8 best drones that can be used for roof & home inspections in 2020

Even though drones are usually considered as entertaining and, above all, as a great source of fun, little did you know that they can be used for other more useful applications? For instance, lots of people are using drones for roof inspections.

There is a whole micro niche on the drones market just for drones for this application. As you all probably know, roofs tend to get wet and perhaps even shatter under heavy storms. In addition to that, parts of them can move if not placed correctly, allowing leakage to flow into your home.

drones-for-roof-inspections

If something like this is happening or you are at least thinking it is, simply invest in one of these drones and save a lot of money from potential roof inspectors finding faults. So, with that being said, let’s take a moment to look at some of the camera drones for home inspections.

 

Important features of a good roof inspection drone

One of the most important features on your go-to roof inspection drone is definitely stability. More precisely, both flight and image stability greatly affect your overall performance as well as the ability to effectively (and efficiently) do a proper roof inspection. For your next drone, the feature you should look for is altitude hold. Believe it or not, that little thing can (and will) improve your flight stability and make it a lot easier for you to control your drone without smart flying turned on.
Second in line is FPV (AKA first-person view). For those of you who aren’t familiar with this feature, it essentially allows you to view exactly what your drone’s camera is pointing at. Needless to say, buying a drone without FPV feature for the purpose of a roof inspection is probably the stupidest idea ever. It’s obvious why – for a roof inspection, you need to have close control over your drone and to see exactly what its camera is pointed at. With that said, FPV is basically a must for all wannabe roof inspection drones.
I’m sure many of you know the importance of GPS in modern-day drones. GPS (and the Russian GLONASS system which is also present in certain models). Not only does it make controlling your drone much easier but it also paves the road for many other advanced features which can be of great help, especially for a roof inspection. Below, in the extra feature section, you can take a peek at Waypoints feature which works thanks to GPS. In addition to Waypoints, GPS also allows several other smart flight modes including Orbit, Follow Me, Cable Cam and more. Effectively, GPS on roof inspection drones can be of great help once you select the property for inspection and let your drone’s autonomous flight modes do all the work while you concentrate on examining roof damage through your FPV monitor.
Finally, we have reached the camera. Of course, I don’t need to be the one to tell you that good camera quality is of crucial importance for your roof inspection business. Ideally, you should look for a gimbal+camera combination that will give you improved stability and pivoting in all directions. Needless to say, this will help you inspect roofs better and give you a smoother experience. When it comes to camera quality, I warmly suggest going for a 20 mpx CMOS sensor that can record in 4K and output live feed in HD. That’s the standard you’re going to need for thorough inspections.
In terms of flight time, one thing is for sure – the longer the better. If you want a joyful time on your job, then anything below 20 minutes is a complete waste of your time. Sure, you can get an extra battery to double your flight time and charge the other one in the meantime… but it’s still going to leave you with a lot of waiting in between. On the other hand, if you go for some of those premium models which incorporate 25 to 27 minutes as well as quick charging technology, there’s no doubt your workflow will be greatly improved. That’s why make sure your next roof inspection drone has a powerful LiPo battery that can charge quickly enough for you to have no waiting time with an extra one in the back. Otherwise – you’re in for a rough time…
Even though the long-range is not of crucial importance for your next roof inspection drone, it is still a worthy trait to have… Unless you’re one of those celebrity roof inspectors who get to inspect mansions, penthouses, and all that expensive stuff. On the other hand, if you are not, then the long-range is probably the least important feature you should take into account when choosing a drone. Still, keep in mind that you need at least several hundred meters of seamless control (and FPV) range for it to be effective on medium to big sized houses.
If you want to get the best out of your roof inspection drone, then you should take a closer look at the Waypoints feature. It’s pretty popular nowadays and many high end (and even mid-tier) models come equipped with it. What exactly does it do? Well, as its name suggests, Waypoints feature lets you draw out several waypoints on the map (GPS is required for it to work properly) and fully customize them to your liking. The customization we are talking about here includes flying altitude, speed, camera orientation, and many other aspects. Once you are done with setting everything up, your drone will start following the directions and you will have free control over your camera (and gimbal) to inspect every portion of your roof.

