Best Drones for GoPro HERO8 iMore 2021
Today, most drones come with a camera on board. Those cameras can be a defining feature of your aircraft or the one thing you want to replace. Whether you purchased a drone sans camera or want to upgrade to a GoPro HERO8, you have options. At the top of our list is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. This is a smooth-flying drone that's appropriate for any skill level, and you can fasten your GoPro HERO8 to the top or bottom of it. This isn't the only aircraft we recommend. Read on to learn about the best drones for GoPro.
- Best Overall: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
- Best Value: DROCON Bugs 3
- Best Portable: Holy Stone HS720
- Best Beginner: DJI Mavic Air 2
- Best Racing: iFlight Titan XL5
Best Overall: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro made it to the top of our best drones of the year list for its folding form factor, impressive software, and smooth video from the onboard 20MP camera. If you want to get twice the action on film or prefer the GoPro camera options, you can use GoPro's official top or bottom mount, or you can affix your GoPro to the top of the DJI with an adhesive mount.
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is costly, but we think it's the right choice for most flyers. It offers more features than other aircraft, has more available accessories than any other brand, and you cannot beat DJI's thoughtfulness to detail.
This drone has a Hasselblad 20.1MP sensor built-in, and it flies for a little over half an hour before needing a battery change or charge. You'll get some cool functions to boot, including ActiveTrack 2.0, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise, and pretty much universal compatibility with your Apple or Android smartphone. If you want one of the best drones for GoPro, you want the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
- Folding design
- Solid battery life
- Easy to fly
- GoPro fits on top or underneath
- Good onboard camera
Best Value: DROCON Bugs 3
The DROCON Bugs 3 is a brushless motor quadcopter that comes without a camera but has a GoPro mount included. When you go with DROCON, you don't have to worry about buying an extra mount or other hardware, making this the best drone for GoPro when you're on a budget.
Bugs 3 operates for 15-20 minutes per battery charge, and that's its only drawback. Battery life isn't ideal. We suggest picking up an extra battery so you can keep the Bugs 3 up in the air longer. The Bugs 3 lifts to over 1,000 feet in the air in seconds, and flights are stable and smooth, even with newbies behind the controls.
Best of all, a GoPro-compatible mount comes with this setup. It clips to the bottom of the Bugs 3, so you get dynamic footage of landscapes and cities in all their glory. The Bugs 3 can fly against high winds and also does flips and rolls. If you want an all-in-one package, we can't brag about the DROCON Bugs 3 enough.
- GoPro mount included
- Stays steady in strong wind
- Great for flips and rolls
- Short battery life
Best Portable: Holy Stone HS720
Portability and drones don't often go hand-in-hand. Even with foldable designs, it's a fact that most drones are larger and heavier than you imagine. The Holy Stone HS720 is a foldable GPS drone that's small enough to fit in a small backpack and light enough to take anywhere.
You'll get 26 minutes of flight time from this model. There is an onboard 4K camera, but if you want to strap on your GoPro HERO8, you can do that by adhering it to the flat top of this quadcopter. The GoPro stays in place remarkably well, even in high winds, and captures shake-free footage.
The GPS Assisted Intelligent Flight software helps you keep track of your drone's location, so it doesn't go missing. The included remote and phone holder are easy to operate for people of all skill levels, too. This model is pricey, especially considering its size, but if you're after a portable aircraft, you won't be disappointed.
- 26 minutes of flight
- GoPro adheres to top
Best Beginner: DJI Mavic Air 2
We reviewed the DJI Mavic Air 2 earlier this year and found it a good pick for beginners and intermediate flyers. It has a rugged body that can withstand a few bumps and hits and quick-release propellers that help in the event of a crash.
On the downside, the DJI Mavic Air 2 has only 8GB of storage. That's a shame. Of course, the easy fix is to invest in an SD card to bump things up. This is also a spendy little unit, especially for beginners. Still, the onboard camera grabs 48MP photos, and there's a 3-axis gimbal for video. Also, you'll enjoy up to 34 minutes of flight time before needing to swap out the batteries.
You can install GoPro's official arm-mount to add a GoPro HERO8 to the undercarriage of this drone, or you can use an adhesive flat-mount and buckle to stick your camera on top of or below the Mavic Air 2. This quadcopter comes with a remote, low-noise propellers, a battery charger, and all the necessary cables.
- Rugged frame
- Beginner-safety features
- 34 minutes per battery
- 48MP photos from onboard cam
- GoPro fits under the drone
- Only 8GB of storage
Best Racing: iFlight Titan XL5
The iFlight Titan XL 5 is a five-inch racing and freestyle quadcopter. The well-thought-out frame gives you the utmost performance as you slice through the air. The edges are beveled across the frame, so wind-resistance is never a problem.
You can use the GoPro HERO8 with the iFlight when you also pick up the iFlight TPU Camera Mount. It's an inexpensive accessory that places your camera on top of the drone. The combo is stable while remaining angle-adjustable.
If you're into racing or tricks, the iFlight Titan XL 5 is a dream to fly. It comes pre-tuned and ready to operate right out of the box. The only drawback is the weight. It's heavy, and adding a GoPro to it, weighs it down even more. If this is a bother, you can swap out the stock props to up your power and speed. iFlight has a ton of available accessories to help you build out your dream drone.
- Thick, indestructible frame
- Ready out of the box
- GoPro accessories available
- It's heavy
The last word
These are some of the best drones for GoPro. Remember, some drone manufacturers offer GoPro cages and mounts specific to certain aircraft, so be sure to check their websites for more info if you want to stick with branded hardware. You can also buy third-party adhesive kits, like the reasonably-priced Woleyi Action Camera Mount. Lots of choices out there!
Our favorite GoPro HERO8-compatible drone is the Mavic 2 Pro from DJI. It's a quadcopter with a built-in Hasselblad camera and a 3-axis gimbal for 4K footage.
The dedicated remote with this model holds your smartphone snugly and gives you an excellent real-time view. Active Track 2.0 accurately predicts trajectory, obstacle sensing, and puts the power of high-speed tracking at your fingertips. And you can use DJI's official mounts to add your GoPro HERO8 to the top or underside of the Mavic 2 Pro.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
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