5 Professional and Commercial Drones that Make Money [May 2018]

DJI Inspire 2

Plenty of people fly drones just for the thrill of flying. But for professional pilots, flying UAVs is a serious business. Smaller drones are perfect for zipping around and seeing the world from a new perspective, but larger, more powerful drones can perform tasks that their smaller counterparts cannot. They can stay aloft for extended periods of time, carry massive payloads, and support cameras suitable for industrial applications and shooting Hollywood feature films. In this article, we’ll take a look at five professional and commercial drones that are ideal for pros.

We will regularly update this list with new and exciting drones. Check back later this month for new updates.

Best Professional Drones for Aerial Photography, Filming, and Industrial Applications

1. Mavic Pro Check the Price

Mavic Pro combo Mavic Pro Mavic Pro Mavic Pro remote controller

The Mavic Pro provides powerful flying performance and a professional-grade camera in a sleek, ultra-portable design. Small enough to bring with you on-the-go, the Mavic Pro makes taking professional-grade 4K video and 12 MP still shots easier than ever. Featuring Intelligent Flight Modes like ActiveTrack, TapFly, and Gesture mode, the Mavic Pro is intuitive to control, dispelling the myth that professional drones need to be complicated to fly.

Key Features:

  • 1/2.3” CMOS sensor records 4K 30 fps video and takes 12 MP photos
  • Mechanical 3-axis gimbal
  • Up to 27 min of flight time
  • 40 mph (65 kph) max speed
  • FlightAutonomy system intelligently senses and avoids obstacles
  • Intelligent Flight Modes (ActiveTrack, TapFly, Gesture mode)

The latest offshoot of the Mavic Pro is the Mavic Pro Platinum, which has 11% more battery life, upping its average flight time from 27 minutes to 30 minutes. There’s also the limited-edition Mavic Pro Alpine White Combo, which features the same great specs as the Mavic Pro and comes with two extra batteries and an aircraft sleeve. Alternatively, you can get a Refurbished Mavic Pro for just $799 or get the Fly More Combo to save on extra batteries and propellers. Check out our Mavic Pro series comparison to find out which option is best for you. 

Purchase Options:

Mavic Pro (refurbished)

Mavic Pro Fly More Combo

Mavic Pro Platinum Fly More Combo

1. Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 Check the Price

Phantom 4 Pro Phantom 4 Pro Phantom 4 Pro Phantom 4 Pro Phantom 4 Pro Phantom 4 Pro Phantom 4 Pro Remote Controller Phantom 4 Pro

The latest addition to the world-famous Phantom series, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a great choice for both consumer and professional applications. The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 retains many of the great features of the original Phantom 4 Pro, while also adding some exciting new improvements. Among the biggest upgrades is the new remote controller, which features the new OcuSync video transmission system. A dual-frequency 2.4/5.8 GHz system, OcuSync employs time-division multiplexing technology to send control signal and receive video signal simultaneously. When the controller is powered on, the OcuSync system scans for the frequency band with lowest interference and switches to it accordingly to maintain clear transmission.

Key Features:

  • 1” CMOS sensor records up to 4K 60 fps video and takes 20 MP photos
  • Mechanical 3-axis gimbal
  • Up to 30 min of flight time
  • 45 mph (72 kph) max speed
  • OcuSync HD Remote Controller with 4.3 mi (7km) max transmission distance
  • Intelligent Flight Modes (ActiveTrack, TapFly, Draw)

2. Inspire 2 Check the Price

Inspire 2 Inspire 2 Inspire 2 Inspire 2 Inspire 2 Remote Controller Inspire 2

The Inspire 2 looks like something straight out of a futuristic sci-fi world. Its most striking feature is its ability to transform on the fly (also available for Inspire 1). In Travel mode, the Inspire 2’s landing gear is set parallel to its body to take up as little space as possible. The landing gear retracts automatically during takeoff and can be extended for landing by tapping the power button five times successively. The automatic retraction feature is especially useful, as it ensures the landing gear are always be closed during flight so it won’t interfere with your shots.

Apart from Travel mode, the Inspire 2 is loaded with technology that makes it ideal for professional-quality filmmaking. It features dual self-heating batteries that allow you to operate in subzero conditions for up to 27 minutes. As for imaging, it currently supports three different professional-grade Zenmuse cameras: the X4, X5S, and X7. The Inspire 2 also includes a state-of-the-art image processing system that lets you record CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes footage with product licenses. The X5S is an M4/3 camera and the X7 uses a newly designed DL mount, which means both types support interchangeable lenses. Inspire 2 can also be flown by multiple pilots, making it a top choice for filmmaking professionals.

