Drones: Getting Started with Aerial Photography
Aerial photography using drones is on the rise. Drone prices have fallen in recent years and many models are available on the consumer market. The days of using aerial photography pigeons may be numbered.
What to look for when using a drone for aerial photography:
- Camera resolution
- Built-in GPS
- “Follow me” mode
Battery: Look for a battery with at least a 15 minutes of use. Heavier batteries will drain the battery at a faster rate. Extra batteries are also a good idea. Drone batteries average between $100 and $150.
Camera Resolution: Resolution varies greatly for built-in cameras and run from 480p all the way to 4K. Many enthusiasts will want to look for a gimbal attachment so a DSLR camera or a “GoPro” type unit can be installed.
Price: The price range for amateur level drones may be as low as $30. Low-end drones are generally used by hobbyists while professional photographers will want more stability and tighter controls in high-end models. These high-end models cost upwards of $6000.
Range: Drones must be flown under a height of 400 feet. Most drones will operate “line of sight”. If you are filming out of range you will need a built-in viewfinder on the control unit or use a phone application to view the camera with your smart phone. Currently it is illegal to operate a drone past “line of sight” range.
Built-in GPS: Having a GPS (Global Positioning System) built-in to the unit is essential for aerial photography. These drones utilize software that sends them on preprogrammed routes. Photographers can send a drone on a specific journey and focus on snapping pictures instead of controlling the drone.
“Follow Me” Mode: This mode allows the drone to connect with the control device and track its location. In case of emergency issues, hitting a “return to me” button will bring the drone safely back to your location.
Government restrictions are being lifted on drone use and it’s only a matter of time before aerial photography is commonplace. Drones must be registered before they can take flight. An online process will register your drone, it costs $5, and you must register any drone weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds
Real estate photos, wildlife monitoring and amateur sports videos are just a few ways drones are being utilized. Once you’ve found the price range and style of drone that suits your needs, the sky is literally the limit. Want to know more about aerial photography? Contact us now for more information.