Best overall: DJI Phantom 4 Pro

The camera capabilities of the Phantom 4 Pro are unparalleled in this class, due to its 1-inch sensor. On the video side it supports UHD and DCI 4K/60p video and a 100 Mbps bit rate. On the stills side, it shoots 20MP DNG Raw files, can shoot 14 fps bursts, and even supports exposure bracketing. Thanks to its extremely stable nature, the Phantom 4 Pro can even do amazing HDR photography, long exposures, and provides total flexibility over your camera settings.

Nothing else comes close to the collision avoidance capabilities of the Phantom 4 Pro. We've seen videos of people crashing other drones when flying sideways and calling it a failure on the part of the drone. Um... that's because they only have forward collision avoidance.  The Phantom 4 Pro can fly in any direction and not go careening into a tree (or person). The only shortcoming we could find on this drone (for this class) is the price of the battery.

Best for active lifestyles: DJI Mavic Pro

The Mavic Pro has the same camera as the Phantom 4 Standard (with a less-wide lens), but it's faster than the Phantom. Between speed, UHD 4K/30p video, and 12MP still images with DNG Raw support, it's the real deal.

The portability of this machine will make you gasp. It can literally fit in the pocket of cargo shorts, inside a purse, or you can throw several of them in a backpack. This makes it perfect for any extreme sports addict (from surfing to rock climbing to a mild hike in the woods).  This drone will follow you around like "bit" from (the original) Tron. And with forward-looking collision avoidance, you can run away from it and count on it to follow you (mostly) wherever you go!  

But it doesn't just track you. Like the Phantom 4, the object tracking is visual and not dependent on the subject holding a sensor, so you can set it to chase your frisbee-fetching dog, your motorcycle as you race around the track, or even another aircraft! A great gimbal cover keeps it from being damaged in your backpack, and that controller? Absolutely sick!  It folds up even smaller than the drone! 

Most versatile: 3D Robotics Solo

Until the Solo, FLIR and VR capabilities were restricted to much larger drones. Sure, the basic camera is a GoPro.  But with the Ribcage Aircam capability, you can bring interchangeable lenses for the GoPro into the mix. 

Of course, we do wish it had a collision avoidance system. But that's forgiven with better smart modes (that are actual camera moves) than any other drone in this class. Less-expensive batteries, vastly more options for cameras, and actual camera-moves pre-programmed for access whenever you like? Yep, count us in! If 3D Robotics ever adds a 5-way collision avoidance system to this drone, DJI better watch out!