Drone and aerial photography can be some of the most rewarding and beautiful shots that you can take with any piece of equipment. If you’ve been watching videos on the web and scouting out drone maneuvers, you’re probably wondering how you can get your shots to look as good as your favorite YouTubers, film makers or producers? You’re not alone. We’ve got your starting point and it comes in the form of 5 nice and simple cinematic drone maneuvers for beginners. From the overtake and tilt reveal to the final big unveil – let’s get started.

1. The overtake
The overtake shot puts a little emphasis on the separation between the subject and background while serving as a reveal shot. Think of it as overtaking your subject and heading towards the background. To perform simply fly past, to the side or over your subject, revealing the background and surroundings of your subject. This works particularly well if you’ve got a great backdrop to pan to.

2. The tilt reveal
The tilt reveal is another great tool to reveal a subject with drone photography and it’s possibly the simplest move available in your cinematic arsenal. To perform, simply point your camera straight to the ground and slowly tilt the gimbal back up to face the subject. It’s a super simple pan up that adds a little bit of movement to what could otherwise be an uninteresting or lacking shot. Definitely one that’s good to know how to use.

3. Point of interest
The point of interest is one of – in my opinion – the best (simple) drone movements with a focus on a single point of interest with movement around the subject. To perform, slide to the left or the right of your subject while rotating the drone so that it always faces the point of interest – almost like circling the area. It’s a great way to show-off objects/area from various angles and add depth to a shot.

4. Birds eye view
One of the most utilised drone shots that we’re seeing today is the use of the birds eye and view – and for good reason. The high up, face down shot gives a great view of the location and with careful piloting – it’s possible to get some stunning images that you’d otherwise never be able to see. To perform, fly the drone up to a desired altitude and face the camera down. From there it’s up to you – whether you want to keep it still or make a dynamic image – experimentation with the height is usually a great way to build your cinematic skills.

5. The unveil
Our final simple cinematic shot – and one that can be the most powerful when used correctly – is the unveil. By flying over foreground areas to reach the target point of interest you can create big reveals and dramatic shots. To perform, start low and gradually increase altitude until you’re exposing the background by moving over the foreground. The key is to keep smooth for an unassuming view that turns spectacular when the background is reached.


Earlier this month we watched on as the European Drone Summit brought us a huge amount of innovation and a selection of products that we’re excited to write about. The biggest and possibly most noteworthy of the summit comes from DJI – surprisingly – with the launch of the Phantom 4 RTK in Frankfurt. Of course, those of us in the know knew that the new Phantom was coming and it makes sense for the release to fall in line with the event. With their own Airworks event following the summit – it’s no surprise that hype has been created to increase publicity for their own event – but with a new drone announcement is exciting nevertheless.

What’s comes with the Phantom 4 RTK

DJI has once again shown that commercial drone applications can be brought to the market in smaller packages and at lower price points than what we first thought – and for less than the competitors. The RTK is expected to retail for €5,700 and will come included with the drone itself, remote controller, two intelligent flight batteries, one remote controller intelligent battery, charger hubs for both battery types, power adapter, power cable, four propeller pairs and accessories. So you’re definitely getting a fair bit in the box for your money.

Centimeter level positioning system

One of the most impressive features of the RTK module is the real-time, centimeter-level positioning data for unrivalled accuracy within images. There’s also a GNSS module, perfect for maintaining flight stability in poorer signalled regions – whether that’s dense cities, heavy wooded areas or congested or tricky geometries. Combine both the RTK receiver and the GNSS module and you’ve got a winning package for optimised flight, safety and accuracy for complex surveying, mapping and inspection workflows. You can also fit the Phantom 4 RTK to any workflow with the ability of connection to the positioning system to the D-RTK Mobile Station, NTRIP with the use of a 4G dongle or WiFi hotspot.

