12 drones that are great for GoPro cameras [Early 2017 Edition]

If you already have a top-quality action camera and are looking for a top-class GoPro drone to pair it with, then you have come to the right place. Perhaps you are a professional photographer and are looking to widen your expertise? Perhaps you are aiming to become a professional aerial photographer?

Whatever’s the case, if you are looking for great drones compatible with GoPro cameras, this list is going to help you with your task. Choosing a good professional aerial platform can be quite a tricky task, especially considering there are lots of drones to choose from. They all have different payloads, gimbals and stabilization systems, which makes them quite tangled up in the long run. In case you’re interested in non-GoPro camera drones, here’s list of top camera drones for you.

Luckily, this guide could become your best friend when looking for top-quality drones for GoPro. Why? Well, check it out and see for yourself what are the best GoPro drones for sale in 2017!

Table : Drones For GoPro 2017

NameImageRangeTimePrice
10. Syma X8G100m12 minSee price now
9. Xiro Xplorer Gxiro-xplorer-v-300x1431km22 minSee price now
8. DJI Phantom 2dji-phantom-21km18 minSee price now
7. Splash Drone1km20 minSee price now
6. AEE AP9ap9500m23 minSee price now
5. 3DR IRIS+800m22 minSee price now
4. MJX Bugs 3300m15 minSee price now
3. 3DR Solo3dr-solo-drone-300x1961km23 minSee price now
2. Traxxas Atontraxxas-7908-aton-300x179-300x163200m18 minSee price now
1. GoPro Karma1km20 minSee price now

You’ll need a FAA Drone Pilot License to fly your drone in a commercial purposes. Getting license can be little tricky if you don’t prepare yourself. That’s why we created FAA Part 107 Test Prep.

 

10. Syma X8G – one of cheapest drones with GoPro mount

syma-x8g-packWe are starting this list off with Syma’s X8G GoPro drone. It’s definitely not the best drone for GoPro overall, but if you’re running on a low budget… this one might be great for you. It’s one of the cheap drones that work with GoPro. Considering it’s price, this is not a bad option for a starter drone for beginners. It comes with a full HD 8MP camera whose quality is not exactly the best on the market. Luckily, with just a little bit tampering around with the connector, you can pair it with your GoPro in a matter of minutes.

When it comes to its specifications, it has to be said that it possesses 6-axis gyro system for optimal flying (and image) stability. Other than that, it is equipped with hovering mode, 360 rotation, and headless mode. Specification-wise, its flight duration is around 12 minutes while its range goes somewhere around 100 meters. If you’re looking for a drone that will go much further from 100 meters.. our list of best long range drones should help!

All in all, it’s a great starters drone that is definitely worth opting for. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced drone pilot looking for a new toy, there is no doubt Syma X8G can make your dreams come true!

Show me the best price for : Fort Oglethorpe, United States

 

9. XIRO Xplorer G

xiro-xplorer-gAnother great bang for buck GoPro drone is coming from XIRO. Their Xplorer G version does not come with a dedicated camera, but it does come with a 3-axis gimbal which is perfect for your GoPro. It has amazing stability and offers a perfect aerial recording experience to its users. With that being said, let’s see how good it really is!

The video and image smoothness is nothing short of spectacular. You can even see a real time live preview by attaching your smartphone to the controller. Other than that, it is important to add that this little guy has handy features such as follow me drone feature, circle around me, hovering, and real time live preview which we already mentioned above. And finally with its flight duration of 25 minutes and great range (up to 500 meters), there is no doubt that we are talking about a truly great drone.

When buying XIRO Xplorer, make sure you go for the G version. If you purchase the V one, you will pay extra money for a dedicated camera. While the image quality won’t disappoint you, it is still nowhere near a GoPro. With that being said, I would just like to add up that you don’t have to worry about stabilization since the above mentioned 3-axis gimbal does a wonderful job at keeping your aerial footage smooth and steady!

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8. DJI Phantom 2 V2.0 with Zenmuse H4-3D

dji-phantom-2Of course, this list could not finish without at least one of DJI’s Phantom drones. For this occasion, we have handpicked their Phantom 2 V2.0 bundled together with the amazing Zenmuse H4-3D gimbal. Of course, there are other bundled gimbals as well that might suit your GoPro (such as the H3-3D for example) better.

Keep in mind that you will have to install and calibrate the gimbal with the software provided by DJI. After doing that, your GoPro will be fully synchronized with its gimbal and you are good to go. For optimal results (if you were to buy this drone), we recommend you have the well-known Hero4 Black Edition as it can fully utilize gimbal’s stabilization features. And finally, this beast can fly for around 25 minutes and its respective range is cca 1 kilometer.

