Offering your clients the best possible service is heavily dependent on possessing the right equipment and utilising it in creative ways. Aerial photography and videography have changed the way in which weddings are shot. Thus, if you want to differentiate yourself from the competition and offer clients aerial shots, you will have to invest in a drone.
The drone market has exploded over the past few years. There are dozens of options, some cheaper, some created for professional shots. While a drone isn’t a must-have piece of professional wedding video equipment, it can help your business grow. If you haven’t examined drones in the past, you may be oblivious about the specs and characteristics that matter the most. The following guide will present some of the best wedding video drones out there and the reasons why you should consider each one of the models.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Wedding Video Drone
First, you have to check the rules and determine whether you’d need a certificate or a permission to fly a drone over a wedding venue. Regulations are still in the early stage of adoption and they differ from country to country. It’s up to you to find out what paperwork will be required to do drone videography legally.
Next, you should have a couple of go-to venues for clients who want aerial videography. Offering clients such assistance will improve the quality of your service and build your reputation. Talk to a couple of outdoor venue owners and get the essential documentation in order in advance. Next, get in the habit of doing pre-flight preparation and testing the conditions before the actual shoot takes place. Drone videography can be tricky, even if you have a lot of experience. The light, the wind and even the size of the wedding party will matter. You should also discuss it with clients whether they’d like to get still frames and photos out of the aerial shot. Prepare a few packages, determine the prices and what’s included in each. A bit of diversity is certainly a good choice when it comes to building your portfolio.
The Best Drones for Wedding Videography
Professional wedding video equipment should be chosen in accordance with your budget and your level of experience. If you’re a newbie, a drone can be difficult to operate. A crash or a loss will cost you money, which is why you shouldn’t go for the most expensive choice out there. With this being said, let’s take a look at a few quality picks for wedding videographers
DJI Inspire 1 Pro Drone
DJI is the go-to brand if you’re looking for a high quality, reliable and functional wedding videography drone. This drone is a costly piece of equipment. Currently set at 3,899 dollars on Amazon, it features a number of specs that make it one of the top choices.
Inspire 1 Pro is equipped with DJI’s Zen Muse X5 – the world’s first micro four thirds camera built specifically for aerial videography and cinematography. There’s also three-axis gimbal stabilisation that maintains the steadiness of the footage and improves the final outcome.
This is not a toy for beginners! DJI Inspire 1 Pro is for professionals who already have some experience with flying drones. A few of the key specifications worth mentioning include 4K footage capabilities, 60 frames per second for smooth transitions, movable arms and propellers for more control, automatic flight modes, high quality GPS navigation and 360-degree rotation of the camera.
The main limitation comes in the form of the battery life. Because it has so many features, Inspire 1 Pro can’t stay in the air too long. The flight time is set at 15 minutes. You will have to bring a spare battery to the wedding shoot.
If you need more info about how good this drone is, check out the footage below:
Hubsan X4 H502S
Hubsan X4 H502S is a piece of aerial professional wedding video equipment that’s suitable for beginners. It is much more affordable than the big players in the field. You can find this drone for 162 dollars but it still has great features regardless of the low price. For a start, it comes with a built-in 720p HD camera. The drone is capable of 5.8G FPV real-time video transmission, as well.
Hubsan X4 H502S has several other great characteristics. The flight range is 300 metres, there’s a quality GPS and a back-to home automatic flight features. Hubsan X4 H502S also features altitude hold mode, automatic calibration and a follow-me function.
The drone measures 165 by 165 by 60 millimetres and its weight is only 147 grams (including the battery). You can easily carry this drone to a wedding venue alongside other equipment. While the footage quality isn’t optimal, the drone is a great choice for first experiments with aerial videography. If you become certified and you decide to stick to aerial videography, you can easily move up from this model to something a bit more advanced.
DJI Phantom 4
A good in-between option comes in the form of the professional DJI Phantom 4. The drone costs 1,199 dollars but the price is often reduced to 721 dollars on Amazon. In terms of camera quality, DJI Phantom 4 has 4K ultra HD video capabilities and f/2.8 lens with a broad field of view. Gimbal stabilisation ensures the lack of shakiness. There’s a hover function making it possible to keep the drone in the same spot for a certain period of time.
Other key characteristics include auto take off and auto return home, a quality app for effortless drone monitoring, director software with built-in video editing, intelligent flying around obstacles, dual satellite positioning, dual compass module and high speed flight capabilities.
The flight battery time is about 28 minutes. As far as complaints go, there have been some concerns about the quality of the follow me feature. The camera is also different from a professional camcoder. While DJI Phantom 4 can add some great aerial footage to a wedding video, it’s not the best in terms of sharpness and crispness of the image.
Here’s some footage created with the drone to give you a better idea about its capabilities:
In the table below, you will find a quick comparison between the key specs of the three drones, making it easier for you to identify the right one for your needs:
|DJI Inspire 1 Pro Drone||Hubsan X4 H502S||DJI Phantom 4|
|4096×2160 @25fps||1280×720 @60fps||4096×2160 @25fps|
|Flight Time||18 to 20 min.||13 to 15 min.||28 min.|
|Max. Photo||4,000 x 3,000||N/A||4,000 x 3,000|
Choosing the best drone for wedding videography depends on your skills and budget. Always take enough time to compare these products side by side and to identify the best price to quality ratio. Looking at customer reviews and testimonials can also be beneficial, especially if you’re thorough in your research.
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