Looking to purchase your first drone but do not want to spend too much? Or maybe you are looking for a cool gift for someone? Well, you have come to the right place because in this article I will list the best drones at the most affordable prices.There are so many drones to choose from,however in this article, we will narrow the list down to drones that are cheap (drones under $100) and ones that come with a camera.
Most consumers just fly for fun while others fly to practice their aerial photography /videography skills. As the demand for drones increases,new drone companies emerge to try and fill any gap in the market. One of those areas is the market for cheap but good drones with advanced features.
The drones in this list will be geared towards beginners but even experienced flyers will have some fun with them. One of the best features of modern consumer drones is the fact that most of them now come with very good cameras,so when I put together this article I made sure that all the drones on this list had a camera and were priced under $100.
If after reading this list you are still unsure of which drone will meet your needs,read my drone buying guide article which will help you decide what type of done is suitable for you.
DJI/RYZE Tech Tello Drone
Well,it was just time before DJI entered the lower priced end of the drone market and they have done so with another winner. The Tello drone tops this list and for under a $100,you do get your money’s worth and more. The Tello drone is built in conjunction with Ryze robotics,another tech company from the Shenzhen region of China.
This drone is suitable for beginners.kids and even more experienced pilots,the drone is designed to be flown indoors and outdoors and has a robust build that can withstand the occasional crashes. The drone is tiny and can fit in the palm of your hand,it weighs just 80g making it a superb travel companion.It has a 5MP 720p camera that takes outstanding videos and images,the quality of which is far superior to every other drone on this list.
The drone is flown via its own app,this is a break from DJI as all other DJI drones are flown via the DJI GO APP. It has a few intelligent flight modes that makes taking videos and images far easier and with its electronic image stabilization software,the resulting videos and pictures are of excellent quality.
The drone has a video transmission range of 100m and has a flight time of about 13 minutes,far exceeding anything else on this list. Other features include auto takeoff and landing,vision positioning system and a failsafe system that automatically brings the drone home should you lost connection or the app crashes. You can also plan your own flights with the help of a simple programming language called Scratch, this is a very easy language to learn and is suitable for kids and people with no prior programming experience. If you are looking for the ultimate drone for beginners,this is my no.1 choice.
Does this drone look familiar to you? If it does it’s because it looks a lot like the DJI Mavic without all the advanced features. The Mavic is my favourite drone so when I came upon a model that looked very similar but at only at a fraction of the price,I had to include it on this list.
The Eachine E58 comes with a lot of cool features that makes it a bargain for a drone that costs under $100.
It comes with a 2mp 720p HD camera that can take pretty decent videos and still images. The camera has a 120° FOV and can rotate downwards at 90°. Other features include altitude hold for a more stable flight and headless mode, so you don’t have to worry about the orientation of the drone.
The controller is also similar to the Mavic and has retractable smartphone holder which will allow you to fly in FPV mode. It has one intelligent flight mode and has a flight time of around 10 minutes.
If you are looking for a drone for under $100 and one that comes with some advanced features,the Eachine E58 would be perfect.
I am still surprised that this drone can be purchased at such a cheap price,the Drocon U31W is a beginner friendly drone that is suitable for kids and adults and is a lot of fun to fly
It’s small with a lightweight frame and propeller guards that will come in handy if you should crash the drone. It also has a pretty good 2mp 720p camera at the front with a 120° FOV and with its FPV capability,you can stream video straight to your smartphone.
Other features include altitude hold and headless mode for easier flight and the ability to fly with a VR headset for a more immersive flying experience. It also has a couple of safety features,the transmitter will start beeping when the battery gets low or if the drone flies out of range. Flight time is around 7 minutes which isn’t much but purchasing extra batteries will take care of that.
Force 1 UDI U818A
This is another decent camera drone from UDI,the U818A has been on the market a few years now but still remains a popular drone for beginners. It has a simplistic design,the frame is lightweight and acts as propeller guards and the camera is attached underneath the body.
The camera isn’t HD and it won’t win any photography prizes but then again it is under $100. The video quality isn’t too bad although the still images are of far better quality. It comes with a 4GB TF memory card to store your videos and images on. The drone also has a headless mode for beginners and a LED light at the front for night time navigation. The controller has a range of 80m on a clear day with no obstruction and comes with the usual controls including a button for 360° flips. The drone is pretty fast when flown in normal mode and has a flight time of around 6-7 minutes.
