10 Best Drones Under $500 in 2022

If you are interested in drones, you are in the right place. Drones are extremely popular at the moment and it does not look like that momentum is slowing down at all. Because of this popularity, the drone market has exploded.

This is a blessing because there are so many options but also a curse since it can seem too overwhelming to choose which drone is best for you. This expanding drone market has drones at a large range of prices. With that said, here is our list of the best drones under $500.

Best drones under $500 in 2022

DJI Mini 2

Camera Resolution
12MP
Video Resolution
4K
Battery Capacity
2250 mAh
Flying Time
31 min
FAA Required
No
Max Speed
36 mph
Max Range
10 km
Weight
249g

The DJI Mini 2 is the perfect entry-level drone for beginners looking to get to grips with flying, capturing, and editing bird's-eye views of beautiful landscapes and cityscapes (where permitted). Unlike the original Mavic Mini, the Mini 2 offers 4K resolution, although it has a smaller sensor size than the Mini 3 Pro and lacks obstacle avoidance sensors.

DJI’s Mini 2 is an affordable quadcopter that comes in two versions: one with a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor and another with a 1/4.3 inch CCD camera. The latter version also includes a built-in gimbal which allows you to capture smooth videos and photos while keeping your subject still.

There are three main flight modes available:

The standard setting is P mode, which provides the most basic level of performance, but includes all available features. The CineSmooth mode allows for clear smooth video but at the cost of top speed. Sport mode is designed for the fastest speed but the video will not be as smooth.

DJI Mini SE

Camera Resolution
12MP
Video Resolution
2.7K
Battery Capacity
2250 mAh
Flying Time
30 min
FAA Required
No
Max Speed
30 mph
Max Range
4 km
Weight
249g

The DJI Mini SE is designed to be a quality affordable drone. Compared to the model above it, the Mini 2, this model does not have as many features but is more affordable. It comes with some limitations but is powered by the same software as more expensive drones making it a good deal for most users.

It’s also very easy to fly, with an intuitive interface that makes it simple to control even if you don’t have any experience. It’s not perfect though – there are some issues with battery life and image quality, and while the camera has been improved over previous models, it still isn’t great in low light. But these are minor complaints compared to the price tag.

It’s a little bit bigger than the original Mini, which means it can carry larger batteries, and it’s lighter too. The flight time is slightly longer at around 30 minutes, and it comes with a better camera. It’s also got a few new tricks: it can follow you using its built-in GPS system, and it can automatically track your position on the ground so you can keep it hovering above you.

This is a big improvement on the first version and one of the best budget options out there. If you want something that’ll give you a lot of fun without breaking the bank then this is worth considering. 

Hubsan Zino Mini Pro

Camera Resolution
4K
Video Resolution
4K
Battery Capacity
3000mAh
Flying Time
40 mins
FAA Required
No
Max Speed
-
Max Range
10 km
Weight
249g
Amazon
Ebay
Adorama

Hubsan is best known for making toy drones but the Zino Mini Pro is anything but a toy. Costing right at about $500, the Zino 2 Plus offers 4K footage capability and a solid 33-minute flight time. This puts it high on the contender list for best drone under $500. 

One disadvantage of the Zino Mini Pro is that it doesn't have any obstacle avoidance system onboard which means you need to be extra cautious when flying. Something to make up for the small disadvantage is the Ambrella H22 processor and Sony image sensor. With those, you will be able to capture great images and footage in low-light settings like some of the more expensive drones on the market. 

Ryze Tello 

Camera Resolution
5MP
Video Resolution
720p
Battery Capacity
1.1Ah/3.8V
Flying Time
13 min
FAA Required
No
Max Speed
18 mph
Max Range
100 m
Weight
235g

With its built-in camera, the DJI Ryze Tello is a small indoor drone that captures 720p HD videos and 5 MP images. It’s a light and cheap drone ideal for beginners, making it a good purchase for anyone looking to get into the world of drones. It’s simple to set up and use, just download the app, turn it on, and you're ready to go.

The convenient auto take-off feature allows you to be up in the air and explore your home from a new viewpoint in moments. A propeller guard makes navigating around objects safer, so the objects around your home should be relatively safe.

Any more than a light breeze means will affect the Tello limiting it to indoor use, but it is a great choice for a beginner looking to familiarize themself with camera drones.

FIMI X8

Camera Resolution
12 MP
Video Resolution
3840x2160
Battery Capacity
2400 mAh
Flying Time
30 min
FAA Required
Yes
Max Speed
36 mph
Max Range
8 km
Weight
258g
Amazon
Adorama
fimi store
Ebay

The X8 by FIMI is a really capable drone packed with a ton of great features for the price. It features a camera with a 3-axis gimbal stabilization, 4k video, and 12MP photos. You can fly the X8 up to 5-8km away with a flight time of 30 minutes. 

