The Best Drones for 2024: Unleash Your Aerial Creativity

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Quick Answer

Looking for the best drone to take your aerial photography and videography to new heights? We’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the top drones for 2024, providing expert insights and recommendations to help you make an informed decision. Whether you’re a professional filmmaker, an aspiring content creator, or simply a drone enthusiast, we’ve handpicked the best drones on the market to suit your needs and budget. So, let’s take off and explore the exciting world of drones!

Quick Tips and Facts

Before we dive into the details, here are some quick tips and facts to keep in mind when choosing the best drone for your needs:

✅ Consider your skill level: Are you a beginner or an experienced pilot? Some drones are more beginner-friendly, while others offer advanced features for professionals.

✅ Check local regulations: Make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations for drone flying in your area. Safety should always be a top priority.

✅ Battery life matters: Longer flight times allow for more creativity and exploration. Look for drones with extended battery life or the option to swap batteries.

✅ Camera quality: If you’re into aerial photography or videography, pay attention to the camera quality and features. Look for drones with high-resolution cameras and advanced stabilization systems.

✅ Portability: If you plan to travel with your drone, consider its size and weight. Compact and foldable drones are easier to transport.

✅ Flight modes and features: Advanced flight modes and features, such as obstacle avoidance and follow-me mode, can enhance your flying experience and creativity.

Background: The Rise of Drones

a river with a fence and grass

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have revolutionized the way we capture images and videos from the sky. What was once limited to professional filmmakers and photographers is now accessible to anyone with a passion for aerial creativity. Drones have become smaller, more affordable, and packed with advanced features, making them a popular choice for hobbyists, content creators, and professionals alike.

Our Top 10 Picks for 2024

Now, let’s dive into our top 10 picks for the best drones in 2024. We’ve carefully selected these drones based on their performance, features, and value for money. Whether you’re looking for a compact drone for travel or a professional-grade powerhouse, we’ve got you covered.

1. DJI Mini 4 Pro

  • Best Drone for Most Creators
  • Price: $959.00 at Amazon
  • Rating: 4.5 Outstanding

The DJI Mini 4 Pro is a compact and portable drone that packs a punch. With its 360-degree obstacle avoidance system and automated flight modes, capturing stunning aerial shots has never been easier. The Quad Bayer camera with 4K60 HDR video ensures exceptional image quality, while the APAS function allows for smooth and safe flights. Its small size and 249g takeoff weight make it a favorite among creators on the go.

Pros:

  • Small, portable design
  • 249g takeoff weight (registration-free flight)
  • 4K60 video with HDR support
  • Supports vertical video
  • Two remote control options

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include AirSense transponder
  • Extended battery option puts it above registration weight limit

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 2.4 by 3.5 by 5.7 inches
  • Weight: 8.78 oz
  • 4 rotors
  • Integrated camera with gimbal
  • 4K video resolution, 48 MP
  • microSDXC media format
  • Dedicated remote with app
  • 1080p live video feed

Read our in-depth DJI Mini 4 Pro Review for more details.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon | Walmart | eBay | DJI Official Website

2. DJI Mini 2 SE

  • Best Entry-Level Drone
  • Price: $339.00 at Amazon
  • Rating: 4.0 Excellent

If you’re new to the world of drones, the DJI Mini 2 SE is the perfect entry-level option. This lightweight and palm-sized drone offers stable performance and nearly half-hour flight times. With its stabilized 2.7K video camera, GPS, and Find My Drone functions, you can capture smooth and stunning footage with ease. The DJI Mini 2 SE doesn’t require FAA registration, making it a hassle-free choice for beginners.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t require FAA registration
  • Palm-sized, lightweight design
  • Silky smooth 2.7K30 video
  • Around 30 minutes of flying time per charge
  • USB-C charging for drone and remote

Cons:

  • Omits obstacle detection and Hyperlapse features
  • SDR video profile is limiting for some scenes

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 2.3 by 3.2 by 5.4 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 oz
  • 4 rotors
  • Integrated camera with gimbal
  • 2.7K video resolution, 12 MP
  • microSDXC media format
  • Dedicated remote with app
  • 720p live video feed

Read our in-depth DJI Mini 2 SE Review for more details.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon | Walmart | eBay | DJI Official Website

3. DJI Air 2S

  • Best for Photographers
  • Price: $899.00 at Amazon
  • Rating: 4.0 Excellent

For photographers looking to elevate their aerial game, the DJI Air 2S is a top choice. Its camera with a Type 1 sensor delivers stunning 5.4K30 and 4K60 video with HDR, flat, or standard profiles. The DJI Air 2S is equipped with GPS location, obstacle sensors, and ADS-B for enhanced safety. With a half-hour flight time and automated camera shots, this drone is a photographer’s dream come true.

