The world of photography has exploded upwards, into the air, with the advent of high-quality drones built to shoot premium pictures and pristine video. As a professional photographer there are a few key features you’re going to look for. Here’s a breakdown three of these that may help you make the choice on which drone will help you get amazing professional shots. There are three features that stand out when buying a drone. Customizability, Compatibility, and Ease of Use. Here are three drones that are great examples of each below.




The field of drone photography is relatively new, and there are strides being made all the time to improve the quality of cameras as well as the mechanics that are used to keep your shots stable. Many cameras use gimbals to stabilize the camera; a gimbal is comprised of a series of intelligent motors or servos connected to smart software. Gimbals react by immediately counteracting movement to dampen its effects. If you tilt the camera left, the gimbal will tilt right, keeping your camera level; it’s a great way to smooth out bumps and motion—especially the type of motion that a drone will face up in the air, where air currents can move them around with ease.


Being able to customize your drone with the right gimbal and the right camera is a great way to personalize your new aerial hardware so that it does exactly what you want. The DJI Spreading Wings S900 Hexacopter Drone ships without a camera or a gimbal, but can support a total takeoff weight of 18lbs, and is compatible with a number of gimbals on the market. Choose your gimbal, choose your camera, and build the perfect drone from the pieces you select. Bundles can include compatibility for popular cameras like the Panasonic GH3 and GH4 with a video downlink, or just as a bundle without the downlink included.




Ideal for photographers who already own photographic gear, drones that are compatible with existing cameras let you leverage that gear to get great results. The 3DR Solo Smart Drone is perfect for owners of GoPro cameras; fully compatible with the modern GoPro line, the 3DR Solo includes a GoPro mount, and can be upgraded with an optional GoPro gimbal for more stable shots. The gimbal isn’t required for the drone to fly, but it does offer a much better experience for those looking for cinematic views.


Camera compatible drones such as the 3DR Solo Smart Drone rely on the integrated streaming video features included in cameras like the GoPro to stream video to your smartphone, while also giving you control of recording start and stop from the ground while your drone is in the air. If you already own GoPro cameras (or others like them) look for a drone that is compatible with your action cam of choice.







Ease of Use


inspire.jpgFor those who are looking for an all-in-one experience, look for a complete drone package that includes the camera, the gimbal, and a strong body that’s ready to shoot high-quality material. The DJI Inspire 1 comes with a high-quality 4K camera and gimbal for refined, cinematic shots. Both of these pieces of hardware are removable for transporting, and can be upgraded when new accessories are released in the future. The advantage to a complete drone package is ease of use: you’re out of the box and into the sky without any extra parts or accessories.






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Graham Williams is a Canadian tech expert, appearing on CBC and Global BC, as well as teaching a number of courses at UBC in Vancouver, British Columbia. An avid gamer, Graham can be found on Steam and PSN, as well as online as a host of MOMENTOUS.TV