Looking For the Most Expensive Drones?
Here’s The Best To Impress!
You know when you see an amazing photo, whether it’s a breathtaking aerial view of a tropical island or a sports player dramatically sliding across a field, and you wonder – how did the photographer do that!?
You know what I’m talking about… The photo not only makes you do a double-take, but you have to get closer to examine the intricate details.
It’s just. That. Good.
In so many cases, using a drone can capture shots no one else physically can – no matter how good their lens is. But beyond stellar photography, you can accomplish so much more. Here are some worthy reasons to have a high-end aerial device:
- They can help you do tasks nothing else in modern technology can
- Be familiar with the cutting edge technology that will change the future
- They’re simply FUN – turn it into your next big hobby and join others who are doing the same
We’ve compiled a list of the best, most expensive drones available on the market so you can compare features and see which ones are worth your time.
But first, let’s take a closer look at all the unique activities you can do with an aerial device.
Why do drones get so expensive?
Drones come in all shapes and sizes. It is possible to find the cheapest and most expensive drones that money can buy on the internet these days. You can buy a drone at less than $25. Yet the most expensive drone has been quoted to cost upwards of $250,000.
Whilst you may be wondering what could cost so much, you need to understand that custom development and engineering of drones for very specific purposes is a very niche job. Besides the manufacturing costs, the hours by specialized engineering people, technology experts, aviation consultants, and photography experts – a great drone requires a combination of all of these – all of which is a very high tech business.
That’s why you’re likely to keep seeing a piece of news about the most expensive drone title coming often, with the record price tag always climbing higher and higher.
Just like a custom developed drone will need all of these experts and consultants – so do mass produced drones. Companies like DJI who sell such drones as the DJI Mavic Pro for which we’ve written an epic review, does not take the title of most expensive drone for a particular reason.
The reason that these drones cost a very reasonable price of about a thousand bucks is simple. The millions (yes millions) of dollars which go into the research, development and manufacturing of these drones can be spread over the tens of thousands of units sold over the lifetime of that drone.
What Can Expensive Drones Help You Do?
The list of things you can accomplish with the RIGHT drone are exciting.
Imagine capturing breathtaking views from an angle few people ever see.
Think of the things you could do!
Drones are definitely on trend to become a huge part of everyday life in the near future.
Here are some other popular ways to use drones:
- Aerial views – great for real estate sales, wilderness viewing, inspections etc.
- Photography – imagine the action shots you could get! Whales, sports players, birds… you name it. With the right device, you can capture it.
- Filming – take amateur filming to the next level
- Aerial inspections – scouting fields of crops or other land management tasks
- Spying – you can access public lands that are otherwise hidden away from human view
- Shipping – everything from the item you bought on Amazon to picking up an item from your friend’s house
- Save lives – wilderness rescue. It can be much more effective than sending out a search party.
- Transportation – Remember all those times you wished for a private jet? There’s talk drones can one day transport actual human beings
Take any one of those points and really consider what you can do. It’s to create a lucrative business out of any of these.
Unmanned aerial devices are going to be a big part of our future, and it’s no wonder everyone wants to be a part of that! The biggest concerns with drones are with privacy right now, given that the drone can easily access the personal space of other people, without their permission, some people are concerned about protecting their privacy.
So if you plan to become a drone pilot, always keep in mind these privacy concerns.
But before you buy a drone – get clear on the reason you want to use it – since some features will be much more important than others.
Let’s consider which features of a drone will affect what you can do with it.
Finding A Drone With The Best Image Quality, Range, and Battery Life
Of course, you can’t accomplish any of those cool activities unless you have an aerial device with the right features.
When you’re shopping for an expensive drone, make sure to pay attention to these qualities:
- Battery life
- Camera quality
- Weight (so it can withstand weather)
- Ease of control
We’ve tested dozens of drones and reviewed the absolute best ones here. Ready to see which ones made the cut?
Here’s Our List of the Most Expensive Drones Available on The Market Today
Drones are a great way to capture images from high up in the air for many purposes. The market is saturated with low-end devices, but their performance is not the best and their features won’t be enough to accomplish bigger tasks.
