One of the first things you may notice while shopping for a drone is the wide range of prices. There are several good drones in the $500 range, as well as many others that are significantly more on the higher end of the $1000 range. Obviously, drones under $1000 have many more features than the cheaper ones. This article will go through why and which drones you should invest in. These drones are not for novices, but rather for pros and experienced hobbyists.
Keep in mind that the prices on Amazon can fluctuate due to discounts. Some may exceed $1000.
You may notice most of the top picks for these drones are made by DJI. The manufacturer produces some of the best drones on the market (Here are their best drones reviewed), which naturally makes them a leading authority. Whichever of these top drones you decide to purchase, you will not be disappointed.
Factors to Consider Before Buying $1000 Drone
One of the main reasons we buy drones is because of the aerial photography capabilities. When you are purchasing a drone under $1000, the camera should be nothing short of fantastic quality. You can easily find drones with cameras with 1080p, but some drones in this price range may even offer 4k quality.
You should also keep in mind the stability of the camera. Drones that have a 3-axis gimbal offer the most stability during flight. A camera equipped with a 2-axis gimbal is acceptable, however, not nearly as great.
It’s no surprise that the longer a drone’s flight time makes for a great time. This means that the drone can stay in the air without having to switch batteries to continue flying it. These extra batteries also come with a price, so buying a drone that already offers long flight time saves you money. Any duration longer than 20 minutes should be enough to enjoy.
Need more information? Read my article about drones flight time.
Investing into a higher priced drone usually means the benefit of better features. Some standard features that you can find in all drones are automatic take off and landing and one key return. A drone that’s more than $500 can be found with follow me, point of interest, and tap to fly features.
Tips for Choosing the Best Drone Under $1000 for Your Needs
Before you decide which drone to buy, it’s probably best to discover what your purpose will be for the drone. Not all drones are created for the same reason. They range from beginning and hobby drones to professional and racing intents. Chances are if you’re looking for a drone under $1000, you aren’t a beginner.
Maybe you want to upgrade your aerial photography or you have an interest to begin racing. Whichever the reason may be, our buying guide below will help you figure out which drone is best for you.
Here’s a list of the best drones under $1000.
DJI’s new Air 2S drone may be the ideal drone for those who enjoy the great outdoors and taking beautiful photos. With its compact and lightweight design, It is equipped with smarter flight modes and its 1-inch sensor ensures superb image quality. Simply put, this is an improved version of the Air 2 that DJI launched last year with a larger sensor.
- Flying Time: 31 minutes
- Charging Time: 70ish minutes
- Operation Range: 12 kilo-Meters
- Camera Resolution: 5.4k (30FPS)
- Weight: 595 grams/ 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions: Folded: 180×97×77 mm (length × width × height) Unfolded: 183×253×77 mm (length × width × height)
- What’s Included: Drone, DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller, Intelligent Flight Battery, Battery Charger, AC Power Cable, 3 Low-Noise Propellers (Pair), Gimbal Protector, Type-C Cable, RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector), RC Cable (Lightning Connector), RC Cable (Standard Micro-USB Connector), Spare DJI RC-N1 Control Sticks (Pair).
A one-stop shop for all of your content capturing needs
- The DJI Air 2S features a brand new 1 inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing beautiful 20-megapixel photos, 5K videos at 30 frames per second or 4K videos at 60 frames per second, and 150 Mb/s.
- In addition, when you switch to 4K and 60fps mode, the camera does a lot of automated cropping because it doesn’t utilize the complete sensor. Although DJI has not confirmed the exact scale of this crop, it has maintained video quality as high as ever, resulting in a picture worthy of the best end outcomes.
A new intelligent flight mode
- The Air 2S introduced MasterShots. Once the MasterShots mode is engaged, the drone will autonomously plan a flight path that results in professional-level image capture.
- And with FocusTrack, the drone follows an object and keeps the selected person or object in focus, this is similar to the previous options, but according to DJI the systems have been updated to improve this performance.
Also the Air 2S has a new controller. It is larger and more comfortable than the previous Air 2 model, it adopts above all version 3.0 of the OcuSync transmission technology which pushes the range to 8 km and makes the video stream much more solid.
- A compact and light-weight model.
- Good image quality, recording up to 5.4K / 30p or 4K / 60p.
- O3 offers a very long range and good stability.
- Obstacle avoidance and automatic subject tracking, therefore easy and safe piloting.
- Good autonomy.
- Automated shooting modes.
- Fixed aperture camera.
- No side sensors.
- Virtually imperceptible gains in 5.4K.
