The Best Video Drones for Creators (2024)

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Derek Malcolm
April 4, 2024
Best video drones for 2024

The best video drones are the ones that help bring your creativity to life on your channel. Creators need a video drone that delivers high-quality stills and video. The best video drone should be easy for beginners and pros alike, and it shouldn’t kill your budget. 

Video drones have come a long way from the more-fun-than-functional Parrots of old, and the best video drones of today can make reality out of those sweeping scenic aerial shots you dream about with higher quality than ever. 

Some video drones in our lineup include intelligent auto-follow features and will follow you around with birds-eye precision, like a flying camera operator. Some allow you to create a flight path on a map then send the drone out to capture footage.

But not all video drones are created equal. And while drone makers such as DJI, with their class-leading Mavic and Mini drones, fly high above much of the competition (figuratively speaking), so do their price tags, making them inaccessible to a lot of creators. And while we do, of course, tip our hats to the top-end of DJI’s drone line, we’re going to focus on drones that sit in and around the $500 range. At this price point, creators will find quality cameras, simplicity, and features without breaking the bank.

DJI Mini 2 SE


The best overall video drone


  • ✅Great price for a DJI
  • ✅High-quality video
  • ✅Long range for entry-level


  • 🚫Doesn’t shoot 4K
  • 🚫Battery could be better
DJI Mini 2 SE best video drones 2024

After everything we just said about DJI, its excellent DJI Mini 2 SE handily fits in our price-range sweet spot. Given DJI’s video drone legacy, it’s our top pick for the best video drone for most video creators, and it just so happens to be one that we would also categorize as the best budget video drone. It’s the least expensive on our list but make no mistake, there’s nothing cheap about the DJI Mini 2 SE.

The Mini 2 SE is one of, if not the most affordable ways to get into a DJI drone, and for beginner pilots its ease of use and image quality make it an ideal entry-level starter. The Mini 2 SE shoots video in 2.7K (2720×1530) at 30 frames per second (fps) and shoots 12-megapixel stills. With a max flight time of up to 31 minutes, DJI says the Mini 2 SE can run a flight path of up to 9.7 miles (15.7 km).

The included remote lets you add your smartphone for refined control and to see what the drone’s camera sees. The Mini 2 SE takes gorgeous aerial footage from its gimbal-mounted CMOS camera from as high as 4,000 meters. It features all kinds of automations for novices, including one tap take-off and landing, object tracking, and object circling.

DJI Mini 2 SE in hand

Perhaps one of the best things about the Mini 2 SE is how small and compact it is. When folded up, the near palm-sized, 249-gram drone and everything you need to fly it fits snugly in its case.

HoverAir X1

$399 (regular $445)

The best video drone for solo creators


  • ✅Rugged, covered propellers
  • ✅Automatic, push button use
  • ✅Super compact and foldable
  • ✅Doesn’t need a remote or phone to control


  • 🚫Short battery life
  • 🚫No obstacle avoidance or GPS
HoverAir X1 YouTube drone

If your YouTube or Instagram channel is less about epic landscapes and more about you doing something cool, like skateboarding, running, doing sport tutorials, or maybe you just want a camera that can fly itself and follow you around, it doesn’t get much better for the price than the HoverAir X1.

Once you’ve set this video drone up using your smartphone, it’s ready to fly autonomously (though you do have the option to take manual control). The HoverAir X1 has half a dozen presets modes you just access with the push of a button. Billed as a “selfie drone,” the X1 launches from the palm of your hand and will fly above you, follow you, circle you, zoom in and out, and more, all by itself as it collects beautiful 2.7K video for you. Add an excellent portable microphone and you can talk and record while the X1 captures you from afar.

HoverAir X1 functions
HoverAir X1 drone flight paths

At just 10 minutes, flight time could certainly be better. But because it comes with a pair of batteries that are easy to swap out, this may not be a deal breaker. And while it doesn’t include fancy features like obstacle avoidance, its sturdy plastic cage encloses the propellers, protecting them (and anything it might hit) should it bump into something. Think of the HoverAir X as the Tinkerbell of YouTube drones — a tiny magical flying camera to capture all your Peter Panning (I’m so sorry).