 

Budget Drones for Roof Inspection

 

TABLE: BUDGET DRONES FOR ROOF INSPECTIONS

ImageNameCameraRangeFlight TimeBest Offer
hubsan-zino-table3. Hubsan Zino4K4km22minSee best offer
2. UpAir Two4K1km24minSee best offer
DJI-Mavic-Mini-table1. DJI Mavic Mini2.7K4km30minSee best offer

 

3. Hubsan Zino

Hubsan Zino with Transmitter

Hubsan Zino is the first drone we’re going to talk about today. Yes, I know, Zino 2 is out there as well, but it still hasn’t hit Amazon so we can’t count it towards this list. That said, what makes the, now relatively old, original Zino (and Zino Pro) a solid drone for roof inspection?

Camera and Features

First of all, the thing that makes Hubsan Zino a solid drone in the first place is its extraordinary camera and a highly aggressive price tag. Believe it or not, this $400 drone packs a 4K camera that shoots with great clarity and stability. The latter is, of course, brought to life by a sophisticated 3-axis gimbal system, which is of crucial importance for roof inspections since they require a lot of work with the camera pointing straight down.

At the time of writing this overview, there was no roof inspection software made for Hubsan Zino. While this is a bit unfortunate, look at it as an opportunity to learn to operate manual roof inspections. Operating a drone isn’t too difficult, but you will need to pass all the legislative procedures to become a licensed drone pilot. If you’re living in the US, that is.

Specifications

In addition to onboard GPS and altitude hold sensors, Hubsan Zino can boast with potent brushless motors and a foldable body. The latter makes Zino a portable drone, great for all sorts of missions, both commercial and casual. On average, roof inspection missions take roughly 12ish minutes. It all depends on the type of property you’re working with, but it won’t take longer than 15 minutes in most cases. Where am I going with this? Well, Zino can fly for roughly 20 minutes per battery. The range is pretty decent too, capping at 4 kilometers which is much longer than the properties you’ll be working with.

 

 

2. UpAir Two

upair-two_with_transmitter

UpAir Two is another great example of a cheap model that’s viable for roof inspection purposes. It’s a lot bigger than the aforementioned Hubsan Zino, but features a total of three cameras that aim to take the perfect aerial images…

Camera and Features

Yep, you’ve read that correctly – Upair Two has three “eyes”, having picked up the popular smartphone world’s trend of having multiple cameras. All three cameras are placed in a single “box” which is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal that ensures optimal stability.

Features-wise, you’re getting a whole lot of juice with this thing. As you’d expect, it comes with the standard GPS and altitude hold but also packs a few additional features such as follow me, headless mode, and one key return to home. Best of all, it supports customizable flight missions, meaning you can set up somewhat automated roof inspection missions.

Specifications

Specs-wise, Upair Two won’t sweep you off your feet. Obviously, the folks over at Upair had to cut their expenses somewhere, and this time around it was in the specs department. It’s nothing too drastic, but still easily noticeable. Take the range as the perfect example – extending to a kilometer and not much more. While it’s decent in terms of roof inspection drone work, other commercial applications could suffer. Battery duration is solid, being able to hold on for 22 to 24 minutes of flight per charge.

 

 

1. DJI Mavic Mini

DJI Mavic Mini with Transmitter

DJI Mavic Mini is the final drone in the affordable section of our roof inspection drones list! As the name suggests, it’s a miniature model coming from the world’s greatest drone manufacturer – DJI. What else is great about this little bugger? Well, let’s find out!

Camera and Features

Needless to say, DJI Mavic Mini has a superb camera. It’s capable of recording in 2.7K and offers a fairly smooth experience thanks to the onboard 3-axis gimbal. You don’t really need much more for roof inspection, do you?

As for features, DJI Mavic Mini can do all sorts of trickery with image processing. There’s even a basic editor in the DJI Go app that allows you to create mesmerizing social media hits. Unfortunately, social media presence won’t do much for your roof inspection missions. In that department, Mavic Mini can’t really do much. It flies smooth, is pinpoint precise, and packs amazing value for money, exactly what roof inspection startups need in their first drone.

Specifications

In addition to the brilliant 2.7K camera, DJI Mavic Mini can also brag with (by far) the best specs sheet in its class. Thanks to the fact DJI Mavic Mini comes weighing in at around 250 grams, the provided smart battery isn’t under too much stress in the air. For that reason, it’s able to consistently output close to half an hour of flight time per charge. Combine that with roughly 4 kilometers of operating range, which is what you’ll get from most drones at this price point (and even a bit cheaper), and you’ll realize what makes DJI Mavic Mini among the best budget buys for roof inspection purposes!

