Drone cameras and applications: Changing the Game - COPTRZ

Drone cameras and applications: Changing the Game

Beth Jackson

9:17 am GMT •

January 29, 2021

Drones are changing the game in these four industries

Drones have taken on a completely new meaning in recent years. Once considered as devices only used in military settings, public perceptions of drones are now changing as the uses for drones continue to expand. In 2021, drones are more advanced than ever before. Drone cameras, features, payloads and applications are advancing every single day.

For those unfamiliar, drones are vehicles robots which can be controlled remotely. Known also as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), these devices are being used to capture stunning aerial photographs and videos, as well as making operations safer, faster and more cost effective. Amateurs and professionals alike are harnessing these exciting gadgets to create breath-taking content which can be shared across the globe.

As the world came to a stop due to the coronavirus pandemic, drones have provided a way for industries to continue to thrive and deliver cutting-edge entertainment to audiences. This blog will delve into how commercial drones are being deployed in four major industries: TV, sports, tourism and events. While the pandemic rages on, drones can offer us experiences and views which allow us to relive our past freedoms and enjoy what the world has to offer, safely from our homes.

1. Improving the game: drone use in professional sports

Drones may not have an obvious application in professional sports, but their usage is having a significant impact. Sports federations around the world are utilising the power of drones to help study and monitor performance in games. For many sports, including football, disputes over play are common. Referees and players argue over whether rules were broken, fouls committed and if goals should count. Drones could be key to solving these issues. Commercial drone cameras can capture footage with amazing clarity and from a multitude of aerial angles. This is why drones are being brought in to solve disputes and clarify whether the referee’s decision is correct. In the UK, the VAR system has already been brought in to determine whether goals are offside. The future could see drones brought in to replace this technology as a more accurate method of capture.

Drones are also transforming the training process. Using drone cameras to record training sessions allows coaches and players to watch the footage back and identify any issues or see where improvements should be made. The English Premier League team Everton have been using drones to improve their training sessions. The drone videos allow coaches to show players when they have made mistakes or have been in the wrong positions. This gives managers a better tactical picture of the game compared to when they are standing at the sidelines. The team has invested heavily in an aerial visual services company, which provides footage for analysis to a number of leading English football teams.

While drones can be used to capture accuracy for technical purposes, the devices can also be used to improve the experience for viewers. Drones can be deployed during live matches to provide audiences with exciting angles and close-ups, bringing the game to life. One example of this is at the US Open golfing event. Fox Sports used drone cameras during this event to capture beauty scenes and provide a sense of environment. These shots were previously captured with helicopters, but drones offer a cheaper, less disruptive and more versatile option.

The security and safety of sporting events can also be enhanced with drones. At the Euro 2016, drones were used to assist with security operations and surveillance. French police used drones to monitor fans outside the stadium and observe and attend to areas where rival fans were congregating. Drone cameras were also used as extra CCTV at the Rio Olympics. The technology also has potential to help with in-event logistics. Drones could be operated along fixed routes or stadium perimeters to deliver stock where it is needed and respond to crowds.

2. Footage that captivates: using drone cameras in TV

Drones are being used to enhance TV and create shows that captivate and inspire audiences. One way they are being used is in animation techniques. The technique requires multiple sensors shooting an actor from every angle possible. The system can switch between the fixed sensors as the subject changes orientation and direction. Drones have been trialled in this process, following the movements of the actors and automatically repositioning themselves to maintain the necessary coverage. This method reduces the need for sensors in all directions to be deployed, as machine-learning algorithms are used to anticipate the actor’s movements.

Drones are also being used to create visual effects in television. Lidar-capture equipment is used to collect data which is obtained by sending out light pulses across an area. This detects the reflected echo and uses the delay to determine the distance of the objects from the source. This provides a 3D map which can be altered based on the shadows, colours and behaviour needed for a scene. This lidar-capture equipment is lightweight so is well suited to be used with drones.

Using drones in television allows the viewer’s line of sight to be expanded. Rather than just viewing scenes from the characters point of view, drone footage can give stunning wide shots of environments and scenery, creating an immersive experience for users. Drones offer a degree of freedom which no other camera devices can, completely transforming the world of cinematography. In the past, helicopters were used to capture fast-paced scenes such as car chases. Now, cost-effective drones are taking their place.

