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The options can be overwhelming when trying to buy the best drone under $300.  Hence, to make the selection process easier, we have put together this guide.  Going for the right drone depends on the reasons for buying – perhaps you want to explore aerial video or photography, or due to your interest in RC or UAV.  Either way, you have several options to choose from, including the small quadcopters suitable for simple multi-rotor orientation lessons and octocopters, which are usually fitted with different gears including wireless aerial imaging monitors and stabilization gimbals. 

The diversity is not only in the types, it exists in the prices too.  As expected, the simpler ones will be cheaper and readily available, unlike the complex ones with more sophistication and subsequently higher prices.  Thus, you can have some drones selling for thousands of dollars.  Such machines are not meant for starters – strictly for professionals and for professional applications.  Having a fair bit of drone piloting expertise is not sufficient reason to get an expensive quadcopter or drone.  Rather, it is more logical to go for some of the best drones under $300, and interestingly, you will get several options with amazing quality and features.  

This guide has compiled the best drones under $300, alongside the necessary information for each entry.  If used properly, this guide will help you to decide the right drone that suits your preference.




The Best Drones Under $300 Comparison Table

Features

Potensic D80

Contixo F18

Holy Stone HS700

SwagDrone

210-UP

Holy Stone HS100

Altair Outlaw

Rating

4.4

4.2

4.3

4.1

4.6

4.3

Image

Potensic D80 Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com
Contixo F18 Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com
Holy Stone HS700 Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com
SWAGTRON SwagDrone 210-UP Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com
Holy Stone HS100 Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com
Altair Outlaw Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com

Camera

1080P

1080P

1080P

700 TVL camera

1080P

1080P

Control range

300m

1600m

1000m

800m

500m

1000m

Flight time

20min

16-20min

18min

15min

15min

18-20min

FPV

Yes

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Dimensions

11.6 x 11.6 x 3 inches

14.5 x 13.4 x 3.15 inches

8.66 x 8.66 x 6.1 inches

7.2 x 7.2 x 4 inches

19.7 x 19.7 x 6.9 inches

11.3 x 11.3 x 3 inches

Weight

0,97 pounds

0.73 pounds

1.34 pounds

0,44 pounds

1.54 pounds

0.97 pounds

Best Price

*Scroll right on mobile device to see every item


The Best Drones Under $300 Reviews


Potensic D80 Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com

Potensic D80 PS FPV RC Drone

Price: $179.99

Drone Features

Rating: 4,4

Dimensions: 11.6 x 11.6 x 3 inches

Camera: 1080P

FPV: Yes

Control range: 300m

Flight time: 20min

Charging time: 300min

Weight: 0.97 pounds

Potensic D80 PS FPV RC Drone Review

It’s definitely not the cheapest on the list, it is worth the purchase.  With a factory-fitted 1080p real-time transmission camera, you get excellent images at any speed or altitude.  You also have a built-in GPS through which you can get accurate coordinates of the current location of your drone. The electric fence ensures that your drone doesn’t stray further than expected.  

The drone runs at an impressive maximum speed of 40 kilometers per hour – this can get really tempting, so it is best that you control the speed adequately. 

Potensic D80 PS FPV RC Drone is not only durable, the sturdy construction means it is stable and flies smoothly.  The user-friendly controls offer easy maneuvering irrespective of the speed and altitude.  If you can deal with these minor issues, getting this drone will turn out to be a bargain for you. 

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • It requires up to 300 minutes to get fully charged

Contixo F18 Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com

Contixo F18 RC Quadcopter Drone

Drone Features

Rating: 4,2

Dimensions: 14.5 x 13.4 x 3.15 inches

Camera: 1080P

FPV: Yes

Control range: 1600m

Flight time: 16-20min

Weight: 0.73 pounds

Contixo F18 RC Quadcopter Drone Review

Let’s start with the intuitive interface of this excellent drone.  There are a couple of key functions, all simple enough to help anyone control this drone easily.  By pushing the 1-Key, the drone takes off and land seamlessly – quite useful for beginners still learning how to land drones.  The headless mode or intelligent orientation control ensures that you can orientate your drone precisely rather than guessing.

Brushless Motors

There are four brushless motors in this drone, and together, they ensure the excellent agility and maximum control of the drone.  They are responsible for the speed, altitude, and other important controls while in motion.

