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a plane sitting on top of a mountain

Which is better?

Aerial photography is a pinnacle of modern photos and films. It is crucial to decide on whether or not photos taken by the use of a drone is going to satisfy the needs of the shoot over the traditional helicopter. Comparatively, both forms can generally be used to produce a product but helicopters are going to noticeably increase overall quality.

Although there are a number of benefits for using a drone, the limitations may inhibit the photographer from creating a work in which this quality is necessary.

Aerial filming has its option but it may be in the photographer’s best interest to use a helicopter over a drone. This option will allow the shoot to take place at higher speeds and for a much longer duration. Drones are light and can only carry a camera of a certain size and weight.

This also means that professionalism can only be achieved in certain climates that will not hinder the difficulty of the drone’s flight. Helicopters are able to take an entire crew, as well as the necessary camera equipment into a much more remote areas than a drone, giving it the edge in photography of unique and distant places. If the payload is a concern to the photographer, it should be noted that helicopters can be used to take it directly to the filming location instead of loading everything into a car to be transported on the road. If the cost of the helicopter is within the budget, you can alleviate the need to recharge and extend the range beyond what is achievable through the use of a drone.

Drones require an FAA certification and the tight restriction on their urban use can be a huge hassle. Without already having the necessary license, you cannot legally fly your drone for commercial use. Also, in many areas, drones are illegal to fly, even with the appropriate licensing and preparation. Although the drone may offer a cheaper means of commercial filming, the quality is lost, and let’s face it, helicopters are much more fun.

Although it seems that both options have their own benefits, it is quite clear that using a drone may actually cause more stress and delays than you might initially assume. The FAA has very strict limitations on the commercial use of a drone and this could cause more issues than you are willing to handle.

Helicopters provide an extra level of quality and professionalism over a drone, and you get a much more exhilarating three-dimensional filming experience. Photographers can add an extra artistic touch if they are up in the sky themselves. It’s hard to get the exact shot you want if you are just watching the action from a screen on the ground