These days, there’s a drone to suit virtually any budget. You can get basic drones for under $100, while at the other end of the scale there are professional drones costing thousands. For $200 to $300 you can get a decent camera drone, but how do you decide on the best drone under $300 for you?
If you’re looking for a drone in this price range, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we explore the best camera drones under $300, reviewing each model in-depth to help you make the right choice. Before we jump into looking at our recommended drones, however, let’s first take a look at what exactly you can get when drone shopping with $300.
What to Expect From a Drone Under $300
It’s no secret that the more money you spend on a drone, the better quality you get. However, not all buyers are aware of what separates drones under $300 from cheaper models, such as those under $100, or how they’re different to more expensive drones costing $500 or $1,000.
Let’s now take a look at what you get with a drone under $300 and how the features differ from cheaper and most expensive models.
For most hobbyists, the camera is the defining aspect of a drone. These days, you can actually pick up 4K camera drones for under $100, but if you spend a bit more you can bag a drone capable of taking 12MP photos, for example.
For $250-$300, you can also pick up drones with 3 axis gimbals, which help stabilize the drone camera during flight so you can capture steadier footage.
Battery life is one of the most vital factors to consider when it comes to buying a drone. After all, the last thing you want is to only be able to fly for ten minutes before having to recharge.
Drones between $200 and $300 can offer up to 60 minutes of flight time, which is a lot more than most cheaper models and more than enough for the average user.
Along with poor battery life, a short transmission distance is one of the main limitations when it comes to low price drones. If you’re spending less than $100, most drones can’t go past 100m.
However, the DJI Mini SE, one of the best FPV drones under $300, has an incredible transmission range of up to 4km. If you want to go further than this, though, you’ll need to splash out a bit more.
One of the benefits of spending a few hundred dollars on a drone is that many models in this price range come with GPS functionality.
This results in easier flying due to features like GPS return to home, as well as GPS positioning for getting accurate positioning data while flying your drone long range. Most drones under $200 don’t offer these features.
The Best Drones Under $300 Reviewed
Emax Tinyhawk II – Best Drone Under $300 for Racing
Most people looking for a drone under $300 are searching for a camera drone, but there are also those looking for racing drones. If you fall into the latter category, the Emax Tinyhawk II is a great option.
If you’re looking for a racing drone under $300, chances are you’re a beginner rather than a professional, and that’s exactly who the Tinyhawk II is designed for.
Speed is of course one of the main considerations if you’re looking for a racing drone, and thanks to the 16000kv motors, this drone certainly offers plenty of that. However, it’s not so fast as to be overwhelming for novice racers.
While it may not look like a particularly hardy drone, the frame is well designed and offers great durability and crash resistance. The Tinyhawk II is also very aerodynamic and capable of performing tight maneuvers during races.
It has a Runcam Nano 2 camera, which obviously doesn’t offer the quality of specialist camera drones, but does have sharp optics and a decent dynamic range. The camera angle is also easily adjustable.
Another nice feature is that this racing drone under $300 actually comes with an FPV headset, whereas in most cases you have to buy the headset separately. This means you can enjoy the best racing drone under $300 in a more immersive way without having to splash out extra.
GoolRC SG906 Pro 2 – Highly Rated on Amazon
As there are so many drones out there to choose from when it comes to looking for the best drone under $300 with a camera, many people look to user reviews to help them make a decision. The GoolRC SG906 Pro 2 is one that excels in this area with a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, which shows that it’s very popular among customers.
Users have praised this drone’s power and smooth flying, and when you look at the specs it’s easy to see why. For example, the advanced GPS positioning technology means you can set the drone to automatically track your movement with the camera pointing at your mobile phone while remaining a constant distance away.
This is just one of the intelligent flight features that make this drone under $300 so fun to fly. Another is the waypoint flight mode, where you simply click on any point on the GoolRC app interface and the drone will automatically fly to the chosen spot.
It also has a very impressive 4K UHD camera with 50x zoom for capturing footage in fantastic detail. The 3 axis gimbal keeps the camera stable mid-flight, and you can stream FPV video in real-time using 5G. The transmission distance is 800m, which is pretty good for the price.
The only real downside is the battery life is just 28 minutes, which isn’t bad, but there are other drones under $300 that can fly for a lot longer. However, it’s definitely an interesting camera drone option, and offers good value for money overall.
Potensic D88 FPV Drone – 5G Video Transmission
Potensic is a prolific producer of low price, hobbyist drones, and their D88 FPV drone is certainly one of the best you can get for under $300.
