Aerial Photography

Aerial Photography 

What is Drone Photography?

Other than having commercial, agricultural and military uses, most of us use our drones as a hobby or for fun.
They allow us to photograph and video from an entirely new perspective.
UAVs (unmanned aircraft) or drones have had significant advances in technology, creating devices for every budget.
There are drones where a go pro camera can be attached. And there are others where they include a camera capable of shooting 4K video at a rate of 120 fps.
The quality will keep rising and the price will keep diving (pun not intended).
When it comes to using these drones, you will benefit from practice and flight exercises before you begin.
Even then, when you feel you are ready, you need to know the rules and regulations.
These drones have the capacity to disrupt events, hit people or worse, an aircraft.
You will need to follow these legal issues before you start. You may even need to take a flight test to become registered.
Once you have passed all of the red tape, you will surely enjoy what a drone can offer you.
Using your smartphone alongside your drones’ controller allows you to soar among the clouds.
Other accessories, such as a VR headset, will fully immerse you into the view you get from your drone. It will be easy to forget that it isn’t you flying.
Thankfully you can photograph and film the experience.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Drone 

9. Why You Have to Know the Rules

You may want to be famous for drone photography. But I doubt you want your name attached to a situation where your drone endangers people’s lives.
Before you buy a drone, make sure you are aware of all the rules and regulations.
If you are unable to stick to them for whatever reason, it may not be a viable purchase. Each country has different rules and regulations. They even have general rules on safe flying.
Here are a few things you need to be aware of:

    Register your drone with the FAA.
    Stay at least 5 miles away from all airports.
    Don’t fly more than 400 feet above the ground.
    Don’t fly over people without permission.
    Don’t fly over government facilities.
    Don’t fly in national parks.
    Don’t fly over private property.
    Don’t fly over fires or crime scenes.

8. Easy to Fly, Easier to Crash

Many people think that drones are difficult to fly. In reality, they are pretty easy. If you have a mobile device, then you are more than capable of flying a drone.
However, just because they are easy, doesn’t mean they are foolproof. Even the most advanced devices need some advance knowledge.
As long as you understand a few basic concepts, it could save your drone from getting damaged, or worse, lost. The onboard sensors are there for exactly this reason.
One common sensor that is prone to interference is the GPS receiver. This receiver tells your drone where it is. If this sensor doesn’t receive a good signal, bad things happen.
Another one that can cause problems is the compass. Knowing how these work will keep your drone safe.

7. Android or iOS

Whether you have Android or iOS could determine which drone is better for you. Some drones can be controlled with your mobile device rather than drone-specific controllers.
This can be convenient, even saving you money. Unless you have an outdated model. In that case, you will need to upgrade to download the necessary software.
If you do need to upgrade, find out which mobile device will work with the drone model and keep that in mind.

6. Intelligent Functions

Drones are expensive. Good drones are even more financially straining. This isn’t just down to image size and a good flight control system. It’s because they all come with intelligent functions.
Some drones can track you as you move. Others follow waypoints, take selfies with gesture following and much much more. Every drone manufacturer creates devices with very different and unique features.
For example, the Mavic Pro’s camera turns 90° to support vertical shooting. The Phantom 4 Pro comes equipped with a mechanical shutter to cut distortion when shooting objects moving at high speeds.
The professional-grade Inspire 2 supports dual-operator control.

5. Flight Time Isn’t as Important as You Might Think

Most photography drones can’t fly longer than 30 minutes. There is no solution to this yet, as bigger batteries need more power.
If a drone has a flight time over 20 minutes long, it’s top-level and professional.
A longer flight time is better, as it means you don’t have to keep starting and stopping.
With a longer flight time, you are able to photograph higher and further from your base.

4. Mounted Gimbals

A gimbal is a device that helps to stabilise the drones’ onboard camera. Without it, your images and videos will be shaky and unusable. A mounted gimbal is much better than gimbals that come as accessories.
The DJI Phantom series is the first consumer drone series to be equipped with a 3-axis gimbal. Most come with the onboard gimbal, but check beforehand.
If you aren’t looking to capture videos, time-lapse images or long exposures, this is not be important.

3. Can It Hover Perfectly Still?

If you have never owned a drone before, the concept of hovering will be new for you. Stable hovering is as important as image quality. It dictates how well the drone can capture aerial images.
If a drone cannot hover, it will constantly rise and fall, drift from side to side. This means blurry, out of focus images. For a drone to hover steadily, it will need an advanced flight control system and onboard sensors.
Many people hold a torch to DJI drones. They consider them above-and-beyond the best drones on the market.
They do hover incredibly well, especially the DJI Spark.

