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2.2 Cameras and Gear

Have drone, will travel? Not so fast! You'll need a kit of gear to get the most from your drone. In this lesson you'll learn about some common drone cameras, accessories and travel gear.

2 lessons, 06:29

Free Lesson

Free Lesson
Drone Project Uses

2.Equipment and Setup
2 lessons, 09:33

Technical Specs

Cameras and Gear

1 lesson, 04:46

Shooting Techniques

4.Outdoor Factors
2 lessons, 07:29

Weather Factors

Timing and Time of Day

5.Camera Setup
2 lessons, 12:46

Camera Settings


6.Maintenance and Preparation
2 lessons, 11:23

Routine Maintenance

Planning for a Shoot

2 lessons, 07:30

What Is Legal?

How to Obtain UAV Insurance

8.Drone Services
1 lesson, 02:36

Service Ideas

1 lesson, 02:05


2.2 Cameras and Gear

In this lesson, we're going to go over some of the most common cameras associated with drones. We're going to compare and contrast them to see which one's are best fit for your project. We're also going to examine some accessories and gear you might want to utilize during your drone work. When it comes to camera options, you're probably going to want to pick a drone that has the right focal length for your project. Since a lot of beginner UAV's don't have cameras they have interchangeable lenses. So let's examine some lens' specs for some more common drones. The phantom three and the DGI inspire 1 both have a 20 millimeter equivalent camera mounted, which is not gonna have the fish out of storage that the GoPro's gonna have, and it's gonna have less of a jello effect in my opinion. A lot of drones utilize the GoPro camera and go pro has a much more wide angle view options as well as the options to crop in to medium and narrow view. However in my experience the quality drops off quite a bit more the more you crop in on the camera. So it's probably a good idea to film in 4k and reduce the fish eye effect in post. Now which one is better you might ask. Well that's going to depend on what your project needs are. If your filming aerials for a real estate video and you want the video to be easy on the eyes and represent the property in a commercial fashion, I would recommend using the Phantom 3 or the Inspire 1 because it films with a 20 millimeter focal length. However if your filming for a extreme sports video or you want to capture a super wide landscape sho,t I'd recommend a drone like the Phantom 2 that houses a GoPro camera. If you're interested in which camera has better overall performance, regardless of focal range, it might come as a shock, but I believe that the GoPro Hero 4 Black has better dynamic range and sharpness than the DGI Phantom 3 or the Inspire 1. But again, it depends on your needs. But if you think about it, this kinda makes sense because GoPro's been focused on cameras and image quality, where DGI is just now getting into the camera game. This doesn't mean that DGI cameras are bad, I actually use DGI more than I do goPro. However the DGI footage suffers greatly from more issues, unless you really dial down the sharpness, after which the footage can look a bit smudgy. However, if you're recording in 4K and you output the footage to 1080p, you can get quality results. I'd just make sure you always film in 4K. Now the GoPro is a bit more of a hassle when you're filming in 4K, mainly because of the files. The codec's not very friendly, so playback on a computer can sometimes be slow when you're trying to edit it. However, if you film in 4K and you output that to 1080p, your final video's gonna look great. The 4K works wonders at retaining image quality when you need to counteract the lens distortion in post. You're also going to need to purchase a lens hood for your GoPro. This is gonna help prevent the strobing effect from the sun flaring through the blades. Also I wouldn't recommend any GoPro models below the Hero 3 Plus or the Hero 4 Silver or Black. The reason is these models allow you to mainly adjust more options like that ISO and exposure. These options are what allows the GoPro dynamic range to really shine. Otherwise, you get footage with a lot of blown out skylines and that's not very cinematic. The next thing is the travel case. This is something without a doubt you need. It's just gonna be a huge pain trying to keep up with all the separate pieces of the drone, especially when you are moving around. It's just a smart move to invest in a quality case you can store your drone in, so if you have to travel, you are all set and your drone will be secure. Most of these will run around $250 to $500 price range compared to what's a good pelican case. They also make some cool travel backpack that are great for transporting drones on hikes. Yeah, if you are new to flying or if you're going to be flying in a place with lots of obstacles or if there is going to be people in the vicinity, I highly recommend using prop guards if they're available for your drone. When it comes to the use of prop guards, I always say it's not a matter of if you're gonna crash but when. Just part of the learning curve when you're learning the limits of your drone, which is also why it's important to really get in a lot of practice before using one in a public space. Prop guards are gonna save you from a lot of close calls, like if you accidentally bump into a branch, or if you land too hard and the drone tips over. Finally, the last item I'm gonna mention are controller lanyards. A lot of of people prefer to use them, and they can help free up your hands and give you the option to fly using the fingertip method. I personally don't use controller lanyards. They just don't match my flying style and they kind of get in my way. But, like I said, a lot of people use them. And as a beginner, you may want to use them for your first couple flights until you get the hang of things. In the next lesson, we're going to learn some shooting techniques to get more cinematic footage from your drone.

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