Best drones for beginners 2021: take aerial photographs with drones from DJI, Revell, and PowerEgg
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Drones for beginners come in two forms.
Firstly, there’s toy drones, often shipping without cameras or any fancy technology. Built for speed, ease of use and often able to complete aerobatic manoeuvres, they’re affordable and easy to purchase on the high-street.
Then, there’s the ‘beginner professional’ drone market – a consumer world in which the likes of DJI have thrived, with their stunningly high-quality cameras twinned with an often-easy-to-use setup and beginner-friendly technology.
If it’s your first time into the world of drones we’d suggest you may get frustrated with the ‘toy’ types of drones, as many of them lack stability control and sensors to aid your flying experience.
We know to our detriment after losing a few! For our money, you’re better off putting a couple of hundred pounds extra beside to buy something with a bit more processing power and technology involved.
That being said, if you’re buying for children, toy drones can be safer and lighter weight, providing a good introduction to the principles of flight. We’ve included a couple of these options from toy manufacturer Revell and DJI spin-off Ryze here.
Here are some of our recommendations for the best beginner and easy to use drones on the market at the moment.
DJI have established themselves as the ‘go-to’ drone manufacturer for enthusiasts and professionals alike, so it was no surprise when we tested the DJI Mini 2 and found it to be not just one of the best drones for beginners, but for the money one of the most complete packages all round.
The DJI app works well, everything functions excellently without glitches, and we were up and running in less than 10 minutes – saving 4K video and 12MB images to an microSD.
The built-in gimbal works really well and we were also impressed with the flying time – nearly 30 minutes of continuous use.
Although it’s more money than some of the other drones on this list, we were impressed by the image quality of the PowerEgg drone and its ability to fly in inclement weather – it has an impressive wind and rain rating.
Although at first glance it might seem a bit too much for a beginner, we actually found it really easy to set up and start using and very straightforward to control whilst in the air. We really liked the fact it films 4K video at 60fps, too.
Parrot are well-known in the commercial and industrial drone operation world, creating devices for security, surveillance and search and rescue teams around the world.
The ANAFI is their first offering for the consumer market however, and we weren’t disappointed.
When compared to the DJI offering it is more expensive, but the stats put this drone at a level well above most beginner options, offering commercial-grade specifications like wind gust resistance up to 80kph.
Suitable for beginners but perfect for those getting into becoming more experienced, too.
You may be more familiar with Revell as a model and toy manufacturer, and indeed this drone does steer into the ‘toy drone’ category, albeit with an impressive amount of performance and usability for the price.
The camera’s only 720p and it can only fly 50m into the air, but for less than £100 we thought that was pretty impressive.
It’s one of the best of its kind out there on the market, and we’d suggest this would be a great starter drone for the kids, for example.
Although superseded by the DJI Mini 2, we think the Mavic Mini still holds its own, and is a slightly cheaper drone allowing you to get the benefits of DJI’s excellent ergonomics, design and usability. It lacks some of the tech features of more recent drones, and doesn’t have 4K video, but for those getting into the drone market this is still a worthwhile purchase.
This beginner drone is operated via your smartphone, so it doesn’t come with a controller, but we included it because it makes use of DJI’s excellent behind-the-scenes software and is still able to produce 720p video and 5MP still which are saved directly on to your smartphone.
Intel’s processing power has been included in the drone so it does have in-built sensors, battery warning indicators and a hovering ability.
A good starter drone.