For starters, it has a 4K, 110° wide-angle camera that can adjust 90°, so you can capture stunning footage from a variety of different angles. It has a built-in one-axis gimbal that reduces vibration so that you can capture stable footage.
One of the best things about this drone is that it supports 5G, so if you have a 5G phone, you can enjoy high-speed video transmission within a 984ft range.
We’re also big fans of the GPS functionality, including one key return, as well as the intelligent flight features. These include altitude hold, follow me mode, and point of interest mode, making this drone a pleasure to fly.
Another notable feature is the combination of optical flow positioning and ultrasonic altitude determination. This allows the drone to hover precisely mid-flight, making it easy to both fly and capture footage with.
This is also a very powerful drone for under $300. It has four 1350KB brushless motors that enable it to reach speeds of up to 50km/h, while the 3400mAh high capacity battery offers an impressive flight time of up to 40 minutes.
Finally, this drone is very portable as you can completely fold down the wings. It even comes with an aluminum case so you can transport it safely.
Read more: the best foldable drones
Powerextra F11 Pro – Great for Beginners
The Powerextra F11 Pro has some really nice features that make it worth considering if you’re searching for the best drone under $300 for beginners.
For starters, it comes with two rechargeable 2500mAh batteries which provide between 50 and 60 minutes of flight time, which is very long for such an affordable drone.
This drone has a 4K anti-stock UHD camera capable of capturing 2.9K FPV video in real-time. We particularly like the upgraded image stabilization which helps you capture steady footage even in windy conditions.
If you’re a beginner buying your first drone, the Powerextra F11 Pro has some really useful flight modes which make it easy to operate. For example, the Follow Me mode sees the drone follow you from the air as you move, while with the tap fly feature you can easily set custom routes on your smartphone using the Powerextra app.
There’s also the point of interest mode, where the drone focuses on a particular object or landmark as you record. It even has hand gesture technology so that you can control the camera and video simply by moving your hands!
This is also a very safe drone thanks to the GPS-assisted return to home features, so you can simply press one key and the drone will fly back if the battery or signal is low.
DJI Mini SE – Overall Best Camera Drone Under $300
DJI is widely regarded as the finest manufacturer of consumer camera drones, and while most of its models are more expensive, you can enjoy DJI quality for under $300 with the Mini SE.
If you’re looking for the best drone under $300 in terms of flying and video transmission distance, you can’t look past this model. It offers video transmission within a 4km range, which is simply something you can’t get within this budget unless you go for a DJI drone.
The incredible transmission range is just the tip of the iceberg with this drone, though. The camera captures 12MP images and 2.7K HD video that you can stream directly to your smartphone, and the drone has a 3 axis gimbal for maximum recording stability.
One of the best things about the DJI Mini SE is that it’s very compact and lightweight, weighing just 249g. Not only does this mean it’s easy to carry around, but you can also fly it without needing an FAA license, unlike with larger drones.
However, while it may be small it’s still powerful. It can resist winds of up to 38kph and take off at a max altitude of 4,000m, so you can use it in challenging conditions. You can fly the DJI Mini SE for up to 30 minutes at a time, which while not the best is still a decent amount of battery life.
Another great thing about DJI drones is that they are unrivaled in terms of intelligent flying and recording capabilities.
For example, there are several QuickShots modes such as dronie, circle, helix, and rocket that make the drone executive elaborate preset motions while recording, so you can capture unique cinematic footage. You can then share this footage straight to your social media accounts via the DJI Fly app.
Fancool 4000ft FPV Drone – Best Drone Under $300 for Battery Life
- Price: $299.99
As you can tell by the name, this drone offers image transmission from up to 4,000ft away, which is really good for a drone in this price bracket and is second only to the DJI Mini SE. What’s more, it has 5G functionality, so you can stream footage very smoothly and with no lag, straight to your phone.
Thanks to the 4K, CMOS image sensor camera, any footage you capture looks extremely professional, and the drone also employs electric image stabilization technology to reduce blurriness. You can stream live video in 4K at 30fps or 1080P at 60fps. You can use the remote control to adjust the camera angle by 90°, and there’s even a 130°FOV lens camera zoon function.
Like the other best drones under $300, this Fancool model has GPS functionality. The drone automatically returns home if the battery is low or GPS signal is weak, or you can simply command it to return with one button. If GPS is weak, you can switch to the optical floor mode for stable hovering both indoors and outdoors.
There are two-speed modes to this drone, and you can fly for up to 60 minutes at low speed and up to 44 minutes at high speed. It’s not as fast as some of the other drones on our list, at 25mp, but the battery life is really impressive.
Finally, there are four intelligent flight modes – follow me, orbit, headless and tap fly – which make flying easier so you can focus on recording.