Surveillance Drones Overview: What Can You Get On A “Regular” Market?

If you are interested in excellent surveillance drones systems, then you can consider yourself really lucky for stumbling upon this article. Why? Well, because I am going to show you the 4 best surveillance drones for sale out there. The main aspects we took into consideration when choosing the models for our list were operation range, camera quality and flight duration. So, now that you know the basic criteria, let’s start off with the list of top drones for surveillance!

Surveillance drone flying over trees

What exactly do surveillance drones do?

This depends on whether we are looking at military surveillance or civil surveillance drones. The former are professionally-built machines that possess amazing range and are gigantic in comparison to all other commercially available drones. They are also rather expensive, but it seems as though the new era is approaching with US Marines finally finishing their 3D printable surveillance drone design.

As for their respective job descriptions, this is how things are shaped up. Military surveillance drones are often flying at great distances in order to annihilate the potential threat of detection. But, even while cruising at such high altitudes, they are equipped with zoom cameras which enables them proper surveillance capability. The military usually takes things a step further and introduces facial recognition software connected to their databases which is of crucial importance during counterterrorism missions.

On the other hand, civil surveillance drones are most frequently operated by large security/surveillance companies. As was already mentioned above, these drones are much smaller than their military counterparts which makes them cheaper to manufacture and operate. In terms of job tasks, they include perimeter security, protest monitoring, private area surveillance and so on…


What makes a good surveillance drone?

Apart from a great range and battery duration, a few other things each good surveillance drone must-have. First, of course, being a reliable GPS module that will keep track of their location at all times. In addition to this, GPS will also help in navigating the drone to accurate destinations as well as setting up flying routes. Besides GPS, every good surveillance drone needs to have a proper camera. Preferably one that has optical zoom which would bring plenty of additional benefits. It would essentially allow the drone to fly at much higher altitudes, resulting in less threat of being detected. Lastly, it would not hurt if these devices are hybrids between rotary and fixed-wing drones. This allows better power efficiency and easy to use operating environment, both of which are crucial during important surveillance missions. But, there’s only one such drone on this list. Of course, I am talking about Parrot Disco who has plenty of features available, making it a highly versatile drone.


Besides surveillance, what else are these drones good for?

Considering they are equipped with top quality cameras, possess great flight time and range, these drones can accomplish a lot more things in addition to surveillance. For starters, each of these birdies listed below can be an excellent aerial photography platform. They possess great cameras that can capture professional-grade aerial shots with ease. In fact, they also sport hardware gimbal stabilization systems (3-axis ones, for that matter) which do wonders in terms of image smoothness.

But, besides aerial photography, these drones also make for good real estate and roof inspections tools. They possess precise hovering capability which is, in combination with a great imaging solution, all these types of drones need.


Table: Best Surveillance Drones

ImageNameCameraRangeFlight t.Price
DJI Mavic Pro drone4. DJI Mavic Pro4K6km26 minSee best offer
DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone3. DJI Phantom 4P4K6km25 minSee best offer
DJI Inspire 2 drone2. DJI Inspire 24K6km25 minSee best offer
Parrot Disco drone1. Parrot Disco1080p2km45 minSee best offer

4. DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro drone

We’ll start our list of surveillance drones with the foldable drone from DJI. DJI Mavic Pro is a beast of a drone. That’s still quite an understatement considering the sheer power it has underneath that beautiful gray frame.

With the recent DJI’s announcement that there will be even more additional accessories for the Mavic Pro, people are more thrilled than ever about this awesome model. But, what is so awesome about it?

Well, for starters, it has a sleek finish and its rotors are completely foldable which makes it incredibly easy to carry around while you travel. In addition to that, it also has a powerful 4K camera that can catch any intruders on your property with ease. Oh, you have a huge property that spreads out a couple of kilometers? That’s not a problem for the Mavic Pro as its operating range goes up to 7 kilometers (more than 4 miles – List of Top 10 Long range drones). With 64km/h of top speed, needless to say, Mavic Pro is among the faster drones out there on the market. If need must, this little fella can effectively serve as a racing drone on top of its aerial photography and surveillance usages.

Another great thing about it is surely its Obstacle Avoidance system that makes sure your drone is safe and sound while up in the air. Moreover, the Mavic Pro is equipped with state of the art features among which are GPS+GLONASS System, ActiveTrack aka Follow me mode, Tap Fly and many more. All things considered, there is not a single doubt in the sheer quality of this masterpiece of the drone industry. It has everything a great foldable drone needs… and then some more! This might be the best surveillance drone for your needs, but keep reading, few more interesting drones are on the way ?


3. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

DJI Phantom 4 drone

Are you looking for the crème de la crème of the commercial drone industry? You don’t agree to any compromises and you’re only aiming for the very best out there? Money is not an issue, eh? Well, then you have probably already considered purchasing the all-mighty DJI Phantom 4 Professional.

