The 10 Best Drones Under $1000: Elite List of Camera Drones Reviewed

Looking to find the best drone under $1000?

The truth is that even when spending big money, you could still end up with a crappy drone, especially if you buy one from one of the fly-by-night low quality importers. 

Good news for you is that we spent 2 days testing quadcopters, reading user reviews and coming up with a top ten list that will ensure you find a gem in the rough!

Today we are analyzing and comparing the 10 Best Drones Under $1000 currently available to purchase online. These are some of the most powerful, feature-rich and overall top quality drones you can possibly buy.

This is where technology and design truly come together. If you wish to get amazingly beautiful aerial shots and run the sky with autonomous flight features, this is the Top 10 list for you.

Our #1 Rated
DJI Phantom 4 PRO Professional Drone, Hobby RC...
Phantom 4 Pro v.2
5 out of 5
"Editor's Choice"
  • Camera with 1-inch 20MP sensor the onboard camera has been redesigned to use a 1-inch Megapixel CMOS sensor.
  • Five-directions of obstacle sensing. Please refer the Instructional Video and the User Manual before use.
  • More powerful video processing supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps, both with a 100Mbps bitrate
Our #1 Rated
5 out of 5
"Editor's Choice"
Our #2 Rated
DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller -...
Mavic Air
4 out of 5
"Budget Pick"
  • 32.0MP sphere panoramas - In addition to horizontal, vertical, and 180° panoramas, Mavic Air stitches 25 photos together in...
  • Lightweight and compact foldable design - You can take it anywhere with you.
  • Supports 4K video at 30 fps - The 12.0MP camera with Adobe DNG RAW support is ready to shoot. The three-axis gimbal is...
Our #2 Rated
4 out of 5
"Budget Pick"
Our #3 Rated
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone Quadcopter with 24-48mm...
Mavic 2 Zoom
4.5 out of 5
"For those with a little extra to spend"
  • See the Bigger Picture: Powered by a 1/2.3 inch CMOS 12MP sensor with up to four-times zoom, including a two-times optical...
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 905g takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, 8GB internal storage, SD...
  • Enjoy live view in real time during flight and record 4K videos at higher bitrates with advanced H.265 compression.
Our Upgrade Pick
4.5 out of 5
"For those with a little extra to spend"

What should I expect from a drone under $1000?

In order to get the best bang for your buck, it’s important to be aware of the average specifications and features of the products under such price and category. That’s why we have put together a summary table with the key features of each of the drones in this review.

Here is a quick reference for those who forgot what a drone selling for less than 1000 dollars is capable of.

Average Flight TimeAverage Control RangeAverage PerformanceAverage FeaturesAverage Camera Quality

Batteries and drone’s firmware have become much more efficient in the last couple years. Therefore, you should expect an average flight time of 20-30 minutes. Some brands prioritize flight time while others focus on other specs. However, keep in mind that increased payload results in decreased flight time.

It is one of the most commonly highly prioritized specifications by drone enthusiasts. Of course one wants to have a long range when investing this amount of money in a drone. Fortunately, the control distance is increasing. Nowadays, an average control range for a product within this budget is around 2 to up to 7 km. Some brands like DJI focus on long range, and these can go as far as 7 km, for the Phantom and Mavic range.

Of course, you must expect (and demand) perfect performance from any drone on this list. Accurate controls, great capability in flying in windy days and steady hover even without any pilot’s input. We have only picked the quads that have top of the line performance when compared to other same price products.

As the technology advances, more features are added to drones as companies compete with each other for sales. Therefore, all $1000 drones in this review already come with a wide variety of features. Expect a decent amount of drones to feature autonomous flight and functions that enhance camera usage such as Follow Me, Orbit, Point of Interest, GPS assisted flight, optical flow sensors. Our most important feature is obstacle avoidance, since you don’t want to crash your 1000 dollar drone!

Most of these drones come with HD and even 4K cameras. They are able to produce amazing quality footage, even to semi-professional standards.  They can also carry GoPro cameras and other types of action cameras. Although the included cameras are not good enough for, let’s say, recording commercials or transmitting Live Video coverage of sport events. They are definitely able to record amazing footage for YouTube vlogs, semi-professional projects, film school projects, etc. You definitely want to put  a high price on 4K capability on the video camera.

