Smallest Camera Drones for Film Makers and Photographers

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In this article we look at the smallest drones available on the market for film makers and drone photographers. If you are a travel photographer and want to be able to take a drone with you, we highlight some of the best and smallest camera drones to help you decide what could work for you and your travels.

There are literally hundreds of drones available on the market today which will be much smaller, lighter and faster than any of the drones we'll talk about.

But for film makers, photographers and people looking for drones with half decent cameras on them, we'll look at the lightest camera drones on the market today.

Before we get in to the specific details, we'd like to point out that we get all of our information from our very own drone comparison tool. It is the largest database of camera and film making drones on the internet which has smart filters, sorting options and a place you can always come back to to help find you your next drone for videography.

This post is for all those who are looking for the most portable drones that can still produce fantastic video footage and photographs.

The three questions we ask to find the smallest and most portable drones are.

Drones which have the smallest diagonal distance when folded

This is the distance of the drone in it's smallest form, usually when folded if it has folding arms, from one corner to the opposite corner. This will give us a great indication of how large the drones are to one another.

Drones which weigh the least

This is a simple one, if you're looking for a drone which weighs very little, we'll order them all by their weight so you can see what is out there and in what weight categories.

Drones and their volume size

This is a number which we use from their overall dimensions, so that when the drone is packed away, not in use, you will expect it to be this size. We use cm³ for this dimension and overall volume, which you can transfer easily in to liters if you wish, which are an easy way to visualize the size of something.


Smallest Camera Drones By Diagonal Length

Here you can see drones by their diagonal length, measured from one corner to the other. This gives a great measurement and visual reference to you so you can see where you can fit a drone.

Each drone is measured diagonally when folded or in their smallest form factor.

Sometimes they are small enough to fit in the side pocket of a backpack or even your jacket pocket, others may not be small enough and using this calculation we can see how long and wide the smallest film drones are.

We get this information from our drone comparison tool, where you can sort drones by their diagonal size and length and where we continually update it with new drones, features, filter and sorting options so that you can compare their specs, side by side and find drones based on features you want. You may find that some drones appear in the table but we haven't written about them. As we add new drones, they will appear in the discovery tool database to be compared and appear everywhere automatically, but we may not have written about them or had them to compare when we wrote this article.

Here we have the top 10 smallest film and photography drones by their diagonal size, and they are.

DJI Spark has the Smallest Diagonal Length

With a diagonal distance of just 170mm, this is one tiny camera and film making drone. It's small size though does mean it comes without a 3-axis gimbal and some other high-end specs that you might see on the others, but it sure is small!

Yuneec Mantis Q has the Second Smallest Diagonal Length

The Yuneec Mantis Q is the smallest drone for film makers and photographers on the market today with a diagonal length of 193mm, that's just under 20cm and 7.5" Inches.

It actually beats out the DJI Mavic Mini which we're guessing you all would have put as the smallest available drone diagonally.

DJI Mavic Mini has the Third Smallest Diagonal Length

The DJI Mavic Mini has the second smallest diagonal length of camera drones for videography and photography. It's diagonal length is 213mm, which is just over 20cm and 8.3" Inches in total.

DJI Mavic Air has the Third Smallest Diagonal Length

Another DJI comes in the top 3 with the same diagonal length as the DJI Mavic Mini, at 213mm it is tiny in size and great for portability and travel photography. This is another perfect option if you are interested in taking a drone with you abroad for film and camera work.

Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE 2020 has the Fourth Smallest Diagonal Length When Folded

This may come as a surprise, but the Xiaomi, when folded up, has the third smallest diagonal length of 229mm, which is well under a foot in length. The problem this drone has that unfolded it is one of the biggest out of the portable drones.

Parrot Anafi has the Fifth Smallest Diagonal Length

The Parrot Anafi comes in at 253mm in diagonal length, which is a smidge under 10" Inches and just over 25cm in length. Another great portable drone for video and camera work and the Parrot Anafi has some big fans out there as they make fantastic drones for film makers.

DJI Mavic Air 2 has the Sixth Smallest Diagonal Length

The brand new for 2020 DJI Mavic Air 2 has the fifth smallest diagonal length when folded up, at 302mm, a smidge over a foot and 12". If you're looking for a portable option, they have tried to keep the DJI Mavic Air 2 as small as possible but packed full of features!

Other Diagonally Small Portable Drones

After the DJI Mavic Air 2 comes the Hubsan Zino range, the Zino Pro and Zino 2 which all have 317mm diagonal length. The Xiaomi Fimi A3 is the first non-folding drone with a diagonal length of 323mm but the arms are fixed.

The DJI Mavic Pro and the Autel Evo and Autel Evo II come in to finish off the top 10 list with diagonal lengths of 338mm and well over 10cm longer than the smallest drones when folded up and compacted.

The Lightest Camera Drones

If you are carrying your drone and controller around with you on backpacking trips, getting in to the mountains and want to be saving as much weight as possible, these are the top 10 lightest camera drones, sorted by their weight and in ascending order.

You can compare the weight of any drone using our drone discovery tool where you simply click the weight sorting column and all the drones will be reorganised and sorted by their total flying weight.

DJI Mavic Mini is the Lightest Film Making Drone 

Today, in 2020, the lightest film making drone on the market, you guessed it, is the DJI Mavic Mini.

It weighs just 249grams, of which you already knew, which is incredible. If you're looking for the lightest to take anywhere, this has to be on your list.