If you’re ready to invest in a high-end aerial device, we’ve gathered a list of the very best for you to compare here. Take a look and choose the best drone for you.
But first… just for fun, let’s take a look at the most expensive drone on the market.
The most expensive drone: $250,000 of drone + high-speed camera
If you want to really see what the most expensive drone looks like, have a look a the footage below. The guys from Brain Farm Cinema strapped a high-speed camera (the Phantom Flex 4K) to a commercial drone and captured some amazing footage. The total price of that combination is upwards of $250,000 which makes sure it easily qualifies for the most expensive drone ever.
This production company is one of the global leaders for capturing ultra high quality, action sports and documentary cinematic digital video has done something no one else has so far. They footage released from this combination is of course absolutely stunning. You just need to make sure you don’t have a drone crash when you’re flying this $250,000 every expensive drone combo.
In reality, these guys had been trying to achieve this for quite some time (more than years!), but the problem was that the camera was much too heavy (30 pounds) to actually get this to be flown on a drone. Of course, the recent years have seen some stunning advancements in drone technology, make sure that today’s drones can easily take the weights of this camera. The commercial drone used is a custom build of an industrial Aerigon Mk II drone, which is meant for heavy lifting and industrial or commercial usage.
Check out the amazing footage of the most expensive drone combination ever below:
Most expensive drones on Amazon in 2017
Now – if you’re looking to find the most expensive drone money can buy right now, we created this list of the 10 most expensive drones money can buy.
Why do the most costly drones get so expensive?
These are typically very specialized drones meant to perform a very specific function.
As an example, filmmakers and producers will place have very high demands when it comes to the features of a drone. The production of these drones is typically a highly specialized manufacturing process, requiring precision, premium materials and high attention to details during the quality assurance and testing phases to ensure the delivery that these costly drones are a good investment in the industry they cater to.
Recommended Reading: 10 Cheap but Awesome Drones for Kids and Children
Besides your typical filming capabilities, these most highly-priced drones are able to carry heavy payloads, either in terms of equipment, or else payloads which will require to perform cinematic stunts.
That’s why our first drone on the list of the question “What is the most expensive drone?” is…
1. The Freefly Alta 8
Alta 8 Product Specs
- Weight: 6.2 kg (13.6 lbs)
- Dimensions: 36 x 26 x 36 inches
- Battery: 2 parallel battery packs
- Flight Time:
- Props: 8 * 18in Foldable Propellers
One of the reasons why the Freefly Alta 8 is regarded as one of the most expensive drones on the market is because of the impeccable craftsmanship.
Have a look at the following Alto 8 drone introductory video:
This pricey drone, now has even more rotors and can accommodate a payload of up to 20 lbs, which can help any movie producer to capture scenes in a manner like no other. The Alta 8 comes with more advanced lifting power than most pricey camera drones, and even surpasses its predecessor – the Alta 6.
The Alta 8 in fact, has 8 highly-efficient 18-inch propellers generating incredible lift, giving it an optimized propulsion system, whilst a lightweight carbon fiber frame help to create a technology marvel with an exceptional flight time with the ability of carrying impressive payloads.
It can carry a transmitter that has a prime lens attached, and also a cinema camera with the greatest of ease.
You can now lift substantially heavier cameras like the RED, accompanied with a follow focus for your master prime lens. The increased payload gives you greater control of the drone and even more focus than you could ever imagine. Another feature of the Freefly Alta 8 that we like is the Synapse light controller. It ensures that the user has a smooth flight, and is one of the best that cinematographers can ask for today.
This is one drone that is definitely worth its almost outrageous price tag. Check out the price and see the reviews below
Freefly Alta 8 | 8 Rotor Aerial Drone UAV Optimized
ALTA 8 Multi-rotor, 20 Pound Payload Capacity
Quick Release Top Handle
Our next drone on the most expensive drone list is…
2. DJI Inspire 1 RAW
DJI Inspire 1 Product Specs
- Weight: 6.74 lbs (3060 g, including propellers, battery and Zenmuse X3)
- Camera: X3, FC350, 12.76Megapixels
- Battery: LiPo 6S 4500 mAh
- Flight Time: Approx. 18 min
- Props: 4 * DJI 1345T Propellers
DJI has become famous for producing some of the best drones available on the market. This one though just tops them all and makes it into our most expensive drone list.
