Best drones for beginners in 2021

Bharat Bhushan - Dec 11, 2021, 11:30am CST
Best drones for beginners in 2021

Drones offer a very unique perspective for shooting photographs and capturing video footage that stands out. Flying drones requires a certain set of skills you must master as a beginner. Therefore, getting a drone that can fly straight out of the box without hassles is important. It’s not advisable to invest in a professional-level drone when you’re only starting out, since flying them can be confusing for first-time users and, if not handled properly, they can leave you hurt or can end up trapped in a tree line.

Parrot

As a beginner, the things you should look for in a cost-effective drone include overall durability, good battery life, optimum weight distribution, and onboard cameras. Based on these considerations, we’ve filtered down the best drones in a buying guide for beginners to consider.

DJI Mini 2

DJI

The DJI Mini 2 brings a lot of improvements from its predecessors, thus it gets the top spot in this list of drones for beginners. The palm-sized quadcopter weighs 249 grams, can shoot high-quality 4K videos at up to 30fps, has an impressive flight time of 31 minutes on a single charge, a flight range of 6 miles, and a top speed of 36 MPH.

What we like

– Compact and lightweight for easy handling
– Very good battery life for longer stints of shooting
– Ease of uploading live footage to social media

What we don’t like

– Vulnerable to sudden wind gusts which can throw it off track
– Raw video recording option is missing

The easy-to-understand flight controls and the quick shot functions on this drone all go well for noob users. The 3-axis gimbal stabilization on the Mini 2 brings forth smooth video clips, and the camera can zoom up to 4x levels without any distortion. The DJI Mini 2 drone doesn’t need to be registered with the CAA (UK) or FAA (US) and is available on Amazon at a cool price tag of $449.

Parrot Anafi

Parrot

Parrot’s Anafi is another great option for beginners. In addition to its lightweight and durable 320 grams form factor, this model has a unique feature that allows it to shoot 4K videos of objects above it – for example, while flying under a bridge. The model’s still photography capabilities are impressive, as well, thanks to a 21MP sensor capable of 3x digital zoom and 10 photos per second in burst mode.

What we like

– Very easy to unpack and fly
– Gimbal mounted camera that can rotate
– Very quiet in flight and FPV system

What we don’t like

– Limited video shooting frame rate
– Lacks collision avoidance sensors

The foldable drone offers 25 minutes of flight time and a top speed of 34 MPH. Other features include automated flight modes for capturing professional-grade videos, geofencing, Smart RTH, Find My Drone, and GPS positioning for unexpected wind drift safety. The Parrot Anafi drone can be bought right away for $539 on Amazon.

DJI Mini SE

DJI

Beginners looking for a cross between the DJI Mavic Mini and DJI Mini 2 models should check out the next best option: the DJI Mini SE. Currently only selling in the US, Canada and Australia, this quadcopter is the go-to for beginners, offering an overall weight of 249 grams, a QuickShots feature to get started with flying, and support for shooting high-definition videos at 30fps.

What we like

– 3-axis gimbal stabilization
– Improved Scale 5 wind resistance
– Compact, foldable design for carrying in a backpack

What we don’t like

– Limited regional availability
– Loss of connection and frozen video feed in some instances based on some consumer reports

The DJI Mini SE drone offers up to 30 minutes of battery life alongside a maximum flying range of 2.5 miles and a top speed of 29 MPH. This model gets some of the cool features DJI offers on the pro-level drones like Mavic, and, at $299, it gives beginners a great option that won’t break the bank.

Ryze Tello

Ryze Tech

This 80g quadcopter is targeted at consumers seeking a budget-friendly drone that doesn’t hit a lower price point by making a bunch of compromises. While the Ryze Tello drone doesn’t offer the high-end tech found in more expensive models, it does manage to tick many feature boxes, including a flight time of around 13 minutes and a Wi-Fi range of 100 meters.

What we like

– Very affordable for first-time users
– Responsive controls for easy flying
– Easily programmable and actuated with phone or gaming controller

What we don’t like

– May be imbalanced in gusty winds
– Has choppy video recording as reported by some users

Ryze Tello is designed in partnership with DJI and well-tailored for mastering the basics of drone flying. The model’s 5MP onboard camera records 720p/30fps videos with digital stabilization. This drone can even fly off your palm and perform tricks like mid-air flips for some fun. Even better, Tello is very inexpensive at $99, making it one of the most appealing options for beginners.

Potensic Dreamer

Potensic

The Potensic Dreamer is a sturdy drone with stellar build quality, offering a flight time of 25 minutes and a range of 800 meters. This model sports a highly responsive twin-stick controller, but can be operated with a smartphone, as well. Though the drone’s camera can capture still images at 4K resolution, its video recording resolution is restricted to 2658×1512.

What we like

– Temperature endurance of 0°C to 40°C
– Good battery life and charge speed
– Intuitive controller layout and easy-to-use companion app

What we don’t like

– Lacks image stabilization, potentially resulting in shaky footage
– Flight range somewhat limits how far you can explore

Dreamer is great for beginners as it undercuts high-end competitors with its $240 price on Amazon. This model is suitable for learning basic flying skills with a decent range. Plus, Dreamer has an ATTI mode to bypass the GPS in cases when the connection is lost.

Wrap-up

Drones are not just toys for casual flying fun and they can be a great tool for vloggers and social media enthusiasts. Before buying a quadcopter, beginners should consider their local laws, as many regions have strict drone regulations. As a new pilot, you should consider how smooth a drone is mid-flight and the features it has onboard to avoid crashes and mishaps when shopping for your first model. Investing in an expensive drone is not recommended for new users; rather, you can gradually upgrade to a more professional model once you get the hang of things.


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