Ready for liftoff? Lets get to it then, here's our full take on the Top 10 Drones Under $1000:

1. DJI Phantom 4 – The Best Drone under $1000!


"Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts"

The drone everyone wants. The drone everyone desires. The one and only DJI Phantom 4. It is DJI’s biggest success and one could argue, the most famous commercial drone on earth.

Notorious for its performance, autonomous features, ease of use and camera quality. The world loves the Phantom 4 and we at BuyBestQuadcopter love it too!

Yes, you already know what I’m going to say. It’s true, Phantom 4 has a performance out of this world, a performance that can only be matched by Mavic, Vitus 320, and Yuneec.

Extremely easy to control, it’s such a smooth flyer, even a baby could fly it. Powerful and precise, even in wind conditions, Phantom 4 is a must-have to anyone that prioritizes top performance.


On top of all what we already mentioned, Phantom 4 also has over the top specifications. When it comes to flight time, Phantom 4 has an astonishing 28 to 31 minutes per battery (it of course depends on the speed you are flying at and overall flight conditions). Maximum range is 7km! Yes, you read that correctly, 7000 meters!


Phantom 4 comes with an amazing high-performance camera capable of shooting sharp and clean video in up to 4K at 30fps and Full HD 1080p at 120fps for slow motion. It has a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor, a lens with 94º FOV (Field of View) and a f/2.8 aperture.

Still photos are taken in 12MP HDR and max video bitrate is 60mbps (keep in mind Mavic Air already features 100mbps video bitrate; newer model). No wonder Phantom 4 is one of the top choices for aerial photography and videography.

It is able to capture stunning and breathtaking photos and videos. And it can of course also transmit Live Video in amazing high-quality with no latency in transmission.


The list of features is extensive, here goes:

  • DJI Go (share photos, create flight paths, connection with friends), 
  • Tap to Fly (Tap on the Screen and the drone will fly to that location), 
  • Obstacle Avoidance (high-precision sensors that prevent the drone from hitting objects during flight),
  • Precision hovering and Automatic Flight Positioning (GPS + GLONASS), ActiveTrack,
  • Automatic Return to Home,
  • As well as...lets take a deep breath...One-Key Takeoff and Landing, POI, Follow Me, Waypoints, Home Lock, Course Lock, and Sport Mode.

I think we haven’t forgotten any! It’s that overwhelming. Truly a feature-rich quadcopter, there is no other commercial drone under $1000 that can compare to this.

Editors Award -This drone clinches the award as our best drone under $1000. It's reputation precedes itself, and the user ratings on Amazon agree. If you have $1000 to spend on a drone, just get the Phantom, you won't be sorry.


  • Responsive and hard to crash
  •  Camera
  • Incredible Set of Autonomous Features
  • Incredible range and performance
  •  Amazing Specifications


  • Often sells for more than $1000, due to popularity

2. DJI Mavic Air - The Best Budget Pick

DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter

"Ideal For: ​Everyone, including FPV Racers"

The Mavic Air is the most recent addition to the Mavic series by the renowned brand DJI. It is a significant upgrade to its predecessor the Mavic Pro. Air features a slightly better camera and sensors, but Pro does have more control range. Let’s find out more about DJI Mavic Air.

When it comes to performance, Mavic Air behaves the same as its older brother Mavic Pro. Both have astonishing performance, being able to steadily hover in place without any pilot’s input on the remote controller.

Very gentle flyer, ideal for beginners. Feel free to fly it even on medium wind conditions, with caution of course. Air can reach a max speed of 88.4km/h, which makes it a great candidate for Drone Racing.


Let’s discuss specs. Unfortunately, Mavic Air specs are not as good as Mavic Pro, however, we must take into consideration Pro is a larger quad. This being said, Air has a flight time of 21 minutes and a maximum control range of 4km.


One of the main characteristics of Mavic Air is without a doubt its camera. If you love aerial photography and videography you will want to take this ‘baby’ everywhere with you. Mavic Air comes with a 1/2.3” CMOS image sensor able to capture 12MP still photos with HDR and create 32MP spherical panorama shots.

