Los Angeles Starts Cracking Down On Drones

The drone hobby as a whole often gets a bad wrap. Unfortunately, while not every drone pilot is negligent or irresponsible, it is usually a few bad eggs that spoil the fun for everyone. This is incredibly relevant to what’s happening in West Hollywood, a city of LA County in sunny Southern California.

After several drone related incidents, including a drone taking out a power line and knocking out power for over 700 residents, the West Hollywood city council has passed an ordinance requiring drone operators to get a city-based permit in order to fly within the city limits. The ordinance also prohibits pilots from taking photo, video, or audio footage of any person or private property that “has a reasonable expectation of privacy”.

All of these rules are to be applied on top of existing FAA registration requirements and flight regulations, making West Hollywood one of the strictest cities in Los Angeles county to fly your drone in. The new city ordinance also prohibits flights that may interfere with emergency response units in any way, including firefighting and policy activity. Violation of the ordinance will be considered a misdemeanor, but can potentially be compounded with federal FAA fines or penalties if the drone pilot’s violations carry over into violations of federal regulations.

What’s happening in West Hollywood is likely just the beginning of a trend we will see in many other large cities across the country. Unfortunately, as drone flying becomes more popular, we will see more amateur pilots taking to the skies without being properly informed on rules and regulations for their area. Use the story of West Hollywood as a warning lesson and always double check before you fly. Last thing you want is for you to end up with a few hundred or thousand dollars in fines because you didn’t realize your little quadcopter could cause so much trouble.

As always, fly safe and fly smart. Enjoy your time in the sky.

President Trump’s Executive Order puts hold on FAA drone regulations

President Trump signed an executive order last week requiring a roll back of regulations. In essence, for every one new regulation passed two old regulations must be removed. This order has had an unexpected side effect on the FAA’s existing plans for rolling out new drone regulations.  This spells potential problems for the budding drone industry.

In 2014, the NTS board officially classified drones as aircraft. This forced drones and other quadcopters of specific size to be required to abide by FAA regulations in order to fly.  Unfortunately, FAA regulations were not really designed for drone use and as such, the president’s new order has placed a growing industry on hold as regulators scramble to figure out what to do.

Check out this drone as it flies a human around!

YouTube personality Casey Neistat recently took drone flying to the next level. The human level that is. When looking to do a stunt with a drone, he soon realized that most consumer ready drones sold today aren’t large enough to lift a human. And for good reason. Not wanting to have his aspirations crushed, Casey did what any normal YouTuber would do. He built a custom drone and made it fly him around in the snow while strapped to a snowboard and wearing a Santa suit.

Check out the video above!

Estes Proto X Nano Review

One of the smallest quadcopter drones on the market, the Estes Proto X Nano packs a big punch in a tiny package. Weighing in at just under 0.4 oz and roughly twice the size of a quarter, it can literally fit in the palm of your hand. Surprisingly though, this drones small stature does not result in a lack of precise maneuverability or flight control.

At roughly $30 dollars, the Estes Proto X Nano is currently the cheapest beginner drone available for sale, but there are some reasons for the low price point. Included in the box is the quadcopter drone with installed LiPo Battery, a 2.4 GHz controller, USB charge cable, four spare propellers, and an instruction booklet.

The Estes Proto X Nano comes ready to fly with no assembly, giving you roughly 5 to 8 minutes of flight time per charge. The nano-like size of this drone though limits your recommended flying to indoors only as even a simple breeze will cause this thing to drift heavily.

Flying this little drone is extremely easy. Even with its miniscule design, the Proto X Nano flies smoothly and hovers in place with minimal drift. The controller itself may be the only hindrance for most pilots as it is also extremely small, making it somewhat difficult to hold if you have larger hands. Still, the joysticks respond beautifully for speedy maneuvers and with a built-in trim option, The Estes Proto X Nano offers the same level of flight control features as other beginner drones twice the price.

Built with front (blue) and back (red) LED lights, the Proto X Nano offers excellent visual flight orientation. This is extremely useful due to its small size and since you will likely be flying it indoors only. The LEDs also act as indicator lights, telling you when the drone is low on battery, so you don’t crash mid-flight.