Pros:

  • 1-inch sensor camera
  • Up to 5.4K video quality
  • Robust safety features
  • Obstacle detection and avoidance
  • Automated camera shots, HDR, Log, and Standard video profiles
  • AirSense transponder

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer in-camera filtered looks
  • 8GB internal storage isn’t much
  • Remote doesn’t include EV control wheel
  • App-based editing limited to 1080p output

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.3 by 3.8 by 7.1 inches
  • Weight: 1.3 lb
  • 4 rotors
  • Integrated camera with gimbal
  • 5.4K video resolution, 20 MP
  • microSDXC internal media format
  • Dedicated remote with app
  • 1080p live video feed

Read our in-depth DJI Air 2S Review for more details.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon | Walmart | eBay | DJI Official Website

4. DJI Air 3

  • Best Obstacle Avoidance System
  • Price: $1,099.99 at Amazon
  • Rating: 4.0 Excellent

If obstacle avoidance is a top priority for you, the DJI Air 3 is the drone to consider. With its 360-degree obstacle avoidance system, you can fly with confidence and capture breathtaking shots. The DJI Air 3 features a 24mm wide-angle and 70mm mid-telephoto lens, delivering sharp 4K video and good still image quality. Its long battery life and all-around obstacle avoidance make it a reliable choice for professionals.

Pros:

  • Wide-angle and mid-telephoto camera stack
  • Sharp 4K footage
  • Gimbal-stabilized cameras with 60-degree upward tilt
  • All-around obstacle avoidance
  • Hyperlapse, slow-motion, and waypoint flight features
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Fixed-aperture lenses
  • Requires FAA registration
  • Meager 8GB of internal storage

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.9 by 3.6 by 8.2 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 lb
  • 4 rotors
  • Integrated camera with gimbal
  • 4K video resolution, 48 MP
  • microSDXC media format
  • Dedicated remote with app
  • 1080p live video feed

Read our in-depth DJI Air 3 Review for more details.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon | Walmart | eBay | DJI Official Website

5. DJI Mavic 3 Pro

  • Best Drone for Pro Video and Cinema
  • Price: $2,199.00 at Amazon
  • Rating: 4.0 Excellent

For professional videographers and filmmakers, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro is a powerhouse. Its big Four Thirds format sensor with a Hasselblad color profile delivers stunning image quality. With a wide-angle camera and a midrange 3x lens, you can capture cinematic footage at up to 5.1K30 or 4K120 resolution. The DJI Mavic 3 Pro also features all-around obstacle sensors and a companion app with a built-in screen for seamless control.

Pros:

  • Stabilized triple-camera array
  • Wide-angle Four Thirds camera with Hasselblad color
  • Midrange 3x lens
  • Up to 5.1K30 or 4K120 video
  • All-around obstacle sensors
  • Includes a companion app and a remote with a built-in screen

Cons:

  • Base model has just 8GB of onboard storage
  • Falls shy of promised 43-minute flight time
  • Only the pricey Cine model supports ProRes

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.8 by 3.9 by 9.1 inches
  • Weight: 2.1 lb
  • 4 rotors
  • Integrated camera with gimbal
  • 5.1K video resolution, 20 MP
  • microSDXC internal media format
  • Dedicated remote with LCD
  • 1080p live video feed

Read our in-depth DJI Mavic 3 Pro Review for more details.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon | Walmart | eBay | DJI Official Website

6. DJI Mini 3

  • Best for Creators on a Budget
  • Price: $469.00 at Amazon
  • Rating: 4.0 Excellent

If you’re on a budget but still want a high-quality drone, the DJI Mini 3 is the perfect choice. This drone offers good-looking 4K30 video and supports vertical video and upward gimbal tilt. With its 12MP stills in Raw DNG or JPG format, you can capture stunning aerial shots. The DJI Mini 3 boasts a 38-minute flight time with the standard battery, and an extended battery option is available for longer flights.