Bright LED Lights

There are also four bright LED lights, which illuminate the path of this drone.  A drone without lights can be easily missed at night, but the Contixo F18 stays noticed in the dark, all thanks to these lights.  Thus, there is no difference between flying this drone during the day and at night. 

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • Using this drone requires registration with the FAA – the weight falls into the category that must be registered. This is not only peculiar to the F18, but virtually all the drones on this list also require FAA registration. The registration process is quite simple, and it helps you stay legal and out of trouble.

Holy Stone HS700 Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com

Holy Stone HS700 FPV Drone

Price: $249.99

Drone Features

Rating: 4,3

Dimensions: 8.66 x 8.66 x 6.1 inches

Camera: 1080P

FPV: Yes

Control range: 1000mm

Flight time: 18min

Weight: 1.34 pounds

Holy Stone HS700 FPV Drone

This machine was built with high power acceleration in mind, thus, it effortlessly makes the list of the best drones under 300 dollars in the current market.  The camera is not only HD, the 1080p and 120 degrees specification mean it is capable of capturing impressive photos even while on high speeds.  There is also a 5.8 GHz FPV real-time transmission that operates at a frequency of 2.4 GHz, thus ensuring stability while the drone is in flight. 

Despite the considerably low flight time, the Holy Stone HS230 Racing Drone is a good buy, and you will be impressed by the features available at such cheap price. 

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • You get notified of low power, courtesy of the efficient alert system
  • Inbuilt high-performance batteries that offer twice the normal flight time
  • Easy navigation facilitated by bright LED lights
  • Options of three slow to high -speed modes, making the drone suitable for beginners, intermediate drone flyers, as well as experts

SWAGTRON SwagDrone 210-UP Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com

SWAGTRON SwagDrone 210-UP RC Racing Drone

Price: $179.99

Drone Features

Rating: 4,1

Dimensions: 7.2 x 7.2 x 4 inches

Camera: 700 TVL camera

FPV: Yes

Control range: 800m

Flight time: 15min

Charging time: 100min

Weight: 0.44 pounds

Perhaps, you are the type that loves racing with your drones? Then this elegant drone is for you – with this drone, your chances of winning just got better.  In addition to the speed, you have a high-quality camera that allows you to check pictures and videos with excellent precision and a 120-degree field of view.  

Get the best out of this drone by flying it at night – you will be amazed at the power of the LED lights.  The lights will definitely offer you an unfair advantage over your competitors.  Even if you are an expert drone flyer, this machine promises you a whole new level of experience.  The durable construction means it is made to withstand crashes while running at top speed. 

There is an inbuilt crash protection that doesn’t contribute to the weight of the drone.  Take your time to learn how to fly this drone, and when you are done, you will be a formidable competitor to any challenger, and eventually a worthy winner.

Virtually everyone will find this drone suitable for their use. Despite the fact that it is not compatible with a Wi-Fi connection, this drone is worth the price and of course the hype.  

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • No WiFi connection
  • Setup takes time

Holy Stone HS100 Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com

Holy Stone HS100 GPS FPV RC Drone

Price: $169.99

Drone Features

Rating: 4,6

Dimensions: 19.7 x 19.7 x 6.9 inches

Camera: 1080P

FPV: Yes

Control range: 500m

Flight time: 15min

Weight: 1.54 pounds

Holy Stone HS100 GPS FPV RC Drone

This also comes under this list as one of the most reliable drones under $300 – according to ratings by drone experts.  The outdoor drone offers a combination of impressive specifications and features, most notably its stability and simple maneuverability.  It should be noted that the HS100 should not be used indoors, its most popular use is for filming sporting events, including marathons and for capturing notable moments during holidays.   

The drone sports an impressive 15-minute flight time per battery (7.4V 2500mAh).  The maximum control range of 500 meters is also quite excellent.

Camera – a top quality camera, capable of filming videos and taking pictures at 1080p resolution.  The camera also offers a 120-degree field of view, thus giving you a much wider angle.  You can set the angle to your preference, perhaps 90-degrees to access the same image from various viewing angles. This comes handy in FPV flights.  You can also enjoy the live transmission of the Live Video, courtesy of your Wi-Fi, straight to the smartphone device of the pilot.  To access this, however, you need to download the free app of the drone, compatible with both iOS and Android.

