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Best Budget Drones with 3-Axis Gimbal

A stable image is a game changer. If you have a 4K camera without a 3-axis gimbal in your drone, the recordings will look shaky, and the photos will be excessively blurry.

However, drones with 3-axis gimbals tend to be expensive. So we dug deep into the internet for the best budget drones with this characteristic.

Autel Evo Nano Plus, DJI Mini 3, and the Drone-Clone Xperts LIMITLESS 4 are the best drones with a 3-axis gimbal below $800. Below $400, there’s the DJI Mini 2, Potensic Dreamer 4K Pro, and EXO X7 Ranger Plus.

In this article, we will cover each one of these 3-axis gimbal drones, including why they’re unique, pros and cons, and more.

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1. Autel EVO Nano+ – Our choice

Autel EVO Nano Plus (Premium Bundle)
$2,099.00

249g Mini Professional Drone with 4K RYYB HDR Camera, 50 MP Photos, 1/1.28" CMOS, 3-Way Obstacle Avoidance and more.

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03/06/2024 09:57 pm GMT

Dimensions: 4.30 x 9.10 x 5.10 in
Weight: 249 g
Max Range:  10,000 m
Max Altitude:  4,000 m
Max Speed: 34 mph
Max Flying Time: 30 min
Camera Sensor: 1/1.28′ CMOS 50MP
Video Resolution: 4K 30 fps
Max Storage: U3 256GB microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • Built-in three-directional obstacle avoidance sensors
  • You can get it in orange, red, grey, and white
  • You don’t need to register it due to its 249-gram weight
  • The video transmission quality at 10 km is 2K@30 fps
  • With the Super Download feature, transfer your recordings at 160 Mbps

❌ Cons

  • It’s the most expensive on the list
  • It doesn’t have a slow-motion recording feature

If you want a premium drone with a 3-axis gimbal, there is only one choice. The EVO Nano+ is by far the best drone on the list, thanks to its features.

On the camera side, it can autofocus high-speed objects, never losing image clarity. So this drone camera films motocross or car cinematics with a natural look effortlessly, needing little post-editing.

This drone camera automatically takes shots at different exposures in HDR mode. Then it processes all the photos to give you the most accurate one. So it facilitates post-editing on the picture side too.

You surely can get crisp imagery in low-light conditions. Its camera has a large aperture that reduces the noise in your recordings or photos.

This makes this drone perfect for filming at sunset and sunrise when it’s tricky to produce content with a smooth look due to the constant change of light and color conditions.

For rainy and foggy weather, this drone comes with a defog feature that you can calibrate at low, medium, or high. It will clear the undesirable tarnished finish to your shots.

The EVO Nano+ also comes with three-directional obstacle avoidance to fly it in these conditions. That also makes it perfect to use with its built-in Intelligent Flight Modes.

From the video perspective, it can automatically track any person while filming it. You only set the target on the Dynamic Track 2.1 feature, and the drone will follow the target while filming it.

Once you’re done recording and shooting, place the EVO Nano+ near your mobile device to transfer 4K data in mere minutes.

However, all these fantastic features come at the highest price on the list.

2. DJI Mini 3 – Best budget 3-axis gimbal drone for content creators

DJI Mini 3 (Standard)
$559.00 $469.00

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

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03/08/2024 01:06 am 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: 4K 30 fps
Max Storage: U3 256GB microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • You don’t need to register it
  • The camera portrait mode is perfect for social media content creators
  • The camera comes with dual native ISO
  • It’s compatible with the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus for 51 minutes of flying time
  • Compatible with both RC-N1 and DJI RC

❌ Cons

  • No built-in obstacle avoidance sensors
  • You need to register it if you intend to use it with the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus since it’s heavier

We know the EVO Nano+ could be too much money for users who want a drone to create content on social media.

For them, there is no better option than the DJI Mini 3. It’s an easy-to-fly drone with a camera that rotates 90 degrees to take portrait videos or photos.

Thanks to its self-positioning capabilities and excellent signal, this drone will hover at a fixed altitude even in windy conditions.

You can fly this drone in various modes, with the Cine mode being preferred for content creators. Your Mini 3 will fly very slowly but with hard-to-beat stability.

Then you can enable the portrait mode, rotating the camera to deliver 4K videos and content directly to your social media.

