3 Best Drones For Night Photography (+ Tips For A Great Shot)

Are you ready to take your night photography to new heights? If so, you’ll want to check out these top drones to capture stunning images in low-light conditions.

  1. [Best Overall Pick] – DJI Mavic 2 Pro: This compact and versatile drone is equipped with a Hasselblad camera, a 1-inch CMOS sensor, and a wide aperture lens that can gather a lot of light. It also has a long battery life and advanced flight controls for stable flight in low light conditions.
  1. [Best Beginner Pick] – Holy Stone GPS: The Holystone GPS Drone is a popular choice for entry-level photographers looking to get started with night photography. This drone has a 1080p HD camera and a wide-angle lens to capture clear, detailed images in low-light conditions. The Holystone GPS Drone is also easy to fly and control, making it a great choice for beginners.
  1. [Best Professional Pick] – DJI Phantom 4 Pro: This professional-grade drone has a 20-megapixel camera and a large 1-inch CMOS sensor that delivers excellent image quality in low light. It also has a long battery life and advanced flight controls for smooth and stable flight.
Best Drones For Night Photography
Title with a drone on the ground in a dark background

From cityscapes to the night sky, drones give photographers the ability to capture breathtaking shots that would be difficult or impossible to get from the ground.

Read on to check out my detailed review on the best drone for night photography, the key features you should consider while buying such drones, and finally, some tips to ensure you get the perfect night-time shots with your drone.

#1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Key Features:

  1. Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor: This allows for high-quality image and video capture, with a wide dynamic range and excellent low-light performance.
  1. 4K video recording at 60 frames per second: This allows for smooth, high-resolution video capture, with the ability to capture fast-moving objects in detail.
  1. ActiveTrack 2.0: This feature allows the drone to follow a subject automatically, keeping them in the frame and maintaining focus on them.
  1. Omnidirectional obstacle sensing: The drone is equipped with sensors on all sides, allowing it to detect and avoid obstacles in any direction.
  1. 48-megapixel Sphere panoramas: This feature allows the drone to capture panoramic images with a high level of detail and resolution.
  1. Up to 31 minutes flight time: This drone has a long battery life, allowing for extended periods of flight time.

What I Like:

If you are looking for superb quality drones with advanced features suited for night photography, then hands down, this is one of the best drones you can have. And there are several reasons for this.

Firstly, The Mavic 2 Pro’s camera has an adjustable aperture, which allows you to control the amount of light that enters the lens and reaches the sensor. This can be useful for fine-tuning the exposure of your images in low-light conditions.

Secondly, this drone has a 3-axis gimbal that helps to stabilize the camera, allowing you to capture sharp and stable images even in challenging lighting conditions.

The Mavic 2 Pro also has a Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor, which is capable of capturing detailed and high-quality images in low-light conditions.

Moreover, this drone supports long exposure times, allowing you to capture bright and clear images in low-light conditions.

Apart from advanced camera features, the drone also comes with other features like a long 31-minute flight time and advanced obstacle avoidance capabilities.

What I Didn’t Like:

The only main issue with this drone is its price. But if you have the budget and want the features offered by the drone, then it can be a worthwhile investment for you.

Pros And Cons:

Impressive flight time of 31 minutesVery expensive product compared to others
It comes with a big 1-inch camera sensor
4k quality video shooting is possible with it
The drone is not that complicated to fly
Table showing pros and cons of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Reasons To Not Buy:

  • If you don’t want a drone with too many advanced camera and video shooting features.
  • If your budget is limited and you want an entry-level drone.

Reasons To Buy:

  • If you want the best drone for night photography packed with lots of features.
  • If you have the budget to invest in a premium quality drone from a trustworthy brand like DJI.

>> Check The Latest Price Here (on Amazon)

Do all drones have cameras? Check out my detailed article: Do All Drones Have Cameras? A Comprehensive Guide!

