Best Cheap Drone for Photography: Top 6 Picks That Help You Get a Better Shot (For 2022 and Beyond)

Introduction

Drones have been around for some time now which means that they’re fairly well-made, cost-effective, and often have the support of an in-built camera to snap those hard-to-reach shots.

For most people, you won’t need to spend thousands — most beginner-level drones still give you access to a fairly decent camera that will allow for sweeping landscape footage or birds-eye-view camera shots.

With that in mind, we want to take you on a quick journey through our 7 favorite drone picks to help give you an idea of which ones will take your photography to the next level.

Give Your Photography Some Wings: Top 6 Best Cheap Drones for Photography

Editor’s Favorites

Title
Best for Learning
DEERC Drone with Camera 2K HD FPV Live Video 2 Batteries and...
Best Entry-Level
Ruko F11GIM Drones with Camera for Adults, 2-Axis Gimbal 4K...
Best Value
DJI Mavic Air 2 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K...
For Pros
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 20MP...
Image
DEERC Drone with Camera 2K HD FPV Live Video 2 Batteries and...
Ruko F11GIM Drones with Camera for Adults, 2-Axis Gimbal 4K...
DJI Mavic Air 2 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K...
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 20MP...
Price
$79.99
$399.99
$799.00
$2,995.00
Prime Eligibility
-
Best for Learning
Title
DEERC Drone with Camera 2K HD FPV Live Video 2 Batteries and...
Image
DEERC Drone with Camera 2K HD FPV Live Video 2 Batteries and...
Price
$79.99
Prime Eligibility
Buy Here
Best Entry-Level
Title
Ruko F11GIM Drones with Camera for Adults, 2-Axis Gimbal 4K...
Image
Ruko F11GIM Drones with Camera for Adults, 2-Axis Gimbal 4K...
Price
$399.99
Prime Eligibility
Buy Here
Best Value
Title
DJI Mavic Air 2 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K...
Image
DJI Mavic Air 2 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K...
Price
$799.00
Prime Eligibility
Buy Here
For Pros
Title
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 20MP...
Image
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 20MP...
Price
$2,995.00
Prime Eligibility
-
Buy Here

1. DEERC Drone with Camera 2K – Best for Beginners

Sale
DEERC Drone with Camera 2K HD FPV Live Video 2 Batteries and...
  • User-Friendly: D10 is extremely user-friendly that comes with one key start/landing, Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, Speed...

Features: HD 2K FPV Camera, Quick Shot Gesture Control, Beginner-Friendly Speed Adjustment Modes (Slow, Medium, Fast), One-Key Takeoff/Landing, Tap Fly, Headless Mode

Tech Specs: 340*340*65mm unfolded size, 12-15mins/per battery, 100m flight range

DEERC Drone 2K Review:

The DEERC 2K camera drone is a brilliant option for a novice or for someone wanting to get to grips with both the piloting and shooting footage simultaneously aspects of flying a drone.

It provides some useful features such as quick shot gestures that make taking pictures and start/stopping videos much easier thanks to the gesture recognition that is built into the software.

As a novice, it also makes focusing on taking photographs much easier with convenient features like the easily adjustable speed modes, one-key-takeoff and landing, and the headless mode for maintaining correct orientation even when out of sight.

You can even use the tap fly feature to easily draw flight routes for your drone so you won’t need to do any kind of overcomplicated maneuvering when trying to focus on getting the perfect shot.

The only drawback of the DEERC 2K drone is that the camera quality isn’t amazing, especially the video footage aspect of it; the battery life also puts a bit of pressure on you to make sure you get the snap as soon as you can before it fails, though, it will notify you before this happens.

Overall, we think it’s worth the money as your stepping stone into the world of drone photography, especially if you’re wanting to learn the basics.

Summary: Perfect for someone wanting to learn drone flying whilst also having convenient features to make taking photographs or videos a breeze.

2. SYMA X500 4K Drone – Great Battery Life

SYMA X500 4K Drone with UHD Camera for Adults, Easy GPS...
  • 2pcs Batteries&56mins Flying Time--EX500 quadcopter offer 2 batteries to give you up to 56 minutes immersive flying...

Features: Faux-4K Camera, Smart Return-to-home, Follow Me Mode, Circle Fly Mode, Tap Fly, Rechargeable Remote Control, Gesture Control,

Tech Specs: (Image Quality) – 4096x3072P (Stored in TF Card); 2048x1080P (Stored in Phone), (Video Quality) – 1920x1080P (Stored in TF Card); 1920x1080P (Stored in Phone), 14.17 × 11.81 × 2.76 inch unfolded size, 28 mins/per battery, 350m control range

SYMA X500 4K Drone Review:

First of all, let’s caveat this by saying that the camera transmission (live footage) is in 4K, not the saved images or video footage.

This means it’ll give you excellent clarity for visualizing where you want to take pictures or video footage, but it probably won’t result in the same quality once it’s saved to your memory card.