Thanks to the QuickTransfer, you can download those portrait videos fast to your device. You can share your high-quality content within minutes with your followers.

No need to worry about post-editing, as the automatic camera mode incorporates dual native ISO. So in bright conditions, you’ll always get the best contrast between blacks and whites.

And at night, the camera auto-corrects the noise due to the bad-quality lighting conditions. All of this is to produce a crisp image with accurate colors.

It has a maximum flying time of 38 minutes, enough to film any content. However, you can upgrade this time using the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, but it will make your drone heavier.

3. Drone-Clone Xperts LIMITLESS 4 – Best budget 3-axis gimbal drone with the best features

Drone X Pro LIMITLESS 4
$749.99 $549.99

GPS 4K UHD Camera Drone for Adults with EVO Obstacle Avoidance, 3-Axis Gimbal, Auto Return Home, Follow Me, Long Flight Time, Long Control Range, 5G WiFi FPV Live Video, EIS, Superior Stabilization (With Travel Case).

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03/06/2024 09:51 pm GMT

Dimensions: 11 x 10 x 3 in
Weight: 544 g
Max Range:  4,800 m
Max Altitude:  4,000 m
Max Speed: 36 mph
Max Flying Time: 30 min
Camera Sensor: 1/3.2′ CMOS
Video Resolution: 4K 25 fps
Max Storage: U3 256GB microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • It comes with a mounted 360-avoidance sensor on top
  • Fast and responsive customer service
  • This drone camera comes with EIS too
  • It has a downward camera that films in 1280x720p
  • It has a level-7 wind resistance, superior to any drone on the list

❌ Cons

  • It needs to be registered as it weighs more than 250 grams
  • Its flying range isn’t as attractive as the Autel or DJI options

This is your pick if you want to try something different but with the same built quality as the EVO Nano+.

Starting with its image stabilization system, this drone has a 3-axis gimbal and Electronic Image Stabilization or EIS.

This translates into more stable images thanks to completely eliminating the jittering effect.

This drone is very stable, with an impressive level-7 wind resistance that you find only in flagships. So filming any sport like mount biking will look smooth and crisp, even in windy conditions at high speed.

You can film whatever is below your drone, thanks to its built-in downward 720p camera.

Although an uncommon place to place a camera, it’s perfect for recon missions. There isn’t a better companion for hiking and exploring.

This camera is also helpful when using the payload release accessory. With it, your LIMITLESS 4 can lift water bottles or medium size fish, and you release them by only pressing a button.

Keep in mind that this drone lacks upward or downward collision avoidance sensors. Always watch the zone you want to fly your drone in before launching.

4. DJI Mini 2 – Best budget 3-axis gimbal drone with useful accessories

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 256GB microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • Lightweight so you don’t need to register it
  • It has one of the most extensive communities of experts for seamless troubleshooting
  • It has the most useful accessories of any drone on the list
  • It can take panoramas
  • DJI keeps updating its firmware to add new and exciting features

❌ Cons

  • No obstacle avoidance sensors
  • The video transmission quality is not great

If you’re looking for the best quality you can receive for your money, the Mini 2 is a suitable option.

It’s well known in the industry as the top mini drone due to its longevity. DJI keeps updating the drone’s firmware, although there are newer options like the Mini 3.

Due to all the maintenance it has received through the years, this drone is almost bugless. If you find any issue, there is a ton of information and YouTube videos about troubleshooting for an easy fix.

Pilots love this drone, so companies designed an impressive array of accessories.

From collision avoidance lights to landing gear, ND filters, and even flying range extenders, there isn’t a drone with as many accessories as the Mini 2.

You can customize it the way you want.

The camera delivers 4K video at 30 fps. However, it doesn’t come with dual native ISO, so it isn’t as good for shots on bright or dark days as the Mini 3.

On the other hand, this drone flies incredibly stably, and thanks to the 3-axis gimbal, you won’t have any issues obtaining gorgeous cinematics.

