In the past few years, drone technology has improved rapidly, making it easier for beginner pilots to operate drones. 10 years ago people were all traveling with a GoPro, and right now more and more people start traveling with a drone. And why not? It’s quite easy to learn, entry-level drones are not that heavy and the content you can create is amazing. If you’ve done any research about drones, you’ve probably heard about the DJI brand. As one of the world’s leading drone manufacturers, DJI produces some of the best drones for beginners and intermediate pilots. In this blog post, we will look at the best DJI drones for beginners and intermediate pilots in 2023.
This post is not sponsored by DJI in any way. I use affiliate links to the DJI products, giving me a small commission with each sale. You don’t pay anything extra.
In This Post
Before we jump to the exact models, it’s good to break down the brands to choose from. If you did a little research, you’ve probably heard of DJI. This is by far the most famous brand for regular customers. DJI offers a wide range of drones and has something for every budget. Other options are for example Autel and Tello. Xiaomi also developed some drones over the last year.
It’s safe to say that your best choice is DJI. They literally offer something for everyone, the software is always up-to-date and it’s easy to learn to fly a drone with its well developed software.
Which model do I use?
If I’m advising a drone to the readers of this blog, it’s necessary to share my own experience as well. I bought my first drone in February 2021 and started with the DJI Mini 2. I wasn’t super sure if I would like it, so I wanted the cheapest model that shot RAW content and a model was under 250 grams.
I crashed my DJI Mini 2 in February 2022 and had to get a new one. I decided to upgrade my drone to the DJI Air 2s. This was the best semi-professional level available at that moment and I’ve been shooting with it ever since. At that moment, the Mini 3 Pro wasn’t released yet.
The best beginner drone to buy in 2023
If you’re an absolute beginner or if you’re not sure if you’re going to like it, I would recommend beginning with one of the DJI Mini models. The models available are currently the DJI Mini 2 SE, DJI Mini 2, DJI Mini 3, and DJI Mini 3 Pro. If you’re just starting, I would highly recommend starting with the DJI Mini 3.
This drone weighs less than 250 grams, so you usually don’t need a license to fly this drone. It’s also less restricted in crowded areas, so you’re allowed to fly at more locations. Keep in mind that you know how to fly it, before flying in crowded spots. You should be totally sure what you’re doing before you even consider flying close to people or buildings. One downside of the Mini 3 is that it does not have obstacle avoidance sensors, so beginners will need to be careful when flying in areas with obstacles.
Another reason to go for the Mini 3, is the ability to shoot vertical content. The camera rotates, so you can record your content in 16:9 and 9:16, making it the perfect drone for creating social media content. It also offers features to make quick videos for social sharing, without the need for a computer. I advise creating your content using a computer though, as the quality will be better.
The best semi-professional drone to buy in 2023
If you got some experience or you’re ready for an upgrade, it’s time to take a look at more advanced drones. I was at this stage in February 2022 when I crashed my first drone. It was a stupid mistake, but it also gave me a good reason to upgrade my drone. At that point, I decided to go for the DJI Air 2s. This model has been released in April 2021 and is one of the best-selling DJI drones ever. The DJI Air 2s shoots amazing video up to 5k and 4k up to 60fps as well. Another great functionality is the option to shoot in LOG! The photos are at a great level compared to the Mini, as it has a 1″ sensor with a fixed aperture of f/2.8. Lastly, it has obstacle-avoidance sensors on the front, back, top, and bottom. Safe to say that I needed that after crashing my last drone.
Rumours say that this year will see an upgraded version of the Air 2S, as it’s already a couple of years since DJI released this model. The upgraded version should be able to shoot vertical content too!
If you’re not keen on carrying the extra grams, you could go for a Mini 3 Pro as well. This is the upgraded version of the Mini 3 I mentioned before and it shoots vertical content too. You’ll see a difference in image quality, but you’ll still be able to create incredibly good photos and videos with it.
The best professional drone to buy in 2023
If the Air 2s doesn’t deliver the quality you want or you have a bit more to spend, have a look at the DJI Mavic 3. It has a price tag of around $2,199, which is more expensive than the Mavic Air 2s, but it is worth the investment for pilots who are serious about drone photography and videography. It also has a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera, which means that the it can capture more detail and produce higher-quality images and videos.
The Mavic 3 has obstacle avoidance sensors on all sides, which makes it easier to fly in areas with obstacles. Don’t fully trust on the sensors, always be aware of your surroundings as well! I personally don’t have experience with this model, but would buy it if I were in need of an upgrade.
Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced drone pilot, there’s a DJI drone for you. I’m a big fan of DJI products and can’t see myself changing brands for a new drone. Keep in mind that DJI releases new drones every year. If you’re not sure if you will like it, can do it, or will carry it, start with a Mini and you can always upgrade afterward.