Best drones under $1000 – top high quality quadcopters

Top 5 Best Drones under $1000 (updated for 2020)


Drones under $1000 are already in a price category that leaves room for a lot of quality and more advanced technology.

I'm talking about obstacle avoidance sensors, zoom lenses, better GPS accuracy, better builds and so on.

It's possible to make solid money with any drone on this list, but for that you need to know some stuff. I recommend you check out the only course that helped me make $200/h just using a Mavic Air.

The drones on this list are the best I could find in between $500 and $1000 mainly. There are also DJI alternatives on this list that are very capable quadcopters and that you shouldn't overlook just because DJI has the monopoly on the market.

What to look for in a drone under $1000?

No more need to make compromises when it comes to this price range. If you get any of the drones on this list, you're getting some of the best there is, period.

Most people won't notice the difference between the footage of a Mavic Air 2 and an Inspire 2 from DJI, although the difference in price is huge. You can definitely do professional photography and videography with these top ones, even if you just follow an online course for it.

Battery life icon

Battery Life

Battery life in this price range should definitely be over 20 minutes at least, the more the better. I feel most comfortable with whatever is 25 minutes or more.

camera icon

Camera quality

All drones in this price range will record in 4k. You should look if they record at 60fps in 4k and what bitrate they shoot in (preferably over 100mbps).

Drone Range

Drone Range

If you want to get the job done and film almost any point of interest, a range of 500m-1km is enough. Most drones on the list will be more than that.

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What are the Best drones in this price range?

I have ordered the drones on this list in a subjective manner, but they're all really great! I am simply confident that the one on the number one spot is the best for more professional videography as it's my favorite drone. Same with the Skydio 2 being the perfect sports drone.

Winner Mavic Air 2

  • 4k 60p camera
  • 9km range
  • 34 min battery
  • great image quality
  • option to put ND filters easily
  • Great transmitter

5.Parrot Anafi(a solid and cheap drone)




100mbps Bitrate

The parrot Anafi is in my opinion the best drone you can get for actually under $600 because of it's very high quality build, awesome zoom features and overall very capable camera.

Considering Parrot is one of the main competitors for DJI and has a strong history of high product quality and drone manufacturing, it's safe to say the quality level of the product is something that becomes a big advantage.

This quadcopter is nothing short of being a fully fledged professional drone, able to take 16 or 21 mp photos in RAW format while also capable of shooting 4k super stable video.
Another reason why this drone is in the number one spot is that the camera can turn 90 degrees above to take absolutely original shots that no other drone is currently capable of.
It may not have optical sensors in front to avoid obstacles, but it still comes with the optical stabilization at bottom that helps it land better and fly more stable close to the ground.
The 2 axis gimbal does an amazing job at stabilization, although the drones in the first places slightly better in terms of that.


  • Really Quiet
  • Cheap price
  • Can film 90 degrees up
  • lossless zoom
  • 21 mp photos
  • a lot of flight modes


  • 2 axis gimbal
  • card slot must be handled carefully

4.Hubsan Zino 2 (a surprisingly good one)

4k 60fps



Bitrate: 100mbps

hubsan zino 2
A drone that's the follow up version from the original Hubsan Zino, which is the absolute winner by far as the best drone under $300. The Hubsan Zino 2 is pretty high on this list and might get even higher because it's really cheap for what it can do.
I also included it in my under $500 drone video category, although currently it costs about $600, but this is an amazing price still for such an amazing drone with these incredible specs.
We're talking about 4k 60 fps recording a 3 axis gimbal, great GPS stability, 8km range and 32 minute battery life. It records at 100Mbps and guess what it supports ND filters that are easily detachable, perfect for professionals.
Another interesting feature the Hubsan Zino 2 features is the detachable gimbal. This modular system means you can update it in the future with another camera release maybe.
Don't forget to hit the subscribe and like buttons to get notified whenever I will post the review on the Hubsan zino 2.
Overall a super great contender on this list, maybe even better than the ones following, This top is not to be taken in order necesarily. It's not a clear winner situation like in my video with the top drones under $300.


  • 4k 60p camera
  • 8km range
  • 32 min battery
  • great image quality
  • modular gimbal+camera
  • Great transmitter


  • needs further testing

3.Autel Evo (main DJI alternative)

4k 60p



100mbps bitrate

The Autel Evo was a complete surprise to me, as before knowing what it does, I expected it to be another DJI copycat with the performance of the original Mavic Pro at higher prices.
But I couldn't be more wrong.
The drone comes with a 7km range a 4k 60p camera solid stable 3 axis gimbal  and a 30 minute battery life.
It's a really well made drone by one of the leaders in the industry.
It's pretty much an upgrade from the original Mavic Pro, but much cheaper than the Mavic 2. It's definitely not as portable as the mavic Air, but I would say it has great potential to be on top of this list and the perfect camera drone for the money.


