8 Drones That Offer Great Value
Drones are everywhere. They have even caught the eye of the government. Huge companies are starting to invest in them. Amazon is working on making deliveries by drones now! If that isn’t crazy then I don’t know what is. I have prepared this guide to hopefully get you ready to buy your very own drone or quadcopter.
The drones featured in this guide aren’t exactly new and they have been around for a while. As the headline of this article suggests, these drones offer great value for your money. Since they’re not new, their prices have been slashed numerous times in the past. They may not have all the latest features but that doesn’t mean they’re obsolete.
There are a lot factors that come into play when choosing a drone. Factors such as price, what you plan on using the drone for and how easy is it to fly are just a few things you should keep in mind before buying a drone.
So let’s take a look at the drones in this list.
What’s the Best Value Drone for Aerial Photography?
Being a drone enthusiast can often lead you to becoming a photographer. Just ask my buddy Ryan! He started off flying drones and now he runs his own photography business.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional
So, what’s the best value drone for aerial photography? The DJI Phantom 3 Professional, of course! If you’re a serious photographer, then the DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone is perfect for you. Take note that it doesn’t come cheap.
The P3 Pro has all that you would want in a drone for aerial photography. It has an excellent 4K Ultra HD camera. It’s highly advanced and has excellent support. The DJI community is vast so you’ll find a lot of helpful information on taking the best drone photographs online.
It’s probably one of the easiest drones to fly and it gives you superb performance. The flight time is pretty decent. Honestly this is probably one of the best drones when it comes to value. It’s a jack of all trades yet there are many things it specializes in.
While being an excellent drone for photography, I would even dare say that this drone is suitable for beginners. The flying is just so stable and easy. Like I already mentioned, there is a whole community of DJI enthusiasts that could answer any questions a beginner might have.
P3 Pro highlights:
- 4K UHD camera with 3-axis gimbal stabilizer
- 720p HD with live streaming video
- Vision positioning helps you fly safely indoors
- Auto Take offs and Auto Landings
- Waypoint and GPS navigation
DJI Inspire 1 (T600)
Made for full-fledged professional aerial photography. The DJI Inspire 1 is a high performance drone. It has excellent stability that helps it keep its position in windy conditions. The design and engineering help it in the everyday activities. It’s made of carbon fiber which makes it strong yet light enough for great performance.
You can easily change the camera settings manually mid flight so that the photographs come out just how you want them. The camera can rotate 320 degrees and tilt 90 degrees. If you want to upgrade the camera then you can do so as well, the designers made it easy to remove the camera.
I can’t say enough about the Inspire 1 in just this review but when you see it, it will definitely look like something straight from the future. If you’re a beginner, this drone is definitely not what you’re looking for. It’s mainly used in professional applications such as aerial photography, videography, mapping and even in search and rescue operations. Real estate agents can also use it to take high quality aerial photographs of properties. If you want to make a business out of drones, then this is probably what you’re looking for.
Inspire 1 highlights:
- 4K video and 12MP photos
- Carbon Fiber Frame
- Retractable landing legs
- Flight Time: 18 minutes
- Detachable 3-axis camera gimbal system
- Live streaming video
- Waypoint and GPS navigation
DJI Phantom 3 Standard
Hands down if you’re taking into account everything then the best drone would have to be the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. Everyone can enjoy this drone, from beginners to experts, to professional photographers to those who just want to take cool pictures to impress people on Instagram (me). Being the most affordable Phantom at the moment, it offers the best value in the entire range.
Phantom 3 Standard highlights:
- 25 minutes flight time
- Camera: 2.7K Video with 3-axis gimbal stabilizer
- Live video feed
- Waypoint and GPS navigation
- Battery: 4S 4480mAh Li Po battery
- 8GB Micro SD Card
What Are Some Good Beginner Drones?
We’ve all been there once. You might have seen a drone while you were walking by and thought “Hey, that seems cool!” Then a passion was born. As you can tell I have a huge passion for drones but I started off not knowing anything about them. Before I go further, let me make this clear. This does not mean you’re restricted to lower level drones if you’re a beginner.
