, Updated April 4, 2018
flying drone with camera on blue the sky

Drones are a great gadget for those of all experience levels. Whether you're looking for a cheap model or a beginners' model (like drones under 100) to play around with, you'll surely find something that suits you drone buying needs in the list offered here.

The top picks in this list have a lot to offer. If you're looking for something that can take real videos and pictures, then you'll surely find the option that will be best for you here. Prior to using a picture-taking drone or otherwise, make sure you take a look at the FAA website to learn the rules and regulations. Happy shopping!


There's a wide variety of differences you may find in drone models, especially relevant the flight times and speeds. Therefore, it's a good idea to find something that will be easy for you to handle at whatever experience level you have. It's also wise to make sure the pictures and video live up to what your needs are.

This is a powerful, portable device and an excellent choice for drone lovers. For quadcopter lovers, the Mavic Pro DJI travels at a 40Mph speed in the open. In addition, you can fly the Mavic Pro for up to 27 minutes at a time, which requires a strong battery.

Because of its flight time and a lengthy range, the Mavic Pro is a great choice. You'll get exact location control using satellite and GPS capabilities. It's also able to dodge objects so they don't push it from the sky through the obstacle avoidance feature that comes with sensory redundancy.

With its backpack friendly design, this Mavic Pro also uses it's Ocusync Transmission System to allow you control from the base controller for up to 4.3 miles of range. DJI's designer created a unique design that sets this drone apart from the crisp white Phantom bar more prone to angular and contoured shapes. Looking like a spy plane, the back arms swivel downward and make it look like it's landing on the underside because of the shorter legs. Furthermore, the arms on the front settle in against the top on the central body, allowing for smoother motion.

Like DJI's wildly popular existing quadcopter line, you can't fail with the Mavic Pro. In addition, running it is a breeze, and you'll be able to setup a smartphone for using as your screen. You'll also love the small remote, with its easy to use design including two joysticks that are set at the perfect controlling height to move the device in any direction.

There are two scroll wheels on the remote control for your benefit. One for programming while the other controls the three-axis gimbal system to adjust the camera gimbal. The camera itself is capable of 30fps and 1080p at a solid 96fps, and it can also record 4k video. You'll be able to capture videos and 12-megapixel camera for you to livestream to YouTube, Facebook and Periscope, all at 30fps in addition to building memories you'll want to recreate for years.

To be careful if you try out this drone, because it can sometimes lose connection with the controller.

  • Highly stable.
  • Fantastic control range.
  • Very small.
  • Problems with customer service.
  • Controller and drone can lose pairing.

If you're in need of something small with a longer flight time, then the Mavic Pro is a fantastic option.

When searching the drone quadcopter market for the greatest camera-wielding drone, this Phantom 4 is worth a look. It's an excellent device for experts and novice fliers alike and offers a great leveling out ability to keep it in stable positioning while flying. While Phantom 4 comes with a high price tag, it's a drone with its safety system which notices obstacles ahead to keep it safe and easy to navigate.

With this Phantom 4, you can reach speeds up to 45Mph and float four miles over sea level. Do keep in mind FAA regulations may bring that to somewhere around 400 feet. Consequently, these tight restrictions help to allow for a safer experience.

Phantom 4 can stop in its tracks to avoid an obstacle in the area. With this drones' several flight modes, you can also choose to use a sports mode or enjoy autonomous flying. After a 75-minute recharging time, you can enjoy 28-minutes of flight time, which is great for a drone of this range of price.

This Phantom 4 also comes with a camera for an amazing 4k capture for video recording max and set f/2.8 opening. This drone can also capture images in either RAW + JPG or RAW DNG with its camera. Between the 4k quality video and twelve megapixel resolution and 30fps, it's the best drone camera. Also, keep in mind that Phantom 4 can be guilty of dropping the video quality to 120, 60, 50 or 48fps shooting and 1080p.

At 3 pounds, Phantom 4 is heavier than the Phantom 3 professional but has plenty to offer. As one of many great drones available, you'll get a powerful controller, the ability to grab 4k video and fill a memory card of 16GB in one flight. Due to the help of the gimbal, you can avoid twisting and shaking throughout the body.

