Home » Drones » 5 Best Drone for Under $500 2024

5 Best Drone for Under $500 2024

tactical x drone 2

Introduction to our Guide to the Best Drone for Under $500

Welcome to our guide on the best drone for under $500!

Drones have made numerous tasks previously thought impossible regular parts of the work of photographers, civil engineers, surveyors, and those in other occupations. Indeed, drones have taken the human eye to places that would normally be difficult to access physically.

Drone technology has evolved significantly over the past half-decade with numerous innovations made to specific devices in terms of image quality, flight time, and stability.

But while it seems like everyone wants or needs a drone, the price of most of today’s brands can set one back by hundreds – even thousands – of dollars, way above the average consumer’s budget.

For this reason, we compiled today’s list of the best drone for under $500 – budget-worthy solutions that still deliver in terms of an exceptional drone using experience.


Our List of the Best Drone For Under $500

  1. DJI Mini 2 – best overall drone under $500 🏆
  2. DJI Mini SE – best for casual hobbyists
  3. Raptor 8k Drone – best for travelers (🎖️Editors’ Pick!)
  4. Tactical X Drone – best for military and law enforcement
  5. Drone X Pro – best for aerial photography

Best Drone Under $500 Comparison Table

Note: Prices are subject to change over time. Please click the links to check for current pricing.


Specifications
🏆 DJI Mini 2
(Top Pick!)
DJI Mini SE🎖️ Raptor 8K Drone
(Editors Pick!)
Tactical X DroneDrone X Pro
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Camera4K @ 30fps2.7K @ 30fps8K @ 30fps1080p HD720p HD
Flight Time31 minutes30 minutes25 minutes15-20 minutes10 minutes
Range10 km6 km8 km300m80-100m
Max Speed57 kph46.8 kph72 kphUnknownUnknown
Weight0.55 lbs0.24 lbs3.6 lbs2.4 lbs0.3 lbs
Size5.5 x 3.2 x 2.2 inches6.3 x 4.4 x 2.3 inches17.7 x 16.5 x 9.8 inches11.4 x 11.4 x 4.3 inches5.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 inches
FeaturesQuickShots, 3-axis gimbal, OcuSync 2.0GPS, Altitude hold, 360-degree flips, One-key takeoff/landingObject avoidance, Follow-me mode, Return-to-home3-speed modes, Altitude hold, One-key takeoff/landingFoldable design, Altitude hold, 3-speed modes
Customer Reviews4.8/54.5/54.4/54.3/53.5/5

1. DJI Mini 2 – Editor's Choice!

Best Overall Drone Under $500

dji mini 2 6

Key Features

  • Compact and foldable construction;
  • Maximum flying time of 31 minutes per run;
  • Video transmission of up to ten kilometers;
  • Level V wind resistance, enabling it to withstand winds of up to 38 kilometers per hour;
  • Ultra-clear 4K videos and high-resolution still imagery; and
  • Intelligent modes and quick-shot mode.

This drone is best for casual hobbyists and travelers who want an affordable and reliable drone for capturing basic aerial footage and photos with longer flight time than Mini 3. The DJI Mini 2 is a compact, lightweight image-capture quadcopter drone that is equipped with OcuSync 2.0 video transmission technology which enables it to fly farther and longer than most drones while taking high-resolution footage at the same time. Weighing just a little less than 249g and foldable, it’s a drone that makes all the difference in terms of convenience, as well as performance.

Pricing

Click here to check current discounted pricing.

Money-back guarantee 

If you are not satisfied with DJI Mini 2 as the best drone for under $500, you can return it within 14 days after purchase to get your money back.

Where to Buy It? 

We recommend buying DJI Mini 2 only from their official website. This way, you can avail DJI Mini 2 discount code and get the product for less than the usual price.

Other Stores

Best to avoid reseller sites like that of Amazon, Facebook Marketplace and eBay for possible fake products and refund policy issues.


2. DJI Mini SE

Best Value Drone for Hobbyists

dji mini se, as featured in our best drone for under $500 review

Key Features

  • Compact construction;
  • Mobile application for control on the go;
  • Three-axis gimbal 2.7K camera;
  • 4km HD video transmission range;
  • Maximum flight time of 30 minutes;
  • Vision sensor and GPS precision hover feature; and
  • Simplified recording and editing on the fly.

