What is a drone?
Drones in general are small radio controlled or programmable aircraft. They come in many sizes and generally consist of 4 and more electrically driven propellers together with radio transceiver circuits, digital cameras and a power source. Then can be controlled using a dedicated controller or even a smartphone. They use modern high power Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer batteries and have onboard sensors that detect height, tilt, acceleration and even GPS location. Together these technologies enable a relatively small and lightweight drone to hover and fly around with a great amount of control.
What are their uses?
Camera Drones have a number of uses but are commonly used by the general public, in conjunction with the HD Video/still camera that come with them, or can be attached to them. The use of the digital video camera gives the ability to capture never before seen viewpoints of cities, landmarks and landscape vistas. These overview shots would have normally only have been achieved by the use of a cameraman travelling in a helicopter aircraft. The cost of this services would have been beyond the budget of most but now, with drones, overview shots can be achieved by everyone.
Who should buy them and why?
The kinds of people that would benefit the most by having a camera drone a part of their equipment are landscape photographers, videographers and video-bloggers.
For photographers the ability to take dramatic aerial shots of valleys or coastal sunsets from a viewpoint, impossible to shoot in any other way. They can shoot photographs from within tree canopy’s and other places too difficult or dangerous to get to.
For video makers the ability to view a person or thing from a high perspective is now possible or go from filming from eye height to over the height of a house and beyond is easily achieved. There is now the possibility that the drone can automatically track and follow a person as say, as they are cycling down a hill giving cinematic shots that would wow the audience.
Also there is a market for professional drone operator rental where you can rent a high quality, commercially outfitted drone to shoot video on a particular project. The benefits of renting a drone is that you get to use a drone that would otherwise be out of your budget due to the high cost of the equipment and you get to have an experienced operator to pilot the drone.
Overall the invention of the camera drone has been a great advance for the outdoors photographer and video makers. For now you can achieve those expansive overshoots you’ve always wanted to do that show the landscape or the subject matter in a greater context better than before.