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • FAA registration is necessary for its use in the United States

Altair Outlaw Best Drones Under $200 review by www.dronemadness.com

Altair Outlaw GPS Drone

Price: $249.80

Drone Features

Rating: 4,3

Dimensions: 11.3 x 11.3 x 3 inches

Camera: 1080p

FPV: Yes

Control range: 1000-1500m

Flight time: 18-20min

Charging time: 300min

Weight: 0.97 pounds

Altair Outlaw GPS Drone

With the inbuilt excellent 1080p HD Camera, advanced GPS features, and impressive stability, the Altair Outlaw is definitely a great buy at 280 USD.  The drone effortlessly makes the list as one of the best drones under $300 and is tipped as the machine with the most value for almost everyone. 

The Outlaw offers simple but excellent photography options, an impressive range, and a long battery life.  For beginners looking to delve into the drone world, this will be a great buy.  The inbuilt GPS mode has automatic stabilization and return-to-home options; you only need to push a button and your drone will return back to where it took off.  

Aerial photographers will find this machine quite useful, all thanks to its great camera quality and features, which captures and films great pictures and stable videos.  

You get this and more without upsetting your budget. 

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • A single factory-fitted battery
  • Must be recalibrated after every flight

What to Look Out For When Buying a Drone

Experience isn’t the determining factor here – both beginners and expert drone flyers will struggle a bit to find the right drone under $300.  The options are literally unlimited, all with impressive features, battery life, and camera.  However, like we have the good drones under $300, there are also rip-offs under this category.  Thus, it is crucial to stay informed and know what to look out for in a drone when in the market for one.  We understand this can be a daunting task, and that is why we have compiled a list of helpful tips that will help you choose the best drone under $300.  

Let’s check them out!

Purpose

This is the first and the most important factor – what do you plan to use your drone for?  The purpose will determine which feature becomes the most important to you.  For instance, if videography or photography is the purpose, you will need a drone with excellent camera specifications.  Likewise, if you need a machine to fly around in your backyard, then you might consider other factors like battery life, pilot assistance, and similar features.

Camera and Video Resolution

The camera resolution of your drone is quite important, although it all boils down to the intended role for the drone.  Whatever your intention is, you will either need a drone with a higher or lower camera resolution.  Finding a drone with a good camera (up to a 4K impression) under $300 will be almost impossible.  However, such resolution may not be a compulsory feature, except you are a professional content creator or you have 4K televisions and monitors that can view such high-resolution footages as filmed by your drone.  If not, getting a drone with such high camera resolutions will amount to a total waste.  Furthermore, you will need a powerful computer to work on 4k footages, and if you don’t have such, editing your drone footages may be quite difficult. Likewise, a vast amount of storage space is required to keep such footages, as they are usually very heavy.

Perhaps, the only advantage of high-resolution footage is that you can zoom in without losing the quality of the video.  For instance, you will still be in the 1080p quality if you zoom in on a subject of interest captured at 4k resolution.  

What you will find in most drones under $300 is either a 1090p camera or a 720p camera – the former is more prominent than the latter.  If you would like to share the captured videos from your drone with external channels, then getting a drone under $300 with 1080p would be great.  However, if the camera is just for personal use, a 720p resolution (or something lower) would work just fine.  

Do not be surprised if you find no camera in some drones.  Most times, such drones have higher top speeds or maximum altitude, and this makeup for the absence of cameras.  So, if you are a speed guy or just interested in flying as high as possible, you may settle for a drone without a camera.

Frame Rate

The frame rate is the next most significant factor to consider when getting the best drone under $300.  Every drone camera has a frame rate with which it records videos. The most common frame rate is 30 frames per second, and this is a considerably acceptable standard.  The videos shot at this frame rate appears good on most monitors and televisions.  You can also record at lower resolutions, but at higher frame rates, on most drones.  

You should note that recording at higher frame rates will require vast storage space, and you must factor this in when deciding on which drone to buy and how to use the camera.  The computer to be used for working on the videos must have enough space to keep all these videos.  Likewise, your drone must support outfitted SD cards or similar methods of storage if you are looking to record high-resolution videos or videos with high frame rates. 

Having a camera capable of taking videos at high frame rates offers you two primary benefits.  First, a video filmed at high frame rate can be slowed down during the editing process without losing the video quality or encountering stuttering frame rate issues, as found during playbacks of videos at reduced speed.  Consider a video recorded at 120 frames per second; the video will still run smoothly on most televisions even when the speed is reduced by 25% and subsequently set at 30 frames per second.  The second advantage here is that such videos appear smoother irrespective of how fast or high the drone was during the capture.  This is a quite useful feature, because most drones, even under $300, are capable of reaching very high speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.  

