It is a foldable quadcopter combining ease of flight with a range of full-fledged features and a high-quality camera. It can take 4K videos and high-quality stills. Though it has a remote control, you can also fly it using a connected smartphone. There are also several automated tracking modes for getting excellent shots and it has a decent range of 4 km.
The Parrot Bebop 2 Power is one of the more technologically advanced drones for sale right now. It doesn't have a lot of the features that the Spark has (palm control and gesture recognition), but it makes up for that with the extremely long flight time of 30 minutes. This means you can fly farther without worrying about needing to come back in just a few minutes.
There’s only one thing that the Parrot Mambo has that you won’t find on the Tello. Legos. Although DJI shows Lego blocks in their advertising photos, the Tello is not Lego block compatible like the Mambo is. For adults, this isn’t something you should care about, but if you’re buying the Tello for a kid who likes Lego, you might want to consider the Mambo instead.
That said, price is a key consideration for most people, and luckily there are a lot of excellent budget options out there now for those that don't want to spend as much on their new toy as on a used car. Beyond that, there's camera integration and quality, as well as how compatible each drone is with the best drone accessories. We selected the best options across a wide range of budgets and use cases, to spare you some shopping headaches and get you flying ASAP.
Battery life - Battery life is a factor that many drone manufacturers are still trying to nail down. Some drones can only fly for six to eight minutes, while more powerful ones can last up to 30 minutes. If you’re worried about the battery life, look for one with a “return to home” feature, which automatically directs the drone back home when the battery gets too low.
Kennedy Martinez is a resident writer who joined Dronethusiast at the beginning of 2019. She has years of experience reviewing drones and other tech products. When it comes to flying drones, Kennedy loves the ability to create artistic videos from a unique point of view. Kennedy enjoys researching new drones and other exciting products that are available to consumers which is why she is committed to creating the best buyer's guides for our readers.
The Anafi is a great drone for the price, but the biggest complaint I have by far is the lack of any sensors for obstacle avoidance. The only obstacle that this drone will stop you from hitting is the ground, that is, as long as you don’t hit a tree first. All of the other drones in this price range have some kind of obstacle avoidance, so why they couldn’t even add some IR sensors is beyond me.
The Skydio R1 is an amazing piece of new technology. It’s the first truly autonomous drone that you can buy right now. If you’ve ever flown a drone before, you know that it can be hard to shoot videos of yourself. Even with the obstacle avoidance and follow modes like Active Track on DJI drones, it’s really hard to control the drone and get it into the right mode to follow you. Once the drone is following you, it will usually go a few seconds before coming to an obstacle and failing to follow you.
You get up to 9 minutes of flight time, have a 640x480p camera, and video capabilities that lack audio as there is no microphone. You can do flips in the air at the touch of a button on the transmitter, and there is a button that lets you share a video on social media instantly. The LED lights located at the center of each propeller and the headlight are pretty useful for flying at night, too.
The HubsanZino Pro drone comes with a 4K camera placed on a three-axis, stable rotating gimbal. It has a flight time of 23 minutes and several flight modes along with 4 kilometers connectivity. The camera has a 1/3 inches Sony sensor. A useful feature is that you can remove the camera lens and install other lenses with built-in ND filters. The ND filter reduces the light entering the lens and prevents overexposure. Users get greater creative control over shots with the detachable filter whereby they can select the aperture and the shutter speed.
It comes in an amazing design and can even be controlled with voice commands. The camera has an HD resolution of 720 pixels. It comes pre-assembled and so just needs charging for setting up. The 720p HD camera can take pictures at a 120-degree wide-angle. It also has an FPV aspect, which means that it has a Wi-Fi real-time transmission for connecting to the phone.
These drones for sale are great for all levels of drone expertise because of the Absolute Control mode to change the experience level and is instantly stabilized from its design once in the air. You can even unlock community achievements through your altitude, speeds, and time records. The battery life is a whopping 12 minutes, which is great considering it’s still considered a toy drone.
It is a bare-bones quadcopter that relies entirely on the skills of the pilot handling the remote. Controls are easy to use. It comes in a minimalistic design with a plastic frame and electronics placed in a small cavity at the center. It has a small battery-powered at 500 mAh. The camera is small and is connected by wires. It also has a micro-USB card for storing videos and images. The rotors are small at 5.25 cm diameter and made of plastic with a small screw locking it in place. You also get a spare set of rotors along with a small screwdriver. Buttons on the quadcopter can take photos, start and stop videos, flip and change the flight mode, etc.
