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Best drones under $1000 – top high quality quadcopters

Best Drones Under $1000 in 2019- my top 7

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 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.

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What to look for in a more expensive camera drone?

Until now, we’ve seen that you need to make compromises when it comes to buying camera drones that are priced lower, in the $100 to $300 range, but on this list there’s very little compromise to be made and they are all already professional grade drones with very capable stabilized cameras and useful flight modes.

Transmitter

The transmitter at this price range might be the most notable difference sometimes, as some may come with screens included, others may just connect to the phone. Portability is also an important factor.

Battery life

Battery life is definitely something you should take note of, as the longer you can keep the drone in the air, the less worry you’ll have that you might miss a certain event.

Range

I’ve written an article regarding long range drones, but most on this list can go for a few kilometers, so no worries here.

Build Quality

Foldable drones are preferred, thanks to the better portability, but make sure the build itself is top notch, as that’s what you deserve at this price. All the drones I chose are top quality builds, so no worries.

Camera

This is probably where you’ll make the most difference between the drones, depending on what quality you need, how many fps and if you want it to zoom in or not and much more.

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MY TOP 4 Drones under $1000

This table is not necesarily ordered by what’s the best one, as I tried to put a variety of different quadcopters that can appeal to a wider audience. Therefore make sure you choose what you like best, as they’re all pretty much in the same range of quality.

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Parrot Anafi - my favorite cheap zoom camera drone

Battery Life

25min

Range

5000m

Camera

4k with lossless zoom

Image stabilization

3 axis gimbal

The price of the Parrot anafi is way under the price of $1000, actually I put it on my list of drones under $500 so it’s more than welcome as one of my most recommended drones with 4k camera that can even shoot upwards and even does 2 times lossless zoom.

It’s probably the cheaper alternative to the Mavic 2 Zoom, and I mean WAY cheaper.

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.

Here are the box contents for the standard package:

  • quadcopter
  • drone case
  • controller
  • propellers (spare)
  • USB C Cable
  • Battery
  • 16 gb micro SD card

Reasons to Buy this drone

  • Not getting caught while filming from afar
  • Portable, easy to take at airport
  • You'll have enought spare money to buy batteries
Average Score 9.5
Flight stability
8.5
Build quality
9
Flight functions
9
PROS:
  • Really Quiet
  • big battery life
  • 4k camera
  • can film 90 degrees up
  • lossless zoom
  • 21mp photos
  • a lot of flight modes
CONS:
  • card slot must be handled carefully
  • only 2 axis stabilization+EIS
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DJI Mavic pro (yes, the original)

Battery Life

23min

Range

7000m

Camera

4k

Image stabilization

3 axis gimbal

The Mavic Pro needs no introduction anymore, as it’s the pinnacle of drone technology. Lately it went down in price as the model is getting a bit older, but because now you can find it under $1000 it makes sense to still consider it a viable choice.

I have compared it with the Mavic 2 pro and the Mavic Air and it’s still a very capable drone with great camera sharpness and all the nice flight modes you’re used to.

The foldable design and many accessories available for it make it a great choice that’s also pretty portable.

It was top of the game not so long ago, so you know it can still be successfully used in professional photo and video settings easily.

I am really impressed by the build quality of these drones compared to what the chinese have been releasing lately.

Average Score 9.5
Build Quality
9.5
Camera quality
9.5
Flight functions
9
PROS:
  • Great battery life
  • cheap price (compared to the beginning)
  • Huge Range and good signal strength
  • All the actually useful flight modes
  • Precise automatic return to home
  • Amazing 4k camera
  • 3 axis gimbal
  • Foldable design
  • Great build quality
CONS:
  • No back and side sensors for obstacle avoidance (only front and bottom)
  • gimbal is a bit delicate (didn't have any problems in 2 years though)
$899.00 $999.99 Buy It Now
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Dji Mavic Air - Extremely compact and capable

Battery Life

23min

Range

4000m

Camera

4k

Image stabilization

3 axis gimbal

mavic air is trully a drone with impressive technology and flight sensors that makes you think how did they manage to fit so much stuff in such a small package.

The image quality is stellar, on par with the Mavic Pro, but you’re getting everything in an even smaller and more modern package.

There are even more flight modes, combined to what the DJI Spark had, this makes it one of the more complete drones under $1000 with almost no compromise.

 

Average Score 9.5
Flight stability
9.5
Camera quality
9
Aditional features
8
PROS:
  • 3 axis image stabilization
  • good range
  • foldable design
  • many flight modes
  • very fast
  • great GPS stability
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Xiaomi fimi x8

Battery Life

30min

Range

5000m

Camera

4k (2.7k in 60p)

Image stabilization

3 axis gimbal

As you can see above, I underlined the fact that this drone is unique though the fact that it shoots 2.7k in 60p. Which is something I wanted for a long time considering I usually shoot in 2.7k anyway.

The drone and controller are both very well made, typical for Xiaomi and the app is also pretty good too.

A thing about this drone, although it may look like it has optical flow sensors in front, it in fact doesn’t.

But the Fimi does come with optical flow sensors underneath to better hold its position in the air.

The only downside of this drone is that the gimbal doesn’t have any ground clearance and you have to launch it from a plane surface.

Otherwise, it’s flight modes are all working great, and the gimbal does an extremely good job overall.

Average Score 9
Flight features
8.5
Image quality
9
Flight experience
9
PROS:
  • 4k camera
  • 2k recording at 60fps
  • 100mbps bitrate
  • long flight time
  • great range
  • fast
  • good GPS stability
  • foldable design
  • 3 axis gimbal
CONS:
  • blueish image tint(might be changed with an update)
  • gimbal clearence quite low
  • no obstacle avoidance
$499 $690 Buy It Now

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

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