In this video we’re breaking down the five best drones in 2021. I’ve included options for every type of consumer. If you’re looking for an inexpensive entry-level drone for beginners and novices or a more advanced prosumer drone for professional level aerial photography and video, I’ll have the product for you.
The fifth product on our list is the Holy Stone HS110D. This is our best budget drone. The Holy Stone HS110D is a great budget drone for beginners and novices that’s easy to fly and comes with some impressive features to help you out for about 75 dollars.
The lightweight quadcopter only weighs 145 grams, so you won’t need to register it with the FAA which is an automatic plus for new flyers so you can enjoy flying your drone right away. Plus, the learning curve is quick and there are plenty of features to help beginners out including a one button takeoff and landing feature it even has voice and gesture control making it even easier to control.
There are different flight modes and speeds as well as an automatic altitude hold feature which makes it dead easy to hover over a certain spot and you can take some really cool photos capture, 1080p HD videos or even stream the video live especially with the cameras impressive 120-degree field of view.
The headless mode will really help out new flyers no matter the orientation of the hs110d in the air if you press left on your controller the drone will also move left in relation to your point of view. The other great feature I think will benefit new flyers is the return to home feature. Once the battery starts to run low during flight the drone will automatically fly back
You’ll get about 10 minutes of flight time which isn’t a lot compared to some of the more expensive drones, but you get two modular batteries to double your flight time. The Holy Stone HS110D has a quick learning curve and plenty of features to get you up and flying quickly and safely and its affordable price makes it an ideal budget choice for new and novice flyers.
The fourth product on our list is the DJI Mini 2. This is our best mini drone. The DJI Mini 2 is an easy to operate mini drone packed with features and can capture 4k video and 12 megapixel stills in a great compact design for around 450 dollars for flyers looking for a more advanced drone than the holy stone.
At grams takeoff weight the mini 2 just squeaks in under the FAA threshold, so you don’t have to register it and the lightweight compact foldable design makes it extremely portable. However, despite the smaller size it still can withstand wind speeds up to 24 miles per hour with level 5 wind resistance and even take off at a max altitude of 4000 meters with up to 30 minutes of flight time. The Mini 2 is geared towards both hobbyists and seasoned flyers but beginners will have no problem quickly picking up the easy operation.
You’ll be able to shoot some amazing footage right away with automated presets and with the camera held by a three axis gimbal your 4k video footage is going to be ultra-clear as well as extremely smooth and stable plus the four times zoom lets you get really close to the action one of the notable upgrades with the Mini 2 is the use of ocusync 2.0 for enhanced transmission up to an incredible 6.2 miles transmission distance.
Rather than wi-fi which is more common but limited, the controller design has been updated as well and replicates the design and functionality of the controller of the Mavic Air 2 which I think also makes it easier to hold.
The DJI Mini 2 also gives an abundance of great features including the return to home button right on the controller for quick and convenient access, three flight mode speeds, intelligent shooting modes and a three-axis gimbal. You can record professional level 4k videos making it a great option for beginners right up to seasoned flyers.
The third product on our list is the Parrot Anafi. This is a great DJI alternative. While it seems that DJI drones fill the skies a popular alternative is the Parrot Anafi which goes for around seven hundred dollars and offers a great feature that even DJI can’t match.
The Anafi camera is mounted on a similar three axis gimbal like both the DJI Mini 2 and the Mavic air 2 which I’ll be looking at right after, but the Parrot can also rotate up, so you’ll be able to take photos and videos above the drone as well.
It may not be a feature you use on every flight but it’s good to know the Anafi has that capability with its 180-degree tilt gimbal for specific coverage. Even though it weighs considerably more than the mini 2 at 320 grams. I like that it’s still ultra-compact and foldable making it easily portable especially with the USB type-c charger.
It comes with all the advanced features you’d expect from a quadcopter trying to go up against the DJIS including a 4k HDR camera that can also shoot 21-megapixel photos plus a burst mode that can capture 10 photos per second hybrid stabilization Glonass positioning system geo barrier and 2.8 times lossless zoom.