We chose this drone as the best under $500 drone for hobbyists for its compact construction and great value. We are impressed with this lightweight image-capture quadcopter drone specifically created for novice users and for use in active or sports photography. Unlike other models in the DJI Mini series, the Mini SE can be linked via Bluetooth to one’s mobile device, enabling users to edit their footage, add eye-popping effects, and even splice them into other videos for a truly heart-pounding visual experience.

Pricing

Click here to check current discounted pricing.

Money-back guarantee 

If you are not satisfied with DJI Mini SE as the best drone for under $500, you can return it within 14 days after purchase to get your money back.

Where to Buy It? 

We recommend buying DJI Mini SE only from their official website. This way, you can avail DJI Mini SE discount code and get the product for less than the usual price.

Other Stores

Best to avoid reseller sites like that of Amazon, Facebook Marketplace and eBay for possible fake products and refund policy issues.


3. Raptor 8K Black Drone

Best for Filmmakers and Videographers

raptor 8k 2

Key Features

  • Increased flight time compared to similar models;
  • Flight speed of around 12 meters a second;
  • Tri-axis gimbal stabilizer;
  • 720p maximum image resolution;
  • Panorama mode; and 
  • Built-in anti-collision system.

This drone is suited for professional filmmakers and photographers who need high-quality, cinematic footage with its 8K camera and advanced stabilization features. The Raptor 8K Drone is one of the best drone for under $500. It is a precision-engineered drone that can be safely used in or out of doors. This particular drone was crafted to have exceptional stability in flight, as well as high resolution imaging technology for clear, richly detailed footage.

Pricing

Click here to check current discounted pricing.

Money-back guarantee 

If you are not satisfied with the Raptor 8K Drone as the best drone for under $500, you can return it within 30 days after purchase to get your money back.

Where to Buy It? 

We recommend buying Raptor 8K Drone only from their official website. This way, you can avail Raptor 8K Drone discount code and get the product for less than the usual price.

Other Stores

Best to avoid reseller sites like that of Amazon, Facebook Marketplace and eBay for possible fake products and refund policy issues.


4. Tactical X Drone

Best for Military and Law Enforcement

tactical x drone 8

Key Features

  • Portable construction.  The Tactical X Drone can easily be folded thanks to jointed arms and flexible blades. This lightweight device is also easily portable;
  • Gravity sensor. This feature enables both beginners and experts to fly their drones and use them to shoot impeccable footage almost straight out of the box;
  • Long range shooting. The Tactical X Drone can cover up to 19 meters in a single flight;
  • High-definition imaging technology.  The Tactical X Drone records videos at 120 frames per second and has a still image resolution of 12 megapixels;
  • Slow-mo mode. This unique feature enables users to present high-resolution slowed-down playback which captures even minute details of action;
  • Panoramic mode for sweeping views of wide landscapes; and
  • Long-lasting battery capacity. Unlike most drones, the Tactical X Drone lets you shoot up to fifteen minutes of active footage without needing to recharge.

This drone is best for military or law enforcement personnel requiring durable, high-performance drones for reconnaissance missions and surveillance activities. The Tactical X Drone is a compact, state of the art aerial photography / videography device that relies on an advanced gyroscope system for exceptional stability in flight, as well as high resolution imaging technology for clear, richly detailed footage.

Pricing

Click here to check current discounted pricing.

Money-back guarantee 

If you are not satisfied with the Tactical X Drone as the best drone for under $500, you can return it within 30 days after purchase to get your money back.

Where to Buy It? 

We recommend buying Tactical X Drone only from their official website. This way, you can avail Tactical X Drone discount code and get the product for less than the usual price.

Other Stores

Best to avoid reseller sites like that of Amazon, Facebook Marketplace and eBay for possible fake products and refund policy issues.


