Best Drones Under $1000

When shopping for a drone, one of the first things you may notice is the wide range of price. There are lots of drones for less than $300 and others that are much more on the higher end of $1000. The drones under $1000 have much more features than the cheaper ones under $500 and this article will discuss all about why and which drones you should invest into. These drones are not recommended for beginners, but professionals and serious hobbyists instead.

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. They produce some of the best drones on the market, which naturally makes them a leading authority. Whichever of these top drones you decide to purchase, you won’t be disappointed.

$1000 Drone Comparison Table

DroneCameraRangeFlight TimeOur RatingBest Price

DJI Phantom 3 Professional
4K5000 Meters22 minutes4.5
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DJI Mavic Pro
4K7000 Meters27 minutes4.8
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Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon
4K700 Meters25 minutes4
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DJI Phantom 4
4K5000 Meters28 minutes4.5
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DJI Mavic Air
4K2000 Meters21 minutes4.7
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Factors to Consider Before Buying $1000 Drone

Camera

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.

Flight Time

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.

Extra Features

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.

Drone Reviews Under $1000

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 22 minutes
  • Charging Time: 90 minutes
  • Operation Range: 5,000 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 4K
  • 360 Flip Capability: Yes
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • What’s Included: Drone, Remote Controller, Propeller Pairs, Intelligent Flight Battery, Battery Charger, Power Cable, Phantom 3 Manual, Gimbal Clamp, Vibration Absorbers, 16GB Micro-SD Card, Anti-drop Kit, Landing Pads, Propeller Wrench, Stickers.
  • Aerial Video
    With the ability to shoot 4K video up to 30 frames per second, you will be very impressed with the quality this drone produces. The photos are crisp and clean at 12 megapixels. You can also connect your phone or tablet and check out your drones view as you fly.
  • Control from a Mobile App
    Talk about having something right at your fingertips. You can control your drones flight completely from a mobile app. This includes camera and flight settings.
  • Vision Positioning
    Fly safer with vision positioning. With visual and ultrasonic sensors that scan the ground when in GPS free areas, you are able to fly indoors and low to the ground without having to worry.

Pros

This drone has great control when it comes to flying in strong winds, in addition to its’ great flight time. The battery has a fast charge time to help you get back to flying quicker. And finally, the camera is fantastic quality with being 4K and having stabilization from the 3-axis gimbal.

Downsides

Software can sometimes be unstable. This means that there can be signal loss and gimbal errors. People have also mentioned that the gimbal clamp can be extremely difficult to remove. There is also a warm up time before flying.

DJI Mavic Pro

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 27 minutes
  • Charging Time: 80 minutes
  • Operation Range: 7000 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 4K
  • 360 Flip Capability: Yes
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • What’s Included: DJI Mavic Pro Quadcopter, Battery, 16GB microSD, Propeller pairs x3, Remote Controller
  • Gesture Mode
    Perfect for taking selfies. All you have to do is raise your arms to confirm and then Gesture Mode will allow you 3 seconds to strike a pose for a photo. They couldn’t make it any easier to take pictures of you and your friends.
  • Tripod Mode
    This feature is perfect for getting smooth and cinematic shots. When this is activated, movement of the drone becomes still and smooth, as if you had placed the camera on a tripod. Great for beautiful landscape shots.
  • Obstacle Detection
    The Mavic Pro is made with safety in mind. Any possible obstacles can be viewed from a distance of 15 meters and the drone will then warn the person ahead of time so they can steer clear.

Pros

You might think that since this drone is smaller, the features would be less, but that is not the case. The Mavic Pro is equipped with some of the most important features any pilot would need. This includes object tracking and GeoFencing in addition to the previously mentioned features.

Downsides

Unfortunately, this drone isn’t always ready to fly. You will need to manually adjust the propellers before each flight. Also, some of the pieces of the drone have been found to be a bit fragile.

Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 25 minutes
  • Charging Time: 2 hours
  • Operation Range: 700 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 4K
  • 360 Flip Capability: No
  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • What’s Included: Aircraft, CGO3 Camera and 3-Axis Precision Gimbal, ST10+ Personal Ground Station, Battery, Charger, SteadyGrip and 16GB micro SD card.
  • Smart Mode
    This enables “Follow Me” and “Watch Me” features. Both of these allow awesome aerial photography to be produced. “Follow Me” is just what it sounds like, it allows for the drone to follow you without needing to control it. The Watch Me feature always make sure that you are in the frame and in focus.
  • Modes for the More Experienced
    Angel mode is created for pilots who have a bit more experience than others. Enabling this feature removes the point of view controls when in Smart mode. It’s useful for getting your shots to look just right.