DJI Mavic Air 2, the successor of the Mavic Air, takes the overall concept of its predecessor; an easy-to-fly drone with cutting-edge features and completely redesigns it. The result is a smaller, more affordable version of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro that matches, and in some areas, even surpasses its more expensive older sibling. The Mavic Air 2 has been completely redesigned to bring significant improvements in all areas including image quality, speed and flight time.
- Flying Time: 34 minutes
- Charging Time: approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes
- Operation Range: 11.49 miles (18.5 km)
- Camera Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
- Weight: 570 grams
- Dimensions: Folded: 180×97×74 mm (Length × Width × Height) Unfolded: 183×253×77 mm (Length × Width × Height)
- What’s Included: Basic Combo: Drone, DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller, Intelligent Flight Battery, Battery Charger, AC Power Cable, 3 Low-Noise Propellers (Pair), Gimbal Protector, Type-C Cable, RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector), RC Cable (Lightning Connector), RC Cable (Standard Micro-USB Connector), Pair of Spare Control Sticks Fly More Combo: Drone, DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller, 3 Intelligent Flight Battery, Battery Charger, AC Power Cable, 6 Low-Noise Propellers (Pair), Gimbal Protector, Type-C Cable, RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector), RC Cable (Lightning Connector), RC Cable (Standard Micro-USB Connector), Pair of Spare Control Sticks, ND Filters Set (ND16/64/256), Battery Charging Hub, Battery to Power Bank Adaptor, Shoulder Bag.
Flight and features
- The Mavic Air 2 is equipped with new engines, new cruise controls, improved battery technology and improved aerodynamics. These elements combine to deliver increased flight speeds of up to 68 km / h in Sport mode. While the flight time can reach 34 minutes.
- Flying the Mavic Air 2 is incredibly easy thanks to the smart on-board technologies. Thanks to the inclusion of OcuSync 2.0, an anti-interference technology that helps block unwanted signals. And the AirSense technology, which is a first for a DJI consumer drone, uses the ADS-B aviation standard to receive signals from nearby planes and helicopters and display their position on the DJI Fly app’s map. This technology has been used to reduce the risk of aerial incursions.
- The Mavic Air 2 features a 12 Mpx ½ inch Quad Bayer sensor that provides images at all ISO levels.
- A fantastic range of shooting modes, including 8K hyperlapses.
- It also offers the possibility of taking pictures of 48 Mpx with the 12 Mpx sensor. Unfortunately, the resolution obtained turns out to be lower than that obtained via a RAW file and even via a JPEG image of standard size. 48 MP photos look dull and too smooth in comparison.
With its 3,500 mAh LiPo 3S battery, the Mavic Air 2 promises up to 34 minutes of autonomy in flight. The main reasons for the Mavic Air 2’s weight gain can be found here!. Unsurprisingly, the 34 minutes can in fact only be reached under ideal conditions, without wind and by draining the battery to the maximum, which is hardly recommendable.
The major improvements with the Mavic Air 2 come from the drone-to-remote control connection, significantly longer battery life, 4K videos at 60fps, 48MP photos from the new ½-inch Quad Bayer sensor and a whole host of new features.
- Good picture quality.
- Ocusync 2.0 offers a very long range.
- Video recording up to 4K Ultra HD at 60 fps.
- Very good autonomy.
- Easy to pilot, good stabilization.
- Obstacle detection and avoidance.
- The video stream may lag momentarily when the drone is in motion.
- No side and top obstacle sensors.
The DJI Mini 2 checks practically all the boxes of a great consumer drone since it delivers 4K Ultra HD video recording and a robust OcuSync 2.0 transmission system. It is an entry-level drone with an eye on the premium, ultra compact, light, and easy to use. A true small flying camera that I don’t hesitate to bring with me and that I draw at the first chance when the flight conditions are favorable
- Flying Time: 31 minutes
- Charging Time: 90 minutes
- Operation Range: 10 km
- Camera Resolution: 4K
- Weight: 249 grams
- Dimensions: Folded: 138×81×58 mm (L×W×H), Unfolded: 159×203×56 mm (L×W×H), Unfolded (with propellers): 245×289×56 mm (L×W×H).
- What’s Included: Fly More Combo: Drone, Remote Controller, 3 Intelligent Flight Battery, 3 Pair of Spare Propellers, Type-C Cable, Gimbal Protector, RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector), RC Cable (Lightning Connector), RC Cable (Standard Micro-USB Connector), Pair of Spare Control Sticks, 18 Spare Screws, Screwdriver, Propeller Holder, Two-Way Charging Hub, DJI 18W USB Charger, Shoulder Bag.