 

 

Professional Drones for Roof Inspection

 

TABLE: PROFESSIONAL DRONES FOR ROOF INSPECTIONS

ImageNameCameraRangeFlight TimeBest Offer
5. DJI Mavic Air4K4km20minSee best offer
Parrot Anafi Table4. Parrot Anafi4K4km25minSee best offer
dji-phantom-4-pro-table-new3. Phantom 4 Pro+4K8km25minSee best offer
autel-robotics-evo-table2. Autel EVO4K7km30minSee best offer
dji-mavic-2-pro-table1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro4K8km30minSee best offer

 

5. DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air With Transmitter

DJI Mavic Air is the next in line of roof inspection drones we got in store for you! It’s a bit bigger than the aforementioned DJI Mavic Mini and offers more features, but it comes at a much steeper price tag too. Overall, it’s a great choice for drone inspections if you don’t want to overspend.

Camera and Features

DJI Mavic Air packs a mighty 4K camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal. That said, you’ll get nothing but the smoothest image no matter the weather conditions you’re flying in. The gimbal is precise and can go all the way down, making it ideal for roof inspection gigs.

The best thing about DJI Mavic Air is the fact it works with DroneDeploy and its sophisticated roof inspection software. The software isn’t free, but it will greatly alleviate the hassle of having to manually perform all of your roof inspection missions. Plus, DroneDeploy’s software does a lot more, featuring comprehensive reports and measurements for residential and/or commercial roofing businesses.

Specifications

Specs-wise, DJI Mavic Air is not as beefy as the all-new DJI Mavic Mini. Even though it might surprise you, especially considering the price difference, the drone technology moves fast and it’s a direct result of Mini’s superiority here. The difference isn’t that significant, though. We’re looking at the same operating range, roughly 4 kilometers, but slightly shorter battery life, roaming around the 20-minute mark.

 

 

4. Parrot Anafi

parrot-anafi-with-transmitter

Here we have Parrot’s entrance to the world of foldable drones – Anafi! Mimicking nature in its design, Parrot Anafi is a unique-looking drone with a proper surprise in the camera department. While the surprise isn’t necessarily good for roof inspections, it can help out if you’re into real estate drone usage too. That said, let’s dive straight on in!

Camera and Features

Parrot Anafi comes with a thrilling 4K HDR camera that can go toe to toe with some of the most expensive drones out there. Just like all other models featured above, Anafi’s camera is also on a 3-axis gimbal for an added layer of stabilization.

Now, we’ve reached a surprise. Do you know how all other drones with gimbals can point straight down and straight forward? Well, Anafi can do all that, plus point straight up too. While this isn’t viable for a roof inspection, it can come in handy if you’re looking to get some wicked shots of the interior. Last but not least, Parrot Anafi has a solid number of smart features too, with GPS, altitude hold and follow me topping the charts.

Specifications

Parrot Anafi is no pushover when it comes to the technical side of the deal too. We’re talking about a very robust yet lightweight drone here, one that can extend up to 4 kilometers away from the provided Skycontroller, and reach up to 25 minutes of flight time per battery charge, which is more than enough for a single roof inspection mission.

 

 

3. Phantom 4 Pro Plus

dji-phantom-4-pro-with-transmitter_new

Here we have yet another DJI model. Yep, I know I’m kind of leaning towards DJI all the time, but it’s nothing subjective. Objectively speaking, DJI makes the best commercially-viable drones and that’s not really a secret. Driven by those words, let’s take a look at the grandiose Phantom 4 Pro Plus and see what makes it the perfect solution for roof inspections!

Camera and Features

Right off the bat, DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus can tackle even the most demanding tasks. Thanks to omnidirectional obstacle avoidance sensors, pinpoint accuracy, and lag-free controls, Phantom 4 Pro Plus is still among the most responsive drones out there. Of course, it supports DroneDeploy as well as a wide variety of other commercial software for flight autonomy.

Camera-wise, this bad boy packs a massive 1-inch sensor capable of shooting 4K at 60fps. There’s really nothing else to be said about this camera other than the fact that It’s absolutely phenomenal. If you want the clearest image and the smoothest footage, Phantom 4 Pro Plus is the model to buy!

