What is drone photography? To understand how drone images could help your business, let’s step back to look the basics of this exciting and fascinating trend.
What is a drone and what does it do? A drone is an unmanned aircraft operated by remote control by someone on the ground. They can also fly autonomously, to various extents, with a programmed flight pattern and GPS technology.
Drones are becoming ever more popular and are now used by the Army, farmers, photographers, hobbyists and more.
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What is Drone Photography?
Drones often have cameras but to take good quality photos or videos you’ll tend to need something a little more high-tech.
That’s because, while the technology to fly a drone has been around for awhile, adding a high quality camera to the mix is something fairly new.
Controlling a Drone
Drones can be flown with a controller or an app, some even covering up to four miles flight.
The most common drone is a ‘UAV’ or unmanned aerial vehicle. This type operates a little like a helicopter.
There are also VTOL Drones, which are larger and operate even more like a helicopter, and drones that more airplane-like with fixed wings. These need a runway to take off and land, and are the type most likely to be used by the military.
The idea of using drones for photography is being taken more seriously all the time as the technology continues to improve. The latest versions can shoot 4K video and 12 megapixel still images.
Until recently drones used a camera not best suited to “real” photography. They had a wide-angle view and issues with distortion. That seems to be in the past though, as cameras on drones are getting more and more sophisticated and are capable of capturing higher quality images.
There are now drones specifically designed for photography. In 2016 drones with zoom lenses were released.
The first of these had 22mm to 77mm zoom capability and were good for industrial uses. Soon after there came a 30x zoom, giving a way to inspect areas like towers that cannot be reached by normal means. The newest drones have infrared and low light night vision cameras to increase their capabilities even more.
How to Define Photography in the Age of Drones!
For years photography has been defined as capturing images with the use of film at first, and then by electronics.
Drone technology can redefine photography to some extent because it takes the camera out of the hands of the photographer.
Like the arrival of the SLR, electronics are still used to capture the image but with drones, you are not limited by how far you can reach.
Drones give photography new dimensions when you consider the ariel view they allow.
Essentially an aerial view is a view from above, looking down onto something. Usually we think of photos taken from airplanes, or images produced by a satellite. Drones do the same thing, but the difference is the mobility you have with a drone.
You can program, or control, the drone to reach places in far greater detail.
What is the Best Drone for Ariel Photography?
There are several kinds of drones on the market, and now there are more aerial photography drones being released.
One of the best is the Halo Pro Bundle. A great feature is the zoom lens, as well as 4K video capability. It features one-touch takeoff and landing with a controller shaped like a watch. It has a “follow” module that allows you to track where the drone is. You may also program this drone to make up to 30 stops on a map, and it will photograph each one. All you have to do is set it up and let it go.
Another welcome feature of this drone is that you can remove the camera to use as as sports camera, such as a bodyworn camera or mountain biking camera.
Summary: Important Considerations
When it comes to drone photography,the final image is everything. A high quality sensor is just as important as the megapixels, but you still need 12 or so mp.
Video is available but it is still in the developmental stages. You’ll have to decide if it is worth the extra expense to get high quality video, or if you just want normal video with good quality still pictures.
Stability is another key factor. The drone needs to be able to hover above what it is shooting. It doesnt matter how good your sensor and camera are if there is too much vibration. Stable hovering needs advanced flight control systems, which are the latest technology.
A “gimbal,” which helps keep the camera stable enough for good video quality, is an essential for quality video.
Experts also recommend stretching to the best quality you can afford and buying a drone from a well-known manufacturer.
The ‘you get what you pay for’ rule applies!
There is a reason Nikon and Canon are by far the most popular brands of cameras. The same idea holds true in drone photography.
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