Drones have, once again, more than made their presence felt at the photography industry’s annual jamboree at the NEC, Birmingham. The Photography Show (apt naming, no question) is the largest annual event for the industry in Europe and for the second year in a row one of its major spaces has been devoted not to shooting models from tripods or getting the perfect exposure settings, but to drones.
The opportunity to hear from speakers including staff from Powervision, DJI and Yuneec – demonstrating in a huge indoor arena as well as dedicated cages on the companies own exhibition stands was only half the aerial world’s presence though; the show’s organisers, Future, had also added a ‘Drone Zone’, a stage surrounded by safety netting in which industry speakers could demonstrate aircraft and punters could admire them completely safety.
Convergence of language
The extent of cross-over between professional photographers and the drone industry was also something that was extremely apparent from speaking to photographers, who’s first interest in the industry was really heralded by the arrival of the DJI Inspire 1, the first time interchangeable lenses were within reach for many one-person operated businesses (common among photographers). DJI have continued to talk the language of the high-end enthusiast and professional with the Inspire 2 and, perhaps more interestingly, the Phantom 4 Professional.
It was also interesting to discover that photographer’s priorities are also starting to develop in a way that that the Phantom 4 Pro anticipated, with an emphasis on the camera’s resolution and dynamic range. Most people understand that more megapixels is better, but not everyone appreciates that a physically bigger image sensor means that each of those pixels will perform better. The Phantom 4 Pro’s sensor measures 1-inch across the diagonal. Unlike phone cameras manufacturers, DJI are prepared to describe its dynamic range in photographer’s terms, too. 12-stops, since you ask.