EXO Cinemaster 2

$399 ($610 regular price) for the one-battery kit

The best video drone for automatic features


  • ✅Intuitive auto features for solo creators
  • ✅Affordable price
  • ✅4K video at 30 fps
  • ✅Easy setup and use
  • ✅Small but mighty


  • 🚫Doesn’t come with an SD card
  • 🚫Range could be longer
  • 🚫No obstacle avoidance
Exo cinemaster 2 great YouTube drone for solo creators

For video creators looking for a video drone with better range and video quality than the above-mentioned HoverAir X1, the EXO Cinemaster 2 is in the same price range (when on sale) and adds 4K recording into the mix. This video drone offers the same level of autonomy you need to capture you and your unique content.

The Cinemaster 2 is well built, compact for ease of transport (in its included hard case), and simple to set up. Featuring a Sony 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, the Cinemaster 2 takes 4K video at 30 fps, slow-motion video in 1080p, and takes 10MP stills. Color is beautiful and vivid and the clarity is excellent, and there’s even a down-aiming spotlight for night shooting. 

The hover capabilities of the Cinemaster 2 are excellent, providing super-stable shots comparable to other more expensive drones.  

EXO Cinemaster 2 video drone
EXO Cinemaster 2 video drone in hand

But it’s the auto features that make the Cinemaster 2 a good choice for creators. Not only does it feature auto take off, auto land, and return home, but it has “Circle Me” mode and “Follow Me” mode that can adapt to turns and directional shifts. It also has a “Route Fly” mode. This allows you to drop pins on a Google map and program a route for the drone to follow. The camera also has a feature where the gimbal keeps the camera level no matter how the drone moves. 

While the Cinemaster 2 doesn’t have any obstacle avoidance features, and the required microSD card isn’t included, it makes up for it with up to half a mile of control distance, a respectable 28-minute flight time, and a great price.

Potensic Atom SE

$229 for the standard kit (regular $279)

The best 4K video drone under $300


  • ✅4K resolution
  • ✅Amazing price
  • ✅Super compact
  • ✅Comes with two batteries
  • ✅Affordable


  • 🚫Range could be longer
  • 🚫That’s it!
Potensic Atom best video drones

Similar to the DJI Mini 2 SE 2, but with less range (2.5 miles vs. the DJI’s 9.7 miles), 4K video (vs. the SE 2’s 2.7K), and a cheaper price, the Potensic Atom SE is a fantastic and cost-effective 4K video camera drone. 

Potensic is gaining a reputation for its slick looking, well packaged, and affordable drones. And it’s clearly taken a page or two from DJI’s book, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The Atom SE is a compact 4K drone. It can shoot 12MP photos and stunning 4K video at 30 fps on its Sony CMOS sensor.

It comes with an intuitive and easy-to-operate remote that also accommodates a smartphone for additional control and viewing. The “ShakeVanish” electronic stabilization feature is brilliant, keeping things steady for all your awe-inspiring aerial shots.

Speaking of aerial shots, the Atom SE’s 2.5-mile range, while not killer, is more than enough for most people. Especially at this price. And that 31-minute flight time is actually doubled when you consider it comes with two batteries. Most other drones (including the DJI) do not. 

Potensic Atom SE
Potensic Atom SE

The Atom SE’s GPS-assisted functions and smart controls make flying it super easy. Auto take-off, land, and return home are all here. As well as Follow Me, Circle Flight, and Points of Interest modes that you use through the app.

With three flight modes – video, normal, and sport that can propel the drone to its maximum speed of 16 meters per second – there are few shots this video drone can’t get. It weighs just half a pound, less than the 250-gram limit requiring you to get a pilot certificate. And it can fit in your jacket pocket. All this for under $300. A great place to start, don’t you think?  

What’s your pick for best video drone 2024?

Maybe you haven’t gotten into adding drone footage to your videos and are curious about it. Or perhaps you’re looking to add another drone to your arsenal. Whatever your reasons, the best video drones can take your content to the next level. And if you shop smart, the best video drones don’t have to break the bank.

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