The Best Drones with Camera under $300 Review

The best drone with camera under $300Our Picks

The Favorite: Ruko F11 Drone

The Runner Up: Holy Stone HS720

The Best Budget Option: The Contixo F20

Note: This article only covers drones priced between $200 to $300, for drones under $200, please check below:


What you will learn in this article:

# Basic Knowledge About Drones Under $300

# Who Should Buy These Drones?

# How Did We Pick?

# The Best Drone Under $300 Reviews

# Competition and Comparison

# Tips for a safe and successful flight

# Conclusion


Basic Knowledge About Drones Under $300

Specifically, what we are talking about here are only drones that priced at nearly $300, we won’t cover those toys made for children and teenagers.

Drones around $300 usually come equipped with a decent camera that captures photos and video that’s at least 1080p.

They’re usually fitted with GPS to help maintain its position in the air and therefore have fun features like follow me or Return to Home.

However, what they do tend to lack is a three-axis gimbal, so your footage may not be as stable as it would be in a $1000 or more drone. The image sensor may be somewhat lacking too – compared to high-end drones.

It tends to be the smaller details that you find are missing and as a beginner, they won’t affect the joy of flying a drone at all. You’ll find as you learn more about drones and their features through first-hand experience, you may want to upgrade.

Are they good for learning how to fly a drone?

Yes. As mentioned above, these drones come with built-in GPS, so they are able to hover precisely and keep steady during flying. They are also very responsive.

Can you fly indoor and outdoor?

With built-in GPS and powerful brushless motors, you can sure fly these drones outdoor even in slight winds. When flying indoors, it’s a different story. It’s not about the drone’s ability, it’s more about how to fly safely. For first-time flyers, it’s not recommended to do this because you may lose control easily, also if the drone crash into the wall, furniture, or even people, it will cause serious damage and injury.

Are These Drones Reliable?

Their reliability is not as good as one priced at nearly $1,000, but you can still count on it if you just follow the safety regulations and read the manual before you fly. You need to understand the max flight time, range, and other important features.

Are they suitable for children?

No. Please bear in mind that these drones are not toys, they are made for adults. These drones are equipped with powerful motors which are very dangerous for children.

Do you need to register your drone?

According to the FAA, you don’t need to register if your drone is less than 250 g (0.55lbs). The EU, UK, and other countries also have similar regulations.

Most of the drones priced more than $100 don’t meet this standard, so it’s likely you will need to register if you want to buy a drone for nearly $300.

Do these drones support GoPro or other action cameras?

Most of the drones we listed here have a built-in camera, for action camera supportive ones, we will highlight in the product review.


Who Should Buy These Drones?

If you’re keen on getting into drone photography but don’t want to spend a small fortune, these drones could be a great option for you – the first-time drone flyer. All the drones I have listed here will be able to give you hands-on experience using a drone, which can be intimidating at first.

They are also the perfect balance between a fun toy and a more technical and expensive piece of camera equipment.

Finally, they’re ideal for someone who just wants a drone for the fun of it. Who can deny that flying a drone feels great and is the perfect way to get outdoors on a nice day!


How Did We Pick?

Choosing a drone isn’t an easy task, because what might be the best drone for you, might not necessarily be the best for someone else. Nowadays, there’s a huge influx of drones on the market; they can range in price from as little as $100 to thousands and they all have different physical and technological features that cater to different kinds of users.

With all these options, there is, of course, a wealth of information about drones out there. After speaking to experts in the field, scouring multiple sources for reviews on products and even discussing with friends, I came up with the following criteria I knew were important when considering purchasing a drone and used it to review the products I’ve featured in this article.

Do they have good quality cameras?

A drone with a price point around $300 should come with a 1080p full HD camera, which will allow for high-quality videos and crisp, clear shots. In terms of the stills, that’s usually down to the image sensor on the drone; the better the sensor the less noise (fine dots on the image) you will see when you really zoom in.

Are they easy to use?

Ease of use is essential when you’re considering buying a new drone, especially as a beginner. There’s no point in having something with 101 features if you only know how to use two.

Do they offer a good amount of flight time?

A quality drone stays in the air for a long time and whilst drones that are way over $1,000 may fly for 25-30 minutes, it costs a lot more. 10 minutes + is usually a good flight time for a budget drone.