Let’s see this Introducing the Inspire 1 video.
This Inspire 1 RAW Drone comes with unique antenna directional system that allows the user to control it in more precise motions.
The new prop and installation kits on this pricey drone kits feature a smoother, even more reliable locking mechanism for the 4 props which drastically reduces the abrasion that is common during propeller installation, thus increasing the drone and propeller’s overall service life.
It also has a shock absorbing landing system that will protect the drone just in case it falls or hits a tree or other object while being navigated.
It’s quite a costly drone for a reason. It uses brushless motors pioneered by DJI with integrating curved magnets that fit exactly around the edge of each motor. The difficulty to produce these motors and magnets contribute to the high price of this drones, but these magnets eliminate airflow gaps within the motor, contributing to significantly increased motor and battery efficiency.
In terms of filming, the DJI Inspire 1 RAW is pretty much everything that you would want in a premium drone. It comes with additional equipment like extra chargers, DJI self-tightening propelling sets and even an extra remote controller. This drone basically packs everything that a movie maker or videographer would need to be ready to go.
Just to understand how complete this package, it also includes a microfiber cleaning cloth for the drone itself. It also comes with 2 Apple iPad Mini 32 GB, which allows you to control the functionality of the unit.
In all, it is a very thoughtful device and not one that would leave you having to order some parts or items separately.
DJI Inspire 1 RAW Bundle with Zenmuse X5R, 4 Batteries, Remote Harness, Dual Remotes & more…
DJI Inspire 1 Raw,DJI Inspire1 Raw,Inspire 1 Raw,DJI Inspire Raw,Inspire 1R
The DJI Inspire 1 RAW is the smallest, easiest professional aerial filmmaking platforms in the world. They combine DJI's unparalleled leadership in aerial technology with world-class M4/3 imaging capabilities. Whether you are a professional photographer or a Hollywood filmmaker, the Inspire 1 RAW is ready to take your work to new heights.
Use the Inspire 1 RAW just like you would a camera, with a shutter button for stills and a record button for video built into the remote control. It also features a jog dial that allows you to change camera settings quickly, and customizable buttons for you to personalize. Plug the DJI Focus into the remote control to extend its reach as far as the Inspire 1 RAW flies.
Next, on our most expensive drone list, the DJI Inspire 1 is followed by another expensive drone from DJI:
3. DJI Inspire 1 PRO
This is definitely one of the best drones 2016 had to offer. It remains so for 2017 and yes it is also of the most expensive drones money can buy. From its sleek and sophisticated packaging to the elegant finish and black ‘swagger’ that comes with the drone.
You simply can’t help but want to get your hands on it.
However, it really isn’t just about looks with this particular drone. It comes with the possibility to be controlled from distances up to 2km away. This is immensely useful to any director that is trying to get footage that no other camera can give you.
While this drone isn’t exactly the cheapest at over $8000, it definitely gives you good value for your money. It also comes with a Lightbridge digital streaming system that has become a trademark with the DJI brand and gives you the benefit of viewing live footage of up to 720p.
The main video with high resolution is also being recorded simultaneously on your microSD card. With a 4k UHD video recording capability and a 3 axis gimbal system, you really want nothing more in a drone. This machine also eliminates the problem of unstable indoor flights with its vision positioning system.
The battery and rechargeable controller come ready to use, so you can start to fly the moment you take it out of the box.
Next on our most expensive drone list is the …
4. DJI Inspire 1 Pro Quadcopter Black Edition
If you are looking for a drone that allows you to fit in every single modification that you want in its expansion bay, then this is the perfect piece of equipment for you.
Termed the ‘eagle eye’, this drone can give you imaging that only thousands of dollars can give you. It remains one of the most expensive drones this year because it is made from superior quality materials. It is one of those units that feels just as expensive as it is.
You can add several mods into the expansion bay, including a parachute. It allows you to catch aerial videos with a go pro, and will also allow you to perform linear tracking through its cablecam mode. It also comes with a follow me feature that allows you to track your mobile device, and gives you the option of an HDMI output through its transmitter.