Gimbal and Camera Stabilization

Lastly on the camera, when in the market for an affordable drone, consider the stability of the drone’s camera.  The balance of most drones during flight is achieved through the use of a gimbal.  With a gimbal, your drone tilts from side to side as you make turns and switch directions.  In drones where the camera is built directly into the frame of the drone, the footage will most likely be tilted slightly as your drone changes directions or when there is a sharp change in the speed.  This is even more common in the best drones under $300.  

Unlike expert pilots who have the required expertise to maneuver such drones easily, beginners will struggle to capture good footages with such cameras.  Thus, if as a beginner, you plan on making aggressive maneuvers without your footage losing its smoothness or quality, then go for drones whose camera has a gimbal.  With the gimbal, you can mount your camera right in front of the drone’s body strategically, such that it captures with great precision since it is not affected by the vibrating motor and rotors.  

Gimbals, with their supportive arms, are controlled by a gyroscope, and this ensures that the camera is held in place, such that the tilting of the drone doesn’t affect the footages.

Autonomous Flight Features

Autonomous flight control has different levels, as evident in the several newer drones available today.  With this feature, the drone can override the pilot’s inputs to ensure safety or fly itself to capture better shots or enable the pilot to control it hands-free.  There is usually an auto takeoff and landing feature in some drones, and this comes handy for newbie pilots trying to master the art of flying a drone while avoiding crashes.  However, the sophistication of the autonomous features in drones under the $300 price range is usually limited, although you can get quite good capabilities from some models.

Drones are commonly used as tripods since the cameras are capable of capturing clear still and top quality images.  You will most likely find a selfie mode in most drones under $300, and this is made possible by the onboard sensors of the drone, which functions in stabilizing the machine a few feet of the ground while capturing focused shots of you and your friends.  The autonomous follow mode can also be found in some drones – this feature allows the drone to lock onto various targets as set by the pilot, including but not limited to vehicles and people.  Once the target has been locked, the drone follows it on its own without the pilot directing it.  This feature comes handy when you want to take a photo of yourself without anyone around to pilot the drone for you.  Another use of the following feature is in tracking objects that are out of the line of sight, although long-range uses are not recommended for most drones under $300.  

The automatic obstacle avoidance is another useful built-in feature found in several drones.  This feature works by using different ultrasonic and infrared sensors placed at different strategic spots on the drone to identify and avoid obstacles that are close.  It is even more useful for drones that fly outdoors – when in use, it reduces the chances of the drone crashing into obstacles.  

The last autonomous flight feature, which is quite common in most drones, is the journey mode.  It is usually inbuilt in most drones, and it ensures that the drone navigates along a predetermined path while maintaining a straight and smooth line.  Thus, you get to capture smooth and clear still shots without having to pilot the drone by yourself.  The feature also enables the drone to auto-navigate itself from one destination to another.  

Controller and FPV

It is important to consider the inbuilt controller of your potential drone, if any, irrespective of the intended purpose – photography, videography, or just flying for pleasure.  You may not find any controller in some drones under $300.  However, in the place of the controller is an app, which can be installed on your tablet or phone, and used in controlling the drone.  Do not buy a drone without a controller, unless it fits your skill level.  Most simple controllers have just two joysticks, while the more sophisticated ones may come with extra buttons for intelligent orientation control and trim adjustment among others.  There may be additional features as well, although most are not usually useful for beginner pilots. 

FPV or First-Person View is an important feature that you must consider if you are looking to fly your drone outside of your line of sight.  The standard way of handling this is the drone syncing and displaying a real-time camera feed obtained from the camera straight to the phone or tablet of the user.  Another option is to go for a drone under $300 capable of pairing with a VR headset – the connection allows you to see from the drone’s pilot view.  The feature is quite important if you want to take photos of targets that are out of sight from the ground.  It is also handy in drone races since the pilot gets to fly the drone with more precision, even through an obstacle.  

Range and Battery Life

Despite being a crucial factor, battery life varies significantly across most drones under the $300 price range.  You can have a battery life of up to 25 minutes in some high-end drones, while the maximum some lower-end drone offer is about 7 minutes.  The intended use of your drone will determine the battery life option to settle for.  For instance, if you are interested in taking cinematic shots at locations far from your home with your drone, then you should get a drone that offers plenty of flight time.  If you end up with one of the many drones with shorter 7-minute battery life, there will be limitations to how far your drone can travel and return without shutting down.  

