Best Drones under $500
Flying a drone is a difficult task. Som you would have to find the perfect one for you, one that suits all your needs and is easy on your pocket. But it can be tricky since there are so many options in this sector with similar features but different price points.
For many years, consumer drones were segregated into two categories. On the low end was a drone that could be had for just $100 at Walmart and on Amazon but would provide you with shoddy performance as well – not to mention constant malfunctions from time to time. The other option was usually overkilled in cost, coming in around $1k+, which means it’s often reserved for professionals who need quality footage without any hiccups or mistakes ruining their project (and this may still happen when they’re under pressure). However, now there are mid-range options available within the price range of most consumers’ budgets that offer advanced features rivaling those found even among models costing twice as much!
Drones are the newest trend for years now. What actually sets drones apart is image quality, flight, built, stability, and flight modes. Do you know that the best drones under $500 not only have good flight modes but also high-quality images as well? Let’s explore some of these options below to see which one you might be interested in.
Top 10 Best Drones under $500 in 2021
1) DJI Mavic Mini
|Affordable||Lack of printed instructions|
|Great quality of pictures and videos|
|Easy to use|
The Mavic Mini is the perfect drone for capturing epic aerial shots without registration and bypassing both FAA and Civil Aviation requirements. It has an 83º lens, 3-axis mechanical stabilization, 1080p HD up to 60 fps options! All this power will not take away from your flight time: DJI rates it at 30 minutes in the air while maintaining a maximum range of 4000 m (13123 ft). With its dedicated controller which pairs seamlessly with their fly app, you’ll be able to keep control over shooting angles during flights easily!
DJI has never been one to shy away from revolutionizing drones. The company continuously improves and innovates its technology, but the Spark is their first drone that you can simply slip into your pocket when it’s not in use – making for a more convenient way of traveling with your equipment! It weighs only 249 grams (or 1 gram over the 250-gram weight limit which mandates registration), yet comes equipped with features like Automatic Return Home mode, Dronie photography feature, Rocket shooting option for professional-looking shots or fast-moving subjects at speeds up to 31 miles per hour; Circle flying function within 15 feet diameter area; Helix flight pattern where the user controls rotational speed by sliding fingers on both hands along left and right joysticks respectively.
DJI’s Mavic Mini is an all-rounder for beginners, as well as professionals. Sure, it doesn’t offer 4K video like some rivals, or track; but on top of its portable size and high-quality camera images (which can go up to 12MP), this drone also offers a plethora of features that make it easy enough for anyone to fly right out of the box – including our favorite: ActiveTrack 2.0!
2) UPair Two 3D+4K
|Great battery time||Takes a long to calibrate|
|The charging unit charges the controller and the drone simultaneously||The camera is latent and jittery-defective|
UPair’s new release, the UPair Two is a 100º lens-equipped drone that offers 4K UHD video and 2K 60 fps at 5G connectivity. It also features FPV support with 3D mechanical stabilizing for high-quality footage in any environment! The light design of this machine allows it to fly up to 24 minutes on one charge. And range goes from 2000 meters out away from you so get ready for some adventurous flights where you never know what will be around the next corner!
Some drones seem to have a “wow” factor that is lacking in many other models. UPair Two not only looks sleek and stylish, but it has the functionality you need for any situation. Whether you are looking at aerial content creation or more professional needs, this drone will suit your needs with ease!
3) Ruko F11 Pro
|Easy to control||Loud|
|Outstanding power against light and moderate winds||Camera has a slight fish-eye effect|
Ruko’s F11 Pro is a drone for video enthusiasts and first-time flyers alike. It features an updated 120° lens, 2.7K resolution, FPV support with the accompanying controller that connects to your smartphone via the Ruko app; all while rated at 30 minutes of flight time per charge (1200m maximum range).
The newly redesigned F11 Pro from Ruko packs in many new features over its predecessor – which still remains popular amongst consumers as well! The upgraded camera captures videos up to 2.7k resolutions across full spherical view on live feed through the included dedicated control unit connected wirelessly by way of your smart device using their proprietary application suite designed specifically for this quadcopter model exclusively — making it perfect.