It also has the FATSHARK attitude goggles that are all the rave in the market now, giving you prime visibility.
You can also operate the go pro with an application, and can also work with the solo gimbal, but this is an optional feature. For the price that it commands, it definitely brings you a lot of functionality.
DJI Inspire 1 Pro Black Edition (Black)
Shell and remote controller transform into black
New propeller and installation kits feature a smoother, even more reliable locking mechanism
The new motor's performance has also been improved, providing a greater sense of control
5. DJI Mavic Pro
- Weight: 1.62 lbs (734 g) (excluding gimbal cover)
- Dimensions: H83mm x W83mm x L198mm (Folded)
- Camera: 1/2.3” (CMOS), Effective pixels:12.35 M
- Battery: LiPo 3S 3830 mAh
- Flight Time: 27 minutes
Another expensive drone that has dominated the market since it’s launch in late 2016 is this ground-breaking and unit from DJI, the most incredible, collapsible, portable DJI Mavic Pro. We’ve already reviewed the Mavic Pro separately here but as far as pricey drones go, this is another which makes it on the list. You can see that the DJI brand completely dominates our list of expensive drones, and this is because they truly give the user all that is needed in premium drone and UAV capabilities. In fact any Google search for drones is going to be domainated by DJI drones most times.
If you want to see something amazing, have a look at this DJI Mavic Pro – introductory video:
Let’s have a quick look at the DJI Mavic Pros incredible capabilities.
The DJI Mavic Pro has an incredible folding mechanism unlike no other drones which allows it collapse it’s size down to as small as a bottle of water, making it small enough to make it incredibly portable, ideal for the avid traveller, adventurer and those who don’t want to go anywhere without their drone companion.
The Mavic’s new OcuSync transmission allows up to 4.3 miles (7km) of transmission range, with a good flying speed of up to 40mph (64kmh) for as long as 27-minutes.
With its ActiveTrack, TapFly and other smart technology, it helps users of the Mavic Pro create a professional video with very little effort. True 4K resolution video, with full stabilization features, helps to get incredibly smooth video footage
To ensure accidents such as mistakenly crashing into trees or other stationary objects, the Mavic Pro has an Obstacle Avoidance, thus ensuring increased flight safety.
Guidance and vision positioning paired with GPS and GLONASS ensures precise positioning both indoors and outdoors.
One last great thing about the Mavic is that you can use the DJI app with your phone and turn the Mavic into an iPhone controlled drone! With the integration of the app, you can very easily share any photos or videos you’ve shot to Facebook, Twitter or your favorite social networks.
DJI Mavic Pro Collapsible Quadcopter & Osmo Mobile Combo: Includes FlexiMic, SanDisk 32GB MicroSD Card and more…
Inside the Mavic's pocket-sized remote controller is DJI's brand new OcuSync transmission technology, with a range of 4.3mi (7km) and Full HD 1080p video streaming.
The Mavic uses SkyAutonomy technology to sense obstacles up to 49ft (15m) away. It can then bypass these obstacles or brake to hover, preventing accidents even when flying beyond visual range.
Mavic supports 4K video at 30fps. No Electronic Image Stabilization is used, ensuring all footage is 4K.
6. DJI CP BX 000198 Professional Drone
When reading through a list of the most expensive drones in the market, you should be expecting to see it dominated by DJI drones. This is not in any way to give the company a bad reputation, but it is a testament to the superb quality that they bring with every single drone that they release into the market.
One of the best features of this drone is that its 1080 pixel camera still manages to get better footage than a lot of its competitors on the market currently. It also allows the user to stream HD video live while the unit is floating around in the sky. This will allow you to know just what your picture would look like in HD without having to bring the drone back to the ground.
DJI also included more flight power to this model, and it seems a lot more secure with its propellers that are self-tightening. Your stills will be crystal clear when recording with this camera, and you can be assured of up to 25 minutes flight time from the 5200 mAh battery.
