These little gadgets are capable of filming stunning photos and videos. Both professional photographers and videographers and amateurs can use drones to capture the important moments in their careers and lives.
Still, purchasing your first quadcopter drone could be intimidating; It’s why we made a research on various independent publishing sites and Amazon to find the information you need.
So, let’s start by finding out what to know before buying a quadcopter drone.
Below are the most crucial things to consider before your purchase.
Things to Consider
1. Flight time
There are a few things to look out for when purchasing a quadcopter drone. The first one is checking how long the drone will stay up in the air to film your favorite scenes. Most of them can hover around for 30 minutes and most of them less than that.
Naturally, the costs go up with longer flight times. Still, if it can stay up for 20+ minutes, consider it a higher quality drone. Also, make sure to check how long the battery will last since most of the drones will return to the base if their battery is low.
Nobody loves shaky footage or blurry photos. When looking for a drone, make sure it is extremely stable whilst in the air. The newer models have built-in 3-axis gimbal stabilizers to ensure the videos will be smooth, so check for those on the package.
3. Photo and video quality
Although this is a primary quality most of you would look for in a quadcopter, we put it here because if you don’t have enough flight time and if your image is shaky, you won’t take good videos. If you’re a beginner or an intermediate, 2K videos will suffice. But if you’re looking to find a pro-level drone, see which ones have 4K resolution.
Are you looking for a drone that will follow you anywhere you go? Or do you need instant sync with your computers to transfer the material as soon as you’re done filming? Check which additional features and intelligent functions the drone has to suit your needs.
5. Price range
Last, can you afford it? Cheaper drones won’t impress you in terms of image quality and stability, so if you want a tool that will help you to shoot professional wedding videos, aim for the ones on the higher price range.
The Best Quadcopter Drones
Best Quadcopter Drones Under $300
Holy Stone HS700D FPV Drone
- 2K Full HD camera
- 22 minutes of flight time
- Weight: 3.86 pounds
Investing in an affordable drone as a beginner is a great idea. The ones with more features are quite problematic to get the hang of if you never used one before. Plus, they often come at a much higher price range. So, the Holy Stone HS700D FPV Drone is an excellent choice if you’re starting out your drone adventure.
It features a 2K Full HD camera with a 110°FOV lens that can capture beautiful panoramic views and connect via 5G to your smartphone to give you a fast real-time video transmission. The GPS-assisted flight enables you to hover around and return home when the battery is low, as well as follow you with the Follow Me mode.
The Intelligent flight mode gives you the option to make your drone fly around a specific object.
The 2800 mAH battery gives around 22 minutes of flight time on a full charge, enough for you to record your favorite birthday party or a wedding from up above. The best of all, you can quickly control the HS700D due to its user-friendliness and fast responsiveness.
Best Quadcopter Drones Under $500
DJI Mavic Mini Combo
- 12 MP photos and 2.7K FHD videos
- 30 minutes of flight time
- Weight: 0.54 pounds
With the Mavic Mini Combo from DJI, we enter into the more sophisticated drone realm. This drone weighs less than a pound but offers extraordinary features.
For starters, it shoots at 2.7K/30fps or 1080p/60fps, supported by a 3-axis motorized gimbal which gives it additional stability. The photos have excellent quality at 12 MP and 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor.
You can shoot photos and videos, edit them directly in the DJI Fly app, and share them on social media by pairing the device and the software.
The fully-charged battery gives you 30 minutes of flight time, while features like QuickShots and CineSmooth enable both photographers and everyday users to become pros in quadcopter filming.
The Mini Combo comes with the remote controller, the battery, a pair of spare propellers, a micro USB cable, a gimbal protector, 3 RC cables, a pair of spare control sticks, spare screws, and a screwdriver.
Although it is compact, sophisticated aerial filming and intelligent flight modes make this camera a worthy investment for anyone, vloggers, professionals, and others alike.
Best Quadcopter Drones Under $700
Parrot PF728000 Anafi Drone
- 2K Full HD camera
- 25 minutes of flight time
- Weight: 1.56 pounds
The PF728000 Anafi Drone from Parrot is a little bigger upgrade from the previous one. It offers up to 2.8 x digital zoom to shoot 4K videos, FUll HD, or 2.7K videos. It also delivers 21 MP photos with features like Burst mode to capture 10 photos in a second.
The lightweight drone weighs 1.56 pounds and falls in the price range under $700, which is a little more than the previous models on this list, but the features like the Dolly Zoom effect and SmartDronies justify both the weight and the price. Plus, this little device unfolds in only 3 seconds and can reach a speed of 34 mph in the sport mode.
The Parrot Skycontroller3 remote control can fold as well. You can locate the drone any time with the SmartRth, Geofence, and Find My Drone functions. Overall, this is a high-quality quadcopter drone that can stand up to the DJI Mavic.
