aerial photography

Zephyr: A drone simulator for fun and for learning

Whether you are learning to improve your drone flying to qualify for a commercial opportunity or simply to have more fun, it can be an expensive process involving trial, error, and crashes. It’s also hard to quantify your progress. Zephyr is an impressive drone simulation environment for the PC that lets you advance your flying skills from the comfort of your armchair. Using a controller that closely mimics the controller for your drone, you can fly through a wide variety of training lessons or just free fly in any of several nicely-crafted landscapes.

DJI's new Mavic Air gives you more reasons not to put off buying a drone

DJI Mavic Air (Arctic White)If you’ve been stalling on getting into the fun hobby of drone photography, DJI has come up with another reason not to. Its new Mavic Air combines some of the very best features of the amazingly-popular Mavic Pro with the diminutive Spark. I’ve written up our . For serious photographers, I think the Mavic Pro still offers some big advantages, like more flight time, faster lens, and possibly more support for advanced video modes like D-Log (although the Air might also support those). Most of the fancy photography features of the new Air will help you get started quickly, but won’t do much for those of us who already shoot RAW and use Litchi for our panoramas. The 32MP built-in panorama mode certainly isn’t a match for custom panos like the one below I built out of 46 RAW images using Photoshop and Hugin.

Flying a Mavic Pro with Epson's Moverio BT-300FPV Drone Edition AR glasses

The author flying a Mavic Pro using MoverioI’ve had a lot of fun feeling like I’m personally piloting my Mavic Pro when I control it using Epson’s Drone Edition of their popular Moverio BT-300FPV glasses. It’s an expensive accessory, and has a few teething problems, but it does provide a unique and pretty-compelling experience. You can read my full review and see a video of me using one in .

Getting started with drone photography: A Resource Guide

DJI Mavic Pro There is plenty of information on the web about drone photography, but I’ve learned from experience that it is spread far and wide, and it can be very time consuming to get the bits you need. It can also be expensive if you order the wrong drone or even worse crash your drone because you were missing a key piece of information (yep, done that). So we’ve put together a resource guide that provides at least one approachable path for you to get started, have fun, and develop the confidence to push yourself and your drones further. We’ll be adding to this guide on a regular basis, so please let us know what additional topics you’d like to see included!

DJI breaks new ground with $500 Spark flying camera drone

It wasn’t that long ago that DJI amazed everyone by shrinking its Phantom drone platform down to a portable and more-affordable unit, the Mavic Pro. I love my two Mavics, and they are a great place to start if you know you want to get serious about drone photography. . But if you’re a little daunted by the whole process of setting up and flying a drone, or about the $1K price tag, DJI has done it again. It’s new . Or you can get a . DJI & B&H are estimated that shipments will begin in mid-June. You don’t get the 4K video or a few of the other features of the Mavic Pro, but the Spark is even smaller and easier to get flying.

Lots of new drones for photographers shown at CES

My initial goal was to survey the drone announcements at CES 2017 earlier this month, but it soon became clear that there were far too many. Literally dozens of companies, with likely well over a hundred new models. Many of them are amazing for photographers. In particular the updated GDU model, with a modular gimbal and support for a camera up to 5 pounds, is intriguing. You can .

Hands-on with HEXO+ Cinema-quality drone

Part of the fun of CES is getting to use some of the newest technology.