Specifications

Even though DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus is an older model, its specifications are still up there with the best of them. This model is the epitome of high-end tech, and it’s no wonder we’re seeing approximately 7 kilometers of operating range from this bad boy. The battery life is great too, capping at roughly 27 minutes. But, once again, everything above 20 minutes is good enough for roof inspections, really.

 

 

2. Autel Robotics EVO

Autel Robotics EVO with Transmitter

For those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the past month or so, Autel Robotics announced three next-gen EVO models, two of which pose as direct competitors in the roof inspection niche. But, since they’re not out just yet, we’re stuck with the good old EVO, the original one. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Camera and Features

The new EVO II models will come with either an 8K or a 6K camera with adjustable aperture whereas the original EVO sports a 4K one. Don’t let this fool you – the different between 4K, 6K, and 8K are not as massive as they might seem. Sharpness improvements are there, but it takes a knowledgeable eye to really notice them… plus, only a small fraction of people have 6K+ TV’s…

Features are another great factor in AR EVO. It’s foldable, has a bunch of autonomous trickery for casuals, but is sophisticated enough to pose as a great all-around roof inspecting platform. So, whether you’re a casual or commercial user, one thing is for sure – if you want DJI Mavic 2 Pro(ish) performance but you don’t want to pay the price, Autel Robotics EVO is the next best thing you can get!

Specifications

In terms of numbers, Autel Robotics EVO is as good as they come. We’re talking up to 7 km of operating range here, much more than you’ll ever need for roof inspection purposes. On top of that, EVO can also fly around for roughly half an hour, which means you could even pack two (be it smaller) roof inspection missions with a single battery. Just think of the possibilities here… Best of all, Autel Robotics EVO won’t even break your budget, being priced at around $1,000 at the moment.

 

 

1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro

dji-mavic-2-pro-with-transmitter

Finally, we’ve reached the final drone on our list of the best professional roof inspections drones! Ones that are currently available for purchase, mind you. The title of the ultimate one goes to, you’ve guessed it, another DJI model. But, it’s not just any DJI model – it’s DJI Mavic 2 Pro, a proper beast sporting insane performance and an equally insane price tag too.

Camera and Features

DJI Mavic 2 Pro is expensive, there’s no point denying that. But, it really does have everything you could wish for from a roof inspection drone. Flight accuracy – check, GPS-powered autonomy features – check, foldable design – check, impressive visuals – double check! With a hefty Hasselblad-branded 1-inch sensor, DJI Mavic 2 Pro comes swinging uppercuts in the camera department. In all honesty, DJI Mavic 2 Pro’s camera is just as good (perhaps even better) as that of DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus!

Roof-inspection-wise, DJI Mavic 2 Pro supports automated flight missions, meaning you won’t have to operate your expensive purchase on your own. You’ll still have to set everything up in the commercial software of your choosing, but that’s a different pair of shoes…

Specifications

Yep, DJI Mavic 2 Pro really is the best roof inspection drone you can buy right now. Whichever option you go for, and you can’t really go wrong with the Pro model for roof inspections, you can rest assured you’re getting your money’s worth. The specs sheet proves that with 8 kilometers of flight range and half an hour of flight time. It’s absurd, outright absurd, I know…

 

 

Drones for Roof Inspection | A Quick Overview

Roof inspections are most commonly requested by home buyers and real estate agencies/agents. Nowadays, most organizations and individuals use sophisticated software in combination with powerful, professional-grade drones.

Drones sued for roof inspection scenarios are able to effectively investigate the condition of a roof of a house, which is a highly important factor for the overall commercial value of the property. Roof inspections portray a complete image of the roof, its current condition, potential damage, and project when the first repairs are going to be needed.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any stats for drone use in the roof inspection business. It’s because RI is such a specific niche that no data is readily available on the internet. Still, knowing commercial drone sales are still experiencing rapid growth, real estate, and roof inspection drone use must be through the roof… pun intended!

drone-home-inspection_web

Drones for home inspections.

 

Types of Roof Inspections Using Drones

Mainly, drones can be used for two types of roof inspections, automated and manual.