5. Drone X Pro

Best for Aerial Photography

7

Key Features

  • Gravity sensor paired with wind resistance mechanism to ensure smooth and crisply-taken videos;
  • Altitude hold mode that enables users to take footage from an extensive variety of angles;
  • Android and iOS compatibility along with WiFi FPV and basic smartphone controls;
  • 6-axis gyro self-stabilization technology for smoother flights and stability;
  • 12-megapixel / 120 frames per second (fps) HD camera; and
  • Panorama mode for sweeping landscape shots.

This drone works best for beginners and hobbyists who want to capture stunning aerial images. Considered one of the most compact drone models currently available, the DroneX Pro was designed to be folded for easy transport and its equipment includes a high-definition camera, better app control, real time transmission capability, a gravity sensor, and virtual reality support. For this reason, we selected it as one of the best drone for under $500.

Pricing

Click here to check current discounted pricing.

Money-back guarantee 

If you are not satisfied with Drone X Pro as the best drone for under $500, you can return it within 30 days after purchase to get your money back.

Where to Buy It? 

We recommend buying Drone X Pro only from their official website. This way, you can avail Drone X Pro discount code and get the product for less than the usual price.

Other Stores

Best to avoid reseller sites like that of Amazon, Facebook Marketplace and eBay for possible fake products and refund policy issues.


What Can Be Considered the Best Drone For Under $500?

Frankly speaking, it’s easy to assume that a drone whose cost is beneath the $500 threshold of the best of the best is probably a wonky-performing one of shoddy quality. But this is not necessarily the case. Even more reasonably priced drone models offer users an extensive range of features that will enable them to capture excellent outdoor, architectural, and action footage, regardless of whether these are still or moving.

However, knowing that these best drone for under $500 cost considerably less than many of their high-ranked competitors means that customers need to manage their expectations once they've made a purchase.


What are the Most Popular Brands When it Comes to the Best Drone for Under $500? 

When we compiled our list of the best drone for under $500, we opted to check with the experts as to which brands have been particularly in demand over the past year.

Our list includes – DJI being first and foremost – as well as a number of independent developers which offer drones that deliver in terms of technical excellence, as well as value for money.


How Did We Choose the Best Drone for Under $500?

In order to determine the items that made into our list of the best drone for under $500 threshold, we took into consideration the following factors during testing:

  • Ease of Use – What’s the point of getting a cheap drone if all it gives you is headaches because you can’t figure out how to use it? Our choices are drones that are ready to use from the get go and are so easy even a kid under the age of 10 can create their own amazing videos and photo montages;
  • Reliability – Cheap doesn’t necessarily shoddy, so we looked at how reliable and durable these drones are in terms of flight time, image stability, image and video quality, audio clarity, and how well they hold up regardless of terrain and weather conditions;
  • Features – We like items that give us more bang for our bucks, so drones that do a whole lot more than what you expect always gets more points than those that just fly and take pictures from the air; and 
  • Value for Money – We made it a point to consider items that were within a reasonable price range yet offer a whole range of features and functionality that can step up one’s game in terms of photography and video production.

Conclusion to our Best Drone For Under $500 Guide

The items presented in today’s best drone for under $500 listicle review were carefully tested by our team of experts. We want to ensure that readers will have a sterling selection to choose from when it comes to the best drone for under $500 for those on a budget yet want to spread their wings, so to speak, when it comes to taking to the air and taking astonishing photos and videos.

Please note that, in the interest of getting authentic high-quality products, we recommend that you shop for these items through their official websites where you may also get great discounts for multiple purchases. Beware of purchasing from marketplace sites claiming to be resellers so to avoid issues with refunds and returns in the future!


FAQ

What is the best drone for under $500?

Based on its features, ease of use, and value for money, we consider the DJI Mini 2 as the best drone for under $500.

What are some caveats to purchasing a drone for under $500?

For one thing, the flight time printed on the packaging may actually be shorter once the drone is up and running. For another, it may come cheap, but we recommend that you look at the weight: drones heavier than 250g may need to be registered with a relevant government body and registration entails additional costs.


If you've read all the way through this best drone for under $500 guide, we are grateful. We have reviewed all these products in detail, feel free to check them out;

  1. DJI Mini 2 Reviews
  2. DJI Mini SE Reviews
  3. Raptor 8k Drone Reviews
  4. Tactical X Drone Reviews
  5. Drone X Pro Reviews

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.