If you’re looking for an inexpensive entry level drone for beginners and novices or a more advanced prosumer drone for professional level aerial photography and video, I’ll have the product for you. If you want more information on the best and most up-to-date pricing on the products mentioned, be sure to check the links in the description below.
Holy Stone HS110D
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The fifth product on our list is the Holy Stone HS110D. This is our best budget drone. The Holy Stone HS110D is a great budget drone for beginners and novices that’s easy to fly and comes with some impressive features to help you out for about $75 the lightweight quadcopter only weighs 145 grams. So you won’t need to register it with the FAA which is an automatic plus for new flyers so you can enjoy flying your drone right away plus the learning curve is quick and there are plenty of features to help beginners out including a one button take off and landing feature it even has voice and gesture control making it.
Even easier to control there are different flight mode and speeds as well as an automatic altitude hold feature which makes it dead easy to hover over a certain spot and you can take some really cool photos, capture ten ABP HD videos, or even stream the video live especially with the camera’s impressive 120掳 field of view.
The headless mode will really help out new flyers. No matter the orientation of the HS110D in the air, if you press left on your controller, the drone will also move left in relation to your point of view. The other great feature I think will benefit new flyers is the return to home feature. Once the battery starts to run low, during flight, the drone will automatically fly back.
You’ll get about 10 minutes of flight time which isn’t a lot compared to some of the more expensive drones but you get two modular batteries to double your fly time. The Holy Stone HS110D has a quick learning curve and plenty of features to get you up and flying quickly and safely and it’s affordable price makes it an ideal budget choice for new and novice flyers.
DJI Mini 2
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The fourth product on our list is the DJI Mini 2. This is our best mini drone. The DJI Mini 2 is an easy to operate mini drone packed with features and can 4K video and 12 megapixels in a great compact design for around $450 for flyers looking for a more advanced drone than the Holy Stone.
At 249 grams take off weight, the Mini 2 just squeaks in under the FAA threshold so you don’t have to register it and the lightweight compact foldable design makes it extremely portable. However, despite the smaller size, it still can withstand wind speeds up to 24 miles per hour with level 5 wind resistance and even take off at a max altitude of 4,000 meters with up to 30 minutes of time.
The Mini 2 is geared towards both hobbyists and season flyers but beginners will have no problem quickly picking up the easy operation. You’ll be able to shoot some amazing footage right away with automated presets and with the camera held by a three-access gimbal, your 4K video footage is going to be ultra clear as well as extremely smooth and stable.
Plus, the four-time zoom lets you get really close to the action. One of the notable upgrades with the Mini 2 is the use of OcuSync 2.00 for enhanced transmission up to an incredible 6.2 miles transmission distance. Rather than WiFi which is more common but limited. The controller design has been updated as well and replicates the design and functionality of the controller of the Mavic Air 2
The DJI Mini 2 also gives an abundance of great features including the return to home button right on the controller for quick and convenient access, three flight mode speeds, intelligent shooting modes, and a three access gimbal so you can record professional level 4K videos making it a great option for beginners right up to season flyers.
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The third product on our list the Parrot Anafi. This is a great DJI alternative. While it seems that DJI drones fill the skies, a popular alternative is the Parrot Anafi, which goes for around $700 and offers a great feature that even DJI can’t match. The Anafis camera is mounted on a similar three-access gimbal like both the DJI Mini 2 and the Mavic Air 2 which we’ll be looking at right after.
But the Parrot Anafi can also rotate up so you’ll be able to take photos and videos above the drone as well. It may not be a feature you use on every flight but it’s good to know the Anafi has that capability with its 10080. Even though it weighs considerably more than the Mini 2 at 320 grams, I like that it’s still ultra compact and foldable. Making it easily portable especially with the USB type C charger.
It comes with all the advanced features you’d expect from a quadcopter trying to go up against the DJIs including a 4K HDR camera that can also shoot 21 megapixel photos plus a burst mode that can capture ten photos per second, hybrid stabilization, gallons positioning system, geo barrier, and two times a lossless zoom.
