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Best 4k Video Drones Under $500

Drones with top-notch cameras are pricy. They tend to go for over $700, even at a discount.

If you dig deep enough, you can find options that take photos and videos in 4K.

Most of the drones you see at 4K can take pictures at 4K, but the video is up to 2.7K. So we advise you to research that 4K drone you want to buy first.

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Or you can leave that responsibility to us, as we have done the homework already.

We’re sharing the best 4K video drone picks for under $500, including their intended usage, pros, and cons.

1. DJI Mini 3 – Our choice

DJI Mini 3 (DJI RC)
$609.00

Lightweight and Foldable Mini Camera Drone with 4K HDR Video, 38-min Flight Time, True Vertical Shooting, and Intelligent Features.

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03/06/2024 05:46 pm GMT

Dimensions: 14.30 x 9.90 x 2.80 in
Weight: 249 g
Max Range:  18,000 m
Max Altitude:  4,000 m
Max Speed: 36 mph
Max Flying Time: 38 min
Camera Sensor: 1/3” CMOS 48MP
Video Resolution: 4K30FPS
Max Storage: U3 256 microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • It comes with a sturdy RC-N1.
  • The Cine mode makes it more stable while recording to eliminate image noise.
  • The camera comes with dual native ISO for gorgeous recordings on sunny days.
  • The Intelligent Flight Battery Plus has a 51-minute flight time.
  • The Intelligent Flight Battery Plus has a 25-kilometer max range.

❌ Cons

  • It weighs 290 grams with the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, so you need to register it.
  • It lacks Intelligent Flight Modes like Waypoint and Active Track.

For under $500, you can’t expect an easier-to-fly, more durable, and more helpful drone than the DJI Mini 3.

It has all the self-stabilization aids you need as a beginner.

Thanks to its GPS connectivity, the wind will have a hard time moving it. And if the wind moves it, it recovers immediately by flying to the previous position.

You use the RC-N1 connected to a mobile device with the Fly app to fly it. QuickShots make your Mini 3 perform a series of movements automatically while filming.

You can use the Cine mode if you want to fly it on your own and take gorgeous 4K cinematics. When you activate this mode, the drone flies slowly to capture imagery with imperceptible noise.

So rest assured with this drone if you’re a content creator filming breathtaking landscapes.

Although it’s a tiny drone and looks delicate, it is well-made. This ensures you don’t have to register the drone with the local aviation civil authority, as it weighs less than 250 grams with the regular battery.

Install the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus if you want the Mini 3 to shine. That way, you get 51 minutes of flight from one battery and an increased range of up to 25 kilometers.

You can take 4K videos in remote places for your YouTube channel.

Just keep in mind that the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus is heavier than the regular battery, making the Mini 3 weigh 290 grams.

If you intend to fly it with this improved battery, you must register your Mini 3 with the FAA.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 / Mini 3 Pro – How to Live Stream on YouTube (Video)

2. DJI Mini 2 – Best beginner 4K drone under $500

DJI Mini 2
$449.00 $337.09

Ultralight and Foldable Drone Quadcopter, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photo, 31 Mins Flight Time, OcuSync 2.0 10km HD Video Transmission, QuickShots Gray

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03/07/2024 07:42 am GMT

Dimensions: 11.40 x 9.64 x 2.28 in
Weight: < 249 g
Max Range:  10,000 m
Max Altitude:  4,000 m
Max Speed: 36 mph
Max Flying Time: 31 min
Camera Sensor: 1/3” CMOS 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K30FPS
Max Storage: U3 256 microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • It has almost the same features as the Mini 3 at a lesser price.
  • This drone has a huge community of pilots that are eager to help with issues.
  • It has a wide variety of practical accessories on the market.
  • The Cine mode makes it more stable while recording to eliminate image noise.
  • Its camera has image stabilization for smooth recordings.

❌ Cons

  • It lacks Intelligent Flight Modes.
  • It’s pricy, considering it’s an old drone.

If you want a cheaper drone with almost the same features as the Mini 3, the Mini 2 is your best option.

Although you can consider it an old drone compared to the others on the list, DJI made this drone for long-term use.

First, DJI improved this drone firmware to the point that it almost has no bugs. It has the same quality as the Mini 3.

