Home Blog Top 8 Best Drones For Sale in 2016

Top 8 Best Drones For Sale in 2016

Drones aren't just for paparazzi and film crews anymore. A simple beginner's model can cost less than $100, with camera drones starting at a few hundred dollars. More complex drones, starting at less than $1,000, offer customizable and programmable features, turning them into truly autonomous devices that can make their own decisions. Want to buy a Drone? Don't know where to start? This guide will hopefully take you through all of the best 8 ready-to-fly drones for sale in 2016s. It should also give you a reason to pick one over the other.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy and Fly

Drones aren't that complicated, but there are a few key features you should consider when you are shopping. There are also some key rules you need to follow when you take to the air.

Legal Requirements

FAA has rules you have to follow. The most important two: Never fly around or above people, and always keep your drone in sight. The FAA has a full list of safety guidelines for model aircraft that you should check before you take off. There are also restrictions on where you can fly: For example, within 5 miles of an airport is off limits. Mapbox provides a great interactive map of no-fly areas, and local RC (Remote Control) aircraft clubs may list fields that they use.

Many drones also must be registered before they are put in the air. The online process for registering costs $5, and applies to any drone that weighs between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds. That covers about half of our favorite drones. Once you register, you get a unique serial number that needs to be applied to all your drones, and when you're flying you'll need to have a paper or electronic copy of your certificate of registration. Drones registration has to be renewed every 3 years. Failure to register can cost you up to $250,000 or result in 3 years of jail time.

Drone Controls

Most drones use a remote control with two joysticks — a bit like an Xbox or PlayStation controller. One stick controls what's called the attitude of the quadcopter, including roll (tilting left and right) and pitch (tilting up and down). The other stick controls throttle and the rotation of the quadcopter. A good remote control should fit well in the hand, with sticks resting comfortably under your thumbs and providing a smooth, responsive feel that allows you to guide the quadcopter by touch.

Some models skip the remote control, or offer it as an extra-cost feature, and instead use a smartphone connected via Wi-Fi and a flying app. These apps often provide a live video view from the quadcopter camera. However, apps don't allow the precision of real controllers: It is easier for your thumbs to slip, possibly causing a crash.

Construction and Repair

Despite what the ads tell you, drones crash all the time. A good drone will take an unplanned descent and ground interface (aka: a crash) in stride, without damaging the frame. It will also include shields to protect the rotors and electronics from harm.

Regardless, things still get broken sometimes. A good drone will offer a ready supply of cheap parts like rotors and struts to replace the broken ones, and will make it easy to swap these parts out when required. The same is true of batteries.


Very few drones offer more than 10 to 20 minutes of battery life, so an easily swapped battery can give you more flying time without hassle. This tends to be a feature of more expensive models, with a spare battery typically costing more than $100. Cheap drones (under about $400) usually have built-in batteries that can't be swapped out.


Want to show off your aerial exploits? A camera, either built-in or add-on, can capture those dramatic vistas for posterity. Most budget models use the equivalent of a cheap webcam, capturing low-resolution video (usually 640 x 480-pixel resolution) to an internal memory card for later viewing.
More sophisticated models offer high-definition video capture or the ability to connect an HD action camera such as a GoPro. Some drones also offer first-person view (FPV), sending a pilot's-eye view from the drone itself to a phone or tablet. Some models offer video goggles for the ultimate pilot-seat flying experience.

Top 8 Best Drones With Camera

1. Best Value- DJI Phantom 3 Standard


Camera: 2.7K video and 12MP photos
Gimbal: A stabilized 3-axis gimbal included
FPV: live HD video feed
Flight time: Approx 25 minutes

Check the price here.

The $675.99 DJI Phantom 3 Standard shoots 1080p video at 30 fps and 720p at 60 fps, but it can also capture 2.7K HD video at 30 fps. (Still images are captured with a 12-megapixel camera, compared to the Vision+'s 14-MP camera.) You can use the controller or the DJI Go app on your smartphone or tablet. Although DJI is targeting beginners with this latest drone, the Standard is compatible with features found in other Phantom 3 drones. These include the Follow Me feature, where the drone will trail after the user, and waypoint navigation for setting multipoint routes.

About the Camera

The camera is integrated, and comes with a 3-axis gimbal for effective stabilization. It shoots video in 2.7K and takes photos in 12MP.

About the Drone

The Standard is built to be easy to fly, and has some cool features that makes it easier to control, and gives extra safety.

An example of this is the auto-hover, that automatically holds position and altitude when you release your controls, waiting for you to give instructions. You can track it on your mobile device via the live GPS, and with the press of a button you can have it returning home to you. 