There’s nothing particularly special about the Syma X5C, but it works and it’s really cheap. It’s a blast to fly if you’ve never flown anything before and it’s cheap enough where you don’t have to feel bad if you lose it on the roof top of your house. That’s probably why it has over 4,200 reviews on Amazon, which is a number that no other drone has come close to.
I've been buying and flying quadcopters for two years now. Everything from Hubsan X4s to Cheerson CX 20s (Quanum Nova). The Phantom 3 Professional is simply amazing. Unboxing and set-up was pretty easy. Set up consists of charging the batteries, updating the firmware, installing the props, and calibrating the compass (also the IMU but that's a one time thing). Even if this is your first quadcopter and you don't understand everything I'm writing about, you can set this up and fly it, trust me, and its a blast! Once I got in the air, ... full review
If you’ve seen the Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro, you know they shoot 4K video at 30FPS. The EVO Goes one step further shooting 4K video at 60FPS. This is a great feature if you like capturing sports and action shots and slowing down the action. If it seems strange that a small company could come out with a drone that has a faster camera than DJI, that’s because it is. Personally, I think that DJI limited the framerate on the Mavic 2 so it didn’t fully cannibalize the Phantom 4 Pro, but nobody knows for sure.
This drone really stands out style-wise from other good cheap drones. It has striking green streaks on top that give it the look and feel of an alien insect. This drone also comes with a controller, which can sometimes be rare in affordable drones. It is made of strong ABS material. ABS material is light, flexible, bendable, and soft. This makes it a really durable drone which is perfect for beginners and crash-prone pilots. It comes with real-time transmission via its wifi network. This allows it to connect directly to your phone so you can view everything your drones camera sees in real time. It has a headless mode which allows it to be operated easily regardless of which direction it is facing. It also has gravity induction which allows you to fly your drone forward, backward, left, and right in correspondence to the angle at which you hold your mobile device.
DJI's Phantom drones feel like monoliths from another era, and they may well be—the company hasn't released a significant update to the Phantom line in nearly four years. Still, if you're a video or drone professional, the Phantom 4 Pro V2 (8/10 WIRED Recommends) is the drone to get. It's like flying a rock, and I mean that in the best way possible. The Phantom 4 Pro is stable and responsive; shoots incredible, cinema-quality footage; and is practically smart enough to fly without you. It may not generate much buzz these days, but the Phantom remains an excellent choice that won't let you down.
The Contixo F18 Advanced GPS Quadcopter is loaded with interesting features that make this drone a great value compared to similar drones on the market. Thanks to built-in GPS, the F18 knows its location and where it is in relation to you. The return-to-home system commands the drone to move back to the home point when the battery gets too low or when the control signal goes out of range, so you are less likely to lose your drone after a long day of flying. Four powerful brushless motors give it the ability to quickly gain or drop in altitude and stop on a dime, yet they consume less battery life than non-brushless motors so you can fly longer. The onboard FPV FHD camera gives you a drone’s eye view – simply link the camera to the Contixo F18 app and the 5.0GHz band Wi-Fi beams you real-time images with zero latency up to 500 meters away.
The best drone with camera and video capability for you isn’t automatically the most expensive model available. Drone prices range from under $50 to several thousand dollars. A good place to start your search is by determining the performance specs you want in the camera and which drone features and capabilities are important to you. A drone with GPS is better-equipped to hold a solid hover, and return-to-home is a useful, GPS-enabled feature. Plus, if your drone crashes, you can use GPS coordinates to help find it — something that can happen to even the most safety-minded flyers. For that reason, you may want to keep replacement drone propellers and parts at hand to minimize any down time if something breaks.
If you like the design of the Inspire 2, but just can’t afford it, you might also consider buying the Inspire 1. It’s obviously nowhere near as good as the Inspire 2 if you compare the features, but the video quality you can get from the older X5 camera is still in a lot of cases better than the Phantom 4 Pro. DJI also makes hi-zoom and thermal imaging cameras that work with the Inspire 1, in case you need something for agriculture or search-and-rescue use.
