Using drones to take videos have these advantages:
It is cheap – with just about $1,500 or less, you can get yourself a good enough drone and some gadgets that you can use to begin your aerial photography journey. Using a drone is cheaper than hiring an aircraft each time you want to take aerial pictures or shoot videos.
It is comfortable – using a drone for aerial photography is more comfortable than taking a helicopter in the sense that for a drone, you’re on land, it’s only your drone that’s doing the flying and hovering. And did you know that in the US, the Federal Aviation Administration states that the highest a drone should fly is 400 feet; this means you can operate your drone even lower, maybe 120 feet if you like. You won’t get this advantage with an aircraft, you must fly into the sky and make do with a good camera so that you can at the least take some close shots, but they won’t be like using a drone. Of course, some people prefer aerial photography from far high in the sky. You won’t also be able to hover with an airplane but your drone will, so it just makes it more fun using a drone.
It is easy – flying a drone is not much of a challenge, anyone can fly a drone, you need to spend some days or a couple of weeks to practice with it then start taking pictures and even shoot videos. On the other hand, only trained professionals can fly airplanes, so you have to pay for their services to fly you into the sky.
Besides the risk of falling sky diving and taking pictures at the same time – which we don’t think anyone would try; drones offer other advantages that make drone photography a good option.
Tips For Buying Drone For Aerial Photography
As you’re contemplating this new adventure or this new dimension to your photography career or hobby, it would make it less challenging if you know some tips that will help you start well. Hence, the following are some of the things to take note of when making plans and when shopping for a drone you want to use for aerial photography.
This is quite important because the lighter your drone, the more speed it should have, it’s not a general rule however, it depends on the quality of the drone, but after choosing a good quality drone, compare the weight to another good quality drone. It’s better to choose the lighter drone after the comparison, why? Well, the lighter is most likely to be faster than the heavier drone. Besides, who likes carrying around a weighty drone when you can get a lighter one that will serve the same function? Not me.
· Range – Battery life
As a rule of thumb, average drones that are made for the hobby will fly for about 7 – 20 minutes on full battery, yet again, if you don’t particularly look for a drone with a good range of flying, you might buy the one that will only last for 7 minutes. Hence, when you want to buy your drone, ask for good one that will fly for up to 20 minutes or more. This will give you more time to practice your flying skills and shooting without getting frustrated because you have to charge the battery every 12 minutes.
· How High Can It Fly
Just like the range, this also varies, there are different types of drones, and that determines how high they will be able to fly, imagine buying an indoors drone and expecting to fly as high as a racing drone. Even when it comes to choosing from different drones that were made for aerial photography, there will still be the difference in how high each model can fly. Therefore, put this in mind when you’re doing your research to know the best suitable drone for you.
· In-built Camera or Not?
This is another important one because whatever you choose will affect how your shots and videos come out eventually. Most drones come with onboard cameras that can’t be removed, but they’re usually in the class of compact cameras quality, 12mps. That would be dreaded by someone who has been shooting with DSLR. It just doesn’t cut it. Not to worry, you can go for the second choice which is to buy a drone that you can attach whatever camera you want, the kind of drone that doesn’t have an inbuilt or onboard camera. It will cost a lot more than buying a drone with the inbuilt camera though. However, drones that come with in-built cameras are excellent for shooting videos, and they can usually shoot UltraHD and 4K. On the other hand, you can use some shooting hack to use your inbuilt camera drone to shoot amazing still photography.
· Your Flying Skill
You should not assume that flying a drone is easy and so you can buy any drone, no, if you’re a beginner, ensure you buy a drone that’s easy enough for beginners. You wouldn’t want to crash your drone into a tree while flying, so just buy a drone that the settings are not too complex for you to understand. As you get better at flying your drone and shooting aerial photography, you will be able to buy a more complex one for intermediate level or experts.
· Extra Features
This is how you will make your aerial photography experience more interesting. You may want extra features such as on-board lighting so that you’ll be able to see your drone when taking pictures in the night. There are other extra features, choose the most suitable drone for you, you don’t have to buy the same model your friend has, go for you.
Some of the Features That Usually Come With Photography Drones
Follow-me – Tracking
Return to home
Gadgets For Enhancing Drone Photography
There are a lot of gadgets that will enhance your drone and prepare you for aerial photography as a beginner. Invest a little money in buying some.
Extra batteries – even when your drone can fly for up to 20 minutes, it won’t be enough time for taking pictures and shooting videos. So, you can buy 1 or 2 more extra batteries so that once the first battery is low, you press Return to Home on your drone and change the battery.
Propeller guard – this is good for safety, it will protect you and anyone from getting cut by your drone. The propeller is sharp so when your drone is in flight, hitting anyone by accident would be deadly. Hence, having a propeller guard will invariably reduce the chances of cutting anyone with the sharp blades.
Extra propeller – your drone could crash while flying, especially when you’re a beginner, but if you have a spare propeller, then you can change the bad propeller right away and continue shooting.
Extra SD card – this is also good because you don’t want to run out of storage while shooting.
Landing pads – this will protect your drone from poor landing, again, as a beginner you don’t know how to fly well or how to land your drone safely yet, so instead of destroying while practicing get a landing pad.
Before drone photography was aerial photography but since drone became the new cool for hobbyists, people who can’t afford to rent a helicopter to take aerial shots of their cities pay little money for drones. And that’s how drone photography started. Aerial photography encompasses the use of any means available to take aerial shots. You could climb up to the top of a skyscraper and take pictures of beneath you with your smartphone. You can even make it more complicated, and ski dive then take pictures with your DSLR as you glide down the sky. If you’re like most people, buy a drone, it’s still aerial photography if you take aerial shots with it.
Some Of The Best Drones For Aerial Photography
The Chinese company, DJI, and US company GoPro are some of the best aerial photography drone companies out there. They make quality drones for all skill levels. However, they’re not the only drone makers out there, and you don’t have to buy a drone just because of the brand, buy whatever you like. In any case, here’s a list of quality drones in no particular order. All the drones listed can last up to 20 minutes in flight on a full battery.
Husban H301S Spy Hawk
Yuneec Mantis Q
DJI Mavic Air
Parrot Bebop 2 FPV Pack
DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Before you buy a drone
Do thorough research, and when you go to the store to buy, take a good look at the manual, try to understand it before you pay. This would prevent a situation such as having a drone that you don’t know how to operate. To save yourself the stress of having to return the drone after taking it home, you can ask them to do a test flight, so you’ll see exactly how it flies and note the ease of the flight. A test flight will show you what the drone will feel like when you’re flying it.
Lastly, learn about UAV regulations in your region, you don’t want to be labeled a spy for simply trying to take beautiful aerial shots. In case you didn’t know, US Federal Aviation Administration requires that drones weighing 0.55 – 55 Ibs should be registered, so as soon as you buy your drone, register it before you fly it. The know before you fly site website is a good resource.