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Long Range Drone Buying Guide (2020)


Discover the best long range drones, including the Mavic Air 2, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, and the Inspire 2. We’ve prepared a list of the best long range drones for sale, covering everything you need to know before you buy a drone.

If you are looking for a long range drone, transmission systems, flight distances, and flight times are all important factors to consider. A content creator might prefer a longer flight that is suitable for their travels, whereas a construction manager monitoring a railway project requires a drone that can be flown over longer distances without losing signal. Whatever your application is, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about long distance drones.

Best Long-Range Drones

Mavic Air 2

As the newest member of the Mavic series, Mavic Air 2 features an improved 48MP camera, giving you stunning detail at 4K/60fps! New modes like 8K Hyperlapse and SmartPhoto make it easy to capture spectacular shots like never before. In terms of long range drone performance, Mavic Air 2 features OcuSync 2.0, which gives it up to 10km video transmission. Mavic Air 2 also has the longest flight time of all Mavic series drones, which rounds up a portable long range drone that’s yours for under $1000!

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Mavic 2 Pro

Mavic 2 Pro

Mavic 2 Pro continues to make waves in the camera drone industry. Featuring a 1-inch Hasselblad sensor, the Mavic 2 Pro can capture jaw-dropping, high-resolution images, as well as performing superbly in low light. Mavic 2 Pro also features OcuSync 2.0 transmission, which offers a 1080p livestream up to 8 km away. It also has a max flight time of up to 31 minutes, making it perfect for sunset-chasers and professional photographers alike.

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Mavic 2 Zoom

Mavic 2 Zoom is another fantastic long range drone that comes packed with new features and technological improvements. Just like Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom takes your long range drone adventure one step further with OcuSync 2.0 transmission technology. From wildlife drone photography to real-estate drone photography, Mavic 2 Zoom opens up a whole new world of long range drone photography with a 12MP 2x optical zoom lens. This unique feature can help you take better aerial photography from far away, making it an excellent feature for long range drone photography.

Mavic 2 Zoom

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Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 offers users one of the most advanced flight systems available. It’s combination of obstacle sensing technology and OcuSync 2.0 transmission ensures nothing comes between you and your flight. A 1-inch 20MP sensor with a mechanical shutter provides amazing quality images and 4K/60fps video. Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a true filmmakers tool and a great long range drone.

Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

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Inspire 2

The Inspire 2 offers exceptional industry-level flight performance and a range of advanced features that make it perfect for cinematographers and professional filmmakers. The DJI Lightbridge system offers incredibly reliable transmission. It allows for simultaneous streaming from the main camera and FPV camera, giving the pilot and main camera operator an exceptional filming experience.

Inspire 2 also features an interchangeable camera system that supports up to 6K CinemaDNG in a variety of codecs, which makes it a great long range drone with a camera.

Inspire 2

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How to Choose a Long-Range Drone?

 

Long-range drones

 

Transmission

Video transmission is absolutely paramount to aerial photography and cinematography. Being able to see clearly in real-time what your drone camera is viewing over large distances is vital. The quality of any long range drone transmission depends on many factors, and you should consider them all whenever a company advertises its products. Wind speed, battery levels, radio interference, and obstacles between your drone and the controller all influence the livefeed and your control over your drone. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about transmission to help you purchase a quality long range drone.

Transmission Live Feed Quality

The quality of the feed you receive is important for you to be able to see what your long range drone is seeing. A high-resolution transmission feed allows you to make tiny adjustments to your shots that can make the difference between amateur and professional photography. We recommended choosing a drone with as high transmission resolution possible, such as the 1080p livestream feed offered on Mavic Air 2, Mavic 2, or the Inspire 2.

Transmission Stability

The more stable your transmission is, the less chance you will lose signal between your drone and your remote controller. More advanced transmission systems, such as those featured in DJI camera drones, use dual frequencies of 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, which provide a more stable transmission feed and a greater transmission distance. Lower transmission latency and the ability to download images to your device while the drone is still in the air are all advantages gained through advanced transmission technologies.