2. RAW and DNG Possibilities

You’ll spend quite a bit of money on a high-quality photography drone. Chances are you’ll also want the images you capture to be the best they can be.
This is where RAW and DNG file formats come into play.
To have the best possible quality in your final image, you will most likely need to edit your shots. Having the capacity to shoot in RAW means a bigger file, filled with more information.
This allows more stops of play when you import your images into Lightroom or Photoshop.
Basically, RAW and DNG files offer more possibilities. They give you better and higher quality images.

1. Image Quality Is Important

You already know that image quality is directly linked to the sensor. This also applies to drone photography.
Looking at the drone market, you will see the very popular DJI Mavic Pro uses a 1/2.3” sensor with 12 megapixels. This sensor size is almost twice as large as the iPhone 7’s 1/3” sensor.
Other photography drones, such as the professional Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 have increased the sensor size to 1”. This improves the resolution to 20 megapixels.
The most powerful photography drone, the Inspire 2 (Zenmuse X5 camera), uses a 4/3” CMOS.
A larger CMOS allows you to capture high-quality images in low-light conditions. The bigger the sensor, the higher the resolution and the better the quality of the images.


Top 8 Best Drones for Photography in 2019

Budget Camera Drones

DJI Spark

The cheapest of the DJI drones on this list, the Spark is also one of the oldest. It’s been available since mid-2017, which is old in drone years.
The Spark made a splash when it was announced due to its size. For a drone that’s about the size of a soda can, it has some pretty impressive features. This includes obstacle detection, GPS, stabilization, and hand-gesture controls.
For such a small size and price, there are limitations. It will only give you 12mp still photos and 1080p video.
The battery will also only last for around 15 minutes. This doesn’t give you a lot of time to fly, take your aerial photos, and land safely.

Force1 Red Heron

The Red Heron is a basic drone that would be perfect for a beginner drone pilot on a budget.
It has a 13mp camera and 720p HD camera. You’ll be able to try your hand at aerial photography without breaking the bank.
Again, the battery is pretty limited, only giving you about 15 minutes of flying time.

DJI Mavic Air

If you want an affordable, portable drone with better camera on board, the Mavic Air is for you. It includes many of the advanced features of DJI’s more expensive drones. The ability to shoot panoramic photos, for example.
It has a 12mp camera that records 4K video. The Mavic Air gives you the ability to create high-quality images and video.
The trade-off f0r having such a small, intelligent drone is that you’ll only get about 20 minutes out of the battery.

Yuneec Typhoon Q500

Also a 2017 model, the Q500 is a budget camera drone that gives a lot of bang for your buck. You get an affordable drone capable of capturing 12mp aerial photos and 4K video. It also comes with a remote controller with a built-in touch screen.
This is a welcome change from most budget drones. Most need you to connect another device with a drone app to act as your monitor.


Mid-Range Camera Drones

DJI Mavic Pro 2

2018 has been a huge year in the world of drones, and the sequel to DJI’s most popular drone was part of the reason.
Along with the Mavic 2 Pro, DJI also released the Mavic 2 Zoom. They’re essentially the same drone, but with different cameras on board.
As far as value for money goes, the Mavic 2 is pretty hard to beat. You get a highly portable drone with some of the most advanced technology on the market. And the ability to take professional-level aerial photos and video.
The Mavic Pro 2 comes with a Hasselblad 20mp camera, while the Mavic 2 Zoom includes a 12mp camera with a 24-48mm zoom. Both models are capable of recording video in 4K.

DJI Phantom 4

Up until the Mavic 2 was released, the Phantom 4 was DJI’s premium consumer drone. The Phantom 4 is still a fantastic option. It’s right for those drone pilots who want to create high-quality aerial photos and video.
It can record video in 4K at 60 fps, which gives it an edge for filmmakers.
Like the Mavic 2, the DJI Phantom 4 is available in 2 models – basic and Pro. As you would expect, the Phantom 4 Pro has more premium features, with a 20mp camera and and ISO range of 100 to 12800.