Do they have a good range?

The range is how far the drone will fly before it loses signal and wants to come home. Some people believe that the further you can fly the drone the better, but with that, there comes an additional cost. Additionally, it’s good practice to always have a line of sight to your drone, so, that extra-long range isn’t always necessary unless you’re a pro.

Are they portable?

As an everyday tool, portability is one of the most important things to consider. They should be lightweight and small for taking out in a camera backpack. Some drones even feature a foldable design for better portability.

What’s the customer service like?

Customer service is paramount. What if you have a question about using it? Or, need help with setup? Choosing a drone manufacturer who prides themselves on good customer service is usually a testament to the quality of the drone itself.

Obviously, these points are just a couple of surface-level suggestions. I also found this video on YouTube that expands on these criteria. You may want to check out if you want more information on what to look for in a great drone.


The Best Camera Drone Under $300 Reviews

Ruko F11 Drone

  • Camera: 1080P Full HD 4K Photo
  • Max Flight Time: 30 minutes
  • Range: 1200m (3937ft)
  • Charging Time: 3-4 hours
  • Maximum Speed: 26.8mph (43.2kph)

Budget drones seem to have been given a bit of an overhaul as of late and now you’re getting even more for your money than ever. The slim and sleek Ruko F11 drone is no exception to this rule featuring an impressive camera allowing you to film in full HD (1080p) and take photos in 4k resolution with stunning image quality.

What’s very impressive is it’s 30 minute flight time which used to be reserved for only the high-end drones but now is accessible to the midrange market; you even get a spare battery so you have 60 minutes of flight time straight out of the box. It can hit speeds of nearly 27mph and is set up in just a few minutes.

The range extends to nearly 4000 ft and although this isn’t as far as the more expensive options, it’s certainly impressive for a drone in this price range.

The Roku F11 is great for those who are interested in purchasing a more expensive drone but don’t want to shell out close to a thousand bucks, especially as a beginner. Having said that, there are some features which could do with some improvement; its functionality in windy conditions being one, and the positioning of the camera/video control button on the remote.

>>Check Price on Amazon Now<<

 

Contixo F24 Pro

  • Camera: 4k Ultra HD Photo and 2.7K Video
  • Max Flight Time: 30 minutes
  • Range: 1097m (3600ft)
  • Charging Time: 3-5 hours
  • Maximum Speed: See Review

When I first saw the price of the Contixo F24 Pro I couldn’t believe how much tech they managed to fit on a relatively cheap drone. Boasting 4K photos and 2.7K video, the photo quality is just as good as drones that are more than double the price.

The drone folds into a compact shape and fits easily into the lightweight carry case provided in the package.

The 30 minutes battery time is impressive for a drone of this price, however, it would’ve been nice to get a spare one in the pack. Also, even though the advertised charging time states three hours, users experienced that it can actually take up to five.

The one thing that I found a little frustrating was that the brand seems to be a little less than forthcoming when it comes to the speed of the drone which I’ve never seen before. There’s no with no official max speed declared but users estimate around 15-20mph which, if correct, does make it much slower than the other drones we’ve included in this roundup and may be a dealbreaker for some.  Nevertheless, it’s still a great first-time drone for beginners and even more experienced drone pilots who are on a budget.

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Holystone HS720

  • Camera: 4K UHD
  • Max Flight Time: 26 minutes
  • Range: 998m (3277ft)
  • Charging Time: 5-7 hours
  • Maximum Speed: 36mph (58kph)

The Holystone HS720 is a really impressive piece of kit and boasts a 4K UHD camera for both photo and video with built-in stabilization tech to achieve smooth video. When folded the drone is super compact and is easy to transport with the carry case that’s included as part of the price.

Interestingly the remote control is powered by AA batteries which means there’s no need to worry about consistently charging it. This could be ideal for those on the road who may not always have access to a power point.

A great alternative to the HS100 which we featured earlier in the article, the build quality on this drone has really impressed users. It’s sturdy, sleek, and it looks pretty similar to competitor DJI’s Mavic Air.

It does seem to struggle a little in breezy conditions however, with only slight winds affecting video quality and although the GPS initially is good, sadly there have been reports of flyways. Having said that, Holystone has been pretty good to these users and sent out replacements meaning that should you have such issues you likely won’t be out of pocket.

