10 Best Drones with Camera under $100

In this article, we review some of the best drones with camera which you can buy right now in less than a hundred dollars. This list would be growing as we examine some more hobby grade quadcopters, therefore keep in touch.You must be wondering! “How can someone buy a flying machine which can capture images or even videos in less than hundred dollars. But it is entirely possible. The drone technology is moving very fast, and to win a bigger share of the pie, companies are striving to make personal drones more affordable for everyone.  But the market is flooded with small to medium size camera drones and not all of them have good value for the money. In the following list, I’ll show you some of the drones which do have. In USD 100, you can buy any of these best buy drones with camera.

What are the considerations when comparing best drones:

Now, this is important that you know how to compare various drones based on their features and attributes. Then you would be able to pick few of the features you which you would be looking for when choosing your personal drone. If you are a beginner, you should look for some critical safety functions in a drone before you buy. I have already explained some of these in a separate post about beginner drones.  But here, I would only, try to elaborate few things which will help you when comparing two or more drones.

Camera Quality

In the price range of USD100, you would mostly get 720P HD camera. This number indicates the number of lines that create the image. The higher, the better. If you can get a higher resolution in this price range, you would be lucky. But the thing to note is that the video quality does not entirely depend on the camera quality. If your props are showing in your video, nobody would like it. If your camera is rigid and shaking, the video quality would be destroyed, etc. Other than that, 720p is good enough for hobby grade drones.

Altitude Hold Mode

This is probably the most important feature to look for in any drone. If the drone has a barometer or a GPS, you would get altitude hold. This means that the drone would maintain its height if you do nothing. So, at any stage, you feel the drone is flying away or getting out of control, just leave the control sticks and the drone should stay where it is.  Nice and cool safety feature to have. However, to get any one of the drones with camera and GPS, you may have to raise your budget.

Wi-Fi

Wi-fi capability means you would be able to fly the drone using your smartphone, tablet or any mobile device. This is usually done with an app. Now you can operate using the drone transmitter or the app. But be mindful that some drones do not come to a controller (Transmitter).  The best practice for drone hobbyists is to buy one of these best standalone radio transmitters and then purchase any number of different quadcopters separately and fly using the same transmitter.

Another thing is that the image quality when using the Wi-fi deteriorates typically deteriorates to some extent. You may also consider whether you would be storing a video or doing a live transmission.

SD card

If a drone has an SD card or a micro SD card, you can save the images or videos and then transfer them to your PC. Otherwise, your videos and photos taken by drone would be stored in your smartphone.

Brushed or Brushless Motors

The factor vital for you would be that brushed motors are noisier than the brushless. A noise of a flying drone could be disturbing for you and your neighbors.

So these were few of the points, which I wanted to highlight before we start talking about the attributes of these best buy drones with the camera.


Operating Radio Frequency

When we talk about frequencies, there are few things. First, what radio frequencies are available for use. The second thing is what is the ability of a particular frequency to handle the interference. If you are in a populous area, or where there are high tension lines, or inside your home, you can expect some radio interference. Although, the protocol used by remote control (RC) transmitters almost never face an interference. The third important thing for us as a drone pilot is the ability to transfer data at a particular frequency.  Last but not the least, the ability to control the drone from a certain distance (control range) is also dependent on frequency while keeping the other factors constant. Theoretically, the higher the frequency, the shorter the range. Therefore, 5.8GHz provides roughly half the range of 2.4GHz. But again, practically no difference when flying the RC drones which we are discussing here. If a drone can operate at dual frequencies such as 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz, it can handle the interference in a better way.

So, without any delay, here is the list.

1. Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter with camera

Holy Stone F181C

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This is an elegant looking quadcopter and is at the top of our list of best drones with camera. It has a headless mode which is suitable for beginners because you do not have to keep track of the orientation of the drone. The camera is 720P and has a 2GB SD card. The flight time is 7-10 minutes depending on your style of flying and the wind conditions. The radio controller range of Holy Stone F181C quadcopter is 50-100m. It has 4-speed modes. The ability to change the speed modes is suitable for both beginners and expert drone pilots. It comes with an extra battery, but one annoying thing is that you have to remove the camera to install the battery with ease.

