There’s no denying that DJI is the market leader when it comes to drones.
In fact, when we put together our list of the best travel drones, DJI pipped a number of the top spots!
However, they certainly aren't the only choice.
In fact there are plenty of DJI competitors that are worth checking out!
Many of which are much cheaper than DJI and still offer the sorts of specs you're looking for in a drone.
Maybe you want to avoid DJI for security reasons, maybe you don’t like their “no fly zones” or perhaps you just want to see what DJI drone alternatives are actually out there.
Good news! There are plenty of great quality alternatives out there.
Want a quick answer? Our top pick would be the Parrot ANAFI.
Choosing the perfect DJI alternative can be a challenge as there are so many options and they all differ in quality, style, compactness and many other features.
It’s likely your top priority will be the quality of the camera. You want to capture the best photos and video footage with the highest resolution possible.
Consider what you will use the drone for as well. If it’s just to keep a record of your travels and for personal enjoyment, a lower quality camera will save you money (and can still look great!). If you will use it in a professional setting or to create vlogs etc you want something that delivers better quality.
For photos, look for at least 1080p resolution to capture crisp images. While for videos, you want to opt for something no lower than 4K and 30fps.
A good DJI alternative should be light and compact enough so it’s easy to take anywhere, especially for travellers. Many drones these days are designed very compactly and some are even foldable. So you’ll definitely find one that you can consider in your next travel packing list.
However, note that drones that are too light might not be that great either as they may not be able to perform well in strong winds.
Also, if you’re living in the US, be aware that drones from 250g to 25kg should be registered with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) before flying.
Don’t overlook the material and build quality of the drone.
For the casing, consider going with something that has protective housing, especially if you’re still new to using drones, as this will protect them from damage caused during potential crashes.
Some are also made to be fully waterproof, weatherproof (i.e will stand up to a little rain but not being dunked in a river), and with high wind resistance.
If you plan on filming in rough weather or near the water, we’d recommend a fully waterproof and wind-resistant drone.
Usually, drone batteries last for 15-30 minutes and we recommend trying to find as high of battery life as your budget will allow.
Take into consideration how far away you’ll be taking footage from, that “travel time” for the drone will largely dictate how long of battery life you need.
You can always take spare batteries and swap them out but that means bringing the drone back in, swapping them over and getting it back out to its previous position. That can be time-consuming and frustrating.
Every drone is controlled in a different way and the controller is easy to overlook when you’re excited about the shiny new drone you plan on buying.
From RC transmitters which are the most basic that includes the typical directional control to more modern ones with some that use mobile phones and apps.
If you’re new to drones, it might be wise to look for something with super simple controls rather than opting for something really complicated and flash looking.
Since you’re reading this article, you may be looking for something cheaper than a DJI model.
Luckily, there are various cameras that offer quite similar features with a DJI but at a more affordable cost. Some are so cheap, they are even a viable backpacking gift for a traveler friend and family member.
Whether you’re looking for something cheap to practise on or you’re willing to invest in something with a bunch of impressive features, there’s bound to be a suitable DJI alternative.
Don’t be tempted to just buy the cheapest drone you can find though. Even if it looks flash, chances are you’ll get poor picture quality, low flight time and low quality build.
Other than the drone itself, you might want to consider accessories for a better and more convenient experience. There are batteries, propellers, propeller guards, memory cards, and a lot more.
Many camera bundles come with the accessories that you’ll need but if you have to make separate purchases, make sure to check compatibility with the model that you choose.
Dimensions (folded): 2.6 x 2.5 x 9.6 in
Max Speed: 34mph
Battery Life/Flight Time: 25 mins
Video Quality: 4K
Picture Quality: 21MP
The Parrot ANAFI is the perfect compact folding DJI alternative for those who love to travel and prefer lightweight drones that can easily slide into your carry-on.
At only 320g (without the battery), it can capture your pictures in 21MP and videos in 4K with its 180-degree swivel camera. It has 2.8 times lossless zoom, meaning the quality of footage and images isn’t compromised.
It features a timer, a burst mode, and “Return to Home” and “Find My Drone” to make it less of a worry in case the drone loses its connection or is low in battery. Both pros and beginners will definitely make good use of this drone.
For even safer flights, you can set a virtual perimeter for the Parrot Anafi to stay within, preventing you from accidentally flying too far.
This compact and foldable drone can be securely kept in a protective case, or even tucked away in your camera backpack along with your other photography gear.
Bottom Line: It may not be strictly speaking BETTER than any particular DJI drone, but it offers absolutely everything most drone hobbyists need, whilst coming in at a fraction of the price.
Dimensions (folded): 6.9 x 4.1 x 3.15 in
Max Speed: 26.8mph
Battery Life/Flight Time: 30mins
Video Quality: 2.9K
Picture Quality: 4K Ultra HD (About 8.5MP)
If you want an affordable alternative without sacrificing decent camera quality and intelligent features, we recommend the foldable Ruko F11 Pro.
