The Future Is Now
Drones are autonomous aircraft that do not require a pilot on board. They have changed the landscape of videography by allowing videographers to capture real time, astonishing aerial shots without breaking the bank.
Operators can receive live footages from up to 6.5 km away thanks to high frequency radio signals. This produces shots that are otherwise too complicated or dangerous to capture.
Laws on Drones
Drones started off as a military device for enemy surveillance. However, those flying cameras have largely evolved into civilian video production nowadays. Equipped with built-in HD cameras, the most modern drones can fly nonstop for up to half an hour. Drones bring out the panning effect that many steady cams could not achieve, and the height that cranes would envy.
Nevertheless, pilotless drones bear an operational risk of hurting people nearby. Many governments today require licenses to fly a drone, very often only in permitted airspace. In most cases, it is not illegal to own or operate a drone, but video fanatics should always comply with local regulations and safety procedures.
How Much Do Drones Cost?
Mass market retailers like Giants offer these cool gadgets for as low as S$150 (for friends outside Singapore: this is just above US$110 at the time of publish). If you’re a professional video production company, or a hardcore videographer, our own recommendation is the DJI Phantom 4. This is a smart, long-term investment at only S$2,020 on the DJI website. Otherwise, you can consider a mid-range alternative, DJI Phantom 3, which is 3x less expensive.
What makes the DJI Phantom 4 superior? The 4th generation is powered with an obstacle sensing system, while its predecessors were not. This sensory system helps the drone detect and avoid obstacles on its path, significantly reducing the risk of collision.
It’s not always straightforward to navigate the legal requirements for drones operations, but it’s well worth the hassle. For now, sit back, relax, and enjoy our breathtaking aerial video of Lake Tekapo, on the South Island of New Zealand!