One of the best things about flying a drone is seeing your house or street from above using an onboard camera. Some camera drones can take pictures or video for later viewing whilst more advanced drones allow you to watch the action in real time with First Person View or FPV. There is now a huge choice of camera drones with these features under the $100 level, meaning it much easier to get hold of and fly a camera drone. Compare the best camera drones under $100 using the table, then read on to learn more detail about each and every camera drone.
.1. Syma X5HW
The X5HW is an FPV drone, using WIFI to transmit footage from its onboard 2 megapixel camera camera to your mobile device. This is the first Syma to feature ‘Altitude-Hold’, which as the name suggests allows you to maintain altitude at a chosen level. This is particularly helpful for FPV flying, allowing you to focus more attention on avoiding objects. The X5HW also features ‘Headless-Mode’, helping both beginners and experienced drone pilots maintain control of their camera drone in challenging conditions.
The X5HW is a stable camera drone with 5-7 minutes flight time, 30-50m range and weight below 250g, making this camera drone exempt from FAA registration. The X5HW is also perfectly capable of performing flips for the more adventurous fliers. It is very hard to find a better drone under $100.
Check Syma X5HW prices on Amazon here
2. JJRC H26W
The standout feature of the JJRC H26W camera drone is its gimbal mounted camera, a 3 megapixel 720P HD sensor featuring a wide angle lenses. Even more, the camera can be remotely tilted up and down or swivelled left and right from the hand controller. Combined with a 300m range and very stable flight, this is an ideal camera drone for capturing high quality images and video from low to high altitudes.
The focus on camera functionality means the H26W foregoes other features such as FPV and Altitude-Hold. However, the H26W does feature Headless Mode, One-Key-Return, and unusually for this type of camera drone, a heat sink for each of the electric motors. These heat sinks protect the motors from overheating or burning out, keeping your camera drone flightworthy for longer. The H26W can sustain 6-7 flight time, even whilst recording using the gimball mounted camera below.
Check JJRC H26W prices on Amazon here
3. Hubsan X4 H107D+
This featherweight camera drone packs a serious punch. Firstly, the X4 H107D+ features FPV, but unlike similar drones, FPV footage and flight control are transmitted on different frequencies. The benefit of this is a much higher FPV range. The X4 H107D+ also features Altitude Hold, Headless Mode and a 2 megapixel 720P HD video camera. The hand controller also features video and audio-out fittings, allowing you to attach FPV goggles for the full racer-experience.
The X4 H107D+ camera drone has a flight time of 7 minutes, automatically descending to a gentle landing at battery depletion. Control distance is between 50-100m, with FPV range slightly shorter at 30-60m depending on battery level. Although the X4 H107D+ camera drone does not come with an SD card or card reader, its small size makes it exempt from FAA registration. With the H107D+, Hubsan have shrunk the size without sacrificing features. This makes H107D+ the perfect camera drone for travelling or for those living in closer quarters.
Check Hubsan X4 H107D+ prices on Amazon here
4. UDI 818A HD+
This is a great camera drone for beginner to intermediate flyers, enclosed propellors protecting the drone from collisions with objects and the ground. Headless Mode and a ‘Return-Home’ button also help new and experienced fliers alike claw back control during challenging conditions. Once confidence has quickly been built, the 818A HD+ performs flips with ease.
The 818A HD+ camera drone features a 720P HD camera sensor with removable 4GB microSD card, generating great video footage thanks to stable flight. With two swappable battery packs included, you can make the most of the camera with up to 18 minutes flight time. Moreover, with a range closer to 100m than the stated 40m, you can survey a lot of territory. The only thing missing is FPV mode.
Check UDI 818A HD+ prices on Amazon here
5. JXD 509W
A stealthy looking camera drone, the JXD 509W features WIFI enabled FPV mode, recording footage directly to your smartphone. FPV mode works well with video range over 30m, exceeded by a control range of 60-80m. This camera drone demonstrates great flying behaviour and boasts an an extremely effective altitude hold feature, making this one of the easiest FPV flyers at this price. The JXD 509W camera drone can achieve 6-8 minutes flight time, with automatic landing on low battery or at the press of a button.
Check JXD 509W prices on Amazon here