You’ll get about 25 minutes of flight time which falls just short of both the mini 2 and the Mavic Air 2 but still impressive enough not to be a deal breaker. The controller is also quite compact and foldable, and you get about a two-and-a-half-mile range with it. Although beginners and novices can get up to speed quickly it doesn’t have an obstacle avoidance system which would have made it easier for first timers.
While the pair Anafi is not as robust in features as the Mavic Air 2 it’s certainly a worthy alternative to DJI drones coming in about 100 cheaper and if you’re looking for versatile shooting options the Parrot Anafi’s 180-degree tilt gimbal may be reason enough to consider it over the DJIS.
The second product on our list is the DJI Mavic Air 2. This is our best overall drone for most people. The DJI Mavic Air 2 falls between the DJI Mini 2 and the Mavic 2 pro so you get the best of both worlds with tons of high-end features while still being relatively budget friendly. For about 800 it’s an ideal drone for novices and hobbyists that want to take their flying to the next level without the bigger investment of the Mavic 2 Pro.
Although it’s a little bigger and heavier than its previous iteration weighing in at 570 grams the larger frame and weight bring stability improvements and overall better flight dynamics and it’s fitted with low noise wind resistance propellers letting you fly with less unwanted attention. It may cost a little more than the Parrot Anafi, but the Mavic Air really ups the ante with its half inch CMOS sensor letting you capture some amazing 48 megapixel aerial photos in 4k footage at 60 frames per second and 8k hyperlapse videos all of which the Anafi can’t come close to matching.
But in addition to the better specs, what I think is great is that you get a whole host of great features that hobbyists will enjoy and actually use with intuitive shooting functions that make aerial photography easier than ever. You’ve got features like spotlight, active track, poi that tracks subjects, keeps the camera locked on them and even centers them in your shot.
You’ve also got ocusync 2 connectivity like the mini 2 for enhanced transmission 8 gigabytes of internal storage in addition to a dedicated microSD card slot. Plus, DJI has also bumped up the battery so now you’ll get about 34 minutes of flight time.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is going to be one of the best drones you can get in the mid-tier range without hitting the heavy investment prices of more professional drones, so it’s going to appeal to a lot of people that want a little more performance, versatility, and features than what the mini 2 offers while still being relatively budget friendly.
The first product on our list is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. This is our best premium drone under 2 000. The Mavic 2 Pro is probably the best consumer drone you can get for aerial video and photography before tipping the threshold for professional drones. Needless to say, it comes feature packed with all the bells and whistles for those who are serious about their aerial video and photography for around sixteen hundred dollars.
Although the prosumer drone is a significant step up from the Mavic Air 2 in both performance and price it’s still quite easy to fly even for hobbyists. You get a nice range of intelligent shooting in flight modes so capturing amazing shots is pretty easy. Plus, you get DJI’s omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system with sensors in every direction that stops the drone from proceeding if an obstacle is detected so you can focus on getting the perfect shot.
What really sets the Mavic 2 Pro above the Mavic Air too is the one inch 20-megapixel sensor that delivers incredible optical performance, so your shots are going to be sharper and clearer than what you get from the half inch sensor on the Mavic Air 2.
You’ll get true color and brilliantly detailed images and capture 4k UHD footage at 100 megabits per second. Putting you in the range of professional level drones that are significantly more expensive although you’re limited to just 30 frames per second.
On the flip side you get the option of shooting 10-bit d-log m and 10-bit HDR + you get the same 3-axis gimbal, so your footage is incredibly smooth. Performance and handling are stellar, and the ample battery gives you up to 31 minutes of flight time. The max range is about 5 miles which is a little less than the Mavic Air 2. I think the Mavic 2 Pro is the best prosumer level drone offering top performance advanced features and professional level filming for hobbyists and photographers and videographers without having to venture into the more expensive professional drone segment.