The addition of cameras to drones may have just changed the way many industries run forever. They can be used to check areas that were previously impossible to see such as piping when checking safety and security, they can be used to keep control of policing situations such as riots and protests and they are even used in movies. Look out for it next time you watch a film, normally the video will start in the air like a plane and then move across giving the viewer a wonderful aerial shot that will be remembered.
Most drones that are available nowadays come with a built-in camera and a high quality one at that. If you own an old quadrotor and are looking to attach a camera of your own then a ‘GoPro’ camera is a good option however, you do have to consider the vibrations of the drone as this will affect the quality of the pictures that you take as well as the videos that you shoot. Built-in cameras offer a much more reliable quality consistently. Before shooting your first video you may also want to invest in a transmitter that will allow you to increase the range of connectivity when flying as well as broadcast video live from your drone.
You may look at some pictures that have been taken on a drone and compare them to yours and wonder how in earth theirs look so good yet yours barely classify as a picture. Here are some tips to remember when taking pictures or shooting videos from your drone!
Firstly, your camera is likely to get knocked around by the wind whilst in the air so make sure you are using a shorter lens to counteract this. If you couple a short lens with a fast shutter speed, you are likely to see dramatic improvements in your photography right away. A good rule of thumb to receive top quality is around 1/1000 second at 200mm and 1/500 second at 100mm. These combinations will allow you to take sharp, crisp photos no matter what conditions.
Another great tip when taking pictures from your drone is to set your camera to high contrast if haze becomes a problem (which it often does). If the problem is really bad to the point where you are getting black and white video, you may also want to shoot with a red filter. Normally, using any sort of filters such as ‘UV’ and ‘Haze’ tends to worsen the picture quality when in the air but the red filter will help to add colour.
Of course, it is important to have fun when attempting photography with your drone but you also have to remain sensible at all times. Do not go out on the streets on your first day having never flown a drone before because this can actually be quite dangerous. Also, think about where you are flying your drone; avoid flying near an airport where you could be causing serious problems. It all comes down to confidence and this will come with practice. The more you practice, the more you will learn and therefore the better your pictures will get!