Features to consider when choosing a drone for wedding photography
When choosing a quiet drone for wedding photography, there are a few features you may want to look into. This will ensure that you’re getting the right model to meet your wedding photography expectations.
If you’re buying a drone for wedding photography, the camera will be one of the most important features to look for. The budget-friendly drones will have some nice features, like digital image stabilization and cushioning for bright, clear images. High-end drones, like the Pergear FIMI X8SE will use motorized gimbals on 2- or 3-axis to give you more mobility with your drone, allowing you to turn the camera as needed rather than repositioning the entire drone for a different angle. The gimbal system will also include a support system that adds stability to the drone when it is moving or rotating to get that perfect angle for your shot. This prevents blurring in your photos or videos for high-quality results.
Sensor and lens
When looking into the sensor, you need to check out the size. The DJI Mavic Air 2 has a ½-inch sensor, which is fine, but the larger sensor on the DJI Phantom 4 PRO is a bit bigger, offering higher image quality. When it comes to sensors, bigger is better, especially when you’re taking pictures in low light. This way, those sunset photos or ones taken on cloudy days will look as spectacular as all the others you take.
The lens is also an important feature to ensure you’re getting crisp, sharp images that perfectly match what you’re seeing in the real world. A fast lens with a high shutter speed will reduce the blur of moving objects or a moving drone.
The rotary design of the models in our reviews allows these drones to hover in place, making them a great option for photography and surveillance. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you don’t want them to move fast sometimes, especially when trying to capture images in different areas. The faster the drone flies, the quicker you can get it to where you need it. The drones in our reviews have varying maximum speeds, ranging from 24 mph to 45 mph, so you can get the one with the speed you need for the events you’re photographing.
Maximum flight time
The maximum flight time tells you how long you can keep the drone in the air using a single battery. The longer the flight time, the more images you can capture before you have to bring the drone back down to the ground. Some drones have flight times of only about 20 minutes, while others, like the Pergear FIMI X8SE, have flight times of 35 minutes or more. You can also keep an extra battery on hand to extend your flight time for longer events.
The control range refers to how far the drone can fly from the remote controller without losing the signal. This can vary from drone to drone. The smaller toy drones usually only have a range of 20 meters or so, but the more advanced drone models, like the DJI Mavic Air 2, can fly a few miles away from the controller, so you can take it high up in the air for those amazing aerial shots or off in the distance to get a wider view of the area you’re shooting.
Dimensions and weight
The dimensions and weight are other things to consider when choosing a drone. The larger and heavier a drone is, the quicker the battery will drain, so for long-lasting flights, a smaller, lighter model is better. Bigger models are also more cumbersome to carry around with you, especially if they are heavier models. This makes them a bit less portable. Luckily, models like the Contixo F24 Pro are foldable, making it easy to pack them up and store them in a case to take with you to any event.
The drone controller is as important as the drone itself since this piece is what you use to control the movements of the drone. None of the models in our reviews have screens included on the controller but instead allow you to attach a smart device, like a phone or a small tablet, to the controller. The screen on the device shows you everything the camera picks up, so you can adjust the position of the drone using the directional sticks on the controller to get the perfect shot or video.
The controller should be easy to use, with a nice design that fits comfortably in your hand. It should have simple controls, with well-labeled buttons that even a new drone user can figure out. Most drones also use batteries that will need charging between uses, so be sure to keep at least 2 on hand and pay attention to the usage to be sure your controller doesn’t stop working in the middle of a flight. The controller should be built well using durable materials for a longer-lasting piece.
A quality drone will come with a free app from the manufacturer that adds some extra features that the controller won’t have on its own. The app functions should be easy to use, with functions that work well every time you use them. Some models have detailed menus that require scrolling through various options to find the one you want, which isn’t ideal when trying to capture moments quickly. A simple app design is much more enjoyable to use, so be sure to check out the functions and how to find them before putting the drone in the air.
The term drone can be used to describe a wide variety of unmanned aerial vehicles, including small planes or helicopters, as well as the quadcopter models that are in our reviews. These drones use 4 rotors that consist of a propeller and motor. These can be solid, 1-piece models, like the DJI Phantom 4 PRO, possibly with landing gear that protects the camera when the drone lands. Other models have the camera built into the drone, so don’t need such prominent landing gear, keeping the drone compact. There are also a variety of models that fold down into a smaller size, making them much more portable, which is convenient for those who take their drone with them regularly.
Though the features above are the most important ones to focus on when choosing a new drone, there are a few others that you may want to consider. The noise level is something to think about since most drones are quite loud. This can be disruptive to a wedding, especially during the ceremony or speeches, so a quiet model is a must for these types of events.
Safety features are also good to have, like including obstacle sensing, a built-in GPS, an auto-return function when the batteries run low, automated take-offs and landings, and wind warnings. These keep your drone flights smooth and safe, with little chance of losing it.
Many drones also include a variety of accessories to be used with your drone. Common ones are charging cables, extra propellers, and carry cases to keep everything together, organized, and protected for travel and storage. Some models, like the Potensic D80, also include an extra battery, which can double your flight time without costing you extra money.
Functions are also something to look for to be sure you’re drone is going to do what you want it to. For instance, the Follow Me function allows the drone to track you, maintaining a specific distance while focusing on your front as you move. Way-Point Flight lets you set a specific path for the drone to follow automatically, while TapFly sends it to the spot you tap on the map. Many models also include Gesture Mode that lets you use specific hand gestures to take selfies without using the controller. The more functions the drone includes, the more photo and video options you have to choose from.