Best drones in Australia

We checked hundreds of customer reviews to find a range of the best drones on the market today.

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The best drones in Australia

How did we pick this list?

Finder's team looked through dozens of item listings and selected these top picks based on product information and reviews from customers online. For each category, we thoroughly analysed key features and determined which drones would be the most suitable for each use case.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

DJI Mini 2

Best overall drone

DJI Mini 2
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design makes it very portable
  • High-quality camera for great photos and videos

Cons

  • Lacks obstacle avoidance and object tracking
  • No HDR support

Why we chose it

With an impressive 4.8 out of 5 rating from Google reviews, the DJI Mini 2 is, overall, the best drone currently available on the market. At its $749 price-point, the compact flying machine hits the sweet spot between quality, price, performance and features.

The Mini 2 was designed for those who are always on the go. The drone's foldable design makes it easily packable. And, with DJI's small multirotor weighing in at just under 249 grams, it has the perfect footprint for travellers.

The Mini 2 lacks obstacle avoidance sensors, meaning you'll have to keep an even more watchful eye over the drone to ensure it doesn't slam into anything mid-flight. Since the drone sports none of these additional eyes, DJI's Active Track functionality is also absent. Unfortunately, this means automatic object tracking isn't an option.

Given its size, the DJI Mini 2 has an impressive camera. The 12MP sensor supports 4K video recording at up to 30 frames per second and touts four-times zoom, so you don't have to get dangerously close to your subject. DJI's QuickShots functionality allows you to capture video in pre-programmed patterns, making for great footage no matter if you're a beginner or a pro. Unfortunately, there's no HDR support on this model, so you might miss out on capturing those crisp colours.

Several customers online said the drone was easy to get the hang of and fly. Others stressed the importance of being gentle with the drone due to its lack of object avoidance and mentioned that grabbing a second battery wasn't the worst idea.


Ryze Tello

Best drone for beginners

Ryze Tello
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Electronic Image Stabilisation helps to take clearer pictures
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Rated for just 13 minutes of flight time
  • Camera quality won't wow anyone

Why we chose it

Boasting a formidable 4.4 out of 5 rating from thousands of reviews on Google, the Ryze Tello is the perfect drone to pick up if you're learning the ropes of drone flight.

It's a good value pick up at the retail price of $169, but with sale prices and discounts sometimes bringing the price-point closer to $100, the drone packs a serious punch for the money. You can also rest assured knowing that your purchase was a good one as it's powered by technology from the world's leading civilian drone manufacturer, DJI.

For the price, you'd expect the Tello to have some short-comings, and it does. Ryze says the drone has just 13 minutes of flight time at most, and over time that will decline as the battery wears. Thankfully, the drone's design makes it swappable, so you can pick up spare batteries for added flight time, provided you change the batteries every quarter-hour or so. And, if they get bashed up a bit, those propellers are also replaceable.

The Tello sports an acceptable camera supporting 720p video and 5 MP photos. The drone's "EZ Shots" mode allows for coordinated videos in several social-media friendly modes such as circle and 360.

Several customers said that the Tello was great value for the money, and noted how easy it was to use. Still, other reviewers also mentioned that the camera quality of the drone was a little bit of a let-down and also mentioned how it struggles in windy environments because of its lightweight design.


Snaptain SP510

Best drone under $300

Snaptain SP510
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Foldable design makes it more compact
  • Auto return ensures the drone doesn't get lost or damaged

Cons

  • Customers experienced some issues with the controller and app
  • Some reviewers mention poor battery life

Why we chose it

The Snaptain SP510, with a 4.5 of 5 star rating on Amazon, is the best drone money can buy for under $300. Its multi-platform app compatibility, ability to take photos in resolutions up to 4K and GPS tracking makes it the standout pick at this price-point.

The SP510 has a range of around 300 metres and with a built-in GPS that returns the drone when it runs into an issue like a dropped connection or low battery life, you don't have to worry about losing it.

Snaptain's second-most advanced drone features a quad-rotor design with a front-mounted camera, which is a relatively standard outfit. Clocking in at over 4.3 kilos, the SP510 is quite a hefty drone. Still, its foldable design means carrying it about shouldn't be too challenging.

