cheap 4k drone

Looking for a cheap 4K drone? A few years back a 4K drone would have cost you at least a grand, now, with more drones on the market, we are spoiled for choice. There are a lot of 4K drones on the market and in this article, I have listed 6 of the drones for sale cheap that cost no more than $500.

Drones are amazing, especially the ones with HD cameras, they let you observe the world from above and see and experience places you may not have otherwise.

There are a lot more best cheap drone for photography than the ones I have listed, but they are my personal favourite and you will be able to take stunning videos and photos.

Best Cheap 4K Drones

#1. Hubsan Zino Pro

The Hubsan Zino Pro is the upgrade to the Hubsan Zino, it’s a stunning looking drone with an all-black colour scheme and its logo on the top on white and green. It comes with powerful brushless motors that allow it to reach a top speed of 36 km/h. These are the new types of brushless motors that require less maintenance and last for longer. Its camera can record videos in stunning 4k@30fs the videos and images it produces are of the highest quality and will impress any aspiring photographer. To enhance its 4k quality, the drone comes installed with a dedicated video processor from Ambarella and comes with a 1/3” Sony sensor. Apart from its 4k camera, the Hubsan Zino Pro also has several intelligent flight modes including image tracking, this is where you can lock onto a moving target and the drone will automatically follow it. Thanks to Hubsan’s new transmission system called LEAS, the drone has a range of 4km and with its intelligent battery, you get a flight time of 23 minutes. An all-round amazing 4k camera drone that costs less than $500

Key Features

  • 4K Camera@30fps
  • 12MP
  • Dual GPS
  • 3-Axis Gimbal
  • Dedicated Ambarella Video Processor
  • Smart Flight Modes
  • 4 km Transmission Range
  • Image Tracking System
  • 23 Minute Flight Time

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#2. The DJI Mavic Mini

Ok, I will admit the only reason I put the DJI Mavic Mini on this list despite it not being a 4K drone is because it is my favourite FHD camera drone and it costs less than $400.The drone is one of the most well-designed drones and very lightweight.The Mavic Mini is a small foldable drone that weighs less than 205g, DJI engineered this drone so that it comes with nearly all of DJI’s innovative features without the added weight.The DJI Mavic Mini comes with an exceptional 2.7K camera, it is stabilised by an advanced 3-axis motorised gimbal. This gimbal will make sure that your videos and images are distortion-free with absolutely no jello effect, this makes it great to video fast-moving objects.It comes with a 12 MP CMOS sensor and lens that has an 83° field of view and along with the gimbal system, the camera can be turned in many different angles to get the shot that you want.The Mavic Mini can record video footage in 2.7K at 30 fps which looks really good and the live video feed to your smartphone is shown in 720p. DJI have developed a whole new ap just for this drone called the Fly App and it is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, it has a fantastic UI and is easy to use. You can edit your images and videos and share them on social media straight from the app.Along with its incredible flight time of 30 minutes and smart flight modes, the DJI Mavic Mini may not be a 4K drone but it is still an exceptional piece of equipment and with DJI’s named behind it, you know it’s going to be well supported.

Key Features

  • 2.7K Camera
  • 12MP Sensor
  • 3-Axis Gimbal
  • Foldable Design
  • 249G
  • Intelligent Flight Modes
  • Brand New DJI App
  • Over 2 Miles Transmission Range
  • 30 Minute Flight Time

