Many great drones are available on the market, but finding the best drones under 500 can be tricky. There are many factors to consider, from flight time and range to camera quality and features.
Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best drones under 500. Whether you’re looking for a drone to take amazing aerial photos or want to have fun, these drones are sure to impress.
Top Rated Best Drones Under 500
1. DJI Mini 2: Best Camera Drone Under $500
The DJI Mini 2 drone is our favorite. It’s not only the best drone under $500 and the only 4K camera drone within the price range, but it’s also the most portable drone you can take with you when moving.
While there are many better drones and more affordable basic airframes, the Mini 2 is the best for hobby photography.
The Mini 2 has a 4K camera and a 3-axis tilt gimbal. It can fly for up to 30 minutes, has great range, and is fairly fast.
The Mini 2 is an excellent choice if you don’t mind taking photos and videos with your phone but still want wings. Mini 2 is our top choice for a drone that you can throw in your backpack and take with you wherever you go.
- 4K camera
- Easy to fly and fun
- Below 250 grams
- Best camera and GPS for less than $500
- A small drone camera is all you need
2. DJI Mavic Mini: Value GPS drone
The DJI Mavic Mini is the first DJI drone with a camera. It weighs less than 250g and does not require registration with the FAA. Although it may not be the cheapest DJI drone, it is almost absurd to compare Spark’s capabilities to those of the Mavic series drones.
Although the Mavic Mini is a solid DJI drone with a solid 2.7K camera and just 1 mile of connectivity, it still offers great value.
The Mavic Mini is a great drone. Although it isn’t the best drone, it’s definitely the best at a price. This makes it an affordable, fun, safe and reliable choice for novice pilots and those who don’t mind putting the drone in a backpack.
Check out charge DJI Mavic Mini controller if you don’t know how to charge it
- Easy to fly and fun
- Good 2.7K camera
- Below 250 grams
- Limitless range
- Only 2.7K cameras
DJI is the best brand on the market now, let’s find out why is DJI so significantly successful.
3. Hubsan Zino 2: Best 4k Camera Drone under $500
The Hubsan Zio Pro seems to have been inspired by the Mavic drone series. The overall design and folding of the Hubsan Zino Pro are similar. It also has a decent camera that can be hung from its nose.
It is comparable to the older Mavic drones or the Mini drones. Hubsan is a great company that makes fun toys. It’s exciting to see them create a competitor in the GPS-enabled camera drone market.
We are proud of Hubsan’s Zino Pro drone. It’s solid and capable, which we respect. With the DJI Minis available, we hesitated to buy them ourselves, but Zino is still a great option if you choose that route.
- Small camera drones with competitive prices
- Interchangeable lens filters
- It’s easy to fly
- 4K camera
- Cameras of low quality
4. Ryze Tello Mini: Best Drone Under $400 and a Great Beginner Drone, Fun and Educational
The Ryze Tello drone is what most people will get for their first drone. The Ryze Tello is a simple drone with many more features than you would expect. Fly with your phone, grab an optional remote or create your own navigation code.
Tello, a safe indoor drone that can be controlled by a smartphone, is an excellent choice for educational purposes.
The Ryze Tello is not an indoor camera drone.
- It’s easy to fly
- Many flight options
- Safe for indoor use
- Limitless range
- Simple camera
- Remote is an optional add-on
5. Xiaomi Fimi X8: Best Photography Drone Under $500
Xiaomi Fimi X8 drone is very capable with a 4k camera, a range of 5km, 30 minutes battery life, and 3-axis gimbal stability.
It can take some amazing photos, so it’s a great choice. Both the drone and controller are very well-made, which is typical of Xiaomi. The app is also quite good.
This drone has one problem: it doesn’t have ground clearance, so you must launch it from a plane.
This drone is superior to the smaller ones on the list because it can perform complex movements at once and is strong in the wind. Its brother, the Xiaomi Fimi A3, made it to my top list of drones under $300.
- 4k camera
- Excellent GPS stability
- 2k at 60 FPS
- Amazing range
- Long flight time
- Foldable design
- 100 Mbps bitrate
- Gimbal clearance is quite low
- No obstacle avoidance
6. Simrex X11 Drone: The Cheapest Drone For Fish
This drone is my favorite for fishing. It’s a small version of a Phantom and features high-quality specs and build quality. You can easily find it on Amazon at a very reasonable price.
You can catch it with its powerful brushless motors and similar landing legs to a Phantom. It is well below $200, and I am impressed by its specs.
