As some of you are aware, I’ve had the opportunity to spend my summers in PEI. Its such a beautiful scenic island and very idyllic for taking photo’s.
Last summer I had considered hiring a helicopter to take me around to take some pictures from a different perspective or perhaps coastline that’s inaccessible. That’s when a friend introduced me to the world of drones or UAV’s. It’s kind of like having your own helicopter – at your own convenience and can really open up your photography to a whole new perspective.
I had always assumed that drones were very expensive and were probably difficult to learn and fly. I was shocked to find I was wrong on both accounts, and so I purchased the DJI Phantom 3 and entered the world of drones.
Most users purchase drones for the video capabilities, which are outstanding. My particular drone shoots video in various frame rates and quality up to 4K. Although I bought mine with more still imagery in mind, however its hard not to get immersed into the video aspect of it.
For still images, the built in camera shoots a respectable 12mp in different ratio’s and allows you to control your shutter speed, ISO and white balance. The aperture is fixed at 2.8
The Phantom 3 and most newer drones, are incredibly stable and extremely intuitive. They fly via GPS which holds their position stable, even in considerable winds. Mine has a range of 2 km (with no obstruction) and has a limit of 400ft vertically. The flight time per battery is approximately 20min. When in flight, it always knows how much battery life is required to get back and will automatically return when that point arrives (although I haven’t risked trying that yet).
Drones have come under a great deal of controversy lately and rightly so, as a few have flown them recklessly and against TC and FAA regulations, which has resulted in a crack down with stiffer regulations and stiffer penalties. Drones in the near future will most likely need to be registered and a license to fly them will be required (similar to a boating license). It should be noted that they are certainly not practical for any urban area, especially Toronto, due to restrictions. They are preprogramming specific co-ordinates such as airports into the software disabling the ability to fly the machines within a certain distance.
I would be happy to answer anyone’s questions or if anyone is interested give a demo. A brief video I did for Tourism PEI can be seen on my website – alexbrucephotography.com
The following are a few examples of still images taken with the Phantom 3.