Consistent with the quality of FIMI, the drone, controller, and app are all very user-friendly. While you have to take off from a plane surface, during flight it is strong and can withstand wind very well. Being labeled as one of the best drones for beginners should definitely not make you think it doesn't pack a punch in quality. Its portability is another added feature making it super easy to pack up and go. 

Holy Stone HS100 Navigator 

Camera Resolution
1080p
Video Resolution
2K
Battery Capacity
3500 mAh
Flying Time
18 min
FAA Required
Yes
Max Speed
-
Max Range
0.6 km
Weight
750g
Amazon
walmart
Ebay
Holy Stone

The Holy Stone HS100 Navi­gator is an excellent entry-level drone for beginners looking to get started flying with the hobby. With three speed settings, it will fly at the speed you choose, and the 16-minute flight time is an excellent way to start out when you're just beginning to learn how to pilot a drone.

The HS100 has a range from 350-600 meters depending on the flight mode you choose. The camera on this drone shoots in 2k which is good for entry-level drones but does not come with gimble stabilization like some other models.

This drone is large enough to withstand relatively windy conditions but comes in at just under 1.75 pounds which makes it convenient to transport. The charge time comes in at around 3 hours which is lengthy for an entry-level drone, but all of the other features make it a good choice for someone looking to get started with an easy-to-use drone and work their way up to more complicated choices in the future.

Holy Stone HS720E

Camera Resolution
4K
Video Resolution
4K
Battery Capacity
2800mAh
Flying Time
23 mins
FAA Required
Yes
Max Speed
-
Max Range
1 km
Weight
495g
Amazon
walmart
Ebay

Sitting on top of the budget here, the Holy Stone HS 720E feels and flies like a high-quality drone. With the specs to rival even some DJI drones, this drone will surely impress you. It is packed with a 4K FHD camera with image stabilization and shock absorption capabilities. All of that plus a flight time of 26 minutes is extremely impressive for the price. 

If you are a beginner or an intermediate aerial photographer or videographer but don't have a huge budget, you will be very happy with this drone. Holy Stone made their own camera instead of what many other brands do and requires the purchase of a separate camera to attach. The GPS system and the Follow Me feature are two great added bonuses to this drone. 

Ruko F11 with Gimbal

Camera Resolution
4K
Video Resolution
4K
Battery Capacity
2500mAh
Flying Time
28 mins
FAA Required
Yes
Max Speed
-
Max Range
1.5 km
Weight
584g
Amazon
Ebay
walmart

Also called the Ruko F11Gim, this drone does not play around. It demonstrates some high-end features like a full 4K HD camera with stabilizing gimbal. It has some intelligent flight features like return-to-home and a one-touch take off making it easy and enjoyable for beginners to advanced flyers.

While it is considered a mini drone that is foldable, it also is a bit bulky which makes its flight very solid. While its flight range is a bit shorter for video, it can fly up to 1.2 km overall. With one battery, you can fly for up to 30 minutes but it comes with a spare so you can fly up to an hour per charge. 

BetaFpv FPV Cetus Kit

Camera Resolution
-
Video Resolution
-
Battery Capacity
1000 mAh
Flying Time
5 min
FAA Required
No
Max Speed
-
Max Range
0.08 km
Weight
35g
amazon
walmart
Ebay
betafpv store

Unique to this list the FPV Cestus comes with a headset to wear during flights to give you a first-person view from the drone's camera. The Cetus was designed for people with no experience with FPV drones and comes with three different flight modes as well as 3-speed levels to help you get comfortable adjusting to it.  

The first-person view goggles for the Cetus are designed specifically for those new to FPV drones. With its built-in 5.8G 14DBI high-quality antenna, you can receive clear and stable images even for long-distance flights. It comes with a foam sponge face plate and a three-sided adjustable headband, to comfortably fit everyone's head.

The Cetus has up to five minutes of flight time and comes with an excellent self-protection function. If you lose control of it, the battery level is low, or you collide into something too fast it is capable of making a stable emergency landing to prevent it from breaking.

Potensic A20 Mini 

Camera Resolution
-
Video Resolution
-
Battery Capacity
lithium batteries
Flying Time
8.5 min
FAA Required
No
Max Speed
-
Max Range
30 m
Weight
91g
amazon
walmart
Ebay
Potensic store

The A20 is Potensic’s entry-level toy drone. It doesn't come equipped with a camera but for a little more your A20W model comes with one. Both the drone and controller are small making it a good choice for children. The controller is well built for a low-cost drone with control sticks that have a smooth action when used. The package includes three batteries, a USB charging cable, and four spare rotors should one break. 

The A20 is simple to launch. You sync the drone and controller by simply pulling down and releasing the left control stick, and pressing the take-off/land button and it will rise to approximately six feet above the ground. It responds quickly to controller commands and moves fast for a drone of this size. 

Conclusion

The products mentioned above are our top 10 best drones under $500. As mentioned before, the drone market is rapidly expanding. This article will be updated frequently so if you are not ready to commit, check back when you are ready for updated information.

If you have more questions now than answers, check out some of our other articles like best camera drones, best mini drones, and best drones for beginners

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