Does anyone have any experience using flying devices that you can mount a camera to? I would like to try this just as a side hobby and there are a lot of links and information that come up once you do a search on the Internet. As I'm really beginner in the area, the concerns that I have right now are battery life and amount of time that it could spend in the air. The other interesting question is whether it would be better to buy a full equipped devices that comes with a camera or just a flying widget that you can use with your own camera. However, any information on the matter would be useful at this point. Price range - as I said, hobby and I don't want to spend a lot of money on it but I don't want to make a compromise with quality either so just looking for the best available offer.
The on board cameras you ask about I have found to be sub-par in resolution, so I would focus on models you can attach a camera to.
One of mine - the Parrot AR Drone 2 - I simply gaffer tape a gopro to - the obvious problem is any movement of the drone to cope with flight results in a camera shift - the onboard cameras have this issue too of course. This can be stabilized out with good post-processing tools, but it's worth, budget allowing, to have a Gimbal for the camera.
Having used a Phantom 2 Vision system with a remote control for the Gimbal with video feedback, this was absolutely a winner for a film production, as the director I could watch each run, in high winds which occupied the pilot. This requires quite a bit of gear - the camera signal broadcast to a monitor (for us over wifi), the control of the gimbal, and the control of the drone. The positive of this system was the Gimbal and Drone control was centralised, so each didn't need their own battery, broadcast, and control systems.
So if you want smooth shots that don't "give away" it's taken by a flying machine and have a smooth flight quality, it really is worth having the camera separate on a Gimbal of some sort. The advantage of the prebuilt systems for this (We take XYZ camera) is they've 1. worked in the weight of the camera for that drone, and 2. figured out it's best positioning in terms of a balanced flight and drag, and tested it for that. Eg. If I gaffer tape my gopro in the wrong place, the drone stabilisation software fights it and the footage ends up shakey.
Good luck, it's all very very fun!
For a different sort of flying device to lift a camera, consider a kite.
A suitable kite is probably much cheaper than a drone. Plus it doesn't require batteries, so can stay up in the air much longer.
A range of cameras can be lifted with a kite. With a big enough kite, it is possible to lift a DSLR. Or a point and shoot or action camera can be lifted with a smaller kite.
Though a kite does need suitable wind conditions. Most lifting kites have a fairly narrow range they will fly in, some are designed for light winds, some for stronger. And it takes a bit of practice and skills to get it flying nicely.
For a general guide, the KAP Wiki is a good place to start.