DJI Spark is the Second Lightest Drone with a Camera

Not hard to guess, with being so small in size, it coming in first in the diagonal length test, it misses out on the lightest camera drone by 51 grams to the Mavic Mini. It is also a fixed arm photography drone so the arms don't fold in and means although it's light, it doesn't pack away any smaller than it already is.

Parrot Anafi is the Third Lightest Camera Drone

The Parrot Anafi is the second lightest camera drone weighing in at just 320 grams. That is 70 grams more than the DJI Mavic Mini which is quite a big jump considering the mini only weighs 249g ready to take off.

DJI Mavic Air is the Fourth Lightest Video Drone

If you want another option thats great for film making, the DJI Mavic Air weighs 430grams.

This is where it starts getting heavier, a jump of 110 grams from the third place Anafi to the Mavic Air. With just three drones in, we're nearly at half a kilogram already in weight and this doesn't include the controller.

Yuneec Mantis Q is the Fifth Lightest Film Making Drone

The Yuneec has been around for a couple of years and feature wise is a fantastic film making drone. It's let down a little compared to it's lack of 3-axis gimbal but makes up for it in weight, size and other features.

It weighs 480 grams ready to take off with the battery inserted.

Xiaomi Fimi A3 is the Sixth Lightest Photography Drone

Another light camera, but again, only really able to shoot in 1080p for videos, the Fimi weighs in at just over 560 grams ready to fly.

DJI Mavic Air 2 is the Seventh Lightest Film Making Drone

We're adding a sixth to the list, because there is only 10 grams in it. The Mavic Air 2 weighs just 570 grams, just a tad over half a kilo and has some amazing film making features and camera.

If you want a portable, lightweight film making drone, the DJI Mavic Air 2 isn't the lightest, it's double that of the Mavic Mini, but is still up there with the smallest and lightest camera drones.

There is also quite a big jump in weight from this to the next camera, the Hubsan Zino H117S which weighs 700 grams, well on it's way to 1kg.

The Smallest Camera Drones by Volume

If you want to know if you can fit a drone in a certain space, here we look at the volume and size of each drone in cm3 and liters.

The drone discovery tool also has the volume for each camera drone in it's own column, here you can see the lightest camera drones on the market today.

These volumes are based on smallest form size, so usually when they are folded up and being packed in to a bag, pocket or carry case. If it's a folding drone, we have used it's folding volume and if it's not, then we take it's full size when being stored and arms are fixed open.

DJI Mavic Mini is the Smallest Photography Drone by Volume

If we are to go by volume size, take the three dimensions, length, width and height of each drone and create the volume and space each drone takes up, the DJI Mavic Mini is 100% the smallest drone on the market today for film makers.

It has a volume of 654cm³ which is literally 2 cans of fizzy pop put together, thats the same as 654ml, so if you imagine your favourite fizzy drink or soda, times it by two and you have a DJI Mavic Mini in your hand.

DJI Mavic Air is the Second Smallest Camera Drone by Volume

Coming in a close second is the DJI Mavic Air with a volume of 683cm³. This isn't much more than the DJI Mavic Mini but nearly 700ml in volume size. This is the same size as a bottle of wine, so imagine your favourite red or white wine and you have the size of the DJI Mavic Air.

Yuneec Mantis Q is the Third Smallest Film Drone by Volume

There is quite a considerable jump to third smallest film drone with the Yuneec Mantis Q, it comes in at  935cm³ which is 250ml more than the second smallest Mavic Air.

Just coming in at under 1 Liter in size, it's still portable and great for those wanting a smaller drone.

Parrot Anafi is the Fourth Smallest Film Drone by Volume

The Parrot Anafi is the fourth smallest in terms of volume and it's dimensions, at 1062cm³ which is now over 1 liter in size. It jumps up from 935ml or 0.935L in volume to nearly 100ml more than third place Yuneec Mantis Q.

Still a portable and hand held option that can be stored in a backpack or very large pocket or shoulder bag.

DJI Spark is the Fifth Smallest Drone by Volume

Although small in size, it can fit on the palm of your hand, you can't pack or fold the arms in which means that the volume of the DJI Spark is only the fifth smallest out of all the available camera and film making drones on the market.

It's still a portable option, but we'd look at other options if volume size and packability is what you're looking for.

Autel Evo Drone is the Fifth Smallest by Volume

There is another significant jump in size and the Autel Evo, along with many others like the DJI Mavic Pro, Hubsan drones, DJI Mavic Air 2 and the Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE 2020 have a volume size between 1305cm³ and 1500cm³ which is 1.3 to 1.5L in volume when folded up.

Summary of the Smallest Film Making Drones

Out of the entire film making and photography drones, which are the smallest and best for travel? Above you have seen the dimensions, diagonal size and length compared, the weight and the volume of each drone and if you are looking for drones based on those specific features and specs, you have your answers or at least guides to what is available for you.

Our summary ofcouse has the DJI Mavic Mini as the best smallest film making and portable drone, it comes top 2 in all three categories of diagonal size, weight and dimensions and volume.

In second place we give that award to the Parrot Anafi, an incredible little drone and comes in the top 5 all 3 times in 4th, 2nd and 4th throughout the spec comparisons.

In third place, we give this to the brand new DJI Mavic Air 2 which comes in 5th, 6th and just outside of the top 5 for volume size. We do so because of the features, price and camera quality that comes with this drone. It shoots in RAW and has great videography features.

It isn't the lightest film making drone, but it might be the most capable for multiple scenarios, locations and shooting requirements.

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