This drone is constructed to be safe for beginners, and all its safety functions makes this drone both safe and easy to fly.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Vs DJI Phantom 3 Professional:

The main difference between the Professional edition and the Standard edition of the Phantom 3 is the camera. The Professional edition can shoot in 4K UHD while the Standard shoots in 2.7K. The Phantom 3 Professional also has a better range.

There are other smaller differences in functionality as well, but generally the Standard is focused on beginners and intermediates, while the DJI Phantom 3 Professional is focused on people interested in shooting high-level aerial photography and cinematography. 

Great for Beginners

I highly recommend the DJI Phantom 3 Standard camera drone to both beginners, and intermediates, I think it offers great quality for the money, and it has lots of possibilities. The many safety features also makes it a good choice for beginners.

This video is shot with the 2.7K camera of the Standard over Cingoli lake in Italy:

2. For Professional Aerial Photography –DJI Phantom 3 Professional 4K UHD Video Camera Drone


Camera: UHD recording in 4k
Gimbal: A stabilized 3-axis gimbal included
FPV: live HD view
Flight time: Approx 23 minutes

Check the price here.

The DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter with 4K UHD Video Camera and 3-axis gimbal offers excellent features, smooth videos, crystal clear photos, and a long flight time.

This is another quadcopter manufactured by DJI, one of the leading drone companies in the world. DJI started as a small business, but now have offices in United States, Germany, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong, employing thousands of workers.

About the Drone

The DJI Phantom 3 Professional offers app enabled first person view, vision positioning system and GPS assisted hover. It has a flying system that is easy to use, with commands that lets the quad hover and stop when you release your control, and a return to home command.

You can use your mobile device to easily see what the Phantom is seeing. This camera drone comes with a max ascent speed of 5m/s and a max descent speed of 3m/s. The flight time is long, 23 minutes.

It is delivered ready to fly out of the box.

About the Camera

A high quality camera is included, and it shoots video in 4K at up to 30 frames per second. It takes crisp photos at 12 megapixels.

The 3-Axis gimbal helps you control the camera to get great shots, and it also stabilizes the camera so that you can get great video and stills.

Best Personal Drone for Photography and Cinematography

The excellent 4K video camera, the smooth and stable 3-axis gimbal, the 5km range, and features such as auto-hover, follow me, and point of interest makes this one of the best personal drones for aerial photography in 2016.

3. Best GoPro Drone- DJI Phantom 2 with Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal for GoPro


Camera: No camera included. Designed specifically to work with GoPro cameras.
GoPro-compatible gimbal included
Payload: Designed to carry low weight actions cameras
Flight time: approx 25 minutes
Dimensions: 20 x 10 x 14 inches

Check the price here.

So far in 2016 the DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter with the Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal is the best drone on the market for GoPro.

It is designed specifically to be used with a GoPro camera, the quad has a very good reputation online, the gimbal holds the camera very steady, and the video footage produced is stunning.

This quadcopter is manufactured by DJI, one of the leading drone companies in the world. DJI started as a small business, but has grown because of its expertise and innovative thinking, and they now have offices in United States, Germany, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong, employing thousands of workers.

About the Drone

The DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter has been pre tuned in the factory, which means it's ready to fly in minutes. All you need to do is add the batteries to your remote, charge the quadcopter, attach the propellers  and you are ready to fly.

It's has a 5200 mAh lithium polymer battery, which makes it possible to fly as long as 25 minutes on one charge (without camera) . The propellers have a self-tightening design, which providers extra security.

It does not include a camera, but is designed specifically to work with GoPro cameras.

About the Gimbal

Support is built into the drone for the Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal which is included in this package, and that gimbal provides super smooth video recording and improved camera stability.

The predecessor to this quadcopter is the DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter for GoPro, and the Phantom 2 is a bit smaller than the Phantom Aerial. The Phantom Aerial doesn't come with the gimbal that makes the Phantom 2 such an excellent choice for GoPro users. Without a gimbal the video will not be very stable, and you have less control over the camera. While the Phantom Aerial is cheaper it also only has 15 minutes of flight time.

Video shot with the DJI Phantom 2 and GoPro Hero 4:

4. The Long Flying Parrot –Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition. Controlled by iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android Devices


Camera: 720p high-definition live video streaming to tablet and smartphone
Dimensions: 23 x 5 x 23 inches
Flight time: 36 minutes

Check the price here.

The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition has an outstanding flight time of 36 minutes. A really cool drone for beginners, where you control the quad and stream the cameras view to your smart device. A reasonably priced quad that would fit very well as a first drone.