The range of a drone depends on the battery life – drones with longer flight times will have higher battery life, and ultimately longer ranges (of up to a mile).  Such drones are perfect for taking shots of distant points of interests or targets that cannot be easily reached.  An automatic return feature will be an additional advantage, especially if you plan to fly long ranges.  With this feature, your drone detects a low battery and how far it has traveled from the pilot. Hence, it turns around automatically and returns to the user.  This ensures that your drone doesn’t crash somewhere far away, due to a low battery; it will always find its way back to you before the battery runs out. 

The batteries in some drones can be replaced with spares when they are low.  Thus, if you will be flying your machine at a location that is far from home where power is not easily accessible, or when you do not have the time to recharge the battery, you can get a drone under this price range that uses replaceable batteries.  After getting one, purchase extra batteries and get them all charged before leaving home.  Once a battery dies, you simply replace it with one of the spares.  Thus, you can keep your drone running for longer than permitted with a single battery.  Also, some drones have an inbuilt fast charge feature. Hence, they charge faster than normal. Such drones are great for indoor use. 

Understand the Local Laws

Before getting a new drone, ensure that you are conversant with the laws of your state, and if needed, your country.  In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration – FAA is the regulatory body for flights. Thus, the organization has put in place some restrictions on the flight of drones, notably, the 400-foot maximum altitude limit, and the “no-flight” rule for drones when around airports.  

However, such restrictions do not hold in certain states or localities – such places have existing laws that regulate the flight of drones.  For instance, some suburbs consider filming with drones as illegal surveillance, while others regard the action as rude.  Certain suburban areas also frown at the use of loud drones.  In some states, some rules govern the flying of a drone out of your line of sight – this limits the use of the long-range features of drones, especially to capture the first-person view flight.  

Depending on your locality, you can access local laws for your state via the designated government websites.  Go through these laws to ensure that you are not doing anything illegal by using your drone.

Replacement Propeller Blades

Like every other toy out there, you cannot entirely rule out your drones crashing, mainly if you are still a beginner.  One of the most advisable precautions is to get a set of spare propellers in place, in the event of a crash or damage.

A Backpack

Moving your drone around can be a difficult task, especially without the proper storage case to keep it.  You can guarantee the safety of your drone while in transit by keeping it in a safe and durable backpack that is specially designed for transporting drones. 

Wireless Transmission

In some drones, you can access the live view of the drone’s camera via your remote control screen.  In such cases, it is best that you use a screen with a minimal interface.


Helpful Tips To Pick the Best Drone Under $300

The following tips are sure to help you in getting the best drone under the $300 price range.  Check them out!

Buy a drone made for your skill level

For users that have handled various types of drone, getting a sophisticated drone will be a logical decision.  However, if a beginner gets such, they may have problems controlling it even before they start to enjoy their new toy.  Advanced drones are only for experts.  A beginner will get the hang of operating a drone faster when a simple drone is used for practicing. But once they have mastered the art, they can try out their skills on a more sophisticated drone.  

Opt for a drone that can do what you want

There is no point getting a drone that cannot meet your needs.  Thus, ensure that your new drone is the one that can perform the functions you want.  And for this to happen, such drone must have the required features to perform such functions.  If you want a drone for indoor use, then you should get the one designed as such, rather than buying an outdoor drone and using it for indoor purposes. 

Others

Start simple and progress gradually – this reduces costly mistakes

Get replacement spare parts, in case there is a crash or accident (especially for beginners). 

Good drones don’t come cheap, thus do not compromise on quality for low prices.  A black market drone will most likely not live up to expectations, and instead, offer you poor performance and below-par results. 

Airspace Restrictions

Now that you have identified and considered all the factors that guide the purchase of a new drone, you are just a step away from getting your new toy.  The last step is where you find out the airspace restrictions, as related to drones, in your area.  The knowledge of these regulations will help you stay out of trouble and imbibe best practices while using your new machine.  

First, ensure that your drone is registered with the Federation Aviation Administration – FAA.  Also, do not fly within 5 miles of airport and military facilities, and do not fly over people or their property without their consent.  Never fly to such locations as national parks and roadways; the same goes for crime scenes and fires. 


Your Expectations From Drones Under $300

Now that you have your new toy let us take a look at what you should expect from your under $300 drone.