Best Quadcopter Drones Under $1000
Parrot Bebop Quadcopter Drone with Sky Controller Bundle
- 14 MP photos and 1080p videos
- 10 minutes of flight time
- Weight: 9.7 pounds
Another one from Parrot, the Bebop Quadcopter Drone lets you have a range up to 1.2 miles with the extender. The drone itself operates with the help of 2 joysticks to deliver the most intuitive RC piloting.
The 14 MP drone camera delivers excellent photos and the 1080p resolution is more than enough for intermediate users. The 3-axis stabilization ensures you will have a stable filming experience no matter where you take the drone. Moreover, the 180° field lets you take wider angles of your photos and videos.
The built-in GPS enables the drone to automatically return home when the battery is low, while the Free Flight Pro app lets you control it through your smartphone.
Best Quadcopter Drones Under $1500
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
- 12MP photos and 4K videos
- 31 minutes of flight time
- Weight: 2 pounds
Let’s return again to the DJI since they are simply the best in terms of features and quality of quadcopter drones. Their Mavic 2 Zoom has a 1/2.3-inch 12 MP sensor with 4x a zoom and a 2x optical zoom. Perfect for those who don’t need a pro-grade camera.
The battery will give you up to 31 minutes of flight time on a full charge, while the drone will speed up to 44 mph when flying. The 3-axis gimbal stabilizes the videos and you don’t have to worry about filling up your memory since it has 8 GB of internal storage and can support up to 128 GB cards.
It offers excellent features, like Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, ActiveTrack 2.0, Adjustable Aperture, Low-Noise Design, Dolly Zoom, and HDR Photos. You’ll have 135 minutes of battery on the remote controller and operate the drone with the DJI GP 4 app through your smartphone.
The package comes with the battery, the gimbal protector, 3 pairs of propellers, the remote, charger and power cable, USB adapter, communication cable, 3 RC cables, and a pair of spare control sticks.
DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo
- 48 MP photos and 4K/60 FPS videos
- 34 minutes of flight time
- Weight: 1.9 pounds
Air 2 Fly More Combo from DJI is similar to the 2 Zoom. However, it is an upgraded version of it and it comes with more additional equipment than the Air 2. It features an L1D-20c camera and a 20 MP 1-inch CMS sensor, gives you up to 34 minutes of flight time, and speeds up to 44 mph.
It has a range of 6.2 miles and stabilizes your videos with the 3-axis gimbal. Its internal storage can hold up to 8 GB of material, while you can add SD cards of up to 128 GB if needed.
The features of Air 2 Fly More include Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design, HDR photos, Adjustable Aperture, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Active Track 3.0, and POI 3.0.
The Air 2 is operated by DJI GO 4 app on your smartphone. Since it comes in a bigger package than the Air 2, you will get 3 batteries, the gimbal protector, control stick, battery charger, and power cable, communication cable, 3 RC cables, USB adapter, 6 pairs of low-noise propellers and a pair of spare control sticks.
It also comes with a battery charging hub, battery to power bank adapter, a shoulder bag, ND filters set, AC power cable, type-C cable, and a manual.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
- 20 MP photos and 4K HDR camera
- 31 minutes of flight time
- Weight: 1.9 pounds
The Mavic 2 Pro from DJI features an L1D-20c camera with a 20MP 1” CMOS Sensor to give you stunning shots on any flight. It can last up to 31 minutes in the air at 44 mph.
The 3-axis gimbal ensures your video is stable, while the 8 GB internal and card support of up to 128 GB external memory enables you to keep all your videos and photos in one place.
The features you get with this DJI drone are the same like almost any other one: ActiveTrack 2.0, Hyperlapse, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Low-Noise Design, Adjustable Aperture, and HDR Photos. You control it with the DJI GO 4 app. The 5.5-inch 1080p display stays clear even in the direct sunlight.
In this package, you will get the gimbal protector, the battery, the remote controller, 2 pairs of propellers, power and communication cable, the battery charger, USB adapter, 3 RC cables, and a pair of spare control sticks.
DJI Phantom 4 PRO Professional Drone
- 20 MP photos and 4K Full HD videos
- 30 minutes of flight time
- Weight: 6.49 pounds
Last, there’s the Phantom 4 PRO. Its 4K-video camera is equipped with a 1-inch 20 MP CMOS sensor and has 5 directions of obstacle sensing. The video processing supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps at 100 Mbps bitrate.
The battery ensures 30 minutes of flight time and up to 44 mph speed. The controller has Lightbridge HD video transmission system to give you 5.8 GHz transmission support. Moreover, the advanced image recognition algorithms let you follow fast-moving subjects and shoot smoothly.
Other features include TapFly, Return to Home, and Gesture mode, all controlled via smartphone through the DJI GO app. It also has a Draw mode, which lets you control the flight path with a fixed altitude.
After all the gadgets we mentioned, there’s a lot of room to think about which one suits you the best. Check the features you would like to see in your new drone and let this guide help you in your decision.
*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.