In all their high flying, go-anywhere glory, drones have expanded the possibilities of establishing shots, real estate listings, landscape footage, and travel videos. Basically, if you want something to look dramatic and beautiful, a drone can make it happen. And, as the technology continues to improve, drones are becoming smaller, more affordable, and easier to maneuver than ever before. 

In that spirit, we’ve compiled a definitive list of our favorite fliers on the market. These deliver brilliant footage at various skill levels, without breaking the bank. 

Holy Stone H100

$139 on Amazon
Skill level: Beginner

Our pick for beginners: The Holy Stone offers an affordable, easy-to use option for those looking to inch into the world of drones. With a 1080p camera with a 120 degree field of view, this drone offers GPS assisted flight, Follow Me mode, and automatic commands like one key take off, landing, and altitude hold. 

Hover Camera Passport

$319 on Amazon
Skill level: Beginner

Not quite ready to pilot your drone? The Hover Camera Passport flies all by itself. And you don’t need an FAA license to fly it, making it a perfect option for drone hobbyists or beginners. Its auto-follow feature and face recognition tech means this little baby will stay close by you without you having to control anything. True to its name, the Passport is also perfect for travel and on-the-go shooting because it’s super small and light-weight — it weighs less than 1lb! So, while we’re picking this one for entry-level drones, this serves as a great backup if you don’t want to take your state of the art gear on the road.

Potensic D80

$259 on Amazon
Skill level: Beginner

As drones for novice users go, the Potensic D80 is the sure winner in the category. The D80 offers a 2K camera and strong, durable Brushless motors. The D80 has a few different hands-free options, including a custom flight path and electric fence mode, where you can draw a range on your smart-phone or place a no-go area to keep your drone out of trees, restricted airspaces, ominous cliffs, wind tunnels, etc. 

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

$1625 on Amazon
Skill level: Intermediate

As we go beyond entry-level drones into more advanced cameras, DJI products corner today’s market. Few brands can deliver what these well-crafted workhorses do at this price point. For the intermediate user, the Mavic offers incredible features. Notable callouts are its unheard-of flight time (31 minutes) and 1” 20mp camera. It has a 3-axis gimbal for steadier shots, and can support SD cards up to 128GB with an additional 8GB of internal storage. It’s equipped with obstacle sensing, hyper-lapse, it takes HDR stills, and has an adjustable aperture. Nothing else in its price point comes close.

DJI Inspire 2

$3,500 on DJI store
Skill level: Advanced

If you’re a seasoned drone pilot in the market for a drone that will deliver professional-grade video, look no further than the Inspire 2. A major step up from it’s competition, you’ll get 5.2K resolution in CinemaDNG RAW or ProRes. It also boasts live streaming capability all the way up to 1080p. This powerhouse clocks a flight time around 25 minutes, and can clock speeds near 60 mph.

More gear reviews

We selected these products ourselves. We won’t get paid if you purchase any, we truly just like ’em.