Gather accurate data with timesync

Taking full advantage of the 4 RTK’s phenomenal positioning system, the TimeSync system was created so you’re continually aligning the flight controller, camera and RTX module. Timesync makes sure that each and every photo taken uses the most accurate metadata and will actually fix the positioning data to the center of the CMOS. That means that you’ll be getting optimised results from photogrammetry while allowing the image to use centimeter-level positioning data.

Purpose-built flight planning application

A brand new GS RTK app allows you as the pilot to intelligent control the all new Phantom 4 RTK with two sparkly new planning modes. Choose between photogrammetry and waypoint flight alongside the expected, traditional flight modes offered by DJI. Planning modes allow you to select a drone’s flight path with the adjustment of the overlap rate, altitude, speed, camera parameters and more – meaning an automated mapping or inspection workflow – we’ll take that all day long. The GS RTK app has been completely built from the ground up with its pilots in mind and comes with a range of features specific to mapping and inspection workflow. With an implemented direct loading of KML area files for ‘in-office’ flight planning and a new shutter priority mode – meaning that your exposure is consistent across all areas of shooting. There’s even a super strong wind alarm to warn you of any particularly adverse conditions.


It’s no secret that the growth in the drone market is on the up – and up in a serious fashion. The number of consumer drones sold in 2018 is scraping the 13 million mark and with an expected increase upto 29 million by 2021. That, if you’re unsure, is some serious growth and if this keeps up – we can only imagine the scale of consumer drone sales by say 2040. That got us thinking – what does the future of aerial photography look like? With a whole host of new drones created every single day – it’s hard to imagine a world where they’re as common as mobile phones or netbooks. So we had a sit down, did a bit of a brainstorm and came up with four ideas that reflect what we think the future of aerial photography will bring.

1. Tighter restrictions

I don’t really want to start this post off on a downer, but with more drones and more people flying, it’s likely that we’re going to see some tighter restrictions in the coming years. Whether that’s more no fly zones, harsher penalties for areas of restriction or more rules when flying – we’re expecting a few more legal bits and pieces. As the technology becomes more sophisticated we’re also expecting that some drones may become electronically limited – similar to some cars on the market – to prevent unnecessary danger when flying. That could be less range, a lower top speed or autonomy to prevent drone related accidents and incidents.

2. Decreased price

Bit of a cheerier point and one we’re really looking forward to – with the increased popularity, we’re expecting a huge decrease in price for professional drones. With more people buying, an increase in the level of technology and a better availability of parts – dips in our favorite (and future favorite) models are expected and welcomed. This is all assuming that DJI don’t continue their reign and increase their domination in the market sector and abuse the monopoly that they’d likely create. Fingers crossed huh.

3. Smarter autonomous modes

Autonomy and AI are ever increasing and with autonomous flight modes making an appearance in some of the higher end drones as of current, we’re excited to see what the future will bring and what can be done. With ‘follow me’ modes and waypoint finders already present, it’s only a matter of time before drones will be able to take well framed, gorgeous shots by themselves. You might not even have to set it off, it could just know the sunset time and head out to capture it – it’s a scary one – but it’s equally as exciting.

4. Higher quality

It goes without saying that the longer products are around, the higher the quality usually becomes. That’s both build quality of the product itself and the image quality from the attached camera. Although we may be crashing less in the future, it’ll be a nice peace of mind to know that your drone is stronger and more durable than it may have been in the past. Image quality is of course key for aerial photography and we’re expecting higher and higher resolution and better and better quality as time goes on. But as with everything – it’s only time that will tell.


Drone’s are seemingly everywhere at the minute, all over the news, congesting the skies, getting caught in our hedges and powerlines seemingly everyday… Okay not quite, but you get the idea – there’s a drone obsession at the minute flooding the globe and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down – quite the opposite if anything. Drone fever is snowballing and well, we want to make sure that if you’re looking to get in on the action that you go for a product that you’ll not only love – but will be perfect for your purposes. Whether you want to become competitive in the field, pick it up as a hobby or invest in your business or workplace – we’re here to help by giving you a quick look guide to photography drones.