Pros:

  • Good-looking 4K30 video
  • Support for vertical video and upward gimbal tilt
  • 12MP stills in Raw DNG or JPG format
  • 38-minute flights with standard battery
  • 51-minute extended battery available
  • 249g build for registration-free flight
  • Built-in GPS and FlySafe safety features

Cons:

  • Omits obstacle detection
  • Limited to one color profile
  • Doesn’t support Hyperlapse or ActiveTrack

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 2.4 by 3.5 by 5.7 inches
  • Weight: 8.78 oz
  • 4 rotors
  • Integrated camera with gimbal
  • 4K video resolution, 12 MP
  • microSDXC media format
  • Dedicated remote with app
  • 1080p live video feed

Read our in-depth DJI Mini 3 Review for more details.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon | Walmart | eBay | DJI Official Website

7. Autel Robotics Evo Lite+

  • Best for Long Flights
  • Price: $1,399.00 at Amazon
  • Rating: 3.5 Good

If you’re looking for a drone with long flight times, the Autel Robotics Evo Lite+ is a great option. With up to 40 minutes of flight time, you can capture stunning aerial footage without worrying about battery life. The stabilized 6K30 and 4K60 video, along with the 20MP stills in Raw DNG or JPG format, ensure exceptional image quality. The Autel Robotics Evo Lite+ also features a 1-inch camera with variable aperture and three-way obstacle sensors.

Pros:

  • Stabilized 6K30 and 4K60 video
  • 20MP stills in Raw DNG or JPG format
  • 1-inch camera with variable aperture
  • Beefy battery for up to 40 minutes of flight
  • Three-way obstacle sensors
  • Automated camera moves and Hyperlapse
  • GPS and automated return-to-home

Cons:

  • Color video profile isn’t configurable
  • 8-bit flat video profile
  • Screenless remote
  • Doesn’t support autonomous navigation around obstructions

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 4.8 by 3.7 by 8.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 lb
  • 4 rotors
  • Integrated camera with gimbal
  • 6K video resolution, 20 MP
  • microSDXC media format
  • Dedicated remote with app
  • 1520p live video feed

Read our in-depth Autel Robotics Evo Lite+ Review for more details.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon | Walmart | eBay | Autel Robotics Official Website

8. Autel Robotics Evo Nano+

  • Best 249g Drone Without Geofence
  • Price: $679.00 at Amazon
  • Rating: 3.5 Good

If you’re looking for a lightweight and registration-free drone, the Autel Robotics Evo Nano+ is a great choice. Weighing just 8.8 oz, this drone offers 4K30 video with gimbal stabilization and 12MP and 50MP photos. With automated quick shots, Hyperlapse, and up to 28 minutes of flight time, you can capture stunning aerial footage with ease. The Autel Robotics Evo Nano+ also features three-way obstacle sensors and GPS with return-to-home functionality.

Pros:

  • 4K30 video with gimbal stabilization
  • Camera supports 12MP and 50MP photos
  • Automated quick shots and Hyperlapse
  • Up to 28 minutes of flight time
  • Three-way obstacle sensors
  • GPS with return-to-home functionality

Cons:

  • Raw photos are tricky to process
  • Overprocessed look to video
  • Log profile is only 8-bit

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.7 by 5.6 by 2.2 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 oz
  • 4 rotors
  • Integrated camera with gimbal
  • 4K video resolution, 50 MP
  • microSDXC media format
  • Dedicated remote with app
  • Yes live video feed

Read our in-depth Autel Robotics Evo Nano+ Review for more details.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon | Walmart | eBay | Autel Robotics Official Website

9. DJI Avata

  • Best for Adrenaline Junkies
  • Price: $599.00 at Amazon
  • Rating: 3.5 Good

For adrenaline junkies and FPV enthusiasts, the DJI Avata is the drone to consider. This FPV drone offers a thrilling flying experience with its nose-mounted camera and motion-sensitive remote. With a 30mph Sport mode and built-in prop guards, you can push the limits while ensuring safety. The DJI Avata is easy to fly and features a dual-stick remote for fully manual flight at 60mph.

Pros:

  • FPV experience
  • Built-in prop guards
  • Downward-facing sensors
  • Easy to fly
  • Dual-stick remote for fully manual flight at 60mph

Cons:

  • Easy to crash
  • Wobble in the camera at high altitudes

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: Not provided
  • Weight: Not provided
  • 4 rotors
  • Integrated camera
  • Not provided video resolution
  • Not provided MP
  • Not provided media format
  • Not provided remote
  • Not provided live video feed

Read our in-depth DJI Avata Review for more details.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon | Walmart | eBay | DJI Official Website

What Are the Rules for Owning a Drone?