The included controller is also foldable, making the whole package compact and easy to carry about. The controller isn't perfect, though. Some mentioned the remote didn't hold certain types of phones, such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, so those with bigger phones might struggle.

Snaptain's SP510 has subject tracking functionality, allowing users to select objects in the app for the drone to keep a moving eye on. The SP510 also has "Follow Me" functionality, allowing the drone to maintain a constant distance between the user as they move. The inclusion of these features is impressive for the price point, given it's something some higher-end DJI drones, like the Mini 2, lack.

Many customers said that they experienced some issues with the SP510 but that Snaptain's support was generally helpful and was able to resolve problems as they arose. Others mentioned that the drone struggled to stay airborne in windy environments and that battery life averaged between 10 and 15 minutes.


HASAKEE Q8 FPV

Best drone under $100

HASAKEE Q8 FPV
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • The built-in camera supports both photo and video
  • Supports remote and app control

Cons

  • Reviews mentioned poor battery life
  • The bright design might be too tacky for some

Why we chose it

With a 4.2 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, the HASAKEE Q8 FPV is the best drone you can pick up today for under $100.

HASAKEE's budget-friendly drone has a design aesthetic that means you definitely won't lose sight of the compact multirotor, especially with the illumination of the protective circle around it. Despite the enhanced visibility, the bright design won't be for everyone. Unfortunately for those looking for a more minimal design, those drones tend to cost significantly more.

The Q8 FPV can take videos and photos, which is a bonus at the sub-$100 price point. Better yet, the media is saved straight to your mobile device for convenience.

If you're looking for impressive battery life, the Q8 FPV is not the drone for you. HASAKEE's brightly-lit drone won't handle more than 10 minutes of flight time on its measly battery. Speaking of power, customers have said that it doesn't come with a charging brick, just the USB cable. They also say that the 4 AAA batteries necessary for the controller aren't included, either.

Even though the Q8 FPV's propellers are guarded by the light strip that wraps around the drone, replacements are provided in the box in case the originals are damaged mid-flight.

In reviews, several customers said the Q8 FPV was fun to play with and that for the price, it's quite capable. Other consumers recommended picking up a spare battery to get the most use out of the nimble drone.


Ryze Tello Edu

Best drone for kids

Ryze Tello Edu
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Encourages kids to learn to program
  • Can easily be used in the same way as the non-Edu drone

Cons

  • More expensive than the non-Edu version
  • Features the same average camera as the standard Tello

Why we chose it

Built specifically for teaching your little ones about programming, Ryze's Tello Edu is a slightly modified version of the original. Despite its higher price, its additional learning-focused features make the drone the best drone for kids.

Ryze's education-focused drone keeps all of the stand-out features of the Tello, such as swappable parts, easy-to-use controls and a decent camera but adds a gamut of new features. The Tello Edu can be programmed more extensively, with an upgraded development kit allowing young engineers to move around and even perform acrobatics. You can also program up to four Tello Edu drones in a swarm, allowing for coordination from the one device. Ryze manages to do this all while keeping the price competitive with other options on the market.

Both Tello's main app and the Tello Edu app are compatible with the drone, giving your kids the freedom to choose between casually flying and learning. Users can't use both apps at once, and if you're switching from one to the other, the Tello Edu will need restarting.

If your kids aren't aspiring programmers, the standard version of the Ryze Tello is still an affordable and fun-filled option for kids. There's really no reason to grab the Edu version if you're not looking to use the upgraded programming functionality with the enhanced SDK or if you're not going to program a swarm of the little things.


DJI Mavic Air 2

Best drone with a camera

DJI Mavic Air 2
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Powerful camera capable of 4K video at 60 frames per second
  • Rated for more than half an hour of flight time

Cons

  • Lacks side and top-facing obstacle avoidance sensors
  • Limited 8K functionality

Why we chose it

With review scores consistently above 4 out of 5 on online stores across Australia and review sites, DJI's mid-range Mavic Air 2 is the best drone with a camera you can buy.

