So, you’ve been watching all these cool videos with drones on YouTube. You’ve seen the jaw-dropping photos taken from hundreds of feet above the ground. You’ve seen a foldable drone and thought it was the best thing ever. But then you saw the price tag, your eyes widened, and you realized that you’ll never be able to have tech like that—or will you?
There are many contestants for the best drones under $1000 title! My favorite of them is the DJI Air 2S. It has some astonishing photo and video capabilities. It can also fly for over 7 miles and has advanced obstacle resistance. Like all DJIs, you can find it using an app if it gets lost. Not only is it amazing for photos, but it comes with a bunch of other features to help you protect your drone.
Everything about this drone highlights its astounding photo and video quality. And its 1080p transmission is good for up to 12km (7.5 miles), so you’ll be able to film over quite a distance.
You can send it on its way and see crystal-clear images on your smartphone as it flies!
Sophisticated obstacle avoidance software will keep it from crashing during that run, too.
I love DJIs, and the DJI Air 2S is my pick for the best overall drone under $1000.
Even though it’s not advertised, all DJI drones have a downloadable app that lets you find your drone if it gets lost. This drone may be one of the best under 4 figures, but it’s still close enough to that $1000 that losing it is a legitimate worry.
There are, however, 2 major drawbacks to the DJI Air 2S: its battery life and its weight. At 595 grams (~1.3 lb), this drone weighs about as much as a baseball, apple, or can of soup. That might not seem like a lot, but remember that you must register any drone under 250 grams (.55 lb), so think about that a little. It’s still one of the best drones under $1000.
The battery is the bigger problem. The DJI Air 2S’s battery life is only 31 minutes—far from the best on this list. This makes it less than ideal for beginner pilots.
Boasting not only its unique design but also very impressive battery life, the Falcon by ZeroZero Robotics will impress you with its quiet flight. It can sustain flights up to 50 minutes which should give you plenty of time to enjoy flying this bi-copter.
As many other drones in its category this drone offers a 3-axis gimbal which will stabilise the 4K video for some of the best shots of your activities.
First, look at this thing; have you ever seen a drone that looks anything like the V-Coptr Falcon? The V-Coptr Falcon is not only visually striking but also silent as an owl. It’s the best for a quiet design and is also very good for long-distance flights.
How long is long? As we said in this entry, the V-Coptr Falcon’s battery can last for up to 50 minutes. With some batteries stopping at 30 mins, that’s a huge difference!
With futuristic VR goggles, the DJI FPV Combo is the best for offering the most fun.
Unlike any other drones, the DJI FPV Combo encourages you to see that bird’s-eye view for yourself via an immersive headset.
Of course, the DJI FPV’s camera has to be spectacular to pull this off. The drone uses 4K/60fps video by default and offers a 150(degree) field of view. If you want a super-immersive experience, DJI also offers a surprisingly intuitive motion controller.
One major con is that this drone does not come with obstacle avoidance. It does, however, come with advanced stopping, braking, and hovering. This is drone is not for new pilots; please keep that in mind while shopping. You wouldn’t want to lose one of the best drones under $1000, so make use of that first-person view!
The words “wholesome beginner drone” sum up the HS720G nicely. Its 4K camera with a 2-axis gimbal allows for some excellent aerial footage.
If you want to have fun flying your drone, Holy Stones are acrobatic drones, so don’t be afraid to play around in the sky!
It can return home on its own via GPS if it detects a bad signal or low battery, but does not have crash sensors.
Not only is the Holy Stone HS720G a ton of fun to fly, but it is the best budget option on this list. It costs less than a PlayStation 5! Even the bundle, which contains an extra battery, is just a little bit over the latest Nintendo Switch model. If you can afford a brand-new gaming console, you can afford this drone.
The Holy Stone HS720G is one of the best drones under $1000, especially if you’re new to drones or on a budget.
Like some of the picks on this list, however, the HS720G has a weak battery life—and the drone knows it. If this drone senses its battery dying, you can tell it to return to you or fly back home. Drones that cost 3 times as much don’t have that ability, so enjoy this feature after you’ve had your fun!
The Autel Nano+ drone has great privacy features, obstacle avoidance, and many flight modes. It features a 50-megapixel camera that takes great photos and captures 4k video at 30fps.
The drone has a well-designed remote that fits a smartphone in its cradle, but it has a high price tag compared to some other models.
It offers excellent value for money, with features that rival more significant, premium drones beyond its class, and a solid flight time.