Though the Estes Proto X Nano is a top pick on our Buyers Guide for beginner drones, there are still two major limitations for this model: battery-life and quality of parts. Because of its small size, the 100 mAh LiPo battery comes pre-installed and is not recommended for manual replacement. This means you have to charge the battery in the unit, resulting in roughly a 40 minute waiting period between flights which can be a bit of a drag.

The other issue with this drone is the ease at which it can break. Built with a plastic frame and extremely small multirotors, it is important that pilots remember that this drone is just a toy. For roughly $30 a drone, one should not expect the Estes Proto X Nano to hold up against excessively aggressive flying or acrobatics because it will not. Replacement parts are available, but almost not worth the bother as you can purchase an entirely new drone for around the same cost.

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Pros

  • Extremely easy to fly.
  • Super tiny size.
  • Built-in LEDs for visual orientation.
  • Adjustable trim settings.
  • Excellent balance and control.
  • Great for kids.
  • Under $40 dollars.

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Cons

  • Flight should be limited to indoor only.
  • Limited flight time.
  • LiPo battery cannot be removed.
  • Pop-on rotors may fly off in crash.
  • Controller size is difficult for large hands.

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Summary

If you’re looking for an extremely affordable beginner drone that’s extremely easy to fly, then the Estes Proto X Nano is the drone for you. This drone is an excellent gift for kids and teenagers, yet can still be a ton of fun for adults interested in becoming a RC drone hobbyist. If you’re looking for more flight-time, consider going with the newer Estes Syncro X Nano, which addresses the few of the shortcomings of the Proto X, like the irremovable LiPo battery. Either drone model is a great stepping stone purchase to get your feet wet before investing in something more robust and complex.

Buy the Estes Proto X Nano on Amazon

Recommended Add-ons:  Estes Synco X Nano  –  Carrying Case  – Extra Propellers  – Extra Motors

https://web.archive.org/web/20190402233834/http://www.bestdronedepot.com/product/B00HK3QOHS/US/cjgrecom-20/?cart=y


Estes Proto X Nano Videos

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Syma X5C-1 Review

A lot of people recommend the Syma X5C as a good beginner quadcopter drone. In fact, it is considered a best seller on Amazon! But I’ve always had issues with the Syma X5C model drone. That is, until now. Here is my Syma X5C-1 Review.

Don’t get me wrong, the Syma X5C was always a decent quadcopter for beginners. The drone was affordable and fairly easy to fly, but from my experience it lacked the stability one would want and expect from a beginner drone. To put it bluntly, it was nearly impossible to fly effectively outside. Indoors, the drone did well, but as soon as you took it outside the weight and design of it compared to the power of the motors showed a weakness with maintaining steady flight even with the slightest crosswind. It was because of these shortcomings that the Syma never made it onto our Buyers Guide for beginner drones. With the release of the Syma X5C-1 though, we have officially changed our stance and included it as a best buy for beginner pilots.

The Syma X5C-1 fixes the shortcomings of its predecessor in almost every way but one. Straight out of the box you’ll receive the assembled quadcopter, a 2.4 GHz controller, USB charging cable, four spare rotors, four guard bumpers, two landing skids, a screwdriver (yes a tool!), one 500 mAh LiPO battery, and a user manual. You’ll have to flip the plastic packaging over to untie the bindings for the Syma from underneath and while you’re down there, be sure to pull off the four spare rotor blades taped to the underside as well.

The easiest way to tell what version of the Syma X5C you have is by looking at the drone itself. The new Syma X5C-1 will have “Syma” written in big red lettering in the center of the quadcopter with a red “X” and black “5C” under it. It’ll also include a red and white “2.4 GHz” on it as well. If you have this, you own the latest and greatest Syma X5C-1. Another way to tell is by looking at the instruction manual. For the Syma X5C-1, the front cover of the manual will show a black and white “2”, indicating that this is in fact the 2nd generation of the Syma X5C.

