2014 – The year of the drones

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2014 is set to be the year of the drones. You may have seen them at the sporting stadiums. UAV – unmanned aerial vehicle or drones as they are more commonly known are able to capture some amazing visuals. They are remote controlled helicopters with an HD video camera attached.

They are more prevalent because of the advances in camera and wireless technology. At the sporting events, they are able to stream live high definition images to the audience. The advanced versions need two operators. One controls the helicopter and another controls the movement of the camera. The outcome is some impressive angles. Check out this video we recently produced for Bombowlee Fruits at an orchard near Wollongong.

The prosumer version is a quadcopter and costs as much to buy as the professional versions costs to hire for half a day. Of course, the advantage of the professional version is it comes with the skilled operators who know what they are doing with it. The interest in these quadcopters has taken the manufacturers and retailers by surprise. The Phantom DJI has grabbed the market in a similarly surprising way as the GoPro did years ago. It is designed to fit a GoPro underneath it.

The interest in these is because you can capture amazing visuals that either you needed a helicopter for before or simply were not possible because of the confinements of the locations. These small nimble drones are able to fly through spaces and even inside houses. They are very cool.

The more advanced versions provide visual monitoring of the camera as it flies around. This means you can see what is being filmed. The cheaper versions don’t. So it’s a bit hit and miss in terms of getting the ideal footage. You won’t know until you review it after each take.

Phantom Quad Copter with gimbal and GoPro

Phantom Quad Copter with gimbal and GoPro

Although the quadcopter retails at around $800 AUD you actually need a Gimbal if you are planning to capture usable video footage. The Gimbal acts a bit like a Steadicam. That is, it smooths the jerky movement of the helicopter so that your shots are not making you feel like you are watching a high-level earthquake. The latest version of the Phantom 2 comes with a DJI Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal and together it retails for around $1,200.

You can pick them up from www.dragonimage.com.au (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne) or www.camzilla.com.au (Sydney).

If you are looking for some creative solutions to get your clients to take the critical next step, give us a call on

About Geoff Anderson

About Geoff Anderson

Geoff Anderson is the owner of Sonic Sight and has been producing videos for 30 years. He is an author, presenter as well as a video producer.

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