LucidCam would like to share with you the best drone under $500. We have researched and found a variety of drones that are all great for beginners, as well as those who are more experienced.
In this list, you will find drones that meet your needs no matter what they may be!
What Is The Best Drone Under 500?
I’ve looked at hundreds of drones under $500 to find the best and read hundreds of comments from people who have bought them. Based on their feedback, my personal experience, and the most important features I’ve selected the top 10 drones under $500. Now you can find them all in one location so you can pick the one that suits all your needs.
Top 10 Best Drones Under 500
|DJI Mini 2 – Ultralight and Foldable Drone Quadcopter, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photo,...||8,222 Reviews||$449.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone with Camera | Live Video Drone for Kids & Adults, 15 Min Flight...||224 Reviews||$159.80||Buy on Amazon|
|Holy Stone HS720E GPS Drone with 4K EIS UHD 130°FOV Camera for Adults Beginner, FPV Quadcopter with...||5,211 Reviews||$339.99||Buy on Amazon|
|HUBSAN Zino Pro Plus 4K Drone with Three axis stabilization Gimbal,FPV Distance 8km,Panoramic...||33 Reviews||$344.70||Buy on Amazon|
1. DJI Mavic Mini 2
Firstly, One of the top 10 best drones under 500 is DJI has just released an upgrade to the DJI Mavic Mini drones, which is the most important game-changer in the drone industry.
With the Mavic Mini 2 Drone, all specifications and features of this foldable drone, which weighs in at less than 250g, will be improved. It is one of the highest quality drones that everyone should choose it
You’ve probably heard of, seen, or flown a DJI Mavic drone. It is the latest product from DJI.
The Mavic Mini 2 brings you the highest quality video resolution, stability, and flight duration of the Mavic series at a fraction of the price.
The shipping of the original Mini Drone began on November 11, 2019. This drone is still the best value for money.
- It’s extremely easy to transport in a backpack.
- It’s lightweight and compact, so it can be carried almost anywhere.
With just a few clicks, DJI Mini 2 automatically record videos and produces professional-quality videos that can be shared directly on social media. The DJI fly app is perfect for beginners and more advanced flyers. It includes soundtracks, filters, and other useful features.
You will have everything you need to experience a truly amazing performance. The Mini 2 is an amazing tool for beginners and experts alike. This thing can even be flown by a baby.
Mavic Mini 2 Droneshas some other amazing features, including a 10km maximum control range. This is an increase from 4km. The drone’s small size makes it quite impressive for its flight time. The Mini’s maximum flight time per battery is 31 minutes.
A camera mounted on the drone’s front is a motorized gimbal that supports three-axis movement and has a 1/2.3 inch sensor.
The DJI Mavic Mini C2 camera’s video-capture capabilities are limited to 4K HD resolution and a 30fps framerate. An alternative is to capture 1080p video at 60fps. It can also capture 12MP images.
You can transmit live video in high quality and real-time from the drone with zero latency. This budget allows you to get the best FPV experience possible.
Safety-oriented features are another thing that it lacks.
The integrated altitude limit protects you from getting too high, while a return home function automatically kicks in when the battery is low. This ensures that your drone arrives home safely.
Given its light frame, I was skeptical about the mid-air performance. But I was wrong.
- It felt steady and precise at all points, partly due to its downward vision sensors, which allow it to detect ground conditions for safer landings and hovering.
- It can be a stable flight up to 4000m in level 5 winds.
- It folds too!
- It’s very easy to fly
- Portable and easy to carry
- 12MP Camera with Built-in, 4K Video
- Performance and Specs that are Class-Leaders
- Amazing Set of Autonomous Features
- With a max battery life of 31 minutes, DJI mini 2 grants more than enough time to compose the perfect shot.
- The package does not include an extra battery
2. Holy Stone HS720E
Holy Stone is one of the most intriguing competitors to DJI. Their products are starting to stand out from others as the company proves to itself and its customers that they deserve a portion of the drone market. The recently updated Holy Stone HS720E drone is one of their best. It was also featured in our buyer’s guide.