Before you take to the skies with your new drone, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations for owning and flying a drone. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Register your drone with the appropriate authorities, if required in your country.
  • Follow local laws and regulations regarding drone flight, including airspace restrictions and privacy considerations.
  • Respect the privacy of others and avoid flying over private property without permission.
  • Fly your drone within visual line of sight and avoid flying near airports or other restricted areas.
  • Be mindful of other people, wildlife, and the environment while flying your drone.
  • Stay updated on any changes to drone regulations in your area.

For more detailed information on drone regulations, check out our Drone Industry News section.

What Are the Types of Drones?

Drones come in various shapes, sizes, and configurations, each designed for specific purposes. Here are some common types of drones you’ll come across:

  • Camera Drones: These drones are equipped with high-quality cameras for aerial photography and videography.
  • FPV Drones: FPV (First Person View) drones provide an immersive flying experience, allowing pilots to see what the drone sees in real-time.
  • Toy Drones: Toy drones are smaller, more affordable drones designed for recreational use and beginners.
  • Professional Drones: Professional drones are built for commercial purposes, such as filmmaking, surveying, and inspections.
  • Racing Drones: Racing drones are designed for high-speed racing competitions, featuring agile maneuverability and first-person view capabilities.
  • Delivery Drones: Delivery drones are used for transporting small packages and goods over short distances.

Each type of drone has its own unique features and capabilities, so choose one that aligns with your specific needs and interests.

Which Brand of Drones Is Best?

When it comes to drone brands, DJI and Autel Robotics are two of the most reputable and popular choices in the industry. DJI is known for its cutting-edge technology, exceptional camera quality, and user-friendly interfaces. Autel Robotics, on the other hand, offers a range of feature-packed drones with competitive pricing.

Ultimately, the best brand of drone depends on your specific requirements and budget. Both DJI and Autel Robotics offer a wide range of drones to cater to different needs, from entry-level options to professional-grade models. Consider factors such as camera quality, flight time, flight range, and additional features when choosing the best brand for you.

For more information on drone brands, check out our Drone Brand Guides section.

The Best Small Drones

If portability is a top priority for you, small drones are a great choice. Here are some of the best small drones available:

  • DJI Mini 4 Pro
  • DJI Mini 2 SE
  • DJI Mini 3

These compact drones offer impressive performance and camera capabilities while being easy to carry and travel with. Whether you’re a travel enthusiast or simply want a drone that can fit in your backpack, these small drones won’t disappoint.

The Best Drones for Professionals

For professional filmmakers, photographers, and content creators, having a reliable and feature-packed drone is essential. Here are some of the best drones for professionals:

  • DJI Mavic 3 Pro
  • DJI Air 2S
  • DJI Air 3

These drones offer advanced camera systems, long flight times, and professional-grade features to take your aerial creativity to new heights. Whether you’re shooting cinematic videos or capturing stunning aerial photographs, these drones are designed to meet the demands of professionals.

Explore More About Drones

If you’re hungry for more drone-related content, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Drone Manufacturers section for in-depth guides and reviews of various drone brands. Stay up to date with the latest drone news and trends in our Drone Industry News section. And if you’re interested in exploring drone business opportunities, head over to our Drone Business Opportunities section.

Conclusion

an aerial view of a city with a river running through it

Choosing the best drone for your needs can be an exciting but overwhelming task. We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with valuable insights and recommendations to make an informed decision. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, there’s a drone out there that’s perfect for you. Remember to consider factors such as skill level, camera quality, flight time, and portability when making your choice.

So, what are you waiting for? Take to the skies and unleash your aerial creativity with the best drones for 2024!

Disclaimer: Prices and ratings mentioned in this article are accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change. Please check the respective websites for the most up-to-date information.

Review Team
Review Team

The Popular Brands Review Team is a collective of seasoned professionals boasting an extensive and varied portfolio in the field of product evaluation. Composed of experts with specialties across a myriad of industries, the team’s collective experience spans across numerous decades, allowing them a unique depth and breadth of understanding when it comes to reviewing different brands and products.

Leaders in their respective fields, the team's expertise ranges from technology and electronics to fashion, luxury goods, outdoor and sports equipment, and even food and beverages. Their years of dedication and acute understanding of their sectors have given them an uncanny ability to discern the most subtle nuances of product design, functionality, and overall quality.

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