There have been problems with software that cause the drone to fall from the sky during flight.

  • Great for those of all experience levels.
  • Controls are simple and easy to use.
  • Offers a lot of value for the money.
  • It can become unresponsive.
  • It can sometimes stop working without reason.

If you're looking for a truly great drone, this one is well worth a look.

If you need of a budget option for trying out new drone technology, the X5SC Syma is a great drone to try. This drone has a quadcopter design and the ability to capture HD pictures and video with ease. Furthermore the budget-friendly X5SC Syma is a drone that can offer great stability outdoors and an easier headless mode for beginners.

With a durable frame and a flight time of 6-8 minutes, the X5SC Syma is a budget-friendly way to try a durable drone. It also includes a 2Mp camera and 150-foot flight range so that you can have plenty of space. Due to the price point, there are some concessions, such as the camera, which only offers about average quality photos.

While many would prefer higher quality pictures and a longer flight time than what the standard 500mAh battery on the X5SC Syma has to offer, it's excellent for beginners. On the other hand, many have found that after crashing into walls, doors, ceilings and even trees with not a single scratch on it. It's also helpful that even if it does endure more damage, additional batteries and replacement parts such as blades and blade protectors are cheap.

Because it's such a lightweight device, the X5SC Syma can have control problems during its flight time. A small wind-burst can lead the unit to sway and it can require a little time to bring back its stability.

Overall, between replacement parts available for below $20 and the low price of the unit itself, Amazon reviewers find this to be a great value that is a lot of fun for all users. While it is slightly more expensive than the X5C, it is more lightweight and therefore more a more suitable option for those with a little experience.

Make sure to get a full understanding of the warranty, because in some cases it can arrive in a nonworking condition.

  • Highly durable.
  • Easy to learn to navigate.
  • Headless mode is helpful for new users.
  • Some customers have difficulty maneuvering it.
  • In some cases it can cease working unexpectedly.

If you're interested in trying out a drone that won't cost you a fortune, then this is a great choice for you!

If you need a budget option that is also especially great for beginners, the X5C Syma is an awesome bit of drone technology that gains our recommendation. Capable of capturing HD video and pictures, the X5C has a fantastic quadcopter design and an even better price range. This Syma device can be flown outdoors or indoors and offers a wind-blocking build to keep the drone stable during a flight.

The X5C Syma is a light machine at about 2.1lbs. It also offers a 7 minute fying time and the 100 minute recharging time which is shorter than other options. Using the HD camera on720p  on the X5C you'll be able to take and store plenty of pictures on the memory card with 2GBs so that you can take plenty of videos and photos while flying. While the quality of the X5C Syma is about average, the overall value and control makes it great for beginners.

Using the 6 axis gyro to create stabilization, you'll get the maximum stability for your X5C during the flight time. It also uses spread spectrum at 2.4GHz to help with avoiding interference and let you control the unit for an increased distance. For those first-timer crashes, there are 4 spare blade guards and 4 spare propellers so that you can easily repair the damage.

The range for the X5C Syma is about 40 meters, but it's best to temper your expectations and stay near home while the the X5C is still in the phase of being “just out of a box”. Once you get more comfortable, you can get more creative with the built-in camera and battery life that come with the device. For those who are new to the drone world, it's praised by both drone-specific sites and those geared towards general technology for its stellar performance.

Some customers have had problems with the motor suddenly being unable to work.

  • Blades are equipped with a protective guard
  • Very lightweight device
  • Provides blade replacements
  • There can be some trouble with the controller not working
  • In some cases, the motor can stop working suddenly

For beginners, this device is an excellent choice that is easy to control for all experience levels.

This nimble, compact drone is able to fly for 25 minutes with just one battery charge, which is quite a bit more than other options. In addition Typhoon H, a six rotor hexacopter, is made by Yuneec that promises a lot to offer. Whether you're a first-time flier or a professional drone enthusiast, this drone will surely impress!

