Getting a quadcopter drone for anything under $500 (make that $1000 if you were to look for a drone from a ‘known’ brand) was quite a difficult task until about a year and a half back. Many new quadcopter drone makers have come up in the meantime, which has resulted in increased competition and therefore, plummeting prices.
Note: This list has been updated for November 2016.
Earlier, we’ve listed the top 5 best beginner drones under $50, top 5 drones with headless mode under $25, and more recently, top 5 hexacopter drones under $20. If you’ve been looking for something more powerful (read: camera), you’re in the right place, because this is the guide that you need to read before you can buy cheap quadcopter drones with cameras!
Without wasting any more time, lets get started. Also, a point worth noting is that the stores linked with the lists ship worldwide!
Top 5 Best Drones with Camera under $50
1. DM007 NightHawk ($39, 2MP)
This one’s a classic. The DM007 is arguably the best known cheap camera drone in quadcopter hobbyist circles, retailing at under $50 with a killer design and of course, a camera.
Interestingly, this one comes with a variety of different camera options you can choose from. The base version comes with a 0.3 mega-pixel camera (there’s also a no-camera version), but you can also get the DM007 with either a 2 mega-pixel camera, or a 5 mega-pixel one. Interestingly, it also comes with WiFi FPV now!
2. BM Toys M1-3 X-5 ($40, 0.3MP)
The BM Toys M1-3 X-5 might not have a name that’s the easiest to remember, but what the quadcopter does have is a very attractive price for what it has on offer. Essentially, it is an alternative to the Syma X5C, but it costs a mere $40!
The BM Toys M1-3 X-5 (aka the ‘flip king’) comes with a 0.3 mega-pixel camera that will allow any quadcopter beginner to get in the air and take some decent photos and video.
3. Nova Core M7 ($38, 2MP)
The Nova Core M7 probably has the most attractive and ‘new age’ design among all of the quadcopters listed here. It also comes with a camera that’s rated higher than most others here, with a resolution of 2 mega-pixels.
Additionally, it comes with a free 2GB memory card. This probably makes the Nova Core M7 an all-round solution for quadcopter beginners and intermediates, since not only is it RTF (ready to fly – explained) but also comes with a free memory card.
4. Moontop MT 9916 ($32, 2MP)
The Moontop MT 9916 comes with a design that is strikingly similar to that of the Syma X11 (review). However, at just $37 shipped, the MT 9916 is way cheaper than the Syma alternative with a bundled camera.
The Moontop MT 9916 has a 2 mega-pixel camera unlike most other quadcopters listed in this article. Size wise, the Moontop MT 9916 is small enough to be flown inside the house, which not a lot of other quadcopters are fit for.
5. TYH Model TY 925 ‘Conversion’ Quadcopter ($35, 0.3MP)
Again not the easiest name to remember, but it’s the price to value ratio that attracts us anyway. The TY 925 is known as the ‘conversion’ quadcopter for a reason; besides flying like a regular quadcopter in the air, the TY 925 comes with some attachments that you can use to get a novelty kick out of it.
It’s again a 0.3 mega-pixel camera on this one, so there’s hardly anything to choose from in between the quadcopters listed here.
Cheap Camera Drones under $50: Conclusion
If you know of any better quadcopters or would like to let others know about your experience with any one in this list, comment below.
If not, head over to the top 5 section to see what other top 5 lists RC Drone Arena has for you!