About the Manufacturer

Parrot is the company behind this drone, and they were founded back in 1994. The company markets, creates, and develops technologically advanced wireless products. The company is headquartered in the city of Paris and has over 900 employees across the world.

About the Drone

The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadricopter Power Edition is controlled via Wi-Fi using tablets or smartphones. The Power Edition has two 1,500mah batteries offering an exceptional flight time of 36 minutes.

It offers great features, such as Director Mode, AR. Freeflight, the ability to do flips and barrel rolls, and an excellent navigation system that improves stability.

You can control it with iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android Devices. When you tilt your device, you control the direction, and when you stop it is stabilized. It has an autopilot function for easy landings and take-offs.

About the Camera

A HD 720p camera is featured on the Parrot AR.Drone 2, and the front camera allows pilots to see exactly what the drone is seeing. It does not have a gimbal.

If you like the idea of a reasonably priced quality camera drone that you can control with your smartphone, where you can also stream the video live, this is a great option for you. The flight time of 36 minutes makes this quad unique, and a great choice for beginners wanting to fly for a long time without having to recharge.

5. The Challenger – Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon Quadcopter


Camera: Camera with 16MP Full HD 1080p  and 60FPS included
FPV: Real-time feed is displayed on the transmitter
Gimbal: 3-axis gimbal included
Flight time: approx 25 minutes

Check the price here.

The Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon has gotten a great reputation in the drone world for shooting great and smooth videos, and unlike many other drone companies they have great US based customer support.

About the Drone

The Yuneec is manufactured by Yuneec Electric Aviation, a drone company with its roots in the RC hobby world, and is an interesting challenger to the DJI Phantom 3.

The drone is delivered ready to fly, and has "Follow Me" capability, where the drone will follow you around keeping the camera on you. There is a no-fly zone database integrated.

There is a real time feed from the camera to the transmitter, the 5.5″ touchsreen of the Personal Ground Station.

About the Camera

The camera for this version of the Yuneec shoots video in Full HD, 1080p, and takes photos in 16MP. Included is a smooth and stable 3 axis gimbal. There is a system for FPV (first person view) integrated, where you can see what the camera sees on your transmitter at all times.

Yuneec Q500+ Compared to the DJI Phantom 3

The Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon captures some extremely smooth videos, and has been praised by photographers and cinematographers.

A big plus is also the great customer service that Yuneec offers from their US based customer service.

The Phantom 3 can take still photos in 12MP while the Yuneec takes them in 16MP.

The Phantom 3 Professional has better video capabilities, and can capture video in Full High Definition (FHD), and Ultra High Definition (UHD) while this version of the Typhoon only captures video in HD.

A big edge for the Phantom 3 is the controller distance, 1 km for the DJI Phantom Standard, 5 km for the Professional version vs 600 meters the the Q500.

Great Reputation

The Yuneec Typhoon Q500 has been very well received and praised by the drone community and also by professional photographers., It is a bit slow moving, but that only makes the video smoother. This is a really exiting alternative to the DJI Phantom 3.


You can now get the Yuneec Q500+ with a 4K camera, for those looking for really professional photography and cinematography.

6. Best Commercial Drone- DJI Inspire 1 Pro


Camera with 4K video and 360 degree rotation. 16 MP photos
3-axis gimbal w brushless motors included
FPV: live HD video streaming
Flight time: around 15 minutes

Check the price here.

This is another drone from DJI, the company that brought us the famous and popular DJI Phantom quad.

If you are a professional photographer or cinematographer, this is probably the drone that offers you the most possibilities for your money in 2016.

Equipped with the ZENMUSE X5 series of micro four thirds camera with interchangeable lens compatibility, lossless 4K RAW video recording, easy remote focus control and an optimized dynamic range.

About the Inspire 1 Pro

It is a rather big drone, its weight is around 6.5 pounds and its width is 1.5 feet. It is more pricey than some of the other commercial drones, but it is very reliable and capable of capturing crystal clear shots with 360 degree rotation.

It has retractable carbon fiber arms and is capable of 360-degree shooting, without the arms getting in the way of the shot. The maximum altitude is 4,500 meters.

It uses intelligent flight modes, that simplify complicated picture taking. There is the Point of Interest mode that makes the drone face a particular landmark or object throughout its flight. There is Waypoints, a mode that allows for autonomous flying following an already set routine.

Great for Real Estate Photography and Aerial Cinematography

With its capability for 360-degree shooting, it is very well suited for real estate photography, movie making and professional photography.

