Recreational Camera Drones

What are Camera Drones?

You have probably heard terms such as ‘drones’ and ‘quadcopters’ being used, but perhaps need a bit of clarification. Well quadcopters are a type of radio controlled unmanned aircraft that uses rotors for lift and propulsion.  These machines are 'multirotors', but when there are only four arms and four motors then the multirotor is termed a 'quadcopter'.  The media have decided to call quadcopters (and all unmanned multirotors and fixed wing machines) by the more generic term of ‘Drone’.   Many multirotors are used as flying cameras, with a gimbal stabilised camera suspended under the aircraft.  So out of this mix has come the term ‘camera drone’.

Stabilised Cameras

Over the last few years the technology behind quadcopters has advanced significantly, with giant leaps in the performance of components such as the flight controllers, motors and stabilised camera gimbal systems. Electronically stabilised camera gimbals effectively separate the camera from the movements of the quadcopters, to deliver silky smooth cinematic-like video recordings. 

Getting that Hollywood Quality 

The images and videos you can capture from your camera drone are truly epic. Today, many professional filmmakers are using the technology across franchises such as James Bond, Star Wars and the Bourne movies, to name just a few. Films, TV shows and music videos are just one area in which commercial UAV operators have been using camera drones for years now, but many hobbyists have been enjoying the freedom, excitement and immersive experience that quadcopters provide for many years before that.

Join the club!

Understanding the true potential of these products takes time and experience, but essentially nearly all of these products can be flown straight out of the box - just make sure to read the instructions to ensure you get the most out of your quadcopter when you get it in the air. There are a huge number of resources online where you can seek out information, as well as joining clubs, and having a discussion with other pilots in social media platforms like Facebook is always fun!   

The Law

In the UK camera drones fall under laws defined in the Air Navigation Order (ANO) whether you are flying for recreational or commercial purpose. You can find out more about the rules by watching the drone safety video we developed with the CAA.