Quite a few years ago, when drone is still relatively new in the photography industry, I got a chance to try out with the Phantom 1 (I think) when a friend of mine bought it in order to test and see if it can fits into her production workflow. As far as I recall, it’s not very easy to pilot one, and you still need to stuck a GoPro camera to capture photo/video. Not a very pleasant experience I must say. However, I do see potential for it to be able to capture some smooth video footage. Gimbal has yet to become mainstream during that time, and whatever available in the market was pretty bulky and not very user friendly.
Fast forward today, DJI has introduced the ground breaking Mavic Pro, a highly portable drone packed with lots of features and a very capable camera. It creates a wave of “now everyone can fly” situation as literally everyone scrambles out to buy one. I have not tested one myself, but based on feedback from my friends who bought it, it’s pretty positive. Drones are getting easier to fly and control, more safety features were added to ensure lower crashing possibility, camera just keep getting more powerful with more shooting mode and so on.
To me, drones are pretty useful for what they can achieve, and the most noticeable impact will be the change of perspective. With drone, you get to see the world from higher altitude or even viewing your daily scene top down. Because it’s easy to fly the drone around, you can get some fresh perspective that wasn’t possible (or hard to be done) with your typical camera. You can easily access remote location and shoot from places you have never imagined before (such as shooting the sandy beach from the sea). These are useful for both photography and videography.
Many friends around me who have not use a drone before expressed their interest to it and pondering whether or not to get one. Some asked me whether will I be getting one soon. Well, my answer is no. Somehow, I have never “click” with drone for photography purpose. If I were into videography, there’s higher chance for me to get one. My personal view is that I see more potential for videography on drone that I can harvest compared to photography. For those who just started, they might find it interesting at first on the change of perspective. However, whether one can sustain and continue to create interesting picture from it is another story.
There are still a lot of things for me to explore with my current camera setup. Hence, I’ll not venture into drone for now. For those who are shooting with drone, try to explore and create interesting pictures that stand out from the usual. Till then, happy shooting.