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Potensic D85 FPV Drone

  • Camera: 2K HD
  • Max Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Range: 600m (1968ft)
  • Charging Time: 7 hours
  • Maximum Speed: 31mph (50kph)

The Potensic D85 is a budget-friendly, feature-packed quadcopter that is super easy to get set up and into the air. It has a sleek and stylish look about it and the exterior has a pretty great build, though the landing gear could do with being toughened up a little.

The camera quality is crisp and it has 2K capability. If you prefer to use an alternative camera, it’s easily replaced; some users opt to attach their GoPro instead, which is a great idea, especially if you’re wanting to get that wider field of view. One downside of the camera is that you do have to position it manually, meaning that you can’t switch from birds-eye to panoramic-style view mid-flight like you can with more expensive drones. Nevertheless, the overall camera experience and clarity of the images is top-notch when considering the price of this drone.

Battery life sits at the 20-minute mark which is about average for drones in this price range but the great thing is that it comes with a spare. The 7-hour charging time can be a little offputting, however, but I just recommend charging overnight if you know you’ll be flying the drone the next day.

With a top speed of 31mph, you’ll be able to keep up with many drones in this price range as well as more expensive ones, plus it has a decent range for a beginner (around 2000ft) which is all you need if flying line of sight. You’re also sure not to lose it with its automatic return to home feature that’s activated once a low battery is detected. Overall it’s a great beginner’s drone.

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Potensic D88 Foldable Drone

  • Camera: 2K Full HD
  • Max Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Range: 150m (490ft)
  • Charging Time: 3-6 hours
  • Maximum Speed: 31mph (50kph)

This foldable quadcopter comes in slightly over budget but boasts an impressive 2K HD camera which takes really crisp colorful images with a 110-degree field of view.

The 1-axis mechanical gimbal provides some image stabilization but, of course, it’s hard to compete with one that works on all three axes. Nevertheless, for the price, you can’t really complain.

Because it’s foldable it’s perfect for travelers and adventurers who want to capture footage on vacation and even comes with its own little travel case so there’s no need to be shopping around for that extra accessory.

Sadly it only comes with one battery so we would recommend purchasing a second, especially if you plan on taking a lot of footage.

Users have reported that the app could do with a bit of work and has a tendency to crash from time to time. However, they do continuously update the app software so these bugs are likely being fixed as you’re reading this.

Overall the D88 provides a much cheaper alternative to similar spec drones available on the market, though I would like to see a better range from this; it currently averages just under 500ft.

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Holy Stone HS100G

Key Specs

  • Camera: 1080p Full HD
  • Max Flight Time: 15 minutes
  • Range: 400m (1,300ft)
  • Charging Time: 3 hours

The Holy Stone HS100G is, in my opinion, a feature-packed drone boasting great stability even on windy days. Having said that, it doesn’t have a three-axis gimbal that more expensive drones do, so you could find stability might not be up there with the likes of the DJI Phantom.

Nevertheless, it’s a great option for a beginner, has a good price point and looks great. Users have reported that the initial unboxing is pleasant and they feel like the company has taken time to really think about the way the drone is packaged and presented.

The follow-me mode is perfect for adventurers who want to get epic shots of themselves hiking through the wilderness or skiing in the backcountry and the return home setting is pretty reliable and accurate. The takeoff and landing is smooth and effortless and as soon as the drone detects a low battery or loss of signal it’ll head right back to its starting point

Despite being a budget drone, it’s feature-rich, produces high-quality snaps and HD video and would be an ideal gift for someone who’s just getting into drone photography.

One of its cons, however, is the short flight time, though over 10 minutes officially, users reported some shorter flying times. Additionally, the Wi-Fi signal can drop out often and the charging time was reported to take longer than the three hours advertised; our testers found it was more around the 6-hour mark for a full charge.

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Contixo F20

Key Specs

  • Camera: 1080p Full HD
  • Max Flight Time: 15 minutes
  • Range: 300m (984ft)
  • Charging Time: 3-6 hours
  • Maximum Speed: 37mph (60kph)

With many specs similar to the Holy Stone, the reason why this drone didn’t grab the top spot was because of its slightly lesser range.