The camera can also shoot 4K video at 30fps, 2.7K at 60fps and Full HD video at 120fps. If you are a fan of aerial footage and you occasionally travel or go to outdoor events, this is the drone to capture it all in high-quality and without any hassle. And it of course also transmits Live Video.

Features: ​

As expected from a DJI drone, Mavic Air is no stranger to amazing features powered by powerful technology. These features are:

  • ActiveTrack, 
  • QuickShots (Asteroid and Boomerang),
  • SmartCapture 
  • Tap&Fly 
  • Vision-Based Protection 
  • VIO Technology 
  • Smart Obstacle Avoidance (through TOF technology and 3 high-precision sensors) 
  • One-Key Takeoff and Landing
  • Automatic Return 

As you can see most of the features are focused on enhancing the photography and videography experience. 


  • Very Easy to Fly
  • Foldable Design
  • 4K Camera
  •  Great Set of Autonomous Features
  • Incredible top speed for a camera focused drone


  • When flying indoor if the floor has 0 contrast or is always the same pattern it MAY interfere with the sensors

​3. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom – Upgrade Pick

DJI Mavic Pro Quadcopter

"Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts"

Yep, in the $1000 price range, DJI continues to reigns supreme. Our top 3 drones is rounded off with another one from from DJI, the Mavic 2 Zoom.

The Mavic Pro was DJI’s first product aimed at easy transportation by making use of a unique and very efficient foldable design. For quite some time it was the only serious high-end drone capable of perfectly matching the foldable + autonomous + high quality camera, criteria.

One of the reasons why Mavic 2 Zoom was such a hit among people who had never flown a drone before, it’s in part due to its top performance. Even a baby could fly this. That might be an overstatement, but it’s almost true.

The DJI Mavic Pro has the perfect hover, perfect stability, perfect responsive controls. If you never have flown a drone before and you got the money, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is the ideal choice.


Of course as expected, Mavic 2 Zoom doesn’t fall behind in its specifications. In terms of flight time, maximum is 31 minutes(depends on payload, speed and wind). Max control range, in perfect flight conditions, is an astonishing 18 km!!

Editors Note: 18 km is twice that of the neraest competitor. The Mavic 2 easily won 1st place in our long range drones review

Top Speed measures in at 44 mph too, which is in the racing drone territory!

Note: Control range actually exceeds battery time. In other words, the drone will lose battery power before it loses signal.


If you follow YouTube Vloggers such as the widely famous Casey Neistat, you will surely be familiar with the breathtaking aerial video quality of Mavic Pro. This is Casey’s (the youtuber) favorite drone to carry around with him to film day-to-day sightseeing’s and capturing the world’s beauty from an aerial point of view.

The Mavic Zoom’s camera can take 12MP still photos and shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second. If you wish to have 120fps however you must shoot at 720p. The camera is on a 3-axis gimbal that eliminates vibration. Lens is the only one in the review with optical zoom!

Features: ​

Besides the already mentioned foldable design and Live Video transmission, Mavic 2 Zoom also comes with a wide set of amazing features.

These are:

  • ActiveTrack with Tap&Fly
  • Digital Zoom (24-48 mm)
  • Obstacle Avoidance
  • Vision Positioning
  • Sport Mode / Gesture Mode / Follow Me Mode /Tripod Mode
  • Selfie Mode!
  • Terrain Follow
  • Auto-Return if the battery runs low or loses signal

Yes, as you can see Mavic 2 Zoom is a feature-rich drone, featuring all the latest amazing technology one could possibly require on a drone focused on stability and control. 

Embrace the future, because it fits right in your backpack.


  • Great stability
  • Foldable Design
  • 4K Camera with Optical Zoom
  •  Great Set of Autonomous Features
  • Best flight time and control range


  • When flying indoor if the floor has 0 contrast or is always the same pattern it MAY interfere with the sensors

4. ​Walkera Vitus 320

Walkera Vitus 320 Quadcopter

"Ideal For: Beginners and Intermediate Pilots."

