Best Affordable Travel Drones with Cameras
By: Enid Kathambi
Freezing your travel moments into pictures and videos is one of the best activities for a traveler. You want to keep these sweet memories of all the places you have seen and activities you have indulged in.
A camera is great but what happens when you want to take the kind of aerial pictures you only see in movies? You do know that this possibility is no longer a dream, right? Anyway, to get you out of that conundrum are drones. However, not every drone out there is ideal for a traveler. Also, you might be in need of a drone for your travel needs but your pockets seem to disagree.
We have taken the time to make your drone shopping experience pretty much straightforward. Here are the best affordable travel drones with cameras.
5 Best Affordable Travel Drones with Cameras
Altair AA818 Hornet Plus Drone
You do not have to be a pro at drones to use the Altair 818 Hornet drone. What Altair Aerial has done is give you an affordable drone that you can count on for great pictures and long battery life. It is easy to use and light to move around with as a traveler.
For pictures, its wide-angle 720p HD camera will give you great ones. It can fly for 15 minutes for each battery. We say each because it comes with two batteries. So, if they are fully charged, you get to fly it for 30 minutes. Its hovering is also stable.
With it, you can take pictures and videos with a bird’s eye view right from your phone.
- Has custom route mode – you can customize the routes you want it to fly using your smartphone. The drone will just fly according to the route you have drawn.
- To make the flying experience even easier, the drone has a headless mode, 1-button takeoff & landing, and altitude hold mode. The altitude mode holds the drone in position, which is great for pictures.
- Has 3 flying modes: low-speed mode to high flying speed mode.
- An alarm system that alerts you in case the battery is low or the drone gets out of range.
- A little bit big and does not come in a carrying case. It makes it a little bit tricky for a traveler to move around with. To beat this, you can buy a carrying case on your own.
DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter
Compared to other drones form the same brand, the DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter is fairly priced. It has a minimum range of 4 km’s and a flight mode of 21 minutes. If you get yourself an extra battery, then you are assured of at least 40 minutes of shooting. For its prices, that is pretty much understandable. It is also the smallest and lightest drone from DJI’s Mavic Series.
It has quite a number of intelligent flight modes that you can use to capture breathtaking pictures and videos with. You don’t have to operate the drone manually if you take advantage of these modes; Smart Capture, Active Track, Tap Fly, and quick shots.
The drones Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) uses the forward camera, backward and down-facing sensors at once. This helps it adjusts its flight path accordingly in case it detects any possible obstacles. It has a storage of 8GBs and has a Micro SD card slot in case you need a larger memory.
- Easy to fly and can be used even by a beginner.
- It has a high-quality camera that will leave you with pictures and videos of great quality. You can even take slow-motion videos!
- For a traveler, it is very portable thanks to its 3D foldable design.
- Compared to other Mavic Air series drones, its battery life is not that great.
Holy Stone HS160 Shadow
With over a thousand reviews on Amazon, 4.1-rating, and a surprisingly low price than any other drone on the list, the Holy Stone HS160 drone leaves you with a Holy Cow! expression – no pun intended. If you are looking for a drone that gives you videos of great quality, then this might just be the right pick for you.
It has a flight time of 8-10 minutes, pretty much low from other drones in our list. However, for a small drone and its price, it is worth it. To beat this, it comes with a spare battery so you do not have to rely on just one battery when out there getting yourself cool videos.
Its size is also great for a traveler; it’s quite portable and foldable for packing in your backpack.
- Has an APP control system, which you can use to operate the drone with WIFI using your phone. It is compatible with both iOS and Android systems.
- One key for both starting and landing the drone. You do not have to be a pro when it comes to drone to operate this one.
- Very affordable and easy to carry around.
- The battery life is not ideal for those looking forward to staying out for long taking pictures and videos.
- The quality of its images is low compared to the others on the list.
DJI are known for their high-quality drones. Apart from the Mavic Air series drones, they have quite a number of other drones that are viable for a traveler looking for an affordable drone. The DJI Spark is affordable and easy to use- even for a beginner. Its flight time is 16 minutes, and a maximum flight range of 2km with a spare battery, you can get up to 32 minutes of flight.
It has a 1080p camera for pictures of great quality, and a 2-axis gimbal stabilizer for keeping the camera steady when flying the drone. It has intelligent flight modes, and you can fly it from your phone if you have a Wi-Fi connection.
- Has 3 different flying modes, our favorite being the gesture control mode. This one allows you to fly it by gesturing with your hands. You just need to direct the gestures to the drone’s camera and you are good to go.
- It has FaceAware feature for quick launching. By just recognizing your face, it will launch and fly.
- Easy to carry around as a traveler and is affordable.
- Only has 2-axis gimbal, which does not make it as stable as the 3-axis gimbal feature when flying.
VOOCO X-Star Premium Drone
With a flight time of 25 minutes, a flight range of 2km, and a maximum speed of 60pkh, this is one of the highly priced drones in our list. However, the VOOCO X-Star is worth it.
Its camera is one of the best on our list. It can shoot 1080p at 120 frames PS, 2.7k at 60 frames PS, and 4k at 30 frames per second (FPS). Additionally, the camera is attached to a detachable 3-axis gimbal for stability when flying- this has to be the best on the list!
The good thing about the detachable cameras is that you can upgrade it when the company releases an upgrade, thus saving you some bucks.
- Its 4K camera is attached to a removable Gimbal. Save some money when they upgrade the camera instead of buying a new drone.
- Comes with a hard case, intelligent battery, and a 64-GB MicroSD card.
- Easy to use even as a beginner.
- Does not have intelligent flight modes like the rest on the list.
- A little bit heavy.
What to Look For in a Travel Drone
When on the road, the last thing you need is something to weigh you down, including the drone you get. Look for a drone that is small and lightweight.
For ease and less headache on the road, go for a drone that is easy to pack, especially in your backpack. Others come in their own carrying cases while others don’t. But if you can get a drone that is foldable and easy to pack with your luggage then you will be much better.
How long will the battery last? A short battery life will limit your shooting time. To be safe though, regardless of the flight time your drone offers you, get a pair of extra batteries — even 2 or 3 pairs.
The longer the flight range of a drone the more the freedom you have shooting in an area. A wider flight range gives you a chance to shoot pictures and videos of areas that a bit far from you, even 4kms with some drones. This comes in hand on areas with water or hills.
Camera and Gimbal
As much as we are looking for affordable drones, the camera has to be considered. You don’t want to go visiting breathtaking sceneries only for the camera to let you down. If it can shoot 4K or 1080P and has a 2 to 3-axis gimbal, you are good to go.
Happy shopping! And we hope you share those memorable pictures you take with your drone.
If you enjoyed our best affordable drones with cameras guide, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:
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