Mini drones are a dream come true for those who want an “eye in the sky.” These nifty gadgets are fantastic for capturing video from a bird’s eye view. Videographers, outdoor enthusiasts, and hobbyists are taking a liking to them for many reasons.
It’s a fun way to get a camera in the sky for pictures and videos of your property, hiking adventure, and more. These mini drones are very tempting, so we made sure we compiled a list of budget-friendly drones for beginners. See which drone fits your budget and needs for your next adventure.
Drone Regulations in the United States for Hobbyists
Please visit faa.gov for drone laws in the United States. Some states have strict laws (if you’re not flying them for fun on your own land).
Best Mini Drones Under $100
Recommended for: Beginners and Budgets under $100
DJI’s mini quadcopter drone is the perfect beginner’s mini drone for children. It won’t hurt your wallet, but its quality is still top-notch. The drone is equipped with a high-quality image processor. (It shoots both photos and videos.) DJI says even if you don’t know who to fly, you can record pro-level videos from your smartphone (Androids and iOS devices).
The DJI drone has 13 minutes of flight time. I know, it doesn’t sound like a long battery life at all. After my first introduction to drones in a social media course in college, I was shocked to learn this too. However, that is for one battery. Keep extra batteries (fully-charged) in your carrying case so you can spend an hour or two outdoors with your new camera drone.
Recommended for: Learning + Budgets under $60
For $55, you can buy a renewed mini drone. The Amazon Renewed Store is actually a great stop for all things electronics. You’ll be content with this drone if you have a tight budget. The specs are fantastic for a drone under $60.
As for functionality, it’s also a winner. This little gadget will capture awesome pictures and videos.
Recommended for: Best Overall FPV Pick Under $50
This FPV drone is equipped with an HD Wi-Fi camera to take better aerial photos and videos. With FPV (first-person view) transmission, you can see the sky from a real-time video feed through a smartphone app.
Customers are saying great things about the HD camera. Angelica says, “My husband’s birthday wish was to get a drone that had a camera and could hook up to his phone. To his surprise, that’s exactly what he got. Not only was he thrilled to get his first drone but was also quite impressed with the quality of the deerc mini drone for such an unbeatable price.”
Recommended for: Flying at night
Hubsan’s mini quadcopter is another great budget-friendly option. It uses a 6-axis flight control system to enhance its stabilization. Another plus is that the drone will automatically land in the current place when the power is under 2.8V. (Let’s make these drones last, right?)
I love that it can do 360-degree flips and rolls. With this drone, you’re on the right track for unbelievable footage. Get that YouTube channel started, y’all.
Since it can fly in the dark with a mini light bulb, you don’t have to worry about only flying during the day.
Best Mini Drones Over $200
Recommended for: Best drone under $325
DJI’s Mavic Mini isn’t under $100. This drone is going to cost you $324, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for something with upgraded specs or something less suited for kids learning how to fly drones.
This drone takes 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K HD videos. A 3-axis motorized gimbal provides superior camera stability for clear footage. You’ll notice that most drones have 10-13 minutes of fly time, but this one has 30 minutes.
Recommended for: Experienced flyers + YouTubers + Social media users
This drone weighs as much as an apple and fits in the palm of your hand. As for specs, it uses a 12mp camera and 4k/30fps video for fantastic footage. I recommend this one for experienced flyers. Save all of your videos on a Micro SD card.
The combo includes one remote controller, two batteries, spare propellers, spare tools, a USB charger, a shoulder bag, and more.
Be sure also to consider a Mavic Pro or any Phantom model.
Best Drone to Splurge On
For propeller guards, carrying cases, and drones with brushless motors, visit Amazon.