At 22 minutes, the battery life is good. The range is still 500m. This is sufficient for most fishing types. It can also return home if it loses its signal.
This drone is ideal for those who are looking to try fishing drones but have a limited budget. This drone is as good as it gets considering the price.
- It is very affordable for the things it can do
- Brushless motors that are powerful
- Return to home (GPS).
- It can be caught by hand while you are on a boat.
- Quite portable
- The camera quality is lower than the other models.
7. Mavic 2 Zoom (Portable fishing helicopter)
The Mavic 2 Series fishing drone is compact and easy to transport. The Mavic 2 Series is both small and strong. It can handle wind well, as well as being light. The Mavic 2 Zoom was my choice over the Pro.
I found the zoom feature to be extremely helpful in scouting fish and places to fish. Although the pro version can be used, I think it is too much if you are not a professional videographer.
It boasts some of the most impressive specs, including a 9km range, 4k camera, all-around obstacle avoidance sensors, and follows me mode. The Phantom 4 is similar, but it’s smaller and lighter. It can zoom. It can’t be held in your hand while you’re on a boat.
- 4k Zoom Camera
- 5 Direction Sensors
- Follow me back home
- Maximum speed 72 kph
- It can be less expensive than the Phantom 4
- Not waterproof
- It is difficult to catch a boat.
8. Ruko F11 Pro: Best Drones Under 400
- HD camera with 120deg FOV
- Captures 4k Images
- Records 2.9k videos at 25fps
- Intelligent flight modes
- GPS Autonomous Return to Home
- Flight time: 30 minutes
- 1.2km control range
This drone is well-built and has many advanced features. The drone’s robust design and powerful brushless motors provide it with excellent resistance to high winds. It also provides good stability while in flight. It comes with a high-quality HD camera, which can capture excellent photos and videos.
The drone has smart flight modes, an automatic return home feature, and a flight time of 30 minutes.
9. Parrot Anafi- Best Drone Under 600
- Maximum Flight Time: 25 minutes
- Maximum Transmission Distance: 1.2 mi (2 km)
- Maximum Speed: 34 mph (55 km/h)
- Stabilization: 3-axis mechanical gimbal
- Video Quality: 4K Ultra HD
- Camera Resolution: 21 MP
- Weight: 320g
Although the price of this drone is somewhat higher than what is recommended in this article, it is still a great option for those who want to upgrade or have extra money.
The drone is very similar to the DJI Mavic, but it is much more affordable. This is great if you are on a tight budget but still want a high-quality drone. You’ll be able to fly your drone in minutes, thanks to the quick folding and set-up.
The video quality is amazing at 4k 30fps, and still, photos are 21 MP. This means that even with the in-flight zoom mode, images are sharp and clear. You can even take up to 10 photos in one second with the burst mode. The new camera tilt feature allows the camera to be rotated 180 degrees.
You don’t even need to attach your phone or tablet to the remote control, which is an extremely useful feature of the app. All you have to do is use your smartphone to operate the remote control.
Although it’s nice that the SD card is included with the purchase, it’s only 16GB. I recommend buying another SD card for longer flights.
The only thing that is missing is the follow-me option. Other than that, it is a great drone for the price/feature ratio, and I highly recommend it.
10. Force1 F100GP- The Best Entry-Level Drone Below $500
The Force 1 F100GP drone isn’t the most expensive, under $500. Neither is its camera. It’s a great drone to buy if you are just learning to fly drones and don’t have any experience.
Everything you need to fly the drone is included in the package. It is also compatible with GoPro, which means that you can expand your options once you have honed your skills.
The manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee if the drone doesn’t meet your expectations. Although it is unlikely that this will happen, it’s still good to be protected.
The drone’s 1080p HD camera can take high-quality photos and videos.
The drone’s price tag is reasonable for a 1080p HD camera. Its target audience is beginners who want to learn to fly a drone and possibly record a video for school or home.
Although it isn’t the most advanced, the camera captures vivid colors and has a wide-angle.
The remote controller at 2.4GHz makes it easy to choose the video mode. This drone can also do 360-degree flips!
The Force1 F100GP is not a full-featured vehicle, but it does promise some features.
Although you won’t find advanced features like the Altitude Hold and 1-key return, this drone is perfectly balanced and ready to fly. It caters to every beginner’s need in every way. You also get four spare propellers as well as propeller guards, which allow you to try it out without worrying about serious consequences.
