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The Best Foldable Drone with Camera in 2023

best foldable drone buying guide



Our Picks:

If you are in the market for the best foldable drones with camera,  you’re likely looking for something lightweight, small, and discrete to take with you on your travels or just to play around with at your local park on a weekend.

In this article, we want to discuss some of the most important features you should be looking for when purchasing your drone and then I will compare the top foldable models that are available right now.


What Specifications Should You Look for When Buying a Foldable Drone?

Since you’re specifically on the hunt for a foldable drone with a camera, I haven’t mentioned some key features below like size and weight. This is because foldable drones are usually lighter and less bulky than traditional models, such as the DJI Phantom for example. Nevertheless, it’s always worth checking up on these specs prior to purchase especially if you’re limited on baggage space. I’ve included the weight and dimensions of the specific drone reviews at the end of the article.

  • Ready to Fly

Whilst researching the best drone to buy, you may come across two types of drones; ready to fly (RTF) and almost-ready-to-fly (ARF).

All the drones mentioned in this article are ready to fly, meaning you will have everything you need to get your drone in the air ASAP. You may have to plug in a battery and attach a propeller or two, but you won’t be spending hours on a DIY assembly drone like it’s some kind of Ikea flatpack.

  • Video & Camera Quality

Many foldable drones now come with HD footage as standard, but you need to decide to who you’ll be showing the footage and where, so you determine the best video quality for your needs. 4K is an awesome feature, but it’s not really worth the extra money if you’re only ever going to play it back on a 1080p screen. On the other hand, if you’re a semi-pro photographer/videographer who’ll be using your drone for client videos, it’s always good to have the best resolution to hand.

You’ll also need to consider the fps options on your video. 24/30fps usually comes as standard, though most newer drones are now upgrading to a 60fps rate, even for 4k footage; 60fps and higher is the frame rate that makes your videos almost look fake when you play them back. If you’re after some dramatic slow-motion shots of you doing something gnarly, you need to be able to shoot in 240fps so that the quality isn’t compromised in post-production.

In addition to video quality, you’ll also need to think about the camera quality you require. How many megapixels is the camera? One thing I’ve noticed is that many people think the megapixels are to do with quality, and to some extent they are, but really, the megapixels just show you how big you can get your picture for print before its quality is compromised. This chart explains the maximum size you should go to based on the megapixels of your camera.

  • Quality of the Gimbal

The gimbal is what stabilizes your footage to give it that professional effect. As the quality of the gimbal increases, so does the price. A good gimbal helps to keep your videos looking flawless even when faced with high winds and increasing altitudes. Check user reviews to see how well the drone performs under extreme conditions.

  • Battery Life

Many of you may be a little shocked when you first see the battery life of some drones; I know I was. However, after you’ve flown them a couple of times you may find that the battery life isn’t an issue, there’re a few situations where there’s a necessity to fly the drone for more than 30 minutes.

If you tend to go on trips, however, like hiking and camping expeditions that’ll limit you from recharging your drone for a few days, it’s worth stocking up on some extra batteries. Some drones come with add-on packs that include spare batteries so you won’t miss a moment when it comes to capturing your adventures.

  • Range

The range of a drone can be the deciding factor in whether or not you want to purchase it. Obviously, the further away you can fly your drone, the more expensive it will be. Some big-name brands can go as far as 8km (5 miles) while other, more affordable options stay much closer to home.

Though the range is an important factor, consider how much you’re willing to let your drone out of sight when you’re actually flying it. Yes, it’s cool to tell all your friends that you’ve sent your drone out 6km over the ocean but imagine if something goes wrong and you can’t see it. People have lost drones before and even though I don’t want to put you off, it’s a feature you should really consider.  We always recommend that you can see your drone with the naked eye when flying.

  • Follow Me Mode

If you’ve seen drone adverts, one of the things that might appeal to you is grabbing epic footage of you climbing a mountain or running along the shores of a dreamy beach resort.

Having a drone that has a Follow Me mode enabled allows you to get along with your activities while the drone catches you in the moment.