Once you get the Syma X5C-1 into the air, you will notice a difference in the power and flight control compared to its predecessor. The previous stability issues of the Syma X5C are gone, replaced now with an easily piloted drone perfect for any beginner flyers. The 6-axis flight controls offers you plenty of mobility for roll, pitch, and yaw. Included on the controller itself are several trim buttons, which double as remote control for the camera. Be sure to read the instruction manual on this though as Syma has changed what buttons you press for the X5C vs. X5C-1. The remote controlled camera button is a great feature for those wishing to conserve battery and only snap shots when at a decent altitude.

Like its main competitor, the Hubsan X4, the Syma X5C-1 offers an expert flight mode, which allows for more sensitivity with your joysticks to allow you to perform more advanced turns and pitch adjustments. Also included on the Syma are built-in flight orientation LEDs, which are particularly useful in dim lighting, though not so much in bright daylight.

In truth, the only shortcoming of this beginner drone is the camera. Unlike the higher HD versions of the Hubsan X4, the Syma X5C-1 only offers a 2MP camera option though it can still shoot video at 720P (supposedly). Also, the angle at which the camera is mounted on to the body of the quadcopter is somewhat off, resulting in a lot of diagonal views of the ground and little of the surrounding horizon. At the maximum range (roughly 80 meters) of this drone, you won’t be getting nearly high enough to capture really great downward-angled aerial shots, so it seems odd that the manufacturer has placed the camera the way they did. Luckily, this issue can be fixed easily with some minor DIY modifications.

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Pros

  • Extremely easy to fly.
  • Built-in camera.
  • Adjustable trim settings.
  • Easy & Expert flight modes.
  • Remote camera trigger.
  • Under $100 dollars.

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Cons

  • Camera mounted at odd angle.
  • Limited flight time.
  • No “true” HD version available.
  • Partial prop guards only.
  • Limited payload capabilities.

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Summary

Overall, the Syma X5C-1 is an excellent beginner drone for first time flyers. The controls are easy to pick up and the stability of the drone will keep you flying for a good length of time. Best of all, the Syma X5C-1 is extremely affordable as a first time drone, selling for just around $60 right now on Amazon. The only thing I warn though is to stay aware of what version of the quadcopter you are buying. The Syma X5C is still being sold online supposedly with no confirmation of whether it is the latest version or not. Because of the limited flight time of the aircraft, I highly recommend picking up some extra batteries and only shooting video once at a decent altitude to help improve overall flight time.

Buy the Syma X5C-1 on Amazon

 Recommended Add-ons: Syma X5C-1 Spare Rotors  –  5 Pack LiPo Batteries + Charger


Syma X5C-1 Videos

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The Best Semi-Pro Camera Drones

It goes almost without saying that the next two drones on this list will cost you a pretty penny. When you reach the stage of semi-professional drone flying, the drones for sale don’t come cheap. Fortunately, there is good reason for it as both these choices are some of the highest quality consumer drones available for sale to the general public. Without surprise, they are also both manufactured by DJI, the company that has become synonymous with high quality video drones.


DJI Phantom 4 Pro


DJI Phantom 4 Pro+


A proven leader in the camera drone market, DJI has released the latest version of its flagship Phantom quadcopter drone series, the DJI Phantom 4. With three models, the Phantom 4 is the pinnacle of drone technology and blurs the lines between mid-level and semi-professional camera drones.

With a starting price tag of just over $1000, the Phantom 4 standard model is one of the best and cheapest semi-pro level camera drones you can find on the market today. Packed with a plethora of performance features like a 4k ultra HD camera, adaptive flight controls, and semi-autonomous flight, the DJI Phantom 4 offers everything an amateur drone pilot might want.

In order to produce the stunning visual shots its known for, the Phantom 4 camera shoots true 4k UHD video at 30fps or slow motion 1080p HD video at a ridiculously high 120fps. Every shot comes out crystal clear and smooth no matter with the help of a 3-axis stabilization gimbal.

The Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+ bridge the gap from mid-level to semi-professional by offering an enhanced camera and sensor system to give the very best in aerial video and photography. At a price range of $1400-$1800, real camera drone aficionados and semi-professional aerial photographers alike can experience 4k ultra HD video at full 60fps from the built-in 20MP camera sensor. The Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+ also boast an additional 2 sensors for a full five directions of obstacle sensing to permit even easy-to-engage automated flight.

Both models of the Phantom 4 provide many other great features, including auto return home, one-tap flight controls, visual tracking, and obstacle awareness, making it one of the easiest camera drones ever to fly.

Combined with a nearly 30 minute flight time and long-range control distances of ~3 miles for the Phantom 4 standard and ~4 for the Pro, the DJI Phantom 4 series is the perfect choice for pilots of any experience looking to shoot stunning aerial photos and video on a semi-professional level.

DJI Inspire 2

DJI Inspire 2

If money is no problem and you’re looking for the most top of the line camera drone for sale, then the DJI Inspire 2 is the drone to buy. Modeled like an alien drone from a Sci-Fi movie, the Inspire 2 bridges the gap between casual consumer drones and the true professionals.

The important thing to note for this new drone is while it is built for use with cameras, unlike it’s predecessor, the Inspire 1 camera drone, the DJI Inspire 2 does not include a gimbal or camera by default. This choice by DJI has been considered somewhat controversial for a drone model known for its high quality, but also allows for more freedom in your choice of camera and gimbal. Don’t be mistaken, this drone is camera ready from the moment you take it out of the box.

The DJI Inspire 2 features a refined chassis design with state of the art motors and propellers. Zooming in at a 0 to 50mph of just 5 seconds and with a maximum speed of nearly 60 mph, the Inspire 2 is one of the fastest camera drones available. Matched with a descent speed of 9 meters per second, this quadcopter offers unheard of speed and agility for a craft its size. A dual battery system helps ensure lengthy flight time of nearly 30 minutes while self-heating tech lets the Inspire 2 fly at peak performance even in near freezing temperatures.

When bought in a bundle or paired separately with a DJI Zenmuse X4S Camera, the DJI Inspire 2 offers the most premium package available for semi-professional aerial cinematography. A robust image processor allows up to 5.2k video @ 4.2Gbps or 4k video at 100Mbps for ultra crisp, stunning footage. While built-in sensor technology allows for full terrain detection, obstacle avoidance, and accurate hover positioning and control.

With a starting price tag of nearly $3000 USD, the DJI Inspire 2 is not a cheap drone to buy, but its features are beyond compare of other drones available for sale at that price level. This drone is for people with money to burn or for those who are truly inspired to jump into aerial photography.

COST
~ $1000 to $1800
SKILL LEVEL
Intermediate
FLIGHT TIME
~ 28 min
TOTAL RATING
9.5 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • 4k UHD Camera
  • First Person Viewing
  • GPS / Radar / Compass
  • Object Awareness
  • Autonomous Visual Tracking
  • Remote Camera Control
  • 2.4 / 5.8 GHz Controller
  • FAA registration Required
COST
~ $3000 – $5000
SKILL LEVEL
Advanced
FLIGHT TIME
~ 27 min
TOTAL RATING
9 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • 5.2k UHD Camera (optional)
  • DJI Lightbridge FPV
  • GPS / Radar / Compass
  • Vision Positioning System
  • Dynamic Home Point
  • Dual Controller Support
  • 2.4 / 5.8 GHz Controller
  • FAA registration Required

While the above list is our best recommendations for what drones to buy, it isn’t a comprehensive list of all the drones available for sale. From helicopters to octocopters, the market for drones is increasing rapidly. If you’re interested in discovering other models of drones that may fit your need please be sure to check out our Articles & Reviews Section for other drones that didn’t quite make our recommended list.

Best Drone Depot is dedicated to helping you find the best drone for your need at the best price out there, so we gladly welcome any feedback, ideas, or suggestions. Feel free to drop us a line anytime at our Contact Page.

Happy Drone Shopping!

