Drones are a great way to capture overhead shots. Whether you’re on a vacation or you want to create content, drones offer an excellent perspective that is unmatched in the biz. However, you need to procure a license or get permission to fly select heavy-duty drones. What you can fly without any issues though are drones that weigh under 250 grams.
The FAA rules allow users to fly drones under 250g without going through a registration process. So, if you’re planning to get a drone for casual flying, your best bet is to get a mini drone that weighs under 250 grams. While there aren’t too many options out there, we’ve compiled a list of the best drones under 250 grams that you can buy with good camera capabilities.
Before we get to the camera drones under 250 grams though, here are some other articles that you may like –
- Looking for a camera drone on a budget? Take a look at the top budget drones with a gimbal under $300.
- Here are some of the best camera bags for drones that you can buy if you travel a lot.
- Attach a 360 camera to your drone for under $500 and record some awesome footage.
Let’s get to the best drones under 250g now.
1. Holy Stone Drone for Beginners
Weight: 145g | Camera resolution: 1080p | Flight time: 30 minutes
The camera may not win any laurels for its stabilization chops or dynamic range. But, that is to be expected given the drone’s asking price. Thankfully, the reviews point out that the image quality isn’t too shabby outdoors, under direct sunlight. So, you should get away with passable clips of yourself or the scenery around you.
Foldable propellers make it easy to carry the drone in the included travel case. You’ll also get a controller with the device that can house your phone and two batteries that provide 30 minutes of flying time each.
It’s easy for kids and beginners to fly the drone via the Holy Stone app. Do note that the device doesn’t come with GPS, so you won’t be able to leverage features like ‘follow me’ and ‘auto return home’. For the price though, the drone offers features aplenty and you shouldn’t have any issues with the device. Some users say it’s a good way to learn how to fly a drone before moving to more expensive options.
2. Ruko F11 Mini
Weight: 245g | Camera resolution: 2.7K | Flight time: 30 minutes
For starters, Ruko bundles in an extra battery and four extra sets of propellers with the F11 Mini drone. The two batteries deliver a total flying time of an hour, which is surely impressive by mini-drone standards. The included camera can take still images in 4K but it is slightly misleading since images are actually capped at 2.7K.
You also get a controller and a carrying case as a part of the bundle. Since the price of the Ruko F11 Mini is considerably higher than the Holy Stone HS260, features like GPS start making an appearance. As such, you can record follow-me shots wherein, the drone records you as you’re entering a car or walking by a scenic route.
As per the reviews, the Ruko F11 Mini is a good budget drone that’ll help novice users understand the basics revolving around drone handling. The camera output is good but there’s a noticeable fish-eye effect in the stills.
3. DJI Mavic Mini
Weight: 249g | Camera resolution: 2.7K | Flight time: 30 minutes
One of the major highlights of DJI’s drones is how well the DJI Fly app links to the quadcopter. You get extremely granular controls to maneuver the drone along with all the useful features like follow-me, return home, etc. You can also view the live feed of the drone’s 12MP, 2.7K camera via the app without noticing any discernable lag.
All four propeller arms are foldable making the Mavic Mini easy to carry around. The single battery included with the drone has a claimed flying time of 30 minutes. But, as per the reviews, the realistic number is closer to 22 minutes on a charge.
If you’re serious about recording usable footage, or you’re a vlogger or filmmaker, the DJI Mavic Mini should be at the top of your wishlist. Make no mistake – it is the best affordable drone with a capable camera under 250 grams. Most reviews corroborate the same despite the drone being slightly old at this point.
Note that the Mavic Mini doesn’t have propeller guards, nor does it have object-avoiding sensors so you need to be careful not to run it into a tree or a building.
4. DJI Mini 3 Pro Lightweight Drone
Weight: 249g | Camera resolution: 4K | Flight time: 34 minutes
A key feature found on the DJI Mini 3 Pro is tri-directional obstacle sensing. The drone knows if it’s around obstacles and smartly avoids them to stay in the air. This is extremely helpful if you’re filming in narrow areas where the propellers may hit other objects. Speaking of filming, there’s a superb 48MP camera onboard that can shoot at up to 4K 60fps.
The aperture is reasonably wide at f/1.7, thereby making it a good camera to shoot even at night. Other features like focus tracking, follow-me, return home, etc. are present and work without a hitch. While the price is much higher compared to the other options on the list, the Mini 3 Pro is the drone to get if you’re serious about flying or creating content.
Right from the stability while flying to the smooth footage, you’re sure to be impressed by the capabilities of the DJI Mini 3 Pro. The only con as per some users is that flying the drone constantly causes some overheating after which the drone returns home. So, if you plan on flying a lot, it’s best to carry extra batteries so you can swap them out easily.
FAQs for Drones Under 250g
You don’t have to register a drone under 250g before flying it. So, if you don’t have a permit, you don’t have to worry about flying a mini drone under 250g.
Yes, as long as the drone is under 250 grams, you can fly it without any issues.
If you’re flying for the first time, we suggest picking up an inexpensive drone since there are chances of crashing or losing the drone. Once you’re well-versed in flying, you can move on to more expensive drones like the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
While drones are expensive, they offer a perspective that you just cannot match with any other camera. So, whether you want cinematic shots of a lake, or you want a third-person perspective of driving in your car, a drone under 250 grams is a great starting point for beginners.
Last updated on 21 April, 2023
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