If you are looking for the best drones under $1000, there are a lot of choices on the market.

The consumer drone industry is growing at an accelerated rate and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the many high-end drones that are being released.

People who are willing to spend around $1000 for a drone are looking to shoot some exceptional videos and photos.

These drones can be used for both recreational and commercial use, from wedding and real estate photography to taking some breath-taking videos and photos of nature. The drones on this list are some of the most advanced on the market and come with amazing cameras and innovative features.

My list of the best drones for under $1000 is definitely not an exhaustive list, there are some that did not make it just out of personal preference. If you want more options for drones around $1000 mark, check out my other articles that list high-end drones.

Best Drones Under $1000

  1. DJI Mavic Air 2
  2. DJI Mavic Pro
  3. Autel Evo
  4. DJI Mavic Air
  5. Hubsan Zino 2
  6. DJI Mavic Mini
  7. Hubsan Zino Pro
  8. DJI Phantom 3 Pro

#1. DJI Mavic Air 2

I was surprised that DJI decided to price this drone under $1000, it is one of the best drones on the market and comes with many of DJI’s innovative features that have made them the leader in the consumer drone industry. This is a beautifully designed drone that is smaller than the Mavic Pro and weighs just under 600g, so not a heavy drone and is easy to carry around. The DJI Mavic Air 2 is an excellent drone for professional photographers, it comes with an amazing HD camera that can record 4k video footage at 60fps with a recording speed of 100Mbps. The camera has a 1/2-inch CMOS image sensor that can shoot images in 12MP or 48MP HD resolution and can capture in both RAW and JPEG formats. The drone can record 8k hyperlapse videos and comes with HDR support that will capture the true colours of a photo and video. The Mavic Air 2 also comes with DJI’s latest Advanced Pilot Assistant System for safer flying, other features include OcuSync 2.0 for smoother live video transmission, smart tracking, 34 minutes of flight time and a transmission range of around 10km.

Key Features

  • 4k/60fps camera
  • 1/2” CMOS image sensor
  • 12MP & 48MP still images
  • Captures in both RAW and JPEG
  • 8K Hyperlapse videos
  • Smart photo mode
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • Obstacle avoidance system
  • 34 minutes of flight time

#2. DJI Mavic Pro

Despite being a few years old, the Mavic Pro still remains one of the best drones on the market and although it initially cost well over $1000, it now retails just under this price tag. The Mavic Pro is the drone that popularised the foldable design and also responsible for the many continuous copycats that have followed it since it was first released. Design-wise, the Mavic Pro was a huge move away from DJI’s Phantom range of drones which are much bigger and heavier. The Mavic Pro is a small, foldable and very compact drone that comes with many powerful features and is especially suitable for travel photographers. Although it is a small and lightweight drone, it can be flown in slightly windy conditions because of its aerodynamic design and powerful brushless motors. The main feature of this drone is definitely its camera, it can record in stunning 4k and capture images in 12MP and because it is stabilised by an advanced gimbal system, the videos and photos are crystal clear and free of any sort of distortion. This drone was also one of the first to come with an obstacle avoidance system and come with features such as automatic return home, ActiveTrack, Circle me mode and is compatible with VR headsets for a more immersive flying experience.

Key Features

  • 4k/30fps camera
  • 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
  • 12MP still images
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • 27 minutes of flight time
  • Obstacle avoidance system
  • Smart flight modes
  • 7km transmission range

#3. Autel Evo

One of the first major challenger to the DJI Mavic Pro, the Autel Evo never reached the popularity of its competitor, nonetheless, it still remains a popular drone for people looking to get started in drone photography. I am not a huge fan of its orange body but it does have a nice streamlined aerodynamic design and it is a foldable drone, so that is a plus in my column. The Evo comes equipped with an amazing HD camera that can record 4k@60fps and capture 12MP still images. The camera is stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal which will make sure that the videos and photos are free of any kind of distortion. The camera comes installed with a video/image processor from Ambarella for a higher dynamic range of colours and further stabilisation through EIS. The drone also comes with an obstacle avoidance system for safer flying and Starpoint Positioning system that allows the drone to operate in areas where the GPS signal is weak. One of the best features of this drone is its controller which has a 3.3-inch OLED screen that you can use for FPV purposes.

Key Features

  • 4k/60fps camera
  • Can shoot 12MP still images
  • 720p FPV
  • Video processor from Ambarella for HDR and enhanced stabilisation
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • Automatic return home
  • Dual GPS
  • 30 minutes of flight time

#4. DJI Mavic Air

One of the best foldable drones on the market, the original Mavic Air still remains an impressive drone even though it was released a couple of years ago. It’s a beautifully constructed drone that comes with powerful features and is also one of the lightest drones on this list weighing just over 400g. If you are looking for a good drone to travel with, the Mavic Air is one of the best for this purpose. Despite being a small, lightweight drone, it comes with many of the features that have made DJI the leading consumer drone brand. The drone comes with DJI’s innovative Advanced Pilot Assistant System which incorporates an obstacle avoidance system for safer flying and comes with several autonomous flight modes. This was the first Mavic drone to record video footage in 4k at 100Mbps bitrate (Mavic Pro recorded at 60Mbps) and supports D-Cinelike colour profile. It can capture images in both RAW and JPEG formats and can record slow-motion videos in true HD. This is a very good drone and worth the price it currently sells for.