The Best Mid-Level Camera Drones

Whether you’re a drone aficionado or just a photography buff, there is nothing more fun than hooking a camera up to a drone and flying it around. Unfortunately, not all camera drones are created equal, so it is important to pick the best camera drone that will meet your needs. Below are two mid-level camera drones that will offer you the functionality you need at the price you want.


DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro

Designed for minimal weight with maximum strength, the DJI Mavic Pro combines portability with quality to produce a stellar mid-level camera drone for beginner and intermediate pilots looking to take their aerial photography on the go.

At just under 2 lbs and with fold-able propeller arms that tuck safely into the body of the drone, the lightweight Mavic Pro can be carried in a bag or backpack with little risk of damage. This makes it an ideal drone for long camping trips or hikes.

As is the case with all DJI drones, quality is not sacrificed for portability. With a 4k ultra HD camera and 3-axis gimbal stabilization, this camera drone takes crystal clear video and photos on par with its more expensive cousin, the DJI Phantom 4.

Priced at ~$1000, the Mavic Pro comes packed with all the features you’d expect from a DJI brand camera drone too. From obstacle avoidance, and autonomous flight modes to live 1080P video streaming and nearly 30 minutes of flight time, the Mavic Pro makes flying easy and fun no matter the pilot’s level of expertise.

What makes this quadcopter stand out above all other mid-level camera drones is its unique set of features for shooting video and photos. DJI’s proprietary ActiveTrack feature permits the Mavic to visually track a subject with just a click of a button. While gesture control allows the drone to snap photos with just a wave of your hand.

Taking into account its portability, durability, and ease of use, the DJI Mavic Pro is a recommended buy for anyone looking to purchase a mid-level camera drone that can be taken on the go.

Parrot Bebop 2

Parrot Bebop 2

The Parrot Bebop 2 drone takes a lot from its predecessor, both good and bad. Unlike most drones on the market, Parrot still allows pilots of the Bebop 2 to use their smartphones and tablets to control the drone. Make the quadcopter fly with the swipe of a finger or use Parrot’s proprietary app to pre-plan your flight routes and watch the drone take to the sky.

The benefit of having controller choices helps ensure each pilot can buy a Bebop 2 at a price they are comfortable with. Base Bebop 2 camera drone units sell for just over $500 USD while a full drone package with skycontroller 2.0 and FPV goggles runs at around $650 USD. The ability to use a phone, a game pad, or a formal transmitter puts the Parrot Bebop 2 camera drone up there for usability and ease of flying.

Carrying forward the built-in camera design from the original Bebop, Parrot’s camera drone offers a digitally stabilized 14 MP camera with a 180 degree field of view. This allows you to capture full 1080P HD video and stills.

The unique fisheye lens remains relatively unchanged from the original Bebop model, but does now offer a more robust lens cover to prevent dust build up during flight. This is extremely useful for navigation and video capture.

Mixed with in-app features like auto-return home, follow-me functionality, and 360 emersion flips, the Parrot Bebop 2 drone is an extremely popular and affordable option for mid-level amateur drone pilots looking to mix aerobatic performance with high quality aerial video and photography.

COST
~ $1000
SKILL LEVEL
Intermediate
FLIGHT TIME
~ 30 min
TOTAL RATING
8 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • 4k UHD Camera
  • First Person Viewing
  • GPS / Radar / Compass
  • Fold-away Rotor Arms
  • Autonomous Visual Tracking
  • Remote Camera Control
  • FAA Registration Required
COST
~ $500 to $900
SKILL LEVEL
Intermediate
FLIGHT TIME
~ 25 min
TOTAL RATING
8 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • Intuitive Flight Control App
  • Fisheye Full HD Camera
  • First Person Viewing
  • 360 Eversion
  • Auto Return Home
  • GPS / Sonar
  • FAA Registration Required

The Best Entry-Level Camera Drones

Whether you’re a drone aficionado or just a photography buff, there is nothing more fun than hooking a camera up to a drone and flying it around. Unfortunately, not all camera drones are created equal, so it is important to pick the best camera drone that will meet your needs. Below are two entry-level camera drones that will offer you the functionality you need at the price you want.


