Best Drones for Professional Filming and Photography
Drones for Professional Filming and Photography to Bring Your Career to New Level
What’s that flying over your head? A bird, an aircraft, a chopper? No, that’s a drone! The latest drone photography trend is not a new concept anymore. With the markets flooded with a wide variety of models of Drones for Professional filming and photography, the professional photographers/videographers are making great use of the latest technology and opening up wide avenues in the field of photography and filming.
GPS equipped, easy to control, and SO classy! Drone filming and photography in now the most sought after creative photography trend for covering complete events, in the most unique and perfect way possible.
With a rapid advancement in the field of aerial filming, you may find yourself being pulled in different directions, with so many options to choose from. Each model has its own exclusive features, some may be easier to fly, others may have a higher resolution camera, some may be equipped with a longer lasting battery or another may have the top and latest features.
Here we have short-listed top nine of the industry drones for all your professional photography needs. Our list will help you decide the one which suits you best.
Best Quadcopters for Professional Photography and Filming
|DJI T600 Inspire 1 Quadcopter with 4k Video Camera||15 pounds||$$$||5|
|DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter||8,8 pounds||$$||4.9|
|3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter||3.3 pounds||$||4.8|
|DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter||9.2 pounds||$$||4.7|
|LanLan DJI S1000 Spreading Wings||16.1 pounds||$$$||4.6|
|Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K Quadcopter||25 pounds||$$||4.5|
|DJI P2+H3-2D Phantom 2 Quadcopter||8 pounds||$$||4.5|
|Chroma Flight-Ready Drone||12.2 pounds||$$||4.4|
|Syma X8G Headless 2.4Ghz 4CH RC Quadcopter||3.3 pounds||$||4.3|
Table of Contents
- 1. DJI T600 Inspire 1 Quadcopter with 4k
- 2. DJI 4K Phantom Vision 4
- 3. 3D Robotics Solo
- 4. DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter 4K UHD Video Camera Drone
- 5. DJI S1000 Octacopter
- 6. YUNEEC Q500 4K Typhoon
- 7. DJI Phantom 2 with Zenmuse H3-3d 3-axis Gimbal
- 8. Blade Chroma with 4K Camera
Buyers Guide for Best Drones for Professional Video and Photography
These drones started out as a fun past-time for students but later opened up new and improved concepts in the field of photography. Just over a short tenure of the last five years, the drones have greatly improved in terms of flight modes, safety, and speed.
Now, with cameras mounted on top, these drones are proving their worth and showing the world everything from a pilot’s eye view, like raw footages of volcano eruptions, waterfalls, disasters, wildlife, etc. whereby letting you maintain your safe distance.
The industry is bound to grow in the coming years, with the drone technology being used in multiple fields. The employment of drones for filming is not a new concept anymore, with these small, compact devices you can see and explore newer avenues, and places no human could ever set foot on.
So, are you ready to get this thing flying?
If you are a photographer/ videographer looking for adding a new perspective to your images and videos, or have a hobby or interest towards this new gizmo, you should get a move on right away!
It may feel a bit intimidating at first, but once you get started, there is no turning back.
Here are the main attributes you should look for when buying your very own, first drone:
Decide on a Drone
With a variety of options available now, the drones are equipped with six and even eight rotor blades. The most commonly available drone, however, is the quadcopter.
The typical quadcopter has four motors and rotor blades and an accelerometer. It can easily hover, ascend or descend and move sideways or make a complete 360-degree turn, as directed by the controller.
It has an X-shaped or H-shaped body, which provides extra support and a smoother flying experience. Most of these quadcopters can carry a general weight of about 2 pounds and can easily be navigated across different areas. Designed for use by learners and priced much lower than the advanced versions, these are the best to get started on with.
However, with the greater power they give, there is a certain responsibility you have to show.You need to keep in mind that you do not own the airspace; you are actually sharing it with everyone, even the commercial aircraft.
Just like the rules for driving on the roads, you need to learn the basic airspace regulations of the FAA of your country, before taking off in the air, to ensure a safe flight for yourself as well as for others.
Here is some basic information on drones, which may clear any misconceptions that you may have:
Are drones very easy to fly?
Not, all of them, and definitely not instantly. It may take a while, but it’s definitely possible. The flight controller which is an integral part of these quadcopters, enable them to fly smoothly over the place.
With drone technology, the more money you are willing to spend, the better and easier to fly option you can get, with additional features, sensors, and more control.
Do they require any special assembly or checks before flying?
The drones can be divided into three distinct categories:
- The RTF (Ready to fly)
- The BNF (Bind and Fly)
- And the ARF (Almost Ready to Fly)
- RTF: The basic quadcopter, is the easiest to start. All you need to do is charge the battery, install the propellers and connect the controller with the drone and fly-off!
- BNF: This type, does not include controllers. You can either connect your existing controller or look for a new controller for this. However, do check that the controller connects with the drone first before buying it.
- ARF: These require slight assembling and may or may not include all the essential components of the drone. So before buying an ARF drone, make sure you go through its contents carefully ensuring it includes all the necessary equipment.
Decide Your Budget
Since these drones take up a significant portion of your savings, you need to do a thorough research before buying one. The following points will help you make the most out of your investment:
Buy a charger:
A good charger lasts longer and is always safer and more reliable for your battery. The bigger chargers are usually suitable for most of the battery types. So even if you plan on buying another drone in the near future, the charger can work well for later too.
Get a Good Quality Controller:
Buying a good controller is a great add-on to your drone experience. One good controller can last you over 10 years! You can even upgrade it to the latest features and technology through its removable ‘transmitter’.