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drones for sale cheap

#3. Hubsan Zino

Hubsan are a well-known brand in the world of low-cost consumer drones, however, the Hubsan Zino is their first attempt at a higher-end drone and it is a very good attempt.The Hubsan Zino is a foldable drone and it looks awesome, it comes with 4 powerful brushless motors and a streamlined aerodynamic design both of which gives the drone a top speed of 60 km/h, which makes it one of the fastest consumer drones on the market.It comes with a 4K camera supported by a 3-axis gimbal for superior quality images and videos that free of any kind of distortion. This a fantastic looking camera that blends in nicely with the aesthetics of the drone, it has a dedicated high-end image processor from Ambarella that further enhances the quality of images and videos. With its 5G WiFi technology, you will be able to stream high-quality video footage to your smartphone and save the files on a micro SD card.The X-Hubsan app is one of the best drone apps and is constantly evolving, it’s easy to use and you get access to most of the drone’s features. The drone comes with several intelligent flight modes and it a few safety features that will minimise the risks of losing or damaging your drone. It has a flight time of around 23 minutes and you have the option of purchasing the drone with extra batteries, this is definitely one of the best 4K drones on the market.

Key Features

  • 4K Camera
  • Dual GPS
  • 3-Axis Gimbal
  • Dedicated Ambarella Image Processor
  • Smart Flight Modes
  • 700G
  • 1 km Transmission Range
  • Automatic Return Home
  • 23 Minute Flight Time

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#4. Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE

Xiaomi are not known for making drones, however, the ones they have made have been well received and the FIMI X8 SE is one of the best 4K drones under $500.It has a foldable design and is very compact making it a great drone to travel with. It is a medium-sized and weighs just under 800g which isn’t that heavy but still heavier than most foldable drones. I like the overall design of this drone, it looks like a modern smartphone when folded up and it will not take up much space if you are a frequent traveller.It comes with powerful brushless motors that are quieter, more powerful and efficient than brushed motors. The 4K camera is supported by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal, the camera lens has a 78.8° field of view and the gimbal can be rotated in multiple angles that will allow you to get the perfect angle for your videos and images.The mechanical gimbal will also make sure that your videos and images are crystal clear and free from any kind of distortion.The camera has a dedicated high-end image processor from Sony that will enhance the end results of your images and videos. The app is one of the best drone apps and is very user-friendly, it gives you access to the drones smart flight modes and its FPV features.Speaking of FPV, you can stream live video footage in 720p at 20 fps and with the latest transmission technology, video footage can be streamed over huge distances as long as the weather is good and there is no interference.

Key Features

  • 4K Camera
  • 12 MP Sensor
  • 3-Axis Mechaical Gimbal
  • GPS
  • Smart Flight Modes
  • 790g
  • 5 km range
  • Automatic Return Home
  • 33 Minute Flight Time

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#5. Upair One 4K Drone

The Upair One Drone was one of the first cheap 4K drones on the market, it still remains one of the best budget-friendly 4K drones and comes with some exceptional features.The design of the drone is similar to that of the DJI Phantom 4, it’s a rather large drone and is heavy as well, it’s not a great drone to travel with and that is one of its negative aspects but other than that it is an exceptional drone with a fantastic camera.The 4K camera is mounted on a 2-axis mechanical gimbal and can record video footage in 4K at 24 fps, it’s not the greatest frame rate but the quality is still good, especially for the price.The mechanical gimbal stabilises your videos and images and also allows you to get better viewing angles by rotating it. The camera has a Sony CMOS sensor that is capable of taking images in 12 MP which will allow you to take some stunning aerial photography.One of the best features of this drone is the remote controller which comes with a 5.8-inch LCD screen. This is a pretty large screen and means you do not have to use your smartphone to stream live video footage. The drone has a flight time of 19 minutes and comes with a couple of intelligent flight modes including an automatic return home feature.

