Eye in the sky – how a smart drone can take your photography and filmmaking to new heights
Shoot video and photos from a bird’s-eye view with a state-of-the-art drone flying machine – one of the coolest of the new generation of smart gadgets.
Shoot video and photos from a bird's-eye view with a state-of-the-art drone flying machine - one of the coolest of the new generation of smart gadgets.
What is a quadcopter camera drone?
There are many different types of drone, but the ones we are focusing on here can be thought of as revolutionary flying cameras. Some have cameras on board to shoot video or take photos from the sky, while others allow you to connect action cameras such as the GoPro. You may also be able to add other accessories such as GPS units and protective outer shells. You control them using your tablet or phone.
Drones are great for recording family events, holidays and reunions with friends, or for seeing how coastlines, countryside and landmarks look from above. You can edit your footage together to make your own film, share it with family and friends or put it on social media.
How to fly your drone
Drones are easy to start flying, and operate via a free to download app on your tablet or smartphone. Some drones, such as The Parrot Bebop Drone with Sky Controller or the The 3DR Solo Smart Drone come with additional controllers that make flying your drone even easier.
Once the app is loaded, hit the take-off button. Then, use the controls or your tablet or smartphone's screen to fly the drone, tilting left and right or up and down for added manoeuvrability.
Drones can be speedy, too. Motor speeds vary, but the combination of four propellers give you improved stability for tight control even when your drone is zipping along as fast as it can.
Battery life and the distance your drone can fly will vary from model to model, but some, such as the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Drone can fly for up to 2 km.
6 cool ways to use your drone - films and photos
1) Direct your own movie: Use special modes from the apps for great effects and edit the footage together on your computer.
2) With friends: Use the drone to get some great footage of friends at your next get-together. From videos of pals chatting and clowning around to messages for those who couldn't be there.
3) At a wedding: Capture a wedding video from above - from guests mingling, to outside the church, to the bride and groom having confetti thrown over them. Take plenty of photos to create an alternative bird's-eye view wedding album.
4) To share: Got friends and family who can't make the wedding or party? Because the drone saves footage to your tablet you can easily upload it to YouTube or Facebook.
5) On holiday: Capture alternative views of iconic stretches of coastline or dramatic landscapes and scenery, and then put the photos in an album. It's your holiday from the skies. You can always play back the footage to stave off winter blues.
6) At the skatepark: Have any skateboarders or snowboarders in the family? A drone is a great way or recording their latest trick or ramp run.
What's the law on drones?
Drones are great fun when used safely, but you do need to take a few things into consideration when flying.