DJI CP.BX.000088 Inspire 1 Raw – Dual Remote with Zenmuse X5R Micro Four Thirds Aerial Camera (Black/White)
New propeller and installation kits feature a smoother, even more reliable locking mechanism
The new motor's performance has also been improved, providing a greater sense of control
The Micro Four Thirds aerial camera capable of recording lossless 4K videos in RAW. The framerate of up to 30fps and 1.7Gbps average bitrate (2.4Gbps maximum bitrate)
7. DJI Matrice 600
This is another one of the most expensive drones with cameras that you can get this year. Also, if you are searching for the best drones 2016 has to offer, then this should definitely be at the top of your list. The most amazing feature of this particular drone is that it comes with a ground station that helps you to organize your work and your shots just the way you want.
Even though it is still from the DJI brand, it gives you a totally different feeling from what you may be used to.
It captures video quality of up to 4k or 1080p, and additionally allows the user take 16MP still photos, which is very impressive for a modern drone. The unit also comes with a 3 axis gimbal that allows you to stabilise your camera and get rid of shaky shots.
The battery of this drone can last up to 25 minutes in the air.
8. DJI Matrice 100
(Breaking news: the DJI Matrice 200 series has just been launched, another version of one of the most expensive drones on our list has just got a revamp, with a flight time of more than 33 minutes now!)
One of the basic requirements of an expensive drone is that it should be able to carry heavier payloads. This is definitely one drone that fits into this category. However, that will not be the feature that impresses you the most with this drone.
This is one quadcopter that is designed specifically for developers. It also has the trademark DJI guidance platform that will ensure your flight is smooth and seamless.
With a maximum flight time of 25 minutes, you will also find that the DJI Matrice 100 drone has just enough battery life for you. It comes with a TB48D Square power battery that gives you ample power supply.
Its black and shiny body finish is sure to make you fall in love, and its landing skid which is retractable gives you an even better view of the camera lens.
DJI Matrice 100 – QUADCOPTER FOR DEVELOPERS + DJI Guidance System + TB48D Spare Battery + CS Kit
Complete Flight Platform - Start flying quickly, and enjoy stable, reliable flight. Your Matrice 100 platform has all of DJI's easy-to-fly technology built in, and includes the flight controller, propulsion system, GPS, DJI Lightbridge, a dedicated remote controller, and a rechargeable battery. This system automatically manages the most complex tasks required for flight, so you can focus on your work.
Fully Programmable - Customize and tailor your flight platform by using the DJI SDK. Develop a system for any use, and revolutionize industries by applying your knowledge and skills to cutting-edge flight technology. Teach your Matrice 100 how to behave and what to do. Program customized commands, tell it how and where to fly, and gather information from the entire system in real time.
Long, Extendable Flight Time - A lightweight frame and efficient motors give you up to 40 minutes* of flight time. For greater flexibility when adding additional payload, an optional second battery can be mounted into a dedicated power slot. *Flight times vary based on payload and flight conditions, and the maximum 40 minute flight time tested when hovering with dual TB48D batteries and no additional payload.
Still looking for the most expensive drone from Amazon? We’ve got a few more for you!
9. Kize 2016 Premium
Finally, a drone on our list of pricey drones that isn’t from DJI!
Our number 10 is one of the most expensive drones with a camera, and comes at over $4000 with a 4k resolution and 720p HD live streaming.
In terms of picture quality, there are very few drones on the market that can compete with this unit. It is no wonder this brand has been established as one of the best drones in terms of picture quality. It also gives you 12 MP of still images, and can allow the user to easily integrate a camera into its 3-axis stabilizing gimbal.
DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter Drone with 4K Video EVERYTHING YOU NEED KIT + 3 Total DJI Batteries + 2 SanDisk 64GB Micro SDXC Cards + Strap Carry System + Card Reader 3.0
Kit Includes: 1 DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter Drone, 1 Handheld Transmitter (Radio Controller), 1 Mobile Device Holder, 1 Smart Battery Charger, 3 TOTAL BATTERIES , 2 SANDISK 64 GB EXTREME SD CARD, UNIVERSAL SD CARD READER, KOOZAM STRAP CARRY SYSTEM, KOOZAM CLEANING CLOTH
Professional-quality imaging Shoot 4K video at 30fps, full HD 1080p video at up to 120fps for crisp slow motion, and 12 megapixel photos in DNG RAW for full editing creativity. Automatic obstacle avoidance Fly with a tap Track subjects without a tracking device 4K 30fps and 1080p 120fps video 12 megapixel, Adobe DNG RAW photos Ready to fly out of the box Full manual remote camera control, long-range live feed from camera
Visual tracking Now it's a snap to fly while keeping the camera pointed steadily at a moving subject. ActiveTrack uses advanced visual tracking capabilities to fully automate tracking, so you get the perfect shot every time.