I do not know what is there to write about this awesome model since words cannot even begin to describe its awesomeness. But, I need to fill the space with a couple of well-placed and above all – useful information regarding it, so here goes…

This little fella is the pinnacle of the drones industry. With its groundbreaking specifications and beautiful, breathtaking design, as soon as you lay your eyes on it you will realize you are looking at a premium model. The professional version is packed with a 1-inch 20mpx camera capable of recording in 4K resolution at silk smooth 60 frames per second. It supports up to 100Mbps bitrate which is absolutely amazing coming from a drone camera.

Moreover, DJI always makes sure their drones have the very best features out there, and nothing different can be said about Phantom 4 Professional. It is equipped with 5 direction obstacle sensing, allowing it to avoid any dangers while in the air quickly and effectively. Additionally, it also sports dual video encoding, mechanical camera shutter, TapFly, Return to home, gesture mode, ActiveTrack, Draw (their new waypoints technology) and even more. This just proves that we are dealing with a state of the art drone…

And finally, I feel the need to touch its specifications as well. You’d be surprised to know that it can fly up to 26 minutes on a single charge which is praiseworthy considering the weight of the drone at takeoff. And last but not least, it is worth mentioning that its operating range is wicked too – it is capable of flying more than 7 kilometers away from its transmitter without any sort of interference or lost connection.


2. DJI Inspire 2

DJI Inspire 2 Drone with camera

DJI Inspire 2 is a pricey drone that is not really meant for casual users. Sure, I mean, everyone can (try) to use it, but It has so many advanced features which make me think it will only be bought by people who have somewhat of business use for it… whether its aerial photography, agriculture, surveillance or something completely different. So, what’s that good about this little fella?

Well, let’s start off by mentioning that it has a top speed of whopping 58mph (approximately 93 km/h) making it a seriously fast drone, well-capable of performing at your local drone racing track.

When it comes to gimbal and camera compatibility, you will be happy to find out that it performs outstandingly with both the X4S and X5S. Moreover, Inspire 2 comes with the all-new CineCore 2.0 image processing system which allows it to effectively record videos in 5.2K resolution, making it the first drone with such function available on the market.

Of course, it has a whole plethora of sensors all over its body which allow it to fly seamlessly through the air. Terrain detectors, accurate indoor hovering and positioning sensors, and obstacle avoidance sensors are just some of them. With its respective intelligent shooting and flight modes, DJI Inspire 2 proves the point of it being a professional-grade drone rather than some casual toy… not like its price proves that too.

And last but not least, let’s take a couple of moments to talk about its controller. It comes equipped with the popular DJI Lightbridge technology and offers master+slave mode. This means that you can use 2 controllers on a single drone, one of them for controlling the flight and others to take pictures and record videos. That’s about it when it comes to DJI Inspire 2, one of the top surveillance drones for sale. I feel like there are so many more things to mention about it, but that would make this part of the article way too big… So with that in mind, we’ll leave it at that!


1. Parrot Disco

Parrot Disco drone with VR headset

If you do not like quadcopters and you consider yourself to be more of a fixed-wings type of guy, then this beast is made for you! Meet Disco, the best surveillance drone on this list.

It’s an incredibly sleek (but powerful) fixed wings drone made by Parrot, a popular brand in the drone industry (they stand toe to toe next to DJI due to their massive success with Bebop and AR drones). This little fella is surveillance-ready in every aspect but I’m sure you would’ve realized that on your own after reading these next 2 paragraphs.

With its great full HD camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal stabilization system and roughly 32GB of intern memory, you will be able to travel around your property the entire night and examine any possible intruders. If you are worried that you will crash it somewhere, Parrot Disco annihilates your worries with its solid autopilot system that makes piloting much easier. It is capable of taking off and landing on its own without you having to do much. But still, keep in mind that it needs to have a good chunk of space for a takeoff.

You see, the main difference between quadcopters and fixed-wing drones is in their respective takeoffs. Quadcopters lift up immediately with the power of their propellers while fixed-wing drones need (such as this one) need A LOT of space to properly takeoff without any issues. Another great thing about Disco is its praiseworthy flight time of up to 45 minutes, 15 minutes more than any quadcopter that is currently on the market. In addition to that, it is also important to mention that it’s pretty fast too. It clocks in at roughly 50mph which is extraordinary for a drone of this size.



That was it for these drones for surveillance list, guys. It was a pleasure giving you an in-depth look at some of the best surveillance drones out there. Now, I feel obliged to mention this again – these drones are not meant specifically for surveillance. In other words, they can be used in many other ways just as well (or even better). For example, some of these drones can be used for aerial photography and others can be used for roof inspections. So basically, what I am trying to say here is that they are quite versatile.

Larry Haller