Turn summer into your own photography studio with 10 drones for capturing awesome pics and video

There's no time like summer to snap beautiful pictures and capture gorgeous video. Of course, that process doesn't necessarily include toting a camera anymore. It doesn't even mean waving around your smartphone.

Instead, you can just send your drone skyward and capture the splendor of the season from a uniquely elevated perspective. Right now, you can check out an assortment of cool drone models, now all on sale at up to 61 percent off their regular price. 

Micro Drone 3.0 Combo Pack – $129.97; originally $215

Called "one of Indiegogo's finest," this palm-sized mini-flyer is designed to serve up first-person viewing in real-time. With the 720p resolution onboard camera along with the self-stabilizing CPU, you can zip this little hummer at up to 45mph, run through some flips, then settle down to stream some gorgeous pictures back to your smartphone. You can even see it in 3D with a VR headset.

Shift Red Hi-Lite Package – $184.95 after code SHIFTRED15; originally $199

Billed as the world's first and most intuitive drone control system, the portable, durable quadcopter uses near-field micro-sensing technology for tight precise flying, even while using just one hand. And with image tracking, the Shift Red locks on to its target, shoots stable, quality video, then transfers it back to a mobile device wirelessly.

Use the code SHIFTRED15 during checkout and you can take an extra $15 off the price of the Shift Red.

Global Drone 4K Platinum Version – $109.95; originally $119

There's nothing like 4K aerial footage — and this drone can bring it to you. With images 4 times better than 1080p, this headless drone flyer can capture professional-quality pictures and video. And don't sleep on this drone's flight abilities either. With a sturdy, high-strength fuselage, this durable aircraft has features like an altitude hold mode that basically locks the drone in mid-air to stabilize all those artistic shots.

DIY Building Block STEM Drone – $49.99; originally $129

Meanwhile, this STEM kit extends the possibilities, creating kid-friendly designs with step-by-step instructions that also allow for some creative flights of innovation and individuality. And who knows — if a kid has picked up enough aeronautical learning and understands load balancing, it just might work. Made for kids 6 to 10, this might be the toy that launches a career in the sciences.

M9 Mini Foldable Drone – $74.95; originally $182

This collapsible drone with a 1080p ultra HD camera makes flight time about as simple as possible. Just open up the app, pick a flight plan, or even just draw a route on the screen, launch this drone and watch it follow your course to the letter. Then push one button and watch it shoot back home. Meanwhile, the 500mAh intelligent battery offers about 10 minutes of flight time per charge.

Copernicus Mini Drone – $74.95; originally $90

The Copernicus is another 4K drone, capable of offering real-time images all streamed back to your mobile device. But with the accompanying app, you've got immediate editing options for those images and video as well, including filters and other beauty additions to make your content post-ready right now. And with the craft's gravity sensor function engaged, the drone will follow its target without any shaking.

Ninja Dragon Vortex 9 RC Quadcopter Drone with 4K HD Camera – $79.99; originally $149

Of course, you can also do some serious flying and shoot great aerial photography with any of Onetify's Dragon series of nifty drone models. The Vortex 9 quadcopter connects via WiFi to see all your glorious real-time images, all captured in sterling 4K quality. With a headless design, altitude hold abilities, one-touch return, and more, it's a brilliant entry to drone flying for young and old newcomers alike.

Ninja Dragon Dual 4K Wide Angle 3D Flip Quadcopter – $99; originally $169

Every family has a daredevil — and the 3D Flip is the wild and crazy addition to the Dragon lineage. But while the Flip is ready to execute all those trippy aerobatics you'd expect from the name, you might miss that the Flip also houses two cameras: a forward-facing 4K cam and a downward-facing 1080p camera. Pilots can even toggle between the two images to capture the absolute best footage possible.

Ninja Dragon J10X Wi-Fi RC Quadcopter Drone with 1080p Wide-Angle HD Camera – $99; originally $199

Stepping up to the J10X, the six-axis gyroscope creates a smoother, more stable flight, the 1,800mAh battery extended flight time to about 20 minutes and the 1080p camera presents all kinds of fantastic image capture opportunities. And the J10X offers some cool added features as well, like facial recognition to hold the camera steady on a particular face, and customized routing to predetermine your flight plan while the J10X executes flawlessly.

Stealth Dragon 240 Headless FPV Drone with 4K HD Camera – $119.99; originally $199

Finally, the 240 brings all the Dragon's best flight features and top-quality camera abilities together in one stellar aircraft. This 4K drone includes altitude mode flight stabilization, one-key auto-return, a battery that reaches full charge in 90 minutes, and yes, that ultra-precise 4K HD camera. Not many drones offer the full package of options the way the Stealth Dragon does, but for shoppers looking for the full boat of abilities, this one has 'em.

Prices subject to change