High-end drones like the DJI Phantoms make themselves very beginner friendly. This is only my recommendation if you’re starting off and not sure if you’re into the hobby or not. If you know you’re going to enjoy this hobby then by all means feel free to go after the DJIs.
The first time I took an interest in drones was when my friend let me use his. At that moment I knew I had a special interest in drones so I didn’t hesitate in spending money on one.
Syma X5C Explorers
The X5C has been around for a while and is the grand daddy of the current crop of X5s such as the X5HW. Since it’s not a new model, it can be bought for less than $40.
This drone is well suited for inexperienced drone handlers. It is quite wind resistant, and it can be flown indoors and outdoors. It also comes with a camera. Spare propellers are also included with blade guards. It uses a 3.7V 500mAh Li Po battery.
- HD Camera
- Performs flips
- 7 minutes flight time
- 6 axis gyro stabilization
- Dimensions: 12.2 x 12.2 x 3.1 inches
This beginner drone makes the learning curve for beginners a lot easier. It has features and technology that makes it suitable for those who are just starting. Its return home function helps prevent it from getting lost. It can perform tricks at the press of a button.
The UDI U818A camera’s resolution is 1280 x 720. This drone takes approximately 90 minutes to charge and it has a flight time of 10 minutes.
- 10 minutes flight time
- Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 3cm
- Camera: 2MP HD Video Camera (1280 x 720)
- Built-in prop guards
- Charging Time: 90 minutes
- 6 Axis Gyro Stability
What Are the Best Drones for Kids?
Adults aren’t the only ones that can enjoy playing with drones. There are a lot of drones for kids. The following aren’t necessarily considered toy drones. However, they do make excellent gifts for children. So let’s take a look at some drones for kids.
Blade Nano QX
What more can be said. This quadcopter is very small (14.1 x 8.4 x 4.5 inches). Its miniature size and SAFE technology make it an excellent drone for kids. It’s good for indoor use as well. The Blade Nano has two different flight modes making it suitable for both kids and adults to have fun.
The agility mode in the Blade Nano gives you full control of the drone. For those who want to move on to big boy toys and learn how to properly fly will probably want to go with this after using it for a bit. The other mode is the stability mode that keeps it leveled automatically.
It’s a good quadcopter to begin learning how to fly which makes it an excellent beginner drone too.
Nano QX highlights:
- SAFE Technology
- Brushed motors
- Dimensions: 14.1 x 8.4 x 4.5 inches
- Compatible with Spektrum transmitters
- Removable canopy available in different colors
- Weight: 6 ounces
This Hubsan is a bit more expensive than the Blade Nano since it includes a camera. It is even smaller with its dimensions being 8.9 x 8.6 x 5.7 inches. You can hold it in the palm of your hand! It has a 7-minute flying time with a recharging time of 30 minutes. It’s also easy to fly it indoors from room to room.
- LED Night Lights
- 5.8 GHZ wireless video feed
- 7 minutes of flight time
- 2.4 GHZ Transmitter with built-in FPV screen (first person view)
- Dimensions: 8.9 x 8.6 x 5.7 inches
Which Is a Do-It-All Drone?
The Parrot Bebop is a do-it-all drone — from sport flying to aerial photography.
The Bebop is the upgraded sibling of the AR Drone. You have several options when it comes to controlling the Parrot Bebop. You can either control it with your Android phone or iPhone and you can also control it with the SkyController. Personally I’d rather control it with the SkyController due to the joysticks, HDMI view and extended control range.
The Parrot Bebop has a 14 megapixel camera with in-camera image stabilization. This drone has an on-board memory of 8GB and can take 1080P video. The drone design is unique and one of a kind. It definitely caught my attention when I first saw it. The camera is located inside the drone. Due to this you can get a nice 180 degree view. You can control the angle of the camera with a single finger and the best part of all is that it doesn’t move the drone.
Now one of the things I generally like about Parrot drones is the abundance of mobile apps in the market place. I mean the Parrot website has a section dedicated just for these apps which include Free Flight 3, Astro Drone, AR.Rescue and Director Mode.
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