Each battery lasts for 30 mins shooting and since it comes with an extra, it can run for a total of 60 minutes. This means you can shoot further places or bigger areas without worrying about draining your battery too quickly.
It only weighs 520g so it would make a perfect travel drone.
It can be set to fly in a circular direction around a target by simply pushing a button and setting the desired radius. This makes it an easy way to capture scenery in a stable manner.
In case it loses its signal or gets low on battery, the Ruko F11 Pro will automatically return to its take-off location so you’ll know where to find it, no more worrying about losing your drone.
Some more great flight features are its Follow Me Mode, Tap Fly, Point of Interest, and Hand Gesture Shots which means in just a click, it can fly on its own and take the footage like a pro.
Ruko F11 Pro’s 90-degree adjustable camera can shoot 4K Ultra HD quality photos and 2.9K videos. Although the quality isn’t the best, considering all the features it comes with, it’s definitely worth a try.
Dimensions (folded): 13 x 20 x 16 in
Max Speed: 35mph
Battery Life/Flight Time: 25 mins
Video Quality: 4K
Picture Quality: 20MP
For those wanting to really invest in a fantastic quality, professional/commercial DJI alternative, Yuneec Typhoon H Plus may be the best option to go for.
Although it’s more on the heavy side at 1810g, its impressive 360-degree camera offers 20MP photos and 4K videos with 3-axis image stabilization means you can shoot really stable footage. All of which you can monitor through its large 7inch flight controller display.
It comes with an extra flight battery so the drone can work for about 50 minutes in total.
It comes with smart obstacle RealSense technology. It detects obstacles around it in flight and adjusts its direction without losing track of the set target or route.
Looking for more safety features? It’s designed with six rotors that switch to five in case of motor failure, keeping it extra safe in flight!
This drone may be the most expensive on this list but the extra features that it comes with make it worth it. It even comes in a travel backpack to neatly keep all included accessories safe.
Dimensions (folded): 16.69 x 13.94 x 4.33 in
Max Speed: 22mph
Battery Life/Flight Time: 40mins
Video Quality: 5.5K (60 FPS) or 4K (120 FPS)
Picture Quality: 20.1MP
Autel Robotix EVO 2 Pro is designed for professionals and captures 20.1MP images and up to 5.5K videos at 60FPS or 4K at 120 FPS.
It has a long battery life of 35 minutes at hover and 40 minutes in forward motion. This package includes a total of three batteries. So with a full charge, you can enjoy up to a whopping 120 minutes of flight over all 3 batteries.
It works in an impressive range of up to 9 km from your controller – giving you the freedom to use it in farther places or even crowded areas, thanks to its strong signal.
It also features 12 computer vision sensors, two sonar sensors, and two LED landing lights which all work together to provide accurate obstacle avoidance.
This specific bundle includes everything you’ll need for a convenient and comfortable shooting experience such as extra batteries, an SD card, propellers, and a plastic case.
However, this one is definitely not on the cheap or light side.
Dimensions (folded): 2.87 x 4.17 x 8.03 in
Max Speed: 18mph
Battery Life/Flight Time: 35 mins
Video Quality: 4K
Picture Quality: 12MP
Another lightweight and portable drone but packed with exceptional features is FIMI X8.
This rainproof drone has a maximum flight time of 35 minutes and comes with two batteries for a total flight time of 70 minutes with one change.
The powerful camera with 3-axis gimbal captures videos in 4K UHD at 30 FPS and 12MP for photos. It has 3x digital zoom and works on up to 8km transmission distance.
As well as standard shots that are great quality, FIMI X8’s has four preinstalled cine shot functions (rocket, dronie, circle, or spiral). On top of that, there is also panorama, time-lapse, night shots, and a lot more - and all in just one, compact drone.
It also has some great intelligent safety features such as a low battery alarm return, return home mode, wind and excessive power warnings, automatic hover in no-fly areas and GPS real-time tracking.
Dimensions (folded): 7 x 4 x 4 in
Max Speed: 20-25mph
Battery Life/Flight Time: 30 mins
Video Quality: 4K (60 FPS)
Picture Quality: 12MP
At only 862g, the PowerVision PowerEgg is packed with a number of convenient features. It’s perfect for those who want to easily capture great quality memories as its UHD camera captures up to 4K/60 FPS videos and 12MP images.
It comes with waterproof housing, making it safe to use in any weather, without the risk of damaging it and blinding its sensors. This would be a very good drone to take with you if you plan on traveling to places with unpredictable weather like Ireland.
The PowerEgg features SyncVoice technology which allows it to sync its footage with the audio coming from connected microphones. It automatically avoids obstacles with both forward and downward sensors at a good distance, with a fast response time for a smoother, hassle-free experience.
You can choose whether to use it as an AI camera, handheld, or drone as it comes with all the necessary accessories which you can easily change to use from one mode to another. This makes it a good camera for anyone, from beginners to pros.
The internal storage that comes with this camera is only 6GB but you can opt to use your own micro-sd card with a Class 10 or UHS-3 rating and a maximum capacity of 128GB.
