TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Top Professional Drones for Serious Commercial UAV Pilots

Updated With New Drone Models for 2022

Note: Fly safely and responsibly, folks. Never flown before? Learn to fly for free over here or sign up for an in-person drone flight training over here. Need to get your FAA commercial drone certificate? Start studying over here.

If you're in a hurry, check out our top pick:
DJI Mavic 3 CINE (Premium Combo)
The latest and greatest camera drone from DJI, with a professional-grade camera from Swiss camera manufacturer, Hasselblad with built-in Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding.

A commercial UAV pilot is only as good as the equipment they use.

No amount of skill can overcome poor camera quality or an unstable drone.

So today, I’m going to show you the top professional drones that serious commercial pilots should consider.

The Best Professional Drones: Our Top Picks

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DJI Mavic 3 CINE (Premium Combo)
Camera | 20 MP, 5.1K/50fps
Flight Time | 46 Minutes
Camera | 20 MP, 5.1K/50fps
Flight Time | 46 Minutes
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DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise
Camera | 20 MP, 4/3 CMOS
Flight Time | 45 Minutes
Camera | 20 MP, 4/3 CMOS
Flight Time | 45 Minutes
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Sony Airpeak S1
Camera | Compatible with camera systems weighing under 1.1kg
Flight Time | 12-22 Minutes
Camera | Compatible with camera systems weighing under 1.1kg
Flight Time | 12-22 Minutes
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Freefly Alta X
Camera | Compatible with various cinema cameras
Flight Time | Varies with payload
Camera | Compatible with various cinema cameras
Flight Time | Varies with payload
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Flyabilty Elios 3
Camera | 12 MP
Flight Time | 12 Minutes
Camera | 12 MP
Flight Time | 12 Minutes
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DJI Agras T10
Flight Time | 2 Hours
Flight Time | 2 Hours
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senseFly eBeeX
Camera | Compatible with various sensors
Flight Time | 90 Minutes
Camera | Compatible with various sensors
Flight Time | 90 Minutes
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DJI Matrice 300 RTK
Camera | Compatible with various Zenmuse sensors
Flight Time | 55 Minutes
Camera | Compatible with various Zenmuse sensors
Flight Time | 55 Minutes
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DJI P4 Multispectral
Camera | 2.12 MP per sensor
Flight Time | 27 Minutes
Camera | 2.12 MP per sensor
Flight Time | 27 Minutes
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Teledyne FLIR SIRAS
Camera | 16MP with 128x zoom
Flight Time |Minutes31 Minutes
Camera | 16MP with 128x zoom
Flight Time | 31 Minutes
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Skydio 2 +
Camera | 12 MP, 4K HDR Video
Flight Time | 27 Minutes
Camera | 12 MP, 4K HDR Video
Flight Time | 27 Minutes
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Autel Evo II Series
Camera | 48 MP, 6K, 8K, Thermal
Flight Time | 40 Minutes
Camera | 48 MP, 6K, 8K, Thermal
Flight Time | 40 Minutes
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Skydio X2
Camera | FLIR Boson, 4K 16 fps
Flight Time | 35 Minutes
Camera | FLIR Boson, 4K 16 fps
Flight Time | 35 Minutes

There are many options out there, so it can be easy to get bogged down. The multirotors we’ve chosen were manufactured by some of the best, most reliable drone brands, they have excellent online support (forums, blogs), and they provide the quality you need to do your best work.

Here’s the full list in case you don’t feel like scrolling down and want to open some tabs to compare:

Let’s get started!

Note #1: Trying to get your Part 107 certificate? Click here to see our Drone Pilot Ground School coupon codes.

Note #2: All specs/features are obtained from the manufacturer or retailer.

Note #3: On this list, we’ve included models available for sale on Amazon and DJI — as Amazon and DJI, Skydio, and Autel Associate partners, we earn a small commission for qualifying purchases. Please know that we’ve tested many of the models on this list, and we wouldn’t recommend anything we wouldn’t fly ourselves!

