Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Attack of the Drones

The latest rage on the Internet besides the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" is drone photography and video.  If you have not seen or are not familiar with drones, go to YouTube and start searching. You will see some amazing photos and video that have never been possible before. The small size of the drones lets them capture a unique perspective never seen before.  Drones get shots that can't even be done with most helicopter.

Drone are now being used in all sorts of industry and security applications.  The military uses them for both domestic border surveillance and reconnaissance missions in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. Other industries use them for law enforcement, advertising, tourism, farming, tower and pipeline inspections and more. Amazon even wants to use them to deliver packages to customers. By 2025 drones are expected to be a 80 billion dollar industry employing hundreds of thousands of people. Just when you thought all the million dollar ideas were thought of, we now have drones.

Drones capable of carrying an HD camera come in a wide range of prices ranging from as little as $500 to $2000 and up. Some come with cameras but many models allow the mounting of a GoPro camera onboard.

I follow several sailing blogs and YouTube channels that use drones to capture footage for their sites. Drake Roberts is a long distance sailor and cruiser who is now in Scotland and has used a drone to take amazing video of his time in Greenland and Iceland. He just started a new YouTube channel called ParagonSkies where he will display all of his amazing drone footage.

Mick Bergsma is a GoPro enthusiast who shows tips on how to use all features and accessories of the GoPro cameras.  He also uses drones to take some awesome video. His latest video of Costa Rica is excellent.

Rick Moore is a Canadian who has found a way to make a living while working off his 50 foot yacht, Sophisticated Lady in the Caribbean. His Ambient Real Life Videos give you a glimpse of the cruising lifestyle.  He recently purchased a waterproof Mariner Drone that he uses to make advertising videos for the many island villas in the islands.

I have been following Brian Trautman and the crew of Delos the past few years as they work their way around the world. Brian and his crew recently purchased a drone to capture some awesome shots of their boat while cruising in Thailand and the Philippines.

DroneFly is the site of DJI, a distributor of one of the most popular model of drones. They have a great site with many breath taking videos taken using their products.

If you are using a GoPro with your drone they have their own GoPro App that you can use to control the camera only.

The app is compatible with the Hero 3+, Hero3 and HD Hero 2 with WiFi backpack. Software upgrades will need to be done for the last to options.

    • See what your camera sees with live preview for easy shot-framing
    • View photos and play back videos*
    • Copy photos and videos* to your device, then share via email, text, Instagram, Facebook or other app
    • Browse and delete files on the camera’s microSD card
    • Watch the GoPro Channel and get your fix of the latest GoPro videos from across the globe
    • Wirelessly update your HERO3+ camera software
    • Wirelessly update your camera Wi-Fi network name and password

There are of course mobile apps which can be used to control and fly your drone. The DJI Vision app is used exclusively with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision drone.

The DJI Vision App is used with the Phantom 2 VVision. It allows full remote camera control through a mobile device. This App is only for the operation of the Phantom 2 Vision.
The app allows first person view while flying. It has a long WiFi range and with the WiFi Range Extender up to 300 meters.  It displays real time flight parameters onscreen.  The location of your device is also locked on radar.

The onboard camera takes 14MP Still Photos and 1080p30/60i Full HD Video.  Other controls include camera tilt, pitch and yaw axis controls through your mobile device.

The DJI40 app is used with the DJI Phantom 1 drone. This app enables you to remotely control the FC40 camera installed on DJI PHANTOM 1, including photo capturing, video recording, album management, etc.

After watching all these great videos it is inspiring me to by a drone and get started. As many of your sail and cruise around the world a drone might be a great way for you to document your trip with photos and video. 

There has been a lot of concern lately over regulation of drones by the FAA and other organizations so make sure you check out what is allowed in your specific country as far as avaiation rules governing the flying of drones.

~~~ Fly On ~~~~ /)


  1. i like to read this post and thank you for share with us like this infos

  2. Hi there! I've read many posts about drone, and I can tell that yours is very valuable. Different people want different things off their drones. While some want to opt for high quality images and videos, they do not mind compromising on flight time. On the other hand, there are others who prefer having a longer flight time with more acrobatic turn possibilities. See more