One thing is for sure though, the years have taken their toll on the good old Phantom 2. With plenty never models available, it’s pretty difficult to recommend it. Still, we have to confess that it was (in its time), by far, the best drone available. In fact, those red stripes next to its propelers were my wet dream for quite some time until I managed to save up enough money to buy it. So, if your wet dreams include red stripes and the awesome Zenmuse H4-3D gimbal, I don’t need to tell you twice that this model is made for you!

Show me the best price for : Fort Oglethorpe, United States

 

7. Splash Drone (Mariner 2)

splash-droneIf you are looking for a state-of-the-art waterproof drone with a ton of tricks up its sleeves than you should seriously consider purchasing the Mariner 2 by GARLUS. While they haven’t been a big player in the drone market, they have showed their strength with their newest amphibious UAV.

We are talking about an extremely easy on the eye drone with a sturdy frame and above all – excellent build quality. As you can see, it is among the most expensive drones on this list and as such, it should not be taken for granted. Mariner 2 even has a fully waterproof 2-axis gimbal that allows you to tilt your GoPro’s to get the perfect aerial shot every time. It will take some time to get used to it, but I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it sooner rather than later.

You don’t need to worry about splashing water over it while enjoying a smooth live feed. That’s not where its pros end – not only can you control it via its dedicated controller (comes inside the package) but it responds to app-based controls as well. In other words, you can use your smartphone to, for example, create autonomous missions during which the drone will follow a specific waypoint route that you have designed. All things considered, it is quite clear that the folks at GARLUS did not mess around while making this masterpiece.

Show me the best price for : Fort Oglethorpe, United States

 

6. AEE Technology AP9

aee-ap9When talking about drones with GoPro mount, we simply can’t skip this drone. Among the best drones in this entire list is the AP9 by AEE Technology. Even though its big brother, the AP10 is a lot more popular, when it comes to bang for the bucks it does not get much better than this one.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many better GoPro ready drones on this list, but when it comes to price / performance ratio, AP9 is an outright champion. It does not come with a pre-bundled camera but it does come with GoPro and AEE S-series mount support which is most likely what the majority of you are looking for. It is extremely fast and can reach up to 44 miles per hour. For those of you not familiar with drone speeds, let’s just say 44mph is pretty good! Its cruising speed is half that, which is just enough for you to capture some amazing aerial footage.

When it comes to its specifications, it is safe to say that it will not disappoint you. With around 23 minutes of drone flight time and more than 500 meters of lag-free range, this drone is by far the best bang for the buck in this list!

Show me the best price for : Fort Oglethorpe, United States

 

5. 3D Robotics Iris+

3dr-irisThe Iris+ is a rather compact and clean looking drone that simply breathes quality all around itself. Its payload capacity is 400g which is more than enough to suit your GoPro camera. For that matter, it can even hold a professional grade DSLR camera without any issues.

On the other hand, if you plan on using a GoPro, even with its casing on, it will not go over 150g which is nowhere near 400. We are talking about a ready-to-fly drone here which means all you have to do once it arrives is to charge it up, attach the props and you are good to go. Specs-wise, this little fella has around 16 to 22 minutes of flight time (depending on the payload) and can travel up to 800 meters even with the FPV turned on. All things considered, there is no doubt that Iris+ has what it takes to be your next drone!

Keep in mind that it’s not nearly as popular as the other 3DR model – the Solo; so don’t expect a lot of community behind it. But, despite that and considering all the positive aspects of this beauty, there is no doubt that Iris+ has what it takes to be your next GoPro drone!

Show me the best price for : Fort Oglethorpe, United States

 

4. MJX Bugs 3

 

MJX might not be the most known drone manufacturer out there, but that is only because they don’t make high-end models. When it comes to entry-level ones, their Bugs 3 is more than capable of providing you with excellent time! Even more so if you already own a GoPro and you’re just looking for a solid aerial platform to mount it onto. That’s because MJX Bugs 3 is one of the drones compatible with GoPro cameras.

In terms of specifications, MJX Bugs 3 has roughly 300 meters of range and more than 15 minutes of active flight time. The latter heavily depends on the type of camera you mount on it. For that matter, you’ll be happy to know that it supports not only GoPro’s but Xiaoyi’s and Xiaomi’s as well. The stabilization isn’t going to blow you away, but it is still decent and won’t give you that usual jelly effect that most other, similarly priced, models tend to output.

With that being said, it’s quite clear that MJX Bugs 3 does wonder in terms of aerial photography which is why it’s not only being bought by beginners but more advanced users alike. So, all things considered, if you already own an action camera and you’re looking for a solid platform for aerial photography, it’s quite obvious that MJX Bugs 3 is a greatly affordable GoPro drone.