01

DJI Mavic 3 CINE (Premium Combo)

Camera

20 MP, 5.1K/50fps

Battery Life

46 Minutes

Good For

Filmmaking

The Mavic 3 CINE is DJI’s latest creation that pushes the boundaries of what a foldable drone can achieve. It builds on everything that made the Mavic 2 Pro successful, but the CINE version is unlike any Mavic drone before it. The dual-camera system features a Hasselblad 4/3” sensor and a ½” Tele camera sensor that has 28x hybrid zoom.

With up to 46 minutes of flight time, you will not have to worry about having enough battery life to get that picture-perfect shot. Speaking of its imagery capabilities, The Hasselblad sensor provides a 12.8-stop dynamic range that retains more details in highlights and shadows, upgrading your work to a professional level. Drone pilots will also enjoy the built-in Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding and 1 TB SSD for a super smooth professional workflow.

The Mavic 3 CINE premium combo includes:

  • DJI RC Pro Controller
  • DJI RC Pro Control Sticks (pair) ×1
  • 3 DJI Mavic 3 Intelligent Flight Battery
  • DJI Mavic 3 Low-Noise Propellers (pair)
  • DJI Mavic 3 Battery Charging Hub DJI 65W Portable Charger
  • DJI Mavic 3 Storage Cover
  • DJI Mavic 3 ND Filters Set (ND4/8/16/32)
  • DJI Mavic 3 ND Filters Set (ND64/128/256/512)
  • DJI Convertible Carrying Bag
  • DJI 10Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable
  • Type-C Cable

Key Specs/Features

  • Still Image Resolution: 4/3 CMOS, 20 MP, JPEG/DNG
  • Video Resolution: 5.1K/50fps, 4K/120fps
  • Max Flight Time: 46-minutes
  • Max Speed: 42 mph (67 kph) in S-mode
  • Notable Attributes: O3+ allows for a 9.3-mile transmission range, an Advanced RTH system, 84° FOV, auxiliary bottom light, omnidirectional binocular vision system, DJI AirSense.

See our review of the Mavic 3 CINE here.

02

DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise

Camera

4/3 CMOS, Effective pixels: 20 MP

Battery Life

45 Minutes

Good For

Mapping, Firefighting, Search & Rescue, Inspection, Night Ops

The DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise Series redefines industry standards for small commercial drones. With a mechanical shutter, a 56× zoom camera, and an RTK module for centimeter-level precision, the Mavic 3E brings mapping and mission efficiency to new heights. A thermal version is available for firefighting, search and rescue, inspection, and night operations.

The Mavic 3 Enterprise can be carried in one hand and deployed at a moment’s notice. There are two different models in this series: Enterprise and Thermal. The thermal camera has 640 x 512 resolution and supports point and area temperature measurement, high temperature alerts, color palettes and isotherms to help you find your targets and make quick decisions.

Key Specs/Features

  • Still Image Resolution: Enterprise – 20MP & Thermal – 12MP/48MP
  • Video Resolution: H.264, 4K at 3840×2160 at 30fps, & FHD at 1920×1080 at 30fps
  • Max Flight Time: 45-minutes
  • Max Speed: 6 m/s (normal mode) & 8 m/s (sport mode)
  • Notable Attributes: Compact & portable, 56x hybrid zoom, DJI O3 Enterprise Transmission, thermal camera, high-volume loudspeaker
DJI Enterprise - Introducing the Mavic 3 Enterprise Series
03

Sony Airpeak S1

camera

Compatible with camera systems weighing under 1.1kg

battery life

12-22 Minutes

good for

Filmmaking

The Airpeak S1 is the world’s smallest drone that can carry a full frame Alpha series mirrorless camera. It’s equipped with flexible flight modes to make flying and creating even easier. Use it with “Airpeak Flight” mobile app to control, monitor and manage the aircraft, remote controller, camera, and gimbal in-flight.