If you’re not really the adventurous type and you’re just flying the drone for fun, you likely won’t utilize the feature.

  • Obstacle Avoidance

So, you’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to shell out some serious cash and invest in a camera drone, only for it to crash into a tree or a wall…or anything for that matter. Obstacle avoidance is one of the most important features to look out for. Though most drones come with it, some manufacturers do a better job than others. It’s worth combing the reviews to see which drone has the best obstacle avoidance before making a purchase.


The Best Foldable Camera Drone Review

Considering the features of the drones I’ve listed above; I’ve put together a guide of what I think are the best foldable drones right now:

Best for Beginners: DJI Mini 3

Our Rating: 4.6/5


  •   Small & lightweight, only 249g 
  •    Up to 51 minutes of flight time
  •    Up to 10 km (6.2 miles)


  •    No ActiveTrack and Obstacle Avoidance

The DJI Mini 3 is an impressive drone that packs in some significant upgrades from its predecessor, the DJI Mini 2. With a weight of under 249g, it is still foldable, portable, and convenient to carry around.

The DJI Mini 3 boasts a longer battery life, with a standard battery providing up to 38 minutes of flight time, and an optional Plus version battery offering up to 51 minutes. The 4K HDR video capability and 1/1.3 inch sensor offer stunning video quality, while the true vertical shooting feature provides a unique perspective.

The intelligent features, including Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket, and Boomerang, allow for creative shots with minimal effort. Additionally, the DJI Mini 3 has DJI’s O2 video transmission technology, which provides a reliable and stable connection for up to 10 KM (6.2 miles), making it suitable for longer-range flights.

The DJI Mini 3 also offers a high wind resistance level of up to 38 kph (Level 5), ensuring that it can withstand challenging weather conditions. With its beginner-friendly design and ease of use, the DJI Mini 3 is an excellent choice for pilots who are looking for a beginner camera drone.

Please note that if choose the intelligent flight battery Plus, the drone’s weight will exceed 250 g.

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Budget Pick: DJI Mini 2 SE

Our Rating: 4.6/5


  •    Small & lightweight, under 249g
  •    Super long flight time per charge – 31 minutes
  •    Long video transmission – Up to 10 km (6.2 miles)


  •    No ActiveTrack, Follow Me, and Obstacle Avoidance
  •    No 4K camera

The DJI Mini 2 SE is an entry-level version of the popular DJI Mini 2 drone, offering many of the same features but at a lower cost. If you are seeking a budget, portable, easy-to-use drone that doesn’t compromise on features, you can’t miss this one.

With its lightweight portable design of under 249 g, it can be easily carried anywhere without the need for FAA registration or other registrations depending on where you live.

The drone’s 2.7K/30fps video capability and 4x digital zoom produce high-quality footage that is perfect for capturing stunning aerial photography or videography. Additionally, the drone’s 10 km (6.2 miles) video transmission range allows for extended footage capture, even from far away.

The DJI Mini 2 SE also boasts an impressive 31-minute maximum flight time, allowing you to explore your surroundings and capture aerial footage for longer. Its stable hovering feature ensures that the drone remains steady in the air, even in windy conditions of up to 38 kph (Level 5).

The drone’s beginner guide and quick-shot feature make it an excellent option for those new to flying drones, while the return-to-home feature ensures that the drone can safely return to its starting point in case of an emergency.

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Upgrade Pick: DJI Mini 3 Pro

Our Rating: 4.8/5

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is the Pro version of the DJI Mini 3, it is a foldable and lightweight drone that weighs less than 249g (standard battery).

It comes with a 48MP (effective) 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor camera that has a maximum aperture of f/1.7, making it ideal for low-light conditions. It can capture videos at 4K resolution and has a D-Cinelike mode that supports 10-bit recording. Additionally, the camera can be rotated to 90 degrees, allowing for both landscape and portrait formats.

DJI Mini 3 Pro comes with a standard battery and a Plus battery, and it offers a flight time of up to 47 minutes (Plus battery) and a range of 12 km (7.4 miles).

