9 Things to Know Before Buying a Drone For Photography
Today, drones are becoming very popular because of the advanced technology they own. One of the main perks includes high-end photography, which is exceptionally beneficial for professional photographers and even hobbyists.
If you decided to buy a drone for photography, there are a couple of factors you should take into consideration before making the actual decision.
However, there are certain criteria before making the actual purchase; therefore, read the following text.
1. Picture Quality
The image quality is first on the list since it represents a crucial factor in deciding which model to obtain. Those of you who have some knowledge on the subject know that the sensors a certain model owns directly impact the quality of the image. This rule additionally applies even to aerial models (aerial photography drones). Recent surveys and customer reviews state that the new standard when it comes to photography drones is a 1-inch sensor. Drones that have a built-in 1-inch sensor include:
- Mavic 2 Pro was made as a consumer drone
- Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 was made as a professional photography drone
However, if you are a fan of high-end photography, consider buying one of the most powerful photography drones with a 4/3 inch CMOS sensor:
- The Inspire 2/ Zenmuse X5 Camera
Since this term is widespread in drone terminology, you should know that a higher CMOS allows you to make easy pro footage (very high-quality images) in low-light terms if you plan to give in to professional photography. However, this is only important if you plan on taking pics and videos at night.
If you intend to shoot during the daytime, Mavic 2 Pro and Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 are a brilliant choice, especially if you are looking for a decent price-quality ratio.
3. Video Quality
There are variations depending on the drone you choose (from lower HD quality to 4K) when it comes to video resolution. So, do you need 4K video resolution? Well, there are a couple of answers.
- If you plan to shoot a video, edit it (adding filter), and later upload the video to Instagram or Facebook, 1080 p resolution will definitely do the trick.
- However, influencers and vloggers usually lean to cinematic videos, which should be done in 4 k resolution.
Video editing will significantly reduce the quality, meaning that the resolution of the footage depends a lot on rotating, cropping, and similar features.
For instance, if you begin with 1080 p resolution, the edited video will be noticeably lower in quality (less sharp).
That's why 4K resolution is the next big thing-it gives you an additional amount of pixels to play with.
You may have noticed the term fps (frames per second) in the drone's specifications. Fps refers to how many unique following images the camera handles each second.
For instance, 24-30 fps indicates smooth footage, while special effects (slow motion) require around 60 fps.
4. Format Support
This factor is only important if you use Lightroom or Photoshop. But keep in mind that almost every photographer tends to edit pictures at one point. Choosing a drone that shoots RAW/DNG images opens the door for many editing options, especially in post-production.
A photography drone that can shoot in RAW/DNG format allows the photo to record all data received by the sensor-which is essential if you are into nighttime shoots. For instance, RAW/DNG format is vital for aerial photographers.
Did you know that stable hovering directly influences the quality of the image? Drones that cant hover properly will constantly rise and fall, resulting in very blurry images. DJI is a leading drone company, especially when it comes to stable hovering because they own a superior flight control system that includes onboard sensors, especially the Spark model.
You can see how stable the DJI models are for yourself by checking out numerous YouTube videos on the subject.
6. The Gimbal
Customer reviews state that if you are into professional photography, make sure to buy a model that has a mounted gimbal. Why?
A proper gimbal is essential equipment for consecutive videos. Cheaper camera drones include gimbals as an accessory, while some don't even offer them at all. To avoid shaky videos, make sure to purchase a camera drone with a mounted gimbal.
- DJI Phantom Series- series equipped with a 3-axis gimbal.
- Mavic 2 — 3-axis gimbal made for smaller drones (benchmark when it comes to mounted gimbals).
7. Flight Time
To be honest, photography drones fly for up to 20-30 minutes, and the drone industry hasn't come up with a solution to prolong this flight time just yet. Drones that can fly more than 20 minutes are considered high-end in this industry.
If you can, purchase a drone with the longest flight time possible, like Mavic 2 (maximum flight time 31 mins).
- Learn how to use the maximum flight time in the best way possible and check out the numerous guides on how to do it online.
- Make sure to buy two extra batteries (or even more).
8. The Popularity
Buying a popular drone can grant you a couple of brilliant benefits, including:
- It's way easier to get answers to your questions on social media or online forums since the community that owns your drone is large.
- Also, YouTube is a great platform since there are over a thousand tutorial videos available.
For Aerial Photography:
- Mavic 2 with two lens options (Pro and Zoom), maximum 31 mins flight time, 44 mph max speed, sensors on each side, etc.
- Mavic Air is one of the most professional drones in a small package. Customer reviews state that this model is best for hobbyists or even pilots that are interested in high-quality photography.
- Mavic Pro is described as the most versatile model since it includes a 12-megapixel camera with DNG support and is capable of 7km flights (27 minutes flight time). Also, it owns a 3-axis mechanical gimbal.
Before you make the actual purchase, make sure to inform yourself of all available options, including the price ratio (models), and choose the right one according to your preferences. Check our DJI store to find the right drone for you.