The 2012 film Skyfall received rave reviews, particularly for the directing and the performances. But there’s another thing about the film that made it a strong Oscar contender: cinematography. Skyfall, more than the intense fight scenes and fancy cars, gained attention for its aerial scenes. One would think they were just products of complex visual effects. Little do the viewers know, there’s one device that helped make Skyfall an awe-inspiring masterpiece: drones.
Using drones in filmmaking is nothing new, although relatively unknown. Some people are used to believing that aerial scenes are shot using helicopters or fixed-wing planes. This has been the way to go about shooting from up above since ages—until the rise of drones. Now there are a lot of drones for filming available on the market that you can use to create your own cinematic masterpiece.
The 5 Best Drones for Filming
Before purchasing a drone, one should look into a few factors, especially when the aircraft is to be used to make movies. First, the drone must be equipped with a camera that takes high-quality shots. Then you need it to have top-notch features and settings that are adjustable to your preference and the mood you want to capture. The ISO, aperture, optical zoom quality, are gimbal stabilization are just few of the many things that should be taken into consideration when choosing the best drones for filming.
The demand for drones in the film industry has driven manufacturers to release UAVs that cater to filmmakers’ needs. If you are a first-time drone flyer just learning the ins and outs of aerial photography and videography, with all the options you have, you might find it hard to choose which one would make the best purchase. Thankfully, we have a list prepared for those having the same dilemma. Here are five of the best drones for filming you can buy for a reasonable price.
1. DJI Mavic Pro Platinum, $999
First on the list is DJI’s Mavic Pro Platinum. Sold at $999 apiece, Mavic Pro Platinum is an improved version of its predecessor Mavic Pro. It shoots 4k HD videos at 30fps from a 12-megapixel camera, uses a 3-axis mechanical gimbal for stabilization, and can be controlled within 7 kilometers radius. For the same price, you get an even better aerodynamic design that improves the drone’s flight time, increasing it to 30 minutes, and reduces propeller and wind noise.
DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is a small yet powerful drone equipped with smart flight technology that senses and dodges obstacles up to 15 miles away. And even for first-time flyers, Mavic Pro Platinum is easy to maneuver. You just need to install the right app on your smartphone or tablet and you can command it where to go or even follow a certain subject.
2. Yuneec Typhoon H, $899.99
Yuneec Typhoon H’s design goes beyond the limitations of a traditional unmanned aerial vehicle. For a price of $899.99, you get one of the most advanced drones for filming and aerial photography. Compact and sleek, Typhoon H is lightweight but is packed with features that enable it to shoot 4K UHD videos and captures 12-megapixel photos at any angle. It has a 3-axis anti-vibration gimbal that allows for a more stabilized and seamless aerial footage, and it has eight (8) smart flight modes that allows the drone to fly by itself without any problem while you focus on the shots.
The controller is also another thing makes Typhoon H one of the best drones for filming. It’s all in one: it allows you to control the drone and easily program its flight, and it comes with a 7-inch built-in display, which allows you to view real-time feed while flying.
3. DJI Mavic Air, $799
If you are a DJI fan but doesn’t want to spend too much on a filming drone, then Mavic Air is your best option. Definitely one of the best drones for filming, Mavic Air inherited the patented technology of DJI and works just as great as its counterparts but can be bought for a way lower price, making it one of the must-buy drones in 2019. Its 3-axis mechanical gimbal allows for steady shooting while capturing 4K footage. It is equipped with smart capture technology for seamless maneuvering.
However, the flight time of the Mavic Air is not as long compared to DJI’s other flagship drones. It has a 21-minute flight time, but its 720p live-view capability and 4 kilometers video transmission compensate for that. It has a compact design and can be easily packed, which is really good for filmmakers who tend to travel a lot from one location to another.
4. Parrot Anafi, $699
Parrot’s Anafi is the new generation of drones for filming. It is the ideal tool for taking high-definition videos and stunning photos. This flying beast is embedded with Parrot’s artificial intelligence that helps you pilot a smooth and continuous flight. It also boasts a 4K HDR camera and 2.8x lossless zoom that can also tilt 180 degrees while capturing stabilized footage.
Anafi has an impressive 25-minute flight time with advanced performance and is quiet and resistant to extreme weather conditions. It is also made compact to meet the demands of filmmaking, which often involves frequent travels.
5. Xiaomi Mi Drone, $459.99
Xiaomi is an established name in electronics, but still, when the company released its first-ever drone, it was totally a shock for most. Xiaomi’s Mi drone prides itself in its long battery life, which makes a 27-minute continuous flight possible, letting you capture as many perfect moments as possible. If it is running low on power, it will instantly notify you through the Mi app that can be installed on your smartphone or tablet. The controls are accessible from the app and are simple and user-friendly that even new pilots can use them with ease.
The Mi drone is built with low latency and strong anti-static technology. With this feature, you can see the area from bird’s-eye view even when you are 2 kilometers away. Of course, Xiaomi Mi drone wouldn’t make the list, if it couldn’t shoot 4K videos. Besides that, it is integrated with a PTZ camera and a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer.
Telling a story through filmmaking, as important as it is, should not be as hard. These drones are here to make a filmmakers’ job easier without compromising the quality of their cinematic piece. If you are on your journey to sharing your own story through film, let these drones aid you in doing the job.
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