Hubsan H501S

 

Hubsan has shown itself to be a leader in the consumer drone industry with the release of their first brushless camera drone, the Hubsan X4 H501S. Featuring light-weight brushless motors for added power, automated flight controls, and headless flight mode, the H501S is the ideal camera drone for novice pilots with just a little bit of flight time.

Containing a 1080P HD camera to help you capture high quality aerial shots, Hubsan’s quadcopter drone permits you to take both video and photos with just the press of a button. GPS and altitude control mode also allows the camera drone to maintain a set flying height and location when hovering in place.

Packed with all the normal features you might expect to find in a camera drone, the H501S also contains added functionality usually reserved for much more expensive quadcopters. A 6-axis control system permits detailed control while an auto return home and battery monitoring function makes sure your camera drone will make it back safely every flight. The built in LCD screen on the transmitter also offers live FPV streaming during flight, so you can see exactly what you’re capturing up high.

The Hubsan X4 H501S is an extremely reasonable price of just ~$270 USD. With that, you get the camera drone, high quality 5.8GHz transmitter with screen, one rechargeable 2700 mAh battery, and tools for replacing propeller blades. A 20 minute flight time allows for plenty of exploration while in the air too.

If looking to get into camera drones for the first time or just wanting to add another low-cost, but high quality quadcopter to your hangar, the Hubsan X4 H501S is the perfect drone to buy.

Parrot Bebop

Parrot Bebop Drone

The Parrot BeBop Drone is unique for two reasons. Unlike most drones which come only with a 2.4 GHz transmitter, Parrot offers users the ability to use their smartphones and tablets to control the drone in ways not typically possible with a standard controller. Some features of the app include: automatic altitude control, auto-orientation, 360 eversion, a return home feature, as well as built-in first person view directly on your screen.

The camera drone itself is built with a full HD camera which offers 14MP photos and 1080P video. The camera is the second unique feature about the Bebop drone. While it is mounted in a fixed position at the front of the unit, it boasts a fisheye lens with full 180 degree field of view and digital gyroscopic stabilization. This makes the camera extremely useful for navigation and video capture.

The second great feature of this drone is its design. Built with a customizable hull, the Parrot Bebop can be flown smoothly both indoors and outdoors with little issue. The aerodynamic design offers quick and stable maneuverability (it even does flips!), allowing for breathtaking aerial shots and sweeps at a variety of speeds up to 35 miles per hour.

The main limitation of this drone is the flying range, which is limited purely by the strength of the Wi-Fi signal (traditionally around a few hundred feet or so). This is easily overcome by buying the Parrot Bebop Drone Bundle with optional Skytroller and Wi-Fi extender, which boasts a 1.25 mile flight distance.

While Parrot has released a newer model of the Bebop (see below), this first generation camera drone can still stand up to the competition with its low price point and advanced features.

COST
~ $300
SKILL LEVEL
Beginner
FLIGHT TIME
~ 20 min
TOTAL RATING
8.5 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • First Person Viewing
  • GPS / Auto Return
  • Follow Me Functionality
  • Remote Camera Control
  • Expert Flight Mode
  • 5.8 GHz Controller
  • FAA Registration Required
COST
~ $300
SKILL LEVEL
Beginner
FLIGHT TIME
~ 11 min
TOTAL RATING
7.5 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • Intuitive Flight Control App
  • Fisheye Full HD Camera
  • First Person Viewing (add-on)
  • 360 Eversion
  • Auto Return Home
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi Controlled

The Best Acrobatic Drones

One of the best things about buying a drone is the freedom you get in taking to the skies. With the ability to maneuver both vertically and horizontally, some people want to buy a drone that will let them do awesome tricks easily. While many drone manufacturers focus on features like video support, there are some drones for sale that will give you the ability to do aerial flips and tricks easily (sometimes with the just push of a button). Below are two drones that are great buys for those looking to hit the sky at a fast and furious pace.