It was amazing to me, and it feels like I am flying a high-end drone. It’s very responsive and maneuverable. It can even fly in windy conditions. The HS720 is a great option for anyone who loves aerial photography or videography but doesn’t have the budget. It is well worth the price, at just 350 dollars.
The specifications of the Holy Stone HS720 rival those of the DJI Mavic series. The drone can fly up to 1600m. You will love the HS720 if you like a long-distance drone. It can fly far beyond your eyesight and return safely thanks to its auto-return feature.
Battery life can allow for 26 minutes of flight time. This was something that I was extremely excited about.
Holy Stone attempted to replicate the Syma and DJI approach. Instead of asking customers to purchase an SJCam, GoPro, or any other action camera, the brand made its own. They did it perfectly. The HS700 was a high-quality camera that could shoot 1080p video and send live video. The HS720 upgrade turns it into a 4K FHD 5G Camera (3840x2160p resolution).
A free app for Android and iOS allows the drone to transmit live video via wifi directly to a smartphone. The 5G remote control can attach a phone holder to hold the camera. . This drone is reliable and will last a lifetime. This drone is a great choice and deserves to be included in the best drones under $500.
Holy Stone is one of the best drones under 500 dollars. Holy Stone offers many features at a very low price. The HS720 has great features that are expected from a drone in this price range. GPS system with Follow Me Mode, Custom Flight Path is undoubtedly the highlight. Draw a route on your App screen, and the HS720 will follow you in the desired direction or circle. It will also send you a real-time landscape.
It also has auto-return and 5GHz live video transmission. Some basic features, such as automatic takeoff or landing, are missing. It does have GPS features and a waypoints system so we don’t think it is lacking in basic features.
Brushless motors are more powerful and produce less noise than brushed motors. This can allow for stable, fast drone flight. They also have a longer life span and require less maintenance.
- Casings that are travel-friendly
- Simple controls
- Return home mode
- 4K camera for under $300
- Flight time is 26 minutes
- Long charging time
3. DJI Mavic 2
Okay, we cheat a little, it isn’t exactly under $500 but the Mavic Air 2 just is too great value for money to not include in this review. It’s a major upgrade to the Mavic Air and Mavic Pro predecessors.
Mavic Air 2 has a superior camera and sensor, as well as an extended control range.
Mavic Air 2 is definitely a better choice than Mavic Air when it comes to performance. Both models are capable of hovering in place and maintaining a steady altitude without the pilot having to touch the remote controller.
It is a great drone for beginners. You can fly the drone even in windy conditions, but be careful. It can travel at speeds of almost 70 km/h which makes it an excellent beginner drone
The Mavic Air 2 is a more expensive drone so you’d expect it to be better than any other drone in this review.
And it does so handily.
Air is a 34-minute flight time and has a maximum control range (of 10 km)
The camera is undoubtedly the most important feature of Mavic Air 2. It can record 4K video at 30fps or 2.7K video at 60fps. Full HD video can be recorded at 120fps. This camera is perfect for aerial photography and videography lovers.
Air has a 1/2 CMOS image sensor that can capture 12MP still photos with HDR, and 48MP spherical panoramic shots. It can also transmit live video.
Mavic Air 2 has all the bells, whistles, and features that a DJI drone of this quality is famous for. These features include:
- Vision-Based Protection
- VIO Technology
- Smart Object Avoidance
- One-Key Landing and Takeoff
- Automatic Return
You can see that most features are focused on improving the videography and photography experience.
- It’s very easy to fly
- Cameras 2.7K and 4K
- A great set of semi-autonomous features
- Amazing Performance
- With an impressive battery life of up to 34 minutes
- Selling well above 500 USD
4. Altair Outlaw SE- Ultra-Budget Pick
Altair Aerial is a great company that makes drones. Altair Aerial’s Outlaw SE drone is high-quality and packed with cool features. The drone includes everything a drone pilot would need, and we’re proud to call it our Best Budget Pick.
This drone is packed with features, but it is also easy to use. Even someone who has never used a drone before will enjoy it. Although there are many bells and whistles, the Outlaw SE is easy to use.
Altair is one of few drone companies based in the USA. They also offer tons of tutorials and how-to videos online that will help you get started. You’ll notice their customer reviews and the excellent customer service they provide. Altair drones are a great choice.