  • 4k 60p camera
  • great range
  • long flight time
  • Transmitter with built in screen
  • Solid build


  • Nothing really

2.Skydio 2 - the best drone for sports





he Skydio 2 is probably the most expected follow me drone for sports.

The footage is absolutely great, don't get me wrong, it's just not as suited for things like weddings and making money out of your drone as the others are.

The range for this drone is about 1km, and you'll also have to pay extra for the type of controller you want, if you don't want to stick with just your phone all the time. So that's one of the reasons it didn't make it higher on the list.

The skydio has 6 sensor cameras all over so it will avoid obstacles like no other drone, if obstacle avoidance and close proximity flying is what you're looking for, then don't look further, there's nothing that gets even close to this.

The camera records in 4k 60p but it's only stabilized with a2 axis gimbal and electronic image stabilization, however it produces quite smooth results.


  • Amazing obstacle avoidance
  • 2 controller options
  • can follow you even if it loses tracking
  • 4k 60p camera
  • shoots raw photos
  • it can follow cars, boats and more


  • not foldable
  • takes a while to setup

1.Mavic Air 2 - best drone under $1000 in 2020

4k 60p



120mbps bitrate

mavic air 2 package fly more combo

There's no doubt in my mind that the Mavic Air 2 is the best drone for its price range in 2020. It's definitely my main drone and one I use with a lot of pleasure.

The increased bitrate, better camera, better tracking and way longer battery life are by themselves great reasons to buy this drone.

I love the controller compared to previous Mavics for how good it feels in hand and how easy it is to setup.

It comes with an HDR mode that makes daytime shooting impressive without any skills on how to properly expose an image.

It's simply great!


  • 4k 60p camera
  • 9km range
  • 34 min battery
  • great image quality
  • HDR mode in video
  • Great transmitter


  • none so far

How do you make money with your drone, though?

Okay, so you got your new and fancy drone, but how do you stand out from any dad out there who has the same drone and watched some tutorials online?

I did exactly that and barely had any success. 

But now I’m charging 5x as much as before and even have to refuse clients from time to time.

I even bought about 7 online courses… and I didn’t make much progress.

So how did I finally make it to this level?

If you want the short answer, I learned everything from this guy Alex, who’s making $200 per hour with his drone. And he’s even teaching exactly how to do that.

This is pretty much what you need to know:


1. Make sure you have a proper drone.

If you have any of the latest DJI Drones, like the Mavic Air 2, for example, you’re ready to start making money.

No need to overthink this, but if it’s any help, check this comparison of the best camera drones compared in 2020.

types of drones

2.Learn how to create the best content to stand out

You won’t stand out from the next dad who bought a DJI drone for Cristmass in the eyes of your clients if you don’t do this.

It’s WAY more important to know what you’re doing than the gear you have.

You’ll need to learn and master the following:

  • Flying your drone(to stand out from people with basic drone shots)
  • Preparing for the flight and weather in advance
  • Learn the best drone settings (you need a proper setup template)
  • Create the Video Script (it's way easier if you know what to shoot)
  • Have a set of great cinematic shots you know how to do
  • Know how to edit the video so it stands out
  • Learn how to color grade

This is why you HAVE to invest in a proper way to learn things (instead of watching tutorials here and there).

3.Find clients that pay 5x more than regular

But not so fast.

You won’t make a penny if you don’t know how to find your clients.

I have struggled finding clients even when my videos were getting pretty good.

Until I learned a few tricks and how to find and approach them so they won’t be able to say no.

And what’s best, I learned how to get the price I asked for.

How can you do the same?

I have tested quite a few courses online and watched tons of videos on youtube, but frankly, I have learned more from one single course than from everything else… and all that in like a weekend.

Made back the money from this investment in myself in a single week and then much more.


How do I learn all of this? From youtube?

You could simply go online and learn everything in terms of video from youtube, forums, facebook groups etc.

However, let me tell you, it’s the worst way to learn all of this(and the slowest).

You won’t have a Complete Step By step guide on how to do everything.

I found myself frustrated, even after I learned how to do most of the video stuff that I still lacked some knowledge and I didn’t know why my shots weren’t standing out.

I got some general promotion ideas from some articles online, but again… I didn’t have much success and was charging too little for my time.

This is exactly where I learned how to make $200 per hour with my drone (From A to Z)

This course is hold by Alex Harris, who’s an international video creator, director, and drone operator with tons of experience.

And I had a great time stealing his know-how(and greatly profited from it, lol).

I recommend you watch his video presentation bellow and check out the course sales page. It’s quite cheap, considering you’re getting 320+ minutes of everything you need to know, step by step and 80+ minutes on how to actually find the ideal clients for you.

I'm a big drone enthusiast, the owner of and I also make weekly videos on my drone YouTube channel.

1 Comment
  1. Amazing post, it’s good to see that my DJI MAVIC PRO made to the list.. I chose it because of its design and battery life, you can also carry it easily when traveling. I always check your reviews before buying drones. Thank you Paul.

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