Drone photography and videography is the perfect way to film wildlife! Your drone will need the best combination of portability, zoom, and stability if you are going to capture the best footage of wildlife. Here let’s go through the best drone for filming wildlife for beginners and professionals!

The best drones for filming wildlife need to be portable, be quiet enough not to scare away animals, have great battery life, have slow-motion capabilities, and be reliable. This will mean that you will need to look a little beyond the common features of drones. Our top picks for wildlife filming are:

  • DJI Mavic 2 Zoom – Our pick!
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Bestal rounder
  • Parrot Anafi – best for beginners
  • DJI Matrice 600 – the professional upgrade!

If you are in a rush – take a look at the DJI Mavic Zoom. Really brilliant for it’s Zoom and quieter blades than a lot of other drones:

In a rush? Here’s my pick

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Best drone for filming wildlife - Mavic Zoom

4.3 out of 5 Stars

This cheeky drone is perfect for wildlife photography. The zoom feature means that you don’t have to get close to the wildlife to get the best images of them.

The smart controller that it comes with enables high definition and clear monitoring of your – better than just using your tablet or smart phone – especially when out on a sunny day tying to capture the perfect shot!

  • Powered by a 1/2.3-inch 12MP sensor with up to 4x zoom, including a 2x optical zoom (24–48 mm), 4 the Mavic 2 Zoom camera drone is all about dynamic perspectives.
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 905G takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 128 GB
  • Functions include ActiveTrack 2. 0, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design, Adjustable Aperture, HDR Photos, Dolly Zoom
  • The DJI Smart Controller comes with an ultra-bright 5.5-inch 1080p display that maintains clear visibility and vivid color even in direct sunlight.
  • What you get: DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, Smart Controller, Intelligent Flight Battery, Gimbal Protector, Remote Controller, 3x Propellers (Pair), Battery Charger, Power Cable, Communication Cable (USB3. 0 Type-C), USB Adapter, Spare Control Sticks (Pair), RC Cable (Lightning Connector), RC Cable (Standard Micro USB Connector), RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector)

Pros

+ 31 minutes flight time

+ 2 x optical zoom

+ Smart controller included

Cons

~ Bigger than others on the list

~ Some software issues reported

Table of products

DroneLink to amazon
DJI Mavic 2 ZoomCheck price
DJI Mavic 2 ProCheck price
Parrot AnafiCheck price
DJI Matrice 600Check price

Detailed reviews

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom – our pick for best drone for wildlife

4.3 out of 5 Stars

This cheeky drone is perfect for wildlife photography. The zoom feature means that you don’t have to get close to the wildlife to get the best images of them.

The smart controller that it comes with enables high definition and clear monitoring of your – better than just using your tablet or smart phone – especially when out on a sunny day tying to capture the perfect shot!

  • Powered by a 1/2.3-inch 12MP sensor with up to 4x zoom, including a 2x optical zoom (24–48 mm), 4 the Mavic 2 Zoom camera drone is all about dynamic perspectives.
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 905G takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 128 GB
  • Functions include ActiveTrack 2. 0, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design, Adjustable Aperture, HDR Photos, Dolly Zoom
  • The DJI Smart Controller comes with an ultra-bright 5.5-inch 1080p display that maintains clear visibility and vivid color even in direct sunlight.
  • What you get: DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, Smart Controller, Intelligent Flight Battery, Gimbal Protector, Remote Controller, 3x Propellers (Pair), Battery Charger, Power Cable, Communication Cable (USB3. 0 Type-C), USB Adapter, Spare Control Sticks (Pair), RC Cable (Lightning Connector), RC Cable (Standard Micro USB Connector), RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector)

Pros

+ 31 minutes flight time

+ 2 x optical zoom

+ Smart controller included

Cons

~ Bigger than others on the list

~ Some software issues reported


DJI Mavic 2 Pro – best alrounder

4.6 out of 5 Stars

DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a great reliable option if you need to do a wide range of other videography or drone photography.

Many buyers have reported this as the best drone that you can have – and I’d have to agree! The pro is a workhorse that packs enough power to get nearly every time of videography and photography done!

This won’t be a purchase that you regret in any sense. The reason it is not on the top of the list is because it doesn’t have the zoom features that will make it perfect for wildlife photography.

  • Equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera with a 20MP 1” CMOS Sensor, the Mavic 2 camera drone lets you capture gorgeous aerial shots in stunning color detail.
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 907G takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 128 GB
  • Functions include ActiveTrack 2. 0, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design, Adjustable Aperture, HDR Photos
  • The standard remote controller offers up to 135 minutes of battery life on a full charge. Use with the DJI GO 4 App on your smartphone.
  • What you get: DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Intelligent Flight Battery, Gimbal Protector, Remote Controller, 3x Propellers (Pair), Battery Charger, Power Cable, Communication Cable (USB3. 0 Type-C), USB adapter, Spare Control Sticks (Pair), RC Cable (Lightning Connector), RC Cable (Standard Micro USB Connector), RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector)

Pros

+ Long flight time

+ Internal storage

+ Low noise design

Cons

~ No precision landing

~ Lacking some of the features of the pro 1


Parrot Anafi – best for beginners

3.6 out of 5 Stars

This drone proves that you don’t have to break the bank to get into wildlife photography.

This drone comes with a 2.8x zoom – more than the DGI. Which means that you can capture images from even further away. Capturing wildlife drone footage without hassling them has never been easier!