1. DJI Mavic Pro Platinum

This little quadcopter is one of the most important little drones available on the market with a whole host of fantastic features to brag about for the reasonable $1000 price tag:

  • A fantastic motorised gimbal system

  • A 4K camera with a fixed aperture of f/2.2 –Meaning a great quality picture, even in low light.

  • A 12MP resolution camera for impressive stills.

  • It’s foldable and portable, something that’s often rare in high quality drone photography.

  • It has a super long range of upto 7 km in perfect conditions, that’s absolutely plenty for anybody.

  • An expected 30 minutes of flight time.

  • Great GPS and return home features.

  • Front sensors for detecting obstacles and for stopping in time.

For the price, we really can’t think of any disadvantages.

2. Xiaomi MI 4K Drone

The Xiaomi 4K drone comes in at the cheapest of the drone’s I’m talking about today and with a price tag of around $500 – it’s hard to make a bad case for it. With amazing photo and video results – you’ll be treated to:

  • An amazing motorised gimbal system

  • The ability to shoot 4K photos (12.4 mp) and video with the option of slow-motion in lower resolution with higher FPS

  • A respectable range of 3km/

  • An expected battery life of 27 minutes

  • A great GPS system with return home function when the battery begins to run low

There are however a few drawbacks with the drone – as you’d expect from the lower price – but don’t get discouraged by the Xiaomi:

  • It’s not quite as portable

  • It is louder

  • It doesn’t have the front facing sensors to stop before impact

3. DJI Phantom 4 Professional

The DJI Phantom 4 professional is probably the world’s worst kept secret in aerial photography and for good reason too. The $1500 package comes with all kinds of goodies to keep you well and truly pleased with your purchase:

  • The 4K camera that we’re used to now has been improved with the addition of a 1-inch sensor meaing low light photography will be less noisy compared to previous iterations

  • The 20mp sensor is sure to deliver amazing quality photo and video.

  • The drone is fully capable to shoot in 4K in 60fps and Full HD in 120FPS

  • You’ll also get a mechanical shutter (just like your DSLR), which means you’ll be getting a smooth video image and no rolling shutter effect

  • There’s sensors in 5 directions, 2 front, 2 side and a bottom sensor for landing – meaning it’s super secure to fly

  • Expect a 30 minute flight time and a 7km range, it’s the best drone for the money

There’s only really one disadvantage in it’s portability which – as a bit if a bulkier drone – can be difficult to cart around places – making travel a bit of an issue with the device.


Casey Neistat is a vlogger on the platform of YouTube amassing an astonishing 10 million+ subscribers at the time of writing. Now you don’t get to that level of YouTube and internet stardom without learning and picking up a thing or two about cameras, photography and videography as a whole. Casey, like us, is a huge a drone enthusiast and often works with the companies that we know and love in his videos. Whether that’s chatting to the owner and founder of GoPro or flying around attached to a drone while snowboarding – the guy’s always at the cutting edge. So what did he think when he was given the DJI Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, Spark and Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian? Well, there’s a well made video to go with the review – because of course there is – but if you’re not in the mood for a 10 minute watch – let us give you the TLDW:

You can watch the video here


What’s the verdict

Well the verdict is pretty simple and it’s one that we were expecting. Each of the drones have their strengths and weaknesses and are best suited to different purposes.

DJI Mavic Air vs DJI Spark

The first contest in the battle for the best DJI is the Air vs the Spark. The Mavic air comes in at a price point of $799 and will let you shoot in 4k at 30fps – pretty good and an industry standard as of current. The Spark however lags a little, but not a lot, and will capture full HD 1080 x 1920 images at the same 30 fps. The drones are roughly the same size with picture quality separating the tech. So that’s a better, smoother picture from the Mavic Air but with $400 more – is it really worth it? We honestly think so.

