Water proof drones with camera…part of your open water gear?

Eye In The Sky taken to the next level…

Seeing this video, one would be hard-pressed not to rush to the nearest hobby store and buy one of these little technological wonders. With features like auto follow and most recently, obstacle avoidance sensors, waterproof drones with camera are here to stay. They can help create beautiful, breath taking footage…enjoy the video by aerial master cinematographer, Eric Sterman, and I will see you below to share a couple of thoughts about these incredible machines…

So…should you invest on an extreme sports drone?

That really depends on what you are going to be using it for. At an average price of 1,200 US, drones do not come cheap. There is also a pretty steep learning curve to consider for safe, responsible practice and in many cases operator certification is required. Mostly though, if you are interested in the cinematic possibilities that this kind of product can offer, then having a drone as part of your cache should be a serious consideration.

OK, so maybe you’ll get one but before you do, also take a reality check and consider the following…

Let’s concentrate on the environment you will be exposing your drone for a moment. The ocean. As we all have come to experience in one way or another, salt water can be very challenging to deal with, even under the best of circumstances. At it’s worst, the corrosion and destruction it can create on equipment, gear, and certain materials is unquestionable. Same thing applies on delicate equipment parts found in drones, even those with specialized waterproof casings. Salt spray can have adverse effects on ball bearings when filming large waves. Also, just like any other electronic and mechanical device, servicing your drone regularly is also a must. Care should be taken of the motors since they tend to weaken after a while. Drones, even the more affordable ones, should be serviced at least once every 2-3 months.

And then there’s battery life to consider as well. The batteries that your future drone will use are standard Lithium polymer batteries, which are supposedly maintenance free. Not so. These also require some form of maintenance. By fully charging the battery to a hundred percent and flying the drone until the battery wears out you will be guaranteeing proper discharge of battery life. Do a full charge and discharge at least 5 times. This will enhance the battery’s performance by at least 90%.

RC transmitters v.s. drone apps

All drones include some form of RC transmitter. Not only do they provide control of your drone. They do this at a much greater distance than a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. They are pretty straightforward, offering directional controls only. However, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections have made it possible to fly drones directly from mobile devices like your smart phone or your tablet.

They (the manufacturers) have come up with apps that provide first person video controls, programmable flight routes, and advanced positioning. There are even some drones that have hybrid functions, allowing for both RC controls and mobile applications to be integrated in your smart phone or tablet, showing your drone’s GPS positioning, speed, height, and battery life. Pretty cool!

Camera-less or camera installed?

The great majority of waterproof drones come without a camera. It is just an industry fact. Many users have even come to think that there exists a conspiration between drone manufacturers and extreme photography companies, whereby drone enthusiasts have no other choice but to purchase these cameras to install to their drones. And even though this may not be entirely true, the fact is that manufacturers have caught on to the buyer’s dissatisfaction and come up with drones with a camera systems already installed, as is the case of Ehang Ghostdrone 2.0.

Also, check this article from dronelife.com for further details on which drone may be best suited for your extreme photography needs.

In conclusion…

Drones are here to stay. They offer unique exciting views of many of the activities we have so come to love and enjoy. Whether it is surfing in Hawaii, skiing in the Rockies, skateboarding in L.A., or even clashing clubs at a fancy Polo match, drones offer dramatic, unprecedented aerial views of the sports we love most. Taking these views to open water, as we have enjoyed in the above video, is just one of many ways drones have taken us to places and views we could only dream of before. Adding one of these gadgets to our open water inventory could be a stretch for many of us, but where it could lead us is incredibly exciting and only limited by our creativity and imagination.

Do you think owning and flying a drone is something that would add to your extreme ocean sports experience? Please share your thoughts below. I will reply to your comments shortly. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

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