It’s not an exaggeration to say that drones have changed the way we look at the world. They once took difficult and expensive filming techniques and made them accessible to everyone. Videos that once required a camera crew, expensive cranes and hours of filming can now be captured by the best drones in minutes with the tap of a single Auto Takeoff button.
Drones aren’t just flying cameras, though; they are also the modern version of remote controlled vehicles. Again, they’ve made flying easier and more accessible, thanks to intelligent collision sensors that protect your investment from accidents. There’s a dizzying array of drones out there, but there’s a basic layout to keep in mind: cheaper drones, while fun, will never fly as well or deliver the kind of video and photo results possible with more expensive models. You get what you pay for. That said, if you’re not worried about impressing YouTube with your jaw-dropping panoramic masterpiece, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good, fun drone. These are the best drones I’ve tested for any budget.
Be sure to check out our many other buying guides, including the best action cameras, best compacts, and best mirrorless cameras.
Updated June 2022: We’ve added the new DJI Mini 3 Pro and updated prices and links throughout.
If you buy something through links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This supports our journalism. Learn more. Please also consider subscribe to WIRED