4) Holy Stone HS720
|Super compact||Video quality might be compromised in breezy weathers|
|Joysticks feel sturdy and steady|
|Flight is easy and responsive|
Ruko’s F11 Pro is a drone for video enthusiasts and first-time flyers alike. It features an updated 120° lens, 2.7K resolution, FPV support with the accompanying controller that connects to your smartphone via Ruko app; all while rated at 30 minutes of flight time per charge (1200m maximum range).
The newly redesigned F11 Pro from Ruko packs in many new features over its predecessor – which still remains popular amongst consumers as well! The upgraded camera captures videos up to 2.7k resolutions across the full spherical view on live feed through the included dedicated control unit connected wirelessly by way of your smart device using their proprietary application suite designed specifically for this quadcopter model exclusively — making it perfect
5) Parrot Anafi
|Lightweight||Not a very powerful battery life|
|Great image quality|
The Parrot Anafi is a lightweight option that provides several unique features over rivals. It offers a 2.8x zoom lens, which lets you get much closer to subjects without any danger of crashing into them and damaging the camera or drone itself. The 3-axis stabilization means flying remains stable even as conditions change; all while recording in 1080p 60 fps video quality for those perfect shots from on high! For control, it comes with the Skycontroller – making use of their Freeflight 6 app possible up to 4000m away due to its long-range capability. Lastly, this product ships out at 25 minutes flight time per charge – giving about an hour’s worth of filming before needing another recharge on your provided battery pack included within the purchase price.
The Anafi is a great drone for both newcomers and experienced fliers. It’s not the most stylish option, but it provides an excellent balance between price, portability, and performance!
6) Hubsan Zino Pro
|Good flight times||Not very durable|
|Great for beginners|
Hubsan has been producing drones for the affordable consumer drone segment. The Hubsan Zino Pro provides a notable refresh in capabilities over its predecessor, and it is also well known as an established company by consumers who want to try out flying without breaking their bank account. This newest release proves even more popular than the original version with 80º lens, 4K UHD video, 3-axis stabilization features on board that make flights smoother and easier to control from your phone or controller of choice. With FPV support you’ll be able to see what’s going on up there while still being at ground level which makes this great funner for novice pilots! It comes bundled with all sorts of goodies like dual GPS so don’t worry about losing track during flight.
Hubsan has made a name for itself in the drone market with its wide range of budget-friendly drones that offer high quality images. Now, it is aiming to compete against DJI and capture another niche by releasing an updated Zino Pro model at a more affordable price point. This new iteration offers many thoughtful upgrades including improved camera features as well as one-touch takeoff and landing settings so you can focus on what matters most: capturing photos or video footage while operating your device comfortably from up above!
7) Xiaomi FIMI A3
|Good flight times||Does not give a great quality|
|Great for beginners|
FIMI’s A3 is a direct competitor to DJI’s Spark, and in many respects, a rival that ultimately makes its downfall. FIMI is the subsidiary of Xiaomi–the famous electronics company. It features an 80º lens, 1080p HD video capture capability (2-axis mechanical stabilization), FPV support for immersive flight experience; as well as dual GPS technology for tracking your aircraft location at all times during flying time (~25 minutes). The included controller includes built-in controls with apps on board—making this sleek quadcopter easy enough for beginners but also sophisticated enough for experts looking to push new boundaries.
8) DJI Spark
|DJI app is useful and interactive||Finicky connection|
|Great for beginners|
The DJI Spark is a formidable drone, considering its compact size. It features an 82° lens so you can get the best view possible without compromising on quality with 1080p HD video in low-light situations due to optical flow sensors for smooth footage even when flying indoors or at night; 2-axis stabilization technology enables stable shots through quick moves or sudden impacts; object avoidance helps keep your drone away from potential hazards like trees during flight – this all comes standard!
It also has some unique modes not found in other drones of similar price range such as Circle which keeps your subject centered within the frame while spinning 360 degrees around them!
