For a Different View
A few years back, I was in awe of a series on Discovery called "The World from Above". I was guilty of recording the episodes and watching them again and again. It was basically aerial footage on famous landmarks with narratives in the background for colour. It was both eye-catching and educational. Especially when it features the UK, on landmarks which I knew but taken for granted. The particular episode featuring New York was my favourite. And don't get me started about San Francisco!
And then I read about the availability of drones for aerial footage. I always thought them as cumbersome, difficult to fly while getting decent footage would take some training. I was wrong!
The more I read into it, and looking at the videos on YouTube, I realised that it was quite simple. All you need is a bit of time and passion.
My interest peaked when I read about the Phantom 4. It was a drone which was easy to fly and had a decent camera attached to it, for both video and snaps. Did some homework and find out a bit more about the pricing. So, last weekend, I bought one.
It was not exactly cheap, but to be honest, it was cheaper than a decent dSLR. And I started flying them the next day. All you needed extra was a smartphone, or in my case an iPad which would act at the display. The flying was done via a remote plus touchscreen. And to take photos and video, you just press the screen. The camera was a 12MP affair, of a decent point-and-click quality - with an f2.8 aperture - and it was capable of capturing 4K footage straight into it's memory card.
Flight time was also rather decent with a battery unit lasting about 25 minutes - my set came with 3 batteries for an hour of flight. It came in a slick portable case, which meant carrying the drone around a piece of cake. The whole package weighed less than a couple of kilo trams.
I should have bought one earlier as the footage from Langkawi would have been amazing! But never mind. I would still have to get proficient with it and with every flight I was learning something new. Definitely a keeper! Now, I would have to get some free time to fly the damn thing!