Best Drones Under $300 With a Camera

Drones are quickly becoming more affordable and their quality is much more than it was just a few years ago. Today, you can purchase a drone, regardless of your budget, and this is why owning a personal drone is on the rise. If you’re new to flying a drone, or maybe you fly casually, then looking into a drone that’s under $300 may be more suitable, especially if you’re looking to purchase one for your child. The following are my top picks for drones that are less than $300 and a simple buying guide to help you decide which is the best for you.

2nd December update: DJI Spark is now being sold on Amazon for under $300 at a 25% discount. Visit this link to buy it.
Want Spark with the controller for slightly over $300? Visit this link instead. Read our DJI Spark review.
Keep in mind that the prices on Amazon can fluctuate due to discounts. Some may exceed $300.

$300 Drone Comparison Table

Drone CameraRangeFlight TimeOur Rating (out of 5)Price & Owners' Reviews

Contixo F18
1080P1 Mile20 minutes4.5


MJX Bugs 2
1080P500 Meters15 - 18 minutes4

Holy Stone HS100
720P500 Meters15 minutes4.5

LOHOME B2W Bugs 2
1080P900 Meters18 - 20 minutes4.2

Factors to Consider Before Buying a $300 Drone

There are so many reasons to buy a drone today. Before you purchase, you need to decide what your purpose will be. Maybe you want to race, get involved with aerial photography, or perhaps fly just for fun. Drones aren’t created equally, for example, just because a drone has a camera doesn’t mean they can perform the same. There are selfie drones and professional photography drones. Selfie drones have a short range, so they won’t produce an aerial video well.

Along with deciding your purpose, you also want to consider the quality. When it comes to drones, you usually get what you pay for. This means that the higher the price tag, the more features it will have. For a drone under $300 with a camera, you can’t expect it to be perfect, but they are still much better than the cheap toy drones. Within this price range, you will find that flight time is usually around 10 minutes.

Before buying a drone, you also want to keep in mind the regulations and laws that have been put into place for your state and at the federal level. Almost immediately after purchase, you will probably want to fly it right away. However, you should know that it needs to be registered with the FAA before its first flight. As far as flying, a general rule of thumb is never to have your drone exceed 400 feet off the ground and always keep it in eyesight.

Tips for Choosing the Best Drone Under $300 for Your Needs

Now that you have in mind what purpose you will be using your drone for, it’s time to do some research. Luckily for you, this buying guide is a great start, but researching further never hurts. It’s important to learn as much about a product before purchasing to ensure it’s everything you are looking for. You will also learn more about what features exist that you may be interested in. A useful function that is recommended is altitude hold. This allows you to keep the drone hovering at the same altitude without you having to control it. Think of it as a cruise control for a car.

Also, keep in mind whether the drone you are looking at is for a hobbyist (someone with more experience flying) or a beginner. Beyond hobby, drones are professional drones and racing drones, which will be the most expensive options. As a beginner, those would not be suitable.

Drone Reviews Under $300

Contixo F18

Top Features/ Specs

  • Camera: 1080P
  • Flight Time: 16 minutes
  • Range: 1 Mile
  • Stabilization: 6-axis gyroscope
  • Easy to Use
    Like other drones we’ve looked at, the F18 is super easy to use. Thanks to a few key functions, it’s easy enough for anyone to fly this drone. The 1 key takeoff and landing function allows the drone to take off and land at the push of a button, which is useful for beginners who are not yet skilled at landings. It also features a headless mode, or intelligent orientation control, which takes all the guessing out of properly orientating your drone.
  • Bright LED Lights
    With four bright LED lights, this drone is hard to miss at night, and that’s the way you want it. If you have a drone without lights, once it gets dark you won’t be able to see it and you may very well lose it. But with LED lights on the drone, flying at night is just as easy as flying during the day.
  • Brushless Motors
    Lastly, the Contixo F18 features four brushless motors, which is what gives this drone its agility and you maximum control. The powerful motors can speed up or slow down the drone, as well as increase or decrease its altitude quickly, so you can do precisely what you want with it.

Pros

It’s important to consider everything that comes with the drone, such as the water resistant carrying backpack that it comes with. The backpack makes it easy to store the drone and travel with it. Instead of having to carry it all the time, you can just put it in the backpack and know that it is safe. It’s not just a regular backpack like the ones you wore to school; this backpack is specially made for the F18 and you can tell by the molded cushioning on the inside.

Downsides

The only downside that I can find on this drone is that you will have to register it with the FAA. It is lightweight, but is still heavy enough to have to be registered. However, you can’t single this drone out because of that, all of the drones on this list would have to be registered with the FAA. Registering your drone is pretty easy and crucial if you want to fly legally and avoid trouble.