Professional Camera Drones

DJI Inspire 2

If you’re planning to create high-end video, the Inspire 2 is the drone you want. You can use it with one of two detachable cameras that also use interchangeable lenses.
The cameras allow you to capture RAW 5.2K video at 30 fps and 4K at 60 fps. You can capture still images at 20mp. It also has an integrated SSD on board. This means you can record high-quality video directly without any lag.
The Inspire 2 uses a dual-camera system. This allows for two connected controllers. One to pilot the drone and one to control the movement of the video camera.
It also features super-advanced vision systems to prevent collisions. This allows the drone to be flown indoors.
This drone is for professionals who need to create professional-level aerial photos and video. And have the budget for it.
It’s not a cheap drone by any means, but if you can afford it, you get a lot of drone for your money.

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

Yuneec upgraded the Typhoon H Plus in 2018 to cater to aerial photographers. The 2018 drone comes with a brand new E90 camera. The camera features a 3-axis gimbal, 20mp camera for still photography. And the ability to record 4K aerial video at 60 fps.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because those are the same specs as the DJI Phantom Pro 4.
You may not be familiar with the brand. But Yuneec’s drones are packed with features and hardware that suit aerial photographers.
The Typhoon H Plus comes with an Android-powered screen built into the controller. And advanced obstacle avoidance designed by Intel.


10 Things That Could Save Your Drone

1. Know when and when NOT to calibrate the compass

A lot of people recommend calibrating the drones compass each time it’s flown at a different location. While this seems to work for some I think it introduces unnecessary risk. Let me explain why…
When you perform a compass calibration you’re letting your drone test its surroundings for magnetic force and once the calibration is complete it stores that data and assumes that those forces are normal for the current location and will be consistent throughout the flight. But what if there’s a large electrical cable or metal pipework buried below the paving you’re standing on? If that were the case then the calibration you’ve just performed will have taken those effects into account and the moment the drone takes off it will be flying with incorrect compass data.
Unless you’ve travelled a long way (hundreds of miles) since your last flight there’s no real need to re-calibrate the compass if you already have a good calibration locked in. If you find yourself in a nice open undeveloped area then it’s a good time to grab a clean compass calibration, otherwise why replace a clean calibration with one from an area where you have no idea what unknown forces are at play.

2. Know when and when NOT to calibrate the IMU

An IMU calibration resets the gyroscope and accelerometer data to tell the aircraft when it’s perfectly level and not moving. I only do an IMU calibration after a firmware update or if I’ve travelled to another country and the drone could have suffered knocks or large atmospheric changes.
In order to get a good IMU calibration the drone should not be hot, so it should never be done after the drone has been running. The aircraft should have been switched off for at least ten minutes and ideally be in a cool location such as an air-conditioned room or in a cool climate.  The drone should be placed somewhere stable and ideally a spirit level placed across from motor to motor to check for perfect level. Each foot can be adjusted by placing pieces of paper underneath until perfect level is achieved. Once level the IMU calibration should be started as soon as possible after switching on the drone and then there should be no movement of the drone during the calibration process.
Once complete the IMU calibration should be good until the next firmware update or the airframe is exposed to large forces.

3. Check Sensors every flight

So with points 1 & 2 in mind you shouldn’t need to calibrate anything prior to each flight, however it is very important to check what the sensors are reading and understand if you do need to take action.
With the drone powered up and the DJI app running you can navigate to the MC Settings page and then scroll down and select the Sensors view that should look like the image below.
I’ve highlighted the values you need to pay attention to in red.  The compass data is the lower of these three Mod values. This number will always be changing but I like it to stay between 1400 & 1599. One good test is to leave this page open and then carry your drone around and watch how different objects affect this value. If you’re indoors then you’ll see huge changes near power cables and pipework or if outdoors try placing the drone in various places on pavements and you’ll likely see big changes as hidden pipes or buried power cables have an effect.
If you see out of range numbers in a location where you need to fly then try moving the drone to a different take off area to see if the reading is better. If you still can’t achieve normal readings then try holding the drone at head height, you may find that if there’s something underground affecting the readings the results could be better once clear of them. That’s why it’s important not to calibrate blindly, you need to understand what’s happening with the sensors and make the call when to calibrate accordingly.
If I’m in a location that’s giving out of range readings on the ground I’ll generally trust the compass calibration I’ve already got locked in and take off and land using P-ATTI mode so as the ground interference doesn’t affect the system. Obviously if the readings are out wildly then it’s probably not going to be safe to fly at all. There’s no real fool proof process, but it’s better to have an understanding of what your drone is sensing than to just calibrate it to its surroundings regardless of whether those surroundings will remain the same once you’ve taken off.
The other readings highlighted show the Mod values for the Gyroscope and Accelerometer. In my experience once an IMU calibration is complete these are very rarely out and only vary by 0.1 values.  Obviously if you see bigger differences and the drone is not moving then don’t fly as the IMU is not calibrated correctly.

