Camera vs Drone

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you are new to the world of unmanned aerial vehicles, you may look to compare cameras vs drones. Some of the best drones, after all, feature built-in cameras, while others don’t. So what is the difference between a standard camera and a drone? Keep reading to find out.


  • Cameras and consumer drones are quite different, even if many drones now ship standard with an integrated camera.
  • Traditional cameras shine with taking certain types of photography, but fall flat with aerial photography, which is a failing of the drone market.
  • Regular cameras are quite portable, however, especially when compared to large and bulky professional drones and their extra batteries.

Differences Between Cameras and Drones

The primary difference is obvious, as one is a camera and one is a drone. Though many drones feature built-in cameras, these vehicles are not always appropriate for use when a photographic opportunity presents itself, even if you are comparing 1080p vs 4k drones. However, drone cameras can capture footage that traditional cameras cannot if you are wondering why drones are good.

Insider Tip

Drones are getting much cheaper in recent years, which could impact your purchase decision.

Here are more differences between these two.

Aerial Photography

Last time we checked, regular cameras could not fly into the sky to snap some sweet aerial footage, which is something camera-equipped drones excel with. This is true no matter the type of drone you are using, even if you are comparing a drone vs a quadcopter. Many traditional cameras, also, are not designed to attach to drones and could not be remotely controlled even if they could attach. In other words, if you are shopping for a drone camera, make sure it can integrate with the whole experience. We recommend searching for the finest drone GoPro camera.

Regular Photography

Just as drones shine with capturing aerial footage, regular cameras excel with taking, well, regular photos in regular situations. You couldn’t send your drone through a crowded street to take photos, even if you were conducting a XIRO Xplorer review. Graduation photos, wildlife photos, and baby photos are just a few of the types of photos that regular cameras snap with ease, while drones are left out in the cold. Though it must be noted, some camera-equipped drones are designed to take fantastic selfies, which is worth considering.


Modern cameras are tiny enough to fit into a pocket in some cases, especially if they are an integrated component of a smartphone. Drones, on the other hand, are quite robust and would likely not fit in your pocket. Some mini-sized drones do exist, but these very rarely feature cameras, if that is your bag. On the other hand, some professional-grade cameras are quite large and would never fit in a small bag, let alone a pocket.


Helicopter vs drone: which is best for aerial cinematography?

Well, drones are remotely controlled so and much less expensive than a helicopter, so keep that in mind. Otherwise, both are solid options for capturing stunning footage.

DJI Mini 2 vs Mavic Air 2: which drone is the best for you?

Both the Mini 2 and Mavic Air have plenty of standout and comparable features. Generally speaking, both are well-regarded, so it comes down to price and compatibility with your lifestyle.

What are the best brands of drones?

DJI is a fantastic brand that makes plenty of well-regarded drones, from the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 3 to the Mini 2 and the Mavic Air. Other popular brands include Vantop and Sony.

STAT: In the drone market, a 1-inch camera sensor is emerging as the new gold standard being utilized by consumer drones. (source)

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