Taking your first step into the world of drones can be overwhelming. There are a considerable number of different options available at all price points.
But for beginners, the best idea is to start with an inexpensive model. You can learn the ropes and get a better idea on how to pilot a drone and take aerial photos without breaking the bank.
We’re taking a look at a number of cheap drones with a camera to help get you started.
Cheap Drones With Cameras Under $100
Just a few years ago, the idea of finding a quality cheap drone with a camera was nearly laughable. Times have definitely changed. These four options, all under $100, bring a number of different features to help your drone experience take off.
1. DJI Tello
DJI is easily the biggest name in drones today as the company’s models have taken the consumer world by storm. And the DJI Tello brings some of the technology found in much more expensive drones to an entry-level price point.
The diminutive drone weighs 2.8 ounces and can be flown both indoors or a windless day outdoors. The rechargeable battery provides around 10 minutes of flight. Some of the great features include automatic takeoff/landing, a 720p camera, electronic image stabilization, collision detection, and more.
Flyers can also take advantage of six different flight modes like Throw & Go where you can toss the drone up, and it will automatically take off and stabilize. You’ll control the drone with a companion smartphone app.
To find out more about the drone, make sure to read our review of the DJI Tello.
Another great entry-level drone choice, the Dbpower X400W features a 720p camera for both video and images. A headless mode allows flyers to control the drone without having to worry about the orientation of the nose so that beginners can get the hang of flying.
In headless mode, you can also click a special button to return your drone to the original position automatically. An included remote control is used to fly the drone while a smartphone app, which attaches to the controller, shows live video. All video and photos are sent to the phone.
The rechargeable battery provides around nine minutes of flight time. When you want to show off while flying inside or outdoors, press a single button and watch as the drone does a 360 degree flip.
3. Simrex X300C
The Simrex X300C shows that you can even have fun when flying a tiny drone. Able to fit in the palm of your hand when folded up, the drone can be operated with just a smartphone or the included controller with a joystick that doubles as a phone holder.
Along with the headless mode for beginners, there is also an option to select from three different speeds—low, medium, or high—while flying. Takeoff and landing are easy too, with a one-button operation for both. After learning the ropes, you can flip and roll the drone in fun 360 degree tricks.
The built-in 720p camera can capture both images and video inside or outside. Flight time with the battery is around 10 minutes. There are four different drone colors you can select from.
4. Eachine E58
A standout feature of the Eachine E58 is the 120 degree wide-angle lens along with a camera that can capture 720p video and images. While in the air, the camera can also rotate 90 degrees down to see what’s happening on the ground. You’ll control the drone during flight with the included controller and smartphone holder.
To help you capture a clear photo or video, an altitude hold mode will keep the drone in a specific location and height for stable hovering. While flying, new users can take advantage of a headless mode and also do 360 degree flips with the push of a button. Flight time with the induced battery is around 12 minutes.
With an optional VR headset, you can use the app’s special mode to view what the drone is seeing indoors or outside in real-time.
Cheap Drones With Cameras Under $200
For just a little more cash, you can snag a drone with more features and other advantages like a longer flying time and a better camera. Here are some of the best cheap drones for under $200.
1. Force1 F100G
You can leave your smartphone at home when using the Force1 F100G. The drone comes with a detachable 1080p camera and can fly up to 500 meters away. Pilots can even swap the included camera out for their own action camera if they choose.
The brushless motors of the drone should help you capture clear and smooth video or photos while in the air. With the included remote control, you can select from a high or low speed while flying. It’s even possible to fly at night with the built-in LED headlamps.
A battery provides up to 15 minutes of flight time. As a nice perk, two batteries are included with the drone.
Force1 also includes three different shells to customize the look of the drone.
If your top priority when flying is to capture the highest-quality images or video, the Simtoo Moment is for you. The drone’s camera can capture 4K video and 12 megapixel photos while in the air. The 90 degree camera lens is also adjustable.
There are a number of different shooting modes to take advantage of like beauty mode, continuous capture mode, and more.
Other great features include dual GPS for a more precise location, electronic image stabilization, automatic takeoff, and one-press automatic landing. The included battery provides up to 15 minutes of flying time.
Weighing less than a pound, the drone folds up into the size of a notepad when not in use.
The Holy Stone HS120D is a good choice if you’re looking for great videos and photos along with many advanced flying features. A built-in camera can capture 1080p video and photo. The camera features a 120 degree wide-angle lens that’s adjustable by 75 degrees.
Thanks to built-in GPS, pilots can take advantage of some great features usually found in more expensive models. A follow-me mode automatically recognizes your face and will follow movement for handsfree flight. When the battery is low, or the signal is lost, a smart return feature will allow the drone to land at its original takeoff position.
The battery can provide up to 16 minutes of flight time. Holy Stone includes a controller with a smartphone holder too.
Take Your Drone Photography to the Next Level
Hopefully one of these cheap drones will help you dive into the fun and exciting world of flight and aerial photography. The sky is the limit.
And if you’re looking to spend a little more money, make sure to take a look at our choices for the best drones for photography.