Dimensions (folded): 13.7 x 12.59 x 7.67 in
Max Speed: 10mph
Battery Life/Flight Time: 28 mins
Video Quality: 4K (30 FPS)
Picture Quality: 16MP
The Potensic Dreamer Pro may be a decent DJI alternative for those who don’t want to break the bank, whether you’re a beginner or a professional.
This 3-axis self stabilising gimbal with an anti-shake feature is perfect for stable shoots even on dynamic activities. It can shoot videos at 4K at 30 FPS while photos are 16MP quality.
It also comes with “Find My Drone” meaning in case of lost GPS, the PotensicPro App records the drone’s last drop or location which allows you to follow and track the drone through the app’s map.
Intelligent flight features include Follow Me, DIY Circle Flight, and Path Flight. For the DIY Circle, you can choose speeds from 1-5 m/s and 10-50 metre radius. These features enable you to set up, then freely relax and let the drone do the work for your aerial footage.
Some more safety functions are low battery return, signal loss return, and one key return.
Dimensions (unfolded): 16.4 x 11.1 x 5.2 inches
Battery Life/Flight Time: 18-20 mins
Video Quality: 2K
Picture Quality: 1080p HD
The Hubsan X4 captures videos at 2K and 1080p HD images so it doesn’t have the best quality, especially for videos. Considering how little it costs though, it’s worth a try for beginners and those who aren’t yet sure if drones are for them.
Although it’s the cheapest on this list in terms of price, Hubsan X4 doesn’t rank last when it comes to intelligent functions. Just like more high end brands, it features Follow Me Mode. Its GPS Positioning System also makes sure the flights are safer and accurate.
Additionally, in case of losing connection from its transmitter during flight, this drone will automatically be in Fail-Safe mode where it returns home and lands on its own. It may also be controlled to do the same with just one click from its transmitter.
If you’re planning to get used to drones and searching for affordable products worth trying, Hubsan X4 definitely won’t disappoint in terms of its style and functions.
Dimensions (folded): 10.28 x 9.06 x 2.72 in (unfolded)
Max Speed: 93mps
If you’re searching for a racing drone alternative for the DJI FPV, the iFlight Nazgul 5 V2 might be a contender.
Its full body is covered with TPU as protection for unwanted crashes, so it’s a beginner-friendly drone for aspiring racers. They’re also nice and stiff and there’s no wobble when flying.
It doesn’t come with a controller but is built with TBS Crossfire Nano Rx, making it compatible with your existing TBS radio controllers.
To wrap Nazgul 5 V2 up, this one’s already pre-tuned and set up so it’s ready for use right after purchase.
Dimensions (folded): 7.17 x 7.17 x 4.06 in
Battery Life/Flight Time: 12 mins
Another basic, lightweight DJI FPV alternative for those who want a cheaper racing drone is this Walkera F210. It’s designed to be very easy to set up as well as disassemble.
The camera and headset are made suitable even for night use as its HD night vision lens and sensors accordingly adjust with the level of light it approaches.
Its body is made with a protective carbon fibre cover making it solid and therefore safer from crashes.
It’s also designed with a mushroom antenna for a longer range of transmission while obtaining the drone’s real-time flight data and status.
One thing we don’t like much about Walkera F210 though is it can only fly up to 12 minutes for every 1.5 hour charge, which is a bit too short compared with other FPV models from other brands.
The quality and features of DJI alternatives vary greatly between models and you’ll need to judge which one suits you personally.
If you want a compact and travel friendly drone, the Parrot Anafi or Ruko F11 Pro may be the best DJI alternative for you. For those who want a professional drone, Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro is definitely the one to go for.
Finding the best affordable alternative for a DJI should not mean you compromise greatly on the quality of the product and the features that it comes with.
For example, you could go for the Hubsan X4 – this one is sold at a very affordable price compared with DJIs, but offers great functionality and produces sharp images.
If you search for the best drones online, you’re likely to see plenty of DJI products listed. But, of course, these results don't speak for all. There are definitely drones out there that are as good or even better than DJI in terms of both quality and features.
DJI has various big competitors, including PowerVision Technology Group, Skycatch, DroneDeploy, and 3D Robotics. Each brand offers its own unique products with unique features that suit different types of users better.
At present, it is yet to be announced whether a five year ban on drones manufactured and assembled in China will take effect in the US.
The potential ban is due to concerns that the company may be sending information to the Chinese government gathered by drones in the US. Keep checking to see if this ban goes ahead if this is a concern to you.
We really hope that you’ve found this guide to non DJI drones useful. We’ve tried to include a large variety of different price points and feature sets so, hopefully, there is something to suit everyone.
Whether you want a drone you can use in a professional capacity to capture very high-quality footage, something just to chronicle your travels with or even just a drone you can have fun with!
Still not quite sure which one to choose?
Take a look back at the top of this article for the things that we think are the most important to consider and make a list of what you really need.
Get clear on that and things should be much easier.
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