The Airpeak system enhances creativity for a seamless drone experience, Airpeak S1 is supported by a remote controller, an app and cloud service which work together to create a high-performance aircraft system. From piloting and camera work to flight programming and data management, the Airpeak system is comprehensive and easy to use.

Key Specs/Features

  • Max Flight Time: 12-24 minutes*
  • Max Speed: 55.9 mph without payload
  • Notable Attributes: Versatile camera and lens compatibility, intuitive control, automated flight for workflow efficiency, sensing technology for flight stability

* Max flight time varies based on what camera gimbal is equipped.

 

Sony Airpeak S1 Drone Unboxing, Tutorial & Demonstration | Sony Cine
04

Freefly Alta X

good for

Filmmaking, Agriculture, Delivery

The FreeFly Alta X drone is a quad-rotor configuration designed for professional and industrial partners. It is truly an engineering marvel with the ability to carry up to a 35-pound payload. Foldable carbon fiber propeller arms, propellers, and Freefly’s quick-release gimbal system ensure simple set-up and increased portability.

Flying a large drone does not need to be complicated, fly with ease with Freefly’s PX4 flight controller. No matter how you use the Alta X, the drone is engineered for easy transport and quick deployment. The propellers and arms fold to cut its physical size by half, and with just a push of your finger, you can expand the drone to full size. When expanded, the linkages stiffen the booms to help ensure accurate, low-vibration flight.

Key Specs/Features

  • Quick release mounting system on top or bottom of aircraft.
  • Adjustable Vibration Isolation included.
  • Long Range Data link.
  • Extensive accessory ecosystem
  • 33 Inch blades with ActiveBlade technology
  • Flies on just 2 batteries.
  • 50 Minute flight time with no payload, 22 minute flight with 20lb payload.
  • Folds to half its size with one finger folding.
Introducing ALTA X - The world's toughest drone
05

Flyabilty Elios 3

camera

12 MP

battery life

10 Minutes

good for

Indoor Inspections

Flyability pioneered confined space inspection drones with its first product in 2016. With the launch of the Elios 3, it continues its pledge to create cutting edge technology designed to keep humans out of dangerous places to perform the most demanding inspection tasks.

The Elios 3 was made to address the need companies have for reliable inspection tools. As industries around the world scale up their use of drones, they need technology that is easy to use, performs the same way every time, and remains stable when working inside highly sensitive assets.

The Elios 3 comes with an Ouster OS0-32 LiDAR sensor, allowing inspectors to collect data for the creation of survey-grade 3D models using software from Flyability’s new partner, GeoSLAM. Mapping areas that are out of reach or too dangerous for humans is very difficult, yet critical to support operational decisions in many industries.

By combining the best of confined space drone data capture and 3D geospatial software technology, Flyability’s partnership with GeoSLAM enables professionals to produce survey-grade point clouds of the most inaccessible places in their workplace, completely removing the strain of approximations and guesswork from their operations. In addition to carrying a LiDAR sensor, the Elios 3 can accommodate a second payload that allows it to be customized for each individual user’s needs.

Key Specs/Features

  • Camera Resolution: 12 megapixels
  • Dual thermal and 4K camera system
  • Collision tolerant—the Elios can withstand collisions and continue flying (this is what it’s known for!)
  • Cutting edge wireless communication with live video feedback
  • 10k Lumen dustproof lighting system with oblique lighting
  • GPS-Free stabilization with Distance-Lock for precision inspection
  • Full HD live streaming
  • Max Flight Time: Up to 12 minutes
  • Max speed: Up to 6.5 m/s (14.5 mph)
  • Notable Attributes: FlyAware SLAM Engine, SLAM-Based Stabilization, 3D Live Map, 3D Reporting, 3D Surveying, Modular Payload Bay, Collision-Resilient Design, Extended Air-Time, Close-Up Inspection Payload

Accessories

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06

DJI Agras T10

Battery Life

2 hours

Good For

Agriculture

The DJI Agras T10 brings a highly compact-yet-powerful aerial solution to agriculture sites of all sizes and needs. An 8 liter tank and spray width of up to 5 meters allow the aircraft to cover up to 15 acres/hour. Its folding truss structure is sturdy and reliable, enabling efficient folding and unfolding, convenient transportation, and easy transitions.

