Featured NewsProduct NewsEnterprise DronesThe Top Long-Range Drone for 2023


04 December 2023

Last summer, DSLRPros published its survey of the best long-range drones for 2023, and the big winner was the DJI Matrice 350 RTK.

Well, as it's now the end of the year, we're sharing their number one pick—just in case you may want to go deal seeking in advance of the 2024 models and upgrades. At the end of this article, we've provided a link to DSLRPro's full listing of models, if you want to check out the other competitors. Direct from the DSLRPro roundup, here's the criteria for the selections... 

  • Transmission Range: Now, when we say 'long-range drones', what do we mean? Picture this: you're flying your drone above a mesmerizing mountain range or a sparkling beach. You want to go further, reach higher, and capture more. But how far can your drone go before it loses connection? The transmission range is the invisible leash that binds your drone. A greater range means more exploring, more freedom, and more stunning footage, wouldn't you agree?
  • Camera Quality: What's the point of going the distance if the images and videos you get are grainy or out of focus? A top-quality camera is a drone's eye, its way of capturing the world from dizzying heights and unimaginable angles. From 4K resolution to image stabilization, to low-light performance, we're looking for drones that turn the world into art, frame by frame. Who wouldn't want that kind of clarity and detail in their footage, right?
  • Flight Time: It’s the question that hovers in the back of all our minds, how long can my drone stay airborne? A drone that has a longer flight time allows for extended periods of exploration and footage capturing. Imagine finally getting the perfect angle for that sunset shot only to have the drone's battery die. Frustrating, right?
  • Other Features: This is the cherry on top of the already delicious drone cake. Does the drone have an obstacle avoidance system? It’s like a protective shield that helps prevent those oops-moments when your drone kisses a tree instead of avoiding it. Does it fold up neatly, making it a perfect travel companion? And of course, the million-dollar question (or hopefully less): what's the price tag? Getting more bang for your buck certainly sweetens the deal, doesn't it?
Winner! Winner! The DJI Matrice 350 RTK

The Matrice 350 RTK is a marvel of drone engineering that's setting a new benchmark in the commercial drone industry. From public safety and energy, to mapping and forestry, this drone's adaptability and efficiency are second to none.

Let's dive right into the juicy details of what has landed it the #1 spot on our list of 2023’s long-range drones:

- Transmission Range: The DJI O3 Enterprise Transmission system gifts this drone with a max transmission distance of a whopping 20km (longest ever for a DJI product). It achieves this with a four-antenna transceiver system, meaning the drone can select the best antennas to transmit and receive signals, enhancing anti-interference capabilities.

- Camera Quality: The M350 RTK can handle a range of payloads and offers a wide choice of cameras, like the Zenmuse H20 series with its zoom camera, wide camera, thermal camera, and laser rangefinder. It also offers support for third-party payloads like gas detectors, loudspeakers, and multispectral sensors.

- Flight Time: One of the most impressive things about the M350 RTK is its max flight time. Ready for this? It can fly for up to 55 minutes on a single charge!

But there's more! The M350 RTK also comes packed with safety features that make it a standout choice. It cranked things up from IP45 with its predecessor to an IP55 rating, meaning it's more resilient to tough flying conditions. Nocturnal and low-light flights are safer with the enhanced FPV camera - which actually contributes to it being one of the best night drones. It also has a six-directional binocular vision and infrared sensing system for better awareness, positioning, and obstacle detection. Oh, and did I mention the AI Spot Check feature? It automates routine inspections and captures consistent results each time—which is incredibly handy in search and rescue operations. 

The DJI RC Plus controller, coming standard with the drone, is designed for a flexible and intuitive piloting experience. With an operating temperature of -20° to 50° C, it's ready to support operation in even the harshest environments.

And let's not forget about cost efficiency. The new TB65 battery comes with a 100-percent increased battery cycle count, and you can charge it up to 400 cycles, translating to lower costs for each  single flight.

So, for all you commercial drone operators out there, the DJI Matrice 350 RTK is a game changer! It's more than just a drone; it's an incredibly adaptable, safe, and efficient tool for any aerial operation. 

Who it’s best for: M350’s features make it an ideal drone for professionals requiring to perform detailed inspections, precise mapping, and efficient monitoring over large areas. Its adaptability makes it a valuable tool for emergency services & search and rescue teams, infrastructure maintenance, the energy sector, and agricultural operation including monitoring crops, assessing plant health, and managing large forestry areas. 

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