One of the most exciting developments in photography in the last two years is the drone. Those high flying cameras that allow you to capture unique viewpoints of common subjects are more and more popular.
Recently, the cost of getting a camera into the air has dropped dramatically, contributing to its popularity and if you decide to venture down this road, I suggest you check the 5 points below to learn everything you need to know about Drone Photography!
1. The Technology
Historically born in the military industry, drones are accessible to everyone today!
Drones have some amazing technology on board that has revolutionised aerial photography:
By connecting your smartphone to your handheld remote control unit, you can have a perfect image return, and see what the drone is viewing. Perfect to make beautiful compositions.
Camera controls are extensive (RAW capture, auto or full manual control). The drone will hover in the one spot with incredible stability, almost like an aerial tripod. You can take your hands off the controls and the drone will stay in that position.
Failsafe flight options. With an average 20 minutes flight time per battery charge, the drone can detect when your battery is getting low and will go into RTH mode (automatic return-to-home), ensuring the drone comes back to you safely. If for some reason the light bridge connection between the remote control and the machine itself is lost (this can happen when flying behind buildings or trees) or when you lose the signal of your drone, RTH is activated automatically once again to allow you to get your drone.
Here is a very nice guide to making good shots:
2. Rules & Regulation
Usage of drones for photography is restricted in many countries, here are some common rules you have to be aware of (check your local regulation!):
Some drones have to be registered if they are too big.
Do not fly your drone higher than 400 feet/133 meters.
Your drone must always be in your Line Of Sight (LOS) which means that you must see it at all times.
Stay away from any airports and other no-fly zones as specified in each country (power station, military spot, water treatment facilities...), otherwise be sure to contact the airport or control tower to get special permission.
Don’t fly over groups of people and avoid to be near stadiums or racetracks during big events for instance.
Always fly at least 25 feet/7 meters away from people.
Respect privacy. Don’t fly or photograph people in places where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission
Don’t fly near fires
For more info:
3. Which Drone?
Are you looking for THE perfect camera drone? Let's check the 3 most popular camera drones for sale right now.
- DJI PHANTOM 3 SERIES - $499
If you are looking for the easiest drone to fly with best camera quality for under 500$, that is the drone you want.
Also, compared to other drones, the amount of YouTube videos, websites and people in general talking about the Phantom 3 is huge. Any questions that you might have, there will always be someone out there who knows the answer. A plus for beginners.
- DJI MAVIC PRO - $999
The DJI Mavic Pro is like the Swiss Army Knife of drones. The Mavic Pro is a drone made for adventurers and travelers, kids and adults, beginners and pros, or anyone who wants a small yet extremely capable camera drone.
The big selling point of the Mavic Pro is its size. It’s already small, but with its foldable design, there’s no excuse not to have it around when you want to get that fantastic stabilised drone shot.
- YUNEEC TYPHOON H - $1299
Compared to DJI, Yuneec is a relatively unknown company, however that hasn’t stopped them from competing. It’s a 6 rotor retractable landing gear beast of a drone, with a 360 degrees gimbal. That drone gets over 20 minutes of flight time, have obstacle avoidance, decent video quality and are in the same price range. This is a drone that has a lot of interesting features and flies extremely well.
For other buying tips:
4. Learn to fly
Best advice to give to beginners is to learn to fly with their drones before doing anything. Some people recommend to practice with Toy Drones (under 50$) but drones, like we talked about before, are quite easy to manage.
It is also recommended to use drone flight simulator. If you have a DJI drone then you can use the built-in flight simulator on the DJI GO app.
From there you then just gotta get your confidence up which will only come with lots and lots of practice!
Here is a very nice guide to start:
5. Photographers we love!
Here are 4 Drone Photographers that totally rocks! CLICK & ZOOM!
Chris Leipelt from California - Instagram
Ahmed Saffu from Maldives - Unsplash
Lance Asper from Florida - Instagram
Richie Nolan from Ireland - Instagram
And you? when do you start to make unconventional pictures, taken from the sky?
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