If you are enthusiastic about the emerging drone and flying camera market, you'll be thrilled to hear that it has really started to spike in the past year. Not only are professional filmmakers using them more than ever, but they have been discovered as the ultimate tool for journalism, real estate, agriculture, fire and emergency services, and so much more. They are also becoming a bit of tech that hobbyists have fallen in love with and which they are using with cameras and video recorders to make all kinds of amazing shots.
However, diving into the flying camera market is not without a few hurtles. One of the most annoying glitches for some enthusiasts is the lack of regulation around flying camera equipment. Though countries like Canada, the UK, Australia, and Japan have established guidelines and rules for the use of hobby and commercial drone equipment and flying camera arrays, in the U.S., the FAA is not yet up to speed. This makes it a "gray area" for many who want to use the devices. However, this has not halted the sale of such popular units as the DGI Phantom series and other quadcopter units.
Help From Headlines
A recent news story from Iowa helped to clarify just how valuable the use of helicam equipment can be for different professions. As one realtor interviewed for the piece said, "There's a cool factor...There is something about being able to see things from the sky that people are really enamored with." (Aschbrenner, 2014)
Of course, there is a difference between the view from the sky when shot by an amateur and when shot by flying camera experts. And perhaps this is where the FAA is finding its own difficulties. In other words, how to create guidelines about the use of quadcopter and multi-rotor devices when there is always the need to also monitor training?
For example, you can invest in a high quality quadcopter, like the DGI Phantom series already mentioned, and mount a good camera to the unit. Your footage, however, might be horrible because you lack the appropriate skills with the drone controls. This would mean that practice and training are essential. As noted in the article mentioned above, it is easy enough to learn how to use the gear when flying over an open farm field, but what if you are flying in a populated area?
There are some risks to the device and to those around you if you fail to handle the helicam properly. This is one of the reasons that flying camera experts are already offering their services to businesses of all kinds. Naturally, some are also offering training and flying camera gear for sale, too.
Heli Video Pros, as an example, operates in Vancouver, Canada. They have a long history of drone, helicam, quadcoper, and flying camera use. They make movies and commercials and are well versed in the many challenges of quality drone photography. Their website has an online store for those looking to buy the different helicam options available, but they also make certification training available, too. This would introduce all enthusiasts to the basics of safe and effective flying camera operation.
Using Smart and Safe Until There Are Guidelines and Laws
Getting training from experts such as those at Heli Video Pros is a solid first step in knowing what to do with your drone or helicam gear. You can be sure to make the best photographs or films when you can operate the multi-rotor devices properly. Take some smart first steps in becoming one of the first helicam experts in your area, and be ready when the FAA finally provides clear rules and proper licensing.
Works CitedAschbrenner, Joel. FAA Says Drones for Commercial Usage Illegal. Des Moines Register Citizen. 2014. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2014/07/06/drones-commercial-usage-illegal-faa-real-estate-realtors-developers/12262513/X