Pros

Getting familiar with the Q500 is an easy advantage to loving this drone. It’s easy to fly, thanks to Smart mode, but also very fun to fly regardless of your skill level. The battery life has also been found to be better than competitors.

Downsides

The handling of the drone could be a bit sharper when controlling it. Sometimes it feels like there is a bit of lag and the turn radius could be a bit better in relation to the handling not being as sharp.

DJI Phantom 4

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 28 minutes
  • Charging Time: 1 hour
  • Operation Range: 3.1 miles/5000 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 4K
  • 360 Flip Capability: No
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • What’s Included: DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter with 4K Camera, Remote Controller, 4x 9450S Propellers, Intelligent Flight Battery, Flight Battery Charger, DJI 1 Year Limited Warranty on MC & Radio Controller, DJI 6 Month Limited Warranty on Gimbal Camera; Vision Positioning System; Propulsion System (Excluding Propellers) & Battery Charger
  • Innovative Sensor
    The DJI Phantom Pro 4 comes with improved sensors. The improvements offer obstacle avoidance in four different directions. Also, the new sensors have a much faster speed, which means the device does not have to switch to sports mode, which automatically disables obstacle avoidance.
  • Tap-Fly
    Tap-Fly is a new autonomous feature that’s featured on the Phantom 4. This allows users to tap on anywhere on the live feed image and the drone will fly in that direction. Also, the Phantom Pro will also easily avoid jerky motions and effortlessly ease into turns.

Pros

With a state-of-the-art camera, the Phantom 4 does not disappoint! Having a huge sensor, it has an active range of 11.6 stops, which means that the photo quality is outstanding regardless of the lighting conditions. The battery life is also better than some similarly sized drones, with 25 minutes and a quick charge time, you can easily fly multiple times a day.

Downsides

Set up time isn’t ideal. It’s been found that the instructions on the user guide are missing a few points, which makes for a little more time to set-up properly. Not the best when you’re a novice. There are also a few issues with the drone being completely crash-proof. It’s found to avoid collisions perfectly, however it appears the drone has a hard time recognizing branches without many leaves.

DJI Mavic Air

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 21 minutes
  • Charging Time: 55-60 minutes
  • Operation Range: 6.2 miles
  • Camera Resolution: 4K
  • 360 Flip Capability: Yes
  • Weight: 15 ounces
  • What’s Included: DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller, Intelligent flight battery, Charger and power cable, Four pairs of propellers, Propeller guards (set), RC cable (Lightning connector), RC cable (standard micro USB connector), RC cable (USB type-C connector), Gimbal protector and spare control sticks (pair), Communication cable (USB3.0 type-C), USB adapter, Two RC cable slider (large) and two RC cable slider (small), Carrying case.
  • HDR Photos
    With new HDR algorithms, you can obtain the perfect exposure settings intelligently. Dark or overexposed aspects are corrected for more natural transitions between shadows and highlights. This allows for more efficient shooting.
  • Geometric Precision
    With the Mavic Air’s arms folding flush against its’ aerodynamic body, it offers precise geometry. It is built with magnesium alloy brackets to help reinforce the seven onboard cameras, rear vents, and the primary camera. This drone is very protected!
  • Flight Autonomy 2.0
    With using advanced VIO technology, this drone has a powerful sensor system in place. The camera itself is made up of dual-vision sensors, a downward infrared sensing system, IMU redundancies, and a collection of computing cores. This allows information to be collected and transmitted from the environment to the processor for a better flight performance.

Pros

This drone’s size is perfect for being portable. As a drone under $1000, it’s small and light and photographers have found it to fit perfectly in a single lens slot in their camera bags. The gimbal design is also much more advanced than the original Mavic Pro. And the video bitrate now reaches up to 100 mbps in 4K recording.

Downsides

The controller isn’t the most ideal. It’s phone grip is quite small for most tablets and the cable attachment that is found on the side isn’t practical. There is also a second wheel missing that is normally found to control the shutter speed. This means that you need to tap on the screen instead to control exposure, which isn’t convenient at all.

Which Drone I Recommend?

The DJI Mavic Pro is hands down the best out of these five choices. It may be compact but it doesn’t skimp on any features. It has nearly a decade of technology packed into it and its’ 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.

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