Drone Videography and Photography: 5 Best Drones for Less Than $850

A drone videography clip making it seem like you’re racing towards the Pyramids.

A shot of a pool in Bali as seen from above.

We’ve all seen the epic drone videography and photography content. Have you been considering making some of your own content?

We’ve put together a list of 5 top drones for less than $850.

That’s expensive.

Believe me, we get it. At the end of the post, you’ll find some of our favorite sites for used and refurbished electronics, which are also better for the environment! Plus, the winning drone is less than $400.

Keep reading to start your drone content creation journey!

This site is user supported and that’s why we use affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we get a little bit of money when you purchase something. Thank you for helping support ethical, sustainable, and plant-based travel! You can read more about our affiliate disclosure policy here.

Winner: DJI Mavic Mini

Price: $399

A newer and vastly more affordable drone, The Mavic Mini has around 30-minutes of battery life and even more impressively, weighs under 250g. This means it is exempt from most drone licensing laws.

However, this drone can still capture fantastic footage despite its smaller size. It’s also the least expensive drone on this list.

All this adds up to make the Mavic Mini quite an attractive package.

If you’re thinking about investing in your first drone for videography or photography, the DJI Mavic Mini is the one!


  • Light Weight (249g)
  • Battery life
  • Size


  • Camera quality
  • Fewer builtin complex shots then competitors

Where to Purchase

The DJI Mavic Air

Price: $730 USD

Compact, filled with features and great value for your money. This little beast is fantastic with its small collapsible size, to its 4K capability. It even has sensors on the front and back for all you newbie pilots out there.

Speaking of newbies – if this is the first time entering the world of drones then we genuinely don’t think you can go wrong with this baby for drone videography and photography.

Learn More: Check out our Youtube channel to see what the DJI Mavic Air can do.


  • Compact
  • 4K Video
  • Crash sensors


  • No side sensors
  • Remote connection slower
  • Can’t go as far from the remote

The Karma Drone by GoPro

Price: $700 USD (without battery)

The Karma drone is a great option if you already have a newer GoPro camera and want to add drone videography to your repertoire.

The camera is detachable which is a big plus as it gives you a lot of versatility when out in the field. We would argue the only downside to this option is the size – as it needs its own backpack.

Read More: The Essential Travel Photography Gear Guide


  • Detachable GoPro Camera
  • Good battery life for recording
  • Easy to purchase replacement parts


  • Very large (not easily packable!)
  • Very large remote controller

The Parrot Anafi

Price: $560

The Parrot Anafi is by far the most affordable option on our list but it can still keep up with the big guns in terms of features.

However, it is more cheaply made and doesn’t have obstacle avoidance sensors.

Those new to drone videography and photography might want to get practice in before taking this out somewhere less open.

Read More: Sustainably Photographing Amsterdam


  • Budget drone
  • Unique gimble
  • Decent battery
  • Fairly quiet


  • No obstacle avoidance sensors
  • Cheaper plastic

The DJI Mavic PRO 1 and 2

Price: $850 (Pro 1)

We’ve put these two in the same category because they are both upgrades on the competition that we’ve previously mentioned.

The DJI Pro 2 is quite expensive but with it, you get amazing quality and amazing features. Sensors on the front, back and sides to help avoid crashes as well as great cameras for quality shots and easier piloting.

The Pro 1 is a fantastic compromise and a fantastic drone at a slightly more affordable price.

Pros (PRO 1)

  • Decent battery life
  • Greater flight distance from flyer
  • Quality for price

Cons (PRO 1)

  • More expensive than competitors for only a few additional features
  • Bulkier than competitors

Ready to Improve Your Drone Videography and Photography?

The first step is to invest! They’re not cheap, but if you’re aiming to get serious about travel blogging, it might be time to purchase a device so you can start learning all about drone videography and photography.

A few quick tips for saving money when purchasing electronics:

Purchase used items. We love Swappa, Adorama, and Amazon. Go Pro also sometimes has refurbished products on their site. Not only are used and refurbished electronics cheaper, but they’re also better for the environment (scroll to the bottom to learn about electronic waste)!

Research when sites usually have sales. We once missed a sale on Wandrd and emailed to ask when the next one was. They gave us a discount code to get the sale price. You never know unless you ask!

If you’re looking to invest in some other gear, you’ll want to check out these posts:

What Camera Gear Do We Use?

If you want the full list of things we keep in our camera bag, check out the complete guide or browse our photography guides.

Free Resources

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Please note that prices were correct at the time of writing, but might have changed.

This site is user supported and that’s why we use affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we get a little bit of money when you purchase something. Thank you for helping support ethical, sustainable, and plant-based travel! You can read more about our affiliate disclosure policy here.

Author: Jack Lee

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