The spherical radar system perceives obstacles and surroundings in all environments, weather conditions, and viewing angles, regardless of dust and light interference. Automatic obstacle avoidance and adaptive flight functions help ensure safety during operation.

Equipped with dual FPV cameras, the Agras T10 provides clear front and rear views and lets you check flight status without needing to turn the aircraft mid-flight. And a bright searchlight doubles the aircraft’s night vision capabilities, creating more nighttime operation possibilities.

The Agras T10 can switch to a spreading system in just three minutes. A capacity of 8kg and spreading width of up to 7 meters support an hourly productivity of 14 acres.  It also supports real-time weight monitoring and has an anti-rotation sensor, allowing more accurate refill alerts. This system also supports real-time weight monitoring and has an anti-rotation sensor, allowing more precise refill alerts. The T10’s overall water-resistance rating of IP67 makes it washable and corrosion-resistant ideal for spraying of fertilizers, seeds, and feed. When used with digital agriculture solutions, the Agras T10 implements variable spreading, reducing fertilizer use while increasing yield.

Key Specs/Features

  • 10 kg (2.6 gallons) payload
  • Sprays 15 acres per hour
  • Integrated centrifugal cooling system increase reliability and longevity
  • Interchangeable spray nozzles
  • Terrain Follow: Microwave radar scans the terrain below to maintain stable height above plants regardless of elevation changes
  • Max Flight Time: 2 hours
  • Max Speed: 10 m/s
  • Notable Attributes: Interchangeable spray nozzles; Terrain Follow: Microwave radar scans the terrain below to maintain stable height above plants regardless of elevation changes

*Flight times vary on the payload weight.

DJI Agras T30 and T10 - Now Available Internationally
07

senseFly eBeeX

camera

Compatible with various sensors

battery life

90 Minutes

good for

Surveying & GIS

The senseFly eBeeX is a fixed-wing drone that is fully autonomous and is designed to capture high-resolution aerial images for mapping and 3D modeling. No piloting skills are needed for this drone, simply throw the drone and it will follow a pre-planned flight plan. Fixed-wing aircraft are ideal for large mapping jobs due to the efficient aerodynamic properties of this configuration. The eBee can cover 1200 acres within one planned flight, making it a very efficient option for aerial mapping.

It only weighs 1.7 lbs and can be equipped with seven interchangeable cameras and includes the senseFly eMotion software. Various optional accessories make the drone configurable for just about any mapping mission. The eMotion software is loaded with advanced flight control features and mapping parameters but is designed with a user-friendly interface that is great for beginners.

Key Specs/Features

  • Interchangeable camera sensors
  • Also works with Pix4Dmapper and Pix4Dbim
  • Multiple file outputs
  • Max Flight Speed: 68 mph (109 kph)
  • Max Flight Time: 90-minutes
  • Includes everything needed to start mapping today
  • Notable Attributes: Transform aerial photos into accurate orthomosaics (maps) and 3D models

See a comparison of other senseFly eBee drones here.

eBee X Fixed-Wing Drone - Map Without Limits
08

DJI Matrice 300 RTK

battery life

55 Minutes

good for

Public Safety Inspections Construction

The DJI Matrice 300 RTK is DJI’s newest and most capable enterprise drone that can be configured for a multitude of applications. The M300 is designed to safely operate in the most challenging circumstances. Some of its safety features include an anti-collision beacon, object detection up to 98 feet away, and AirSense, which is an ADS-B receiver that picks up signals from manned aircraft and alerts the drone pilot of the location of the aircraft. It’s compatible with the two new Zenmuse H20 cameras and various other sensors. The H20 series have optical and thermal sensors, making it a compelling choice for a variety of commercial applications.

