Best Starter Camera Drones

It’s become very popular in recent years and drone flying is no longer regarded as ‘suspicious’ or dangerous by the general public. As long as you act responsibly and fly safely it’s something you can enjoy in peace and learn new skills. Camera drones allow you take stunning pictures and video clips, and if you’re interested in photography they bring a new dimension to the hobby.

A quick search on Amazon or other online stores will bring up camera drones from under £50. However, you get what you pay for of course, and these are little more than toys. Flight times of cheap drones are frustratingly low, they lack safety features and can be fiddly to control. Cameras are low-quality and you don’t get the benefit of a live video feed from the drone, so taking pictures is hit-and-miss.

DJI Mini 2 SE

If you’re serious about flying drones as a hobby or have been disappointed with a cheap model and want to upgrade, the DJI Mini 2 SE is a great option. DJI are widely regarded as the best drone designer and manufacturer on the market, and their models are the choice of most professional operators. Fortunately, they’ve also developed starter drones for the hobby market, and the budget-friendly Mini 2 SE fits perfectly into this category.

Here are some of the key features making this new model the best starter drone available today.

  • Sub-249g weight, and foldable design. As well as meaning the Mini 2 SE is light and portable, it’s also exempt from most drone regulations

  • 31-minute flight time. No need to keep landing to swap batteries or cut your flight short!

  • Level 5 wind resistance. Although it’s one of the lightest drones available, the Mini 2 SE is stable and safe to operate in moderate winds, unlike many models

  • 12MP photos and 2.7K video capture. This far outperforms other mini drones at this price level, making it ideal if you’re into photography

Intelligent flight modes. These enable even a beginner with very basic flying skills to capture cinematic video clips

Best Starter Drone 2023

Mini 3 Pro - Ultimate sub 250g drone

If your budget will stretch to it, DJI’s Mini 3 Pro is also highly recommended as a starter drone. It’s equally light and portable and many would describe it as the ultimate sub-250g drone. The Mini 3 Pro captures 48MP images and incredible 4K HDR video - a worthy competitor for any camera drone available. It also has obstacle-sensing and next-level safety features. Don’t be fooled by its size and price tag - this drone really does deserve the ‘Pro’ title.

Best Starter Drone 2023

Drone designers have worked hard to develop sub-250g models and it’s a real achievement to pack so much technology into such small aircraft. If the drone has a camera it must still be registered, but it’s not necessary to take the flyer ID test. At Drone Safe, we still do recommend you take this test though, and we’re happy to help and advise on this.

Sub-250g drones can be flown closer to people than 50m, and it makes the whole experience easier with less stress about proximity to the public. You must of course still fly with safety in mind, and you can’t fly over crowds or in restricted areas.

Hobbyist Membership

If you’re thinking of taking up drone flying as a hobby we offer a membership package, especially for you at Drone Safe. As well as an Operator ID card and stickers this gives you access to exclusive discounts in our store, expert support and discounts on insurance and training


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About the Author: DSR Journalist

Harrison Green