DJI Mavic Air vs DJI Mavic Pro

The Mavic Pro comes in at a slightly pricer $999 compared to the Air’s $799. With both drones shooting in 4k at 30fps – it can be difficult to see where your extra pennies are actually going. The Mavic Air’s footage is actually better in 4k with the heavily improved HDR. There’s also a selection of new modes such as panoramic shots and slow motion (1080 at 120pfs). With a small design, the Air is easy to carry around and perfect for travel. In a nutshell, it’s hard to want much more. The Air wins every time.

DJI Mavic Air vs DJI Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian

The Air vs the Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian is probably the most important and interesting comparison of the video with the Phantom 4 coming in at $1499 – almost twice that of the Air. This is noticeable instantly when it comes to the quality of the image with the Phantom 4 having a much superior quality compared to lower spec model. There’s a smoother video, better colour and a greater dynamic range. The Phantom 4 does come with it’s issues though – the major of which is the bulkiness – meaning that the drone is a nightmare to cart around with you. If travel and location scouting is up there with your list of priorities – it might be the Mavic Air that proves the best choice for you.


Buying a drone has never been easier and with a broad and ever increasing selection available, there’s more than just what drone to buy before you can go out and get one. To help keep you in the loop and know what you’re up against – we’ve created a top 5 things you should know before buying a drone.

1. Where to buy

Where to buy your drone is almost as important as to which one you’re going to be getting your hands on. When it comes to the most general form of advice, your best bet is actually going to be Amazon – no groundbreaking information there then. However, if you’re going to be picking up a model from the line of DJI drones, your best should always be direct from their online shop. With the super quick turnaround from DJI and advancements in drone technology, we’re currently seeing updated tech every few weeks. Buying a drone directly from DJI ensures that you have the very best model for the money at the time of purchase – and why wouldn’t you. DJI – buy direct. Everything else – hit up Amazon or your local hobby store.

2. Learn the rules and respect them

Drones unfortunately don’t have free reign over anything and everything we want to shoot and there’s a list of guidelines that we’d recommend following to make sure that you’re always in the right. We recommend that you visit the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s website to review the rules and regulations of flying a drone in Singapore. Remember, for all commercial purposes where a drone is required, a permit is a must-have, and only valid CAAS Operator Permit holders like AerialPhotography.sg are allowed to apply for permits for commercial drone work.

3. Not all drones are ready to fly

When you’re looking to purchase a drone, you’re likely to see three acronyms pop up on the regular. These are RTF, BNF and ARF.

RTF – Ready to fly

A ready to fly setup is – as expected – mostly assembled with maybe a couple of simple tasks to complete before a flight is permitted. This can range from tightening propellers to charging the battery – nothing out of the ordinary and is relatively pain-free.

BNF – Bind and fly

A bind and fly drone will usually come completely set-up, but without a controller. Controllers can be difficult to bind to the drones so it’s a good idea to check that your controllers that you’re looking at buying will pair up with the drone.

ARF – Almost ready to fly

Almost ready to fly drones are usually found as quadcopter kits. These kits are unlikely to come with a transmitter or receiver and may require some assembly. Some ARF kits will leave out motors, flight controllers or ESCs so it’s important that you know what you’re buying so that you don’t end up with a box full of missing bits.

4. Easy to fly, easy to crash

Although your drones out of the box may be easy to fly, it does not mean that they’re not easy to crash. With more confidence often comes more chance for error and our advice is to play it safe in wide open areas before working on shots in busier areas. If you’re wanting to learn, make sure to watch videos and read tutorials before taking off to make sure you’ve got a good idea of what you’re doing. Good luck and happy piloting!


Looking for something special this coming Christmas for the drone loving photographer or cinematographer is your life? Look no further – we’ve got a selection of drone inspired gifts that you can purchase for that particularly awkward person to buy for.