Manual roof inspections are pretty straightforward – you buy a drone, set everything up, and fly it above the house you’re interested in. Try to fly as slow and low as possible with your camera pointed straight down to get the most accurate measurements and detailed close-ups of the entire roof.

Automated roof inspection missions, on the other hand, combine professional-grade drones with sophisticated, commercial software that does all the work for you, quite literally. The best example would be a highly popular DroneDeploy platform. All you have to do is pinpoint the location/house you want to inspect. The software will take care of everything else, including camera settings, flight parameters, and maneuvers. In the end, it will provide you with a data-packed overview of the inspection much faster than traditional methods and completely hassle-free.

drone-inspecting-roof_web

 

Other Drone Accessories You Can Use for Roof Inspection Missions?

Using professional drones for roof inspection is not an easy task unless you’ve purchased a piece of software that allows for fully automated roof inspection missions. Luckily, there are accessories that can help make your flight a lot easier, like FPV goggles and landing pads.

If, on the other hand, you’re all about making sure your drone is well protected, perhaps you’ll be more interested in suitcases and backpacks. Either way, here are the four most important accessories for roof inspection drones:

 

Suitcases

Most standalone drone packages don’t come with dedicated suitcases. If you’re all about roof inspection missions, I’m afraid a drone suitcase or at least a hard-shell backpack is a must. In this niche, you’re constantly on the go and keeping your drone (as well as its supporting equipment) is a rather difficult task.

Luckily, Amazon packs a ton of drone suitcases. Some of them are universal, packing plenty of storage space but lack that ideal level of protection. Others are made for specific models and offer the ultimate protection, but tend to cost a lot more than their universal counterparts. Either way, drone suitcases are well worth every penny as they’ll keep your prized possession safe and sound at all times!

drone-in-suitcase_web

 

Backpacks

Let’s not forget about backpacks either! Instead of shielding your precious drone, backpacks are there to keep all of your other accessories safe. We’re talking stuff like landing pads, FPV goggles, additional cables, chargers, memory cards, and even your laptop if you’re into editing your footage/shots on the go.

drone-and-backpack_web

 

FPV Goggles

FPV goggles are pricey (good ones are), there’s no doubt about that. However, I dare to say they justify their price tags by allowing drone operators a completely new perspective on the work they’re doing. FPV goggles can help you get a better “feel” for the mission and allow you to do much more precise movement during manual missions.

DJI Goggles (not to be mistaken with DJI FPV Goggles targeting drone racers) are the ultimate FPV goggles currently available on the market. They offer a highly immersive FPV experience, with a pair of FHD displays and sophisticated head tracking feature. DJI FPV Goggles only work with a handful of DJI drones as well as those equipped with HDMI, so make sure your drone supports DJI Goggles before spending a ton of money on them.

If your drone handles FPV through analog 5.8 GHz signal, then your best bet for proper FPV immersion is with Fat Shark Attitude V5. These FPV goggles feature a vivid 640×400 OLED display, which might seem low at first, but we’re talking about analog transmission here. FatShark Attitude V5 is a model primarily targeted at the FPV hobby, but it can come a long way if you’re in desperate need for a state of the art 5.8Ghz analog FPV goodness!

flying-drone-with-fpv-goggles

 

Landing pads

Last but not least, if you’re doing roof inspection drone missions the good old-fashioned ways, landing pads make a fine accessory. Just type in “drone landing pad” on Amazon and you’ll find a massive number of available models. Warm advice – buy a reflective one with an anti-skid bottom layer that goes on both concrete, grass, dirt, sand and other surfaces. It’s basically universal and thanks to the anti-skid layer it won’t slip away when your drone starts flinging stuff up in the air while coming down. It’s not a must-have for expert drone operators but can come in handy if you’re operating on demanding terrain.

 

Conclusion

That would be it, guys. Now you know what’s the best drone for roof inspection that is currently available on the market. As you can see, all of them are equipped with the awesome FPV feature, which is basically the easiest way of roof inspecting in the modern world. In the end, we would just like to express our gratitude for reading our article with hopes that you found it informative and useful for making your next purchase.

READ MORE: Drones For Real Estate / Drones with Thermal Camera / Most Expensive drones 

Drones Hidden On December 2019 Update

8. DJI Phantom 3 Professional

dji-phantom-3-professionalThe last spot on our list belongs to the one and only Phantom 3 Pro by DJI. The professional version has a few well-placed upgrades over the standard one.