UDI U818A

The UDI U818A drone quadcopter is a lightweight and agile drone built for beginner and intermediate skill-level flyers. While its overall weight limits its use to indoors or outdoors with light winds only, it’s the drone’s flexible, plastic exterior frame and easy-to-use controls that makes it a great stunt drone buy for the price.

With the U818A’s plastic bumpers, you are free to attempt daredevil tricks without the fear of destroying your drone in a crash. Another great feature is the drone’s built-in LED lights, which offer excellent flight orientation tracking at a distance or even at night.

The U818A offers two flight modes (easy & extreme), which allows for even the most beginner pilots to conduct aerial acrobatics with ease. When switched into “extreme” mode, you have the option of manually conducting flips with the joystick or, if you’re not ready to trust yourself just yet, you can simply press the special 360 eversion button and let the drone do all the hard work.

Coupled with a fixed SD camera and remote video/photo trigger buttons on the controller, the UDI U818A is an ideal quadcopter for anyone looking to buy a drone that offers both acrobatic ability and onboard camera capabilities.

UDI has released an updated model of this drone. While it does include new features like auto return home, it costs about double the old model. Be sure to check it out here and weigh the costs vs. benefits of old and new.

Blade Nano QX 3D

Blade Nano QX 3D

If you’re looking for a fast and nimble drone to do tricks and flips with, the Blade Nano QX 3D is the drone to go with. Designed specifically with aerobatics in mind, the Blade Nano QX 3D is one of the few ready-to-fly quadcopter drones on the market that can be flown upside down!

Most drones will crash and burn if they go topsy turvy, but the QX 3D has special sensors and reversible motors that provide upward or downward thrust depending on its orientation. With three different flight modes, this nimble drone can perform hairpin turns, 180-degree flips, or full 360-degree rolls with the flick of a joystick or the press of a button. The Blade Nano QX 3D’s smart control scheme makes is simple to fly, no matter what orientation the drone is in.

Built specifically to be lightweight and agile, the Blade Nano QX 3D offers unparalleled speed and maneuverability compared to most drones its size. The ability to fly right-side up or upside down also makes recovery from crashes extremely easy. No more worrying about flipping your drone or resetting its calibrations. Just take off and fly.

While the Blade Nano QX 3D doesn’t include any camera functionality, it offers a unique level of aerobatic ability that will keep you entertained for hours on end.

 

COST
~ $50
SKILL LEVEL
Beginner
FLIGHT TIME
~ 10 min
TOTAL RATING
8 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • Built-in Camera
  • Colored Orientation LEDS
  • Easy Acrobatic Tricks
  • 360 Eversion Button
  • Remote Camera Trigger
  • 2.4 GHz Controller
COST
~ $70
SKILL LEVEL
Intermediate
FLIGHT TIME
~ 6 min
TOTAL RATING
8.5 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • Can Fly Upside Down
  • Easy Acrobatic Tricks
  • 180 or 360 Flip Button
  • Colored Orientation LEDs
  • Adjustable trim settings
  • 2.4 GHz Controller

The Best Drones For Beginners

f you’re new to drones and quadcopters, you may be cautious of spending a lot of money on something that can easily be damaged or lost if you don’t know what you’re doing. We recommend the following beginner drones for sale to help introduce you to the world of aerial drone flying

Hubsan X4

Hubsan X4 drone

When considering cost and ease of learning, the Hubsan X4 quadcopter drone is the best drone for any beginner. With a growing collection of different models at various price points, the Hubsan X4 will allow you to pick what features you want for your first drone purchase.

Starting at the lowest price point, the Hubsan X4 H107L is a barebones quadcopter drone that’ll offer you a basic introduction to aerial acrobatics. Next up is the Hubsan X4 H107P, which is the next generation version of the H107L and includes added functionality like built-in altitude control.

Moving up to the mid-tier model, the Hubsan X4 H107C features a fixed camera that can record 480P or 720P video. Like the lower tier model, the H107C also has a new generation version titled the Hubsan X4 H107C+. This new generation quadcopter drone also includes the added altitude control functionality for more stable video capture.