If you’re tired of me recommending the best drones under $1000 that are barely under $1000, how about an excellent, pocket-sized drone for $950? Not only is the Autel EVO Nano+ safely under $1000, but it comes in a wide variety of colors (great if your drone gets lost) and is the best drone for portability.
And I’m not kidding about that—the Autel EVO Nano+ is very easy to carry around! Not only is it foldable, but the drone itself also weighs less than 250 grams (.55 lb.). This not only keeps it lightweight (think the weight of a stapler) but means that you do not have to register this drone!
I’ve talked about the Nano EVO+ before. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Autel EVO Nano+ has an amazing camera. 50MP pictures and 4K video are both great, but there are also plenty of advanced photography options such as ISO adjustment, F/1.9 aperture, and 16x digital zoom. So not only is the EVO Nano+ under $1000, but it will be able to take pictures that millionaires will envy.
That said, the EVO Nano+ is not perfect by any means. Its battery only lasts 26 minutes, and there’s no way to tell it to plan a route. But if you want a drone that takes great pictures without weighing a lot, save your pennies for the Autel EVO Nano+. Sometimes the best drones under $1000 are just shy of that mark.
Do you have enough in your bank account for one of these drones? Here are a few factors that you should consider before making a purchase!
Many pilots use drones to take breathtaking, professional-grade aerial photography. If that’s your goal, make camera quality your priority when buying a drone. Consider video quality and battery life, too!
Manufacturer Protection and Warranty
As someone who has been flying drones for a while, I firmly believe that you should always be prepared. Always look for a manufacturer warranty on the best drones under $1000! And if you buy a used drone, ask the seller to show proof of purchase and the warranty that came with their machine.
A drone’s signal range determines how far it can fly. If you like sweeping panoramas, you’ll want a drone with a lot of range, a good camera, and a panorama feature, if possible.
Along with your signal, your battery will be the main thing determining how long and far you can fly your drone.
As I said, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to drones. Here are a few safety features you should look for when browsing the best drones under $1000.
Most drones have a GPS setup that keeps them stable while in flight. It also allows the drone to fly along predetermined paths, including finding its way back home.
Lost Drone Function
Many drones (DJI comes to mind immediately) have an app that allows you to track your drone if it gets lost.
Return to Home (RTH)
“Return to Home” is exactly what it sounds like: a programming setting that will tell your drone to go back to a given location.
If you are a beginner, you will crash your drone at least once. But if your drone has obstacle avoidance, that won’t be a problem! With obstacle avoidance, your drone will automatically fly around any obstacles in its path.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are 1000-Dollar Drones Good for Commercial Work?
Yes! Many professionals use drones that cost over $1000. However, the best drones under $1000 can often give them a run (fly?) for their money! As technology improves, expect more budget options for excellent aerial footage.
Should I Pay More Than $1000 for a Drone?
You shouldn’t pay more than $1000 for a drone unless you’re a professional! Even then, you may be able to find bargains as stores (or fellow pilots) upgrade to newer models.
Should I Buy a Used $1000 Drone?
Considering how much these drones go for, you may be wondering if there’s any way to get one more cheaply. There is! Some people will sell their old drones to upgrade to newer models. But like every investment, you need to be smart about buying a used drone.
Here are several useful tips for people hunting used drones:
- Look for damage. You don’t want to buy a drone only to have it fall apart!
- Check the battery. DJI has an app that will tell you how many charges a given battery has left. Also, beware of puffy batteries; those are on their last legs.
- Ask the seller for proof of purchase and any information on the warranty.
- Finally, ask why the person is selling it. Upgrading to a better model is a normal, plausible reason. Trust your gut if anything seems suspicious.
In other words, be just as cautious about buying a used drone as you would about buying a used automobile or game console. Sometimes, it pays to ask questions about why a used electronic is being sold in the first place.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to get an amazing drone. But if you can’t quite make it to $1000, the DJI Air 2 is my favourite drone under $1000. Only Autel’s EVO Nano+ gives this drone’s camera a run for its money. And the app that lets you find your drone is the icing on this very nice cake.
But I’d also understand if people felt cheated by my saying that drones that cost $999 are the best drones under $1000—that’s kind of like saying something that costs $9.99 doesn’t cost ten bucks, right? If you want slightly lower prices or a more interesting bang for your buck, the DJI FPV Combo and V-Coptr might be a better investment. The Holy Stone HS720G is the best budget drone under $1000 if you are just starting, or if you want a drone for a third of the price of most high-end drones!