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August 4th, 2015

So You Want to Shoot Aerial Photography Using Drones?

Posted by liveBooks

Guest post by liveBooks client Kike Calvo. 

This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, which profiles interesting information, thoughts and research into using drones, UAVs or remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that I learn about during my travels.

Kike blog
Pictured: Upgraded DJI Phantom 1. Photo © Nano Calvo.


If there is a question that gets asked over and over in the many emails I get in response to my Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, it is “What gear and components do you use in your on-going process of becoming a proficient aerial photographer and filmmaker?” I will devote today’s column to discussing one of my basic rigs.

One of my unmanned vehicles of choice is the DJI Phantom, both Phantom 1 and Phantom 2. My decision is based on size, portability, and reliability. With the knowledge that experts from DSLRpros bring to the table, I have upgraded my system to include the following:

Kike blog 1

Photo © Nano Calvo


Futaba Control Radio

“The Futaba remote control gives the Phantom nearly twice the range of the standard RC remote,” said DSLRpros Associate Josh Hohendorf. “In addition to increasing range, the connection with the craft is much stronger and reduces interference from foreign frequencies that would otherwise disrupt the flight of the craft. It offers a variety of programmable controls that photographers and cinematographers alike can customize their remote to suit their specific shooting needs.”

“The Futaba can save an unlimited number of settings for any unlimited number of crafts. Controlling the camera is also superior to the standard RC system. There are two range selectors. One knob for large-scale range selection and another wheel for smooth, fine tuning within that range.”

Kike blog 3

Photo © Nano Calvo


Carbon Fiber Propellers

For awhile I debated whether I should be adding these or not. I finally went with them. “Carbon Fiber props are a must have for anyone using the phantom to capture visual content,” said Hohendorf. “The props are far superior to the standard plastic propellers in every way. Their rigidity prevents them from bending and warping like the plastic propellers. In addition, the rigid design translates into overall handling performances of the craft. It can achieve faster speed, harder maneuvers, and greater altitudes. The propellers are also precision balanced. This results in a far greater efficiency over the standard plastic propellers. The craft will fly several minutes longer with the lighter and more balanced propeller. A standard propeller will produce a great deal of vibration into the frame of the craft. This means that the video being recorded will display these vibrations in the form of ‘jello’ on the screen. The balanced carbon propeller will eliminate any vibration into the craft and result in clean and clear visual content.”

Warning: I suggest not installing carbon fiber propellers until you have become a proficient pilot, with a thorough understanding of the dynamics and operations of your craft, as these propellers can be more dangerous than plastic ones due to their superior strength.

To read the full article, check out the original source: So You Want to Shoot Aerial Photography Using Drones?

To learn more about drones, please visit: Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

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