Camera drones are cheaper and easier to use than ever. Today, drones are more accessible than ever, in a large array of shapes and forms. With that said, you have no excuse not to invest in a camera drone. With drones, there is an endless opportunity of what you can do.
In this article, we go into detail about drones, what they are, and how to use them.
Just a few years ago, drones were so expensive and difficult to fly that they were out of reach for most people. Therefore, it was almost exclusively professional video photographers who could afford to invest in the new technology.
Today, drones are more user-friendly, more reliable, lighter, and most importantly cheaper than ever before. As a result, so many photographers have opened their eyes to the features of the drones.
What is a drone?
A drone is simply an unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft.
The word originally refers to an unmanned flying craft and other known names are UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), UAS (Unmanned Aerial System), and RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System). In the hobby, not everyone likes the word choice, many say that the word has a negative tone because of the military use of drones in warfare.
The areas of usage are many and greatly varied. Drone racing and photography are the most popular when it comes to drones.
In addition, drones are also used in rescue missions where, for example, you need to find a lost person in difficult-to-reach terrain, where you have to obtain medicine immediately. Even within architecture, the industry has started using drones to scan large buildings for 3D models. There are a lot of uses and it is really just the imagination that sets the limits of what you can do with a drone. One thing is for sure, it can be extremely handy.
The drone technology is far from new, but for many years it has only been used by governments for eg. military purposes, rescue operations, surveillance, metrological measurements, and fire fighting. It’s only in recent years that drones have become more accessible to the market.
A common question for beginners is how much flying time a drone has. In fact, battery life varies greatly. There are drones that can only fly for 4 minutes, but there are also drones that can fly for more than an hour. Generally speaking, battery life increases with size. The bigger drones you have, the more flight time you will get. This is however not always the case. It should also bed had in mind that be remembered that the larger the drone, the slower and more difficult to operate becomes.
In addition to battery life, a common question about drones is also the range. This does not refer to the battery but about how far you can fly away from your remote control before it loses connection. Ultimately, this depends on what drone you have. That is, how strong a signal your radio control can send, but also how good a receiver your drone has. For most drones, you are able to fly at least 100-300 meters without losing the signal, thus far enough for everyday flight. If you want an even longer reach, you can upgrade the hardware in the form of larger antennas and stronger transmitters.
So why invest in a camera drone? You probably have lots of equipment that is higher up on the wish list than a small flying robot, but there are actually good reasons to get one as well.
New perspectives with a drone
It can be difficult to stand out as a photographer in an age where more people than ever take pictures. One way to make your images stand out from the crowd is to photograph from new and interesting perspectives. This is where the drone comes into the picture. It can move over areas that were previously difficult or impossible to reach – steep cliff walls, deep oceans, rushing waterfalls, or treacherous rock floods, to name a few examples.
It opens up to scenarios, angles, and ideas that were previously impossible, and the results can become artistic.
Like all camera types, it is also important for drones with cameras that price and quality go hand in hand.
You can definitely get a drone that costs around a hundred Euros, but even if it is a camera drone, the quality is usually so low that the images become largely useless.
But if you’ve never flown a drone before, it might be a good idea to buy a cheap toy drone in order to try and experiment to learn the basics of how to operate it. By doing so, you get better pictures from the beginning when you fly with a real camera with drones as you know how to operate it properly. This is because there is no major difference in how to control a cheap and expensive drone, and then the risk of crashing your new, expensive camera drone is reduced.
Chinese DJI is the world’s leading camera drone manufacturer, and even though companies such as Yuneec and Blade have begun to enter the market, we still believe that DJI models provide the best quality.
Even the smallest and cheapest DJI drones can take 12.0-megapixel jpeg images, and many can even record videos in 4K resolution.
If you are looking for the best image quality at an affordable price, DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a great option but new versions are released consistently.
With its 1 “sensor, it can capture images in both jpeg and raw format with a full 20.0 megapixel and record 4K video at 60 frames per second. At the same time, it can fly for up to 30 minutes on a charge with a range of 3, 5 km.
Should you buy a drone and which should you choose?
Before investing in a drone, it’s smart to think a little about what you want to use it for. This is a big difference from one drone to another. The most expensive is not always the best to meet your particular needs. You can roughly divide drones into four categories:
- toy/play drone
- FPV- / racing drones
- Photo & video drones
- Drones for industrial applications
Some drones are very small and are only toys. Other drones are built to fly as fast as possible, so you can compete with others. This is called drone racing. Then there are also drones with cameras that allow you to shoot and shoot from brand new angles. They are available as simpler versions with a small built-in camera and also as larger, professional models that can carry several kilos with camera equipment.
How much money you want to spend and what you want to use for drones obviously determines which drone is the best fit.
How fast can drones fly?
How fast drones can fly varies depending on the type of drone. Small hobby drones made for flying indoors do not fly faster than you run while racing drones can often reach up to 100 km/h or more. Compared to its size, most drones are quite fast though, the multiple rotor blades provide a fantastic acceleration. The maximum speed for ordinary drones under 7kg used outdoors is 90km/h.
How do you control drones?
Drones are controlled using a radio transmitter, just like other radio-controlled vehicles. In combination with this, drones often have a camera, and then with the screen or with FPV goggles, you can also see what the drone sees.
Types of drones
Hobby drones often lack a camera and are mostly for the pleasure of flying, this type suits beginners well.
Aerial photo drones tend to be larger and more advanced, often with many autonomous features and advanced image solutions such as gimbal for the camera. The features of these drones (which often use GPS for positioning) are focused on stable and professional aerial photography.
Racing drones (FPV racing) are designed for only one thing which is speed! They almost always also have a camera mounted so that the driver can fly by seeing what the drone sees, so-called first-person view, with a screen or with FPV goggles. Competitions around the world are held in FPV racing, both professionally and at the hobby level.