Once you get above $500 then you start entering a whole new realm of drones and drone capability. These are no longer toys, these are serious pieces of kit, and bearing in mind the price tag, the domain of experienced drone pilots.
Once again capability is increased dramatically, in respect of range, camera quality, optional equipment, battery life, etc. These are drones that many now use for their business where aerial imagery is beneficial, and the quality of these images is of a professional standard thanks to advances in digital technology and drone stabilization.
These drones are also heavier, and as such are less affected by wind turbulence, while changes in direction are accordingly smoother, making the look of any video footage taken seem of a professional standard. The quality of imagery is the major selling point of drones in this price bracket.
We have two drones for you to consider, or three if a different color counts – all of them representing seriously good value, and with hefty price reductions that we don’t think will last long:
Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone with 4K Camera Orange Was $1,199.00 Now $899.00 Save $300
In an instant you realise why you are paying more for this drone than others we have highlighted. For a start, it has an impressive 1.2-mile line-of-sight range and, of course, there comes the high definition pictures and videos from a 4k Ultra HD 12mp video camera. The clarity of the images is enhanced through the quick-release 3-axis gimbal stabilizer.
There is also a free Starlink app for iOS and Android devices which provides autonomous flight modes including follow, orbit and the implementation of waypoints. We were particularly impressed with the intuitive remote controller with a clear LCD screen which displays flight information as well as one-touch buttons for starting the motors, taking off, hovering and returning to home.
With a drone costing this much, you want to safeguard it as much as possible when in flight, and Autel Robotics have gone a long way towards helping you. Satellite navigation vial dual GPOS and GLONASS is helped by the Starpoint positioning system ensuring the drone stays stable at all times. Additionally, SecureFly technology ensures that magnetic interference can’t disrupt communication signals, as well as ensuring the return home function operates when needed most.
25 minutes’ flying time, a 64BG microSD card allows you to record up to 2 hours of video 4K footage, and a one-hour fast charger complete this package that you will struggle to get near for this price with any other drones on the market.
If orange isn’t your favourite color, then the good news is that you can also get this drone in white:
Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone with 4K Camera White Was $1099.00 Now $899.00 Save $200.00
Walkera Scout X4 Carbon RTF FPV2 Edition Was $1599.00 Now $587.35 Save $1011.65
This is the most heavily discounted drone we found, and a reduction of over $1,000 has to make you stop and think what went wrong with the original pricing of this drone, as it is by no means a bad one. At the price of under $600 now, this is definitely worth serious consideration and we expect this will sell out very, very quickly.
Walkera is another of those trusted names for drones, so you know this is most definitely a quality product, and it’s stand out feature is the landing retracts it comes with, but it is the speed this drone flies at that will have you reaching for your credit card. 37mph or 16.7mps is impressive, especially when you consider this can be flown at a range in excess of 1500m, providing you always remember to maintain line of sight.
Follow Me is a great feature if you are the sporty type and want to keep a video record of your actions, and the quality of the imaging is exceptional from the iLook+ camera, as you can see from some of the footage clips used in this promotional video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlVjwtNMNGI The camera camera system has a 1080p 13-megapixel sensor for 4032×3024 pictures, and 1080P 30fps video using a mSD card for recording, the 3-axis gimbal allows 2-axis camera control as well as ensuring hyper-smooth recording, even in windy conditions.
If you want to enjoy the pure flying experience, then you can detach the camera quite simply, and then enjoy 25 minutes of high-speed flying time using the feature-rich flight controller. With it you can do automated takeoffs and fly with ease using with the high accuracy GPS aided flight modes. The Hyper IOC (Intelligent Orientation Control) mode keeps your heading straight regardless of the aircraft’s orientation, and if you activate the Return-to-Home function, the drone will return to the takeoff point and land itself – this function will activate automatically if signal is lost for any reason, which is always reassuring.
Our recommendation. If you can get one before they sell out, we’d recommend the Walkera Scout X4 as you get a hell of a lot at this heavily reduced price, and this is probably one of the fastest drones around with a high quality camera for taking great shots. To us this drone represents the best of both worlds.