Key Features

  • 4K Camera
  • 12 MP Images
  • Optical Flow Sensor
  • 1.2KG
  • Intelligent Flight Modes
  • 1 km Range
  • Automatic Return Home
  • Remote Controller With Integrated 7″ LCD Screen
  • 19 Minute Flight Time

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#6. Upair 2 Ultrasonic 4K

This is the latest drone from Upair and it is even more impressive than the Upair One drone and it is the most expensive drone on this list costing a little over $500.It’s similar in design to the Phantom 4 Pro, it has an all-white colour scheme, 4 powerful brushless motors with easy to install propellers for better flight performance. There are large LED lights underneath each motor which is useful for nighttime flying and they are also used to indicate when the drone compass is fully calibrated.The Upair 2 camera is one of the most unique camera systems I have come across on a drone. It is supported by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal and there are three camera lenses, one is 4K and the other two are 2K. The 2K lenses are to be used with a VR headset to provide a 3D flying experience.The camera has a Panasonic image sensor that can take 16 MP photos and it can record 4K video footage at 30 fps. The live video feed is streamed in 720p like most other high-end drones and transmission range for FPV is over 2 km while the normal transmission range is around 5 km.It comes with several intelligent flight modes and has a flight time of around 24 minutes. One major advantage it has over the other drones on this list is because of its size and weight it can be flown in windy conditions and you will still get high-quality video footage.

Key Features

  • 4K Camera
  • 16MP Panasonic Sensor
  • 4* Optical Zoom
  • 3-Axis Mechanical Gimbal
  • Smart Flight Modes
  • 1.35kg
  • 2KM range
  • Automatic Return Home
  • 24 Minute Flight Time

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#7. Eachine EX4

Eachine are known for their low-cost drones, their most popular drone is the E58 which is a carbon copy of the Mavic Pro minus the advanced features. With the Eachine EX4, they have stepped up a gear with their first 4K camera drone.The EX4 is well-designed and has a very premium feel to it, it is a foldable drone that weighs less than 500g and comes with several advanced features like GPS and smart flight modes.The camera is stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal and can take stunning aerial photography in HD 4K. However, it is the only 4K drone on this list that does not record video footage in 4K, instead, it records in 1080p which is still good quality but still not 4K.The drone has a flight time of around 25 minutes and has a transmission range of around 1000 meters in optimal conditions. Its FPV range is a little less at around 800 meters and you can get decent quality live video footage on a good clear day.It’s not the best 4K drone and doesn’t record videos in 4K but it is the cheapest on this list and the overall quality is good.

Key Features

  • 4K Camera
  • Foldable Design
  • 3-Axis Motorised Gimbal
  • GPS & Optical Flow Postioning
  • 437g
  • 1.2 km range
  • One-key Take-off & Landing
  • 25 Minute Flight Time

Types of Drones

Beginner Drones

At the lower end of the drone spectrum are toy drones, like the Parrot Mambo and the Hobbico Dromidia Kodo. These simple and inexpensive drones come in at about $100 and are more focused on fun than features. Their controls are straightforward and easy to learn, and they can be accessed through a smartphone app or included remote control.

The flight times of beginner drones and drones for kids are also more limited – generally less than 10 minutes, or even fewer than five for the very cheap models. Designed to perform some tricks, like midair flips, spare parts are available at fairly low prices if anything goes awry. Some small drones also come with video cameras, though the quality captured tends to be poor. But don’t count them out too soon – getting a cheap drone is a fantastic way to learn to fly before upgrading to a more expensive model. They also won’t cost a fortune to fix or replace in the event of a crash.

Camera Drones

Drones with cameras – like the DJI Mavic Mini, the Parrot Bebop 2, and the GDU Byrd – are specifically designed to capture images, and range in price from $500 to $1,500. Built to provide a steady platform for the lens, which can either be an add-on or built-in, these sophisticated flying machines are more focused on recording high-quality video and still images than performing midair tricks. Because the equipment needed makes them larger and heavier, video drones need to be registered with the FAA.

Video drones often come with gimbals, which is a system designed to pan and tilt the camera – and cushion it from the motors’ vibrations – to cancel out the drone’s motion and keep the lens steady. Gimbals can either come as an electronic system built into the camera, as seen in the Parrot Bebop 2, or as a physical system made of motors and gears, like in the Mavic Air. Either way, the gimbals allow users to direct the camera at whatever angle they like, to capture beautiful pans like those seen in nature documentaries.