1. Lowepro DroneGuard Carry Case

First off the mark is something that every drone lover should own – a carry case to safely cart around their beloved airbourne friend. Our chosen favorite is the Lowepro DroneGuard Carry Case and comes available in two sizes: CS 300 and CS 400 so you’ll have the option to fit most hobby and some professional drones. With the larger of the two cases fitting the DJI Phantom 1, 2, 4 of 4 as well as the 3DR Solo among others available on the market – the case is a safe bet if you’re unsure of sizing. With extra storage space for the RC/transmitter, blades, props, action video camera, batteries, cables, chargers, mounts and more – the only thing you’ll be asking is ‘where can I get more?’

2. HELIFAR Mini Drone, H802 RC Quadcopter

Next up on our list is less of an accessory and more of a full drone setup for less than £20. The HELIFAR Mini Drone is a great budget toy for any drone lover. Although it may lack in a camera, the drone makes for a great stocking filler with a quadcopter design and easy to use controller meaning that you’ll be having countless hours of fun crashing into every inch of the living room. It may be cheap, but with features such as altitude hold and headless mode, the 6-axis gyro drone can ensure a laugh track for the whole day – deffo worth a punt for the drone lover you know!  

3. Drone Pilot QUADCOP Hi-Vis

You’ll struggle to get any gift for under a fiver these days, but if you just happen to like bright fluorescent vests (or know someone that might) you’ll be in with a cheap gift and lots of laughs. Available in both orange and yellow, this high-vis vest is the perfect present for any drone photography/cinematography lover and with a surprising amount of practicality – it’s a useful gift too. Now everyone can know who’s in charge of the mini-helicopter in the sky and with sizes from S to 4XL – there’s sure to be one to fit everybody.  

4. MG3063 I Drone On And On Novelty Gift Mug

Sticking to theme of cheap and cheerful – you can’t do much better than a comedy mug. Everyone loves a comedy mug and if it’s just that little bit more personal – you can be sure that whoever receives it will brighten your day with a big old smile. Our mug of choice comes in the form of the simple white coffee/tea mug with the ‘I Drone On and On’ text on the front. Perfect for those of us that just don’t know when to stop talking about the subject that we love. For a cost of less than $10 for a dishwasher and microwave safe mug – we’ll struggle to find much else better for the money.


Say you’ve got a property, a building, a home or an office building and you’re suspect. Maybe something doesn’t sound right, maybe you’ve had a tip off that something needs attention or maybe it’s just general maintenance. But how do you inspect something that’s high up and dangerous to either reach or get to safely. What are your options? Luckily we live in a time where everything that we’ve ever needed to know, use or think about has been created for us – and building inspection has had a recent jump into the 21st century – bringing us into 2019 with a bang. With drone technology, you can create 3D airborne images from the comfort of your office on the ground with either a trained drone pilot or a controller of your own providing the investment to cash in on drone technology is adopted. That’s right – with drone power you can inspect a full building visually without having to move at all. No ladders, no scaffolding and no harnesses. Just fire it up and take off.

Just fire a camera in the air

Simple enough right? If you’re struggling to gain access to certain building features, whether it’s the roof of your home or the 42nd floor of an office building – drone photography can be the way forward to investigate property inspection. That’s a completely hands off approach that we’re a massive fan of, promoting views from otherwise unseen angles and a huge health and safety benefit. Health and Safety issues are completely minimal with not a single person lifted into the air – that’s a huge headache avoided with drone power and a massive weight off your shoulders to get the quality surveyance that you need. Although licenses and permits may be required, for the majority of tasks – there’s very little to go wrong, especially with an experienced drone pilot from an inspection company at the controls. With the ability to create 3D captures and detailed images of any specific area required, you can control the drone from to ground and view live images to inspect any area. Whether it’s brickwork, stonework, lightning conductors, restoration, chimneys, roof tiles, roof valleys, lead work and anything else that you may need – air powered inspection is the way forward.

How to do it?

There’s plenty of different ways to use aerial photography for building inspection and depending on the size of your organisation, the best methods may differ. We’d often suggest that hiring a professional with high quality imaging drone and experienced pilot would be the best plan of attack for most companies looking to explore using drones for building inspections.


