If you had asked videographers what is the best "new" technology for their job in the last 10 years, most of them would answer drone. They are everywhere, and you can get them for as little as $30, but just like with other technology, there are poorly made ones and great ones.
We have made a research and you are about to find out which are the best drones under $200.
Most of the nature shots taken from the air are filmed with a drone. Those days when you had to fly with a helicopter to film something are long gone. Nowadays, even an amateur can create magnificent air shots for a low cost.
Drones have taken over the market in the last 10 years. They have become so popular that even the smallest retailers have some form of a drone. The quality of a drone varies a lot, and research is necessary to purchase something good enough.
There are some really terrible ones out there, so you should watch out before rushing to buy anything. The quality of the camera has reached 4K for some drones. Flying these drones was newer easier, with some of them having cool features such as 'Follow me' which will make the drone go everywhere you go.
The pricing varies a lot, and so do the features. If you want top-tier drones, you will be looking at prices above a few thousand $. Each drone has its pros and cons, but lucky for you, there are plenty of reviews available online. If you are just starting out, you don't need to buy the most expensive one.
Not everybody can afford a DJI Inspire 2, so that's why we have created a list of best drones under $200.
Best Drones Under $200
The list you are about to see is based on different reviews available online and some video reviews. We have taken the most reliable ones and made a conclusion based on them. There are some awesome drones you can get for a cheap price, and who knows, you may become a paid videographer overnight.
Enough talking, let's get right to the list of best drones under $200:
The cheapest drone on this list, but don't skip it yet. It comes with so many features that the price is surprisingly low. The camera quality is 2.7K which provides amazing video quality. It also has an in-built GPS that allows you to use features such as 'Auto return home', 'Follow me', 'Custom Flight Path', and more.
The controller is included with the drone and it has a nice smartphone holder. You can combine your smartphone with the Holy Stone app to control the drone and also to see a live preview. The camera has a 90-degree rotation that will let you snap different shots from various angles. One awesome feature that many drones lack is 'Point of interest' which will allow you to orbit around the object you choose.
It has an in-built voice recorder and 5GHz First-Person-View (FPV) transmission. 5GHz is less interfered and it will enable you to have crystal clear live video. The batteries included are rechargeable and will provide for approx. 18 minutes of flight.
This drone weight is approximately 595 grams.
Another great drone for beginners on this list is the 818 Hornet. It comes with 2 batteries which combined provide for approx. 30 minutes of flying time. The camera that's on this drone is 720p FPV and it also has a live video feature.
It also comes with a controller and a smartphone option. The control preference is up to you, and so are the speed options. This drone comes with 3-speed options depending on the skill that you have. The first speed is the slowest one, but also the most stable and the third speed is the fastest, but not as stable.
It has a fast 1 button take-off and landing. Same as the previous drone, it also has a custom route/path mapping. The transmission range is between 100 and 150m and the weight is incredibly light 248 grams. Altair 818 Hornet is an excellent drone for beginners and kids who are just starting out with drones.
This extremely light, but very powerful drone definitely deserves a spot on this list. It weighs only 272 grams and both the drone and controller are foldable. This is ideal for those who travel a lot and need a drone that's easily portable.
Both the controller and SP510 drone are rechargeable which makes it even more portable. It has around 16 minutes of flight time on a single recharge. There is no need for an extra battery in the controller.
The camera on this drone is amazing 2.7K HD, but even more impressive are the 110° Field of View lens with 90° adjustable camera angle. Some of the features available through 5GHz WiFi are:
- Point of interest
- Waypoint mapping
- Auto return home
- Follow me
The controller comes with extendable arms that will allow easier smartphone holding. It's one of the best drone models out there for sure.
Together with Ruoko U11, this drone is almost exactly $200.00, but are they better than lower cost competitors? Let's see.
It is powered by 4 brushless motors which will ensure a very stable flight. It can achieve speeds up to 40Km/h that is much faster than the cheaper competitors out there.
The camera is an amazing 2K HD FPV quality and the live video is streamed over 5GHz WiFi. D80 has a dual GPS system so you don't have to worry about losing your drone. These two GPS will provide accurate position details.
Please note that 2K content requires a 16/32 GB SD card which is not included with the drone. Considering the very low prices of SD cards today, that's not that big of an issue. Flight time is around 20 minutes and the distance can be controlled up to 800 meters if there is no signal interference.
It has all the usual features such as auto return, one key take-off and landing, follow me, altitude hold, and more. D80 will automatically return if the battery percentage is low or the signal is out of range. The only downside of this drone is the weight which is 3lb or approx. 1360 grams.
This one is the absolute winner in this list when we consider the camera quality. Ruko U11 comes with a 4K camera that can record videos in 2K and take still photos in 4K. What's even more incredible is that this drone weighs only 270g.
The camera can be adjusted at a 90° angle. It has an extra battery that will allow you amazing 40 minutes of flying (20+20 minutes). There are plenty of awesome features such as:
- Find the lost drone
- One key takeoff/land
- Waypoint mapping
- Auto return home
- GPS Follow me
- Optical flow positioning
- Circle fly
It also has a couple of different speed options which can help you learn how to operate this drone. Videos will also have to be saved on a micro SD card that's not included in the drone package.
There are plenty of options to choose from, but you'll have to find the optimal price and features. Also, it's very important to buy one that suits you. There is hardly a 'perfect' drone, it all depends on what are you trying to achieve, and which features you need it to have.
Choosing the right drone for you also depends on what kind of video/photo are you planning to make. Each drone has a different battery life, camera quality, flying height, etc. Make sure you take everything into account when buying one.
So, did you find a favorite amongst our list?
It depends on what you consider expensive, but there are excellent drones under 200$ that have amazing video quality.
It depends on the country that you live in, for example, in the USA you have to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and you can only fly it for recreational purposes.
You need to check if your drone is waterproof. There are a lot of drones that can withstand rain and wind, but they tend to be on the pricier side.
It depends on the state (or the country) that you live in. Some prohibit it, while others claim it's only illegal if you record people without their permission.
Same as other legal questions, it depends on your location. Some countries (Mostly European) require you to register as an operator. If you are not of legal age you will have to ask your parents to do it for you.
Yes, there are a lot of different drone accessories such as 'First Person View (FPV)' goggles. Specially made backpacks are also awesome, they will help you carry everything you need on your drone adventures.
Yes, most drones have an in-built night camera. Make sure you double-check the law regulations first because some countries prevent the usage of a drone during the night without a special permit.
Depends on the model, but most drones are anywhere from a few hundred grams to a few kilograms. Drones that are used by the army can weigh more than a ton.