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Friday, 15 May 2020

Drones: All You Need to Know (for Beginners)

Drones are the biggest advancement in the field of photography and videography. This unmanned aerial vehicle has not only made shots of hard and unreachable places possible but has also reduced the cost. Previously aerial shots were only possible by booking an aircraft which was too costly but now the affordability of this device has attracted a lot of people to showcase their talent.  Below are a few points that will help you in buying a drone.

Drone image over the mountains

Know Your Requirements:

As a beginner, the first thing you need to know before buying a drone is to know your requirements. This will make your task of buying easy when you’ll see the market packed with so many drones of different prices and features. 

 If you are a professional photographer, documentary, or filmmaker with some experience of drone flying then definitely you need to have a drone equipped with a high-resolution camera with interchangeable lenses for best picture and video results, high battery life, flight time, speed, and range. But if you are an amateur and want to own a drone either for fun or practicing your photography/videography talent and neither have you had good drone steering capabilities then you should go for cheaper options with fewer features. Another important point before buying a drone is to know the weather conditions and terrain where you want to use it.

Note down all the requirements and the next step is to look for the manufacturers that best suit your demands. DJI is a global market leader in the manufacturing of drones. 

See their site for drone purchase:

Read the Manual:

Once you have bought the drone according to your requirements, the next important step is to read its manual carefully. Knowing what your device is capable of achieving is really important before using it for taking shots. There are lots of YouTube videos that also guide in unboxing and discussing the main features. 

Please see link for unboxing and review of DJI Phantom 4:

Taking the First Flight:

Before taking the first flight you need to check its

  • Balance 
Hover drone for some time and calibrate its compass (if needed). Download DJI GO 4 App and connect your device with it.
  • GPS Signal Strength
For connectivity between the drone and a remote controller. (Only advanced users can fly without GPS).

  • Antenna Orientation

For strong signals, the drone should be aligned perpendicular to antennas

  • Battery

  • SD Card Requirement

(4k and slow-motion require higher write speed SD cards)

  • Shooting Modes and Shutter Exposure Settings

  • Manual Mode 

  • Line of Sight and Weather Check ( especially strong winds)

Perfection in flying a drone and taking awesome shots comes with practice.

Accessories Needed for Drone:

If you are a beginner always keep an extra set of propellers so it is advisable to buy some extra propellers along with their guard. For night photography LED lighting kits are available but you need flying experience and some advanced skills for it ( as motion sensors for drones are disabled in low light ). A helipad is another cool drone accessory which can be useful in landing and taking off of the drone.

For more accessories please check the link:

Soft wares needed for Post-processing of Shots:

Taking shots from drones is not difficult as it seems but you may require time for enhancing your drone shots by using soft wares like Photoshop and Lightroom. No matter how skilled of a photographer you are, post-processing your shots will make them stand out 



Video enthusiasts will find drones for shooting video footage extremely addictive. There are some pretty advanced cinematic drones out there in the market such as DJI Matrice 300 RTK and Zenmuse H20 Series (55 minute flight time with a 15Km range. WOW!) But a beginner does not need these advanced maniac flying machines. DJI has a range of consumer videography drones that are used for photography as well. The common modes of the drone are:

  • 4K & HD Resolution 
Drones can provide some seriously high-quality video footage
  • Slow Motion 
It can capture slow-motion footage which can be used to cover sport events
  • Active Track 
The active track is a highly intelligent feature of the DJI series of drone aircraft. Enabling this feature allows the drone pilot to target a specific object and follow/film it automatically. Once the drone marks the object it easily follows it giving the pilot a free hand and reducing remote control to the minimum till the pilot cancels the Active track feature.
  • Point of Interest
This feature allows a video maker to circle any point of interest defined by the drone pilot. This feature is mostly used for stationary objects such as buildings, etc. 
  • Tripod
This feature allows video-makers to record extremely smooth video shots. This reduces the controller’s efficiency to control the drone hovering speed and allows extremely smooth functionality of the gimbal giving the user a super smooth shot. 
  • Cinematic Mode
You’re just a touch away from recording great cinematic shots by using the cinematic mode in the DJI app. This is a smoother extension of the tripod mode. Do not use it for flying from place to place as it reduces the YAW duration on the remote controller and slows down the drone for those smooth and silky cinematic shots.
  • Sports Mode
This mode is highly responsive to the remote and operates the drone in its full speed and agility. It is the complete opposite of slow mode and Tripod.

Rules and Regulations:

If you are a Drone owner you should check the rules and regulations of the country in which you are using it. Some countries put heavy fines if their rules regarding drone flights are not properly followed. So it is highly recommended to check the rules before a flight. Drones are restricted in some areas like airports and sensitive/ defense places. Every DJI manufactured drone gives a warning if it is used in ‘NO DRONE’ areas.

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