Photography drones are designed to allow users to capture photos which in the past could only be taken using planes and helicopters. Today, there is an increasing number of amateur and professional photographers and videographers who are buying drones.
Image Quality Matters!
When it comes to photography, it’s pretty obvious that image quality should factor into your buying decision. It all boils down to the type of image sensor used, which is similar to a regular camera. Today the 1-inch sensor is considered the gold standard as it is used by many leading brands like DJI in both their Mavic and Phantom line of drones. More expensive photography drones use the 4/3 CMOS sensor.
As a rule of thumb, the larger a CMOS sensor is the easier it is for you to shoot in low-light conditions. However, if you’re not shooting too much at night, it does not matter all that much.
Will You Need 4K Video Capability?
The video resolution varies from low-quality 720p to 4K. If you’re going to add a filter to most of your videos after which it is uploaded to a social media platform like Instagram or Facebook, then 1080p is your best bet. However, vloggers who want to shoot quality cinematic video will probably find working in 4K to be a lot better. It goes without saying that video editing decreases the resolution of the footage because of rotating, scaling, and cropping. So, if your source material is in 1080p, then the resulting video will not be as sharp, and so 4K gives you more pixels to play around with during the editing process.
The other important spec is frames per second or FPS. Most drones can shoot in 24fps and 30fps, which suffices for most types of content. However, if you want to add special effects like slow motion, then you’ll want a drone that can shoot at 60fps or higher.
Should It Support DNG and Raw?
If you are not doing any post-production with Photoshop or Lightroom, then you’ll want to ignore it. However, every photographer we know edits their photos and videographers tend to edit their videos. So, if a drone can shoot in DNG/Raw, you have a lot of editing leeway. The result is more professional-looking photos.
A Mounted Gimbal
If you are buying a drone for photography, it should have a gimbal. Without a gimbal, your videos will appear shaky, and it's nearly impossible to remove it using postproduction software. So, it is imperative to buy a photography drone with a gimbal. The standard is a 3-axis gimbal should suffice for most aerial photographers and videographers.
If you are in doubt perhaps choose a popular drone. There are many advantages to this, which include easily available parts, guides/tutorials online, etc. So, even if you’re new to flying a photography drone, it isn’t hard to master it. Not to mention that there are many people who can help you learn how to to use it properly.