With almost 30 minutes for flying time, you'll have plenty of time to capture wonderful UltraHD 4K footage in a three-hundred sixty degree motion range using the CGO3 and Gimbal camera. If video isn't your thing, the camera can also catch twelve megapixel still pictures using the wider angle lens camera. Because of the flight time and ability, the Yuneec Typhoon H will be a favorite for those who want to fly farther and achieve more immediately out of its box.

Due to it's 3-axis anti-vibration, this Yuneec drone will make sure the footage you capture turns out perfectly clear. You'll also get a 7” Android touchscreen that you can use to control the drone alongside the ST16 controller. In order to protect the Yuneec from collisions, it uses ultrasonic crash prevention as well as the 5 rotor fail-safe.

With these safety mechanisms in place alongside the landing gear that is able to retract, you'll be able so make sure the drone flies and lands safely. You can also use the interest-point-focus, curving cable cam or OrbitMe circular path to focus on certain aspects of the flight.

While it is a great drone, Typhoon H may not be the most steady during a flight.

  • Detects and avoids obstacles
  • Able to film in any direction
  • Includes a 7 inch screen for live footage during flight
  • Controller layout could be better
  • Drone isn’t the most sturdy

If you want something with a great flying time and the ability to film in all directions, this is a fantastic option.

For professional filmmakers and aerial photographers, the DJI 2.0 Inspire is the best drone out there. It's a high-end unit with a price tag to match, but for a professional, news station, or wealthy quadcopter enthusiast, you can't go wrong with the DJI Inspire Two.

The drone technology on the Inspire Two is amazing, but make sure to register this drone with FAA prior to enjoying the 1.2' motor rotor span and 27 minutes of flight time as you take flight outdoors. With a flight limit of 16,400', you can safely cruise through the air as the battery keeps all ancillary features such as stabilizers, cameras and sensors running.

Because of its dual-battery setup and X5S Zenmuse camera, the Inspire Two can handle all of your drone-filming requirements. Furthermore, you can film with 30fps for 5.2k capture and 60fps for your 4k capturing needs. When it comes to pictures, the Inspire Two can capture twenty megapixel stills with both JPG and DNG formats with its camera. You'll also get a 16GB micro-SD card to fill up.

Because the camera on the Inspire Two is a tiny micro four-thirds drone, it won't add too much weight. It also supports lenses like the 15mm f/1.7lens that can capture a quality of 5.2k for Cinema DNG format. For those seeking to push the Inspire Two to it's professional use maximum, you can get more storage through springing for more cards for your video captures during shooting.

It's also able to fly at 58Mph during normal conditions, this drone is protected by the obstacle avoidance modes that help it avoid crashes. Using that mode, the drone functions at a respectable 45mph as the maximum speed limit. Also, remember that a strong tailwind can effect speeds, sometimes pushing the drone over 60mph.

The powerful hardware on this drone includes a prop locking feature that keeps the rotors from getting loose during a flight and durable carbon-fiber propeller arms.

There can be frustrations with the drone requiring firmware updates before it will fly.

  • Video quality is excellent
  • Capable of making mild color corrections
  • Great for commercial purposes
  • Poor experiences with customer service
  • Frequent firmware updates

If you need something great for commercial purposes, this is a great option!

If you're in the market for miniature drones that can still offer decent camera quality, the Hubson H107C+ is a great way to go. This drone offers you a lot in a small package, and can give you plenty of fun while you fly. Zipping around in a flash, the Hubson H107C+ is truly a miniature wonder with a flying time of around seven minutes.

Because the battery life may not quite live up to the pricey models, it might be worthwhile to purchase additional batteries. Otherwise, you can enjoy watching the Hubson H107C+ afloat up to 150 feet in the air. Once the battery is through, the recharge time can take about 40 minutes to return to full force. Due to the six axis gyro, the Hubson H107C+ works to increase the stability, allowing you to get a smooth, steady flight without the need for additional operator motions. Altitude hold also goes into allowing for an easier flight, allowing you to easily capture the flight using the 720p camera without a lot of shaking. Overall, the Hubson H107C+ is a great drone when you need something small and easy to take pictures and video with.