The M300 RTK can carry up to six pounds and up to three different payloads at the same time. Need to change a payload or battery? Not a problem, with Hot-Swappable Batteries, the battery can be changed while still providing power without shutting down the drone. Automate routine inspections and capture consistent results every time. There are two many advanced features to list, but here are a few: AI Spot Check, Live Mission Recording, Pinpoint, and Dual Control.

To see all of the features, check out our in-depth analysis of the DJI Matrice 300 RTK here.

Key Specs/Features

  • Compatible with various Zenmuse sensors and third-party sensors
  • Max Flight Speed: 51 mph (82 kph)
  • Max Flight Time: Up to 55-minutes
  • IP45 weather rating
  • Anti-Collision Beacon
  • Hot-Swappable Battery
  • 6 Directional Sensing & Positioning
  • Notable Features: AirSense ADS-B Receiver, self-heating battery, UAV health management system, primary flight display.

Accessories

DJI Enterprise Matrice 300 RTK and Zenmuse H20 Series - Comprehensive Industrial Drone Platform
09

DJI P4 Multispectral

camera

2.12 MP per sensor

battery life

27 Minutes

good for

Agriculture

The DJI P4 Multispectral packs advanced agricultural sensing technology into the iconic Phantom series platform. Its relatively small footprint makes it one of the most robust agriculture drones for its size currently on the market. The P4 simplifies the process of collecting data and provides a comprehensive view of crop health. The accuracy of the data is greatly improved with the integrated Spectral Sunlight Sensor that captures solar irradiance to maximize data accuracies throughout different times of the day. With TimeSync, all six cameras will provide accurate measurements down to the centimeter-level.

Crop health and areas of concern can quickly be targeted with the ability to view the crops through RGB camera feed and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) feed simultaneously. The RTK modules’ accuracy can be enhanced with the available DJI D-RTK 2 Mobile Station. Plan flights, capture data, analyze data and act on that data with this innovative all-in-one system.

Key Specs/Features

  • Multispectral Imaging System
  • Integrated RTK Module
  • Side-by-Side RGB/NDVI view
  • Image Resolution: 2.12 megapixels per sensor
  • Global shutter with 3-axis gimbal stabilization
  • Max Flight Time: 27-minutes
  • Max Flight Speed: 36 mph (58 kph) in (A-mode)
  • Notable Features: Spectral Sunlight Sensor, 1 visible camera with 5 cameras covering Blue, Green, Red, Red Edge, and Near-Infrared bands

Accessories

P4 Multispectral - Multispectral Imaging Drone Solution
10

Teledyne FLIR SIRAS

camera

16MP with 128x zoom

battery life

31 Minutes

good for

Inspections, Firefighting, Law Enforcement & Search and Rescue Operations

SIRAS is an affordable, easy-to-fly, IP54-rated professional drone with an interchangeable payload system for industrial and utilities inspection, firefighting, law enforcement, and search and rescue missions. With front collision avoidance, hot swappable batteries, a 31-minute flight time, and no restrictive geofencing, professional UAV pilots can fly safely when and where the mission demands.

The quick-connect Vue® TV128 payload features patented MSX® technology, adding visible-light outlines to thermal imagery to provide critical information in real time. The 16MP visible camera delivers clear, pinpoint details with a 128x zoom. A 640×512-pixel, radiometric FLIR Boson® provides sharp thermal imagery, 5x digital zoom, accurate temperature-measurement, and compatibility with FLIR Thermal Studio™ analysis software.

Key Specs/Features

  • Still Image Resolution: 16MP with a 128x zoom
  • Max Flight Time: 30-minutes
  • Max Flight Speed: 40mph
  • Collision Avoidance: Front Facing Radar – Up to 30m when flying <5 m/sec speed & ground detection via underside sensors
  • Notable Attributes: Clear thermal and visible imagery, no geofencing, data security, photogrammetry software

 

Teledyne FLIR | Introducing SIRAS - Professional UAV
11

Skydio 2 +

camera

12 megapixel stills, 4K HDR video

battery life

27 Minutes

good for

Construction Filmmaking Marketing

Looking for Hollywood-style shots without complex equipment and high operating costs? Well, then the Skydio 2 +  is a drone that you should seriously consider. With an advanced 45-megapixel obstacle avoidance camera system, it’s designed to take the heavy workload off the pilot. Intelligent flight modes allow it to zip through even the most complex terrain without losing sight of the subject. The new KeyFrame mode allows drone pilots to create impossible camera motion that’s smooth, precise, and repeatable.