Mainly, it has a much better camera, longer flight time and dual positioning modules that allow for perfect flight experience time and time again. But, considering it’s quite an old model, is it really worth placing on this list? Well, read on and you might just find out!

The build quality of Phantom 3 Pro is nothing short of brilliant, which is one of the reasons why DJI is among the most popular drone brands. Specifications are outstanding too – the Phantom 3 Professional can fly for up to 23 minutes and in that time, it can reach a maximum range of roughly 5 kilometers. Keep in mind that the FAA has strict regulations on where you can fly this thing and where not. So, if you’re living in the US please keep this in mind when you’re out flying!

Still, if you are looking for a great drone for a roof inspection, you simply cannot go wrong with the Phantom 3. If it’s good enough for professional aerial photography, what is stopping it from being an excellent roof inspection drone?

 

7. Parrot Bebop 2

parrot-bebop-2Parrot has recently launched its new upgraded version of Bebop drone. The official name is Bebop 2 and it has a couple of improvements over its predecessor. The main one is superior build quality and much faster response times in the air. This will allow you to fully control your drone and do crazy stunts.

Moreover, it’s 14 mpx camera and FPV capabilities are a great combo for roof inspections. There’s even a bundle with a VR headset for an even better inspection experience. By using the VR headset, you will have the chance to examine every block of your roof with pinpoint precision.

In addition to that, it is also important to mention that this little guy can fly around for approximately 21 minutes (roughly the same as the Phantom 3 Pro), but with its range being only cca 300 meters, it’s not exactly the best option for long range scenarios.

To boost Bebops range, but a Sky controller. Using a Sky Controller Parrot Bebop 2 is able to fly up to 2 kilometers away from the controller. Plus, not only is the range drastically improved but so is the overall flying experience. You see, with smartphone controls you will never have good feedback no matter how good your device is. On the other hand, with a real physical controller, the controlling schematic is much more intuitive and provides a much better overall experience.

 

6. GoPro Karma

GoPro did not have a very good entrance to the drone market. As some of you already know, their Karma drone was recalled after having technical issues that needed to be sorted out to ensure maximum user satisfaction.

Luckily, they managed to fix those issues and now Karma is looking as good as it can be. Still, it’s meant to be a direct competitor to DJI Mavic Pro, but failed to deliver as good of a performance. Despite that, Karma is still an awesome drone that’s definitely worth looking into.

Starting off with specifications, GoPro Karma is actually a well-versed drone that has quite a few numbers to back it up. First things first, the operating range is absolutely brilliant, stretching out to as far as 3000 meters. Combine that with approximately 20 minutes of flight time and you’ll come to the conclusion that Karma, in fact, isn’t a bitch!

Furthermore, I’d like to switch the play to its photography solution. Of course, GoPro has armed its drone with its HERO action cameras. GoPro Hero 5 Black is leading the charge with awesome image quality and zero shakiness (or that nasty jello effect we often see with low-tier drones) provided with its hardware gimbal stabilization system.

Another thing worth mentioning is the Karma Grip which transforms your aerial photography platform to a handheld of body-mounted counterpart. Apart from using your drone, you’ll also be able to record all your activities thanks to Karma Grip which looks like an absolutely charming addition to this package.

All things considered if you’re not buying a drone for the sole purpose of… well… buying a drone and you’d rather love a generally awesome photography package that you can use for a wide variety of things (including the roof and home inspection), one thing is for sure – it doesn’t come much better than GoPro Karma!

 

5. Autel Robotics X Star Premium

autel-robotics-x-star-premiumIf you are willing to set out a hefty amount of money in order to buy a roof inspection drone, then be our guest and go for the X-Star Premium by Autel Robotics.

It’s a beautiful drone that sort of looks like the Phantom series by DJI. Truth be told, its characteristics are on par with those coming from DJI, making it an amazing alternative in its own right.

With a silk-smooth 4K camera mounted on a 3 axis stabilization system, FPV feature that works seamlessly up to 2 kilometers, dual positioning systems and roughly 25 minutes of flight time, there is no doubt that the X Star Premium proves to be a viable choice across a wide variety of usage scenarios.

