A Dynamic Duo: What Pros and Hobbyists Alike Need to Know About Drone Cameras
May 16, 2018
You already know that the potential uses for a drone are limitless. Do you enjoy racing yours? Flying it recreationally? These are just a few of the possibilities drone enthusiasts can partake in. If you want to use your drone for business, pleasure, or both, there are a myriad of modifications and possibilities for you to explore. With the right equipment, you can make almost anything happen. One of the original uses for drones is still among the most popular: drones can take your photography to the next level. With an aerial view and state of the art technology, the drone and camera makes a perfect duo.
Real estate, media, and the public sector are just a few of the industries that have discovered the value of aerial photography. There are countless uses for drones in professional and commercial photography, and according to Digital Trends, the field is only expected to continue growing. It's clear why; drone photography offers an unparalleled look at the world from above. With this growth, you can expect gadgets and gear to continue evolving, too. Whether you are trying to accurately capture property lines or achieve a strikingly scenic shot, equipping your drone with a camera is the way to go.
Drone amateurs and professionals alike should know what they are getting into when it comes to equipping their device with a camera. It is easy to get overwhelmed, even if you know exactly what you are looking for, and investing in the right camera is imperative. Before you get lost in the rabbit hole, consider starting with the basics—what functionality is essential for your intended use? What is your budget? Do you want a simple camera to get started or an advanced piece of equipment for professional use? These questions and the information here will help you find the uav camera you need.
What Can I Use a Drone Camera For?
What can you use a drone camera for? The question is simple, but the answer definitely isn't. There are so many potential uses for a drone camera that it is difficult to nail down just one—and you should not try to. Do you want to impress friends with sweepingly scenic images? Do you want to jumpstart a business specializing in aerial photography? There are many uses for a drone camera, and if you are like most enthusiasts, you will likely want to explore all of the possibilities. Photography and videography become an entirely new art when you have a drone camera at your disposal.
One of the most popular uses for hobbyists is scenic aerial photography. You have likely seen photographs snapped from high in the sky. The scale is stunning and the vantage point is unparalleled. From the perspective of a drone, you can capture miles of topography and create stunning images easily. Many drone users enjoy aerial photography as a casual hobby. You can share your work with friends and family or enter contests if you are so inclined. There are also plenty of opportunities to go pro with your drone camera, too. Demand is high for aerial photographers who can capture subjects such as weddings, sports events, and landscapes.
Photography is not the sole frontier to be explored with a drone camera. Take it a step further and get into aerial videography. With a bird's eye view, you can document the action below and get some incredible clips. Just like photography, videography with a drone is an art form that must be mastered. If you are specifically interested in capturing live footage, you should research drone cameras that are well-equipped to do so. Drone videography is ideal for any of the aforementioned subjects, and it's also become increasingly popular for users who are interested in capturing news coverage or creating real estate marketing.
When time is of the essence, live video is yet another drone camera capability you can take advantage of. Perhaps one of the most impressive feats your drone can be used for is streaming. When you want to show off the view from above as it unfolds, you can stream live from your drone's camera to social media or another video outlet. As it has become more popular, more users have discovered its usefulness for a myriad of applications, including the following:
Live stream impressive events with an even more impressive view, and you will see why this is an increasingly common use for drone cameras.
Getting the Most Out of Your Drone Camera
Drone cameras are an incredible tool. Even a relatively unskilled photographer can capture stunning images with the vantage point offered by a drone. Still, you likely want to know how to get the best pictures possible and take full advantage of aerial photography's potential. Getting the most out of your drone camera is important, and there are a few things you should know before you get started. Not all drone cameras are created equal. Finding the right one could be the difference between a casual hobby and a lifelong passion. Regardless of your level of commitment, consider the following features before you buy.
When you are capturing photos from a great distance—as you are, of course, with a drone—you need to be able to control the zoom easily. More specifically, though, you need a camera that has precise zoom capabilities. The first criteria you will want to examine when shopping for drone cameras is the zoom lens it is equipped with. The ability to zoom in close is great, but you want to be sure it does not come at the expense of quality. Getting a great aerial shot is a balancing act, and with the right zoom lens, you can nail it. In lieu of a camera with zoom capability, you may be able to find special lens add-ons that enhance your drone's existing zoom.