When it comes to media creation, the Mavic Air 2 doesn't disappoint. Its 48MP camera can take high-quality aerial images, and HDR support makes for more vibrant colours. Its ability to record 4K video at 60 frames per second is what sets the Mavic Air 2 apart from its competition, even within DJI's product line. At that resolution, most drones can typically only capture footage at 30 frames per second.

Another standout camera feature is the Mavic Air 2's ability to record 8K hyperlapse footage, making for ultra-sharp video with impressive effects. With DJI's QuickShots functionality also included, pre-programmed shots can be filmed to create easily shareable, good looking content.

The Mavic Air 2 sports the latest version of DJI's obstacle avoidance technology, APAS 3.0. The system uses several sensors to guide the drone out of the way of any obstacles while also allowing it to track and follow targets. Because those fancy object avoidance sensors aren't keeping an eye on the side or above the drone, you'll still have to be paying plenty of attention.

Customer reviews mentioned that the Mavic Air 2 handles high winds well, which is fitting given "air" is in the name. Some professional reviewers said that the drone's software has some limitations, such as that editing in the mobile app is limited to a resolution of 1080p.

You can find out more in our guide to the best camera drones.


Amazon prices last updated on 21 January, 2022 at 06:02 am
eBay prices last updated on 20 January, 2022 at 03:01 pm

Methodology

17
Brands considered
40+
Products compared
6
Best products chosen
  • We've compared more than 40 drones from 17 brands to find the picks to fit different users' needs.
  • We made our selections based on reviews left by real customers online as well as by looking into each drone's key features.
  • The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.

What is a drone?

Originally developed for military applications, drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are becoming an increasingly popular pastime. Most drones on the market are quadcopters, with four rotor blades, though hexacopter and octocopter configurations exist. Drones are great for photography and recreational flying, and racing circuits are popping up across the world. More than anything, flying them is a lot of fun!

Types of drones

Consumer drones can be broadly broken down into four categories. The type for you depends on what you want to use it for and how much you are willing to spend.

  • Toy. If you're unsure about the hobby and want to dip your toes in without a hefty commitment, consider a toy drone. The basic principle is the same as serious models, they're just smaller, lighter and significantly cheaper. The downside is toy drones aren't the easiest to fly because they lack advanced features like auto-takeoff, auto-landing and various stabilisation measures. Being lighter means they get buffeted around in the wind more, too. Battery life is generally in the 5-10 minute range.
  • Recreational. At this level, you'll find a serious drone, but one that's balanced towards ease of use. They require very little assembly and are generally ready to fly (RTF) out of the box. You'll be able to take good photos and fly for significantly longer than toy drones. This is the best option for casual hobbyists.
  • Advanced. At the advanced end, components and features (and pricing) are geared towards professionals. They require more practice, or even coaching, to fly properly. They're faster, equipped with better cameras – some are capable of recording 4K video – and have professional-grade gimbals to help images stay focussed during less than ideal conditions. If you're using a drone for real estate photography, TV, cinema or mapping and surveying, you'll want something in this tier.
  • Racing. Racing drones are lighter, faster, more manoeuvrable and, at the top end, are custom built and require a lot of assembly. The cameras are used exclusively for first-person-view flying and, as such, don't take quality photos or video.

Drones and the law

There are strict laws governing drone use in Australia, so ensure you'll be allowed to fly it where you intend to before purchasing one. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has a list of the restrictions that you should read in detail, but we'll summarise the basics.

For drones lighter than 2kgs (which covers most consumer drones), you must not fly in the following areas:

  • Above 121 metres (400 feet).
  • Within a 5.5km radius of controlled airspace around an airport or otherwise restricted area.
  • Within 30 metres of other people (except those involved with flying the drone).
  • Over or above a group of people at any height (even though the footage would be cool, this means flying directly over an event like a festival or concert is forbidden).
  • Near emergency situations, like bushfires, floods or police operations.
  • If you can't see the drone with your own eyes. This means flying through clouds, during bad weather or at night is forbidden. It also means you're not allowed to pilot a drone using a VR/AR headset (a co-pilot or onlooker is allowed to wear these, though).
  • In a way that creates a potential hazard to a person, aircraft or property.
  • Over or through a national park.

