Drone vs Camera: Which One Should I Buy?

Drones and cameras are essential tools in today’s digital photography. They have turned conventional photography into an adventure that every photographer is proud of, and more people are interested in the industry.

Thus, comparing a drone vs camera is vital in deciding the best based on your preferences and budget.

There are entry and professional-level drones and cameras. Your choices are based on your needs.

A camera may be ideal for learning basic photography, and you can later upgrade to a drone. Thus, you’ll be able to use a drone more efficiently.

So, let’s help you understand when to buy a drone or a camera.

Drone vs Camera: Which One Should I Buy?

Whether to buy a drone or a camera is a personal choice, depending on your goal, among other factors. Let’s look at both situations to help you make an informed decision.

Why Should You Buy a Drone Rather Than a Camera?

Below are reasons for buying a drone over the camera:

  • You, being the subject
  • Diverse commercial opportunities
  • Bigger picture focus
  • Impressive shots
  • A new skill
  • Unique perspective
  • More exploration

Let’s expound on each of them here under.

Being the Subject

Using a camera makes photographers the center of attraction during shooting, something that most don’t like. A drone lets you be behind the camera without attracting anyone’s attention.

Additionally, most advanced drones have subject tracking and autonomous flight modes. They recognize the subject, track it, and manage controls without your intervention.

Some models avoid obstacles during flight. All these features allow you to be the subject and photographer at once.

Thus, you can record yourself while bike riding, surfing, skiing, and doing other fun activities.

Diverse Commercial Opportunities

Due to increased creativity, you can start as a drone enthusiast and become a commercial aerial photographer/videographer.

Although you can make a career out of camera photography on the ground, a drone offers vast and growing possibilities.

They include surveillance, surveys, inspections, media work, or racing (an upcoming potential career path).

However, assessing the capability and willingness of your potential customers to pay for the services before venturing into any of the fields is advisable.

Approaching them and selling your services is the best way to gauge your business idea’s viability.

Bigger Picture Focus

Zooming out allows you to appreciate a landscape’s beauty and scale. That can be difficult on the ground, but not with a drone.

The best posture to enjoy sweeping panoramas is from above. A drone’s aerial view adds much depth to landscape shots you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. It captures a bigger picture from a richer viewpoint.

Impressive Shots

A drone gives you access to shots you couldn’t have had. It captures fantastic, detailed images from flying over a glacier to hovering over your house. The device makes what was previously impossible possible.

Including movement and elevation in your photography adds more personality and creates your work’s unique portfolio.

A New Skill

You can learn drone flying as a new skill. If you have been a camera photographer, you could try something new and take your photos and videos to another level.

With the willingness to put more effort into the field, it’s very rewarding: You’ll attract more customers with the improved content.

Unique Perspective

A drone gets off the camera ‘on ground’ restrictions by providing an unparalleled creativity platform. It opens diverse angles, allowing you to find unique shooting perspectives.

More Exploration

Drones motivate you to explore new surroundings and nature. As a result, connect with new communities and learn more from experienced drone fliers.

Although a camera may be a good tool for exploring your surroundings, a drone provides more inspiration.

Why Should You Buy a Camera Rather Than a Drone?

Here are key reasons for buying a camera instead of a drone:

  • Lack of photography basics understanding
  • Insufficient editing time
  • Absence of video or photo output
  • Strict drone regulations

Lack of Photography Basics Understanding

Although drones are user-friendly, understanding photography and videography basics is essential to using them more efficiently. A camera helps to gain this knowledge.

The basics include the following:

  • Shutter speed: The speed at which the shutter opens and records the light in the sensor. It determines the image’s exposure length and motion blur amount.

  • Composition: How to arrange visuals within their frame. Distinguishing good from bad composition allows quick capturing of excellent photos.

  • ISO: Controls the amount of light that gets into the sensor (a photo’s brightness or darkness).

  • Aperture: Diameter of a camera lens’s hole that affects the final image depth-of-field.

Insufficient Editing Time

Drone footage requires cutting out uninteresting components, editing, adding transitions and titles, and exporting 20-minute video may take up to 2 hours.

So, drone footage needs more editing than a camera. The latter has different load settings and lenses that prevent over-exposure to unwanted areas.

Absence of Video or Photo Output

A good drone is a huge investment; you must have a place to put your footage as an asset.

That can include promoting your business, enhancing your social media presence, and other ways of standing out.

While you could always get a drone for having fun, cameras are the best for starting out the photo and videography hobby before you can assess if you should take it seriously.

And when you decide to go all in, that would be the best time to get a drone.

Strict Drone Regulations

Different countries have diverse drone regulations that may restrict free drone flying.

In some countries drone usage is actually banned. If you discover that your primary focus area has such rules, buy a camera.

Although privacy and private property rules exist, cameras have fewer usage rules and regulations.


This drone vs camera comparison confirms that the device you buy depends on your needs list.

We have given you the two sides of a coin to help you settle on the right gadget for either of the cases.

A drone is better when you’re the subject, want a new skill, or need a unique perspective.

Also, it helps explore new commercial opportunities, focus on the bigger picture, and explore new places.

A camera is more efficient if you don’t understand basic photography, lack of photo and video output, insufficient editing time, and strict drone regulations.


Yes, drones are totally worth it. They give you a new perspective, open more avenues for commercial and fun activities, and you get to learn a new skill that you can use beyond photography.

Cameras are often handheld or mountable to any platform, and are used to take photos and videos.

Drones are pieces of aircraft that are remotely controlled.

You can mount a camera on a drone, making it a camera drone, which you can use to record aerial footage.

Peter Karanja

Peter is a licensed drone pilot and drone fanatic. He owns a DJI Air 2S that he uses to shoot videos for fun, enjoyment and for clients.

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