How you can start filming with a drone professionally for under $500 #drones #filming #tech

Guest Post by Paul Archer. – No matter if you haven’t yet even put your hands onto a drone controller, considering the safety of quadcopter technology these days, you can start faster than ever.

The amazing videos you have seen online with super smooth footage and pro-looking following and orbiting techniques may seem amazing, and probably were hard and expensive to do just a few years ago.

However, since technology evolved at an alarming rate, cheaper drones with more advanced features have appeared out of nowhere. Not long ago you had to spend thousands of dollars on big drone rigs that would carry big cameras that could barely shoot in 1080p. Even in more recent history, the Phantom series, although revolutionary was quite pricey and well over $1000 for a capable 4k drone with not many features to brag about.

Drones have become much more portable

Gone are the days where we were amazed by the fact that a 4k drone could fit in a car trunk. Nowadays I can carry my DJI Mavic Air in my pocket.

And we’re talking about a quadcopter that can record in 4k, with a stabilized 3 axis gimbal and lots of proximity sensors.

The revolution has started with the DJI Mavic Pro. The original foldable drone that sold like crazy and made DJI the giant that it is now.

Still a good drone to this day, it’s an absolutely great buy for people looking to make money with filming services even in 2019.

The big difference was that it came with a foldable design and that meant you could simply fit it in a very small backpack while at the same time have the same footprint when flying, which helped with the wind.

What $500 drones can deliver professional results?

This question would have remained unanswered just 2 or 3 years ago, but right now I could easily make a top 5 with my best drones under $500 and I can confidently say they can be used for shooting high quality grade footage and photos.

Let me quickly overview 2 of them and what they could mean for you, even as a beginner pilot.

Xiaomi Fimi X8

A drone released in 2019, comes with a similar foldable frame to the Mavic series, yet at a much lower price.

What are the main advantages?

  • 4k camera
  • 3 axis gimbal
  • Foldable design
  • Follow me functions
  • Other flight modes like Orbit, Waypoints and more
  • Automatic return to home
  • Precise GPS flying
  • 30minute flight time
  • 5km range

The Xiaomi Fimi x8 is one of my favorites because, even if it was more expensive in the past nowadays it only costs under $500 and that’s absolutely amazing for the results you’re being given.

Just check the video down below with how well this drone can actually record footage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pftkyWYB5xU

If you’re a photographer, the 12mp camera stills that can be shot in DNG RAW format will be more than sufficient for most uses.

DJI Spark

A drone that has been in the marketplace for a while now, it’s more than welcome on our list as a still very relevant and capable quadcopter.

It doesn’t have the foldable format, but instead it’s very small by itself. A less invasive drone, with very smart features and obstacle avoidance embedded in it.

What are the main advantages?

  • 2 axis gimbal
  • 1080p camera
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • Quick shots (that can easily make videos seem professional even without trying)
  • Automatic return to home
  • Precise GPS
  • 15 minute flight time
  • 3 km range

It’s more than a capable drone, it’s very easy to launch from your hand even and thanks to the obstacle avoidance sensors in front, you can take some more risky shots.

Why it’s easier to learn how to fly a done with GPS

More expensive drones are actually more suitable for beginners, as you can simply remove your hands from the joysticks and it will hover in place.This means you can try all the controls one by one without having to constantly adjust for wind direction or simply the drone drifting.

Besides that, there’s also the return to home technology that will return the drone back to you if for example it lost signal or the battery is getting low. I do recommend learning with a small $20 at first just to get the hang of it and carefully checking the instruction manuals, but overall, you can go straight flying with such a drone without much hassle.

Make sure you check flight regulations in your country

Depending on the weight of the drone, most countries have regulations to keep you from doing stupid stuff.It’s pretty obvious you shouldn’t fly near airports and military bases, but with bigger drones you actually might have to register them.Drones like the DJI Spark might be under the weight limit so it could provide an advantage when it comes to this.

As a conclusion, don’t be scared of trying to fly more expensive drones and start a business. You can expand your talent as a videographer and photographer to great heights, literally by simply investing $500 in what is going to be an extremely capable camera drone.

Written by Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Part time actor and security professional and brutally honest when it comes to opinions.
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