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2017 Best Drones to Buy

If you don't know where to start, you're in the right place.
If you're looking for the best drones to buy then you're in luck.

Finding the best drones for yourself or as a gift can be challenging. It's 2017, and there's thousands of drones to choose from, all of which claim to be "the best drone" for you.

Drones are also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs as they have no on board pilot.

You control the drone from the ground via a remote control or mobile device. In the above Trey Ratcliff video, the DJI Phantom used was controlled by Trey from the ground. In a few of the shots, you'll see him controlling the drone for just a moment.

Before we list the best drones to buy, owning a drone comes with some responsibility.

Many people in the general population fear drones due to bad media press coverage. You may know the stories of some individuals using drones for spying on others, among other nefarious purposes, and as an owner, you have to be cognizant of that fact.

Just because you're intentions may be good, it doesn't mean that people seeing a drone overhead will be interpreted as such.

Drones are also known as multirotors as they have more than one rotor blade, as helicopters do. Some drones have three rotors, most drones have four, and you'll come across quite a few that have as many as eight rotor blades. The four rotor drones are known specifically as quadcopters as well.

Types Of Drones And What You're Looking For In A Drone

Chances are you've already done a little drone shopping, and perhaps you've got your eye on a specific drone already. That's fine, and there's nothing wrong with that. Consider the drones we've reviewed below before you buy a drone to see if there might be a better drone for your wants and needs though. It's a good bet that there is, and the drone might cost less than you'd expect too.

2017 Best Camera Drones

Awaken Your Inner Creativity: Your New Camera Drone Awaits.

If you've been looking at drones already, you've probably heard of the DJI Phantom drone series, but did you know that there are other camera drones out there that offer similar features as the DJI drones, but at a more reasonable price? Camera drones, as a type of drone, can be broken down into two sub sections: Toy Drones and Professional Drones.

Toy Camera Drones - Best drones for beginners

Some toy drones have cameras, but they're usually equipped with a lower quality 2 megapixel camera and 720P video recording.

Usually, the video quality is decent enough to post on YouTube, but these toy drones wouldn't be what you'd want if you're interested in professional drone photography or videography. Toy drones usually don't give you more than 5-8 minutes of flight time either.

That's barely enough to have fun flying, let alone, get good video, but on the other hand, toy drones can be purchased for as little as $20 to $30, so they do make a great (and inexpensive) place to start, especially if this is your first drone.

Professional Camera Drones - When the drone video is all that matters

Professional drones get the job done.

They're used in just about every aspect of the entertainment industry. Take, for example, Alton Brown, best known for his "Good Eats" show on the Food Network. He regularly uses a Yuneec Typhoon H drone to introduce every venue on his "Eat Your Science" road tour.

 Professional drones offer better cameras than toy drones. They usually come with GoPro quality (or better) on board cameras that are capable of video recording in up to 4K. These drones also have advanced features such as image stabilization, GPS positioning, subject tracking and other technology to make your job easier and better.

Just because a professional drone is intended for professional use, doesn't mean that you can't use it recreationally. In fact, many drone owners have professional drones, but just take them out on weekends and in the evenings after work. It's because many have found that they love flying drones so much, they really want a really good drone that can make flying a joy. It doesn't hurt to get "Hollywood quality" video during your flights either.

Chances are that if you start flying a toy drone, you'll soon want a professional drone to get the most out of your new hobby.

Best Camera Drones

Model NameEstimated Price (USD)TypeRating
DJI Phantom 4 $1399-$2499 - Check current price camera drone Best
Yuneec Typhoon H $1299-$2200 - Check current price camera drone Best - Top Choice
Yuneec Typhoon G $499-$999 - Check current price camera drone Better
DJI Phantom 3 $500-$999 - Check current price camera drone Better
Cheerson CX-20 $219-$599 - Check current price camera drone Good

DJI Phantom 4

 DJI has always been on the cutting edge of professional drone technology, and new in 2017, DJI Phantom 4 was released.

This drone offers speed, agility and control that few drones can compete with, yet also maintains a very "easy to fly" demeanor, making it a highly functional drone for both beginners and seasoned professionals.

The DJI phantom offers HD Live streaming (First Person View, or FPV) as well as both still photography and video recording in 720P, 1080P, 2.4K and 4K depending on the Phantom version you purchase. The Phantom 4 is also available without camera if you wish to mount a custom rig.

As far as design is concerned, the DJI Phantom 4 maintains a distinctly "DJI" appearance, however the traditional red/gold strips have been removed. Regardless, the Phantom 4 is an elegant drone, perfect for wedding videos, real estate, family vacation or business use. 

As one of the best drones to buy, the Phantom 4 offers superior features and benefits that have made it the top seller for camera drones.

  • HD FPV Streaming to mobile or FPV Goggles
  • 4K video & 12MP still recording (select models)
  • Official DJI supported mobile app for iOS and Android
  • Subject Tracking / "Follow Me" feature
  • Quick Release Rotor Blades for easy storage
  • Longer flight times and better battery (25-30 minutes average)
  • In App Flight Simulator to help you get used to flying the Phantom 4

DJI also offers "DJI Care", a damage protection plan for your new DJI Phantom 4 professional camera drone. If the drone is damaged in any way, DJI will repair it for you at no charge, even if it was your fault. DJI Care info

The DJI Phantom 4 price runs between $1399 and $2499 depending on how it's equipped and what comes in the package deals available.

