We all have to start somewhere, and when it comes to drones, there are many machines to choose from. The last thing we want to do with our drones is crash, but it’s going to happen. Beginner pilots have a lot to learn; flying a quadcopter or similar drone is fairly easy, but mastering it can take some time.

DJI Mini 2 front 2

We’ve previously discussed cheap drones, the ones that you can afford to crash, but we’re taking a different perspective here today, these are the drones, regardless price, that are the best drones for beginners.

Jonathan Feist, Drone PilotJonathan Feist

Why trust Drone Rush?

I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.

 

Best drones for beginners

 
1. Hubsan H111: Nano drone to fly in the house

Hubsan H111: Nano drone to fly in the house

Hubsan H111 nano drone in hand

The Hubsan H111 is a fun little toy drone, very suitable as your first drone, but only if you only fly indoors or on very calm days. This tiny craft has a few minutes of flight time, is easy to operate, but tough to master, for that reason, we value it as a tool to learn how to fly. There are not flight assist features, just a pure piloting experience from a resilient and affordable toy drone.

Should I buy the Hubsan H111?

I’ve flown many aircraft over the years, and the H111 remains within arm’s reach at my desk. It’s the perfect little machine to continue to hone my piloting skills without having to leave my office. 

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Tiny and easy to transport
  • Fun to fly
  • Helps to develop piloting skills 

Cons

  • Just a tiny toy for indoor flight
  • Only a few minutes of flight time
 

Hubsan H111

(8.2)
  • 5 - Minutes
  • No camera
  • 7 - MPH

2. Syma X5C: Affordable trainer drone

Syma X5C: Affordable trainer drone

Syma X5C

The Syma X5C is a popular airframe, available in many models, and even from a few different brands. The benefit to this tiny machine is its resilience when you crash. Look, we crashed ours almost every time we flew, seriously. We were still new to the hobby, learning how to fly, and the X5C would forgivingly float to the ground and gently bounce in the grass.

Should I buy the Syma X5C?

We think the Syma X5C is a superb drone for first time outdoor pilots. We started on it, and we let children fly it successfully. It was our go-to starter drone until the connectivity issues led to a flyaway situation. Flyaways are serious, don’t let them happen! We totally got our money’s worth though. 

Pros

  • Fun and educational
  • Easy to modify

Cons

  • Poor connectivity
  • Limited flight time
  • Terrible camera
 

Syma X5C

(7.8)
  • 10 - Minutes
  • 720p - 30FPS
  • 11 - MPH

January 2015

Release Date

3. Hubsan H107 series: Popular beginner drones

Hubsan H107 series: Popular beginner drones

Hubsan H107 H107L toy drone

The Hubsan H107 is another series of superb starter drones. The various models start at around $30, offering things like propeller guards, cameras and more as options. The base package is a good starting place, do not invest too much into this craft, you’ll only fly it for a while until you get the feel for drones and move on to something more substantial.

Should I buy the Hubsan H107?

The H107 is a fantastic starting place for any drone pilot. It’s comparable to the Syma X5C in terms of capabilities and configurations, but is a dedicated product from a passionate toy-maker.

Pros

  • Great starter drone
  • Easy to fly
  • Few flight assist features

Cons

  • Limited flight time
 

Hubsan H107

(6.8)
  • 10 - Minutes
  • Optional
  • 11 - MPH

4. DJI Mavic Mini: Best 2.7K video camera under $500

DJI Mavic Mini: Best 2.7K video camera under $500

DJI Mavic Mini review remote front over drone

The DJI Mavic Mini is pretty much the most affordable and accessible GPS-enabled camera drone on the market. We know of no other machine in this price range that offers a 2.7K this good, and there are certainly no others that are equipped with DJI’s powerful flight features.

Should I buy the DJI Mavic Mini?

After you’ve had the chance to fly a very inexpensive toy drone, the Mavic Mini is a great starting place for a GPS camera drone. Make no mistake, it flies just as well as almost all of DJI’s consumer drones, and it is not equipped with a 4K camera like most of the other DJI drones, but if you want the least expensive option for a DJI product, this is it! Don’t downplay the significance of it, our Mavic Mini is still one of our favorite machines to fly.

Pros

  • Most affordable DJI drone
  • Good 2.7K camera
  • Solid GPS-enabled flight

Cons

  • Average flight time
  • Better than the toys, but not a full camera drone
 

DJI Mavic Mini

(9.0)
  • 30 - Minutes
  • 2.7K - 12MP
  • 29 - MPH

5. DJI Mini 2: Best 4K video camera under $500

DJI Mini 2: Best 4K video camera under $500

DJI Mini 2 flying angle bushes

Were you reading about the DJI Mavic Mini and hoping for something a little more? The DJI Mini 2 is the drone you’re looking for. It enjoys the same compact and very portable size as the previous model, but bumps up the flight time, moves to a 4K camera, and improves the connectivity by a long shot.

Should I buy the DJI Mini 2?

Once again, if you are shopping for a GPS-enabled camera drone, and your budget is under $500, yes, you should absolutely buy the Mini 2.

Pros

  • Good 4K camera
  • Best drone under $500
  • Weighs under 250g

Cons

  • Not the best 4K camera around
 

DJI Mini 2

(9.4)
  • 31 - Minutes
  • 4K - 12MP
  • 36 - MPH

November 2020

Release Date