Battery Life

There is something unique with the battery life of drones – the higher the sophistication, the more the flight time you get out of your battery.  For instance, the premium drones will offer around 22 to 27 minutes of airtime, while the cheaper ones may not manage up to 20minutes.  However, the average flight time you can get out of the drones under $300 is about 15-20 minutes.

Camera Quality

Not every drone model out there will sport cameras with excellent resolution, such as the 1080p footage and hardware image stabilization.  Do not be surprised if you discover that most drones on this list do not have cameras, although this doesn’t in any way suggest that they will soon be outdated.  You will most likely find impressive cameras on more expensive drones, with resolutions of 720p or 1080p, but do not be shocked if most of such drones pack below-par CMOS sensors.

Flight Range

The common standard when it comes to flight range is at least 300 meters.  However, you will find several models capable of reaching 500 meters and further, although they come at slightly higher price ranges.  It is not advisable to settle for a drone with less than 300 meters flight range – it deprives you of the chance to explore the area with your FPV goggles.  


Best Uses of the Drones under $300

There are no universal standards to this – it all depends on how well you can use the drone, your creativity, and imagination.  However, you can rest assured that every drone on this list is capable of multifaceted applications.  From training beginners to become the best flying trainers to serving as an exciting piece of equipment to experts, drones under this category are used for several reasons.  Drones on this list are excellent for practicing due to their cost; they are relatively cheaper, so crashing them wouldn’t be much of a risk, compared to when using a $1000 drone to practice.  

The top uses of the best drones under $300 include:

Simple Flying

If you have had basic training on flying drones, it is normal to be interested in trying something more serious and at the same time fun.  With features like excellent and responsive control, one key flip, and remarkable stability of flight, these drones are capable of flying casually, while enabling the user to have as much fun as possible.

Practice

If you want to be a master or a champion at drone flying, these drones are your best practice gears.  With them, you are guaranteed stress-free or tension-free experience, and you settle better into the first level of piloting.  Some of the drones on this list offer pro-flights too, which is also good for your practice. 

Aerial Photography

Drones on this list are really great at filming aerial videos and taking excellent shots.  When used correctly, these toys have nice cameras with useful features that make photography and videography quite easy and fun, while getting the best results.  Alongside the cameras, they also have impressive flight times and ranges.


Frequently Asked Questions

How reliable are these drones?

These drones have been tested and proven to be very reliable.  The first indicator of this is the apparent fact that they are equipped with brushless motors.  Thus, unlike the drones with brushed motors, they can work much longer and are very durable.  They are also well built to survive for long. However, you will still have to treat them with care while operating them.  Do not fly them at full speed except you are a pro that knows how to navigate perfectly.  A massive hit will most likely get your drone damaged. 

A smaller drone or a large drone – which is better?

This depends on what you are looking for in a drone.  The larger drones will offer smoother flights, compared to the smaller ones, although the bigger models cost a lot more and are very tedious to move around.  A smaller drone will work just fine for your hiking and traveling needs. 

A drone and an RC plane – what is the difference?

It is important to state that a drone and an RC plane are different – although they may seem quite the same things generally.  There are different classes of drones – military-grade or residential crewless aircraft (UAVs) – and they are all designed to be versatile with different useful features, including FPV capabilities among others.  Drones are usually made for particular uses, and thus, they are more direct in their functions, compared to the RC planes.  We can say a drone is a real aircraft that runs without a pilot.  On the other hand, RC planes are more of a hobby than special uses.  Both RC planes and drones are usually built, but drones are more relevant, considering their multifaceted uses.  

Also, a drone is different from an RC plane when it comes to regulations and laws set by the Federal Aviation Administration.  According to the FAA regulations, there are special safety measures a drone must adhere to, in addition to having a registration number clearly listed on it.  Likewise, all drones exceeding 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds (of weight) must be registered with the agency.  

There are no such regulations or restrictions for RC planes. 

Where am I allowed to fly my drone?

Drones are unique because they can be flown almost everywhere – indoor or outdoor – including your backyard, or a large open field.  And if you are already an expert, there is no limit to where you can send your drone to.  However, there are certain restrictions as set by the FAA, and which relates to flying a drone.  Such rules specify where your drones are not allowed to fly to or access. 

Which locations are forbidden for my drone?  

