If you’re looking for the best drones for beginners, then you’re in the right place. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your photography with an aerial view, or you want to find a great racing drone for an affordable price, we’ve rounded up our favorites here. However, choosing the best drone can be admittedly a little tricky, especially if you’re a beginner.
There are countless drone models out there, all with varying features and price points. So, how can you pick the best beginner drone?
Professional and high-end consumer drones can cost hundreds or even thousands – which is a significant investment! However, there are plenty of cheap drones to explore that can whet your appetite for aerial photography or drone racing.
Investing in a more affordable drone is a great way to give yourself some vital experience. This way, if your drone ends up stuck in a tree or taking a dip in the drink, you’re not going to be left too out of pocket!
Introduction to the Best Drones for Beginners
With the amount of innovation in recent years, today’s market is flooded with competitive options. And it may be challenging to figure out which drone is the best choice for you.
Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned professional, adding a drone to your repertoire adds a new dimension to your creation.
Considering that many of today’s options combine excellent image quality with ease of use, they present an impressive addition.
Below are the top ten best drones, in today’s market that all provide distinct advantages and are the leaders in their class.
01. DJI Mini 2 Drone
The DJI Mini 2 has arrived sooner than many expected to refresh what was already an excellent drone, and it maintains its key positive features.
It is under the 250g which is the weight for pilot registration in the USA & China, it has GPS-based return to home and other pilot-assist features, and it includes very share-friendly ‘quick shots
In fact, other than all-round object collision systems, the drone has almost everything you’d expect from a folding drone costing more than twice as much.
The accompanying remote control is also completely new, and in FAA areas offer up to 10km (6.2 miles) range via automatic channel switching, meaning you can confidently take the drone out in even 24mph wind and remain confident the drone won’t out of contact.
The camera gimbal will keep images horizontal and vibration free while recording up to 4K video, as well as selection of other effects recently only known on DJI’s prosumer models, like panorama.
Photographers can choose Raw, manual exposure, exposure bracketing and other features they’d expect on the ground.
If you’re thinking of the Mini 2 as your first drone, but you’re already familiar with cameras, then this is definitely the best choice.
It’s also pretty handy indoors thanks to downward-facing visual and sonar distance sensing systems which can help it hover even without GPS, and the optional propellor guards (detachable cages too prevent any accidents while flying near obstacles).
The app also makes getting the images to your phone easy if you don’t want to wait until you get home.
02. Parrot Anafi FPV Drone
Parrot has done an amazing job of straddling the fun and the functional aspect of the drone market ever since they essentially created it ten years ago, and the Anafi (especially the new FPV kit) epitomizes that.
The Anafi is a professional drone, with a 4K camera capable of zoom (at least in video mode), with a gimbal-stabilized camera. In fact, some surveyors choose this over DJI products because it can tilt its camera up and down to create 3D models or, for mere mortals, get some unique angles for action shots.
But, with the addition of First Person View (FPV) goggles, you can also flay it from inside the cockpit.
The only thing missing from a much more expensive craft (and admittedly this isn’t cheap) is a collision sensing system, but the Anafi is surprisingly robust, especially the FPV version with improved legs.
Compatibility with Pix4D tools offers an interesting route into 2D and 3D survey work should you decide to offer your services commercially.
03. Ryze Tello Drone
With more than half of the global market, DJI has kept its tech at the serious end of the market. However, a friendly relationship with neighboring firm Ryze has led to the Tello, a compact drone that doesn’t skimp on the tech.
This data link also provides you a battery warning, and the drone is capable of taking off and hovering using its 14-core processor and in-built sensors.
That power makes for fun features like the “Throw & Go” launching and flips, but also supports Scratch, a simple, block-based programming language that means literally anyone (kids included) can have fun ordering the Tello about.
If you think your kids need a little more convincing that programming drones is as cool as flying them, look out for the Ryze Iron Man Edition. Programming tech seemed to work out pretty well for Tony Stark, after all.
04. Holy Stone HS100 Navigator
This excellent drone for beginners introduces not just the experience of flying, but the basic feature set of a serious photography or videography drone for a fraction of the cost.
That’s because it includes a GPS positioning system, and control is via a good quality phone app (a phone will clip into the radio controller and serve as a screen).
Together this gives higher-end features like ‘follow me’ (the drone will follow the location of the phone) as well as making the drone easy to fly – let go of the controls and the drone will just hover, at the same altitude, even in a breeze. It can also return to its launch point at the touch of a button.
The design is clearly inspired by DJI’s Phantom, right up to the 4-light intelligent battery. That said the battery has a Micro USB socket built right in for easy charging – DJI hasn’t thought of that yet!
Nice touches are the extra landing legs, prop guards and stylish pilot’s manual notebook in the box.
Frequently Asked Question
What features to look for in a drone?
It’s also important to note whether a photography drone has a gimbal or a fixed camera. Other features to look for that make flying easier include automated flight modes and obstacle avoidance.
Many photography drones for hobbyists support 4K video and include obstacle avoidance and image stabilization.
Is owning a drone worth it?
If you wish to enhance your photos and/or videos, are looking for unique ways to simplify the way you do business, or are just searching for a fun weekend project, then a drone may be worth your time and money.
The decision to purchase your very own drone can be difficult, especially if you’re on a budget
Who invented drones?
Abraham Karem was born in Baghdad to a Jewish couple. His family moved to Israel in 1951, where he grew up. From an early age, he had an innate passion for aeronautics, and at the age of 14, he started building model aircraft. Karem is regarded as the founding father of UAV (drone) technology.