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The 7 Best drones under $1000 in 2022 (table comparison)

Updated in 2022 by Paul Posea
best drones under 1000

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.

The drones on this list are the best I could find 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 a monopoly on the market.

My winner: Mavic Air 2s

mavic air 2s history

In a hurry? Just pick my best recommended drone in this price category and you can't really go wrong!

  • 12km range
  • 4k 60p or5k
  • 32 min battery life
  • 6 sensor cameras
  • Awesome build quality
  • My personal camera drone
drone comparison table and graphic

The Best Drones under $1000

These are the top drones I would chose as my best professional quadcopters in this price range. You'll be safe choosing any of these as your photography and videography drone, but I would still suggest you read the entire article to find more about each of them.

This table is made for the purpose of quickly choosing in case you don't have the time or energy to go though the rest of the article.

Drone Image Price Footage Score Battery life FPV Range Video Res Photo Res MP Bitrate HDR Photo HDR Vid Aperture Sensor Size Live Feed Gimbal Max Speed Max Wind Max Altitude Obstacle avoidance Optical flow sensors Follow me Under 250 g Weight Temperature
DJI Air 2s mavic air 2s thumb small Check Price 10 31 min 12 km 5.4k/ 4k 60p 8k 20mp 150 Mbps yes no f/2.8 1” 1080p 3 axis 19 m/s 10.7 m/s (Level 5) 5km yes yes yes no 595g 0° to 40°C
DJI Mini 2 dji mini 2 thumb small Check Price 9 31 min 10 km 4k 4k 12mp 100 Mbps no no f/2.8 1/2.3” 720p 3 axis 16 m/s 10.5 m/s (Level 5) 4km no yes yes yes 242g 0° to 40°C
Autel Evo Nano autel evo nano thumb table Check Price 10 28 min 10 km 4k 4k 48MP 100mbps yes yes f/2.8 1/1.28" 2.7k 3 axis 15 m/s 10.5 m/s (Level 5) 4km yes yes yes yes 249g 0° to 40°C
Parrot Anafi parrot anafi thumb Check Price 9 25 min 4 km 4k 5k 21MP 100 Mbps yes yes f/2.4 1/2.4’’ 720p 2 axis 14 m/s 4.5km no yes yes no 320g -10° to 40°C
SwellPro Spry+ spry plus thumb Check Price 8.5 17 min 1 km 4k 4k 12MP 64mbps no no f/2.65 1/2.3” no 18 m/s 10.5 m/s (Level 5) 0.2km no no yes no 480g -10° to 40°C
Mavic Air 2 mavic air 2 thumb small Check Price 9 34 min 10 km 4k 60p 8k 48mp 120 Mbps yes no f/2.8 1/2" 1080p 3 axis 19 m/s 10.5 m/s (Level 5) 5km yes yes yes no 570g -10° to 40°C
Hubsan Zino 2 + zino 2 plus thumb Check Price 9 35 min 9km 4k 60 fps 4k 12MP 100mbps no no F/2.2 1/2.3" 720p 3 axis 20 m/s 13.5 m/s (Level 6) 4km no yes yes no 929g 0° to 40°C

My video with details about these drones

1.DJI Air 2s - Best Camera Drone under $1000

camera-icon-spec

5.7k 30p / 4k 60p

battery-icon-spec

31 min

range-icon-spec

12 km

drone-icon-spec

4 direction sensors

mavic air 2s history

The DJI Air 2s is definitely the best overall camera drone you can buy under $1000 for various reasons.

While the fly more combo is a bit over budget, you can buy the base drone and get some incredible specs like a 1 inch camera sensor, up to 5k resolution, 12 km range and a full 4 directional obstacle sensor system.

The impressive obstacle sensor is suitable for low light photos and video as well as simply capturing outstanding footage.

The 10 bit Dlog-M color profile lets you capture up to one billion colors and you can edit it in post processing without altering the original image up to a great extent.

It comes with a variety of very precise flight modes, including hyperlapse, Follow me and multiple MasterShots (automatic cinematic movements).

The ActiveTrack technology from DJI is on it's 4th generation already and has become one of the best in the business, allowing the drone to even avoid obstacles to a very precise extent and without interrupting the flow of the flight.

PROS

  1. 1 inch sensor
  2. 4 direction sensors
  3. Great Tracking
  4. Great Color Detail
  5. Strong Wind resistance
  6. Foldable

CONS

  1. The fly more combo exceeds $1000

2.DJI Mini 2 - Under $1000 and 250G

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

31 min

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

3 axis gimbal

dji mavic mini review and comparison table

While the DJI mini 2 is well under $1000, putting it rather in the under $500 category, I simply had to put it on this list for the insane value it brings for the price.

Being a drone under 250 grams, you don't have to register it in most countries, and even if there are laws, they're usually more permissive in this case.

However, the great thing is it doesn't compromise on image quality, or pretty much anything else, despite it's small size.

It's wind resistance is on par with some of it's larger brothers, as well as the amazing range and battery life.

The camera quality is astonishing, and most people can't tell the difference between it and a drone that costs twice as much.

It's true, it doesn't come with obstacle avoidance sensors or a follow me option, but it still has some interesting flight modes, and to be honest everything else seems like a gimmick when the basics of the drone are outstanding.