The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a tri-directional obstacle avoidance system that utilizes three sensors located on the front, bottom, and back of the drone. Together with the APAS 4.0 system, it allows the drone to detect obstacles in its path and automatically avoid them, helping to prevent crashes and ensuring a safer and more stable flight experience.

When it comes to intelligent flight modes, it not only has FocusTrack (ActiveTrack, Follow Me, Spotlight, and Point of Interest) but also supports MasterShots, allowing you to capture stunning videos in minutes.

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Also Great: DJI Mavic Air 2S

Our Rating: 4.4/5

Before the DJI Mini 3 Pro release, the DJI Mavic Air 2S was my recommendation for the upgrade pick. But DJI Mini 3 Pro is so competitive both in price and features, I can’t ignore it. Here is a detailed post of the comparison.

The DJI Mavic Air 2S is a great option for anyone looking for a powerful and versatile drone that can capture stunning aerial footage. This drone features a 1-inch CMOS sensor, capable of capturing 20-megapixel stills and 5.4K video at 30fps, making it one of the best in its class for both photo and video capabilities.

In addition, the Mavic Air 2S boasts an impressive flight time of up to 31 minutes, allowing you to capture more footage without having to stop and recharge the batteries. This is thanks to its high-capacity battery and efficient motors that help to extend the drone’s flight time.

Other features of the Mavic Air 2S include advanced obstacle avoidance, 4-way directional sensing, and an improved ActiveTrack system that allows the drone to automatically follow moving subjects. It also includes a range of shooting modes, such as HDR and panorama, to help you capture the perfect shot in any situation.

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Best for Photography: DJI Mavic 3

Our Rating: 4.7/5

The DJI Mavic 3 is a professional high-end drone that packs most of DJI’s latest technology. It offers a range of advanced features for professional and recreational users alike. The dual-camera system, which includes a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera and a 12MP ultrawide camera, allows for stunning aerial photography and videography. The 5.1K video recording quality is impressive and ensures that your footage is crystal clear and highly detailed.

One of the most impressive features of the Mavic 3 is its flight time. With up to 46 minutes of flight time, you can capture footage for an extended period without worrying about the drone’s battery life. The DJI O3 transmission system (Max 15 km) provides a live view with up to 1080p/60fps resolution, making it easy to monitor your footage in real-time.

The new obstacle avoidance system is another standout feature of the Mavic 3. It can detect and avoid obstacles in all directions, providing added safety and peace of mind during flights. The drone is available in three different configurations, allowing you to choose the package that best suits your needs.

However, the DJI Mavic 3 is an expensive drone, unless you have a big budget or you are in the market for a drone for serious photography, then I would not recommend cause there are a few better options for you.

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Competition & Comparison

During our research, we found some other drones that are close to what we chose but not as good as them. So we put them in the competition and comparison list.

DJI Mavic Air 2

Our Rating: 4.6/5


  • 1/2-inch sensor camera
  • Up to 34 minutes of flight time
  • Max range: 6.2 miles (10 km)
  • Capable of 4k/60fps videos
  • 48 MP photos
  • Great Obstacle avoidance
  • Great price point


  • The remote controller is a little bit too big
  •  Doesn’t compatible with DJI Goggles

mavic air 2 side
Mavic Air 2 uses a similar foldable design as the Mavic 2 and packs almost all the DJI’s latest technology. It is capable of shooting 4k/60fps videos, FHD videos at 240fps, and 48 MP photos due to its 1/2-inch CMOS sensor.

It’s also the Mavic drone that has the longest flight time allowing you to fly up to 34 minutes with one fully charged battery. When flying in sport mode, it can hit 68.4 kph (42.5 mph). With the Ocusyc 2.0 transmission system, you will be able to fly up to 6.2 miles (10 km) away.

Mavic Air 2 is DJI’s most intelligent Mavic drone. It features FocusTrack, Spotlight 2.0, QuickShots, SmartPhoto, APAS 3.0, and more. All these will ensure you a safer flight and capture stunning aerial photos and videos more easily.

