The Most Innovative Drones of 2018

October 16, 2018

By Greg Scoblete

Editor’s Choice! DJI Phantom 4 Pro 2.0

The Phantom 4 Pro 2.0 features DJI’s new OcuSync transmission system for sending higher-resolution video (1080/30p) to ground-based controllers. Version 2.0 is also up to 60 percent quieter than the original, thanks to a new powertrain and propellers. The new propellers (model 9455S) can be used on existing Phantom 4 Pro drones as well to cut down on the high-pitched buzz. The Pro 2.0 boasts improved object avoidance due to its longer-range anti-collision sensors. The front and rear facing sensors have had their detection range increased from 30 feet on the original Phantom 4 Pro to 90 feet on version 2.0.

Price: $1,499

Typhoon H Plus

The six-rotor Typhoon H Plus is up to 40 percent quieter than its predecessor, and the camera has been upgraded to provide a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor capable of recording 4K video at 60p. It’s fronted by a fixed 23mm-equivalent lens with a 91-degree angle of view. The camera sits on a gimbal that can rotate a full 360 degrees, and the landing gear retracts so it’s not captured by the rotating camera. Low-light performance has also been improved.

Price: $1,900

Parrot Anafi

The Anafi boasts foldable propeller arms so it can be packed down into most traditional photo bags. It has a 4K camera capable of capturing 21-megapixel still images. The camera rests on a three-axis gimbal that can tilt 180 degrees. Video is captured at a high bit rate (100Mbps) in a cinematic 17:9 aspect ratio. The Anafi is one of the few drones to offer an optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent of 23-69mm (in photo) and a slightly tighter 26-78mm when shooting video. You’ll enjoy flight times of up to 25 minutes.

Price: $700

DJI Mavic Air

The Mavic Air is a compact, foldable drone featuring a 12-megapixel camera placed on a three-axis gimbal. The camera uses a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 100 to 3200 for both stills and video. Where the larger Mavic Pro records at DCI 4K (4096 x 2160), the Air delivers a slightly lower resolution 4K capture (3840 x 2160). However, DJI has bumped up the bit rate on the Air to 100Mbps from the 60Mbps found on the Mavic Pro. 2.7K recording is available at up to 60p and full HD recording can be captured at up to 120p. The camera is fronted by a 24mm-equivalent lens with a fixed f/2.8 aperture.

Price: $799

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