Best camera drone under 500 (2018): FIMI A3 vs Hubsan Zino vs FiMI X8 SE

Best camera drone under $500

If you’re currently looking to pick up one of the best camera drone under 500 on the market today, then you have come to the right place. That’s because has more than 4 years experience in testing and reviewing drones. There are many value-priced quadcopters that include 4K cameras, intelligent flight modes and long battery life, plus mechanical gimbal for smooth aerial videos.

Surely, with a budget of 1000+ you have an easy task, you can go directly to DJI website an choose one of their popular drone (either from Mavic or Phantom series). But, as their only drone under $500 is the almost two years old Spark, with only 500 bucks in my pocket I would look for a camera drone from another reputable brand.

Those who are interested in aerial filming will definitely eye on a 4K camera drone with 3-axis motorized. In terms of camera gears, the Xiaomi A3 has much less to offer than the Hubsan Zino. While the FiMI A3 has Full HD camera with 2-axis gimbal, the Hubsan H117S has Ultra HD camera with 3-axis gimbal. 

FIMI A3 vs Hubsan Zino vs FiMI X8 – Which one is the Best drone under 500?

As you can see in the comparison table bellow, these two camera drones are quite different. The Xiaomi FIMI A3 is not just smaller, but also heavier than the Hubsan H117S Zino. Less weight means longer flight time. Even if the the Zino’s battery would have 50% more capacity than the FiMI A3, it would provide less fun time.

  Xiaomi FiMI A3 Hubsan H117S Zino FiMI X8 SE
Foldable design No Yes Yes
Obstacle avoidance No No No
Extension DIY ports Yes No No
Camera 1080P 4K 4K
Max video resolution 1920×1080@30fps 3840X2160@30fps 3840×2160@30fps
Gimbal 2-axis 3-axis 3-axis
FPV 5.8G 720P WiFi TDMA HD
FPV monitor On transmitter Mobile device Mobile device
Motor Brushless Brushless Brushless
Battery 3s 2000mAh 3s 3000mAh 3s 4500mAh
Flight Time 25mins 23mins 33mins
Flight range 1KM 1KM 5KM
Weigh 560 grams 700 grams 790 grams
Size 28.5 x 22.9 x 6.9cm 30.4 X 25.2 X 9cm 20.4 x 10.6 x 7.3cm
Price $279 (order from here) $399 (order from here) $499 (order from here)

Both quadcopters feature smart flight modes and GPS positioning systems for easy useage. While the FiMI A3’s transmitter comes with integrated FPV screen, the Zino requires additionally a mobile device in order to unleash its full potential. Furthermore, the Xiaomi A3 has a DIY port, which allows to control third-part devices like servos or LED lights.

Is Fimi X8 SE the Best drone under 500?

Two days ago (on December 10), FiMI announced a new drone which landed straight on top of the best drones under $500. The FiMI X8 SE, is better in almost all aspects than the A3 and Zino. While the A3 has full HD camera, the X8 SE has 4k camera. The Xiaomi FiMI X8 has far away the best flight time. It has up to 33 min vs 25 min of A3 vs 25 min of Zino.

As for the control range, the FiMI X8 drone also excels. According to the advertised specs it has 5Km flight range, which is 5 times more than the Zino has.

Bottom line

Whatever you opt for the FiMI A3, FiMI X8 SE or H117S Zino you will make a great deal. As all are cheaper than 500$, you’ll make some saving for a drone backpack and couple of spare batteries.

Last update on 12/12/2018


  1. I have a Spark that I’ve invested a good deal of money into. After the last upgrade it wouldn’t run at my home for my normal low altitude, short distance fun flights…engines won’t turn…all due to DJI su@ing up to the FAA. Be aware that if you’re in any no-fly zone, 5 miles from an airport, or a sports area…there are FAR more places you can’t fly than you can. I’d go with ANY drone other than DJI, who decided how I could use my property without giving me a choice.

  2. I’m about to buy a spark but these new (allegedly) 4k drones make me have second thoughts on whether the spark is still worth it or not

    • Yes, the Spark it is a quite old model for 2019! One side you DJI, which is one of the most reputable drone brand and other side you have the FiMI X8 which is Xiaomi’s, 3rd drone….
      As terms of specs, the FiMI X8SE is much better than the little Spark without a question.

  3. Yes the FiMI X8 SE drone has great specs, but unfortunately only the Hubsan H117S Zino can be ordered right now!
    The Xiaomi drones are out of stock……

  4. Greetings from Canada!
    I’m a totally newbie in the field. I need an expert advice regarding, which these two drones would be me more proper for me.
    I like that the Zino has 4K camera, but also that the FIMI A3 features 5.8G FPV not WiFi FPV which has a lot of delay/latency.

  5. Hi,
    could you please make a similar comparison, but one between the Spark and Zino. I’m a completely newbie and i don’t know which would be better.
    KK from Netherlands


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here