The Vitus 320 is the main competitor to the Mavic series. After the big success DJI had with a foldable drone, Walkera followed its footsteps and designed a worthy competitor.

This drone combines a compact design with an amazing camera and awesome smart features.

When it comes to performance, the Vitus 320 matches the Mavic Pro perfectly. Amazingly steady hover and responsive controls, making the whole experience truly joyful.

Flying the Vitus 320 feels as it is supposed to feel, giving you the confidence every beginner seeks. Even in wind conditions, Vitus performs amazingly well.


When it comes to specs, the Vitus 320 doesn’t impress but it also doesn’t fail to do please. The flight time is around 25 minutes per battery, which is pretty good. Control range however is only 1.5km. Although 1500 meters is probably more than what the average pilot requires, if we compare it to DJI products, it does make significant difference.


The Vitus 320's camera is slightly better than the Mavic Pro, but not as good as the Mavic Air. Vitus 320 comes with a 4K High-Definition camera that supports 4K videos with 30fps, 1080p in 60fps, and still photos with 12MP. The lens is ultra-low distortion and has an 85º FOV.

It is placed on a mini-sized 3-axis gimbal to eliminate vibration and ensuring high-quality footage. It is also capable of transmitting Live Video. Unfortunately, the remote controller has no built-in FPV monitor. Instead, it makes use of the pilot’s smartphone. The controller has a phone holder where you can attach your phone.


Besides the foldable design and the Live Video, Walkera Vitus 320 also has a wide set of interesting and useful features, some being the latest additions in drone technology. The set of features is as follows:

  • Smart Obstacle Avoidance (through TOF technology and 3 high-precision sensors) 
  • Satellite + Visual Positioning (dual module GPS + GLONASS)
  • Hand-gesture Selfie Mode
  • Smart Follow
  • One-Key Takeoff and Landing
  • Telemetry (flight data)
  • Out-of-Control Course Reversal
  • Flight Path Planning and POI flight

On top of all this, you still have a very unique feature, only present on 2 Walkera drones, the AiBao and this one. I’m talking about Augmented Reality games (Collection Mode, Racing Mode and Combat Mode).

To access these features you will have to download the free Walkera app on your phone (Android and iOS).


  • Very Easy to Fly
  • Foldable Design
  • 4K Camera
  • Great Set of Semi-Autonomous Features
  • Amazing Performance and Specs


  • The App could be more user-friendly

5. DJI Phantom 3 Professional

DJI Phantom 3

"Ideal For: Beginners to Experts, easy to control"

It is one of the most popular Phantom drone line and it was the first to feature DJI’s own action camera (they previously supported GoPro and didn’t provide their own camera).

Even though it’s not the most recent product from the Phantom line, it doesn’t fall behind. Phantom 3 indeed still is one of the best quads to own (especially now that the price dropped due to Mavic Pro, Spark and Phantom 4 being released).

Note: We have put standard and professional versions together in the same rank but we will provide different Amazon links and main differences between the 2.

I’m sure one of the main reasons why you know this quadcopter is due to its popular above average performance, and indeed it’s true.

Many people opt to buy a Phantom drone because they are extremely easy to control, have an amazingly accurate hover and fight wind very well. When it comes to performance, Phantom 3 truly excels.


Phantom 3 specifications are pretty amazing, if you are flying in perfect flight conditions (good environmental conditions for signal transmission + unobstructed and no interference path).

In perfect flight conditions and in the hands of an expert, Phantom 3 Professional can fly as far as 5km while Standard only goes 1km (due to DJI Lightbridge)!

However, we wouldn’t recommend this to beginners and even intermediate pilots. When it comes to flight time, Phantom 3 has a decent duration of 23 to 25 minutes per battery.

Note: Standard only has 1 km range and Professional has 5km.


Remember when I wrote we would be mentioning the main differences between Standard and Professional versions? Well, while the differences between the 2 are very thin, the one that truly makes a difference is the camera. Standard comes with a 2.7K video camera and 12MP still photos, while the Live Video is 720p.

But we are reviewing the pro! The Professional comes with a 4K video camera and 12MP photos, Live Video is the same resolution. The 3-axis stabilized gimbal is the same and the 94ºField of View lens with f/2.8 Aperture is also the same.


