Drones have come a long way in recent years, evolving from expensive toys to versatile tools that can carry small payloads for photography, commerce, and recreation. If you’re looking for an affordable drone that can lift and transport lightweight objects, you have several good options.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: the top cheap drones that can carry small items weigh around 1 to 2 pounds and cost $100 to $400. Look for brushed quadcopters with stabilized camera mounts from brands like DJI, Potensic, and Holy Stone.

What to Look for in an Inexpensive Camera Drone

Weight Capacity

When searching for a cheap drone that can carry things, it is important to consider its weight capacity. The weight capacity refers to the maximum weight that the drone can lift and carry during flight. It is crucial to choose a drone with a weight capacity that matches your needs.

Some drones can carry small objects like keys or lightweight accessories, while others are capable of carrying heavier items such as cameras or even small packages. Be sure to check the weight capacity specifications of the drone before making a purchase.

Range and Battery Life

Another important factor to consider when looking for an inexpensive camera drone is its range and battery life. The range determines how far the drone can fly from the remote control or its designated home point. It is essential to choose a drone with a range that suits your intended use.

Additionally, battery life is crucial as it determines the duration of your drone’s flight. Consider drones with longer battery life if you plan to use them for extended periods or in remote locations.

It’s always a good idea to read reviews or check the manufacturer’s specifications to get an idea of the drone’s range and battery life.

Camera Quality and Stabilization

If you are specifically looking for a cheap camera drone, it is important to consider the camera quality and stabilization features. The camera quality determines the resolution and overall image or video quality captured by the drone.

Look for drones that offer high-resolution cameras for clear and detailed footage. Stabilization is another crucial aspect as it ensures smooth and steady shots, especially during movement or windy conditions.

Some drones come with built-in stabilization features like gimbals or electronic image stabilization. It is advisable to choose a drone with good camera quality and stabilization capabilities to capture great aerial shots.

Our Top Picks for Budget Camera Drones

If you’re looking for an affordable camera drone that won’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top picks for budget camera drones:

DJI Tello

The DJI Tello is a fantastic option for beginner drone enthusiasts who want to capture high-quality aerial footage without spending a fortune. Despite its small size, this drone is packed with impressive features.

It comes equipped with a 5-megapixel camera that can capture stunning photos and record videos in 720p HD. The Tello is also incredibly easy to fly, thanks to its intuitive controls and stable flight performance.

With a flight time of up to 13 minutes and a range of 100 meters, this drone is perfect for capturing breathtaking shots from various angles.

Potensic D58

The Potensic D58 is another great option for those on a budget. This drone boasts a powerful 2K HD camera that can capture crystal-clear images and videos. It also comes with a GPS system, which allows for precise positioning and accurate flight planning.

With a flight time of up to 18 minutes and a maximum control range of 500 meters, the D58 provides ample time and distance for capturing incredible aerial footage. Additionally, this drone features intelligent flight modes such as Follow Me and Waypoint Mode, making it a versatile choice for capturing dynamic shots.

Holy Stone HS720E

If you’re looking for a budget camera drone with advanced features, the Holy Stone HS720E is a top contender. This drone is equipped with a 4K UHD camera that can capture stunningly clear images and videos.

It also comes with a GPS module, which enables precise positioning and accurate flight path planning. With a flight time of up to 26 minutes and a control range of 1,200 meters, the HS720E offers extended flight capabilities, allowing you to explore and capture footage from greater distances.

Additionally, this drone features intelligent flight modes, including Follow Me and Gesture Control, making it a versatile and user-friendly option.

When it comes to affordability and quality, these budget camera drones are hard to beat. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced drone pilot, these options offer great value for your money. Don’t let a limited budget hold you back from capturing amazing aerial footage – consider one of these drones and take your photography and videography skills to new heights!

Uses for Camera Drones Under $500

Photography and Videography

One of the most popular uses for cheap drones that can carry things is photography and videography. With advancements in drone technology, capturing stunning aerial shots has become more accessible and affordable.

These drones are equipped with high-resolution cameras that allow users to capture breathtaking photos and videos from unique perspectives. Whether you’re a hobbyist looking to capture amazing vacation footage or a professional photographer wanting to add dynamic shots to your portfolio, these drones are a great option.

Mapping and Surveying

Cheap drones capable of carrying payloads are also useful for mapping and surveying purposes. They can be equipped with specialized sensors and software to collect data and create detailed maps or 3D models of landscapes, construction sites, or agricultural fields.

These drones can cover large areas quickly and efficiently, providing accurate and up-to-date information for various industries such as urban planning, land management, and environmental monitoring.

Deliveries and Transport

Believe it or not, drones are being used for deliveries and transport in some areas. While the technology is still in its early stages, there are drones under $500 that are capable of carrying small packages.

This can be particularly useful for delivering emergency medical supplies to remote areas or transporting lightweight items in congested urban environments. However, it’s important to note that regulations and restrictions regarding drone deliveries vary from country to country, so it’s essential to check local laws and guidelines before using drones for this purpose.

Safety Tips for Flying a Drone

When it comes to flying a drone, safety should always be the top priority. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced pilot, following these safety tips will help you enjoy your drone flights while minimizing the risk of accidents or injuries.

Learn How to Fly

Before taking your drone for a spin, it is essential to learn how to fly it properly. Familiarize yourself with the drone’s controls and features by reading the user manual thoroughly. Additionally, you can find helpful tutorials and online courses that teach you the basics of drone flying.

Practice in open areas away from obstacles or people until you feel confident in your skills.

Check Regulations

Before taking your drone out for a flight, it is crucial to be aware of the regulations and guidelines set by the authorities in your area. Different countries and regions may have specific rules regarding where and when you can fly a drone, as well as altitude and distance limitations.

Research and comply with these regulations to avoid legal issues and ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Mind the Weather

The weather conditions can greatly affect the stability and control of your drone. High winds, rain, or extreme temperatures can pose risks to the safety of your drone and those around you. Always check the weather forecast before flying and avoid flying in adverse conditions.

It is also important to note that some drones are not designed to withstand certain weather conditions, so be mindful of the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Respect Privacy

Respecting the privacy of others is an important aspect of responsible drone flying. Avoid flying your drone over private property without permission, and be mindful of people’s personal space. Always fly at a reasonable distance from other individuals, and never use your drone to invade someone’s privacy.

Remember, flying a drone should be a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone.

By following these safety tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable drone flying experience. Remember to always prioritize safety, stay informed about regulations, and be considerate of others. Happy flying!


Lightweight drones have become affordable options for aerial photography, deliveries, and fun. Models under $500 can safely carry and transport small items while capturing stable video footage. When choosing a budget camera drone, look for brushed motors, gimbal stabilization, 15 minutes of flight time, and an HD camera.

Learn to fly responsibly, follow drone regulations in your area, and take weather conditions into account. With smart shopping and safe practices, an inexpensive drone can take your projects and adventures to inspiring new heights.

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