The drone has a range of up to 600m. While there are cheaper drones that have a greater range, this product comes with a 20-minute rechargeable battery. This is a great amount of flight time, and it makes up for the slightly shorter range.
This GPS drone also features a variety of high-quality features. You get 1-button take-off and landing, as well as altitude holding and Return to Home functions. These can all be used to return the drone safely.
This drone is easy to use for beginners. It doesn’t take long to learn how to fly this drone, even if you have never flown it before. These features make it easy for experienced pilots to use the drone.
The Outlaw SE drone’s camera shines. It takes stunning shots. The camera can shoot in 1080p HD resolution and produces some stunning shots. The high-quality images will impress you, whether you are filming live videos or shooting photos.
The ease of use is also important. The drone has GPS and an altitude hold feature that makes it easy to use. That makes the drone will have a smooth flight and you’ll be able to spend less time attempting to control it.
This drone has many features that we have only scratched. Here’s a complete list.
- Altitude Hold
- Headless Mode
- One-Touch Landing and Takeoff
- Point of interest Mode
- Follow me Mode
- Fail-Safe Return Home
- GPS Home Function
- 20 minutes of battery life
- Fantastic Camera
- For beginners
- GPS Integration
- Amazing Price
- 600m Range is a bit low
5. Hubsan Zino 4K drone
The Hubsan Zino 4k folding quadcopter is out with the past and in with new.
This Hubsan drone is the latest offering. It costs just over $300 and serves as a great budget pick in our best drones under $500 dollars review.
The Zino 4K’s best feature is its quality.
It is far superior to many of its competitors in this category, from build quality to technical specifications and features.
Functions: 4K UHD camera/GPS/follow me/headless mode/auto return home/image tracking/waypoint/line fly mode/detachable filter/Vision auxiliary landing/orbiting mode
The control distance of the Zino 4K is 2.5km. You won’t find a drone that has a greater control distance at this price.
Ideal conditions allow for a flight time of 23 minutes. This means that the average user will fly in around 20 minutes.
Hubsan Zino4K is the ideal choice for aerial photography. This 5G-enabled camera can stream Full HD videos at 30 frames per second and also has 4K capabilities.
With its 3-axis gimbal stabilizer, on which the 4K UHD camera rests, the Zino is the clear winner. This is what makes the camera produce clearer images.
Hubsan Zino4K has features that are on par or better than its competitors. This is despite the drone’s price is slightly higher than the $300 range.
This drone has two major problems: it doesn’t have obstacle avoidance sensors, and the transmitter doesn’t notify of low battery alarm status.
Hubsan compensated by offering multiple intelligent flight modes and other safety features. You can read our Hubsan Zino review.
- Return home feature
- 3-axis gimbal image stabilizer
- 2.5km Control Distance
- Live streaming of 5G transmission and 1km FTV over the Internet
- Flight time is 23 minutes
- The transmitter of low quality
- No obstacles avoidance
6. UPair One 4K
UPair is one of our best drones for under 500 dollars. So why is it here? The UPair package includes a 4K camera. This not only gives it a high-quality camera but also significantly increases the drone’s cost. This package includes everything you need to get started with FPV (FPV screen included).
UPair One is a great alternative to a Phantom quadcopter. Even if you’re a novice pilot or if this is your first drone fly, it’s easy to control. It can be controlled without a pilot input so it’s easy to control.
This will prevent many beginner crashes. GPS aids the flight and enhances the experience. It’s almost like flying a high-end drone, like the Phantom 3 (although we wouldn’t say it is comparable to Phantom 4).
UPair One’s flight time is between 15 and 19 minutes. It is powered by an 11.1V10C 5400mAh lithium battery. The drone’s maximum range of control is 1km. Live video image transmission only extends to 600 meters.
The 4K Camera captures stunning aerial footage and takes beautiful photos. The 4K camera can be mounted on a brushless tripod that can be adjusted to different angles. The remote controller transmits Live Video to the monitor screen of 7 inches.
Real-time video has great quality and no latency. Do you love videography or photography, but don’t have the funds to buy a GoPro + drone. UPair One is the perfect solution for aerial videography and photography.