Nevertheless, it comes packed with a great bunch of features for the beginner drone flyer for a fraction of the price you would pay from the likes of DJI.

It has a full 1080p HD camera that allows you to take both video footage and stills; though users have reported that the camera quality surpasses its video capabilities – understandable considering the price.

Our users did notice, however, despite an advertised flight time of around 15 minutes, you’re more likely to only get around 8 minutes of time before it returns home.

It’s ready to fly as soon as you unwrap it and comes with a compact carrying case which could be good if you’re interested in taking your drone on holidays or adventures, and want to

They also have pretty great customer support; available 24/7 by email, a beginner can get the help they need without having to wait too long for a reply. If you want to speak to a person directly, their US-based call center takes calls from 9 am-4 pm PST Monday to Friday.

It also comes with a warranty protecting you against manufacturers defects for up to one year.

It handles quite well in windy conditions.

>>Check Price on Amazon Now<<


Competition and Comparison

Potensic D60

Key Specs

  • Camera: 1080p Full HD
  • Max Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Range: 500m (1640ft)
  • Charging Time: 3 hours

The first thing I noticed about this drone was how its sleek design was similar to competitors such as the DJI Spark or Mavic Air.

It is the most expensive drone in this list, but still a good amount under $300 and for that, you’re getting a drone packed full of features.

It’s super easy to set up and the simple controller makes it easy to fly which is ideal for beginner pilots. Like the other drones it also has the return to home feature should it lose signal

The camera is 1080p full HD and takes clear, crisp photos and smooth video. The range is also the furthest I’ve seen in similar budget drones.

You do have to install the app in order to get first-person view in-flight, which, to be honest, is common in more expensive brands so I don’t personally see as an issue – but obviously if you don’t own a smartphone this could be an issue. You can still fly it however without installing the app, you will just have to use a line of sight as opposed to FPV.

The only problem I found was some intermittent connectivity issues, the video sometimes was jumpy and lagged in spots. The GPS can take a while to connect, anything up to 4 minutes, which can affect your overall flight time. However, once it’s connected there tends to be no glitches when it comes to location services.

Their tech support is highly rated amongst users and they offer speedy answers to any questions you may have.

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Holy Stone HS700

This drone is feature-packed and has an HD camera fitted to it. The speed is a little slower than it’s competitors at just 16mph but you do get a solid flight time of around 20 minutes. It’s easy to takeoff land and maneuvers the drone and the FPV is said to perform well.


The HS700 didn’t make the top three because one thing I found frustrating was the lack of a power button; removing the battery to turn it off shouldn’t really be happening on a product that costs a few hundred bucks.

 

JJRC X5

This drone comes with a decent HD camera and performs well in windy conditions. With a flight time of 18 minutes and a range of 300m (980ft), it hits speeds of up to 16mph which isn’t too shabby for a sub $300 drone.

The JJRC X5 didn’t make the cut because of the need to calibrate it pre-flight every time; not great for a beginner in my eyes.


Tips for a safe and successful flight

My biggest tip? Always fly your drone in a wide-open space so you’re sure not to lose track of it!

Additionally, you need to be versed in your area’s rules and regulations regarding drone flying. If you live close to an airport you won’t be able to fly your drone for safety reasons.

Though the cameras have built-in stabilization, I’d encourage you not to fly the drone in heavy wind and rain.

Finally, read the manual, look up tutorials on learning to fly your drone and most of all enjoy it!


Conclusion

From all the drones I reviewed today, Ruko F11 Drone is my favorite of them all. It had a great camera for the price and is easy to use. I like the fact it requires an app for FPV as apps can be improved and developed over time. The flight time was great considering the price and it had the ability to fly the furthest from the top three options. Their customer care and tech support also ranked well for me.

What are your thoughts? Did you feel like the Ruko F11 deserved the #1 position? Have you decided to take the plunge and purchase one of these drones? Let me know in the comments section below.


Why Trust Me?

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I am Sally. have been using drones since 2016, I spent a lot of money on my first drone and I wasn’t even aware that there were more affordable options out there. Since then, I’ve spent countless hours of research into what separates a good drone from a lesser one, and, I have even flown some of these budget-friendly options myself so I can give you an honest opinion on what I’ve found to be the best drone under $300 today.

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