4. Land at 30% battery and beware the 10% failsafe

It’s important to land with power in reserve because if something were to happen that requires you to delay the landing you need enough time to either find a new landing spot or deal with the problem. The other important factor to bear in mind is that when the battery hits 10% a DJI Inspire 1 or Phantom 3 will automatically initiate it’s “Smart Go-Home” feature and head for its home point.
While heading home at 10% may seem like a useful safety feature it can also be disastrous! Let’s say for instance you’re coming in to land and decide to bring your drone down in the field adjacent to the one where you took off. Everything could be going to plan but if the battery were to hit 10% the drone would automatically change direction and head for its home point giving you little time to respond. If there are any trees or other obstacles between the drone and its takeoff point it will fly straight in to them.
Recently DJI have added an option to disable Smart Go-Home which can be seen in the image below.
By disabling this option the drone will simply initiate a landing at its current location rather than head home once it reaches 10% power. As always though you need to make the call with each flight, as there could be times when it’s better to leave Smart Go-Home enabled. The Go app also monitors the power required to get the aircraft back to the home point and will initiate a return to home automatically if Smart Go-Home is enabled.

5. Check the failsafe height and home point every flight

If the drone loses signal from the controller or the pilot initiates the Return To Home feature it will climb to a predetermined altitude before heading to the home point. You should always check the area you’re flying in and make a best guess as to what would be the safest altitude for the drone to return at without hitting an obstacle. The temptation is to set the maximum allowed height but you may be in a situation where battery power is low or flying to that altitude could present other dangers to your drone or to other air users. It’s better to set an altitude that puts you well clear of any obstacles without having to fly to max altitude.
It’s also important to check that the correct home point has been set for each flight. When the motors start there should be an audio alert saying “The home point has been updated, please check it on the map“, it’s worth doing that just to make sure the home point is where it should be.

6. Switch tablets and phones to Airplane mode

Any devices that transmit can have an effect on the communication between your drone and the remote controller. Most DJI systems use 2.4 Ghz as a control frequency, which is the same frequency used for domestic WiFi. While the two can exist side by side you will find that interference can occur and control distances decrease so where possible always switch mobile devices and especially tablets used on the remote in to an Airplane safe mode which disables all output from the device including bluetooth and telephone communication.
One downside to switching the controller tablet to Airplane mode is that the live map view will no longer load content. You can however pre-load map data by prior to entering airplane mode by pressing on the map and then scrolling around the area that you will be flying in. The map data should remain visible once airplane mode is enabled.
If the map data is not cached then check ‘Cache Map in the Background’ is enabled in General Settings in the Go App.

7. Be careful with P-GPS, take control with ATTI mode

The two main flight modes on a DJI drone are P-GPS and ATTI ( attitude mode). Using GPS to stabilise a drone is extremely useful, the drone stops and holds position where it’s told to and even helps you to fly in the right direction in windy conditions. We’re also seeing advanced GPS modes used such as follow me, orbit modes and waypoint steering, and these are all very useful but the thing to remember is that any time you’re using a GPS mode the drone is essentially flying itself. You might be telling the system where you want it to go, but it’s making the decisions about how to get there itself.  Occasionally things can and do go wrong!
Many people make the mistake of thinking they are in full control when flying in P-GPS mode and then get frustrated when something goes wrong and the drone becomes uncontrollable. Rather than trying to fight the failing GPS system what you need to do in that situation is take control using ATTI mode.
The first thing to note is that by default DJI doesn’t allow access to ATTI mode on the controller. Yes there’s a nice little switched marked P and A but moving the switch to A will not engage ATTI mode unless you first enable it in the DJI Go app.

In the image above note the option called “Multiple Flight Mode”. With Multiple Flight Mode enabled you can now switch to ATTI mode using the mode switch on the controller.  Flying in ATTI is not that different from flying in GPS mode: the drone will still maintain its altitude and the controls still function the same. The main difference is that the drone will no longer hold position automatically, it will be affected by any wind as well as its own inertia.
I always think of ATTI mode as being like a pebble on a frozen pond: if you give it a push in one direction it will keep going, so in order to stop it you need to push it back in the opposite direction. Practise flying ATTI in the DJI simulator and then try it in an open field where you have room to make mistakes. It shouldn’t take long to get to grips with it and then you’ll have the ability to take control if GPS fails or the GPS control system isn’t functioning correctly.
I always look at P-GPS as a feature to use occasionally now and fly in ATTI most of the time. I always take off in P-ATTI mode as well as the worst time to discover a GPS fault is upon takeoff when you have little time to adjust to the situation. Obviously this requires careful operation if it’s windy so take care trying it and be aware of the wind direction and speed before taking off.