#2. Holy Stone GPS

Key Features:

  1. 1080p HD camera support: The Holy Stone GPS drone is powered by an HD-quality camera that takes decent photos along with recording your voice.
  1. Supports GPS Auto-Return feature: The GPS Auto Return feature is a useful tool that helps to ensure the safety and security of your drone. Equipped with GPS location technology, this feature allows the drone to remember its home point and automatically return there if it loses signal or power or if you press the auto return button. 
  1. Simplified for beginners: The Altitude Control System of this drone is a user-friendly feature that is specifically designed to make it easy for beginners to learn how to fly. There are helpful icons on the controller and accompanying app that provides clear guidance and instruction to users so that they can easily get the hang of flying a drone.
  1. 26 minutes of flight time: As per Holy Stone, this drone offers around 26 minutes of flight time which is decent considering the price at which the drone is available.
  1. Follow me feature available: The Follow me feature of the drone is a convenient and useful tool that allows the drone to automatically follow you as you move. The Follow me feature is especially useful for those who want to capture dynamic and action-packed footage, as it allows them to move around freely while the drone tracks their movements.

What I Like:

The first thing I like about this drone is its compact size. It has a stable design, but it is also much more compact and easier to handle. This makes it a great drone for leisurely flying around the park or for teaching kids how to fly.

The smaller size of the Holy Stone GPS drone makes it more portable and convenient to use, and it is a lot of fun to fly. Overall, I think it is a great drone for those who want a stable and easy-to-use aircraft for casual flying in a park or backyard setting.

The next best thing about this drone is its affordability. The stability offered by the drone and its additional features like Auto-return is quite impressive for the price the product is available.

If you are on a budget and looking for a cheap drone for photografy, you may want to take a look at my article: The 3 Best Cheap Drones For Photography

What I Didn’t Like:

There are a few things I didn’t like about this drone, and the first one is its camera capabilities. For professional night photography, you may need a drone with robust camera features, which this drone lacks a bit.

That said, the 1080p HD camera of this drone is still enough to offer you decent-quality footage.

The next drawback is its flight time. In comparison, DJI drones mentioned in this guide offer a flight time of at least half an hour or more. Whereas this Holystone drone only gives an average flight time of 26 minutes.

Pros And Cons:

Super cheap compared to DJI DronesRelatively fewer camera features are available
Best for beginner drone enthusiastsAverage flight time compared to others
GPS Auto-Return feature present
Decent quality pictures with 1080p HD Camera
Table showing pros and cons of the Holystone GPS

Reasons To Not Buy:

  • If the 1080p HD camera configuration is too basic for you to shoot quality photos.
  • If you are a professional photographer and looking for a high-quality and premium drone.
  • If you have the budget to spend on a higher-priced drone for advanced features to help you take better shots in low light conditions.

Reasons To Buy:

  • If you are a beginner drone enthusiast and looking for an entry-level drone.
  • If your budget is low and you don’t want to spend a lot on drones.
  • If the 1080p HD camera and other features offered by the drone are enough for you to take night-time shots.

>> Check The Latest Price Here (on Amazon)

#3. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Key Features:

  1. 1-inch CMOS sensor camera: The Phantom 4 Pro is equipped with a high-quality camera that is capable of capturing 20-megapixel still images and 4K video at 60 frames per second.
  1. Obstacle sensing: The Phantom 4 Pro has sensors on all sides that allow it to detect and avoid obstacles in any direction.
  1. Draw mode: This feature allows the user to draw a route on a map, and the Phantom 4 Pro will follow it automatically.
  1. Return to Home: If the drone loses connection with the controller or its battery runs low, it will automatically return to its starting point.
  1. DJI Go app compatibility: The Phantom 4 Pro can be controlled and monitored using the DJI Go app, which is available for iOS and Android devices.
  1. Up to 30 minutes of flight time: The Phantom 4 Pro has a long battery life, allowing for extended periods of flight time.

What I Like:

The first thing I like about this drone is its camera. DJI enhanced its camera to surprise expert photographers, making the Phantom 4 Pro stand out from its competitors and predecessor.

This revolutionary camera has a brand-new 1-inch image sensor, which is almost four times larger than the sensor found in Phantom 4.

Pictures and videos shot with this setup will have a much higher level of clarity and detail. The camera has the ability to shoot 4k video at 60 fps and photos at an impressive 20 megapixels.

The next best thing is quite decent battery life. On a single charge, the drone offers a flight time of about half an hour thanks to its aerodynamic design of the drone.

Another noteworthy feature of this drone is its advanced obstacle-avoidance technology. 

Obstacle avoidance technology is a feature that helps drones avoid collisions with objects in their path. It uses sensors and algorithms to detect obstacles and adjust the drone’s flight path to avoid them.