Show me the best price for : Fort Oglethorpe, United States

 

3. 3DR Solo

It’s abundantly clear that 3DR is not that big of a deal in the drones’ market. They’re not nearly as popular as DJI… or even other companies such as Yuneec or Autel Robotics. So, with that being laid out, how come their Solo model is so darn popular nowadays? The fact is, 3DR Solo is one of the most popular drones for GoPro cameras. Well, the shortest answer would be that it offers a wide variety of features topped off with a great build quality and decent hardware. All three characteristics are on point for the Solo, and it’s safe to assume consumers noticed that.

If you want a more precise approach, let’s start off by saying 3DR Solo highly intuitive drone that does not come with a dedicated camera. So, it’s safe to say the primary audience are people who already own an action camera and are keen on creating aerial photography masterpieces. Despite that, it does not come with a gimbal either so that’s just another expense that’s going to exploit another couple of bucks out of your pocket. But, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad drone. On the contrary, 3DR Solo delivers incredible performance in terms of a plethora of features that come with it. Autonomous flight drones, other smart flight modes, even GPS (What is GPS and best drones with GPS list is here) – those are just some of the awesome features 3DR Solo has.

Combine all that with the fact its controller incorporates an HDMI port that you can use to set up your own FPV system with FPV goggles. Sounds awesome, right? Luckily, as I’ve already said – the customers noticed the sheer quality this drone possesses, so it’s actually ranking quite high in the charts. All things considered, 3DR did a fantastic job with 3DR Solo and I can’t wait for their next model. Hopefully, they’ll give us a more affordable Mavic Pro killer as that would really spice up the market. Flight time : 22 minutes. Flight range : 800 meters.

Show me the best price for : Fort Oglethorpe, United States

 

2. Traxxas Aton

TRAXXAS 7908 ATONAnother one of popular drones with gopro mount comes from USA based company Traxxas. Traxxas has been a steady player in the industry. With their Aton drone, they have gained a massive amount of sympathizers craving for more. And indeed, the Aton is a great drone capable of carrying quite a decent payload. Your favorite GoPro camera is not a burden to this bad boy, don’t you worry. As far as the introduction goes, I believe this is it! We’ll not jump straight to close-up action!

When it comes to the features this little fella is equipped with, there are dual GPS systems, air brakes, return to home, 2 flight modes (sport and film) and a rather bright LED lights along with their respective status bar. As we already mentioned in the previous sentence, the Aton has 2 flight modes. The sport mode is used for drone racing – while it’s switched on, the drone clocks in at over 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). The film mode is, as its name suggests, used for filming. The speed is lower but the controllability and stability are greatly improved.

Moving forward to the specifications, I’m happy to tell you Traxxas is more than good. With around 15 minutes of flight time and cca 300 meters’ flight distance, this guy is a true steady Eddie in its price range. All credits to Traxxas – great job, this is potentially the best drone for GoPro!

Show me the best price for : Fort Oglethorpe, United States

 

1. GoPro Karma

GoPro Karma is one of the newest foldable drones for GoPro available on the market. It’s made by the worldwide popular GoPro, an action photography giant that’s a household name across the globe. With that being said, I was extremely happy when their Karma drone got released but was extremely disappointed when they had to pull it off the market due to technical issues.

Nowadays, even though the technical issues have all been resolved, GoPro Karma still cannot go up against, what looked like it would be, its main competitor – DJI Mavic Pro. In terms of specifications, things are pretty obvious – GoPro Karma falls short with lesser operating range (3km compared to 7km) and battery duration (17 compared to roughly 25).

In terms of portability, Karma falls short too with DJI Mavic Pro being the ultimate foldable drone out there. Still, things aren’t that bad for GoPro’s first drone. You see, even though Karma lacks in specifications and size, it makes up for it with versatility revolving around handheld photography. You see, within the GoPro Karma package, you don’t only get the drone but a handheld stabilizer as well – Karma Grip. At the moment, that’s the only characteristic that Karma uses to attract audience… And judging by their sales, it seems to go pretty well for them! It’s no surprise Karma is often used as a drone for real estate agents for creating aerial footages of property they are trading.

Show me the best price for : Fort Oglethorpe, United States

 

Why is a GoPro camera on your drone a good choice?

Well, for starters, GoPro has a godlike status in the world of sports cameras. They are pretty much like DJI in drone world. GoPro has only the best cameras out there, but they sure as hell are pricey. One thing that most beginners tend to forget when they want to mount a GoPro on their drone is a proper gimbal. The gimbal is essential for the proper functioning of the camera. Don’t get me wrong, without the gimbal you will still get OK footage quality but you will also experience a lot of shakiness and some people (including me) hate it from the bottom of their very soul. That’s why, combining a proper gimbal with your GoPro is the right way to go for all of you looking for professional grade aerial footage. So, is a GoPro good choice for a drone? It most definitely is!