If you are on a tight budget you’d be silly to not look at this drone seriously!

  • This drone with a camera equipped with f/2.4 wide angle ASPH lens, HDR, and up to 2.8 times digital zoom captures spectacular 4K videos, Full HD or 2.7K videos (2704×1520), and 21 MP photos without loss of quality. Additionally, you have a timer, a Burst mode that captures 10 photos per second, and wizards to take over professional settings
  • The ANAFI Parrot Drone can have up to 25 minutes of filmed flight time thanks to an intelligent Li-Po battery that optimizes its life and charges 60% faster using the Power Delivery USB Type C charger; Operating Temperature range: -10°C to 40°C
  • With its ultra-compact and lightweight carbon frame (320 g), this quadcopter drone unfolds in less than 3 seconds, reaches a speed of 55 km/h in sport mode and withstands bullets up to 50 km/h
  • Equipped with a Parrot Skycontroller 3 folding remote control, the ANAFI Parrot Drone can be located at any time thanks to the activation of your smartphone’s vibrator when attention or immediate action is needed, as well as the Geofence, SmartRth, and Find My Drone functions
  • Software updates can make changes to existing features, further enhance ANAFI’s reliability and performance, or offer new experiences. It is therefore important to have an updated FreeFlight 6 application and to accept the proposed software updates. Max charging power 24W

Pros

+ 2.8x Zoom

+ Inexpensive

+ Low noise design

Cons

~ Shorter battery life than the DJI drones

~ Shorter range than DJI


DJI Matrice 600 – best pro option

4.0 out of 5 Stars

This drone is starting to get pretty serious!

The Matrice 600 Pro (M600 Pro) inherits everything from the M600 with improved flight performance and better loading capacity.

Pre-installed arms and antennas reduce time required for setup and the system’s modular design makes it easy to mount additional modules. The airframe is equipped with the latest DJI technologies, including the A3 Pro flight controller.

Self-adaptive systems will automatically adjust flight parameters based on different payloads. Compatibility with D-RTK GNSS means that the A3 Pro can withstand magnetic interference, providing centimeter-level accuracy, suitable for various industrial applications. Complete Integration Ultra-Convenient The M600 Pro is simple and easy to set up.

This drone is perfect if you are looking to level up!


  • DJI Matrice 600 Pro Hexacopter – Aircraft Body (with Arm Sleeves) – 2x Landing Gear Leg – 2x Landing Skid – 2x Spring – Remote Controller – 6x Matrice 600 TB47S Intelligent Flight Battery – Hex Charger – Inner Foam Case – Power Cable – 2x RC Charging Cable – Micro-USB Cable – 6x Knob (with Gasket) – Tape – Battery Stickers – Screws – DJI Warranty
  • Aircraft: Diagonal Wheelbase: 1133mm (44.61″)
  • Aircraft: Max Takeoff Weight Recommended: 15.5kg (34.17lbs)
  • Aircraft: Hovering Accuracy (P-GPS): Vertical: +/-0.5 m, Horizontal: +/-1.5 m

Pros

+ Professional drone

+ Very stable

+ Quality construction

Cons

~ Expensive option for hobbyists

~ Need to buy camera separately

Buyers guide

If you are looking for a drone specifically for filming for taking photos of wildlife – zoom and low noise will be your friends. You do not want to scare away any of the animals that you are trying to record. The best drone will be one that allows you to cature the animals in their natural environment performing their natural actions!

Here are a few things that you should consider for wildlife photography:

Portability

Wildlife very rarely lives in a convenient place for taking your drone.

You’ll need a drone that is lightweight, fits into an easy to carry container, and is rugged enough to survive a day hiking in a backpack! Pretty much all of the DJI drones are perfect for this. Many come with their own soft case and fold down to fit into a backpack.

I have taken up DJI Mavic Air with me in a bag nearly every day for a year with no issues. The custom case does a perfct job at protecking the drone.

Top tip: Choose a drone that also has plenty of third part options for travel cases – just in case you want to travel with accessories too! Like extra batteries, blades, guards etc…

Zoom

Getting close to wildlife with a drone tends to spook them – they even spook some humans!

Having a drone camera with a zoom feature will allow you to keep a good distance from the wildlife. You don’t even have to look to the expensive options for this feature. The Parrot Anafi has a 2.4x lossless zoom and is under $500!

Make sure you choose a drone with a good zoom and you’ll find it much easier to film wildlife!

Noise

Okay, drones make a fair bit of noise and each drone sounds slightly different.

In my experience, the smaller the drone blades the more annoying the drone sounds. For example, The DJI Mavic Air sounds like a swarm of bees and is one of the most annoying sounds I have heard a drone make.

On the other hand, the Pro series has a much more pleasant sound quality and is much quiter.

Choose a larger drone if you can. The propellers cutting through the air are the thing that causes the noise – the larger the blades the better! There is a pay off – the larger the drone the less portable it is. Take the time to balance these two properties for your use case.

Slow motion

The last thing I’d recommend is choosing a drone in which the camera has a reliable slow motion settings.

In the natural world, there is a huge array of different animals traveling at a range of different speeds. Some move super slow and others move really, really fast. Also, who doesn’t love a good slow motion sunrise and bird flight scene!

Beyond the creative freedom it gives you a high frame rate camera will allow you to capture every type of animal in their best light!