Drones

The Best Drones For 2023

A high-quality quadcopter can add production value to a film project or help you get a unique view for your travel vlog. Plus, they’re just really fun to fly. Here’s what you need to know before buying a drone along with our favorites in testing.

DJI Avata

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Even if you have no good reason to justify buying one, you have to admit that drones are cool. Some are glorified tech toys, but the models we highlight here are fit for imaging and cinematic applications both small and large. If you think you can use a flying camera in your next project, there’s some good news—the tech has come a long way in a very short time. Some models on the market now put earlier copters to shame in terms of video quality and stabilization.

And, now the bad news: You get what you pay for. If you want an aerial video platform that can capture stunning footage, you need to be ready to spend some cash, anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Because drones are such pricey propositions, it pays to do your research before buying one.

DJI Mini 2, Ultralight Foldable Drone Quadcopter

$499.00

Click image for more…

The DJI Mini 2 is the best drone you can get for less than $500. It sports a stabilized, three-axis gimbal 4K video camera that also snaps 12MP photos, plus it includes GPS and Find My Drone functions. Its 249g takeoff weight means you can fly it without dealing with FAA registration—you just need to pass an online knowledge test. We also like the nearly half-hour flight times, though we wish DJI had worked obstacle detection into this model.

The Mini 2 is the drone to get if you’re just starting out and want to record ultra-smooth 4K30 footage from the air or take aerial photos—Raw format is available for photogs who like to post-process. It’s very stable, even when flying near the 400-foot altitude limit, and streams live video from the camera to a smartphone app.

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When it came out in April 2020, the Mavic Air 2 was a real game changer. Born out of the success of its predecessor, the new model offered some serious upgrades, including a much-improved battery and some nice new shooting features. DJI’s aim had been to build an easy to fly drone, but one that offered advanced pilots and photographers plenty to play with. The result was a drone that feels similar to the Mavic Pro in many respects, but costs a lot less. 

DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly

$1092.98

Click image or find it from AliExpress

When it came out in April 2020, the Mavic Air 2 was a real game changer. Born out of the success of its predecessor, the new model offered some serious upgrades, including a much-improved battery and some nice new shooting features. DJI’s aim had been to build an easy to fly drone, but one that offered advanced pilots and photographers plenty to play with. The result was a drone that feels similar to the Mavic Pro in many respects, but costs a lot less. 

As with most DJI drones, this isn’t classified as a toy, so you’ll need to abide by all drone regulations in your local area when flying. For anyone who’s just getting started with the hobby, we’d recommend taking a look through our list of drone photography tips and tricks, to get the most out of your new gadget.