Bigger drones need bigger batteries, which often translates to longer flight times. A fully charged battery typically lasts a video drone around 20 minutes, and they can usually be swapped for spares to extend the session. Like toy drones, video drones are also built to be repaired, and replacement parts are generally easily available. Parts are relatively inexpensive as well, with Mavic Air’s replacement rotor blades running about $20. The quality of video these drones capture can vary widely, from the Bebop 2’s decent but sometimes choppy HD video to the Mavic Air’s super-smooth panning shots. While the videos produced by cheaper models like the Bebop 2 will be good enough for most use cases, it’s worth investing in the more sophisticated DJI drones when quality’s the main focus.

From photographing special occasions to surveying construction sites, drones are being used for an ever-expanding range of purposes. In fact, dedicated drone film festivals have popped up in major cities like New York and Berlin to showcase the creative new ways amateur moviemakers are utilizing their flying machines. Not only that, but the more innovative drones – like the Mavic Air – have built-in autonomous flight tech to make journeys on their own. They can even use cameras to detect and avoid obstacles in the way of their flight path. These more advanced drones allow users to play with their device’s autonomy by letting them navigate a predefined course on their own via GPS. Autonomous flight does, however, come with some restrictions – these drones must be registered with the FAA and have to be kept in the pilot’s line of sight at all times. The pilot must also be able to take back control of the drone at any point.

Racing Drones

With the rise of drones came the rise of drone-based competitions – and drone racing might just be the most exciting of all. Racing drones are on the smaller side and designed specifically to offer pilots speed and agility. Users see through their drone’s lens via first-person-view headsets, navigating around a course and trying to beat other fliers. Most racing drones are adapted by hand to shed unnecessary weight or increase motor power. Cheaper models, like the Aerix Black Talon 2.0, start at about $115. Ready-to-fly drones on the higher end of the spectrum, such as the Uvify Draco, can run up to $700.

Drone Safety

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone regulations are the guiding principle behind safe unmanned aircraft flight.

Drones can be an incredibly fun and fruitful new hobby, but they must be flown responsibly. Even a small toy drone can hurt someone if hit by it, and fingers can get injured if caught in the rotor blades. To fight this, some drones have built-in shields to protect the rotors, but even these aren’t foolproof. It’s best to fly any kind of drone, big or small, with proper care and caution. Here’s five quick tips for drone safety:

  • Know the drone. Before the first flight, take the time to read through the instruction manual and get familiar with the controls.
  • Check the drone before flight, looking for any damage to the motors or rotors that could fail in the air.
  • Never fly near people or animals.
  • Fly with caution, particularly when first using a drone or taking a new one for a spin. Always be sure to land before the drone’s battery runs outs.
  • Fly with care. Drones can be noisy, annoying and even scary to those near their flight path. If someone asks to stop flying, be reasonable and courteous.

To learn more about drone safety, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is a fantastic resource on all things drone. The AMA can help connect drone enthusiasts with others in the area to share both beginner’s flying techniques, and more advanced tips and tricks. Remote-control flying clubs often meet regularly to discuss and fly drones together. But remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure to update all software and firmware before any takeoff, and read the drone’s manual thoroughly before use. For FAA registration requirements and further information on drone safety, check the FAA website. Additional local jurisdiction requirements may apply, so it’s important to stay informed on the latest drone regulations for the area.

Drones & The Law

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced registration requirements for anyone flying a drone weighing over 250g recreationally. Most drones that fall under the toy category will not have to be registered, while those built for video, racing and autonomous flight likely do. Drone registration can be done via the FAA website – and separate, more stringent requirements are applied to professional drone fliers.