Phantom 3 is a semi-autonomous drone, meaning it comes with a nice set of autonomous features but isn’t fully autonomous as its successor.

Features are:

  • Built-in GPS
  • GLONASS (records your Phantom’s takeoff point and remembers it as you fly)
  • Auto-Return, Auto-Return when a signal is lost
  • Vision Positioning
  • Point of Interest
  • Follow Me
  • Waypoints
  • Live Video.

Note: Standard version doesn’t have Vision Positioning System, GLONASS and DJI Lightbridge extended range.


  • Very Easy to Fly
  • 2.7K or 4K Camera
  • Great Set of Semi-Autonomous Features
  • Amazing Performance and Specification
  • Price Dropped Since New Drones Release


  • The Phantom 4 is better if you can afford it

6. DJI Spark - Cheap Pick

DJI Spark Drone

"Ideal For: Beginners and Intermediate"

It is one of the DJI’s most recent releases. The drone that aims to be the perfect portable quad for travelers, vloggers, holidays, or just a casual day at the park.

Indeed DJI Spark lives up to its name and is one of the best drones for beginners who prioritize ease of use, camera quality and a complete bundle for a very low price.

As expected from a drone aimed at beginners, it is of course extremely easy to control and maneuver. It has a very steady hover, even without pilot’s input.

However, take into consideration that due to the drone’s small size it’s not a good idea to fly it in medium to strong wind conditions. On the other hand, Spark is also an amazing drone to fly indoor.

Note: We are referring to a very complete package that even includes FPV goggles. Make sure you select the correct one on Amazon.


On top of all this, DJI Spark also presents some amazing specs, such as the 2km (1.2 miles) max control range. Flight time is also quite impressive if we take into consideration how small the drone is. Per battery, Spark has a max flight time of 16 minutes.


Spark is the ideal compact camera drone to carry around with you. The built-in camera has 12MP and records 1080p video at 30 frames per second. It also makes use of a 2-axis stabilized gimbal that eliminates vibration and ensures a steady high-quality image.

The drone of course, can also transmit Live Video in high-quality, real-time with no latency whatsoever. The best FPV experience you can get from a drone within this budget.


DJI Spark presents a wide range of top-notch features that take the whole experience an all another level. These features are: 

  • Gesture and TapFly Control (tap the screen and the drone will fly in that direction autonomously) 
  • Flight Autonomy with Obstacle Detection (don’t worry about hitting objects during flight)
  • GPS Tracking
  • Vision Position-Based Navigation
  • 31mp/h top speed in Sport Mode
  • Auto-Return

This is just the highlights among many other incredible features! We definitely recommend this drone to those looking for a great FPV experience.


  • Very Easy to Fly
  • Compact and Easy to Carry
  • Fast Speed
  • Amazing Set of Autonomous Features and More
  •  Great Specifications at Affordable Price


  • This package doesn’t include remote controller

7. Yuneec Typhoon H - Hexacopter

Yuneec H Quadcopter

"Ideal For: Intermediate and Experts"

Most drones we review are quadcopters (4 motors), however we had to include this amazing hexacopter (6 motors) by Yuneec.

It’s the ‘6-legged’ brother of Yuneec Typhoon Q500. Typhoon H is regarded has one of the best drones for aerial photography and videography.

It is an award winning drone, Winner of the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show ‘Best of Class’.

6 Motors truly make a difference, which translates to: a highly stable hover and high payload capacity. Keep in mind it’s a large and heavy drone, a bit nosier than most and not the best fit for first timers, although it’s easy to fly even if you have low experience.


Yuneec Typhoon H has right on average specifications, nothing too fancy but enough to make it one of the best. Maximum control distance is 1.6km, slightly above average when compared to other same price drones.

In terms of flight time, Yuneec details a max of 25 minutes but the reality is around 19 minutes (it of course depends on payload).


One of the highlights of this drone is without a doubt its camera. The 3-axis anti-vibration CGO3+ gimbal camera captures 4K Ultra High Definition video and 12MP still photos; can be rotated on a 360º range of motion.