Laws differ across the world. For example, in the European Union, you're allowed to fly up to 152 metres high. Make sure you know the local laws when travelling with your drone. It's also a good idea to check a CASA-approved airspace app, so you can ensure where you're flying is legal.

How to compare drones

When choosing a drone, consider the following factors:

Flight time (battery)

Flight time on a single charge ranges from 5 minutes to around 30. Manufacturer estimates are always on the generous side, so expect less in real-world flying conditions. You also need to allow time for the drone to return to you to change batteries, so effective flying time is shorter still.

If your drone is for professional use, don't skimp here. When you consider that it can take more than two hours to charge a battery, you'll want to have a few spare batteries in your pack. If you can afford it, always go for the larger battery.

Controller type

Do you want a drone that comes with a dedicated controller – typically a box with two flight sticks – or do you want to fly using an app and the touchscreen on your phone? The former provides greater control and tactile feedback, but the latter is more portable. Professionals tend to prefer dedicated controllers because there's a slight response lag when using a phone, but mobile is still a viable approach for most purposes except racing.

Camera

Drones come with either a fixed camera or the ability to attach different ones. If you opt for a fixed model, make sure it's a quality camera because you won't be able to upgrade it later. Fixed camera models go up to 4K resolution. Some come with optical zooms, but they cost more.

If photography and filming is a serious hobby, or you're intending to gather footage for commercial purposes, you'll want a drone with a decent gimbal. These stabilise the camera across multiple axes, allowing for smoother video and sharper photos in windy conditions.

Safety features

If you're new to the hobby, you should get a drone with advanced safety features like mandatory tutorials, auto-takeoff, auto-landing and object-avoidance technology so you don't crash into trees. If you're losing control, being able to initiate an automatic return using the onboard GPS can be the difference between landing and losing your expensive new toy.

Range

Some toy drones only have a range of 20-30 metres, more than enough to have fun at home or the park. Advanced drones have an effective range of a few kilometres (top-end models currently max out at around seven kilometres). Remember, though, this can be a moot point because of the law – if you can't see it, you can't fly it.

Replaceable parts

Let's be realistic: if you're starting out, you're going to crash – quite a bit. Rotor blades are the part most likely to need replacing, so make sure you pick up some spares.

Four things to consider

  1. Headless mode. Some pilots find "headless mode" helpful. This is an alternative control scheme that ignores the drone's orientation and instead moves it in relation to the pilot. In headless mode, it doesn't matter which way the drone is facing; if you push left on the controller, it will move left. Look out for this feature if you think it will be helpful.
  2. You don't need the latest model. DJI is the dominant manufacturer in the field. If you're opting for one of its drones, know that DJI releases new models regularly with iterative upgrades. So, unless the newest feature feels essential to you, you can probably save some money by not buying the latest model.
  3. People can be wary of drones. Not only will you make strangers in the vicinity nervous, but you'll also probably get asked what you're doing. This is perfectly reasonable – it's new tech that is infamously used for military and espionage purposes, so some scepticism is to be expected. Just be polite and explain what you're doing. You never know, you might end up with new hobbyists to fly with!
  4. Be respectful. Drones, at their noisiest, sound like a swarm of angry bees. Always be respectful of other people sharing public space. It's best to fly somewhere as far from other people as possible.

Best rated Drone brand award breakdown

Total Score Overall rating Value for Money Camera performance Features & Functionality Flight control
DJI 8.17 4.46 4.22 4.44 4.51 4.44
Xiaomi 7.55 4.06 4.27 4.06 4.09 4
GoPro 7.53 4.08 3.93 4.05 4.25 4
Kogan 7.51 4.14 4.03 4.08 4 4.11
Zero-X 7.37 4.2 3.87 4 3.93 3.87
Parrot 7.28 4.06 4.19 3.94 4.25 3.81
Other 6.49 3.75 3.92 2.17 3.42 3.17
Data: Finder Retail Brand Survey, 2020, Kantar. Metric out of 5 stars unless indicated. Methodology and more info. Kantar logo

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