Once registered, the registration number must be displayed on the drone. This can be as simple as a sticker or shipping label placed under the battery, along with the owner’s name and number in case of theft or loss. The FAA also defines restrictions on where drones can be flown. They can’t be flown higher than 400 feet, in restricted airspaces, or over emergency areas, like traffic accidents or wildfires. They’re also banned from flying through national parks and cannot be flown within 5 miles of an airport without informing the air traffic controllers. Federal, state, and local regulations can vary, so check with the organizations directly if unsure.

Drone Accessories & Add-ons

Additional hardware can be added to drones that have ample lift from their propellers and motors. Lift specs can be found via the drone manufacturer’s website. In general, drones built to support external cameras are usually equipped to carry an additional half pound or more of weight above that of the drone on its own. Added weight increases stress on the motors and can affect flight time and stability.

The most popular and useful drone accessory is undoubtedly the spare battery. Drone batteries can provide between 5 and 25 minutes of power in the air per charge but can take an hour or longer to recharge. Fortunately, most drone batteries can simply be replaced with a freshly charged one when the power levels get low. To get the most airtime out of each flying session, users should invest in several spares.

The next most useful accessories for drones are spare propellers and parts. Because occasional mishaps and less-than-perfect landings are an inevitable part of flying drones, they were designed to survive crashes. The exterior components are made from sturdy materials – such as polypropylene foam and carbon fiber – that protect the more sensitive parts, like the CPUs, motors and transmitters. The parts that break the most easily, like the propellers, are the cheapest and easiest to repair or replace. New drones often have extra propellers included, and additional spares are usually available for purchase separately as well. Remember that drones need different propellers to spin clockwise and counterclockwise for stability, so it’s wise to get both kinds of spare propellers.

Depending on use cases, other drone add-ons that may be of interest include LED bands, propeller guards and extra landing gear. For photography drones in particular, various lens filters can be added to alter saturation levels, reduce glare, and more. Getting a quality bag or case specifically designed to carry a drone is an important investment as well. Drone bundles can often be found with a number of accessories. Drone cases should have a foam interior built to fit the device and its accessories and protect them from damage during transit.

Featured Products

Here are some featured Drone products.

1. Holy Stone HS700D FPV GPS Drone with 2K FHD Camera

Main Feature

GPS Assisted Flight

Camera Quality

2K FHD 90°Adjustable Camera

$699.99

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2. DJI Mavic Mini 

Main Feature

249g Ultralight + 30-min Max. Flight Time

Camera Quality

4 km HD Video Transmission

$499.00BUY NOW

3. Wingsland S6 (Outdoor Edition) Black Mini Pocket Drone 4K Camera

Main Feature

250g can be easily put into your pocket.

Camera Quality

4K 30P and 1080P 60P HD Video

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4. Hubsan H501A X4 Brushless WIFI Drone GPS and App Compatible

Main Feature

Waypoint function choice the best flight-route.

Camera Quality

Built-in 1080P HD camera

$152.00BUY NOW

Things to Consider When Buying a Drone

There is a multitude of options on the market now, with each model excelling in something else. Hence, before you go ahead and buy your drone, decide what are the most important things to consider when buying one.

Purpose

Drone to Learn Flying

When you just wanna try and see if it’s something for you, learn how to fly a drone and have some fun, it may be better to go for a cheap UAS. You can get one for as little as $30 and it will have all the functions you’ll need. It may lack in video quality, or it can get heavy, but you will be able to play with it without worrying as much about crashing. It’s a good idea to start with this and learn the ropes.

Here’s a list of best drones for under 200 dollars in 2020.

Drone for Hiking

You can capture some of the best videos of yourself and your friends, as well as the landscapes, when you go hiking with a quadcopter. The most important things to consider when you buy a drone for hiking are weight, flight time, camera resolution and camera stabilization. It’s also important to make sure it will fit into your drone backpack (yeah, that’s actually a thing now).

With this in mind, we created a list of the best drones for hiking in 2020.