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Parrot Anafi

Our Rating: 4.0/5


  • Very comparable to the Mavic Air at a cheaper price
  • A high-quality gimbal means stable video footage
  • Quiet flyer, you don’t get that RC car sound you can hear when some drones are flown


  • No obstacle avoidance
  • Issues reported with app updating mid-flight; not good as you lose visual feed
  • HDR could be better

French-based drone manufacturer Parrot has managed to design a drone that is pretty comparable to the Mavic in many ways but for a cheaper price; perfect for those who are looking for a more affordable foldable camera drone.

You get the exact video quality as the Mavic Air; 4k30fps, though the HDR may leave a little to be desired for. Their still shots, however, are much larger than their competitors at 21MP meaning you can get crisper larger prints from your drone footage.

A great feature of this is that you don’t need to attach your phone to the remote control, you can just fly directly from your smartphone, or solely use the controller if you prefer. This app-only option though is perfect for backpackers or travelers who want to watch their weight.

They don’t have as many manual operating modes as their DJI counterparts but this could be ideal if you are new to flying drones and don’t want to leave too much to yourself.

The range is 4km (2.5 miles) with a battery life of 25 minutes.

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro – The Best 4K Foldable Drone for Photography

Our Rating: 4.5/5


  • 1-inch CMOS Sensor
  • Exceptional image quality
  • Compatible with 4k HLG TVs which provide better color and clarity


  •    One of the more expensive models
  •    The DJI app can be a little overwhelming
  •    A little bit large compared to the Mavic Air 2

Narrowly missing the top spot is one of the newest Mavic products the DJI Mavic Pro 2. The new 1” CMOS sensor ensures DSLR quality 20-megapixel stills that you can capture whilst filming in 4k that has integrated HDR for incredible color tone and contrast.

The camera also features an adjustable aperture ranging from f2.8 – f11 meaning that you can grab crisp images during the day and clear, bright photos at night. Another night feature is their Hyperlight technology which reduces noise in the images you produce.

It features a sport mode that allows flying speeds of up to 44.7mph and has a pretty powerful battery life, coming in at 31 minutes.

The only two reasons I couldn’t rank this first are A) the price point and B) its size compared to the Mavic Air; this drone won’t fare well in enclosed spaces.

Obviously, with so many more features, a higher cost is unavoidable, the size, however, is something DJI may look at working on for future versions. Nevertheless, if you want to take your drone photography to the next level, the features this drone comes packed with might just be what you’re looking for.

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The DJI Mavic Mini

Our Rating: 4.4/5


  •    Small & lightweight, only 249g – No need to register in most countries before flying!
  •    Super long flight time per charge – 30 minutes
  •    Long control ranges – Up to 4km (2.5miles)
  •    Great price point


  •    USB-C charging port/cable
  •    No ActiveTrack, Panorama, and Obstacle Avoidance
  •    No 4K camera

DJI Mavic Mini is the best foldable drone for beginner pilots thanks to its great flight performance, HD camera, long battery life, ultra-lightweight, and ease to fly. It is foldable and allows you to put it in a pocket, the 249g weight makes it a register-free drone in many countries because the threshold of the drone laws is 250g.

The 30-minute flight time removes the stress of taking more fully charged batteries. Though it lacks a 4K camera, the 2.7K camera still enables you to record HD aerial videos and photos together with the 3-axis gimbal.

The control range can reach up to 4km (2.5 miles) which is almost the best in drones at the same price. Easy to fly is another thing that you will like about the Mavic mini, it’s not only about the ready-to-fly drone itself but also the new DJI FLY app. It’s much more intuitive than the DJI GO 4, all the frequently used features can be easily found on the screen.

Due to its small size and low price point, the Mavic Mini doesn’t come with a 4K camera, Obstacle Avoidance, ActiveTrack, Panorama, Time Lapse, etc., but for most pilots, these are not necessities unless you want a drone for commercial use.