If you haven’t heard of Lumenier, you haven’t been in the racing drone space for long. Lumenier makes some of the best FPV components. Some components are high quality custom branded parts, and others are designed and manufactured from scratch. The QAV-R is one of the best products Lumenier makes. It’s a 5 inch professional grade racing and freestyle drone frame, pared with some of the best electronics you can get on a drone in this category.
The JJRC H26WM is a great drone for beginners or those who want a casual drone to zip around with. The camera is pretty decent but nothing too fancy, so don’t expect the world from it. The maximum amount of flight time you can get is approximately 7 minutes, so having an extra battery is a good idea. The camera allows for 2MP in FPV which swings around in all directions.
It shoots 1080p video and stabilizes it using a mechanical gimbal. This makes the Spark much better at shooting video than drones that only rely on digital stabilization. You can get exactly the kind of shot you’re looking for by connecting the Spark to your phone via Wi-Fi and using the virtual joysticks, but there’s an easier way of shooting that can make even a beginner look like a pro.
The Hubsan X4 H107C has super stable flight capabilities, gives you approximately 10 minutes of flight time, includes gyro sensitivity that can be adjusted based on your personal preference, and a 0.3MP camera that can record video and take picture paired with a Micro SDHC card. The only feature that seems to exist, and is worth mentioning, is that it can do a 4-way flip, which could be fun and something interesting to add to a video.
Just like all of the drones from ImmersionRC, the Vortex 180 is an extremely well-built ready-to-fly racing drone with all of the features that beginners and pros need. The first thing you’ll notice from the older Vortex quadcopters is the cleaner design. All of the electronics are sandwiched between the carbon fiber on the top and the printed circuit board on the bottom. The only thing that sticks out is the camera which is protected by a hard plastic case.
The DJI Inspire 2 is aimed at professional cinematographers, news organizations, and independent filmmakers. And it's priced as such—its $3,000 MSRP doesn't include a camera. You have the option of adding a 1-inch sensor fixed-lens camera, a Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens model, or a Super35mm cinema mount with its own proprietary lens system and support for 6K video capture.
It’s a great drone if you want something to take fast selfies on the go. The biggest selling point for the Hover Camera is the compact cage design. All four propellers are fully protected, making it great for indoor flying, where you’ll find lots of obstacles like walls, people, pets, and who knows what else! The cages are a great feature, but what’s equally as nice is the folding design. When you’re done flying, the Hover Camera can fold up into small black rectangle, allowing you to easily fit it in all kinds of bags and cases.
If image quality is your priority, then you might opt for the Mavic 2 Pro over the Zoom. The 2 Pro is equipped with a 1” CMOS, 20-megapixel camera co-engineered in partnership with Hasselblad, the world’s leading manufacturer of medium format cameras and lenses. The Zoom’s camera system is still professional-grade however, with a 1/2.3” CMOS, 12-megapixel sensor.
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The Phantom 4 Pro is an excellent choice for aerial photographers that seek professional results. It features a 1-inch CMOS sensor and shoots 4K 60fps video, making it great for filmmaking and photography. It also features DJI’s FlightAutonomy system, providing you with five directions of obstacle sensing. This can come in handy when flying in tight spaces, which is sometimes required for filming and photography. If this feature isn’t hugely important to you, you can save some money and get a Phantom 4 Advanced, which comes with two directions of obstacle sensing. While this drone model is no longer in production, you can pick up a refurbished one!
If you’re familiar with the Parrot Mambo, the DJI Tello is very similar but even better. It has a slightly longer fight time (13 minutes in ideal conditions), better build quality, and two cameras. Just like the Mambo, the Tello has a camera on the bottom that is used for keeping the drone from drifting. This means you won’t have to fight the drone to get it hovering for the first time. It will simply takeoff and hover effortlessly. Thanks to the intel processor, there is also a second camera that faces forward for FPV flying and streaming live video back to your smartphone.
The TBS Vendetta is a quadcopter designed specifically for FPV (first person view) racing and freestyle flying. Today, you can find quite a few mini FPV racing drones that come ready to fly, but the Vendetta was one of the first racing drones to come out with everything you need to fly. It comes with almost everything you need to start learning to race. The only things that it won’t come with is a controller, battery, charger and FPV video goggles, but in the world of drone racing you’ll usually want to choose that stuff to fit your needs anyway.