It also features a high quality glass 98º FOV (Field of View), wide-angle lens, and offers manual camera settings during in flight. It also transmits Live Video directly to the Android-powered ST16 Ground Station 7-inch touchscreen.


Yuneec Typhoon H is a feature-rich hexacopter, it has all the needed features to enhance camera usage. Such features are: 

  • Orbit Mode
  • Point of Interest
  • Journey Mode
  • Curve Cable Cam (program an invisible route for Typhoon H to fly between pre-set coordinates while autonomously controlling camera position)
  • Sonar Collision Prevention (Obstacle Avoidance)

As you can see a wide of features that can rival the dominant DJI Phantom 4.


  • 6 Motors
  • 4K Camera
  • Great Set of Semi-Autonomous Features
  • Amazing Performance
  • Good Specifications


  • Sonar Collision Prevention system only works at low speeds
  • Slightly below average flight time

8. Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon - Great Camera Quality


"Ideal For: Intermediate, Experts. Also FPV Beginners!"

The Yuneec Q500 is a favorite among drone enthusiasts that began flying drones due to it's 4K videography and photography purposes. Yuneec Q500 ensures power, camera quality, live video, and everything for one of the cheapest prices of our Top 10 Best Drones Under $1000 list.

At his price point it’s hard to find a better aerial photography drone. Yuneec Q500 is not fast, it’s not acrobatic, it’s a very stable quadcopter that perfectly fits any aerial photography and videography fan.

It’s very wind resistant, stable even during medium wind conditions. It performs exactly as necessary for a camera drone.


Unfortunately, Yuneec Q500’s factory control range is a bit disappointing, only going as far as 400 meters (in perfect flight conditions and connection).

However, there’s something called “Carolina Drone range extender” that can extend the max range to a detailed 3000 meters (bought separately). So compared to other drones on this list max control range sure isn’t Q500’s highlight. The flight time, however, is a good 23 minutes.


Everything about Yuneec Q500 was designed to enhance the aerial photography and videography experience. It is a drone that ensures amazing image quality and ease of use. Perfect for film school students, semi-professional use, and much more.

Comes equipped with a 12MP CGO3 camera capable of 4K/30fps ultra high definition video and 1080p/120fps slow motion video. It also transmits Live Video. The integrated 3-axis stabilized gimbal eliminates any vibrations.

The lens is 115º wide-angle distortion-free. If you are reading our article looking for the cheapest and most reliable camera drone under $1000, you just found it.


As we already mentioned, everything about this quad was made focused on camera usage, features included. For example: Follow Me mode (drone follows whoever is holding the remote controller), Watch Me mode (camera targets and locks), Return to Home, Automatic Landing and Geo-fence. Plus, the remote controller has a touch-screen with Android.


  • Great Performance
  •  4K Camera
  • Perfect for Aerial Photography & Videography
  • Remote Controller with Touch-Screen Android
  • Competitively Priced


  • Very Short Control Range

9. Xiaomi Mi - A Budget Drone

Xiaomi Mi Quadcopter

"Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate, Experts. Also FPV Beginners"

You probably already are familiar with Xiaomi brand. They manufacture a wide range of products such as smartphones, action cameras, and now they have gotten into the drone market space. Their first addition is the incredible Xiaomi Mi.

Made to rival products such as the DJI Phantom and UPair One, when it comes to performance indeed Xiaomi Mi is able to rank among the best within this budget.

In fact, we were surprised at how Xiaomi was able to excel in their first try. Xiaomi Mi is a stable and easy to fly quadcopter with about the same performance as a Phantom 3 drone.


Are you ready to be amazed? Because we were. We didn’t expect this kind of specifications in Xiaomi’s first drone, but we were wrong, Xiaomi managed to surprise us! Mi drone has a maximum flight time of 27 minutes and a maximum control distance of 3kms!


Xiaomi Mi is available in 2 different packages, one with a 1080p camera and a second one (the most recent version) with a 4K camera. Although both cameras are amazing and provide GoPro-like image quality, we believe the 4K version is worth the difference.