You’ll get about 25 minutes of flight time which falls just short of both the Mini two and the Mavic Air 2 but still impressive enough not to be a deal breaker. The controller is also quite compact and foldable and you get about a two and a half mile range with it. Although beginners and novices can get up to speed quickly, it doesn’t have an obstacle avoidance system which would have made it easier for first timers.
While the pair enough is not as robust in features as the Mavic Air 2, it’s certainly a worthy alternative to DJI drones coming in about $100 cheaper and if you’re looking versatile shooting options, the 180 tilt gimbal maybe reason enough to consider it over the DJIs.
DJI Mavic Air 2
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The second product on our list is the DJI Mavic Air 2. This is our best overall drone for most people. The DJI Mavic Air 2falls between the DJI Mini 2 and the Mavic 2 Pro. So you get the best of both worlds with tons of high-end features while still being relatively budget friendly. For about 800 dollars, it’s an ideal drone for novices and hobbyists that want to take their flying to the next level without the bigger investment of the Mavic 2 Pro.
Although it’s a little bigger and heavier than it’s previous iteration weighing in at 570 grams, the larger frame and weight brings stability improvements and overall better flight dynamics and it’s fitted with low noise wind resistance propellers letting you fly with less unwanted attention. It may cost a little more than the Para Anafi but the Mavic Air really ups the ante with its half inch CMOS sensor letting you capture some amazing 48 megapixel aerial photos in 4K footage at 60 frames per second and 8K hyperlapse videos.
All of which the Anafi can’t come close matching but in addition to the better specs, what I think is great is that you get a whole host of great features that hobbyist will enjoy and actually use with intuitive shooting functions that make aerial photography easier than ever. You’ve got features like spotlight, active track, POI that tracks subjects, keeps the camera locked on them, and even centers them in your shot. You’ve also got OcuSync two connectivity like the Mini two for enhanced transmission, 8 gigabytes of internal storage, in addition to a dedicated micro SD card slot, plus DJI has also bumped up the battery.
So now you’ll get about 34 minutes of flight time. The DJI Mavic Air 2 is going to be one of the best drones you can get in the mid-tier range without hitting the heavy investment prices of more professional drones. So, it’s going to appeal to a lot of people that want a little more performance, versatility, and features than what the Mini 2 offers while still being relatively budget friendly.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
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The first product on our list is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. This is our best premium drone under 2,000 dollars. The Mavic 2 Pro is probably the best consumer drone you can get for aerial video and photography before tipping the threshold for drones. Needless to say, it comes feature packed with all the bells and whistles for those who are serious about their aerial video and photography for around 1,600 dollars.
Although the ProSumer Drone is a significant step up from the Mavic Air 2 in both performance and price, it’s still quite easy to fly even for hobbyists. You get a nice range of intelligent shooting and flight modes. So, capturing amazing shots is pretty easy. Plus, you get DJI’s omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system with sensors in every direction that stops the drone from proceeding if an obstacle is detected so you can focus on getting the perfect shot.
What really sets the Mavic 2 Pro above the Mavic Air two is the one inch twenty megapixel sensor that delivers incredible optical performance. So your shots are going to be sharper and clearer than what you get from the half inch sensor on the Mavic Air 2. You’ll get true color and brilliantly detailed images and capture 4K UHD footage at 100 megabits per second.
Putting you in the range of professional level drones that are significantly more expensive. Although you’re limited to just 30 frames per second. On the flip side, you get the option of shooting 10bit D log M and 10bit HDR plus you get the same three axis gimbal so your footage is incredibly smooth performance and handling are stellar and the ample battery gives you up to 31 minutes of flight time the max range is about 5 miles which is a little less than the Mavic Air 2.
We think the Mavic 2Pro is the best prosumer level drone offering top performance advanced features and professional level filming for hobbyists and photographers and videographers without having to venture into the more expensive professional drone segment.