Drones are one of the biggest revolutions in the film industry since the advent of digital video. For years drones have been expensive pieces of specialist equipment that needed weeks of training and never-ending maintenance (and money) to keep them in the air.
However, in recent years UAV (or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) manufacturers such as DJI have created their own consumer market by strapping tiny, lightweight camera systems to these flying machines.
Bringing down the price to a range that anyone can afford meant many more companies jumped on the innovation bandwagon and are producing top quality, easy-to-fly drones that rival some of the best equipment even Hollywood has access to!
Not only has the camera quality improved but the sudden explosion in this new market is forcing companies to experiment and find the best designs, and features, that people are happy to pay for.
This list is designed to help you decide if a drone is for you and if so, what kind of drone would suit you for the best possible holiday footage.
1. DJI Mavic Air
DJI’s latest drone is an evolution of the two-year-old Mavic Pro. Now lighter and much, much smaller, thanks to its folding arms, this drone can fit in your pocket and still perform well in a moderate breeze. Featuring a 4K stabilised camera and flight time of over 20 mins this little guy will record you and your travels in crisp, beautiful detail.
This truly tiny drone also packs a lot of brains for its size. Using your mobile as the controller (a traditional joystick controller is also available as an additional accessory) many smart features such as auto tracking, circular rotation, and selfie mode all add to the ease of flying this drone.
The Mavic Air also comes in a choice of 3 colours, Flame Red, Arctic White (above) and Onyx Black.
Keep an eye out for future updates from DJI as a rumoured (and thanks to a UK Catalogue retailer for accidentally pre-publishing and confirming said rumours) Mavic Pro 2 will be out late 2018.
RRP: £769 for drone along or £949 for the Fly More Combo – (More accessories including extra batteries and traditional joystick controller etc.)
2. Splash Drone 3
Something that is inevitable on your charter is water. Lots of water. Therefore SwellPro has created a drone to put your mind at ease with their new SplashDrone 3 – a thoroughly waterproof drone ready for any wet conditions.
In a highly visible orange, this drone also sports a hi-res 4K camera, while not the same quality of DJI’s optics this camera will capture your vacation inducing all the water-sports you desire. This drone features quick fit propellers for easy packing down and unlike the Mavic Air which uses your phone as a screen, the Splashdrone 3 features a remote controller with built-in monitor! While also sporting many smart modes such as object tracking and ‘Tap to Fly’.
Never worry about dropping your drone in the drink again!
But please remember, it’s WATERPROOF, not smash-into-a-mast proof.
3. DJI Phantom 4 Pro
If you’re really into filming and photography, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro (P4P) is the drone for you. While not as portable as the Mavic Air, the P4P is a step above in image quality. With its large 1” CMOS Sensor, and a mechanical shutter (much like a DSLR Camera) this drone captures some of the most incredible drone footage currently available on the market.
Featuring a remote with built-in display for viewing the live feed from the aircraft and obstacle avoidance sensors in all directions this drone is a breeze to fly; which means you will master basic flight after just a few minutes in the air.
Allowing the camera to hang below the main body means the 3 Axis stabiliser system gets those silky smooth shots that rival even Hollywood Productions.
Now available in a sleek black finish the P4P can fly for 30 mins on a full charge and fly to a maximum distance or 7KM from the controller, (although many international laws prevent you flying further than 4KM from the pilot.)
4. GoPro Karma
GoPro are renowned the world over for the revolution in capturing the worlds most radical sports. They now take to the skies with their attempt at a drone, the GoPro Karma.
This drone is especially unique in its design. With foldable arms and landing gear for a compact travel size, the Karma also allows you to remove the camera (Not surprisingly… a GoPro) and then use the action cam for all other land/ water-based activities. This truly is the king of land sea and skies!
As shown in the image the Karma grip allows for those cinematic smooth shots from the sky to be translated into a handheld or even chest/bike gimbal mount (provided). This flexibility means you get a lot more bang for your buck and also cuts down on multiple gadgets to take away with you!
This all-in-one is the first and only drone from the American company but features similar smart modes to DJI’s flagship drones.
If you simply want to capture your travels on all terrains and locations the Karma drone could be for you! Although the drone itself isn’t waterproof the accompanying camera is (up to 30M) and will help create dynamic images from your vacation without the need of many gadgets or cameras.
So if you’re sailing to the Bahamas or the Baltic, drones are the latest trend in camera technology but amazing devices at capturing your memories and travels from unique perspectives. If you’re interested in making videos or taking fantastic photos from the sky drones are the perfect tool for you.
Even if you are not so interested in the imagery side of these aircraft flying them is a great and easy pass time that the whole family can enjoy!