This drone can fly up to 500m, thanks to its powerful motors. It is advertised as having a “long-range,” but this drone is still more than adequate for the price.
On average, the battery will last around 17 minutes. However, you can fly for longer periods of time if the drone is only flown at second speed. The included charger is also quite efficient considering the price.
- Easy to fly and control, can do flips
- Elegant design with 3 shell options
- Strong motors, solid flight time
- Uses LED lights to ensure safe night flying
- The 720p HD camera may not be able to meet all your needs.
- It lacks advanced features.
Do not miss some useful information:
What Can You Expect From A Drone Under $500?
Average Flight Time
In the past few years, drone firmware and batteries have significantly improved. We’re far away from drones that can only fly for a few minutes. You can expect a flight time of between 15 and 30 minutes.
While some brands place a high priority on flight time, others are more focused on other specifications. However, remember that a higher payload means a shorter flight time. You should know the expected flight time for your drone in various flight modes so you can plan accordingly.
Nobody wants to lose a shot due to their drone dying – Murphy’s Law would make it the most memorable shot ever!
Average Battery Life
A drone’s battery life directly affects its flight time. A drone battery can last for up to 30 minutes. This is the average flight time in this price range. However, battery life is affected by many factors.
Your drone’s battery life is primarily affected by its weight and aerodynamics. Some factors may affect the battery life, such as any unnecessary accessories you attach to your drone. External factors, such as wind and temperature, can also affect battery life.
It would help if you always had spare batteries in case the drone’s battery life is insufficient for your needs. This will allow you to fly longer and more efficiently. Some drones also have an alarm for low batteries that will notify you when your battery needs to be charged.
So, if you are looking for a drone have a long flight time, you can see our drone with a long battery top list.
Average Control Range
This is the one that drone enthusiasts most value. It is essential to have a long-range when you invest this much money in a drone. The control distance of the best drones below $500 is satisfactory.
The average drone’s control range in this price range is between 500 and 1000 meters. This is quite reasonable. Some brands also focus on long-range products, reaching as far as 4000m without losing the signal.
If you don’t want to be fined, please check out: Best Places To Fly A Drone And Where Are Drones Banned
You can expect and demand perfect performance from any drone listed on our list of the top drones under $500. It is essential that the drone has precise controls and can fly in windy conditions without pilot input. Also, it must be able to hover steadily even when no pilot exists. We only selected quads with top-of-the-line performance compared to other drones in this price range.
The best drones below $500 offer superior performance, flight time and battery life compared to other more expensive models.
As companies vie for sales, drone technology is constantly improving. The best drones below $500 come with many features. You can expect a good number of drones to come with autonomous flight, headless mode, altitude hold, and other modes that make them easy to use.
Some functions improve camera usage, such as Follow Me and Orbit, Point of Interests, GPS-assisted flying, optical flow sensors, etc. If you are looking for a GoPro-compatible drone, you can find one for as low as $500.
There are also some nice “extras” that you can get, but they aren’t essential, like a low battery alarm and One key return.
Average Camera Quality
The majority of drones below $500 include a 720p HD camera and a 4K camera drone. These drones can produce stunning footage even at semi-professional levels. Many drones can also carry a GoPro camera or other action cameras.
The onboard camera may not be good enough to record commercials or broadcast live videos of sporting events. However, it can capture unique videos and photos for semi-professional projects, film school projects, and YouTube vlogs.
What is the maximum flight time of drones?
What is the maximum time a commercial drone can stay in the air? Commercial drones can stay in the air for between 20-40 minutes. However, there are exceptions for high-end drones and fixed-wing planes that can fly for up to an hour.
Which drone is the best for beginners?
The DJI Mini 2 is currently the best drone available for beginners because they are lightweight, compact, and easy to fly.
Are drones that are more expensive and easier to fly?
Drones that cost a little more are likely to be easier to pilot and will not surprise. These drones have more features, such as GPS, hovering stability and obstacle avoidance, which will allow you to fly smoother and with fewer accidents.
What is the difference between hs720e vs Mavic air 2?
The only difference between the DJI Mavic Mini and the Holy Stone HS720 is their flight time and camera. However, they also have significant differences in size and weight.
The drone market is ever-growing, and there are now many great options available for those looking to get into the hobby. With so many different types of drones on the market, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you.
However, using our guide, you can narrow your search and find the perfect drone for your needs. Hope you found this guide helpful!
Last update on 2022-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API