7. Best Mini Quadcopter- Hubsan X4 (H107L) 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Quadcopter


Camera: No camera
Dimensions: 2.3×2.3×1 inches
Flight time: 7-8 Minutes

Check the price here.

If you are a beginner looking for a low cost personal drone without a camera, you might like the Hubsan X4 Quadcopter. It's fun to fly, perfect for beginners that don't need to take pictures, and great if you want to practice your flying techniques before buying a more expensive option.

About the Manufacturer

Hubsan is a company that designs many RC vehicles, including quadcopters. They are known for their swift, agile quadcopters that make it easy to fly indoors and outdoors.

About the Hubsan X4

The Hubsan X4 offers a one-piece, durable mainframe and it comes ready to fly. A LiPO, high capacity battery is included and it offers 2.4Ghz, 4 channel control. This quad is very small with product dimensions of 2.3×2.3×1 inches, and it weighs just four ounces. The six axis flight control system makes this quad excellent for both outdoor and indoor flight.

It doesn't offer a very long flight time, and it's not the best choice if you plan to fly in windier conditions. However, if you want a low cost, good beginner mini quadcopter, it's a great choice that gives you plenty of value for your money.

Video of the Hubsan H107 L in flight:

8. Good First Quadcopter –UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with Camera RTF Mode 2


Camera: 640×480 pixels camera
Dimensions: 33 x 34 x 5.5 cm
Flight time: 6-9 minutes

Check the price here.

If you're a beginner and you're looking for an easy beginner quadcopter that offers a camera, and you are not all that concerned about the quality of the video, then this is a great starting quad for you.

About the Manufacturer

UDI is a company that makes many different RC toys, including cars, helicopters and quadcopters.

About the Quadcopter

The UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with Camera RTF Mode 2 offers plenty of excellent features for a very reasonable price. It has 4 channel function, which offers easy operation and stable flying.

It has a 6 axis gyro that provides improved posture control, making it easy to precisely position the quad. The 3.7V Lithium polymer battery offers about 7-9 minutes of fly time and the battery takes about two hours to recharge. The product dimensions are 13×2.2×13.3, and this quad only weighs 4.2 ounces.

About the Camera

A 640×480 pixels camera is included on the UDI Quad and it comes with a 1G micros SD card as well. While it's not the best camera, the camera does offer good still shots and decent quality video.

You will obviously not get the amazing shots and the same stable video as you get with the more professional personal drones, such as the DJI Phantom, or Yuneec Q500+, however, for beginners that just want to get started with a fun beginner quad that won't break the bank, this cheap camera drone is an excellent choice.

Video shot with the UDI U818A:

These 8 are some of the best value drones the market has to offer so far in 2016. I will try to keep this list updated on a monthly basis, as the industry is developing very fast, and new fascinating personal and commercial drones for sale keep popping up.

Best Assistant of Editing/Playing/Uploading Drones Recorded Videos

You may have downloaded recorded some HD or 4K movies from Drones on your Mac (take Mac for example), and to use these video recordings on your mobile devices, video editors or online websites, there are something you have to know:

1). Video format. You should make sure Drones recorded video formats are compatible with your various end use. So if your Drones videos are incompatible with iPad/iPhone/VLC Player/FCP/iMovie/YouTube/Facebook/Vimeo, convert them to more compatible format on your Mac first; 

2). Video Resolution. To get the perfect view or smooth editing of movies, you'd better make sure the video resolution, bit rate and more of your Drones shoottings are proper for editing/playing/uploading, if not, adjust them.

How can you use clips of a video from Drones without involving using few software with complicated process? With the assistant of iFastime Video Converter Ultimate for Mac, you can easily solve all the problems when making full use of Drones Recorded Videos. Just download the trial version and see if you like it. 

Using the professional HD/4K Video Converter Ultimate (Mac and PC) program, you can:

* Re-encode any recorded 1080p or 2160p movies from Drones to compatible formats and make them accepted by YouTube/Facebook/Vimeo
* Make compatible videos for all of your Android/iOS/Windows devices- iPad, iPhone, Sony, HTC, LG, Samsung, Asus, Microsoft products and others from Drone videos
* Transcode Drone footage to use with Mac/Windows video editors
* Deliver FAST conversion speed
* Support batch video conversion
* With simple and responsive interface, just 3 steps are needed to get Drones videos conversion process done.

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One thought on “Top 8 Best Drones For Sale in 2016

  1. Antoine says:

    You miss HEXO+ the fullybautonoumous drone for action sports. No remote control and great aerial videos with only few touches on your smartphone.

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