Hiking Drone

Drone for Selfies

It’s no longer uncommon to see someone swapping a selfie stick for a selfie drone. From pocket drones that can take photos of you and your friends to machines that will follow your movement and react to voice commands/ hand gestures, there’s a whole genre of devices built to accommodate the need for us to capture each moment from another perspective.https://6a7216e4485e9de66bead7c4465a0d81.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

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We created a list of best selfie drones in 2020, and there’s even one that doubles as your phone cover so it’s always with you.

Drone Weight

Depending on how you want to use your drone, its weight is probably the most important factor to take into consideration. If you want to take it with you everywhere, heavy UAS will soon prove to be a burden. Lightweight, however, often lack the extra features and have shorter flight times. Hence it’s a trade off you’ll need to consider first.

Important! Many countries regulate the licensing and use of UAV based on their weight. Do consider your contry’s regulations before buying a drone. Many places around the world do not require licensing or registration to use drones under 250 grams.

Flight Time/ Batteries

How long you can fly your drone on each battery will determine how far you can go with it. When the first personal drones come out you had a minute or so to play with. Now there are drones that can fly for 30 minutes non-stop and then you can just swap a spare battery to continue.

Flight time of each battery charge is one of the most important things to check before making a purchase decision. Also, do not forget to see if the batteries can be easily replaced or even if the drone comes with spare ones.

Drone Parts
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Flight/ Control Range

How far you can fly without losing control can make a huge difference in the footage and fun you can get from your drone.

There are 3 main methods of communicating with your drone, which impact it’s control range:

  • Radio
    You’ll need a controller to send and receive the radio waves to and from your drone. Depending on the size of the antenna, the range can extend up to 5 miles.
  • Wi-Fi
    The maximum control range using Wi-Fi signals is about 650 yards (600 meters). It’s often much shorter so you’ll have to see the specs of each drone you consider. The good thing is that with some models you may not need a separate controller to fly your UAS.
  • GPS
    It’s also possible, with some models, to define a flight path that your drone will then follow using Global Positioning System (GPS).

Controller

With the things mentioned above in mind, there is a trade off between flight range and total weight of the equipment you have to carry with you. On one hand, it would be best if we could use your smartphone to fly the drone, so that you don’t have to carry an additional controller, but on the other hand the range would suffer without it.

If you just want the drone for selfies, then lack of controller would be fantastic, but if you want to go far into the sea to capture whales, then you want to be in control at all times and from afar. Consider this before you choose your quadcopter.

Drone Controller
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Camera Resolution

Most people use drones for videos, so you should check if your new drone would capture the world in low resolution, Standard Definition (SD), 720P High Definition (HD), 1080P Full HD (FHD), or 4K. Each one is at least twice better than the one before and something to consider.

It’s also very important to check if the footage is recorded to an SD card in the drone, or sent to your smartphone before getting recorded there. If it’s not built-in, whenever you lose connection, you lose that part of the recording. Whereas, with the on-board SD card you’ll have the full footage at your disposal after retrieving your drone, even if it lost the connection with the controller.

Camera Stabilization

Your drone, if it has any camera stabilization at all which you should check, will either stabilize the recording with software or mechanically.

The best for the job is a 3-axis gimbal. Thanks to which, your videos will be filmed with a steady, cinematic motion that compensates for the shakes and wind movements.

Alternatively, some models compensate for the shaky conditions with built-in software. Not as good as a gimbal but much better than nothing at all.

Drone And Smartphone
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First Person View (FPV)

Check if it’s possible to see through First Person View directly from your drone while flying. While you can control the AUV by looking at it directly, it would be better to sometimes see for yourself if everything you want to record stays within the frame.

Speed

The importance of your drone’s speed becomes crucial when you need to fly in a strong wind. It may not be able to return back to you if you’re standing upwind, and there are places where it would not be possible to retrieve your drone by walking up to it (imagine shooting at sea).

If you just want to use your drone for fun, then speed is important as it’s just more exciting to fly it faster.

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