PROS

  1. Under 250 g
  2. 4k camera
  3. 3 axis gimbal
  4. Level 5 wind resistance
  5. 31 min battery life
  6. Fair Price

CONS

  1. No follow me

3. Autel Evo Nano (under 250g and obstacle avoidance)

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

28 min

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

3 axis gimbal

autel evo nano drone

While the previously mentioned DJI mini 2 was a great drone, the Autel Evo Nano comes with pretty much the same specs, but also front and back obstacle sensors.

This enables it to work in follow me mode and a few others that the Mini 2 can't do.

It excels in everything you'd want from a camera drone: 3 axis gimbal stabilization, compactness, wind resistance and sensor quality.

While it's priced a bit above the previously mentioned drone, the safety offered by the obstacle sensors as well as the follow me mode make it one of the only choices with these specs for under $1000.

PROS

  1. Under 250 g
  2. 4k camera
  3. 3 axis gimbal
  4. Level 5 wind resistance
  5. 28 min battery life
  6. Follow Me
  7. Obstacle avoidance

CONS

  1. None

4. Parrot Anafi

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

25 min

range-icon-spec

4 km

drone-icon-spec

no obstacle avoidance

parrot anafi drone review 2

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 ranked highly 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 the front to avoid obstacles, but it still comes with the optical stabilization at the 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 place slightly better in terms of that.

PROS

  1. Really Quiet
  2. Cheap price
  3. Can film 90 degrees up
  4. lossless zoom
  5. 21 mp photos
  6. a lot of flight modes

CONS

  1. 2 axis gimbal
  2. card slot must be handled carefully

5. SwellPro Spry+ (Best waterproof drone under $1000)

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

17 min

range-icon-spec

1 km

drone-icon-spec

no obstacle avoidance

swellpro-spry+-drone-image

If what you're looking for is something more specific and durable, the waterproof Swellpro Spry+ is probably your best bet.

Even its controller is waterproof and it can make for a great fishing companion as well as a really fun racing drone.

While its camera isn't top of the range, it's still comparable to DJI to some extent, the only visible difference being that if you make sudden moves, the Electronic image stabilization from the camera isn't enough to keep things going smoothly.

However, it also comes with a few advantages, one being the unique view angle of an fpv drone and that special gliding effect you can get with it, as well as the fact that it can float on water.

PROS

  1. Waterproof
  2. Can Float on water
  3. Super Durable
  4. Fishing attachments
  5. Electronic Image Stabilization

CONS

  1. Low battery life
  2. Relatively low range

6. Mavic Air 2

camera-icon-spec

4k 60p

battery-icon-spec

34 min

range-icon-spec

9 km

drone-icon-spec

Obstacle Avoidance

dji mavic air 2 package

The Mavic Air 2 is still a great drone to this day, and even has the advantage of a really solid battery life. It's a drone that doesn't disappoint and can be found for a really low price, especially second hand.

The camera is cristal clear and I would definitely put it in the professional category, although it's low budget.

The transmitter is easier to use than with the other mavics from DJI and I feel like it has a better overall grip.

One battery lasts for A LOT (over 30 min) and I haven't even started to talk about the amazing obstacle avoidance system and HDR recording.

PROS

  1. Great camera
  2. Amazing prices
  3. Great Follow me option
  4. 34 min battery life

CONS

  1. Harder to find recently

7. Hubsan Zino 2+

camera-icon-spec

4k 60p

battery-icon-spec

35 min

range-icon-spec

9 km

drone-icon-spec

No Obstacle Avoidance

Zino 2 pro plus

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, 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, 9km range and 35 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.

PROS

  1. 4k 60p camera
  2. 8km range
  3. 32 min battery
  4. great image quality
  5. modular gimbal+camera
  6. great transmitter

CONS

  1. Nothing really
drone comparison table and graphic

What to look for in a camera drone under $1000

This is going to be a guide on what to look in a drone that's priced under $1000 and what are the features you should care most about when choosing such a quadcopter.

What features should you look for in a drone under $1000?

  • Battery Life
  • Image Stabilization
  • Size and Portability(foldable)
  • GPS Stability
  • Camera Bitrate
  • Obstacle avoidance sensors

Should you pay more than $1000 for a drone?

If you're still a beginner or intermediate when it comes to drone photography and videography, no, as you can create pretty much anything you'd like within this price range.

How far am i allowed to fly a drone legally?

Drone laws differ between countries, but generally line of sight is good enough.

What battery life does a drone under $1000 have?

The average battery life of a drone under $1000 is around 30 minutes.

What range does a drone under $1000 have?

The average range of drones under $1000 is about 5 km

What battery life does a drone under $1000 have?

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.

From what you can see on the list I picked for you, the average was at a high of 30 minutes, which is really great.

You should not expect this exact amount in real life, as it is estimated by the producers in perfect environments.

Not taking account of wind or such.

5-things-to-know-about-drone-lipo-batteries-image.jpg

What is the expected drone range for this price category?

First of all, the drones I mention are all GPS ones, with high accuracy and the ability to return to home.

The average range of these drones is somewhere between 4 and 5km and I think that's plenty to do anything you want with it.

Especially considering that most country laws don't allow you to fly further than the line of sight.

The best drones under $1000 prove to be enough to satisfy most people's needs. Even if you're an aspiring photographer or videographer, this is a great price range to be about!

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

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