This past summer I introduced myself into the world of ‘aerial imagery.’ You know, a camera hanging underneath one of those quadcopters that’s gotten so much attention of late. In my case, it was the very popular DJI Phantom 2 Vision +. This one has the integrated camera (rather than those where you add your own GoPro and gimbal system. The integrated version camera isn’t bad (although the GoPro is better). It shoots a rather large pixel count still image and HD video. For most web usage, that’s pretty good and very adequate.
After a few outings of getting used to the darn thing without crashing, I set out to challenge myself with a sample video. I chose to make a short video about the town I live in. There was no particular story, nor even a particular purpose. I just wanted to create a real project. As it turns out, I offered it to anyone in town who could benefit from it. (View it here).
The stills, well, they’re even more practically purposed. I’ve shot stills of the progress of a bypass going around our town. I’ve shot aerials of the various school buildings here (after the school property manager saw me flying one day and asked if I’d do that for him). And, I’ve just shot various stills of events and places around town. I’ve not yet come across a way or reason to attempt anything more creative. But, I will… eventually.
A few things that come up often: Although it can reach higher altitudes, it’s highly advised not to go higher than 400 feet. I can fly for about 20 minutes on one battery charge. It has a range of about half a mile from the radio controller. If I lose contact with it, it’s programmed to rise (or lower) to 200 feet and return to the point where it was launched. And, no, I can not answer questions from passersby while I’m trying to fly it.