As this is such a small model, it may have trouble in higher wind situations so make sure to use it on calm days

  • Easy to use
  • Very compact
  • Great photo and video quality
  • May have trouble flying in the wind
  • Some customers have trouble pairing the drone and controller

For something small and easy to use, the H107C is a fantastic option to try out.

For drone fliers tired of introductory drones, this Yuneec Q500 4k Typhoon might be a solid quadcopter choice. With it's sleek, modern design this drone offers a portable option for those who want flight speed as well as a CGO3 gimbal camera for capturing 12-megapixel pictures. In addition, the steady grip camera on the Yuneec Q500 allows it to capture 1080p 120fps (frames-per-second) videos.

The Yuneec Q500 can also capture outstanding videos and images using the 3-axis anti-vibration design. Letting you use the 4k camera with little effort. You can also use your smartphone as an image viewfinder to get perfect pictures. Unlike other drone models, the Yuneec Q500 has a removable camera and legs to make it more portable.

The battery on the Yuneec Q500 gives you 15 minutes of flight time. Just make sure you activate the home mode with just the press of a button before it runs out. With the half Android-powered, half joystick display functioning as your remote control, you'll be able to see the drone's path. The station joystick also allows you to control the drone, and keep control over the camera, so everything you're seeing is in real time.

The Yuneec Q500 also offers multiple modes depending on what your needs are, including an Angle mode and its original “smart mode” which allows you to fly the drone manually during it's first flight as soon as it has been unboxed. You'll also be able to achieve quick image and video capture to get the best images and video possible, thanks to the optimized fixed focus lens and shutter buttons.

Using the Q500s levers, you can control the speeds from the first flight, as well as the camera pitch. In conclusion, you'll get whatever you need from great flight times to slow motion shots courtesy of the ability of this drone.

Customers have sometimes had trouble getting in touch with customer service in an efficient way.

  • Plenty of extras to keep your drone in good shape
  • Multiple modes let you fly at your speed
  • Great video and picture quality
  • It can lose connection with the controller if too far away
  • Some customers have had poor experiences with customer service

For those who already have some drone-flying experience, this drone allows you to take your skills to a new level.

If you're looking to pilot a drone that can make aerial selfies a snap, the Yuneec Breeze 4k is worth a look! This drone is perfect for shooting and sharing selfies and can be controlled by both iOS and Android using the mobile app. Furthermore, the digital image stabilization available on the Yuneec Breeze 4k makes your photos perfect for online sharing.

In addition, the Yuneec Breeze 4k is a compact device with five automated flight modes and a battery life that will allow you to fly for ten to fourteen minutes. This camera drone is designed to capture great aerial photos and video perfect for fantastic shots of your friends and family. While it's in the air, you can direct the Yuneec Breeze 4k to take specific aerial shots while in the air.

You'll even be able to control the camera from your device, allowing viewing on a phone so that you can get great aerial selfies every time. The lightweight design of the Yuneec Breeze 4k also makes it easy to take just about anywhere for pictures in any space. At less than half the price of Typhoon H, this drone is great when you're keen on taking great pictures.

While many have loved the controls on this drone, they can sometimes have problems and cause the drone to crash unexpectedly.

  • Great for beginners
  • Excellent camera quality
  • Easy to control using a smartphone
  • There have been some problems with the firmware
  • Sometimes, the controls can be off

If you're looking for a small, easy to learn device that is great for aerial selfies then this is a fantastic option.

Wrapping it Up

Whether you're looking for something that can take HD video and pictures, offer a long flight time or a short recharge time there's bound to be something for you in this list. You'll even be able to find devices that use your smartphone to help with the controls of your quadcopter device.

Check also our review about the best remote control helicopters of 2020.

Drones can be fantastic when you need to capture outstanding video and images for commercial purposes or sharing with others. Without a doubt, one of these cool devices can have a lot to offer as well as a lot of fun.

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