With that said, the saved resolutions are still high enough to result in some decent photographs and video footage, not to mention it offers a superior battery life to most entry-level drones making this a pretty good contender for your first drone.

It also includes some useful features such as the smart return-to-home functionality and the follow-me mode which can be useful for automating some of your processes.

We also appreciate the addition of the circle fly mode as it can allow for particularly creative stitching together of photographs but it can also be useful for scouting out the landscape around you to see if you can spot any good locations to shoot footage.

Similar to the first drone on our list, the SYMA X500 also includes tap fly for easy drone pathing and it also includes gesture control for getting quick snaps when you most need them without fussing over the controls.

In a way, this is an upgrade compared to the first drone on our list mainly because it manages to eke out some extra camera detail, provides you with greater battery life, and includes some extra smart functionality for when you need greater control.

Summary: A worthy contender for your first drone, especially if you need useful smart functionality and greater longevity.

3. Ruko F11GIM – True 4K Amateur

Ruko F11GIM Drones with Camera for Adults, 2-Axis Gimbal 4K...
  • 【4K CAMERA WITH GIMBAL & EIS】This 4K drone is capable of 4K/30fps video and 4K pictures, offering a higher-quality...

Features: 4K camera with 2-axis gimbal, Optimized Shooting Effect, High-Quality Image and Video, Double Flight Time (2x Batteries), WayPoint Flight, Smooth 5GHz FPV Transmission, Circle Fly Mode, Intelligent Flight Mode

Tech Specs: 6.9*4.1*3.15 inch (Folded), 17.71*15.94*3.15 inch (Unfolded), 4K Photographs (3840 x 2160) stored in TF card, 4K video at 30fps stored in TF card, 28 mins per/battery, 1188.72m control range

Ruko F11GIM Review:

If you’re wanting to start taking your drone photography skills seriously then it’s better to spend a little more money to get something that gives you a bit more power.

In this case, the Ruko F11 GIM is the perfect companion for any amateur enthusiast who is wanting to take their winged photography to the next level.

Unlike the other drones on our list, the Ruko F11GIM features true 4K capture meaning it’ll save the footage and photos in 4K rather than scaling them down once you’ve finished taking the snaps.

We also note some handy features such as gimbal stabilization for smoother shots, waypoint flight for automated landscape sweeps, and even the ability to use voice prompts for quicker response time.

It’ll also allow you to track your drone in case you need to fly it further afield whilst also giving you the option to return it easily with smart functionality should you lose sight of it.

Overall, it’s very well designed for photography enthusiasts who need something a little more robust to take on their aerial escapades whilst also providing tons of modern conveniences and smart features to make this a breeze.

Summary: The perfect photography drone for amateurs who are looking to take it up to the next level.

4. Bwine F7 Drone – Enhanced Camera Maneuverability & Night Shooting

Sale
Bwine F7 Drone with Camera for Adults 4K, 9800ft Video...
  • 【CAPTURING CRISP SHARP IMAGES AND VIDEOS 】: Bwine F7 drone equipped with a 90° adjustable 4K camera which allows you to...

Features: 4K camera with 3-axis gimbal, Night Scene Shooting, Route Planning, GPS Follow, One Key Return Home, LCD Remote Control

Tech Specs: 25 Mins Battery Time, 15.67*12.83*5.31 inches unfolded, 4K at 15fps, 4K images, 3000m control range

Bwine F7 Drone Review:

If you need a more specific type of shot, namely nighttime video footage, then the Bwine F7 drone has you covered thanks to its nighttime shooting mode.

This can come in handy, especially for those moments when you need to create something more dramatic like cityscape footage or some kind of impressive music video.

We also note the inclusion of a 3-axis gimbal meaning the lens can rotate from front-facing all the way back round to rear-facing; this can be useful for when you don’t want to rotate the drone itself so you can be more focused on accomplishing the shot.

For the price, we also appreciate the inclusion of a powerful 5GHz transmitter as it means you can shoot over a longer distance without needing to follow along with it too much — again, this creates greater scope for what you can achieve within your photography and videography endeavors.

In terms of features and functionality, the Bwine F7 drone is packed full of cool additions such as automated route planning, follow-along mode, and one-key-return-home that makes operating this an absolute breeze.

You can even access things like an easy-share through the dedicated app meaning you’ll be able to share your projects and shots without too much hassle.

Summary: A feature-packed drone with cool additions like the night shooting mode and improved smart functionality.

5. DJI Mavic Air 2 – Enthusiast-Grade 4K Drone

DJI Mavic Air 2 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K...
  • 【UP YOUR GAME】: The Mavic Air 2 camera drone takes power and portability to the next level. It combines a powerful camera...

Features: 48MP Camera 4K Video 8K Hyperlapse 1/2″ CMOS Sensor 3-Axis Gimbal, Battery Status Reporting, Low-Noise Propellers, Camera Locking (Smart Object Tracking), Robust Feature Kit, Portable Design

Tech Specs: 34min Flight Time, 1/2″ CMOS, 48MP (Photographs), 4K, 2.7K, FHD (Video), 9656.06m control range

DJI Mavic Air 2 Review:

If you’re wanting to take your aerial photography seriously then you’ll need to start spending a little more money.