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DJI Mavic Air

We put Mavic Air on the competition list because DJI has launched the second generation of this model: Mavic Air 2. The new model starts at the same $799 price but is much more powerful than the old one.

Our Rating: 4.3/5


  •    Incredibly small & lightweight – It fits right in your pocket!
  •    Range of colors available
  •    Great price point


  • The charging port/cable doesn’t match so you have to use an adaptor to change it
  • There are 2 DJI apps and they’re not too clear on which to install for the Mavic Air
  • Short flight time
  • Some users reported drops in connectivity

The battle for the top spot was particularly hard as the Mavic Air and Mavic Pro both have outstanding features. The reason I chose the Mavic Air, however, is that despite its slightly lesser battery life and range, it is incredibly small, coming in at just 430g has superb camera quality, and has ActiveTrack software to follow you and up to 15 other subjects wherever you are.

The 3-axis gimbal allows for flawless footage even in tough conditions and the camera quality is excellent allowing filming of up to 4K30fps with an integrated 12-megapixel HDR camera.

The remote easily attaches to your phone and your live view is available when flying right through the DJI App. It has a 4km (2.5 miles) range, can hit speeds of 68.4 kph (42.5mph), and has 21-minute battery life.

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Yuneec Mantis Q

Our Rating: 3.9/5


  •    Mid-range priced drone
  •    33-minute battery life
  •    The super small, compact drone


  •    Lack of 3-axis gimbal
  •    Voice control is disappointing
  •    No obstacle avoidance

A great option for the hobbyist drone flyer, the Yuneec Mantis comes in at a much more affordable price point than our three previous options.

It does shoot at 4k60fps but the digital image stabilization isn’t as great as those mechanical gimbals you see in competitors’ drones, meaning if you were to fly it at its top speed of 44mph, you’d be sure to get some bumpy footage.

Likely considered an entry-level drone it does pack a lot into it when it comes to still shots, however, there’s the option to shoot in scenery mode which does make the imagery pop and when flying it has some pretty impressive intelligent flight mode options.

However, a whopping problem with this drone is there’s also no obstacle avoidance, like with the Parrot Anafi. Nevertheless, if you fly it in open spaces where you have a clear vision you shouldn’t encounter any issues.  I feel this drone is more tailored to someone who wants to use it for stills as opposed to videography; hence its price point is around 40-50% cheaper than DJI’s options.

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GoPro Karma – Best Foldable Drone for GoPro

Our Rating: 3.8/5


  •    Has a removable gimbal; the Karma grip
  •    Shoots in 4k
  •    Getting 3 cameras in one essentially


  •    Really big compared to its competitors
  •    Battery life issues reported
  •    Users reported issues with GoPro support

The company that was pioneering when it came to action footage did have a few hiccups initially when launching the karma, likely in a race to beat DJI for their Christmas sales back in 2016, they had to do a recall and stall the official release of the drone.

However, at your standard drone price point, you get high-quality image stabilization with a GoPro and the removable handgrip, meaning really you have 3 toys in one with the Karma.

Depending on the GoPro model you chose to use with the karma you’ll have the option to shoot at up to 4k30fps and take 12MP stills. The footage is exceptional and has great color quality.

It has the built-in tech to identify no-fly zones and a handy return-to-home feature to prevent it from flying off into the abyss; great for first-time flyers.

It is, however, one of the bigger foldable drones on the market, meaning if you wanted to pack small and light this probably wouldn’t be the right option for you. The battery also doesn’t last as long as its competitors; around 20 minutes.

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Based on my reviews above, I think if you’re a beginner pilot and have little flying experience with drones, the DJI Mini 3 is a perfect choice for its reliable performance and price point. If you are after a good, all-rounder foldable drone with a camera, the DJI Mini 3 Pro or DJI Air 2S are both good options. They have incredible features and solid camera quality. Nevertheless, if you can afford to splash a little extra cash, the sensor, and high megapixels from the Mavic 3 is second to none and will ensure the best drone flying experience.

For those of you who are on more of a budget, the DJI Mini 2 SE makes perfect sense.

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