Join Rob Garrott for an in-depth discussion in this video Drones, part of NAB 2015: Navigating the Landscape of Video Production and Post.
(techno music) - From photography to video, unmanned aerial vehicles, often referred to as drones or UAVs, have provided a way to capture images from angles that you could never get before. Unless of course, you have the budget for a helicopter. This year, for the first time ever, NAB featured the Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, a special area of the show dedicated to UAVs.
In 2013, when DJI released the Phantom, it was a game changer for consumer-friendly aerial photography. It paved the way for a variety of companies to get into the business, and it proved that small flying machines could do the work of a big copter. - I don't think that drones are gonna have to be getting all that much bigger and much stronger to be able to carry a RED, because drone technology and camera technology are sort of converging, and those cameras are getting smaller. The bigger they are, the heavier they are, the more dangerous they are, the bigger the safety concern is, but as camera's get smaller, the drones get smaller and more efficient too, and there's a really happy medium that that high quality, you're not gonna have to be able to level up and increase your risk at the same time.
- Safety is at the forefront of the conversation on UAVs, as more vehicles in a growing array of sizes and shapes take to the air. - Safety, I think, is really up to the pilots and manufacturers. Manufacturers are doing what they can, to try make the craft more safe. - Another important concern is legality. As the FAA works out the regulations, video professionals need to be aware if they're gonna incorporate UAVs into their productions. - The stuff that's sort of in a grey area right now is the commercial use of drones, and what exactly that means.
We've got a whole bunch of initiatives with the FAA, we are with the Small UAV Coalition, which lobbies the FAA, so we are working with them to get some regulations. Some of our drones have already received exemptions, so if a company wants to fly a 3DR drone, it's actually really easy now, just give your use case to the FAA, and say, "Hey, we're going to use this drone, "that you've already approved for another company." So it's getting easier and easier for companies to be able to use our products which is great, but within the next year or so, everything's actually really going to open up. - If the legal and safety hurdles haven't scared you off, and you're ready to get into aerial video, then it's time to think about your first flyer.
- Obviously, if you're just starting out, you're gonna start with something that holds a GoPro or has a built-in camera, like the Phantom 3, or the Phantom 2 Vision+, something at that level. - Once you've honed your flying skills, you'll be ready to start thinking about putting a camera into the air. - A lot of them will fly a GoPro, which I use because we can shoot 4K with the HERO4 Black, and get great interior shots, get shots that you can't get with some of the bigger ones 'cause you can fly through really tight spaces.
It's really exciting to see where camera technology is starting to adapt itself to this now, it's kind of like this industry is driving camera technology now, and that I think is exciting. - As UAVs continue to grow in popularity, accessibility, and features, NAB is the best place on Earth to keep on top of this fast changing technology. - Oh I'm sure we'll be surprised, not only in drone use, beyond industrial use and search and rescue, I think we're gonna see some major advancements in drone technology.
Instead of just a bunch of spinning propellers we may start seeing more turbo fans and other types of technology. I think in the next five years, they're not gonna look anything like what we have today. (techno music)