The DJI Mavic Air 2 comes in at a pretty reasonable price point for the level of kit you’re getting, and for the fact that the feature kit allows for some real creative freedom when it comes to taking video footage and aerial photographs.

It’s got a rather generous battery life meaning you can focus more on the shot rather than having to worry about being efficient, though, you’ll also be pleased to know that it has real-time battery monitoring meaning you’ll be notified when you need to be.

In terms of shooting, it also comes with a huge 1/2″ CMOS 48MP sensor that can capture images and footage in true 4K whilst also doing it justice i.e. no blurring or grainy looking imagery.

Basically, this is the price point where 4K becomes worth it as you won’t have to worry about poorly scaled-down images after they’re saved.

You’ll also get the benefit of having a 3-axis gimbal meaning you won’t need to keep turning the drone around to see behind you — this gives your far more flexibility at the moment when you need it.

We also love the fact that you’ll get access to a time-lapse feature which is something that the previous drones on our list don’t get access to – it’s a real game-changer if you want to create striking footage for advertisements or for professional projects.

Other than that, you’ll get access to a robust feature kit including intelligent tracking meaning the drone can follow along with a specific object without losing focus or getting lost.

Again, this kind of automation means you can focus more on what’s happening in your footage or pictures rather than having to worry about the flying of the drone.

Lastly, you’ll also be able to access the DJI app on both Android and iPhone, though, it’s recommended to have the latest updates (iOS v10.0, Android v6.0, and above) to access its functionality.

Most of the feature kit is tied into the app so it’s recommended you have at least a semi-modern smartphone to make the most of it.

Summary: A very powerful and feature-robust drone that will take your aerial photography up another level.

6. DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 Quadcopter Drone – Professional/Business Grade

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 20MP...
  • The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 camera drone comes equipped with a 3-axis motorized gimbal and a 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor with a...

Features: 3-axis motorized gimbal, 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor w/ mechanical shutter, Intelligent Flight Modes (TapFly, ActiveTrack, Draw mode, Gesture mode, and more)

Tech Specs: 1ft (Diagonal Size), 30 min flight time, 17702m control range, DJI GO 4 App requires iOS 10.0.2, Android 5.0 or above, C4K, 2.7K, FHD (Video formats),

If you’re wanting to make a living from aerial photography then you’re going to need something that can handle the challenges.

This means being able to control it over vast distances, a generous battery life, having access to robust smart features, and of course, an extremely powerful camera with a large sensor.

In terms of capability, this thing can fly pretty quick (up to 72kph) meaning you’ll be able to get stunning sweeping landscape shots or so you can keep up with birds and other such wildlife.

You’ll also be happy to know that the camera is deceptively powerful as it features a large sensor for capturing more detail and light, and also features post-image processing software to make sure you have enough data for post-production.

Other than that, DJI gives you access to tons of very handy features such as smart tracking, automated tap-fly route planning, and gesture mode to make sure you can focus on what you’re trying to achieve rather than worrying about the flying.

The only caveat to note is that the controller does not feature an in-built screen so you’ll have to use an iPhone or Android to access the DJI feature kit.

Other than that, this drone should last you a long time making it a very good investment for the mid-term so you can accomplish all your business and professional needs.

Summary: Professional-grade drone with everything you need to accomplish movie-level photography and videography.

7. Gladius Mini Underwater Drone 4K – Underwater Video & Photography

Features: 4K Ultra High Definition camera, Depth-Lock Mode, Adjustable Tilt-Lock, Tether and Remote Controller, Live Stream Online, VR Compatible,

Tech Specs: 4 knots (2m/s), f/3.0 lens support a wider FOV, Two 1200-lumen headlights, Up to 2 hours running time, 12mp photographs

Gladius Mini Underwater Drone Review:

Instead of giving your photography wings, why not give it the ability to become submersible under the water?

The Gladius Mini Underwater Drone gives you the ability to embrace a unique perspective that very few people ever get to see — this includes witnessing beautiful coral buildups along the coast, photographing your snorkeling sessions, and even live streaming your swims with dolphins.

In fact, the Gladius Mini is absolutely feature-packed with goodies and will give you plenty of ways to enjoy and share those moments with others.

That’s because you can livestream your video feed, share it with other phones directly, and you can even use a VR headset to enjoy a more lifelike experience.

You’ll also be happy to know that there’s no pressure during your underwater photography sessions as the drone battery will last for nearly two hours in good lighting, or for about 60 minutes if you need to use the LED lights.

Other than that, you’ll be happy to know that this drone comes fully equipped with a 4K lens meaning you can capture your seabound escapades in stunning detail; the aperture of the lens also prioritizes absorbing more light which is perfect for when you’re under the water.

Summary: A novel drone solution that allows you to take your photography and videography escapades under the water.

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