8. Check props, and check again!

I see so many reports of people crashing their drones due to a prop “flying off”. While I’m sure a prop can wear and / or break I expect that most of the time it’s down to a prop not being securely fitted in the first place. We humans tend to make mistakes and when doing something repetitive like fitting props it’s very easy to overlook something.
If using self-tightening props always wind them on and then hold the motor for the final tighten. With the Inspire you can also fit prop locks to further reduce the risk of a prop working loose. If using DJI’s new quick release props on the Inspire 1 or Matrice  then it’s important to ensure that each prop has popped up into its locked in position. Watch the base of the prop and as you push down twist it; that way you can confirm it visibly raises on the springs as it enters its locked position. With the quick release props you should confirm correct fitment by holding the motor and attempt tuning the prop in both directions to check it’s locked in.
Later during my pre-flight routine I always check the props again, it may seem a drag but a lost prop on a quad will result in a crash, it’s better to be sure that are fitted than to lose that expensive drone.

9. Use a pre-flight check list

Using a pre-flight check list can be dull, especially when you’re excited and just want to get flying, however there’s no better way to make sure you’ve done everything you can to ensure a safe flight. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated, if you go silly and put every step down you’ll find you don’t bother using it at all. Just put the basics down read through it as you set up. It can be as simple as the following…

Airframe: Prepare & check
RC: Fit iPad, cable & Hood
Antennas: correct position
Props & Locks: attach & check
RC Battery: Check min 75%
RC Switches: Correct mode & Gear Down
iPad: App running, map cached, Airplane mode, Volume Up.
Airframe: Position for takeoff
Props: 2nd check
Power On: Check battery 100%
Sensors: Compass 1400 – 1599
Sensors: IMU  +/-  0.1
Failsafe: Set failsafe height
Satellite: At least 7 sats & safe to fly box
Flight Mode: Correct mode selected
Start Motors: CSC command
Home Point: Blue dot Location correct on map
Initial Check: motor sound check
Climb: climb to 2m
Control Tests: Test all controls
GPS & ATTI Test: Test both modes function correctly
Landing Gear: Raise Gear and fly!

10. Line of sight = Line of communication

If you can see your drone then the chances are the remote control can also communicate with it.  Distance can have an effect on radio communication and the laws vary from country to country on how far you can fly a drone. Here in the UK we are limited to flying within line of sight (defined as 500m from the pilot). It’s not all about distance though!
Lets say you’re filming a large circular water tower that’s only 30m away and you’re thinking about grabbing a nice orbit shot around it. Even though the drone may only be 40m from you as it passes around the back of the tower there’s a good chance control will be lost as the radio signal cannot transmit through the tower.  At that point the drone would switch to failsafe mode, climb to the preset altitude and then fly back to home point. If you’d set the failsafe altitude higher than the tower and there were not other obstacles in the way you might be fine. If the failsafe altitude was lower than the height of the tower then it would be goodbye drone!
Try and keep the drone in sight at all times.

11. Know when to disable VPS

Okay I know that’s more than 10, this one is a bonus! The Phantom 3 models as well as the Inspire 1 both include VPS (Vision Positioning System) modules that help maintain position and height at low altitude. Most of the time the VPS will help you but there are times when having it enabled could cause you problems.
If you’re flying indoors or in an exterior location with objects above the drone you might want to disable the VPS to stop the drone from maintaining its height automatically. If for instance the drone is flying over objects on the ground then having the VPS enabled will result in the drone adjusting its height as it passes over each object and possibly colliding with the ceiling or obstacles above it.
You can disable VPS in the Go app as seen in the image below…

12. Always start with a fully charged battery

So calling it 10 things may have been a mistake… taking that on board now! I had to add this one because I’ve seen a few crash reports that are down to starting a flight with a previously used battery. It normally goes something like this…
“So I started my flight at 80% battery and all was going fine then all of a sudden it dropped to 7%, WTF!”
DJI responded to such comments saying that the intelligent batteries need to be fully charged at the start of each flight “as per the manual” in order for their usage monitoring to give reliable results. While you’ll probably get away with using a semi-charged battery most of the time, this could happen so be aware, and don’t fly too far from a safe landing spot.

