What is your purpose?
The first thing you have to decide is exactly what you want to document
from the air. Are you looking to have a drone follow you around and
document your many adventures? Or are you looking to take some
award-winning photos or videos from the air that have a professional feel
to them? Maybe you want to make a living by creating aerial videos for
commercial projects and advertising.
Because making a living from aerial videography will require the pilot
to receive an FAA Part 107 waiver, we will leave that alone for now and
talk more about how to create some outstanding images/photos for your
own personal use.
Let’s begin by looking at what you will need for aerial photography (still
images) as the equipment can be a little different from the camera you
need for video. Many multirotors that are designed for video will also
work quite well for photography, but there are a few differences of which
you should be aware. The drone will not need to have a gimbal system
on it to take great photos; the camera can be mounted directly to the
rig because the fast shutter speed will eliminate any vibration from the
drone. That being said, it is hard to find a ready-to-fly drone that does
not have a camera gimbal and that only shoots photos (all of them shoot
both video and still images). So plan on getting one with a gimbal, and you
will still be able to make good use of this feature.
A drone that is fast and has a good top speed, while not a requirement,
will help get the camera from one shot to the other. This is a plus if
you are shooting action. Drones that have retractable landing gear are
again good to have (especially if you are also doing video), but it’s not
absolutely necessary. One thing you do want to look for in a drone is one
that will lock into position, have a good GPS mode, and not drift. Once
Having the ability to add an
aerial perspective to your
photographic library lets you
expand your creative options.
The Typhoon H
has a small but
still camera that
can shoot up to
12mp images in
RAW and JPEG