Top 3 Camera Drones – Review 2015

Hi, I 'm Doug Via This year's NAB had a ton of cool, new productiongear and toys.

What I noticed to be the BIG thing this yearwas Drones, camera stabilizers and Sliders.

It's no secret that video is booming NOW,more than ever before.

The times are finally catching up with thecapabilities, and the capabilities NOW, are almost unbelievable.

Let's start of with drones, or un-manned aircraftsystem, referrer as UAS, or UAV for un-manned Aerial Vehicle.

I like to call them remote controlled helicoptersto avoid the "D" word which, can make some people freak out.

I attended the Aerial Videography Field-Tripat NAB 2015 that took us an hour from the strip on an all-day adventure to EldoradoCanyon inside the Gold Mine tourist attraction.

I got to speak to some of the leading expertsin the aerial videography business, plus we got a chance to fly a number of differentdrones, both one-man and 2-man rigs.

I learned a lot about safety considerations,maintaining your drone, the do's and don'ts on the legal side, plus hear from about 40professionals, some of whom are pioneers working with major networks using their aerial videoservices.

Luckily, the FAA has granted 397 Section 333petitioners as of May 15th, which is about 377 more than in March before NAB, which onlyhad 20 companies that were approved to fly drones for commercial video use.

You can click here to go directly to the FAApage on Section 333.

Scroll to the bottom to see current exemptionrequests from shooters and media companies, and, authorizations granted under the Section333 exemption.

They even give instructions for filing anexemption request.

I encourage anyone wanting to buy a drone,or has a drone, and wants to make money shooting aerial video for their customers legally,to read-up on the FAA.

Gov website.

There are some new drones that were unveiledat NAB that caught my attention.

Since most independent pros are on a tightbudget, I focused on the sub-$2000 price range.

First up is the Typhoon Q500+ 4K quadcopter.

It's got a built in No-Distortion 4K cameraon a 3-axis gimbal, a 5 and a half-inch touch-screen remote, or ground station, plus the abilityto view on your smart phone.

It has auto-landing, a follow-me feature anda ton of intelligent technology built-in to make flying a breeze get it, breeze? Nevermind.

The Typhoon Q500+ PRO is priced at $1100 onthe Yuneek website, and includes their Steady-Grip, that allows you to use the camera and gimbalon the ground.

It's shaped like a gun and looks pretty coolif you want to try some steady shots while walking.

This $1100 does NOT include extra batteriesor SD cards.

The next 2 I'm counting as 1 since they'reboth made by DJI, who's leading the pack in affordable drones.

I chatted with a few folks at NAB that despisesDJI because of their limitations for replacement parts and poor customer service.

It might be a consideration if one of yourmotors goes out, you update the firmware and your drone becomes useless, or you just needto talk to someone who cares about helping you.

All of this chatter can be seen on the DJIwebsite forum.

I haven't personally tried calling DJI, so take it for what it's worth.

It sounds like they have temporarily won thepopularity contest for the past 3 years, but others are on their tail, get it on theirtail, like drone wars or something? Any-who, the Phantom-3 Advanced Quadcopterwith built in 1080 HD camera, and the Phantom-3 Professional Quadcopter with 4K cameras.

Both look pretty much the same with the 4Kcamera being the differentiator.

They both use the DJI Pilot app for your Androidor iOS smart phones that snap onto the controller for viewing what your camera sees, GPS navigation,auto take-off and landing, gimbal stabilizer, and also, a lot of technology and featuresthat look pretty impressive.

The cost for the 2K Phantom is around a grand,and the 4K is $1260.

You can find them on Amazon, B&H, and the DJI web site.

My last Drone I witnessed at NAB was the 3DRSolo.

"The first drone with a brain" is their first bullet of features on the, "store.

3Drobotics.

Com"web page.

This is the one I've got my eye on.

These guys are taking a completely different approach, compared their competition.

Ok, so, The Solo is: Powered by twin computers The Only drone to stream live HD video froma GoPro direct to your smart phone Some pretty unique safety features, remembersafety comes FIRST! There's In-flight GoProAccess: with Start/stoprecording and adjusting the camera settings from the ground that's helpful! And, the remote control, or "ground controlto Major Tom" is build like a video game controller, with user friendly buttons like FLY, pause,Home, and A/B buttons for presets just like my old Nintendo controller! The folks at 3DR are really focusing on thefuture by designing the Solo with upgrades and ad-ons in mind, sending your drone backfor a motor repair, or having to buy a whole new drone in a year or 2 to get all the latestgoodies just seems silly to me.

I must say it's good to see companies like3DR thinking about things, that make flying easy and safe first, while partnering withan innovative camera giant like Go-Pro.

The Solo is priced at $999.

95.

NOT $1000,whew, good thing, I'm not sure folks could handle seeing a 4-figure number! The catch is you'll need to have or buy aSilver or Black Edition Go-Pro at 4-500 bucks, The Solo Gimbal at $400, an extra batteryfor $150, and a spare set of propellers for $15.

All in all you're out about $2 grand.

A bit higher than the Typhoon Q500 and Phantom3's, but I definitely think they're worth checking out, if you're in the market.

Well, there are my top 3 drones under $2000.

I personally like the DJI Inspire 1, but that's around 3 grand.

If you got the money, definitelycheck it out! Please comment on any of your drone knowledge,or questions you may have below.

Thanks for giving me your most valuable possessionyour time! Until next time, I'm Doug Via "The Video Guy".

Remember.

Fly under 400 ft.

, fly safely, and,watch out for power lines, will ya!.

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