happens and capture it at a high definition resolution.
First Person View (FPV) Buyer’s Guide
If you’re buying your first drone with FPV capabilities, the shopping experience may seem a little underwhelming. But we’re here to make the experience better and put the power in your hands. Pilots who know the important features and specs like brushless motors can probably tell the strengths and weaknesses of each FPV quad copter above with just a glance, but pilots with less experience will want to keep reading. We’ll break down all the qualities pilots should look for when seeking out an FPV quad copter.
If you’re going to buy an FPV quad copter, the camera is obviously going to have a big impact. The most common cameras for drone use make use of HD resolution. That means either 720p or 1080p. While there are some 2K and 4K drones on the market, they tend to be significantly more expensive (though the Holy Stone HS700D is a notable exception). So which do you need? 720p isn’t going to reach the quality of what you’re used to seeing on your TV, but it should be quite enough for more casual consumers. Those with hobbyist or professional needs should seek out an FPV camera for drone that offers a 1080p resolution.
Some other cameras use a TVL measurement. TVL stands for “television lines”, but it’s usually translated into resolution numbers so that more casual consumers can read it more readily. While TVL was once used regularly in security cameras, it’s pretty rapidly being phased out. A TVL camera is beginning to age, but that doesn’t mean you’re making a mistake by investing in an RTF quad copter that uses the TVL format. Just keep in mind that 700 and 600 TVL ratings are below that of 720p, and they’re typically used for racing drones rather than more focused photography drones.
The other factor to consider when looking at FPV or racing drones is the video transmitter. While the resolution of the camera determines the image quality for your FPV experience, the video transmitter determines how quickly it transmits that video to your phone or the screen of your controller. That’s obviously a big deal for racing drones, but for pilots looking to engage in aerial photography that won’t be as big of a deal. The ideal transmitter operates on the 5.8GHz frequency. They’re small and comparatively cheap to produce, but they offer a reliable level of connectivity with the flight controller of a quad copter.
Ready to Fly vs. DIY Models
The temptation to build your own pilot from scratch is relatable, but if you’ve never put together a quad copter before, we highly suggest you invest in an RTF (or ready to fly) model. While more experienced pilots can really get a lot of mileage out of a self built model, ready to fly models are going to offer you the most bang for your buck if you’re still wet behind the ears.
You probably aren’t going to fly without incident the first time, and that’s an especially big deal with FPV racing drones because there’s an HD camera mounted on it. For that reason, you should look for models that offer crash protection features like headless mode and durable frames. Carbon fiber is the most popular choice for build quality because it’s light weight but also can take a hit.
Flight Time and Distance
A drone racing quad copter that can’t go very far or for very long isn’t one most users are going to enjoy. Battery life on cheaper quads are generally about 10 minutes or less, but even the top quality models top out with a flying speed under 30 minutes. For that reason, we suggest that you add an extra battery or two to your Amazon wish list. That’s especially important because most drone batteries can take an hour or more to fully charge their battery.
The maximum control distance can also be pretty variable, but not all racers are going to need an especially long control distance. If you’re going to fly your drone mostly indoors, then the control distance is more or less a negligible quality. And for most drone pilots, you generally don’t need a control distance that extends beyond your line of sight. Even with the camera built in, it can get dangerous to fly a drone where you can’t see it. But some models can offer ranges in the thousands of miles, and these are great choices if you want a drone you can program with automated flight paths.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is FPV on a Drone?
FPV stands for first person view, and it refers to drones that come with a camera built in. While there’s some crossover with racing drones, these are usually focused on creating stunning pictures rather than on allowing you to hit the top race speed. That said, our list finds the balance between high resolution FPV video and the speed you’d expect from a race drone.
How Much Does it Cost to Build an FPV Drone?
That really depends on how serious you plan on getting about it. The camera for a DIY quad copter alone can cost you hundreds of dollars, and when you start getting into complex components like the power source and flight controller, top of the line DIY FPV or racing drones can quickly set you back a grand. Researching all the parts for a DIY quad copter project can be an arduous but satisfying process. If you just want a quad copter that’s ready to fly, our guide above can help you find the best RTF models.
What Do You Need for FPV Drone?
Technically all you need is everything that comes with the drone. Most are already mounted with a camera and come with a flight controller right out of the box, but many newer models are compatible with FPV goggles that can put you right in the middle of the action.
How Long Do FPV Drones Last?
There’s a decent amount of variance depending on the level of the drone. Entry level drones will generally offer a flight time of about 5 to 10 minutes, but more expensive models can last you 15 minutes or more. The Parrot Anafi promises a whopping 16 minute battery life.If you liked our article on fpv drones, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.