9) Holy Stone HS700D
|Great image quality||Not a good battery|
|Great for beginners|
Holy Stone’s HS700D, also known as the Ophelia, is a refresh to the original HS700 and one of Holy Stone’s latest flagship drones. The company has climbed up in popularity with its mid-range drone options that provide competitive features set for new fliers looking for something more than just an expensive toy. It includes a 110º lens, 2K HD camera 5G connectivity , FPV support so you can control it from your phone or tablet through their app; all without ever landing! This powerhouse offers 22 minutes flight time and 1000 m range making this perfect when exploring outside out city limits where there are no towers nearby.
Holy Stone has outfitted this drone with a 2K HD camera, capable of delivering excellent stills and video footage. The HS700D also offers additional Intelligent Flight Modes including Follow Me, Automatic Return Home Waypoint Mode, and Orbit mode- all helping to offer smoother flights for more professional shots! And combined with its 5G transmission capabilities providing fast real time videos even in the most remote locations like mountains or forests – you can get high quality visuals no matter where your adventure takes you!
10) Potensic T35
|Easy to assemble||Not very stable|
|Great for beginners|
|Good picture quality|
Potensic’s T35 is the incredible budget-friendly alternative to DJI’s pricier Phantom 3, targeted towards beginners and enthusiasts. Potensic has long been a favorite among newcomers in the affordable consumer drone space with their flagship model that removes complexities for new fliers while still retaining features like dual GPS, 120º lens, 1080p HD camera and FPV support out of the box! What truly sets this small but mighty machine apart from its competitors are two things: firstly it includes an included controller which pairs using your phone’s Potensic app; secondly they have set up flight time at 15 minutes (one minute more than what we find on other models)!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
1) I’ve never flown a drone before, which drone should I buy?
Professionals recommend that you get a cheaper quadcopter first and learn the basics of flying with it before you move up. Also, purchase one of the higher-end drones on the market.
While we do agree with this approach, it should be noted that the higher-end drones are typically easier to fly than the smaller and cheaper options. Since, the expensive drones offer more sensors, GPS, great transmitters, and amazing software. Also, if you don’t have any flying experience, you can still buy a high-end drone like a DJI Phantom 3 or a 3DR Solo.
Actually, the idea behind buying a not-so-expensive drone is, you first need to practice. Because, if you take your brand new $1,000 drone out and crash it because you don’t know how to fly it, you’re going to be pretty upset.
3. What are the different uses for drones?
Right now consumer and commercial drones are primarily used for aerial photography and videography. Commericial drones, however, are now becoming famous in terms of their usability. In the near future, you will see drones flying for, monitoring crops, sending off packages, and finding missing people, etc.
Drones will likely change the way our society operates in the coming years, but for now, consumers are mostly limited to being able to take cool pictures and videos.
4. What happens if I crash my drone?
Crashing your drone can result in consequences ranging from it being a little banged up, to it being completely destroyed, and everything in between. Crashes do happen. Mostly, crashes are due to user error. But, sometimes the drone can crash on it’s own or even fly away.
If you crashed your drone and it wasn’t your fault (and you are still under warranty) then the drone manufacturer will fix it for you. Note that should is in italics. Mostly, the manufacturer will examine the drone to see the cause of the crash and if they determine that it was your fault, then you will be stuck with the repair costs.
5. Can a drone fly in all weather?
Usually, fly your drone in normal to mild conditions. You really shouldn’t fly a drone in the rain or when it’s snowing.
It’s also a good idea to fly when winds are calm and you have good visibility. However, some higher end drones using GPS can fly in moderate winds and be okay.
You’ve seen the drones that cost over $500 and wondered if there was a better deal out there. Well, we scoured through some of these best-selling models to come up with this list for you!
An avid drone enthusiast may want to be aware of all their options before making any decisions on which model is right for them . So, make sure you have read our top 10 choices thoroughly before you head out to buy your very own drone that is not too heavy on your pocket.