Key Features

  • 4k/30fps camera
  • 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
  • 12MP still images
  • 21 minutes of flight time
  • Advanced Autopilot Assistant System
  • Obstacle avoidance system
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • 4km transmission range

#5. Hubsan Zino 2

Hubsan is known more for their low-cost beginner-friendly drones, however, their Zino range of drones are on the higher-end of the drone market and have proved to be very popular because they do not come with the price tag of something like the Mavic or Evo drones. The Zino 2 is an exceptionally well-designed drone, its heavier and larger than a lot of comparable foldable drones but that shouldn’t put you off because it does come with some advanced features and its foldable design makes it very compact and easy to carry around. The drone comes with dual GPS modules that allows for better hovering capability and more precise drone tracking on the app. The drone also comes several smart flight modes including an impressive image tracking mode and a GPS automatic return to home feature. The best feature of this drone is definitely its 4k camera that can record at 60fps and has a recording speed of 100Mbps for crystal clear smooth video footage. The camera is stabilised by an advanced gimbal system and comes with a dedicated image processor from Ambarella. I believe this is one of the best value for money drones you can purchase as it cost way less than many of the drones on this list and comes with comparable features.

Key Features

  • 4k/60fps camera
  • 12MP still images
  • Ambarella H22 Video processor
  • Advanced 3-axis gimbal
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • 33 minutes of flight time
  • GPS Automatic return home
  • 8km transmission range

#6. DJI Mavic Mini

This is probably my favourite drone at the moment, it’s the ultimate travel drone as it is very light and ultra-portable. However, don’t let its small size and weight deceive you, this is a very powerful drone and comes with many of DJI’s signature features. The drone comes with a very good 2.7k camera and is stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal, attaching a gimbal system to such a small device is very impressive. The camera can record video footage in 2.7k at 30fps at a speed of 40Mbps. The video quality is very good and you can also capture 12MP images in JPEG format. The drone has a flight time of around 30 minutes, which is also very impressive for such a small drone and has a transmission rage of around 4km. DJI developed a completely new app for this drone called the DJI Fly App and it comes with a host of features that will let you have more fun flying the drone.

Key Features

  • 2.7k/30fps camera
  • 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
  • 12MP still images
  • Weighs less than 250g (No need for FAA/CAA registration)
  • 3-axis motorised gimbal
  • Edit videos and images within the DJI Fly app
  • Quickshots- allows you to take short Hollywood style videos
  • 30 minutes of flight time

#7. Hubsan Zino Pro

The Zino Pro is slightly cheaper than the Zino 2 but they come with more or less the same features, the only major difference is their respective flight times and transmission range. I personally prefer the Hubsan Zino because of its all-black colour scheme and green logo on the top. The drone comes with dual GPS modules that allow the drone to hover more accurately and also fly autonomously. It has several intelligent flight modes including image tracking and automatically orbiting a point of interest. The drone comes with powerful brushless motors which allows it to be flown in slightly windy conditions and can reach a top speed of 36 km/h. The drone comes with a 4k camera that can record at 30fps and capture stunning 12mp images with its Sony image sensor. The camera also comes with Ambarella chipset that supports HDR for videos and smoother video footage. This is an excellent drone and actually costs less than $400, which is a bargain in my honest opinion.

Key Features

  • 4k/30fps
  • 1/3-inch Sony image sensor
  • 12MP still images
  • 720p FPV
  • Automatic return home
  • GPS image tracking
  • 23 minutes of flight time
  • 4km transmission range

#8. DJI Phantom 3 Pro

This was one of DJI’s first drone that came with a 4k camera, like all Phantom drones, it has an all-white colour scheme and gold markings on its rotor arms. It is larger and heavier than most drones on this list, so not a great drone to travel with. However, because it is large and comes with powerful motors, you can fly this drone in windy and even cold temperatures. For its size, the drone is very fast, it can reach a top speed of around 56 km/h and has a decent flight time of 23 minutes. The 4k camera may not be as good as the later generation of DJI 4K camera drones but you can still take some exceptional videos and photos with it. The camera has a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that can shoot still images in12MP and because it is stabilised by a mechanical gimbal, videos and photos will be crystal and clear and free from any kind of distortion.

Key Features

  • 4k/30fps camera
  • 12MP still images
  • Stream live video footage in 720p
  • Automatic return home
  • GPS/GLONASS
  • Vision positioning system
  • 23 minutes of flight time
  • 5km transmission range
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