The Next Step – Drones for Intermediates

So you’ve had fun with you budget drone – crashed more times than you can remember, broken a few props (and spent hours looking for the ones that pop off and fly into the most difficult to reach places), knocked a few pictures off the wall and frightened the cat.

 

But you did get some nice video and a few cool photos and now you want to move up to the next level.

 

Congratulations!

Best Drones under £500

In this section we’re covering a wider price range from £100 to £500. What you will get with drones in this bracket is better quality photos, better video, drones with GPS which offer some smart flying modes and features like return to home, drones with collision avoidance systems and auto take-off and landing capabilities.

 

These drones are bigger than what you’ve been using so far. This means they can carry bigger batteries and therefore have longer flight times. It also means they can carry better spec cameras and have a camera gimbal that will allow you to control the camera remotely.
Of course these bigger drones are also more dangerous
With larger and firmer props, and are not suitable for indoor flying (unless you’re in something like a warehouse). And with the longer battery life you can fly further (and higher) so you’ll need to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you comply with CAA regulations near airports, military establishments and other sensitive areas.

Remember to always #HaveFunFlySafe.

At this higher price level the big drone players start to get involved.
Companies like; DJI, Yuneec and Parrot as well as some cheaper alternatives from Hubsan, UPair and Xiaomi. You’ll also be into proper racing drone territory – if that is your interest then check out our separate page on racing drones (coming soon).

 

Of course drones in this bracket all have spare props and batteries available but they usually come from the manufacturer rather than third parties so they are a bit more expensive, but necessary to give you the confidence and reliability.

 

Almost all drones at this price are good – some are really amazing – you need to consider the features you want and what budget you have, but the more you are able to spend the better the kit you will get.
Here at dronefunuk.com we’re big fans of DJI drones and we believe the DJI Spark is – pound for pound – the best drone you can buy.
It’s compact, easy to set up and fly, it has great DJI flying modes making it really easy to get creative with your videos and the image quality for stills is excellent.
It has some collision avoidance and you can also control it with gestures – one of the reasons we also rate this as the best selfie drone available.
DJI sell the drone as part of a “Fly More Combo” where you get additional batteries, charger, bag and more. If you’re concerned about crashing there’s also DJI crash insurance. And these drones come in a range of colours.

Here are a few more options for great value drones under £500

Yuneec Breeze 4K

Away from DJI, the Yuneec Breeze 4K is a great drone in this category – it comes with optional FPV and shoots 4K video.

Ryze DJI Tello

A collaboration between DJI and Ryze, the Tello is a small drone with big capabilities including options for additional coding.

Parrot Bebop

Parrot have three models in this price bracket, the best of which is the Bebop. Another drone with optional FPV.

Parrot Mambo

Two other options from Parrot are the racy Parrot AR and the great value Parrot Mambo.

DJI Phantom 3

Once the industry leading model, the DJI Phantom is still going strong and the Phantom 3 offers terrific value and a quality product.

Hubsan

The 501S and 502S from Hubsan both come in under £300 and have GPS positioning with return to home feature.