Still, the best-case scenarios are definitely tasks that involve precise aerial photography. So, whether you want to use Autel Robotics X-Star Premium for home or roof inspections, there’s no doubt it can do a good job!

To top it all off, there’s even a dedicated app you can use on your Android or iOS devices that lets you control many features, among which is the FPV mode (you can also use a VR FPV headset for the ultimate piloting experience). Many of our customers who bought this drone say it’s the best drone for home inspections!

 

4. DJI Mavic Pro

The wooden medal goes to DJI Mavic Pro! Lately, it’s the best-selling drone by DJI which is a fact that speaks for the high-quality manufacturing process resulting in this drone.

I don’t need to remind you that this is a fully foldable drone capable of fitting into any type of backpacks. This makes it the best travel buddy which is guaranteed to capture brilliant moments from your trip. Want to know more about DJI Mavic Pro? Well, let’s take a closer look at it to find out what’s it all about!

I’ve already mentioned that it’s foldable and miniature… but what I did not mention is that it sports the world’s smallest 3-axis gimbal which has a fully-fledged 4K camera attached to it. Image stabilization is perfect and so is the general image quality that (at least in my honest opinion) isn’t shy of its big brother, Phantom 4.

Features are another thing that set DJI Mavic Pro miles ahead of the competition. With full support for DJI GO app, intuitive GUI, plenty of smart flight modes and even hand gestures, there is no doubt this little birdie is bound to deliver. No matter what kind of a task you put it up against, DJI Mavic Pro will provide amazing results.

As far as specifications are concerned, DJI Mavic Pro can stay in the air for up to 27 minutes which is a praiseworthy number. But, we did not expect anything less than that from DJI. Another shiny spec worth looking at is the operating range. Yes, DJI Mavic Pro is infused with OcuSync technology which allows it the same exact range as DJI’s other current-gen flagships including Inspire 2 and DJI Phantom 4 Pro. For those of you who don’t know what this number is… it’s 7000 meters! Holy shit, right?

 

3. Yuneec Typhoon H

As far as powerful hexacopters are concerned, Yuneec Typhoon H is surely at the very top of the bunch. On a side note though, it’s one of the cheapest hexacopters (real hexacopters and not those toy ones, of course) currently available on the market. But, that’s not because it does not work very well… On the contrary – Typhoon H is a beast!

The first thing that needs to be said about Typhoon H is the wide array of features it comes equipped with. In addition to GPS, failsafe and autonomous flight modes, there is a version of this hexacopter that comes with a comprehensive obstacle avoidance system.

Believe it or not, it is made by intel which just proves my point about Typhoon H being a proper beast. RealSense is the name and it brings an even better sense and avoids mechanism than DJI’s current-gen flagships. With precise sensors and quick drone maneuvers thanks to 6 powerful rotors, Typhoon H is virtually uncrushable.

Moving forward to the camera, all of you who are looking for the best specs will be positively surprised. That is because Yuneec Typhoon H comes equipped with CGO3 camera that shoots exceptional aerial footage in 4K resolution. Needless to say, it sports its own dedicated 3-axis gimbal for image stabilization… and undoubtedly, it works like a charm.

Finally, we must not forget about Typhoon H’s specifications. Due to its powerful 4S LiPo battery with 5400mAh, this birdie can fly as long as 25 minutes. Perhaps slightly lower than that if you’re planning on recording in 4k during the entire flight. The operating range goes around 1 to 1.5 kilometers which give you plenty of area for inspection of even the biggest of mansions.

 

2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Phantom 3 Pro’s successor, the almighty Phantom 4 Pro is the next drone on our list. I’m sure you’re all already somewhat familiar with this one, so there’s no real point on explaining everything regarding it. It has an amazingly sturdy frame and body, allowing it to smoothly glide through the air even during the strongest of winds which is just the first of its many awesome traits…

When it comes to the features, DJI Phantom 4 Pro can breathe easily with plenty of options. Of course, that is not surprising at all considering it relies on DJI GO app that incorporates plenty of features into its system.

Autonomous flight modes including ActiveTrack and TapFly, to name a few… More importantly, this birdie has its own dedicated obstacle avoidance system. Even though you might think it’s just another gimmick, in reality, this system is extremely useful and you’ll come to appreciate it later on.