5. Potensic Dreamer 4K Pro – Best budget 3-axis gimbal drone for beginners

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 256GB microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • The perfect drone for beginners due to its sturdy design
  • It increases its speed automatically to get better shots
  • It comes in a bundle with a sturdy metal case for easy traveling
  • The controller is light but with a robust feeling

❌ Cons

  • It needs to be registered as it weighs more than 250 grams
  • Its flight range is just okay

If, like many others, you want a newbie-proof 3-axis gimbal drone, the Potensic Dreamer 4K Pro is a must.

The reason is that Potensic designed it to withstand rough usage. When learning to fly a drone, your movements will be inaccurate, certainly hitting some obstacles.

This drone has no foldable parts. It’s a one-piece device with robust ends and sturdy landing gear. Don’t worry too much about hitting the ground with it.

One thing you will notice immediately about this drone is its 3-axis gimbal and camera, components that are also durable.

Due to its robustness, the Potensic Dreamer 4K Pro is quite heavy. It has powerful engines with notorious propellers to lift it.

So this drone is all you can desire for a beginner drone.

It has a great camera too, which you can use to film in 4K at 30 fps using follow-me, orbit, and waypoints. You only tap the Intelligent Flight Mode you want it to perform, and the drone does everything for you.

If it runs out of battery or the controller loses signal, it will automatically return to the position it took off. In the end, this drone is a beginner-proof drone.

6. EXO X7 Ranger Plus – Best budget 3-axis gimbal drone made in the US

EXO X7 Ranger Plus
$379.00

High-End Camera Drone for Adults. Long Battery & Range, 4K Camera, 3 Axis Gimbal, Obstacle Avoidance, 27MPH Speed. Powerful & Playful Drone with Camera and GPS Return to Home.

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03/06/2024 06:11 pm GMT

Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 3 in
Weight: 623 g
Max Range:  2400 m
Max Altitude:  2400 m
Max Speed: 26 mph
Max Flying Time: 24 min
Camera Sensor: 1/3.2′ CMOS
Video Resolution: 2K 30 fps
Max Storage: U1 32GB microSD card
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • This drone is made in the US
  • Fast and responsive customer service
  • Once you buy this drone, you receive a Part 107 course for free
  • You can purchase it with a 360-obstacle avoidance sensor

❌ Cons

  • It needs to be registered
  • Its flying range isn’t as good as the DJI Mini 2

Pick the EXO X7 Ranger Plus if you want a sturdy drone with a foldable design and a more subtle camera.

It appears delicate, but you can feel its robustness once you hold it. This drone’s arms and landing gear give you the vibe that they can withstand hard landings.

The camera looks like a fixed unit but has a 3-axis gimbal. You can rest assured this drone is well-made with high-quality standards.

One of its coolest features is the optional obstacle avoidance sensor, which makes sense when using it in follow-me mode.

Its only downside compared to the other drones on the list is in the video features. It can only record at 2.7K 30 FPS.

What does the 3-axis mean for a drone gimbal?

The gimbal is a device that allows the camera to be independent of the drone’s movements.

A drone has three main movements: pitch, roll, and yaw. A 3-axis gimbal makes the camera move independently, allowing it to shoot stable and smooth imagery.

A 3-axis gimbal doesn’t eliminate the up and down motion due to throttle, so it works best when the drone flies at a fixed altitude.

Do you need a 3-axis gimbal drone?

If you’re serious about creating high-quality videos or shots, a 3-axis gimbal drone is a must.

The wind comes in many directions, moving your drone. Without a gimbal to withstand it, the recordings look robotic and shaky, and the shots lack clarity.

With a 3-axis gimbal, you ensure all your recordings and photos maintain a natural look.

What are the disadvantages of a 3-axis gimbal on a drone?

The more movable pieces a device has, the more things will fail.

Drone gimbals come with electric engines that are in constant motion. This translates to more movable pieces that can fail, possibly even the gimbal.

Gimbals aren’t cheap. However, they tend to last long.

Is a 3-axis gimbal better than EIS?

The idea of the 3-axis gimbal is to absorb the drone’s movements to maintain the camera at a certain level. It works when you pitch, yaw, or roll and when the wind moves the drone.

EIS eliminates the video’s shakiness regardless of whether the drone moves, so the camera is constantly editing the shot.

The 3-axis gimbal will give a more natural-looking image while moving than EIS.

Also, you can correct the jittering from the videos more precisely in post, so the 3-axis gimbal is better when in constant movement than the EIS but it is a pricier technology.