10 Best Drone Photography Apps

9. Airmap

A must-have for every drone pilot. Whether you’re a commercial or recreational drone photographer, AirMap will have the right features for you.
Some of the more advanced features include drone mapping, geo-fencing and flight logging. Even if you’re a beginner and have no use for them, the app’s location-based flight restriction info is vital for everyone with a drone.
AirMap has information about UAV laws in over 20 countries. This is especially useful for drone photographers who like to travel.
The app can also be set to control DJI drones, allowing pilots to map out flight paths and control their drone from inside the app.

8. Hover

Drawing on the valuable data from AirMap, Hover is a simple app that tells you if it’s safe to fly in your current location. This is good knowledge to have if you want to make extensive flight plans.
It bases this on not only air traffic and your position in relation to airports, national parks, etc, but it also considers weather and wind at your current location.
Hover also includes flight-logging features that you can save and send to yourself.
This feature isn’t unique to Hover, but it means you can avoid downloading yet another app to log your flights. Both for ios and android phones, this is one of the best drone apps out there.

7. Google Maps

As an obsessive photo-planner, Google Maps is one of my best friends.
It’s useful for many tasks, including finding drone photo locations and finding the best places to launch from.
It also measures distances, and of course, figuring out how to get there.
This is often the first place I go to. Especially when looking for interesting compositions that you would never be able to see from the ground.
I spend hours scouring Google Maps and saving locations that have the potential for great drone landscape photos.
The topographical map in Terrain Mode is a great help to see the contours of the landscape better.

6. PhotoPills

If I could only use one photography app, it would be PhotoPills. This little app has far too many features to cover here. But many of them are useful for drone photography.
The Planner and Sun pills are incredibly useful, allowing you to see the movement, direction, and angles of the sun at any particular time.
You can plan sunrise and sunset photos, which also helps to know how much light you have.
The Planner pill now includes Drone View, which allows you to plan compositions based on your flying altitude.
I didn’t think the app could get any more useful, and then it did.

5. UAV Forecast

If you want an app that gives you more detail about the weather, UAV Forecast is it. This app will tell you everything a drone pilot could ever need to know about the weather.
You punch in the information about your drone and UAV Forecast will tell you if it’s safe to fly or not.
The app will tell you about wind speed, direction, temperature, and chill. You’ll want to know about cloud cover and visibility, and especially the chance of rain.
All this and more can be found in this app, plus it’s free.

4. B4UFly

If you live in the United States, you’ll want to make sure you’re following Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.
B4UFly is the app the FAA has produced to make it super simple to know where in the US you can and can’t fly your drone.
It includes a detailed listing of every airport in the country and a 5-mile radius around each one.

3. DJI Go

If you’re a recreational drone pilot, there’s a good chance you’re going to be flying a drone manufactured by DJI.
There’s no denying that DJI dominates the consumer drone market, so the DJI Go app is an obvious choice.
At its most basic, it will fly your DJI drone and control the camera. That’s just the beginning, though.
It has many features that harness the power of DJI’s amazing drones.
Intelligent flight modes, live HD view, flight data tracking and logging, and the ability to edit and share photos and videos right from the app.
There are alternative apps available, but you should at least give DJI Go a try.

2. Litchi

If you’re not completely happy with the DJI Go app, or even if you are, you should take a look at Litchi. It’s a great alternative, and many consider it to be superior.
It offers some pretty impressive autonomous tracking features that are great for shooting video.
Litchi’s flight modes include Panorama, Orbit me, Follow me, Ground station and Waypoints, VR Mode (Virtual Reality) and Focus.
My favorite feature is the ability to plan out your flights in advance using the Mission Hub on my computer.
Once on location, it will follow the path that you’ve pre-programmed perfectly.
It’s one of the more expensive drone photography apps at $23. So you’ll want to use those features enough to justify the expense.

1. Kittyhawk

Sometimes you just want an app that does everything. Unfortunately, that app doesn’t exist, but Kittyhawk comes pretty close.
It will help you with pre-flight checks, weather, no-fly zones, maps with air traffic info, flight logs, and post-flight analysis.
Kittyhawk keeps adding new features, which makes the app more and more useful, but the be features require a subscription.
It’s worth downloading and trying for yourself.

Written by ,

Craig Hull

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