February 6, 2023
We’ve finally reached a point where drones are affordable. Still, enthusiasts insist that you need to spend $1,000 to buy anything decent—a drone of this price may be overkill for you, but frankly, some cheap drones are genuinely awful. So, when is a cheap drone worth the money, and how cheap can you go? Note:…

We’ve finally reached a point where drones are affordable. Still, enthusiasts insist that you need to spend $1,000 to buy anything decent—a drone of this price may be overkill for you, but frankly, some cheap drones are genuinely awful. So, when is a cheap drone worth the money, and how cheap can you go?

Note: This article specifically focuses on photo and video drones, which are highly stabilized and relatively slow. That said, some of this information may apply to FPV racing drones.

What Do You Get With a Cheap Drone?

At the time of writing, any drone under $250 or $300 is a toy. You can’t really capture high-quality videos or photos until you break past this price point. But if you’re willing to spend $300 or more on a drone, you’re basically guaranteed to get something great.

Most drones in the $300 to $500 range are quite small, though they shoot video at 2K or 4K resolution and are easy to use. They tend to use fairly small sensors (usually a 1/2.3-inch sensor), which aren’t ideal for low-light or evening videography but can still deliver a crisp…

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