The H107L, H107P, H107C, and H107C+ models all sell for well under $100 dollars and come with easy instructions on how to setup and fly your new drone. If you’re looking to spend a little more, the higher-end Hubsan X4 H107D and latest H107D+ takes your drone to the next level by offering First Person View via live video streaming to the drone’s controller.

One great benefit of the Hubsan X4 is the ease at which you can replace parts for the drone. They come with an extra set of rotors in the original box and “crash packs” are available online for a reasonable price. To change out the rotors, all you need is their special tool (included in box) to pop them off and on. Very easy to do even for someone with zero experience.

Check out our hands on review of the Hubsan X4.

Syma X5C-1

Syma X5C-1 drone

If you’re looking for an affordable starter quadcopter drone that offers stable flight and basic camera features, then the Syma X5C-1 is the drone for you. Priced at around $50, the Syma X5C-1 features a fixed 2MP camera that can record in 720P video. Unlike the first generation Hubsan X4, the camera can be remotely triggered by the controller, so you can decide exactly when to record video or take pictures thus saving on battery lift during flight.

The drone comes mostly assembled right out of the box, so setup is as simple as charging the battery. With a 6-axis gyroscope and a 4-Channel transmitter, the controls on the X5C-1 are responsive and smooth, offering an extremely pleasant flying experience even for the most novice of pilots.

The controller itself comes with a built-in LED screen for displaying flight details in real-time. The Syma X5C-1 also offers two flight modes and a colorful LED light, to allow pilots to adapt to different operational environments like flying with slight wind or in low light environments.

With its predecessor, the Syma X5C, a best seller on Amazon, the Syma X5C-1 is destined to be a top pick for beginner drone pilots. Because of its size and weight, the Syma X5C-1 offers only around 8 minutes of flight time. Batteries are replaceable though, so be sure to pick up extra LiPO packs to allow for continuous flying with little delay.

For just about $10 more, you can grab the Syma X5SW; one of the first FPV drones priced at under $100 USD. The Syma X5SW offers a 2MP HD WiFi camera with headless/IOC flight functionality that makes flying about as easy as ever for beginners. Best part is the included FPV which will give you the added bonus of seeing exactly what your drone sees in real time.

Check out our hands on review of the Syma X5C-1.

COST
~ $50
SKILL LEVEL
Beginner
FLIGHT TIME
~ 10 min
TOTAL RATING
9 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • Simple Controls
  • Built-in Camera (optional)
  • Colored Orientation LEDS
  • Easy Acrobatic Tricks
  • Affordable Replacement Parts
  • 2.4 GHz Controller
COST
~ $60
SKILL LEVEL
Beginner
FLIGHT TIME
~ 8 min
TOTAL RATING
8 out of 10

Key Features

  • Ready to Fly
  • Simple Controls
  • Built-in Camera
  • Remote Camera Trigger
  • Easy Acrobatic Tricks
  • Adjustable trim settings
  • 2.4 GHz Controller

The Ultimate Drone Buyers Guide

Discover The Best Drones For Sale In 2017


If you’re buying your first drone or maybe just looking at add another quadcopter to your hanger, it’s important to research your next purchase before you buy it. More and more drone manufacturers are entering the market every year, giving you more choices on the types of drones for sale. Unfortunately, not every drone is made equal in quality and function. To try to help, we’ve built the ultimate buyers guide to run you through the best drones for sale for whatever your need may be. Check out our recommendations below.


Best Drones For Beginners

Affordable drones with simple controls that make it easy to learn how to fly.

Best Acrobatic Drones

Drones built to flip and twist in the air, but not leave a hole in your wallet.

See the drones!


Best Entry-Level Camera Drones

Drones priced under $500 that offer high quality HD video and photo capabilities.

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Best Mid-Level Camera Drones

Drones priced under $1000 that offer HD video/photo and other camera features.

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Best Semi-Pro Camera Drones

High-end drones that offer the best camera features while still not breaking the bank.

The Best Drones For Beginners