GET CURRENT DJI PHANTOM 4 PRICING


Yuneec Typhoon H

The Yuneec Typhoon H is one of the best DJI Phantom alternatives on the market today.

This 6 rotor hexacopter has many advantages over the Phantom, yet isn't as well known in the US as the DJI -- and that's probably due to a lack of marketing efforts on Yuneec's part. Every aspect of the Yuneec Typhoon H is arguably better than the DJI drone as Yuneec looked at what was wrong, or what could have been better and made a better all around drone.

For starters, The Typhoon H has six rotors, so it's not quite fair to compare it to a quadcopter. The two additional symmetric rotors offer more precision and control over the drone, even in light to moderate wind. They also offer stronger lift and acceleration than the DJI is capable of. Again, it's really not a fair comparison, but you'll notice that the Typhoon H is $100 (or more) less than the Phantom 4.

There are many different Yuneec Typhoon H packages offered, each coming with different equipment, but you'll find that they all come with the basic 4K video camera, and are ready to fly.

As a best drone to buy, the Yuneec Typhoon H offers a wide range of features that just about any drone enthusiast will drool over.

  • Two Pilot flight mode (one for drone, and one for camera)
  • Collision Avoidance via Sonar
  • Motor Fail Mode - Allows for safe landing if two of six rotors go out
  • Retractable landing gear allows for unobstructed 360° camera view
  • 20 - 25 minutes flight time with camera/gimbal use
  • 45 MPH top speed (when in follow me mode, 22.5 mph otherwise)

The only drawback to having a hexacopter is that it does draw more power from the battery. You'll notice a drop of about three to five minutes in flight times when compared to the Phantom 4, but most professionals can deal with the drop in run times in light of all the other benefits the Typhoon offers.

The Typhoon H is also capable of carrying a small Digital Video camera dedicated to professional video use, however most videographers don't mind the 4K standard camera.

The Typhoon H price ranges between $1299 to $2200 depending on package.

GET CURRENT YUNEEC TYPHOON H PRICING


 Yuneec Typhoon G

OK, so the previous two drones were pretty darn expensive. The Yuneec Typhoon G offers professional drone at a "hobbyist's price".

The Typhoon G flies a lot more like a Phantom 4, but has the features and benefits of the Typhoon H, it's older brother. Being a quadcopter, the Typhoon G feels a lot more like the drones you might be used to flying. While it's possible to fly the hexacopter with more precision, I don't think it's a show stopper... especially if you are fairly new to the professional drone world. 

The Typhoon G offers the same range of features found on the previous two drones, with the exception of programmable flight paths. Again, not a show stopper, especially at it's nice price.

  • 25-30 minute flight time
  • ST10 Smart Transmitter relays video to controller
  • Steady Grip GoPro handheld mount
  • Easy and Advanced flight modes
  • Headless mode

The Typhoon G is considered one of the best drones to buy for the price and features included.

GET CURRENT YUNEEC TYPHOON G PRICING


DJI Phantom Vision 3

As the Predecessor to the Phantom 4, the phantom 3 gives you almost every feature, but for a lower price!

The Phantom 3 is pretty much the same as the 4, and is a tried and tested professional drone platform. It's trusted by thousands in the industry, and there's just not a lot to say that's bad about it.

While the Phantom 3 is an older model, it doesn't mean it's any less good. In fact, many people are now buying the Phantom 3 because it's price dropped when the phantom 4 was released. Just because the technology is a year or two older doesn't make it obsolete.

The Phantom 3 is one of the best drones to buy due to it's massive price drop.

The Phantom 3 price ranges from $500 for the standard 2.7K version to $999 for the 4K version, with the only difference being the camera.

GET CURRENT DJI PHANTOM 3 PRICING


Cheerson CX-20

The Cheerson CX-20 is the perfect drone for those on a budget that really want to get into professional drones.

With it's 15 minute flight times, GoPro camera mount (no gopro included, but also fits SJ4000 and similar gopro clones) and the superior handling of a professional drone, there's no reason not to get one.

The CX-20 offers stable and consistent flight while having the ability to maintain and hold position so you can get the shots you want. Even at it's low price, the CX-20 offers flight planning and pre-programming, which is one of the top reasons why people buy this drone.

No other drone in this price range offers flight planning while offering so many other benefits.

The drone doesn't come with a camera, but for the price, we understand why. If you already have a GoPro or SJ4000 action camera (or another gopro clone) you can easily mount it to the included 3 axis gimbal!

  • Failsafe & Return to home (button and on low battery)
  • 22 MPH top speed
  • Headless Mode
  • Pre-Programmable flight planning
  • 15 minutes of flight time (with camera)

Cheerson CX-20 price ranges between $219 and $599 depending on included package

GET CURRENT CHEERSON CX-20 PRICING