The UPair One includes all the useful and fun features that you need to make the most of your quad. It has a GPS lock, which allows you to search and lock on 8 satellites, Position Hold, MicroSD card support up to 32GB, and an Automatic Return. Although it doesn’t have the most advanced features, it has everything you need.
- It’s easy to use
- Live Video
- 12MP 4K Camera
- Nice Specifications
- Complete Package with 7-inch FPV LCD Screen
- Flight time is 15-19 minutes
- There is no Flight Plan option
7. 3DR Solo
3DR Solo is one of our oldest drones and it remains one of the best drones under 500 on the market. Despite not being new, 3DR Solo is still a great drone. It is ideal for use with a GoPro and is widely used by GoPro enthusiasts for semi-professional aerial videos and photos.
Its precise performance is one reason 3DR Solo continues to be a highly recommended drone for GoPro use.
Solo comes equipped with an onboard 1 GHZ computer and Pixhawk flight controller. Solo is responsive and stable. This drone is the best choice for your GoPro camera. Solo can travel at a staggering speed of 88km/h (55 mph) and is not recommended for beginners.
3DR Solo specs are still impressive today. The base control distance is approximately 2km, but with an extension kit, it can fly further than 4km. Flight time is 20 minutes if you have a camera and 25 minutes if you don’t.
We are referring here to the package without a camera. It would have been too costly to fit into this budget of less than $500. It’s a great buy for anyone who is thinking of buying or already owns an action camera like the GoPro.
Although the 3DR Solo doesn’t have the latest technology, it does come with autonomous flight modes such as Selfie and Cable Cam. As you’ll see, these functions are very useful for filming. Although 3D Robotics has not released any new updates for a while, the drone’s software can be updated.
- GPS and Custom Flight Path
- Amazing Performance for Less Than $400
- 1km Control Range
- 20 minutes flight time
- GoPro is better than the onboard camera
- A poorly stabilized gimbal
8. Traxxas Aton Plus
Traxxas Aton PLUS is an interesting quadcopter. Although it’s not a very well-known quadcopter, you probably haven’t heard of it. Aton, a drone with a lot of features, is mostly used for semi-professional and educational video recording.
Although the Traxxas Aton Plus is easy to use, it’s not the easiest quad on the market. We wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. It’s more suitable for the experienced human pilot who has flown a drone before.
It is a great drone for experienced pilots. The drone can fly at speeds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph) and it can also be very sporty. The drone can be operated even in Sport Mode thanks to its 6-axis flight stability.
Aton Plus’s control distance is lower than other drones in this list. Its maximum range is just 300 meters. This is a negative aspect. The flight time is impressive at 20 minutes, although this depends on how much payload you have.
Aton Plus does not include a camera. It does come with a 2-axis tilting gimbal mount, which supports GoPro cameras (3 series and 4 series), and other brands such as Xiaomi and SJCam. Other mounts can be purchased separately to support different cameras.
Aton Plus, as we have already mentioned, is very versatile and rich in features. It has three flight modes, including Expert Mode, Sport Mode, and Film Mode. Film Mode, as the name implies, is used to capture beautiful aerial footage and photos. Expert and Sport unlock the drone’s true potential, which is not recommended for beginners.
Other features include Status Bar, Return to Home, Dual-Mode GPS, and Traxxas Fly Link (customize Aton’s flight settings such geofence radius, flight ceiling, control rate), as well as open-source software compatible with Mission Planner.
- Three Different Flight Modes, No Camera Included
- Mount 2-Axis Gimbal for GoPro
- A nice set of features
- 20-minute flight time
- Camera not included
9. Parrot Bebop 2 + Skycontroller Bundle
This is the FPV version for the Bebop series. For anyone looking for a durable, reliable quadcopter with Live Video, the Bepop 2 is the perfect entry-level quadcopter.
As its predecessor, n is suitable for all skill levels, beginners, and experts. It can be flown easily without any difficulty. It is stable and responsive to controls. It can be flown indoors and outdoors. Avoid flying it during windy conditions. You can also choose from three-speed settings.
