Drones are all the rage these days and for good reason. They're a lot of fun to fly, and they can be a great addition to your toolkit for capturing aerial footage. But with so many different drones on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you.
That's why we've put together this guide to the best drones on the market for every budget. Whether you're looking for an entry-level drone that won't break the bank or a top-of-the-line model that will let you capture stunning 4K footage, we've got you covered. So read on to find the perfect drone for you!
In this article
Buyers Guide: The Best 6 Drones on the Market for Every Budget
#1. DJI Air 2S: Among the best options for most people.
The DJI's new Air 2S is our top pick. It finds the ideal compromise in terms of size, weight, picture quality, intelligent features, and price. The camera on the Air 2S isn't as nice as the Mavic 2 Pro's, which has a variable aperture for more flexible shooting in sunny conditions and includes neutral density filters to help make up for it.
1.3 pounds might not seem like much, but the Air 2S is a force to be reckoned with- it's durable enough to fly in light winds and can stay up for 30 minutes! Plus, the new collision-avoidance system will keep you safe even when there are trees around, and the 1 inch 20 mp sensor captures amazing 5K video or still photos.
#2. Skydio 2+ Drone: If you want your flights to be handled automatically.
The Skydio 2+ has the best collision-avoidance system, far outperforming any other drone on the market. If you want a drone that can follow your mountain bike off-road or quickly maneuver through obstacles without your help, this is it. Its 27-minute flight time and 6-mile range make it restrictions for some people, but plenty for most. The 1/2.3-inch sensor on this camera is good enough for 4K footage at 60 frames per second, but it's not as great as the 1-inch sensor in the Air 2S and Evo Lite+. D-log support is also absent, so video professionals might want to keep that in mind.
However, if you can live without D-log and don't mind the slower sensor, this drone is capable of flying in places where other drones can't. For certain applications, a smaller sensor may be preferable to having a great one.
#3. DJI Mini 3 Pro: The Best Ultralight Drone for Most People
The DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro is the third version of the name, and it has been greatly improved from its original state. It features a 4K/60p footage with 1/1.3" sensor as well capture 12.1 megapixel RAW photographs. The Mini 3 Pro also has a 48-megapixel mode that improves image quality, but loses some camera functions. A faster F/1.7 lens is now on the front of the drone, and it also incorporates three-direction obstacle avoidance and a gimbal that allows for vertical shooting--all while weighing in at less than 250 grams. This number is important because, in many areas, a drone under 250 grams does not need to be registered (however, you should always check your local laws).
I was ecstatic about the performance of the Mini 3 Pro. It can fly in an impressive 45 minutes when using its extended battery--which is a dramatic improvement from the 32 minutes I got with the standard battery. Not to mention, it's delightful to fly because it maneuvers so effortlessly in even high winds. The only issue I have with it is that its price has risen since DJI released Mini 2; however, they still sell both models.
#4. DJI Mini 2: Most Affordable Drone
The Mavic Air 2S has advanced collision-avoidance tech, but at a high cost. Even the new Mini 3 Pro sells for $750. If budget is more important to you than features, DJI's Mini 2 would be your best bet. It flies compared to its larger siblings, though wind gusts that wouldn't bother bigger drones like the Mavic 2 Pro will ground the Mini. The lack of collision-avoidance sensors makes it better suited for experienced pilots.
Even with those minor drawbacks, the Mini 2 is still a great beginner drone. It's enjoyable to fly, captures 4K video footage, and can be stored in smaller spaces than many smartphones. And that last part is essential because the best drones are ones that you'll actually bring with you instead of leaving at home. The Mini 2 only weighs 249 grams so it's easy to transport, and you don't even need to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration
#5. DJI Mavic 3: The Most Luxurious Drone
The DJI Mavic 3 Pro is a cut above the rest. It's the finest drone on the market right now. The new 20-megapixel Four Thirds sensor produces outstanding image and video quality, and 45 miles per hour mobility allows you to follow and track objects without missing a beat.
If you're willing to spend the money, this drone is definitely worth it. It has a 45-minute flying time and can avoid obstacles in all directions. The Cine model also supports Pro Res video and comes with 1TB of storage space- perfect for filmmakers or anyone who wants to capture high-quality footage.
#6. Autel Evo Lite+: Great for Long Flights
The Evo Lite+ is your best bet if you want to stay airborne as long as possible. Its massive battery provides a 40-minute flight duration, and the additional weight makes it more stable in the wind (though not by much). The Evo Lite+ features a fantastic camera with variable aperture controls, a 1-inch sensor, and night mode for better low-light photos.
The control does resemble an Xbox controller, which is nice, but it lacks the storage capacity for detachable joysticks that you get with DJI drones. It's still perfectly functional, and Autel's software will be familiar to anyone who has used a DJI drone.
Some Final Suggestions
Drones can be used for a variety of purposes, from shooting landscapes and cityscapes to capturing footage of sporting events or outdoor activities. They can also be used for wedding videos, real estate videos, and other types of commercial work. And if you're just looking for some fun footage to add to your home movies, drones are the perfect way to do it.
Of course, not all drones are created equal. If you're looking for a drone that can shoot high-quality video on a budget, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- First, make sure the drone has a high-resolution camera.
- Second, make sure the drone has a long battery life so that you can get plenty of shots without having to recharge.
- Third, make sure the drone is lightweight and easy to control so that you can get the perfect shot every time.
So, what's the best drone for you? It depends on your budget and your needs. If you want a high-quality camera that can shoot in low light, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro is a perfect choice. If you're looking for a long-flight drone, the Autel Evo Lite+ is a great option. And if you're just starting out, the DJI Mini 2 is an affordable and easy-to-use drone that anyone can fly. With that said, happy flying!