The camera is placed on a 3-axis stabilized gimbal, thus eliminating vibration and always ensuring good image. The lens is low-distortion and has a wide angle. Mi of course also transmits Live Video on real-time in amazing quality directly to the pilot’s smartphone device (controller comes with a phone holder).


Xiaomi has taken great care when designing Mi drone. They realized the importance of features, mainly the autonomous features, of drones within this price range. Indeed, drones such as the Phantom line are very appealing due to their amazing features.

That’s why Xiaomi Mi doesn’t fall behind. It comes with:

  • Automatic Takeoff and Landing 
  • Slide Button to Return-to-Home
  • Return on Low-Battery and Weak Connection
  • Auto-Stop in No-Fly Zones
  • Circle Around Object
  • Route Planner
  • Send to Location
  • GPS & Glonass Positioning
  • Vision Positioning

A wide range of functions that will mostly enhance the camera usage of the drone and assist pilot.


  • Ease of Use
  • 4K Camera
  • Amazing Set of Features
  • 3KM Control Range


  • Hard-Coded No-Fly Zones

10. Chroma w/ CGO2+ 16 MP


"Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate, Experts. Also FPV Beginners."

The Blade Chroma is not a recent product on the market, however, it remains to this day as one of the most viable choices to anyone looking for an affordable and yet very powerful and capable camera drone.

An all you need FPV package with built-in 5” monitor on the awesome ST-10+ Transmitter.

The Chroma has one of the smoothest performances of any camera drone, besides the DJI Phantom series. It’s mainly used for outdoor FPV exploring and even recording sporting events.

Stable and responsive, Chroma is also capable of flying in medium wind conditions thanks to the brushless motors.


The Blade Chroma has amazing specifications, as expected from a drone within this budget. Flight time is a superb 30 minutes (depends on payload), which is amazing even compared to DJI products. Chroma’s control range is also pretty astonishing, especially if we consider the drone was released a few years ago. I’m talking about a max control distance around 2000 to 2500 meters! Many people wrongly say it’s only 200 meters due to factory limit settings.

Note 1: Chroma’s factory settings set a Geo Fence safety max range of 200 meters, but you can access drone’s software and change or disable the max range.

Note 2: Keep in mind video range is only 600 meters, so even if Chroma goes further than that, you won’t have video transmission and therefore we wouldn’t recommend you to fly that far.


As we previously said, Blade Chroma is an all-in-one ready to fly out of the box FPV drone. It comes with a 3-axis brushless stabilized gimbal that holds a 16MP camera capable of recording 1080p video.

The camera is actually very good quality, as well as the gimbal. The lens is no-distortion and eliminates fisheye effect. The Live Video is transmitted directly to the 5” FPV screen built-in on ST-10+ the remote controller and if you want to find some drone with a worse camera quality you should look at our drones under 300 list.


TheBlade Chroma is a smart drone and includes a wide set of very useful features. Smart Mode (much like Headless Mode, but also creates a Safe circle barrier that prevents the drone from flying too close to you; ideal for beginners), Aerial Photography Mode, Follow Me Mode,

Tracking Mode, Return to Home, Adjustable Flight Boundaries and GLONASS and GPS. As you can see most features are focused on enhancing camera usage.


  • 16MP 1080p camera
  • Complete FPV Package (built-in monitor)
  • Very Useful Features
  • 30-minute Flight Time
  • Easy to Use


  • Removing factory geo fence settings isn’t intuitive

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Are drones under 1000$ ideal for beginners?

Yes and no. Why? Because in one hand, these drones have the most stable hover in the market, being able to steadily hover in the air without even the pilot touching the remote controller, they are that accurate. This is mainly due to very precise sensors, GPS-Assisted Hover, and overall fine-tuned technology. So yes, if we are talking about ease of use, flying one of these drones is the beginner’s dream.

On the other hand, these are expensive products, so if you are not practicing in an open area together with someone with more expensive… You will eventually crash the drone and might break some expensive part. That is why we always recommend toy drones for first timers, everyone who is flying a drone for the first time. However, if you have a safe and open area to practice, go ahead and grab one of these beauties.

  1. Can I fly indoor and outdoor?

It depends. There are drones which can be flown both indoor and outdoor, while others are specific to one type of flying only. Don’t worry, when discussing each we will mention if they can be flown indoor, outdoor or both.