This is an upgrade to the GoolRC T37, as well as a better camera it also comes with a gravity sensor controller,a longer flight time and better transmission range. It’s a well-designed drone with foldable arms for better portability and LED lights at the front which makes it suitable to fly at night time.
This drone has a lot of features and I am still amazed that it costs under $50!! It has a 2mp 720p camera and takes some good videos and aerial images and you can stream live footage to your smartphone via the GoolRC APP. The APP had problems when it was first released but they have sorted bugs out for the most part and it makes for a better flying experience. The drone also comes with a gravity sensor controller,this lets you control the drone through the motion of your hands. It’s a one-handed controller that has a joystick and 4 buttons to control the drone with.
Flight time is around 7 minutes and transmission range is 80m,this is lessened to 30m if you use the live video transmission feature. This is a steal with the features it comes with.
Holy Stone HS 200
Holy Stone have established themselves as one of the leading manufacturers of drones for beginners and the HS200 is no different. This is an awesome camera drone that comes with some solid features like FPV,altitude hold and 4-speed modes that will be suitable for beginners and more experienced pilots.
The camera shoots videos in 720p and takes still images in 2mp,both videos and images are of good quality especially for the price its selling for. You can also FPV capability which lets you stream live video footage straight to your camera. You can store your videos and images on a 4GB memory card that comes with the drone.
Other features include controlling the drone through motion of your mobile phone,altitude hold for more stable flight and one button take off and landing. It has a headless mode for beginners and has a flight time of 7-9 minutes.
Holy Stone F181W
Another Holy Stone drone on this list,the F181W is an upgrade to the F181 with one of the upgrades being FPV capability. The F181W comes with a 2mp 720p camera with 120° wide angle FOV.
The camera quality is pretty good considering the price you are paying and with its altitude hold function,you can take good quality images and videos with little distortion. The drone comes with FPV capability which allows you to attach your smartphone on to controller and stream live video fed from the camera. You can also store your videos and images on the 4GB memory card that comes with the F181W.
Other features include a one-touch button for take-off and landing,headless modes for easier flying and 4 speed modes so you can test your piloting skills. The drone is very durable and has propeller guards to protect it if you should crash. It has a range of around 100m and for video transmission the range is 30m. Flight time is around 7-10 minutes. Definitely a drone worth considering.
DBPOWER MJX X400W
When you see drones like the MJX X400W for under $100,you start to realise just how far drone technology has come. This is quite an advanced drone that is suitable for both beginners and advanced pilots.
The MJX X400W is similar to that of other beginner quadcopters,the design isn’t anything new,it has an all-white body and propeller guards to protect it if you crash the drone. There are two LED lights at the front that make it easier for orientation. Although with its headless mode you don’t need to know where its head and tail is.
One of the best features of this drone is its camera,you can take good quality images and videos with it. With the drone coming with FPV capability, you can also stream real time footage to your smartphone. The remote controller has a one button take and landing feature and you can do 360° flips. It has a control range of around 100m in perfect conditions,so expect a bit less than that. The LED lights make it suitable for night time flying and it stays in the air for around 8 minutes. As usual, I advise you to get extra batteries with this drone because 8 minutes flight time is not enough.
Holy Stone HS160
The Holy Stone HS160 is part of a new breed of foldable drones that are becoming more and more popular. This is a very lightweight drone that you can travel around with and is small enough to fit in your back pocket. It comes with a 720p camera that is fitted on its nose and can take some good quality videos and images.
The drone is controlled either by the controller or your smartphone, controlling it through your smartphone gives you more options like first person view and using a VR headset. There is a gravity sensor feature that will allow you to control the drone through motion when using your smartphone. This is another cool feature and one that I am seeing more and more in toy drones.
The control distance is around 100m but to use FPV the distance is only 30m,the streaming isn’t the best but then again ,this is a drone that is under $100. Flight time is 7-9 minutes and there are 4 speed modes that is suitable for beginners to more experienced flyers. A pretty good drone,but I believe there are better options on this list
So that is my list of the best drones under $100 that also come with a camera. Most of these cameras are not amazing,but most do still take some cool features and some have autonomous flight modes and some of the drones on this list have FPV capability. My personal favourite is DJI’s recent release,the Tello drone. What do you think of my list? are any drones you think that should be included? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.