2. Force1 UDI U818A Camera Drone (HD+FPV+VR)

Force1-UDI-U818A-Camera-Drone-HD-FPV-VR

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This is one of the top-rated drones in the market with thousands of satisfied drone enthusiasts flying this quad. The UDI U818A comes out of the box in the fully assembled state. The 4 GB micro SD card is good enough to save some of your initial videos, so you are indeed ready to fly. There are a couple of similar looking upgrades and models of this drone so be mindful of this. These include the HD upgrade FPV upgrade, FPV, and VR ( Virtual reality) upgrade versions, etc. with some differences. It has one button take off and landing and some beautiful LED lights. The onscreen custom flight path is one of the fantastic function usually not available in this price range.  The structure of the drone is highly flexible plastic which makes its extremely crash resistant and durable choice for new pilots. A beautiful clean design with landing gear firmly attached, this drone offers excellent value for your money.

3. Holy Stone HS200 RC Drone with FPV HD Wifi Camera

Holystone-HS-200-Drone

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It is a beautiful remote control drone with camera. The camera quality is 720P HD Wifi. The quadcopter has many other helpful features. These include altitude hold, beginner headless mode, one-key return home function and 6-axis Gyro stabilization. The quadcopter comes with a 4GB SD card. The battery has a flight time of 7 to 9 minutes and has a USB charger so that you could charge it without removing. The charging time is about an hour. Again, you can download the app using QR code, and the live video would be stored in your smartphone.  Its four-speed allows its use for both beginners and expert drone pilots.

The range of the drone controller is between 50 and 100m, but the video transmission range is 50m. The transmitter feels comfortable in hands and sticks give an excellent feeling. The powerful and bright LED status lights are also helpful.


4. DBPOWER MJX X400W FPV camera Drone

DBPOWER-MJX-X400W-FPV-Drone

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You would instantly feel the built quality of this, one of the best drones with camera, as soon you get hold of one. It has a headless mode and a Wi-Fi HD camera which is C4005 FPV camera. It can perform 3D flips and rolls for you which is quite interesting for kids. In the event of an emergency, the one-key return to home feature is quite handy. It has two-speed modes which give you the ability to hone your skills before going too fast on flying. The videos and images can be stored on both smartphone and the TF card. The battery is 3.7V 750 mAh Li-Po battery which gives 8-9 minutes of flying time. The LED lights are the right size and bright. The quadcopter’s landing gear is quite low, and the way it attaches is not secure.  Unlike some of the quadcopters, the on/off switch is at the top which is easier to use in my opinion. The controller of this drone is of high quality and has a good feel in hands. There is a slight tiltability of the camera but you have to do it manually, and it is only small. It has a USB charger.

5. Syma X8 Pro Drone with Camera

SYMA-X8-Pro-GPS-Brushed-RC-Quadcopter

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Syma X8 pro was released somewhere in the last quarter of 2017. This is an enhanced professional looking version by Syma with 720P HD First Person View (FPV) camera. The camera has a micro SD card slot on the back. It can store videos and images on both SD card and on your smartphone. The built quality is excellent and polished.  The landing gear and prop guards are snap on the type and quick to assemble. The battery can be easily installed and removed which is fantastic for a drone of this price. On the other side, the battery is proprietary which is kind of annoying. The radio frequency is 2.4 GHz.

It is a Quadcopter drone with camera and GPS. Beware of the GPS status lights though, if solid green only then GPS is available. The motors are still brushed motors in this newer and upgraded version of Syma X8SW. The camera can be tilted by using the drone controller which is an excellent feature.  The controller is a modern design with a range of 100 to 300m! The documentation says, it has a detailed control range of 200m.  The drone can hover at the same height using the built-in barometer. It has a one-key return to home and also a low voltage return- to- home. The drone comes with a phone holder and props guards but without any extra battery.

