What’s the most popular camera drone out there?

Photography website Shotkit conducted a survey of about 1,300 amateur and professional photographers, digging into what drone they use for photography in a quest to find the most popular camera drone.

The most popular camera drone for amateurs by far was the Mavic Mini. And not even the newer models, but rather, the original version, which was released in 2019 and is no longer available for purchase on the DJI site (although it can be found through third parties, including Amazon).

The second most popular drone was the DJI Mini 2, released in November 2020, with the Ryze Tello coming in a close 3rd. While the Tello drone is made by a company called Ryze, it uses DJI parts — thus has close ties to DJI.

It wasn’t until past the three podium spots that non–DJI (or DJI-affiliated) brands came into the rankings. Many of those were toy drones, such as those found on Amazon or non-specific marketplaces which sell cheaper drones for casual use. And perhaps most surprisingly, there were even some amateur users still flying version 1 DJI Phantoms — you know, the relics from 2013.

Out of 1,300 respondents, 986 of the survey respondents (or about 75%) were amateur photographers (people who don’t earn any income via their photography), while the other roughly-25% said they used drones in some professional capacity.

Only two amateur photographer respondents owned the latest DJI Mavic Mini 3, presumably due to its higher price point, which may deter non-professionals.

Data and visualization via Shotkit.

What is the most popular camera drone among professional photographers?

When broken out by the 314 professional photographers surveyed, the most commonly -owned drone was the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, the former flagship from the Mavic Pro line, with a 1” Hasselblad sensor capable of capturing stunning RAW images. 

The second most popular drone for professional photographers was the original Mavic Pro, with the third being the DJI Phantom 4, presumably for photographers who don’t value portability as a deciding factor when buying drones.

Surprisingly, the latest DJI Mavic Pro 3 model wasn’t widely owned, despite having been released back in November 2021. Perhaps professionals who own the Mavic 2 Pro are satisfied with its performance, and don’t see the need to upgrade to the version 3.

There were also a few professional photographers using the Mini 3 Pro, giving some indication that the capabilities of this impressive sub-250g drone are worthy even for pros.

Data and visualization via Shotkit.

Which drone do you use and why? Leave a comment below!

–By Mark Condon, Shotkit

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