Eachine Ex010 - the perfect beginner drone (under $50)
This drone is the perfect budget drone I recommend anyone that would meet all the requirements for a good beginner drone that can fly both indoors and outdoors. This drone can be found for under $25, which is as cheap as you can get.
Safe for kids
Can do flips
This price range is still mainly suited for beginners but there's a bit more leeway for a drone to also have a camera included.
And with things like the DJI Tello, you're guaranteed an HD camera and even some electronic image stabilization, which is amazing
DJI Tello - cheap drone with a great camera (under $100)
The DJI Tello is by far my favorite camera drone under $100 as it can fly for 10-12 min (which is amazing for this price). And comes with a great stabilized HD camera and even bottom sensors for more stable flights.
Eachine Ex4 - the Best Cheap GPS drone (under $200)
The Eachine Ex4 is another drone I tested myself and even reviewed on youtube(it's also known as the JJRC X12 Aurora). I find it to be one of the few 3 axis gimbal drones in this price range which also comes with a decent 1km range and a compact and solid build!
You can find this cheap GPS drone for a great price on certain sites and it also comes with automatic return to home.
long battery life
stabilized 3 axis footage
powerful brushless motors
If you're still looking for a drone but have a bit more to spend you might be looking for a cheap drone with a gimbal, and this is the right category for that.
Not only do we find proper image stabilization here, you can also get 4k proper footage, good GPS and pretty long ranges, everything from a budget drone.
DJI Mini 2 - the Best Cheap Professional Drone (under $500)
The DJI mini 2 is what I call a cheap high quality drone as you're getting A LOT for what you pay!
This is a drone that competes with the likes of drones you would pay thousands of dollars for and more than that it comes in a very small package!
It's under 250g which means you don't have to register it to fly and comes with a 4k super well stabilized camera, 31 minute flight time and a 10km range... really what more could you want from a drone?
You can find it in two package options a great price and it's more than worth to get the "fly more combo" in my opinion.
In terms of battery life, it really depends how big the drone is and how much it costs. If you're looking to get the cheapest drone possible it's going to fly for no longer than 5 to 10 minutes at most. A similarly priced drone with similar features is the SJRC F11.
However, I decided to pick a drone that can fly up to 19 minutes as it's a very good starting point for beginners.
Although I could have picked another drone that can fly up to 20 or 30 minutes, it would have made it much more expensive, and I wanted to also feature the Hubsan H501s as a classic cheap drone with GPS that you can get for pennies!
Drones that can lift serious weight are usually priced in the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars, so I wanted to give you an alternative for a super cheap drone ( under $100) that can easily carry a gopro and a gimbal for example (or anything you want if it's not over 600g or so.
can carry up to 600g
The MJX Bugs 3 is another classic drone that has been copied over and over but is up to this day a great drone to use with any action camera or Gopro and you can attach all sorts of camera combinations to it (or any weight you please).
I have written an article on the best cheap brushless drones that might be more interesting to read. But if I need to grab one from that list that is super unique, it has to be the Xiaomi FImi A3. A great brushless drone that comes very close to $200 in price (a slightly more expensive but better alternative would be the Fimi X8).
2 axis gimbal
Xiaomi Fimi A3
The Xiaomi Fimi A3 is bot a cheap long battery life drone as well as a great camera drone, but another feature many people look forward for is the powerful brushless motors.
One of its main defining features is its amazing controller that comes with an included FPV screen!
Feed can have interruptions because it's Analogue.
Best cheap drone under 250g with 4k camera
Although the DJI Mini 2 is definitely my favorite drone by far in the under 250g category, I must recommend something else to you that's very low budget yet surpisingly good for what it is. And as a bonus it also looks very similar to the Mini 2.
The Eachine ex5 is a cheap drone under 250 grams that's lightweight, foldable and can take some pretty impressive video for the price.
It comes with an optical flow system and dual GPS for better positioning as well as a stunning 30 min flight time.
Don't expect to compare it in terms of footage with the DJI Mini for this super low price but it does its job for a beginner hobbyist.
Image quality isn't that great, but nothing more to expect for the price.
Cheap Professional Drones
So what's the difference between cheap and more expensive drones?
In this section we'll cover a few of these more professional quadcopters so you have a clue what to buy first.
Cheap drones vs expensive ones
The difference in price is gradual, as you could see so far in the article, the more you pay, the more you get for your money.
There are some overpriced drones indeed, but I never recommend such thing on this site, so don't worry.
With a more expensive drone that can cost between $500 to $1000 or more you get a wide array of benefits, from a more solid build quality to a way better camera and image stabilization.
A good example of "you get what you pay for" is the comparison between a pretty nice but cheap drone called the JJRC X9 Heron and the DJI Spark, paying double clearly gets you some benefits at this price range.
You'll often find that more expensive drones fly for longer and can fly further. I don't really know of any drone under $400 to fly over 1km stock.
What about those cheap drones that brag about having 4k footage?
Well, I would personally consider them 1080p drones, as the camera is usually pretty bad. when it comes to camera quality, the resolution isn't everything! Sensor size and sensor quality makes a huge difference to everything, and you can't get that with paying just $100.
The most advanced drone from Hubsan, the Zino 2 is a stunning drone for videography and photography that comes at quite a cheap price, making it a direct competitor to the DJI Mini 2.
It comes with an incredible battery life of 33 minutes, an 8km range and a very capable 4k camera that can shoot in 60 frames per second, which is why many professionals with a low budget choose this drone to experiment with.
Since drone sensors are quite expensive, you can mainly find them in... guess what... more expensive drones. So active track technology coupled with obstacle avoidance is what you're looking for, but you'll have to pay a bit more.
If you're willing to spend more, but still get the cheapest professional drone that can do active tracking and obstacle avoidance, the one I recommend most is my current main camera drone: the DJI Mavic Air 2
3 axis gimbal
DJI Mavic Air 2
The Mavic Air 2 is my current main drone for many reasons, one of them being the stunning half an inch camera sensor that handles low light pretty well and can also shoot in 4k 60 fps.
The other one is the amazing build quality and how long it can actually fly for.
There is a lot of technology in this drone that can make your life easier, including a lot of flight modes like active track, circle, waypoints, and pretty much the best obstacle avoidance you can have for this price.