Apart from the Live Video, the Bepop 2’s best feature is the 25-minute flight duration per battery. You can swap batteries to extend the flight time by 30 minutes. This is a great bonus! Red Horen’s maximum control range is 100 meters.
The quality of the camera’s output photos and videos is the same as that of the Red Heron. U49W can support Live Video. The Live Video is sent via WiFi to the pilot’s smartphone using a free app available for iOS and Android. It’s basically the same camera, but it has FPV support.
It comes with a standard set of features such as Headless Mode, Altitude Hold and Low Battery Alarm, One Key Takeoff, and Landing. It does not have 3D flip. This can be frustrating for children as it cannot do 360o aerial spins at the touch of a button.
- It’s easy to use
- High-Quality Image Quality
- Live Video
- Extra Battery
- FAA registration required
10. Walkera F210
F210 by Walkera, one of the most renowned drone manufacturers on the market is the entry-level FPV drone racing machine. This is for anyone who wants to try this new sport but does not have the necessary skills to make a custom-made drone.
We must again stress the fact that this drone is designed for racing and should not be used by people who are new to flying.
F210 is fast, maneuverable, and responsive to commands. It is powered by KV2500 brushless motors.
Walkera F210’s specifications include a good maximum control range of 400m (with the transmitter and factory settings) and a short flight time of 8 to 9.1 minutes (14.8V 1300mAh 40C4S Li-PO battery).
Walkera F210 has the same camera as Arris X Speed 280 and the Sony 700TVL. The 600TVL and 700TVL are the most common cameras in a racing drone. Both are great for beginners as well as experts.
The transmitter transmits Real-Time video to an FPV monitor or FPV glasses. F210 comes with the DEVO7 transmitter, which has a 3.5 inch LCD FPV monitor. If you’re serious about drone racing, however, you’ll eventually need a professional set of FPV goggles.
The F210 uses the F3 Flight Controller and F3 Brushless ESC F210(CW/CCW), OSD, and the DEVO7 transmitter. You don’t need to build your own drone to compete in an amateur racing drone.
- Live Video
- A nice set of features
- Sony 700TVL Camera
- Powerful Brushless Motor
- DEVO 7 Transmitter
- It’s easy to use
- Battery average flight time
Buyer’s Guide: What to Know Before You Spend Any Money
There are some features that all drones must have when searching for one. It is important to choose a drone that is sturdy, lasts a long time, and offers the quality you want in photos and videos.
Other features are available on some drones that are not included in the standard model. We will discuss some of these features below before you buy a new drone.
A drone with long battery life is important. A drone that can last 15 to 20 minutes is the most popular, especially for $500. This could be an important aspect for some, as it will ensure that the battery is fully charged in a short time. You can buy extra batteries if this is an issue for you. This will allow you to record longer flights and recordings.
The camera quality seems to vary from 720p up to 1080p. Although this is only a preference, it is important for many people. Some cameras have HD quality while others do not.
You can also look for wide-angle cameras. Most drones already have them. To see what the camera can capture, you can look at images and videos shot with a drone.
A few drones can return to the point they took off from even if their battery is low. This feature is useful if you don’t want to fly the drone all the way back to your location and then land it safely. This feature allows the drone to do the heavy lifting for you. This feature is highlighted on the drone with it.
Many drones come with a hovering mode. This allows the drone to hover at whatever height you choose. This feature is usually hands-free and can be very useful if you are interested in being part of the shot that the drone is taking. If you are a frequent photographer of wildlife and sports, this feature is a must-have.
It is important to have multiple speeds, especially for those who are new to flying drones. You can control your drone more easily and the battery life will last longer. There are usually at least two-speed options for drones. Start slow if you are a beginner and work your way up.
The amount you spend will determine the range of your drone. While the cheapest drones can only fly up 15 meters, the most expensive drones can travel up to 50 km.
Time to Fly
This will vary depending on how frequently you use your drone. However, it is usually between 8 and 25 minutes depending on the speed setting, battery life, weight.
Size and portability
You should consider how big your drone is before you start flying it around your home. This will ensure that it doesn’t hit anything or cause damage. Many drones can be folded to store easily. However, it is a good idea to measure your drone before you buy it.