Key Features:

  • 6K CinemaDNG footage (with X7)
  • 27-minute flight time (with X4S)
  • 58 mph (94 kph) max speed
  • Interchangeable cameras (Zenmuse X4S, X5S, and X7)
  • Transforming design
  • Dual-battery system
  • Self-heating batteries
  • FPV Camera

Read more on the Inspire 2:

Top 10 Features Of The Inspire 2

Inspire 2 Image Quality In-Depth Review-Part I

The Phantom 4 Pro vs Inspire 2

3. Matrice 200 Series 

Matrice 200

The Inspire 2 is to filmmaking what the Matrice 200 series (M200) is to industrial applications. M200 series commercial drones adopt the self-heating dual-battery design of the Inspire 2 while adding water resistance, longer propellers, and multi-gimbal support, making them durable and powerful UAVs.

The main highlight of the M200 series is their industrial Zenmuse cameras, including the Z30 and XT, which offer 30x optical zoom and thermal imaging, respectively. The M210 commercial drone supports two gimbals so Z30 and X5 cameras can be mounted simultaneously for gathering two different kinds of data in a single flight. It also has as an upward-facing gimbal, which is useful for filming structures like bridges. For projects that require centimeter-level positioning accuracy, professionals can upgrade to the M210 RTK. The M210 RTK features a D-RTK module, which is essential for businesses collecting precise geospatial data.

Key Features:

  • IP43 Ingress rating
  • Support for industrial Zenmuse cameras (XT, Z30, X4S, X5S)
  • Transforming design
  • Dual-battery system
  • Self-heating batteries
  • FPV Camera
  • Dual downward gimbal and upward gimbal ports (M210)

4. Matrice 600 Pro Check the Price

Matrice 600 Pro Matrice 600 Pro Matrice 600 Pro Matrice 600 Pro Matrice 600 Pro Matrice 600 Pro

The Matrice 600 Pro is significantly larger and more powerful than its M200 counterparts. This drone has six-battery power system and supports payloads up to 6 kg, making it ideal for heavy-duty professional work. Unlike the M200, this drone is considered a “flight platform” rather than a “ready-to-fly system.” It can be modified and reassembled to fit the needs of the operator. The M600 Pro can also be equipped with mechanisms for dropping disaster relief supplies or to carry heavy professional film cameras like the RED EPIC.

Key Features:

  • Folding design
  • A3 Pro flight controller
  • Carries a RED EPIC + Ronin-MX
  • D-RTK GNSS compatibility
  • 6 batteries with charging hub included
  • Modular design

5. Agras MG-1S 

MG1-S

While professional drones like the M600 are suitable for a variety of applications, the Agras has only one specific purpose: crop spraying. The Agras MG-1S is one of the top drones in commercial agriculture, due to a strong array features, including eight rotors, four spraying nozzles, a huge liquid tank, and microwave radar system that automatically senses changes in terrain. Users can set automated spraying paths using the Intelligent Operation Planning System, and its controller comes with an ultra-bright built-in screen, just like the Phantom 4 Pro+.

Key Features:

  • 40-60 times more efficient than manual spraying
  • Carries up to 22 lbs (10 kg) liquid payloads
  • Intuitive mission planning
  • Radar system follows terrain during flight
  • Controller with ultra-bright built-in screen

Whether you are spraying crops or filming the next blockbuster action movie, DJI has a variety of professional and commercial drones capable of meeting your needs. Drones like the Mavic Air and Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 have professional-quality cameras and accessories but are easy to fly, proving that you don’t need to a be an elite pilot to own an elite drone. Meanwhile, our industry-leading specialized commercial drones like the Matrice and Agras are changing the way we build and grow food. Regardless of why you fly, DJI has a drone for you. Head over to the DJI store now for more information!

You might be also interested in:

Practice Makes Perfect: Lessons from an Inspire 2 Photographer

A Professional Choice: The Phantom 4 Pro vs Inspire 2

8 Crucial Things to Know Before Buying a Photography Drone

Zenmuse X7: Cinematic Vision Rising