Anti-Interference

Anti-interference ensures you can fly smoothly wherever you are without any interruptions to your flight experience. With dual transmission frequencies, the drone can switch between frequencies during real-time flight, which provides the best performance. Additionally, anti-interference transmission technology utilizes a two-way communications system to help further maintain a stable video feed, even when flying through challenging environments.


Transmission Types

 

Long range drone

 

WiFi

WiFi transmission is featured on Spark, Mavic Air, and Mavic Mini. WiFi allows pilots to fly their drone using a dedicated controller or simply their mobile device. This transmission type is better for everyday flight and taking shots on the go, suitable for users that don’t want to waste time connecting a controller to their drone. For long range drones, OcuSync 2.0 and Lightbridge transmissions are excellent choices.  

OcuSync

OcuSync was first introduced on the DJI Mavic Pro and is a wireless transmission system that transmits video signals with low latency over long distances using the 2.4GHz frequency range. The original OcuSync technology provided pilots with HD video feeds in both 720p and 1080p, with 720p transmission offering up to 4 miles usage.

OcuSync2.0 is a significantly improved transmission system. The ability to broadcast over 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, switch between the two frequencies in real-time, and avoid interference means pilots can receive a low latency 1080p video feed over larger distances.

All drones mentioned above use OcuSync2.0 transmission, with the exception of the Inspire 2, which uses Lightbridge technology. Let’s find out exactly what Lightbridge transmission is.

Lightbridge

Lightbridge is a professional transmission system that offers professional HD broadcasting, low latency responsive navigation, a long range up to 5 km, and an integrated design that is embedded into the remote controller. Users can transmit their video feed to multiple secondary devices such as viewing monitors, and additional controllers can also be used by filmmakers who wish to concentrate on getting their shot while a second person pilots the aircraft. Lightbridge technology also chooses the best transmission channel automatically based on your environment, providing the smoothest flight experience.


Flight Performance

 
DJI Inspire 2
 

Flight Time

Fight time and battery performance are the next things you should consider if you are looking to buy a long range drone with a camera. The longer your flight time, the more ground you can cover for any long range photography. The same applies for battery life, which influences how long you can fly your long range drone. It’s important to find a drone that offers the best balance in flight performance, and avoid choosing a drone that offers a one-dimensional performance.

With this in mind, you should take into account all the factors that affect your battery performance such as weather and wind speed. Compare the best drone flight times and take this into consideration with other factors before you make a purchase.

Flight time and battery performance are also influenced by the design of the drone. Look out for a long range drone that is made by reputable drone companies with state-of-the-art innovation and research. A flight time of 30 minutes is around the benchmark you should be looking at, with exceptional drones like the new Mavic Air 2 offering a massive 34 minutes of flight time!

Flight Safety

Next up, we have flight safety, which influences your flight experience, protects others around you, and ensures you can fly confidently. This is one of the most significant considerations for choosing a long range drone because you need to be in control over your drone at all times. Safety can be categorized into several different aspects, which we’ve broken down for you below:

Return to Home (RTH)

One of the most important safety features of DJI drones is the advanced Return to Home (RTH) function. This function allows the drone to return to its take-off position when it detects its battery levels are low, when the transmission signal is lost, or if you command the drone to come back.

Some aspects of the RTH function can be set manually by the pilot and should be checked and adjusted if necessary before each flight. One of the most important features a pilot should check is the RTH altitude. When the RTH function is engaged, the aircraft will climb or descent to the set altitude before beginning its return. You should pay attention to your surroundings when using the RTH setting. Obstacle avoidance systems are active during the RTH flight, but the additional safety of ensuring a safe altitude to clear obstacles is vital for long range flights.

Obstacle Sensors

You should consider what obstacle avoidance technology is available before you choose a long range drone. DJI drones are equipped with a range of sensors, both optical and infrared, that can detect approaching obstacles and make the necessary adjustments to the flight path to avoid them, be it climbing, descending, or even coming to a complete stop.


Camera Performance

 

Long range drone

 

At the end of the day, the best long range drone is not only a drone with stable transmission, but also a drone with exceptional camera performance to take advantage of the long range flight capabilities.

