Fotokite’s Quadconpter Is Not Legally A Drone, It’s A Tethered UAV

fotokite

So, the FAA (US), the CAA (UK), Transport Canada (Canada, duh) and countless others are taking a stand against drones restricting usage and allowed flying zones and conditions. Especially for commercial use.

This is where Zurich-based company – Perspective Robotics hopes to gain footage in an ever-crowded niche. Their UAV solution is somewhat different from the DJI’s and 3DR’s out there in the sense that it does not use a radio to control the UAV. Rather it is using a tethered cable to deliver power and control to the airborne half of the unit.

Fotokite claims that at least one Airspace regulator –  DGAC, the French airspace authority – exempted them from the Drone classification.

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Aerial Photography Without A Drone – Hands On Review of the Seaport Digital MegaMast

aerial photography without a drone hands on review of the seaport digital megamast

The single biggest challenge I face as a photographer is finding ways to create images that are noticeably different than everyone else’s.

The vast majority of photographs that have ever been taken (or ever will be) are captured from about 5 feet above the ground – eye height for the average human.

One different perspective that I find particularly interesting is overhead and aerial photography.

There are several (very complicated and expensive) ways to get a camera overhead, but I recently had the opportunity to review a product that makes taking overhead and aerial style photos very easy – and the results are spectacular.

Hit the link to continue reading my hands on review of the Seaport Digital MegaMast. (If you do decide to get one, use code mega10 on checkout to get 10% off during the following week)

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Dramatic Aerial Views Of Hong Kong Taken From A Chocolate Delivery Drone (Plus 5 Essential Flying Tips)

drones-eye-view1Admittedly, I’m not wild about the idea of “delivery drones”, but this video taken with one is pretty cool. The video condenses the 14-minute trip from Kowloon to Hong Kong into a 2-minute array of sweeping coastlines, dramatic cityscapes, and serene hillsides. While the drone did successfully deliver a chocolate bar, the real purpose of this flight was to bring attention to safe UAV flying habits, which the producers accomplished in the well thought out description of the video on it’s YouTube page. Definitely worth a read, but first, check out the clip: [Read more…]

The Saga Continues: DJI Pushes Mandatory Update Preventing Phantoms From Flying Over Washington DC

white-houseA couple days ago we reported on a DJI Phantom being crashed into the lawn of the White House. News later surfaced that the unidentified man responsible for crashing the drone (who, I kid you not, works for the National Geospacial Intelligence Agency ) was intoxicated at the time of the flight. The New York Times reported the man claimed the drone belonged to a friend who was letting him borrow it. He was attempting to fly the drone from the window of his apartment, which is located near the White House. When the drone failed to come home, the man texted his friend noting he was afraid it may have crashed onto White House property. He then decided to just go to bed.

The next day, the man turned himself in. He was questioned by authorities before being released without being charged with a crime.

Obama responded by recognizing there are a lot of good uses for UAVs, but efforts needed to be taken to ensure they are not dangerous or invading people’s privacy. He also noted the necessity to establish a “framework that ensures we get the good and minimize the bad.” [Read more…]

Some Genius Tried Flying His DJI Phantom At The White House; Crashes It Into Obama’s Lawn

White House by Diego Cambiaso

White House by Diego Cambiaso

Anyone who even remotely follows photography related news will know how difficult and trying it has been to get the FAA to establish new guidelines on the flying of drones. The current rules allow individuals to fly the unmanned aircraft for recreational purposes; however, there are very strict regulations in place for those wishing to use the aircraft for commercial purposes. To some, this seems slightly backwards, mostly in part because the public often has the tendency to do stupid things. Things that a trained, professional drone operator most likely wouldn’t do. Like attempt flying a Phantom over the front lawn of the White House. [Read more…]

CNN Partners With FAA To Establish New Protocol For Drone Usage By Photojournalists

8746586571_1ea6d66c3d_kIn a statement issued on January 12th, from CNN, the news agency revealed it has teamed up with the FAA in an effort to experiment with various UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles). CNN reports the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) between them and the FAA will serve as a means to establish new regulations and a framework regarding the safe integration of drones into news gathering practices.

CNN also stated they and the FAA will combine it’s study with Georgia Tech Research Institute, with whom CNN had partnered with in the summer of 2014 to conduct similar research. In the statement found on CNN’s website, FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, explained the partnership:

“Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities. We hope this agreement with CNN and the work we are doing with other news organizations and associations will help safely integrate unmanned newsgathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System.”

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Canadian Regulation of Aerial Drone Photography – DIYP Interviews Transport Canada and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

There seems to be a lot of misinformation and speculation about the actual regulation of aerial drone photography and video online – especially with crazy interactions between photographers and pedestrians like this grabbing headlines.

In this article DIYP interviews both Transport Canada and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to find out what legal requirements are in place for both the recreational and commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and what people, places or things can and cannot be legally photographed or filmed from the air in Canada.

Transport Canada - Regulation of Aerial Drone Photography in CanadaOffice of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Regulation of Aerial Drone Photography In Canada

If you are an aerial photographer in Canada – you might not like some of the answers from the Canadian authorities – but don’t shoot the messenger.  If you don’t live in Canada, I think you will still find the Canadian regulations very interesting.

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UK Takes A Proactive Stand On UAVs – Here Is How You Can And Cannot Fly A Quadcopter In London

uk-cca-dronesUAVs or Drones or Quadcopters or any other name you would like to give cameras mounted on radio controled helicopters are getting increasing attention from both citizens (as opposed to photographers 😉 ) and regulating authorities. We’ve had a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) abandoned in St Luise after breaking the height limit allowed for aerial activity, and Yosemite National Park banning drones altogether.

The UK is taking a proactive approach making it absolutely clear what is and is not allowed when flying a UAV. British CAA (similar to the US FAA) released a Small Unmanned Aircraft Operations Within London and Other Towns and Cities last month, which makes it crystal clear that while some activities using UAVs are OK, some require license or are simply forbidden. [Read more…]

Can We Stop Calling Them Drones? They’re Just RC Helicopters With A Camera

I don’t know when remote control helicopters became drones, but I think its way past time we stop implying that a fancy RC helicopter with a camera strapped to it is some sort of autonomous Terminator robot.

Terminator Drone Helicopter Hunter Killer photography drone

OK sure, in the beginning I know that somebody though that “drone” sounded a lot cooler than “model airplane”.

Its exactly the kind of thing the model airplane geeks I know would adapt instantly.  Not to mention, I’m sure selling “drones” is a lot easier than selling “remote control model helicopters”.

(In the interest of search engine optimization and my penchant for hypocrisy, I am however going to refer to RC model helicopters as drones for the remainder of this article.)

Bart: Milhouse, this is boring. Make it crash or something.

Milhouse: Perfectly level flying is the supreme challenge of the scale model pilot.

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Parrot Want In On The Photo Market, Has A New Drone: Bebop

parrot_bebopdrone_lifestyle1

In 2010, Parrot introduced the A.R.Drone, and in 2012, a new iteration of the model was released. For a while now, the company’s been a leader in wireless technology through its innovation and quality; when the A.R.Drone first released, drone photography was almost unheard of. Parrot’s had a tendency to be at the right place at the right time, and with their most recent announcement, it seems like that’s not stopping.

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