6. GoolRC T32 FPV Drone Foldable with Wifi Camera

GoolRC-T32-FPV-Drone

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It is an easy to fly quadcopter with 720P Wifi FPV camera.  It means you would be able to save the camera footage on your smartphone by using the app. This quadcopter with camera is good looking and is built with high-quality plastic. It is a foldable drone. Motors are brushed type motors. The camera has a fixed position which is tilted towards the ground. The battery is 3.7V, 850 mAh.  The drone transmitter has a beautiful modern look and feel and comes with a smartphone holder. The user manual has a QR code which you can scan to download the app for this quadcopter.  It has a headless mode for beginners and 6-8 minutes of playing time. It can perform 1-key 3D rolls. This camera drone has 3 different speeds to assist you while learning how to fly drones.  Comes with prop guards which can be installed just by snapping on. In short, a top-rated drone in its class. The on/off switch is available at the top.

7. JXD 509G Camera Drone  

JXD-509G Drone

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It is a 5.8 GHz FPV drone and has a 5.8 GHz transmitter. The best feature of this camera drone is the fantastic altitude hold ability, which means it is straightforward to fly.  It is a very good built quadcopter. It has a 0.92MP HD camera. The camera has a bit of ability to tilt, just about 15 degrees.  It has three speeds and can also perform flips for you.

There is another Wi-Fi version of the same quadcopter JXD 509W RC Drone – RTF, which you can buy even cheaper than this but there are few issues associated with Wi-Fi transmissions, such as low video range and quality. With that version, you will not get the screen, and it would require you to use your smartphone and an app.  If you just want to fly this camera drone inside your house or within probably 30meter range, you can save around thirty more dollars.  JXD 509W also has the altitude hold mode just like JXD 509G.

8. U45W Blue Jay WiFi FPV HD Camera Quadcopter

U45W-Blue-Jay camera Drone

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A drone with a stunning design and operated with a beautiful 2.4 GHz transmitter, what else you could expect in less than $100. You can also fly U45 Blue Jay drone with an app. It has a 720P, 2MP HD camera. Blue Jay got a position in this list of best drones with camera due to its design and look and a large number of five star customer reviews. The camera has a small tiltability. It is compatible with VR goggles which would give you a 3D image if you are wearing VR goggles. It has the most desirable altitude hold feature for ease of flying. The camera drone can fly on any custom route made by you. You would also get three batteries inside the box which means your fun time would be tripled. The signal range is 100m (328 ft). The battery is 3.7V, 500 mAh, 30C battery and you wanna know more about these terms, you can check our drone battery guide. Unlike many other toy drones, this has an on/off switch. The motors are of brushed type but with a low level of noise.


9. Holy Stone HS160 Shadow FPV RC Drone

Holystone-HS160-quadcopter

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It is a small size slim drone with foldable arms. Best suitable for taking selfies when outdoor. It has 720P, Wi-fi HD camera. You can control this mini-drone using an app.  There are many similar looking drones in the market, however, this one is indeed one of the top rated drones with camera. The images and videos will be stored in your mobile device. The battery is proprietary, and you get an extra battery inside the box.  One battery gives a flying time of 7 to 9 minutes which is considered good for these type of drones. Holy Stone HS160 shadow has a built-in barometer with altitude hold function which provides a stable flight. Another unique feature is the gravity sensor mode. It basically means, the drone would follow the movement of your smartphone. Four different speeds allow you to practice flying according to your current skill level. It also has one-key start and landing functionality. It has built-in 6-axis Gyro. The transmitter frequency is 2.4 GHz.

10. DROCON Drone X708W For Beginners

DROCON-Beginner-Drone

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This aggressive looking small drone has some cool features apart from the eye-balls on the front. Starting from the camera which is 720P but without SD card. The battery is quite standard, and if you wish, you can replace with many available in the market. Another thing lacking on this drone is an On/Off switch, and as soon you put the battery inside the drone, it becomes on. It has two speeds available on this drone. The maximum speed is not much but it is good for beginners. Drocon drone also performs flips. The flying time is 7 to 9 minutes. The LED lights are quite bright.

So this was my list of best drones with camera which would be growing in future.

The Single Most Important Reason to Buy A Less Expensive Drone:

There are few reasons, one should consider buying a drone with a lower price tag, particularly in the beginning, if they have just learned how to fly a drone.  But the most important reason is the potential of losing a drone. As new drone pilots, we assume many things and tend to rely on the technology much more than it should be. At the beginning of our flying career, we do not know what could go wrong during a flight and in how many different ways, we can potentially lose our drone.