Drones may have an alarm system that notifies you when they run low on battery. This can be extremely helpful in emergency situations.
Follow the Path Mode
This simple feature allows your drone’s GPS coordinates to be automatically followed by a set of preprogrammed GPS coordinates, guiding it around obstacles and back again.
While GPS sensors, range finders, and pressure sensors are all useful for flying your drone, they can also be costly so make sure to consider whether you actually need them before purchasing one.
For smooth aerial shots, drones with the best cameras have a gimbal attached. These drones also have digital image stabilization, which can improve the quality of your footage.
This feature allows you to “tag” an object or person using the drone’s GPS tracking, similar to a smartphone application. The drone will follow the tagged person when you move it. It can also stop, hover or go back if there is a double click on the screen. This is like having your own cameraman, but instead of following anyone who is attractive today, he will follow only you.
A few drones come with an obstacle avoidance system that allows them to detect obstacles in front of them and automatically adjust their flight path accordingly to avoid collisions. This system is not compatible with all the drones, so make sure you check compatibility before buying it.
Live Video Feed
While most drones allow you to view what your camera sees through WiFi or an app, some drones let you see the live video directly from the drone’s camera. Before you buy a drone, make sure it has one.
When purchasing top drones, make sure you consider how many additional batteries you need, especially if the flight time is long. The larger drone may require more than one battery, which can make it difficult to store in your backpack.
GPS Flight Modes
GPS signal allows you to fly more advanced options like an auto return home, circle around an object, and other features without needing to use any buttons. Although the most drone has a basic set, GPS is an option that can enhance your flying experience.
You can see through the goggles
These goggles allow you to fly at the next level. They make what you see appear as though you are hovering above the ground below. You can connect them wirelessly to your controller to view what your drone sees. To use the goggles you will need a special controller with built-in WiFi and a special controller.
You will use this remote control to fly your drone. It comes in many sizes and shapes. Many of them have adjustable controls that allow you to customize your flying experience. However, they all serve the same purpose: controlling the flight modes and taking photos or videos from the sky. You can also add optional accessories such as additional battery packs or camera accessories to record all the action while you are in the air.
While most drones have WiFi connectivity, not all do. While some drones are cheaper, they may come with a controller. Others have their own app that allows them to control the drone.
This is pretty obvious, but make sure to check the age requirements of your drone before purchasing any equipment. There are often lower limits due to flight time and battery size.
Is it necessary to register my drone with FAA in order to legally use it in the US?
You must register with the Federal Aviation Administration before you take your first flight if you are operating a drone commercially. You don’t need to register if you want to fly your drone for recreational purposes.
Are these drones safe to use with children?
No. These drones are not toys. We recommend our Top 10 Best Drones under the $100 list if you are looking to purchase a drone to gift your child.
These drones can be used to support GoPro Camera and other action camera models.
Yes, almost every drone on our list can carry GoPro, Xiaomi, and SJCam action cameras. Some drones come with an excellent quality camera. If you would rather attach your GoPro (or any other), go ahead.
Can I fly indoors and outdoors?
You will need to have a large open space for practice if you are a beginner. These drones can be flown indoors without much difficulty. We will discuss which drones are best for indoor and outdoor use throughout the article.
Is it possible to learn from the best drones under $500?
It depends. It is a difficult question to answer. Drones with this budget can hover accurately and remain stable in all wind conditions. Many drones have autonomous functions that aid the pilot while they fly. These drones can hover without pilot input if the remote controller is placed on the table.
They are also a bit more expensive so if there is any damage, it will be more costly to fix than a toy. These drones are great for beginners. However, it is a good idea to learn how to fly them before you move on to more expensive products.
After reviewing the 10 best drones under 500, we hope you can easily choose a good drone that is right for you. We have compiled a list of things to keep in mind before spending any money so you don’t regret your purchase. If you are looking at getting an amazing drone with all the latest features and the highest quality camera, then this article might not be suitable for you.
These drones will cost over $1000 and more than likely won’t fit into your budget or needs but they are worth mentioning because there are some great deals on other models that may work better suited for what you need as a customer! The bottom line is; if it’s important to get the perfect product the first time around, then our review should help make choosing easy!
Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API