Drones have transformed the world of sports photography and filming, allowing us to record previously unthinkable aerial footage. Drones have become an indispensable tool for sporting event coverage, capturing everything from the agility of soccer players to the elegance and speed of horse racing.
Drones are now commonly used in sporting events allowing viewers a better angle of the action. Ever since drones came out, they’ve achieved great popularity both for casual spectators and professional sporting organizers.
This technology has also improved massively in the last couple of years. Companies like DJI have been pushing the limits of drone technology by including stabilization for smoother footage, 8K resolution, and many more impressive features like autopilot.
All of these drone features made them the perfect tool for recording major sporting events, and in today’s article, we will find out which are the best ones to use.
Best Drones for Major Sporting Events
1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro: The Ultimate All-Rounder
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a genuine all-arounder, excelling in all areas.
It has a 20-megapixel camera with a Hasselblad lens that delivers beautiful 4K video and photos.
It also has a range of up to 8 kilometers and a flying time of up to 31 minutes, making it exceedingly easy to fly.
Even though the flight time isn’t enough to record an entire sporting event, you can easily get this drone with a few extra batteries and swap them during breaks.
As a result, it is ideal for recording all of the action during huge sporting events.
2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro: The Workhorse of Drones
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a workhorse drone designed to survive the most extreme situations, making it perfect for sporting events.
Now we know that the megapixels on cameras nowadays are not that important for capturing beautiful footage, it is still worth mentioning that this drone boasts a 20-megapixel camera capable of recording 4K video at 60 frames per second.
The best thing about the Phantom 4 Pro is its 3-axis gimbal that provides steady and smooth filming. This means that it smoothens the shake of the drone allowing it to move fast without compromising the quality of the footage.
This makes it great for capturing action-packed sporting events like the Kentucky Derby, where the drone must move fast in order to keep up with the horses.
The Phantom 4 Pro also has obstacle avoidance sensors, which make flying in crowded sporting events safer.
Nonetheless, bear in mind that although a drone is a tempting tool to take to the Run of Roses according to their official sponsor TwinSpires such objects are forbidden. Unless you work for a licensed media company, do not take a drone to the Derby.
3. Autel Robotics Evo II: The Long-Range Champion
If you are recording a sporting event that is organized on a big field or you are placed far away, you’ll need a drone with a high range.
With a maximum range of up to 9 kilometers, the Autel Robotics Evo II is the long-range champion of drones.
But the range isn’t the only category where the Autel Robotics Evo II shines. It also includes a 48-megapixel camera with 8K video capability, making it perfect for recording beautiful overhead footage of huge sporting events.
The Evo II is also remarkably simple to fly, having simple controls that even inexperienced pilots can easily master.
4. Parrot Anafi USA: The Stealthy Spy
This is not the type of drone that is huge and makes a lot of noise disrupting the entire sporting event and ruining the experience for the spectators. This is a stealthy and quite small drone that is perfect for recording sporting events.
Don’t let the size fool you, the Parrot Anafi USA is still capable of capturing high-quality footage.
The Parrot Anafi USA is a covert spy that can record video from practically any angle. It boasts a 21-megapixel camera with 4K video capability and a 180-degree tilt gimbal that allows it to gaze up and down as well as side to side.
This will allow you to capture any angle of any sporting event.
The Anafi USA is also extremely quiet, making it ideal for flying in stadiums where noise levels must be kept to a minimum.
5. Skydio 2: The Autonomous Innovator
The Skydio 2 is the Sherlock Holmes of drones. It can fly and track its subject without any intervention from the pilot.
This means that it is perfect for people that are not tech-savvy and don’t like to learn complicated drone controls.
It can record beautiful 4K video footage of athletes in motion with its 12-megapixel camera without ever getting in the way.
It’s also one of the safest drones on the market, thanks to its six 4K HDR cameras and obstacle avoidance sensors. Consider it the ideal drone wingman, constantly present to take the right photo without taking attention.
Why Drones are Great for Sporting Events
1. They Can Capture Unique Perspectives
One of the most significant benefits of deploying drones during sporting events is the opportunity to capture unique angles.
Drones may record the whole stadium from above, giving viewers a sense of the event’s magnitude and enthusiasm.
They may even zoom in on certain players or horses, allowing us to observe them in action from previously inaccessible viewpoints.
2. They Can Cover Large Areas Quickly
Another advantage of deploying drones in sporting events is their agility and speed, which is very important in order to keep up with the athletes.
Drones can swiftly cover wide regions, allowing us to catch all of the action as it happens. This is very useful for sporting events like the Kentucky Derby, where horses achieve 40mph very quickly, and you’ll need a fast drone in order to keep up with the action.
They can also shift from one region of the stadium to another in seconds, which is extremely handy in fast-paced and continuously moving sporting events.
3. They Can Be Controlled Remotely
Photographers and videographers may also shoot footage from a safe distance while using a drone. This is especially important in sporting events with unpredictable or risky activity. Drones, for example, may take footage of horses running around the track without interfering with the event.
But, before jumping on the idea of capturing footage of a sporting event like the Kentucky Derby, you should first go through the rules and see if drones are actually allowed during the event. Most sporting events don’t allow people to fly drones over the heads of athletes due to safety hazards, which makes sense.
So, before taking your drone to a sporting event, make sure you are allowed to deploy your drone and record the entire action.