Aircraft and features
- In any event, we enjoy the Mini 2’s high quality of manufacture and folding nature, which makes it incredibly portable. Its deployment takes only a few seconds, and we do not hesitate to use it for filming.
- The DJI Mini 2 sports a USB-C port instead of the original micro-USB connector for charging the battery, as well as a microSD card slot, which is essential for recording shots, since the Mini 2 does not have internal memory on board.
- In less than a minute, the Mini 2 lifts off on its own and stabilizes roughly 1.50 m above its starting place. Furthermore, when the wind picks up, the Mini 2’s strong engines offer good stability, although you must always be cautious because the Mini 2 is only officially only withstands gusts of up to 28 km/h.
- The Mini 2 is armed with an 83° camera (focal length of 24 mm f/2,8 in 35 mm equivalent) with a CMOS 1/2,3″ 12 Mpx sensor.
- The introduction of 4K Ultra HD definition is a breath of fresh air, offering considerably more clarity in the videos, It also provides a significant amount of flexibility in post-production if certain changes are desired.
- In terms of image quality, the colors look natural and without being oversaturated. Nonetheless, the visuals seem a little flat. Overall, the pictures are good. The sharpness is decent in the middle of the image but deteriorates toward the edges.
- One feature that will thrill experienced photographers is the ability to record in raw format, that allows them to carry out retouching which would be impossible to achieve with a photo captured straight in Jpeg.
- Compact and even lighter.
- Easy to use.
- Recording up to 4K Ultra HD at 30 fps.
- Takes pictures in Jpeg and raw.
- Good autonomy.
- Comfortable controller.
- Good range and stability of the OcuSync 2.0 link.
- USB-C charges directly on the drone.
- Active Track and Follow Me features not included.
- No obstacle detection.
- 60p accessible only in 1080p and not in 2.7K.
In order to position itself against a ferocious and nearly monopolistic competition, Parrot has entered the big game with ANAFI. A French drone in the featherweight category, foldable featuring a 4K HDR camera, hybrid stabilization, a USB-C rechargeable battery and fun functions.
- Flying Time: 25 minutes
- Charging Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
- Operation Range: 2 km
- Camera Resolution: 4K
- Weight: 320 grams
- Dimensions: Folded dimensions: 224x67x65 mm, Unfolded dimensions: 175x240x65 mm
- What’s Included: ANAFI Base combo: Drone, SKYCONTROLLER 3, ANAFI case, 1 Micro SD card 16GB, 1 USB-A/USB-C cable, 8 Additional Propellers, 1 Screwdriver.
Aircraft and features
- The ANAFI’s incredible lightness and the delicacy of its propellers is captivating. The drone’s arms appear fragile, yet they are ultimately quite flexible. But be careful not to twist. Because the sensors below are rather poorly integrated, also the little fan doesn’t have a filter. During takeoff and landing, keep an eye out for debris on the ground.
- The Parrot ANFI will be able to withstand winds of over 50 km/h and go up to 55km/h in sport mode. Thanks to its ANAFI transmission system, each foot of the drone is composed of a dual-band antenna, ideally designed for high definition video transmission.
- You can either control the drone with your iPhone or Android smartphone, with a range of around 100 meters with video feedback on the phone, or with a dedicated remote control for a range of 4km max.
- The ANAFI houses a 21MP 4k camera, hung on a 180° swivel gimbal, so it can be lower than you and still have you in the viewfinder.
- A very efficient 3-axis gimbal stabilizes the picture. The overall effect is really impressive in 4K Cinema (4096 * 2160) at 24fps.
- In 1080p at 24fps alone, the little ANAFI captures fantastic quality video, crisp and smooth, flawless. 1080p at 30fps doesn’t add anything. However, managing 4k at 24fps is more difficult. Despite a better definition, you will see a few jerks in motion. The 4K Cinema at 24fps format gives the same result. Fortunately, switching to 4k at 30fps corrects the problem, and restores fluidity, even at high speed.
- Foldable and light, easy to transport.
- Good autonomy.
- Easy to use.
- Good Image quality in photo and video.
- Good zoom function.
- Good stabilization.
- Rechargeable battery through a USB-C.
- Image curvature in Wide mode.
- No obstacle detection.
- Tracking function is paid.
Buy the Parrot ANAFI here!
Which Drone I Recommend?
The DJI Air 2S is hands down the best out of these four choices. It may be compact but it doesn’t skimp on any features. All in all it’s everything a camera drone should be, It has nearly a decade of technology packed into it and it’s what pilots have been searching for in a drone. With a great range, battery life, and all the features you would ever need, it’s a no-brainer.