Moreover, it is equipped with a state-of-the-art 4K camera that’s mounted on a 3-axis gimbal stabilization will certainly provide you with a steady platform for a roof inspection. Other than that, it is also important to add the specs of this model. The flight duration has seen a small improvement in comparison with its predecessor, the Phantom 3. More precisely, it has received a boost of 3 extra minutes allowing for a total of 25-27 minutes of flight time. The range has stayed the same with roughly 5 to 7 kilometers of maximum distance.

To top it all off, it’s worth mentioning that this beast has a top speed of 44mph (approximately 72 km/h), making it among the fastest aerial photography drones out there.

 

1. DJI Inspire 2

There is no doubt that DJI Inspire 2 is one of the most powerful drones out there on the market. With brilliant hardware packed inside a rigid body, this birdie is surely the wet dream of aerial photographers all around the world. If you’re not among them, keep on reading and I’m pretty sure you will be… once you see the numbers, that is.

Starting off with the camera solution, you should know that DJI Inspire 2 comes with several different options. If you are a professional aerial photographer with no room for compromises, then I warmly recommend you going for the Zenmuse X5S package that delivers exceptional performance.

Specifications aren’t half bad either. As a matter of fact, they are equally as good as those on DJI Phantom 4 Pro. With 5 to 7 kilometers of operating range and cca 25 to 27 minutes of flight time, DJI Inspire 2 is surely a force to be reckoned with.

In terms of features, DJI’s flagship AP drone incorporates a comprehensive obstacle avoidance system as well as all other functions that you’d come to expect from such a pricey drone. These include GPS, smart flight options, failsafe, auto return to home and even support for 2 controllers at the same time. All in all, if you’re willing to dash out such a big price for this birdie, then you must be a professional… which means you’ll greatly appreciate everything DJI Inspire 2 brings to the table!

Roof inspection drones review
  • Stability
  • Camera
  • Flight time
  • Price
4.5

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6 comments

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1

Vita,
I wish it were true. I am just unsure any of these drones are a match to the task. perhaps Inspire could be with the right camera. The other are doubtful. The camera lenses are too wide angle for good photos of roofing defects.

I would like you to show your readers the photos taken of a roof inspection made by each of these drones.

Take each of these drones and put them into the hands of experienced home inspectors. Run a poll of those inspectors to develop specific selection criteria related to the information that you presented here.

How stable is stable? Define and measure how stable a drone is and how stable a drone should be for roof inspections. What is its ability to resist winds and updrafts and down drafts that are encountered near a building with a sloped roof.
GPS and waypoints. Can waypoints define a rectangle as small as 40ft by 60ft? And why would you need GPS? You drove to the job using your phone. Now that you are on the jobsite, all of your work will be line of sight. There is no serious advantage to the task of roof inspections with having GPS. Holding position over a roof is better done with sonar and other sensing devices like gyros and IR sensors.
Regarding the camera, you did not evaluate the focal length or more important, the FOV (field of view) for the still images that you will take. What shutter speed will be needed to overcome vibration so that you get a sharp image?

An inspector will want to budget two batteries for each roof that he will inspect in a day. Most inspections could be done in less than 20 minutes, but wind and other variables will need to have a safety margin to complete the job. A home inspector may do two or even three inspections per day, and a roof inspector may do many more than that number.
Regarding flight distance, if you are several hundred meters away from the job, you are too far from the job. You will very likely never be more that 50 meters away from the roof. If a waypoint can be created for a roof, let me know. I do not think they can be made as small as a house.
And finally, the photo that you and all other writers and marketing people are using for a roof inspection and for new homes. Get a roof inspector to shoot some photos of a real roof that is 30 to 50 years and old and show us the defects.

2

John,
It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on the requirements for drone used for roof inspection. Is there a model that you recommend?

3

I'm trying to use this for my roofing business. I just bought the Mavic Pro but before I put it to use I want to know if I need to register or get an FAA license to fly it for inspecting a roof? If you have an answer to that I would love your feedback and help. Thank you

4

I do home inspections, but cannot take time to move photos from drone to iphone. I need capability to fly and take photos that move directly onto my iphone. Anyone know how I can do this, and which of the above drones would be best for that purpose?

5

Nunca veo en sus listas de drones el Xiaomi mi drone y es mejor que muchos de los que mencionan.

6

Never thought drones could be used for this kind of stuff. Very useful article.