The Mini 2 also comes with OcuSync 2.0, which allows it to achieve 10 kilometers of video transmission. This feature helps you enjoy stable video transmission without depending on Wi-Fi.

To fly it, use the Fly app on your mobile device that connects to the RC-N1. Yes, the Mini 2 works with the latest software and hardware DJI designed.

This drone is perfect if you like to travel, as it fits any travel bag easily. It is also very light, so you don’t have to worry about registering it either.

3. Potensic ATOM SE GPS – Best 4K drone under $500 with the best features

Potensic ATOM SE GPS
$249.99 $199.99

Drone With 4K EIS Camera, Under 249g, 31 Mins Flight, 4KM FPV Transmission, Max Speed 16m/s, Auto Return, Lightweight and Foldable Drone for Adults.

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03/06/2024 06:11 pm GMT

Dimensions: 11.80 x 9.50 x 2.28 in
Weight: 249 g
Max Range:  4,000 m
Max Altitude:  4,000 m
Max Speed: 36 mph
Max Flying Time: 31 min
Camera Sensor: 1/3” CMOS 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K30FPS
Max Storage: U1 256 microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • Weights less than 250 grams, so you don’t need to register it.
  • The Fly More combo is cheap and has two batteries for a 62-minute flight time.
  • It can achieve up to 4 kilometers of video transmission.
  • Its quality is on the same level as DJI drones.
  • Its ShakeVanish technology lets you record smooth videos.

❌ Cons

  • The gimbal tilts up or down very fast, affecting the video recordings.
  • The camera lacks a three-axis gimbal.

Aside from DJI, Potensic makes valuable drones for the money. The ATOM SE GPS is a magnificent drone that lets you film in 4K while using Follow Me features.

Content creators that lack piloting skills will find this drone especially good. With Follow Me, they can film themselves without needing someone else.

This drone will stick to you filming in 4K@30 FPS, so you can focus more on creating the content than on flying the drone.

However, this drone lacks collision avoidance sensors. Only use the Follow Me features in open areas above obstacles.

Another point to consider is that the camera isn’t equipped with a proper manual mode. You better use this camera only in automatic.

Also, the camera lacks dual-native ISO, so the recorded image lacks clarity when it faces the sun or light on a bright day.

It also works for more advanced pilots that want to have a fun flight experience.

The Attitude mode lets the ATOM SE glide in the air without losing altitude. Then it can fly less steadily for dramatic shoots.

Its build quality is outstanding for a low-cost drone, competing with DJI and EXO drones. You can expect to have it for a long time without breaking.

You can get this drone as part of a Fly More combo, reaching the price tag of DJI drones.

However, you get an increased flight time thanks to the two battery packs and a nice bag to carry your drone for those creative journeys.

4. Potensic Dreamer 4K Pro – Best sturdy 4K drone under $500

Potensic Dreamer 4K Pro
$429.99

3-Axis Gimbal Camera for Adults, FPV GPS Quadcopter with 2KM Transmission Range, 28mins Flight, Brushless Motor, Auto-Return, with Metal Carry case and 32G SD Card.

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03/06/2024 06:21 pm GMT

Dimensions: 12.59 x 7.67 x 13.70 in
Weight: 820 g
Max Range:  2,000 m
Max Altitude:  2,000 m
Max Speed: 22 mph
Max Flying Time: 28 min
Camera Sensor: 1/3” CMOS
Video Resolution: 4K30FPS
Max Storage: U1 256 microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • It is a sturdy drone made to last a long time.
  • This aircraft can land almost anywhere thanks to its robust landing gear.
  • A robust metal case protects it while traveling.
  • It comes with a three-axis gimbal for smooth video recordings.
  • The remote controller is well-made and feels natural to hold.

❌ Cons

  • You must register it due to its weight.
  • The video transmission turns off easily.

Consider the Potensic Dreamer 4K Pro if you’re a beginner pilot looking for a drone you can take with you almost anywhere.

The more foldable parts your drone has, the more delicate it is.

That’s why Potensic developed a drone with strong extremities that don’t fold. Potensic includes a durable metallic travel case that is comfortable to carry.

This drone weighs almost four times more than any other on the list. Thanks to that, it’s able to withstand windy conditions easily.

And when it senses that it needs more engine output to keep a target on camera, it automatically increases the speed up to 22 mph in only 0.1 s.

