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What is a drone?
Drones are small, unmanned aerial or ground-based vehicles that are operated for fun, hobby, and even commercial use (with special permission from the Federal Aviation Authority). Many are equipped for photography and allow you to capture images from angles you cannot normally reach. Flying drones, also called UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), are remote controlled multirotors. Quadcopters are a type of multirotor aircraft with four rotors. Most drones are operated with radio remote controllers, but can also be programmed and controlled via tablet or smartphone.
Which photography drone is right for you?
Photographers of all skill levels can use drones to capture pictures from unique perspectives. Whether it’s taking video of your friends surfing, or capturing a scenic mountain panorama, having a camera in the sky can bring new life to your photos and movies. If you already own an action camera, you may want to check out models that are equipped with a camera mount rather than a built-in camera. Some models come with a built-in camera and a stabilizing gimbal. Most photography drone systems provide mobile apps for iOS and Android devices that let you watch the video live via Wi-Fi. Photography drones can be classified into three categories based on the operator’s experience level and intended use: Casual Enthusiast, Hobbyist, and Pro.
For easy setup, choose a drone that is ready-to-fly (RTF) right out of the box. Many entry-level drones require minimal setup and come with everything you need to take off, including, battery, charger, controller, and manual. All that is needed is to charge the battery, attach any accessories (like prop guards), and connect the controller to your smartphone. To start your filming adventure, you’ll need to mount an action camera to your drone or purchase a drone with a built-in camera. Before you takeoff, read the drone’s instruction manual and check out the “Know Before You Fly” campaign at http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/.