Step 1: Determine the Size You Want
Step 2: Determine Usage
1:General Fun. These are quadcopters you just fly with your friends to have a good time.
2: Aerial Photography. There are two types within this: built-in camera and external camera. The advantages of having a built-in camera are that they usually have buttons on the controller to record or take pictures and you don't have to worry about weight. However, if you want to upgrade your resolution or framerate, you have to buy a new quad. External cameras are my personal favorite, but you have to make sure the quad can handle your camera.
3: FPV (first person view). These quads are much more expensive, but they have a camera on them that sends you live feed, allowing you to fly them remotely. These quads are generally for advanced fliers and they usually make them theirselves.
Step 3: Determine Flight Space
In the next three steps I will show MY suggestions for what to buy based on these three categories, sorted by size.
Step 4: Micro Quads
Step 5: Mini Quads
CAMERA: generally FPVs are larger quads and the small FPVs don't work very well so get good at flying and then save up. If you want an ok camera and a cheap quad with a cage that I can tell you from personal experience can fall from over 100m and hit a rock and survive, then check out the Holy Stone F180C. I bought mine from eBay and really any trusted seller will be great. Mine was 53$ and it's a blast
NO CAMERA: Hubsan X4 *screaming in the distance* this is the most popular quad on the market and can be bought with a camera but I don't know why you would want one on it. It is perfect for indoor flying and light breezes and everyone and their cousin has reviewed one on youtube. This will run you about 40$ but it's worth it. http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=381338190895&globalID=EBAY-US
BRAVERY: If you are a first time flier DON'T BUY THIS. I ran across this review for a Juncheng 3015: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=klVei-phiNw&layout=mobile&client=mv-google
And I fell in love. It is cheap, but this thing is soooooo fast. The Great Houdini wouldn't dare try to fly this inside. Here's where to buy it: http://m.gearbest.com/rc-quadcopters/pp_156036.html?ebay
Step 6: Full-size Quads
EXTERNAL: I personally have a Yizhan Tarantula X6 and I love it. I made a gopro mount for it with ease and it flys like a dream. It has a transmitter range of about 200 yards and it costs around 50$ without a camera. http://shrsl.com/?~96gp
This quad also has very cheap replacement parts available on the same sight which is very important to me as things will go wrong no matter what. I have videos taken with my setup on the last slide that I encourage you to watch.
BUILT IN: I don't have much experience with these, so all I can do is encourage you to watch youtube videos. That's the only true way to see the mobility of the quad and the quality of the camera. Quadcopter 101 on youtube has reviews of just about anything you could ever dream of buying so watch him.
HYBRIDS: The Tarantula X6 has a camera option, but it mounts externally. I really like this idea because it means that if you want to upgrade the quality of the camera, you just take it off. Also cameras break and this is an easy way to replace them when they do.
Step 7: Final Remarks
Please leave any questions in the comment section and I'll be sure to reply ASAP!