I’ve always been a fan of technology. Whether it was my first walkman, an Apple 2GS, a tower full of CDs, or smart thermostats, its fun to watch technology brings us next. I’ve also loved photography, not that I’ve ever been exactly skilled with taking pictures, but I’ve had an appreciation for interesting vantage points that photographers take. Therefore, I’m trying to combine the two and see if I can get the skills and repetitions together to fly a drone to take arial photos. The way I look at it, I’m too old to drive a remote control car, and especially don’t want to end up like this guy. So a drone could be seen as an expensive flying camera and not a ‘toy’. At least that is what I’m trying to tell myself.
From everything I have read, the worst thing you can do is go out and buy an expensive drone off the bat, and crash it before you know what you are doing. Therefore, I did a little research and purchased little guy from Amazon last week for around $50.
The weight on the U818A is less than a pound, so if there is any wind at all, this thing can get blown off course in a hurry. Thus far, I’ve only crashed it roughly 37 times, so quite glad I didn’t go out and buy something nice right away. I’ve had to replace a prop after flying it into a tree, but other than that, this little bird is pretty darn tough. One downside is that the battery only lasts roughly 6-7 minutes of flight time, so I picked up an extra battery. I have to say, its been a lot of fun to fool around with. For some reason, when I plug it into my Macbook, I’m unable to view the photos and videos I have taken with it. What I found out is that I should get a mirco SD to SD card adapter so I can put the card directly into the computer. I ordered that, so hopefully by the end of week I can check out the videos I recorded, even though the camera is said to be shaky at best.
I’ve decided if I can truly get the hang of this thing over the next 60 days, I’m going to step up my game and buy a nice flying machine. I have my eye on the Parrot Bebop, which based on this video is incredible.
The controller for the Bebop, integrated with an iPad looks to be great. You can also program the copter using GPS, which would come in handy for flying to destinations and taking video. Another feature that is amazing is the “return home” option. If your drone gets in a rough situation, you can hit the return home button and it will immediately begin flying your way and hovering eight feet in the air from where it took off. If used properly, I’m sure this guy can take some amazing photos and video. That said, with a price tag of nearly $900, one better be darn sure they are comfortable flying a drone before stepping it up to something like this. I will be sure to check back in when the Bebop takes her first flight!