10. YUNEEC Drone Tornado Hexa-Copter
This is yet another drone that makes it to our list of top 10 most expensive drones available on the market currently. Yuneec, besides DJI is another drone company known for its manufacturing of premium quality drones with a high price tag. This is because like DJI, Yuneec leave nothing to chance.
The Drone tornado is a multicopter designed for professionals. It is specifically aimed at aerial photography and videography professionals and hence the cost.
The drone comes with a carbon fiber frame to ensure it is lightweight. This six-rotor aerial platform has been specifically optimized for the flying of the Panasonic GH4 digital SLR camera (not included). The GB603 gimbal stabilizes the camera while allowing it to move independently of the Tornado drone. The Tornado’s landing gear retracts to allow an unfettered 360 Degree view as the camera pans. A 5.8 GHz SD video downlink system is provided, and the included ST24 transmitter features an integrated 7″ Android device for live monitoring and OSD telemetry display. This Tornado bundle comes ready-to-fly and includes a pre-bound transmitter, two flight batteries, a dual-battery charger, and an
The Tornado’s drone landing gear is retractable hence allowing an unobstructed 360 Degree view besides a 5.8 GHz SD video downlink system. he included ST24 transmitter features an integrated 7″ Android device for live monitoring and OSD telemetry display. This Tornado bundle comes ready-to-fly and includes a pre-bound transmitter, two flight batteries, a dual-battery charger, and an
The price of the drones also includes and ST24 transmitter featuring an integrated 7″ Android device for live monitoring and OSD telemetry display. This drone bundle is ready-to-fly, includes a pre-bound transmitter, two flight batteries, a dual-battery charger, and an aluminum case.
This pricey drone is a great choice for photo / video pros.
YUNEEC YUNH920US Drone Tornado H920 Hexa-Copter with ST24 Transmitter, Black
Aerial Shooting with Panasonic GH4
Carbon Fiber Frame
Retractable Landing Gear
Now that you’ve seen the most expensive drone list which you can actually purchase on Amazon, there’s quite a few more expensive drones out there. For sure, military drones cost much more than a measly $250,000!
Most Expensive Military Drone
We’ve mentioned military drones quite a lot in our History of Drones article. The Predator (RQ-1) for example, is an American remotely piloted aircraft, which was the primary remotely piloted aircraft used for offensive operations by the USAF and the CIA in Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas.
The RQ-1 is quoted to cost $4.03 million per unit, with the cost of the full program being $2.38billion for 360 drones.
Not a cheap drone by any measurement, even on a military budget!
The current version of the Predator, the RQ-9, also known as Predator B.
According to ” President’s Budget Submission, Aircraft Procurement, Volume 1 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013″. The unit cost of the Predator RQ-9 is $16.9 million.
The cost of the RQ-9 full-program is $11.8billion – again, even for a military budget, this is HUGE!
Most Expensive Drone Crash
We haven’t got specific information of which is the most expensive drone crash, but unfortunately, if you follow drone crash videos, you’ll see plenty of DJI Inspire crashed and accidents. At about $5000, that’s quite an expensive drone crash.
But we’ve actually found instances of the Freefly Alta 8 crashing, which given that we believe this is the most expensive drone you can buy-off the shelf, that makes this: the most expensive drone crash! Unfortunately, we can’t see the actual crash, but the crashing sound and the “Weeeq weeq weeq weeeee” makes it pretty clear the ALTA 8 suffered a horrible fate.
And the colleagues were not very empathizing I must say.
These drones require big bucks, but they more than certainly will get the job done. With cutting edge technology, you can be sure than you are getting your money’s worth. What do you think of our most expensive drones list from Amazon? Let us know in the comments below.