Get Market Knowledge:
Don’t rush into buying a technical device such as this drone. No matter how much tempting it may seem, it is always better to do a thorough analysis of the market and avoid making any wrong decision. Else, you may get stuck with a poor, costly, useless product.
Get to Know Other Drone Photographers in Your Area
There are various online communities and forums for people who share similar interests on drone photography. Being part of such forums and communities actually helps you gain insights about the latest industry trends, learning new techniques and guidance against any issues you may be encountering.
Basic Guidelines Before Buying and Taking Off
Although these are simple, small-sized drones, but you need to keep certain essential points in view for a safe and enjoyable experience:
For flight safety, there are certain rules and guidelines you have to follow in order to avoid any serious complications from occurring.
Most importantly and as common sense would tell you, do not fly near or above crowds. This would help keep everyone safe in case of any control issues or any other major mishaps.
Moreover, always keep your drone in clear sight and at a maximum elevation of 400 meters. The FAA has clear instructions regarding these drones for safety, you should go through them here before starting on with your heli-drone.
- A good quality controller
The controller looks like the xBox/ play station controllers, with one small stick for controlling the height and sideways movements and the other for the speed and rotatory movements.
A good remote for you should be the one you are comfortable with and is easy to use and highly responsive to your instructions.
- Spare parts
A good drone comes with readily available spare parts. No matter how good a pilot you may be, the possibility of an occasional crash cannot be ruled out completely. So, invest in a good product, which actually has shields to protect the propellers and has a ready supply of repair or replacement parts in the market.
A typical battery does not offer more than 10-20 minutes of flying. Get a good battery, to enhance the flying time and switch it for increased safety and longer charged life.
A good camera yields the clearest and sharpest images and high-quality videos and gives you the best results possible. Even better models let you capture an HD footage and live feeds.
Lower priced models have lower resolution cameras, which may be good for starters, but for professional use, they are not that apt. Looking for a stabilizer that will keep your footage still and is affordable? Take a look at our handheld go pro gimbals and stabilizers here.
Since these come equipped with a camera, or you may be required to buy a separate camera for professional video/photography, you need to keep an open outlook towards the price.
The more pricey options, come with better features, longer battery life and an increased flight time and other features.
- Time to charge and fly
The time taken for a battery to completely charge may be about an hour or more, however, most of these flying machines fly for only about 10-20 minutes.
- Areas for flying
A drone may be designed for safe indoors flying, but mostly you will want to fly it outdoors, giving it the ultimate liberty and avoiding the chances of any collisions.
How Important is the Flight Time/Battery Life of a Drone?
The longer the drone can stay in the air, on a single charge, the better. Good quality drones come with a greater battery life and let you capture a solid footage over a longer span of time.
However, you can always enhance the battery life by replacing the battery with the better ones.
But in any case, your drone has to be equipped with a trustworthy battery. Most of these batteries when purchased separately, are heavy, and expensive. But you must consider buying a LiPo battery for your drone; they have a far longer life and are able to store more power and in turn, give you a longer time in the air.
The battery also depends on the drone size; a larger drone requires a bigger battery to run it. Typically a drone is able to stay for 15 minutes in the air; however, a longer duration than that, is always better.
What Are the Basic Safety Measures to Adopt While Flying?
The FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) has set new regulations for these drones, but it is safe to fly at a maximum elevation of 4000 meters, to avoid collisions and any accidents. Also, its’ always safe to stay away from crowds, or other aircraft, airports, and areas where there are chances of such mishaps.
Another safety check is to ensure the battery is completely charged before every take-off. Keep a constant check on the battery and rotors, and other parts of the drone before every flight to ensure a safe, smooth flight without any serious accidents.
Many of these drones tell you the battery life required to fly and come back from a certain distance, to help you get a better estimate of the flight time. However, it is always safe to start off with a fully charged battery. Battery life is not always time-dependent as well, it may get depleted due to the altitude, speed, and even if the weather conditions are rougher than usual.
Each drone has its own speed and maximum altitude depending on a variety of factors such as its design, weight, and height.
As per law, your drone must remain in sight at all times. So you must fly in an open area, where the chances of hitting anyone or getting the drone damaged are minimal. Also, it is always better to set the ‘return to home’ feature, to have the drone safely back in case of a mishap.
Always read the instruction manual that comes with your model. Keep a few feet distance from your drone as the rotors could cause harm. If in case a crash is eminent, kill the speed and throttle to minimize the anticipated damage.
Are Replacement Parts Easily Available?
These drones are actually very fragile in nature. If you are an amateur, chances are you may break a few propellers, spindles, and other parts, as you make your course.
However, since it is a growing market, and a big investment on your part, the manufacturers are now trying to ensure maximum availability of spare parts where needed.
All these models have spare rotors included as part of the package, as this is the part which bears the most breakage.However, since the two blades propel clockwise and the other two anti-clockwise, in reality, you just have two replacements for each spindle pair.
For all other parts you must explore the market; always try to look for a model whose spare parts are easily available. Even if the cost is high, it is better to go for a model, whose manufacturer provides spares when need be, else your whole investment could go to waste.
Cheaper brands could also include a brushed motor with a shorter life; the brushless motors are the best for a longer life and require zero maintenance through their lifespan, but they come with the more pricey drones.
The basics of learning how to fly a drone along with taking stunning photographs and video involve handling the drone in such a way so as not to crash it. The more comfortable you fly, the better you can get at photography. You need to opt for a strong, sturdy drone, but it must give you value for money, as buying this product it does take a big chunk out of your savings box.
We hope this review was helpful for you in finding the model most appropriate to your budget, requirements, and skills.
Wish you a safe, and enjoyable flight!