This $80 drone sports a 4K camera for stellar photography and video footage

You could be forgiven for thinking drones are basically big boy toys because…well, they're a heck of a lot of fun. But with the proliferation of powerful, inexpensive drone models on the consumer market, industries are turning to these tiny powerhouses like never before for a variety of important, even life-saving tasks, according to the 2021 Drone Application report.

Construction firms use drones for mapping and surveying efforts. Energy companies use drones to do inspections that could be life-threatening to a human. And did you know drones are now tracking how close great white sharks are getting to land? (Answer: disturbingly close). In fact, 88 percent of companies say they've seen a return on their drone investment within a year of the purchase. 

Whether you're ready to fly for business or just want to enjoy some personal flight time, the Ninja Dragon Vortex 9 RC Quadcopter Drone can introduce you to the joys and potential riches of drone piloting.

Beginners will feel right at home with the Vortex 9. It connects quickly to controls on a smartphone or even a wireless gaming controller. At less than five inches long, you can easily launch the craft right out of your hand — and as a headless drone, there's never any need to readjust the craft's position before you just take off and go. The foldable wing design makes it especially easy to deploy or pack up the Vortex 9 quickly.

This quadcopter is built for an exceptionally smooth flight, with a 6-axis gyroscope for even more maneuverability in a full 360-degree range. Since drone flying can occasionally get a little hairy, the Vortex 9 also includes an altitude hold mode function that stabilizes the drone's flight, as well as one key automatic return that sends the drone instantly back to its starting point with a single button press.

But the key feature of the Vortex 9 is its impressive 4K camera, capturing details four times more precise than 1080p video for even better highlights and shadows. The drone also includes real-time FPV, so users can view real-time images as they happen on your phone with the compatible Wi-Fi-enabled app. Meanwhile, the Vortex 9 flies for up to 15 minutes on a single charge, allowing you to capture fantastic aerial video or just fly casually for longer than many other drones.

Retailing for $149, the Ninja Dragon Vortex 9 RC Quadcopter Drone is available now for almost half off, slashed to only $79.99.

Prices subject to change.