Are you looking for the best professional aerial photography drones or maybe for a quadcopter to have fun and take great photos and videos?
Modernity comes complete with tools that rival the imagination of science fiction writers.
A great example is drones. If you’re unfamiliar, drones are the RC cars of the skies.
Remember when you were younger, and you received a remote control car? You could drive that thing around the whole block, and it was insanely fun! Well, a drone is the next iteration.
Professional aerial photography drones are a lot more heavy-duty, though. They can fly.
They usually feature four protected rotors, and many have a range of five miles.
It all depends on how much you’re willing to spend.
Typically, the high-dollar drones can be as much as a used car.
They’re about half a meter across or less, and they can go very high in the air indeed.
Drones can go so high that there are licenses that have quickly become part and parcel to the industry.
As the technology has refined, in-built computer controls have made it so that said drones can be piloted safely—even through obstacle courses.
Given the high expense of these drones, you wouldn’t want to crash one into a tree because a gust came at the wrong moment and limited your ability to fly!
So programmed controls have been designed to help prevent this.
With such a tool, you can catch some stunning pictures indeed—and drones are designed for just this purpose.
Hot Tips for Professional Aerial Photography Drones
Here is a summary of things to have in mind when you select yours.
How to Improve Quadcopter Battery life?
- Ditch the Camera when not used: Most cameras connect to the copter. That drains battery life faster. Remove the cameras when not in use.
- Install a Battery with a Higher mAh: Check the specifications for the maximum allowed mAh that your model can handle.
- The Propeller Size: Install a larger propeller when you plan to attach a camera on your device. Smaller ones demand more power and drain down the battery.
- Flight time and Right Conditions: Do not fly on windy or rainy days. Wind causes more strain and water develops humid that is bad for power generated devices.
- The 40-80 Rule: Extend the battery life by filling it halfway, or between 40 and 80%. Do not overcharge the batteries.
- Charge at the Right Time: Charge a few hours before you plan on using your quadcopter and note days before. Power is gradually lost each day that it’s left off the charger.
- Storage: Store your battery when it is at a 40% level.
- Upgrade your drone components: Old motors consume more power.
- Propeller guards: Safety comes first. Keep in mind that these have wrapping metals protect propellers. They increase the weight of a drone, so don’t remove them but take their added weight into consideration
What is the Drone Return Home Mode?
When used, such a feature will fly the drone back to the location where the remote controller is. If they have GPS, that allows them to return to the pilot accurately. Professional drone controllers have options like returning the quadcopter on click of a button or -automatically- when the battery is low or/and when the signal is lost.
What are the Flight Modes of Aerial Photography Drones?
- Manual mode: This is for maximum control for maneuvering. It is not suitable for novice operators, as lots of skill is needed. Some times aerial cinematographers use this mode to film an object that is moving (that too requires skill).
- Altitude Hold Mode: This is used by experienced operators who -many times- even use barometric sensors. This mode is good when you need to hold a certain altitude during filming under tight “spaces”, i.e. infrastructures, under bridges and such.
- GPS Position Hold Mode: That mode is ideal to learn how to operate the quadcopter. The multirotor keeps the same position both for the lateral and vertical points.
- WayPoing Programming Mode: In that way you feed the system with GPS waypoints and the device follows that pattern and covers the desired area. It is good when you want to film the same paths repetitively, flying over them.
- Normal Orientation: A bit tricky, as you need to keep an eye to the front of the multirotor and manage the actual direction of the device.
- Free Orientation: Good for beginners but with lots of air space so to learn how to manually handle the quadcopter. Best to have a device with Auto Return mode in case you lose the signal. Make sure you set a “home waypoint”, otherwise your device won’t know where to return.
What is the Drone Flight Legislation?
Flight laws related to drones vary among countries. You have to find out the actual ones in the destination you plan to deploy your device.
Some of them are:
- Not to below 400 feet
- To always keep your drone within sight
- Do not fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
- To not fly over groups of people, stadiums or sports events
- To not fly near emergency response situations, i.e., fires
- Never operate under the influence of anything
- To know the airspace requirements
What are the Camera Resolutions of Aerial Photography Drones?
There are three critical factors to know before selecting a drone camera, and they are a bit technical, beyond just having a “4k camera). This post explains it quite well.
On top of them, you just to have in mind that with a quadcopter, you want to take excellent quality photos and videos like you do with a great professional camera.
That translates to excellent sensors and zoom options, the ability to keep the drone perfectly still (the drone must support such), support of different high-quality images (raw/DNG), and video (4k) formats.
You also need to consider footage storage. Some drones come with internal storage and extension of such with microSD cards. Again, think like you would for your regular camera.
Which are the Best Commercial Aerial Photography Drones on the Market?
The most prominent drones right now are the Dji series.
These include DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, DJI Spark, DJI Inspire, DJI Phantom, Mavic Air.
Click to find the Dji ones at great prices on Amazon and see all their features.
There is even a detailed Udemy training on how to fly DJI Quadcopters. and another one for learning Aerial Photography.
An additional heavy-duty professional alternative is the Freefly Alta series.
Drones Are Catering To A Variety Of Needs
Whether your needs involve surveying a site for a future quarry, catching footage for a film in a way that is less expensive than using either a crane or a helicopter or just plain entertaining yourself, there is a bevy of top-tier aerial Photography drones designed just for this purpose.
The only caveat is practicing to get the “feel” of these drones, and having replacement parts ready.
You’re most likely to lose a propeller in a botched landing, so have two for each rotor available at all times.
That’s eight additional rotors if you’re keeping track.
So long as you have these things, you can catch some stunning photography with a reasonable amount of reliability regardless of your skill.
Furthermore, new technology has made this photography even more useful—did you know 3D images can be extracted from 2D ones?
Aerial Photography Drones and Photogrammetry?
You could use a drone to map an entire area. Then you could use such photogrammetry software to give that 2D map 3D texture.
Many today have come into a position where they discover photogrammetry software—PhotoModeler is chief among photogrammetry solutions today.
According to the site: “The PhotoModeler Software extracts 3D Measurements and Models from photographs taken with an ordinary camera drone. [It represents] a cost-effective way for accurate 3D scanning, measurement, surveying, and reality capture.”
It could then be fed into a computer where a three-dimensional model may be manipulated for whatever purposes the photographer has, whether they be construction, presentation, or design-related.
Soaring with Drones Among The Clouds
Something else that is interesting today is drone photography as utilized through cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) application.
The cloud has applications that are used by many different businesses today, and as it turns out, you could design a drone protocol that can make surveillance automatic.
Additionally, you can fit your drone with WiFi technology, making it an IoT device remotely operable from wherever you happen to be.
The sky used to be the limit, but with aerial photography drones, this barrier is quickly being overcome.
If you have aerial photography needs, using today’s technological developments to your advantage could save you time and money, while simultaneously delivering your solutions unattainable any other way.
Drone tech is overcoming the film industry, it’s already been readily embraced by the military, and the private sector is waxing wise.
1 thought on “Best Aerial Photography Drones for 2021 Need to Know”
I have seen beautiful pictures taken with drones, and I have also considered getting one at a point in time. My main issue with this equipment is the stress of moving them around. I hope the technology will evolve the more to the extent of having a miniature kind of drone.
Thanks for sharing this.