MJX Bugs 2

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 15-18 minutes
  • Charging Time: 5 hours
  • Operation Range: 500 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 1080P
  • 360 Flip Capability: No
  • Weight: 3.55 pounds
  • What’s Included: Drone, 2.4Ghz remote controller, 7.4C 1800mAh LiPo battery (2), UL-certified charger, smartphone mount, user manual, extra propellers (4), propeller changing tool
  • Brushless Advantage
    A brushless motor means that the drone is equipped with less moving parts. This makes the drone more compact overall and more energy efficient. This also allows for the device to require less maintenance and also be more reliable and durable.
  • Great Flight Duration
    As a direct effect from the brushless motors, the MJX Bugs 2 can stay in the air for almost 20 minutes on a complete charge. Being a drone under $300, this is an excellent feature.
  • Headless Mode
    This makes controlling the drone easy and difficult to lose. There is no designated “head” of the drone, so when you move a certain with the control, the drone will always move in that same direction.

Pros

The GPS reception allows for accurate altitude hold and return to home features. This also helps when it comes to taking photos to remove any shakiness or a jello effect appearing.

Downsides

Having an FPV feature is a great plus; however, you must have a smartphone that works with 5G wifi in order to access this. Also, the camera claims to capture 30 frames per second, but when recording video it can drop a bit lower from time to time. The drone also needs to be calibrated before each flight session.

Holy Stone HS100

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 15 minutes
  • Charging Time: 3-6 hours
  • Operation Range: 500 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 720P
  • 360 Flip Capability: No
  • Weight: 1.73 pounds
  • What’s Included: Drone, transmitter, 7.4V 2500mAh Li-po battery, 8G TF card, card reader, USB charging cable, extra propellers (4), extra propeller guards (2), blade pads (4), blade caps (4), extra landing feet (2), screws for blades (4), screws for motor/bottom body cover (4), screwdriver for motors and blades, fixed rubber pieces for blades screws (4), manual.
  • Selfie Drone
    The altitude hold function allows you the capture the perfect selfie. It’s easy to hover in place to prevent any shakiness of photos.
  • Follow Me Mode
    This is a feature that forces the drone to always follow the transmitter. This is useful for those times you want to record yourself in action, such as riding a bike or running down the street.
  • Adjustable Speed
    This is a great feature for beginners because you can adjust the speed setting to your liking. As you feel more comfortable with flying, you can always up the speed to match your skill level.

Pros

Sometimes a large drone may seem unappealing, but a drone this size is actually great when it comes to fighting strong winds. This drone has a powerful motor for these poor weather conditions. The range and battery time combined also makes for a great flight. It can travel far without being crunched for time.

Downsides

With the good, there’s always some bad, but there isn’t too much that’s going against this drone. The first being that the camera quality is a bit low for its price range. And secondly, the charge time is very long. Most batteries these days can get a full charge within an hour.

LOHOME B2W Bugs 2

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 18-20 minutes
  • Charging Time: 3 hours
  • Operation Range: 900 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 1080P
  • 360 Flip Capability: No
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • What’s Included: Drone, remote controller, 7.4V 1800mAh Li-po battery, charger, silicone rubber ring, propeller changing tool, screw driver, sticker, user manual
  • Automatic Return
    To prevent losing your drone, having automatic return is a great feature. Also, depending on what percentage your battery is at can control how far you can fly it. If your percentage is at 30%, then you can fly only within 300 meters. The distance gets short as your percentage gets lower.
  • Smartphone & Tablet Support
    With the app, you can connect to the wifi features of the drone. With this, you can create a custom route. To experience it all, you can even wear VR glasses to see the world from another angle.
  • Headless Mode
    This feature allows you to fly the drone at an angle and any direction without getting confused. What is forward to you is also forward to the drone and so on. This helps prevent losing control of your drone.

Pros

If you’re using this as a starter drone, then it is perfect. It offers much more features than cheaper beginner drones on the market. So, as a drone under 300 dollars, you can’t beat it. Use this drone to learn and develop your flying skills, then upgrade to a more advanced one.

Downsides

The camera that is equipped is not great quality. It doesn’t support motion control and vibrations from flying can disrupt video footage. Unless the drone is completely still, the footage will be very shaky.

Which Drone I Recommend?

These are the top picks for the best drones under $300. You really can’t go wrong with any of these. However, Holy Stone HS100 wins the title of being the best camera-equipped drone for under $300. It’s a perfect drone for beginners but also those who have more experience with flying drones due to the adjustable speed feature. It also captures great footage with the benefit of the follow me mode. The drone has excellent flight time combined with how far it can fly, which makes for a fun experience whether you’re a child or an adult.

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