Good Value RTF Autonomous (Navigation) Drone

Hi there,

I have been doing a lot of research in to finding a “good value” i.e. not cheap but not expensive drone that is capable of being programed to fly a specific route and take some aerial photographs. I am not the best at building things, so have decided to start with a RTF model.

Everywhere I look there is such a range and all say they are great.

Can you help me narrow down the search?


Hi Mike and welcome to the forums :smile:

Firstly my opion will be abit biased so bear that in mind, overall I personally prefer any arducopter based platforms as its all open source and new things get added all the time, its also has great stability and built in safety features too. It also so happens to be the main autopilot we sell ;-).

So based on this here are a few options in order of preferance

  1. Arducopter IRIS+ - great all round drone with the pixhawk autopilot onboard which is the most powerful arducopter board right now. It flies for about 20min per battery
  2. Walkera Scout X4 - similar to IRIS+ but uses a Devo flight controller, main advantages are that is comes with a 3 axis gimbal, FPV, and retractable legs out of the box. Flight times are about 25min and this platform can also be upgraded to use 8 motors. The main negative about this is that because the manufacturer is Chinese, the manuals are not written to the highest standard, however if you ever have any questions many of us on the forums will be happy to help answer them if you run into issues.
  3. Walkera X350 Pro - A little brother to the Scout X4, its also abit cheaper and the latest version (we should have some in a few weeks) will be the GCS edition which include waypoint based flight. Flight times are also around the 20min mark with a gopro type camera. You can see a promo video of the new GCS version here, and a comparison between the DJI Phantom and the X350 Pro here.
  4. CX-20 Auto Pathfinder - Another reasonable low cost option to the RTF drone field, it flies for about 10-15min but does not come with any gimbal. One thing to watch out when buying the CX-20 quadcopter is that there are two versions, one version that uses an arducopter based flight controller and another uses a zero flight controller. You can only add waypoint/telemetry features by completing this mod).

Hope that gives you some suggestions for you to consider. If you have any other questions please let me know.

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Thank you for emailling me and amazing advice, I think you also sent me an email yesterday and I have visited your website. Recommended by a friend who bought kit off you.

I think the scout X4 is too expensive. I am new to this so don’t want to spend too much and either crash it or find that it/II do not do what I want.

I had looked at the CX 20 as it was cheap and did all the things I intially wanted to try. I have grand ideas but wanted to just have a play first. But cannot find anywhere that looks reliable that sells the “open source” version. The version I think I think you can programme a flight path with.

I think I might wait until you have in the next models up i.e IRIS + and or Walkera.

I would prefer to be able to have a conversation with someone than trust an anonomous amazon seller etc.

Thanks again.