Featuring a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor, the Skydio 2 + records stunning 4K HDR footage at 60 fps and captures 12-megapixel stills. With autonomous speeds up to 36 mph, it captures dynamic cinematic shots with ease. Fly from the app, hand-held Beacon remote, or with a controller for even more precision. Its portable design makes it a compelling option for travel bloggers, documentary compilers, and commercial drone pilots in any industry.

Key Specs/Features

  • Still Image Resolution: 12 megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 4K HDR at 60 fps
  • Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing
  • Max Flight Time: 23-minutes
  • Max Flight Speed: 36 mph (57 kph)
  • Notable Attributes: 3 km transmission range, NVIDIA processor, intelligent flight modes, three control options

Accessories

Skydio 2 Controller
Skydio 2 Battery

 

Introducing Skydio 2

12

Autel EVO II Series

camera

48 MP, 8K, 6K, Thermal

battery life

40 Minutes

good for

Construction Filmmaking Marketing

With a price point starting at $2500, the newly released Autel Evo II Series is a serious contender in the increasingly competitive foldable drone segment. The Autel Evo II Drones pack some serious hardware under their bright orange shells. With 40-minutes of flight time, it also has the longest flight time of any prosumer drone offered on the market.

A unique feature with the EVO II  is the ability to change out the gimbal payload. It can be equipped with an 8K sensor, 6K Pro Sensor, or a Dual sensor that combines an 8K sensor with a thermal sensor. The ability to alternate sensors is unheard of in the consumer/prosumer drone market. With 12 advanced omnidirectional computer vision sensors, the drone can easily navigate the most challenging environments while focusing on the task.

Key Specs/Features

  • Still Image Resolution: 48 megapixels*
  • Video Resolution: Up to 8K*
  • Max Flight Time: 40-minutes
  • Max Flight Speed: 45 mph (72 kph)
  • Notable Attributes: Interchangeable gimbals, thermal sensor option, 5.5-mile transmission range (9 km), HDR video, built-in landing lights, intelligent flight modes.

*Still image and video resolution vary depending on which gimbal is equipped. 

 

Introducing: EVO 2 Series

13

Skydio X2

camera

Flir Boson, 4K 16 fps

battery

35 Minutes

good for

Search & Rescue Public Safety Inspections

Skydio changed how a drone could be flown when they released their advanced autonomous drone, the Skydio 2. Now the company is breaking into the commercial market with the new Skydio X2. The industrial design of the X2 makes this drone an excellent choice for government agencies, the military, and a host of other applications. Its foldable design is a first for the company, which allows this drone to be packed up and taken anywhere you desire.

The Skydio X2 can turn anyone into a seasoned drone pilot with the use of Skydio artificial intelligence. Equipped with the advanced FLIR Boson sensor and 360 Superzoom allows you to get closer, fly further, and see even during the darkest nights. In addition to the sensors, the X2 also features visible/infrared illuminators, precision GPS, and inertial navigation for night operations. 6-miles of range and 35 minutes of flight time ensures that the Skydio X2 will always deliver.

Key Specs/Features

  • Color Camera: 4K 60 fps with 16x optical zoom
  • Thermal Camera: Flir Boson 320×256
  • 360 Superzoom with 100x optical zoom)
  • Max Flight Speed: Unknown
  • Max Flight Time: 35-minutes
  • Notable Features: Enterprise controller, foldable design, 6-mile range, visible/IR illuminators. 

Skydio X2™ Sneak Peak

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