This is no exaggeration to say that drones have changed the way we see the world. They have once taken difficult and expensive filmmaking techniques and made them available to everyone. Videos that once required a camera crew, expensive cranes and hours of footage can now be made in minutes by the best drones at the touch of a single Auto Takeoff button.
However, drones are not just flying cameras; they are also the modern version of remote controlled vehicles. Again, they have made flying easier and more accessible thanks to intelligent collision sensors that protect your investment from accidents. There is a staggering selection of drones available, but there is a basic breakdown you need to be aware of – cheaper drones, even if they are fun, will never fly as well or deliver the kind of video and photo results that are possible with more expensive models. You get what you pay for. That said, if you’re not worried about impressing YouTube with your sweeping panoramic masterpiece, you do not need to spend a fortune to get a good, fun drone. Here are the best drones I have tested for any budget.
Be sure to check out our many other buying guides, including the best action cameras, the best compact cameras, and the best mirrorless cameras.
Updated June 2022: We have added the new DJI Mini 3 Pro and updated prices and links throughout.
If you buy something by using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps to support our journalism. Learn more. Please consider as well subscribes to WIRED