Hello and welcome to this (somewhat very brief) beginners guide to flying drones and what better way than to kick right off with the four main definitions that you’ll come to love with flying:


Throttle makes the quad ascend or descend. It’s the control that changes the height of the drone so you can get really low or really high shots depending on your preference.


Yaw, like jaw but with a ‘y’, is concerned with the rotation of the quadcopter in the clockwise or the counter-clockwise directions.


Roll is what we talk about when we tilt the quadcopter left or right.


Finally pitch is concerned with the tilting of the quadcopter backwards or forwards. To make things a little more confusing, these controls can also be referred to by aileron (roll), elevator (pitch) and rudder (yaw). Got that? Good.

How to fly?

We’ll keep this nice and simple and we’d prefer not to give and specific instructions when it comes to learning to fly a drone as with many tedious and difficult tasks to master – they will take time. We’ve found that throwing new pilots in at the deep end to be very successful in terms of learning to fly.

Find a good open space

  Rather than a specific set of instructions we’d prefer you to go and find a wide open space – preferably a field or sandy beach where there are minimal obstructions and people that can be, well, hit. Next you’re going to need to check the wind speed, there are fancy ways of doing this – but we’re just going to recommend judging it by feel. If the wind speed is more than roughly 15mph – it might be best to come back to practice another day – there’s nothing worse than learning to fly against the elements.

Have a play

The next step is simple. Have a play around with your drone and see what you can do. The design of the controller, for most companies anyway, is fairly intuitive and with playing and figuring out the controls tentatively by yourself, you’ll make much more progress than by following bland tutorials. First off you should start with the very basics. How do I hover? Practice holding the throttle and moving in such a way that it looks great on the preview screen. Once you’ve mastered the art of the hover and feel like you can add more movement, have a play with the controls by moving each one a little in the directions they allow. You’ll soon get a feel for what does what and how it makes it go where. You should note that crashes are however inevitable and they happen to even the most experienced of drone pilots. It’s an idea to practice cutting the throttle when you’re stuck in sticky situations. That can be the difference between losing your drone in a tree, smashing it into a bridge or just coming by to pick it up off the ground. Have fun, practice and stay safe and you’ll build your confidence and skill in equal parts. Happy pilotting!


Want to sell your property? There’s no better way than the use of a drone. The only thing that you’ve really got when trying to sell your property is the use of images, video and the written word and if you’re really wanting to put some effort in – you’re going to want to maximise all three. That’s maximising photography skills and ensuring the best angles to highlight the areas of your property, creating an accurate and inviting written description and finally using well planned and created video to give further detail that images just can’t capture. The latter should be done with the use of a high quality, stabilised camera – or if you’re really wanting to make something of it – a drone for a comprehensive view of the property.

A birds eye view

There’s something about aerial photography that captures an area so well to give a true reflection of the surroundings and what the area immediate of a property feels like. Honestly is always the best policy when it comes to the sale of a property and with video is general it is very hard to fake. Most people will trust the eye of a video camera much more than a still shot that could be easily edited or cleverly positioned to make small spaces look larger – I’m sure we’ve all seen some pretty horrendous examples in the past when looking at properties. But the eye in the sky, a birds eye view of your property in video form with show everything, including the angles that other sellers won’t be able to see. With an inspection-like procedure, potential buyers will be able to see the condition of the brickwork, the roof, the chimney – and depending on the size of the property – maybe even a flyby of the inside of the building. With warts and all shown, everyone knows exactly what they’re selling and what they’re buying – so there’s no need to hit roadblocks further down the line when it comes to buying.

How to get aerial images

Aerial images are becoming more and more popular and by default, easier and easier to capture with the increase in availability. If you’re wanting to take some aerial shots to go with your property, we suggest heading out for a professional so that you won’t have to lay down some heavy investment costs in purchasing your own photography drone and learning to fly. By all means if aerial photography may be a hobby or interest, there’s nothing stopping you. But for a one-off one-time purchase, a professional with a drone may be the best plan of action.