  1. Are these drones safe for children?

No. A great drone for a kid must have a protective frame around the propellers and the motor, a very steady hover, responsive control, plastic frame and be very lightweight and simple. If you want to buy a drone for your kid we would refer you to our Top 10 Drones Under $200 and under 300 list instead.

Note: A kid with adult supervision can easily fly a DJI Phantom 4, Mavic Air, Mavic Pro and Walkera Vitus.

  1. Do I have to register my drone with FAA?

If you live in the US, FAA registration is required to any unmanned aircraft for recreational and commercial use if it weighs more than 0.55lbs (250 grams).

  1. Do these drones support GoPro and other action cameras?

Every drone on this list can support and carry a GoPro and other action cameras such as SJcam and Xiaomi without any issues. In fact, drones such as the Yuneec Q500 and Typhoon H can even carry professional cameras, due to the drone’s large size, powerful motors and payload capacity.

Keep in mind practically very drone on this list already comes with a camera, and these aren’t standard cameras. We are talking about amazing cameras with 4K and Full HD quality capable of competing with GoPro, and sometimes even surpass its image quality.

Note: DJI Spark and DJI Mavic comes with their own built-in cameras (beautiful image quality, you will be amazed).

  1. Are there drones under $1000 featuring a complete FPV package?

Yes! For this amount of money, you can get practically any bundle that will give you a full experience. Check out the DJI Mavic Pro and Walkera Vitus 320 for truly amazing complete FPV packages (goggles not included).

  1. Are there drones under $1000 suitable for filmmaking and professional video recording?

Yes. Drones such as the Typhoon Q500 and H are capable of carrying professional cameras, thanks to the powerful motors, large size and max payload capacity. Many companies use this drones when filming commercials, video clips, short-movies and sometimes even lower-budget cinema.

Recap Table - Our Top Ten Drones under $1000

QuadcopterFlight DurationCameraRange 
 1st  DJI Phantom 4 Pro
 Best Camera Drone under $1000 
28-31 minsFULL 4K, 120 fps7 km - (4.5 Miles)

Check Price

 2nd  DJI Mavic Air
 Best Budget Pick 
21 minsFULL 4K, 120 fps4 km - (2.4 Miles)

Check Price

 3rd  DJI Mavic Pro
 King of Control" Drone 
27 minsFULL 4K, 120 fps7 km - (4.5 Miles)

Check Price

 4th  Walkera Vitus 320
 Affordable DJI Phantom Alternative 
25 minsFULL 4K, 1080p live video5 km - (3.1 Miles)

Check Price

 8th  DJI Phantom 3 Professional
 FPV package with a built-in LCD monitor 
23- 25 minsFULL 4K, 720p live video5 km - (3.1 Miles)

Check Price

 5th  DJI Spark
 Cheapest DJI Drone you can get 
16 mins1080p 30 fs2 km - (1.2 miles)

Check Price

 6th  Yuneec Typhoon H
 6 Axis Gyro system 
19 mins4K 30fps / 1080p 120 fps1.6 km - (1 Miles)

Check Price

 7th  Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon
 Great camera quality 
23 mins4K 30fps / 1080p 120 fps400 m - (0,25 Miles)

Check Price

 9th  Xiaomi Mi Drone
 A drone from a phone company 
27 mins4K Camera, 1080p live video3 km - (2 Miles)

Check Price

 10th  Blade Chroma 16 MP
 Great for beginners thanks to its stability 
12 mins16 MP 1080p50m - (0.02 Miles)

Check Price

Also see our post: Best Drones Under $500, if some of these drones are a bit out of your budget. Or if you just want to look at some of the best deals currently on the market in every price range, go to our Drones for Sale Buyer's Guide.

Share & Comment

Don’t forget to share this article with your drone enthusiast friends on Facebook and leave a comment down below! Have fun and Happy flying!

Ruaan Nel

When Ruaan is not reviewing drones, he is busy flying his Mavic 2 Pro all over Oslo in Norway.
The 10 Best Drones Under $1000: Elite List of Camera Drones Reviewed

Last update on 2019-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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