For smooth 4K videos, the Dreamer 4K Pro has a three-axis gimbal. It can record in harsh environments, always providing clean and crisp footage.

You don’t need to worry too much about its gimbal getting damaged, as it is also sturdy.

5. L500 PRO– Best 4K toy drone under $500

L500 PRO

GPS 4K Drone with Camera for Adults, Brushless Motor, Circle Fly, Waypoint Fly, Altitude Hold, With 2 Battery 50 Mins Long Flight, and Outdoor Carrying Case (Black).

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Dimensions: 9.40 x 7.70 x 3.50 in
Weight: 189 g
Max Range:  1,000 m
Max Altitude:  300 m
Max Speed: 16 mph
Max Flying Time: 25 min
Camera Sensor: Unknown
Video Resolution: 4K30FPS
Max Storage: 128GB SD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • It comes with two batteries for a 50-minute flight time.
  • You don’t have to register it thanks to its weight.
  • It comes with a failsafe RTH function.
  • It has built-in Follow Me features.
  • The remote controller is comfortable to use, thanks to its grips.

❌ Cons

  • Although it has a 4K camera, the recordings lack smoothness.
  • Due to its low price, it lacks a three-axis gimbal.

If you still want a 4K drone but aren’t ready for a near $500 investment, check out the L500 PRO.

It has all the features in this price range but at less than half the price of the others on the list. Once you pair it with the RC and mobile device, you can make it follow you, fly to waypoints, and circle a target.

The L500 PRO comes with an impressive battery lasting up to 25 minutes. You can fly it for up to 50 minutes without charge, as it comes with two batteries.

It’s a perfect drone for teenagers and kids experiencing content creation. Now they can record themselves with friends in 4K playing basketball.

Consider that wind moves it effortlessly due to its weight, so your recording will look blurry on a blustery day.

It has other disadvantages like a poor range of max 1 kilometer and lacks an electronic image stabilization and gimbal.

6. LETCREN B5W – Best 4K drone under $500 with audio recording capability

LETCREN B5W
$199.99

 GPS Drone with 5GHZ FPV Transmission, Auto Return Home, Follow Me, Waypoint Flight, Circle Fly, Long Control Range and more...

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03/06/2024 06:26 pm GMT

Dimensions: 14.00 x 11.00 x 5.00 in
Weight: 117 g
Max Range:  500 m
Max Altitude:  300 m
Max Speed: 38 mph
Max Flying Time: 25 min
Camera Sensor: Unknown
Video Resolution: 4K30FPS
Max Storage: 64GB SD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • The battery has a sturdy lock mechanism to hold it in place.
  • It has durable landing gear, perfect for beginners.
  • The drone has a tough construction.
  • You don’t have to register it due to its weight.

❌ Cons

  • It isn’t foldable.
  • Its range is very poor for its price.

LETCREN B5W is the right choice if you need a drone with a 4K camera that records audio and all at a suitable price.

These features make it a great drone for family reunions or camping, where voices and sound are essential to the video.

Just know you’ll hear the propellers spinning too.

This drone isn’t cheap compared to the others on the list. Its flying range is very poor, and it lacks a gimbal.

However, it is very well-made. Starting with its landing gear, which gives you enough room for hard landings, the LETCREN B5W is a fixed-wing drone, so it’s not compact.

This feature guarantees durability even during those hard landings.

Although it’s the lightest drone on the list, it withstands windy conditions well. The incorporated GPS feature allows it to recover its position in seconds automatically.

Maneuvering the LETCREN B5W is easy. Its controls are responsive, and thanks to the self-stabilization system, it will stop once you release the remote control sticks.

What is a three-axis gimbal?

A gimbal is a device where you mount a camera to obtain stable video recordings. As the drone moves in three directions, a three-axis gimbal is a tool that stabilizes the camera in all directions.

The idea of it is to reduce unwanted blurring on the recorded video, due to harsh camera movements.

What is electronic image stabilization?

Electronic image stabilization is an internal process the camera performs where its software eliminates excessive blur due to camera movement.

Are Intelligent Flight Modes safe?

Some drones below $500 come with Follow Me, Waypoints, and Circle of Interest modes.

Having these Intelligent Flight Modes without obstacle avoidance sensors is a big risk, as your drone can crash. So you should only use them in obstacle-free areas.