Two additional factors to consider are the shutter speed and stabilization system. Shutter speed is a vital yet often overlooked feature that plays a big part in aerial photography. Its most important functions include the following:
Control blurriness of photo
Photograph in low light and nighttime
Focus depth of field
These factors all impact the quality, nature, and look of the photos you take, so you should consider drone cameras with customizable shutter speeds. The stabilization system of your camera is perhaps just as important, too. Different manufacturers have different systems to maintain the drone's stability. Some cameras and camera accessories, though, come with internal stabilization features to ensure you get the best shot possible.
What Kinds of Drone Cameras Are on the Market?
Now that you have an idea of what you might be looking for, you are likely curious exactly what's on the market. Prepare to have your curiosity sated—in simple terms, you have a lot of options. The equipment you choose will likely depend on what equipment you've already got. If, for example, you already have a drone and simply need a camera, your options will be a little different than somebody who is shopping from scratch. Consider whether you need a drone, a camera, accessories, or all of the above. Once you know what you need, you will be able to find the perfect gadgets for all of your aerial photography interests.
If you are simply in the market for a camera to add to your existing drone, there are a number of high quality options. The Zenmuse Z3 Camera is a state of the art device that can impress even the most discerning of drone photographers. Equipped with a 3.5x optical zoom and 4K HD capability, it can capture both photos and videos of the highest quality. These functions, as well as its lightweight body and user-friendly controls, make it a top pick for beginners and dedicated professionals alike. The Z3 is compatible with several drone models and can easily be installed via the swivel attachment at its base.
Aspiring drone enthusiasts who do not yet have any equipment may want to shop for a drone that comes camera-equipped. There are plenty of options in this category, too. One of the most popular is the Phantom 3. In addition to a camera with 2.7K HD optics, this drone features GPS, a three-axis gimbal, and an app that makes controls easier than ever. The camera, though, is a selling point in and of itself. You can get videos and photos with the built-in camera attached to the base of the Phantom 3. Videos are captured at 2.7K HD, and photos are captured at an impressive 12 megapixels. This is an affordable and accessible option for anybody looking to get into aerial photography.
Anybody in the market for drone camera accessories, too, will find a plethora of gear to choose from. There are several staples every serious drone user should invest in if they want to take care of their equipment. Finding a good case is essential for ensuring your drone, camera, and lenses stay safe from damage. Serious aerial photographers might also invest in add-on lenses to upgrade their camera's optics and achieve new effects with their photos. Lenses such as the PolarPro Cinema Series can also reduce shutter speed, polarize light, capture colors more vividly, and create cinematic effects.
What Should Aspiring Drone Photographers Know?
If you have seen beautiful aerial photography and felt inspired, you already know that drone photography is an art, a skill, and a potentially lucrative profession. Getting started isn't difficult once you understand the components of this hobby and the equipment necessary to get great shots. This is not all you should be aware of, though. You need more than just a drone and a camera to successfully become an aerial photographer. You also need to be familiar with your local laws regarding drone use and learn the basic tips and tricks that will help you capture the best photos. With this information, you can unleash your aerial photography skills on the world and show off your incredible point of view.
You may not think that drone photography is a legal issue, but in most areas, it certainly is. Typically, drones being used for commercial purposes must be manned by a qualified pilot and the drone itself must be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority. This is to protect the safety of people who may be nearby—though you also cannot legally get too close to them. Laws generally indicate that drone photographers must maintain a distance of at least 50 meters from people, cars, and buildings while the drone is in flight. Lastly, you must obtain permission from every person you photograph to be captured by your camera.
Once you've got your equipment set and your legal obligations fulfilled, where do you start? You should first consider the distance you want to shoot from. Are you trying to get a sweeping shot of a dramatic landscape, or do you simply want to capture a group of people from above? Position your drone strategically to ensure you get the shot you have envisioned. Once you have found the right spot, use your camera's controls to set the shutter speed. In regular daylight, for beginners, a faster shutter speed will generally result in the best quality photos. It will also minimize the blurriness that often happens as a result of the drone's vibrations.
Perhaps the most important tip you can take is to simply have fun. Aerial photography takes time and practice, and you likely won't see incredible results after a few snaps. If you invest in the right gear and take time to experiment, though, you will definitely have a good time and see why drone photography is such a rewarding hobby. Your skills will develop and improve, and you might eventually be able to make a profit off of the investment you have made in gear.