 

Is a GoPro camera reliable enough for use on drones?

In terms of reliability, drones that work with GoPro cameras are more than decent. Like I have already stated above, you will need a proper gimbal (or a tightly secured mount) which will prevent GoPro from falling down. Once you have everything set up properly, there is no need to worry about anything going wrong. As long as you use your drone in an appropriate manner, you’ll be OK!

 

Do GoPro cameras support FPV transmission?

If you want a straight out of the box solution for using your GoPro as your main FPV camera, then I am afraid that the answer is no. At the time of writing this article, GoPros do not support direct FPV transmission straight out of the box. On the other hand, if you are willing to get your hands dirty (a figure of speech, don’t worry), there are several ways you can make this work. You can either go out any purchase a quick start FPV package for your GoPro. It includes everything you need (from 5.8 Ghz transmitter and receiver, monitor, antenna and all the necessary cables) but will cost you a significant amount of money. On the bright side, you’ll get a magnificent FPV experience in all of its glory.

 

How much does a GoPro weigh?

One of the biggest issues you will come across when trying to mount a GoPro on your drone (other than finding the perfect mount and gimbal) is the supported load. You see, many drones aren’t built for carrying cameras. Their motors aren’t powerful enough for lifting them or they’re just too heavy on their own and any further weight would significantly drag them down. That’s why nowadays there is a maximum takeoff weight listed on virtually all drones. So, if you are wondering if your drone can support a certain GoPro, here’s a list of the most popular ones and their official weight.

Keep in mind that Hero 4 Session does not come with a case while all others do. Hero 4 Session is waterproof without the case up to 33ft.

 

Overview of latest GoPro cameras

What’s point of buying the best drone for GoPro if you don’t have a good GoPro camera? In this section of this article we are going to show you the differences between the most popular GoPro action cameras. As you already might know, there are many variations of them, but for the sake of keeping this article from reaching a massive word count, we are just going through some of the most important aspects of 3 most popular ones. So, without further adue, here are the most popular GoPro models that are still available for purchase:

GoPro Hero

gopro-heroThe very first GoPro Hero installment is still among the most popular ones, even though the time took its toll. It is able to capture full HD videos at 30 frames per second which is not that bad, but it excels at 720p where it can capture at 60 fps. The 5MP lens shots single images, time lapses and even burst photos up to 5 fps. Add in its great durability and waterproof (40m) and you’ll understand why this $177 action camera is still among the most popular ones.

 

GoPro Hero5 Black

gopro-hero5The newest installment to the HERO Black series is this bad boy. It is capable of capturing 4K videos and 12MP photos in all modes as described above. It’s waterproof even without casing (up to 10m), and it automatically sends all of your footage to your GoPro Plus cloud. In addition to that, it has a handy 2-inch touchscreen which allows you to trim, edit and share your videos on-the-fly.

 

GoPro Hero5 Session

gopro-hero-sessionThe newest addition to the Session line up has been making quite a decent name for itself on the market in recent time. As is the case with its Black sibling, it is capable of recording 4K videos along with time lapses, bursts and standard images with its 10MP lens. The GoPro Hero5 Session is insanely compact (as was the case with all previous Session models), sturdy and waterproof. Its state-of-the-art image stabilization and perfect audio levels will make you instantly fall in love with it.

 

CONCLUSION

And there you have it guys, those were the best GoPro-ready drones that are currently available on the market. As you could see for yourself, there are many great drones that fit your needs perfectly. Ranging from $100 to $1,500, there’s something for everyone. With this being said, I hope that you found this list informative and that it, in the end, helped you make the right decision.

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4 comments

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1

Hi, Thanks for the wonderful reviews. Can you tell me which of these drones is compatible with the GoPro Hero5 Black?

Thanks, Mark

2

Great post Vito! I've been doing my research on the cheapest drones to use with a gopro and it has come down to the Syma X8G (currently available on ebay for bid at about $70) and the MJX Bugs 3 on sale at Gearbest for $90. I've seen great reviews for the MJX Bugs 3 as well as some great test footage after rigging it up with a G-2D gimbal. Its price and flight time beats that of the Ionic Stratus and I'd love to see it included in this list.

4

Hey, what is the best for an automatic safe return home. I need to know and avoid stealing

12 drones that are great for GoPro cameras [E…

by Vito Dronelli time to read: 17 min
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