Drone footage has also become essential for news channels. During the UK lockdown in March, BBC news showed drone footage taken of Yorkshire in lockdown. This aerial video provided viewers with an appreciation of the impact of the lockdown, with usual busy streets and roads empty. In this way, drones can be used to give audiences an insight into the bigger picture of a news story.

Another example of drone footage being used by news channels is to highlight near escapes. Sky News broadcast drone footage of a great white shark swimming within inches of a surfer in Australia. This shocking footage adds depth and context to key news stories.

3. Exploring the world: drones and tourism

Covid-19 has heavily impacted the tourism industry. New lockdown and border control rules in countries across the world have prevented travel and severely hit many country’s economies. While many of us are stuck at home, drones are able to bring global adventure directly to us. Famous world heritage sites are inaccessible at the moment due to restrictions. However, drones are allowing a new form of travelling to emerge: virtual tourism.

Now, viewers can experience travelling from the comfort of their own homes. Drone footage coupled with VR headsets is being used to create an immersive 3D experience of famous landmarks across the world. Whether it’s the pyramids, Machu Picchu or the Eiffel Tower, the use of drones enables those who cannot travel to get a glimpse of countries far away. In fact, the footage offered from drones can provide angles that wouldn’t normally be seen when walking around a landmark.

When travel is resumed as normal in the future, drones will be incredibly useful for those choosing where to stay when they go on holiday. Often, the pictures and images provided of a resort may not fully capture all it has to offer. The beauty of a location may not come across well online, preventing tourists from visiting. Drone footage can change this. People like to have a strong feel of what their travels will look like before they arrive. Breath-taking drone videos can give travellers a glimpse into what they can expect from the holiday. In this sense, drones are a great way for countries and resorts to advertise themselves to tourists. Drone footage is therefore ideal for tourists who are researching their next holiday destination and could be a deciding factor in their decision.

4. Taking events up a notch: drones in the events industry

Aerial videos are transforming how events are run, marketed and experienced. Drones can produce incredible images during popular events such as music festivals to generate excitement and engagement. This content can be used in marketing for future events, showing people why they need to buy a ticket.

The drone footage doesn’t just have to include the main event. Organisers can take drone camera shots during the weeks building up to the event, sharing how everything is being set up in preparation. This creates a buzz around the event and keeps ticket holders excited.

Another great benefit drones can bring to events is extra security. Drones can act as surveillance and CCTV cameras, ensuring the safety of everyone attending the event. The drone sweeps over the site and the footage can be watched in real-time by a member of staff. This will give organisers a heads up on anything that looks suspicious or threatening, allowing them to act quickly to solve the problem.

The best drones for the job: Drone cameras, payloads and more

Drones used in the aforementioned industries are designed for commercial use. This means that those looking to incorporate drones into any of these sectors need a specially designed drone which can deal with these demands. Choosing the right drone depends on a number of factors, such as the application, the size needed and budget.

One of the most popular drone brands on the market is DJI. The company engineer drones for commercial purposes, allowing professionals to accomplish their tasks in a safer and faster way. The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual features a three-axis gimbal stabilised camera with a side by side 4k sensor. This allows users to capture visible light as well as thermal data. Users can select from a range of intelligent display modes in the DJI Pilot flight control app to visualise data from the dual-sensor camera. You can see the Mavic 2 in action here:

For a lightweight drone, Parrot’s Anafi is an excellent option. This drone is perfect for commercial use on the go. It features a high-quality 4k HDR camera and range of high spec features. With top speeds of 32mph, the Anafi has been designed to resist difficult weather conditions due to its carbon-reinforced frame. The camera can resist temperatures from -10° to +40°, making it perfect for use in a range of locations. The 21MP, unique shots of 180°, Hyper lapse mode and 3x zoom means this drone is ideal for capturing images and videos. You can see our industry expert Sam Denniff talk you through the Parrot Anafi here:

Owning a drone doesn’t guarantee professional and high-quality images and videos. Before purchasing, leaders in the aforementioned industries should undertake training to utilise the drone to its full potential. Training provides organisations with information on how to make their operations faster, more cost-effective and safer. It can also provide organisations with the skillset to take their drone photography to the next level. This is essential for the tourism and events industries who may come to rely on drone usage in the near future.

At Coptrz, we are commercial drone experts. As well as an extensive range of drone packages, we also offer training programs to equip you with the knowledge needed to operate commercial drones. Get in touch today to learn how drones can enhance your industry.

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