Sensor quality is the biggest consideration to make, which affects the creative potential of beginners and professionals. DJI Mavic series drones and Phantom drones all have the latest in camera sensor technology on-board, providing fantastic dynamic range and state-of-the-art low-light performance.

For optimal camera performance in the Mavic series, Mavic 2 Pro takes the lead with a 1“ Hasselblad Camera and adjustable aperture. For stunning new drone tehcnology like 48MP Photo, 8K Hyperlapse, and Smartphoto, the new Mavic Air 2 paves the way for creativity. If professional footage is your aim, then Phantom 4 Pro V2.0‘s 1″ sensor and mechanical shutter will provide you with everything you need.

Professional industry-level footage is easily capable with the Inspire 2, which features an interchangeable camera system that includes the new Zenmuse X7 camera and gimbal system. Users can capture stunning 24MP images with 14 stops of dynamic range, 6K CinemaDNG video, and interchange between world-class lenses quickly and easily.


Intelligent Functions and Modes

 

mavic-2

 

Intelligent flight modes are an important consideration if you ant to capture cinematic scenes from different long range distances. You can get closer to your subject, approach them from far away, and obtain some truly unique footage. ActiveTrack and QuickShots make it easy for any pilot to obtain impressive footage from far away.


Long Range Drone Flight Tips

Best long-range drones

Great consideration should always be taken before any drone flight. Read on to discover the most important long range drone flight tips.

Drone Regulations

Always remember to check drone regulations and local laws wherever you fly. It is not permitted to fly in some areas like nature reserves. Always fly within your line of sight, and remember to check in advance if your planned flight conforms to the local regulations.

Weather Conditions

Adverse weather can affect the transmission signal, causing you to lose signal and control over your drone. Always fly in bright, clear conditions. We recommend checking the weather forecast before and during your flight. A number of apps are available that provide detailed weather assessments and forecasts for drone pilots.

Temperature

Temperature affects the discharge and performance of your drone batteries, which subsequently affects how long and how far you can fly. Fly with fully charged batteries, and remember to always monitor the drone battery life status.

Obstacles

Is there anything along your intended flight path that needs extra attention? Buildings, trees, and other structures can cause interference should they come between you and your drone. This interference will affect your transmission quality, and could potentially cause some signal losses. Fly in an open space away from any large objects.

Monitor Flight

When flying a drone, the most important tip is to stay alert and monitor the flight performance on the app. Don’t allow anything to take your attention away from flying. A sudden gust of wind or a flock of birds could have a significant affect on your transmission and control over your drone.


Long Range Drone FAQ

 

Mavic 2 Zoom

 

What is the longest range DJI drone?

With up to 10 km transmission distance and 34 minutes of flight time, Mavic Air 2 is the longest range DJI drone currently available.

What is the cheapest long range DJI drone?

Mavic Air 2 is the cheapest long range drone, which is yours to buy for just $799.

Which DJI drone has the best camera?

For professional users, the Inspire 2 provides a choice of professional cameras and lenses. For consumers and aerial photographers, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has an excellent 1“ sensor and mechanical shutter.

Do I need a license to fly my long range drone?

Drone regulations are different from country to country, and in some cases, you may need to register your drone with the local authorities or take a flight competence test before you fly. Please check local drone laws and regulations before you fly a drone.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a long range drone, the best way to choose one is to weigh up all the important features we’ve discussed in this long range drone guide. Try to identify how the drone performs across different angles and performance measures before you make a purchase.

For professional users, the Inspire 2 combined with the Zenmuse camera system offers exceptional performance for Hollywood-style footage. If you are looking for a long range travel drone, the Mavic Air 2 will provide you with the most versatility with its light-weight design, new drone technology, and incredible 48MP camera. For photographers looking for exceptional camera performance, Mavic 2 Pro is one of the best long range drones out there. Whatever your passion, wherever your adventure, there is a DJI drone expertly built for your every need.

 

You May Also Like:

The Best DJI Camera Drones (2020)

The Best Real Estate Drones 

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