If you are interested in flying your drone just for pleasure, you really do not have to worry about these restrictions.  The FAA has put in place some stringent regulations and laws on flying drones for industrial purposes, and disregarding such will warrant you to pay very hefty fines, or in serious cases, serve jail time.  

In the United States, drones are not allowed within 5 miles from any airport, because their presence inhibits smooth air traffic control, which can ultimately lead to crashes.  Also, a drone pilot must always have a visual line-of-sight and yield to crewed aircraft, i.e., the standard commercial airplanes. 

You are also not allowed to fly your drone near the White House (not less than 15 miles).  This FAA rule has been in place for a long time, but it was amended in 2015 after an incident.  The new rule requires anyone that violates this regulation to pay a fine of up to $25,000 and even serve jail time.

It is illegal to fly your drone to a height of above 400 feet in the air.  This is because of such height clashes with the airspace plied by manned aircraft.  Anyone guilty of this will have to pay a very hefty fine.  

Flying a done at night is another illegal act, or in instances where vision is a problem in general. It is also unacceptable to fly your drone into your neighbor’s backyard or into any property that is not yours. 

The rules are literally inexhaustible, but they are generally set to ensure the safety of everyone.  While most of these rules came up as a sequel to actions of past offenders, they have come to stay and must be followed.

Is it compulsory to register my drone with the FAA?

Registering with the FAA is not compulsory for all drones, in fact, it depends on the size of your drone.  Small sized drones that will be used indoor doesn’t require registration, unlike larger drones that are meant for only outdoor uses.  In such cases, registering with the FAA is compulsory.

What are the consequences of not registering with the FAA?

Refusal to register your drone with the FAA despite that it meets the specified weight and size is illegal, and it comes with serious consequences.  You may have to face civil penalties, which could cost you up to $27,500 in fines, or criminal penalties, alongside a $250,000 fine.  In some instances, the offender may be sentenced to up to 3 years in prison.  

Is there a special training I must undergo before I can operate my drone?

If you are flying your drone for pleasure or as a general hobby and similar uses, you do not need any special training.  However, you may decide to undergo flight training for a crewless aircraft to improve your skills, but it is not compulsory or necessary for operating a recreational drone. 

Can I learn using the best drones under 300$?

Yes, you can.  The drones discussed in this piece come with responsive controls and steady hovers.  We have identified the best drones for beginners, and the one suited for experts.  However, note that racing drones are not for beginners, irrespective of how easy they are to maneuver.  Handling such drones require a certain level of expertise that a beginner lacks.  Instead, go for beginner-friendly quads as a newbie. 

Can I fly outdoor and indoor?

Not all drones are designed for both indoor and outdoor use – only those that meet this condition can be used as such.  We have highlighted some that meet this condition in this piece, as well as those that are meant for either outdoor or indoor use.  Kindly check them out.

How safe are these drones for children?

These drones are not meant to be used by children.  There are drones specially designed for kids, and they come with protective frames around the propellers and the motor, alongside a very steady hover, responsive control, lightweight, plastic frame, and overall minimalistic design. 

Are these drones compatible with GoPro and similar action cameras?

Some of the drones on the list, especially the larger drones with brushless motors, are compatible with SJCam, Xiaomi, GoPro action cameras. Check out the features section of the descriptions for the camera specifications and compatibilities.  

Can I find a drone under $300 that features a complete FPV package?

Yes, you can.  Some great drones come with all you will ever require to fly FPV, including the LCD monitor and FPV goggles. 


Conclusion

Getting a drone that is a little above the beginner’s model but a little less feature-packed at price range of $300 is definitely a great buy.  You get a fair deal without having to break the bank.  These drones are great for novice drone pilots, who are already good with the controls and are only looking to master the art of flying a drone.  

There is nothing comparable to the excitement and confidence that comes with flying your drone, and with every step of learning you complete, you are better motivated to advance.  However, you will start with learning the basics, especially the rules and regulations.  Registering your drone with the FAA is also very important, except that your drone model doesn’t fit into the category that requires registration.  But if it does, flying such a machine without registration is illegal.  Also, note that flying a drone is not a very difficult thing – with total focus and open mind, you will get a hold of it in no time.  

Lastly, we hope that this guide has helped you to choose rightly and more easily your next drone within the list of the best drones under $300.


You may be also interested to check out these articles on our website:

The Best Drones Under $50

The Best Drones Under $100

The Best Drones Under $200

The Best Drones Under $500




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