This technology can be especially useful for drones that are used in urban or crowded environments, where there may be many potential obstacles that the drone could collide with.

DJI has implemented this technology in the Phantom 4 Pro, allowing them to navigate safely around obstacles and reduce the risk of accidents.

With this technology, a DJI drone can be flown at high speeds without worrying about crashing into objects, as the drone will automatically slow down or change course to avoid collisions.

What I Didn’t Like:

The one main issue with drones is their high price. There are a lot of features with drones, but it also comes at a higher price. That said, if you have the budget, it’s a nice drone for night photography.

Pros And Cons:

The superb camera features 4k video footage at 60 fpsRelatively expensive drone compared to others
Impressive flight time of around 30 minutesAdvanced features may overwhelm beginners
Advanced obstacle avoidance feature available
Return to home feature available
Table showing pros and cons of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Reasons To Not Buy:

  • If your budget is limited.
  • If you don’t want a drone with a lot of bells and whistles.

Reasons To Buy:

  • If you want a drone that is packed with professional-level camera features.
  • If you have the budget for a premium-quality drone.
  • If you want a drone that offers you a decent flight time and comes from a reputed brand like DJI.

>> Check The Latest Price Here (on Amazon)

Top 5 Factors To Consider When Buying A Drone For Night Photography

  1. Camera sensors and lenses: A high-quality camera sensor and lens are essential for capturing clear, detailed images in low light. Look for drones with large image sensors and fast lenses that can gather a lot of light.
  1. Battery life: Long battery life is critical for uninterrupted shooting, especially if you’re in a remote location or plan on capturing a series of images over a long period of time.
  1. Flight performance: Reliable flight performance is also important for successful night photography with drones. Look for drones with advanced flight controls and stability features that can handle windy conditions and maintain a stable hover.
  1. Advanced features: Some drones offer advanced features that can help with night photography, such as object tracking and obstacle avoidance. These can be particularly useful for capturing moving subjects or navigating around obstacles in low light.
  1. Price: Consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend on a drone for night photography. Keep in mind that higher-priced drones often come with more advanced features and better performance, but there are also many affordable options that can still deliver excellent results.

Related Read: 7 Best Drones That Don’t Need A Phone To Operate

Get The Perfect Night Time Shots By Following Theses Drone Night Photography Tips

Photo of Jiufen at night, taken from a drone
  1. Experiment with exposures: Night photography often requires longer exposures to capture enough light, but be careful not to overexpose your images. Experiment with different exposures to find the right balance between light and shadow.
  1. Enhance your images in post-processing: After you capture your images, you can use software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to enhance the color, contrast, and other aspects of your images. This can help to bring out the beauty and detail of your night shots.
  1. Use manual focus: In low light conditions, autofocus can be unreliable. Consider switching to manual focus to ensure that your shots are perfectly focused.
  1. Try different angles and perspectives: Drones offer a unique perspective for night photography, so don’t be afraid to try out different angles and perspectives to see what works best for your shots.
  1. Plan your shots: Consider the location, subject, and composition of your shots in advance to maximize the potential of your night photography with drones.
  1. Fly in less windy conditions: It’s crucial to prioritize minimal wind when flying a drone. While the drone may be able to handle steady breezes with ease, it may not perform as well in gusty conditions. It’s essential to keep this in mind to ensure the stability of the drone during flight for taking better shots.
  1. Protect your drone: Make sure to properly care for and maintain your drone to ensure that it’s ready for your next night photography adventure. This includes properly storing and charging your drone, as well as keeping it clean and free of damage.

Recommended Read: The Best Drones Under 250 Grams With Detailed Review

Final Thoughts

Night photography can be a challenging but rewarding pursuit, and drones are a valuable tool for capturing stunning images in low-light conditions.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there are many drones on the market that are suitable for night photography, each with its own unique features and capabilities.

By considering the key features outlined in this post and choosing a drone that fits your needs and budget, you’ll be well-equipped to capture beautiful night shots that showcase the beauty and mystery of the world after dark.

Don’t let the darkness hold you back – it’s time to let your creativity shine and take to the skies with one of these top drones for night photography!

So why wait? Embrace the darkness and see what your drone can do!

That’s it! I hope you found this guide helpful. Please also check out these hand-picked drone related guides that are interesting and fun to read:

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

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