Aerial Videography Tips-Ultimate Guide


Does your aerial footage just not seem to have the punch your are looking for?

Are you a photographer or videographer who saw amazing drone footage and decided to order a drone so you could start making spectacular footage and boost your sales? Is drone cinematography not as easy as you expected?

KEEP READING. We were in the same boat. That’s why we put this together for you. Here are all of the things we found that drastically improved our footage.

While recent advancements have made aerial videography so easy that anyone feels that they can handle it, many people find that videography with a quadcopter is not as forgiving as they anticipated. Making sense of how to safely pilot a UAV is one thing, yet knowing how to capture useable, smooth footage with pizazz is another.

So, we created the Aerial Videography Tips Ultimate Guide to help you clear up your confusions and immediately start shooting amazing footage.


There are various confused judgments about Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) headings. We will discuss the United State’s laws first.

U.S. Drone Regulations

The FAA first endorsed usage of unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS) in 1990. In 2012, President Obama passed The Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which gave the FAA authority to issue licenses for commercial UAV use in the U.S. The establishment required that the FAA draft rules pertaining to the use of non military commercial drones by law enforcement and private companies.

There has been much discussion of about these new drone laws and their repercussions. Here are a few sites you might want to visit to understand better:

Commercial Drone Flying vs. Recreational

Numerous individuals need to know, Can I fly my machine commercially in the U.S.? Am I able to use my drone for profit?

Yes. You may. You just need to go through the certification process first.

All that really matters is this: various associations are applying for a Portion 333 Prohibition, while others are either sitting tight for the FAA to enact Part 107, or just proceeding to fly commercially anyway.

In the event that you’re wanting to fly your drone/UAV recreationally, then no. You don’t need to worry about Part 107, the Section 333 special case or any other kind of UAV accreditation. You’ll essentially need to submit to standard safety rules as stated per the FAA.

Two or three those guidelines include:

  • Flying in the daylight
  • Flying under 400 feet
  • keeping a clear line of sight
  • Not flying in national parks
  • Not flying directly over people
  • … and more

Please take note that if you’re flying a machine that measures more than .55 lbs/250g, you’ll need to register it with the FAA, even if you’re just flying recreationally. This law was effective December 21st, 2015.

To work commercially in any case, where “business” includes any kind of flight operation that can produce financial benefit, the FAA requires you to get registered. For various uses like examination or law execution, refer to this FAA page and find your category to see the pertinent laws.

Clearly, the simple fact that you are registered doesn’t make you a strong drone pilot. You’ll need to master principal flight capabilities. You’ll require a strong ability to manage the drone flying scene, your hardware, your drone and detrimental situations that may suddenly arise. Likewise to make money as a professional drone pilot, you will need to be able to capture great footage.

International Drone Laws

New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil are known for being more progressive.

Diverse countries like Canada and the U.K. have specific laws set up and offer less ideal legislation on UAV management and aerial videography.

New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil are known for being more dynamic.


Practice Until YOu are proficeint

This may show up extremely obvious, nonetheless we can’t adequately extend that it is so basic to wind up a strong UAV pilot in a wise and safe way. Else, you may end up hoping to join a consideration bunch like the DJI Flyaway and Crash Mental Support Facebook page. We chuckled at that one.

It’s excessively basic, making it impossible to end up occupied with your new toy and to need to appropriate jaw-droppingly fabulous footage on the Web. In any case, trust us, you’ll be cheerful you took a perfect chance to make sense of how to fly. Do whatever it takes not to attempt and consider the video footage at first. Essentially make sense of how to fly, whether it’s on a pilot test program or, surprisingly better, an arrangement quadcopter like the Hubsan X4.

Take this individual, who took in the most troublesome way imaginable that being a raised videography expert won’t not be as straightforward as it looks. He was flying a DJI Specter 1, which retails for $480!


Select a drone that works for you

We say “quadcopter” understanding that you don’t require a super power UAV with four arms and propellers, yet at this time, those are the most pleasant units for their quality, stability, pricing and amount of support from an ever growing number of videographers.

If you are a professional who has been flying drones for many years and have a large budget, you may even use an octocopter.

A champion amongst the most well known quadcopters for aerial videography are the DJI Phantom models. DJI’s quadcopters come arranged to-fly (RTF) and with an out-of-the compartment GoPro connector or other cameras.

Other companies make great drone for aerial videography also. The Parrot AR robot is helpful for shooting inside. The XProHeli is a strong outdoors contender. It’s routinely used for high-altitude shots.

You may also want to look into exploring with the Yuneec TyphoonH. They are extremely well-built development and, a US based client support.


Select the right video camera

Clearly, this depends on upon what unit you are flying. By far most pick their unit to begin with, and then their camera. Some quadcopters have worked in camcorders, while others require attaching an alternate camera. The trick is to get however much power in your video functionality and performance as you can, using as little weight as could sensibly be normal. Despite the likelihood that your quadcopter cant support the additional weight while flying, the lighter your payload, the longer time your battery will last, and the more drawn out flight time you’ll have.

For a few, using a GoPro camera is perfect. Their HERO4 model offers some Bona fide picture/video quality for its size, weight, and cost. It even has WiFi worked in, so you can easily download your footage between flights. In the event that you’re flying a contraption like the DJI Phantom, you can attach your HERO4 to it to catch some splendid footage. Various people slant toward GoPro over DJI’s own specific HD camera advancement that goes with some of their machine models like the Phantom 3, Phantom 4, and Inspire.

In like manner, GoPros are totally great and offer an immense measure of similitude without additional items like vibration absorbers and gimbals. Gimbals are discussed further down!

A more professional videographer may tell you to look past GoPro (and changed CMOS picture sensor) cameras, and to set your sights on a CCD. The high-repeat vibrations of a quadcopter in flight can ruin your video recording with squiggles from shade roll. A specialist cinematographer would say that a light CCD camcorder would offer all the more unfaltering results in contrast to a CMOS system.


Pre Flight Checklist

Flying a quadcopter requires more steps than you might think. When you’re piloting a high-powered video camera in 15-minute intervals before having to recharge your battery, you dont want to waste any of your possible flight time.

One way to save time in the air is to develop a strong pre-flight checklist. Make sure your unit is calibrated. Test your battery charge. Look at your surroundings. Spin your props and check your motor shafts.


Always have a backup plan

Have a disaster plan. Don’t fly over crowds, and make sure everyone nearby you is well aware of the dangers of a flying quadcopter. All it takes is one motor failure, or a propeller flying off into someone’s face…you get the idea.

Know your hazards and think through your flight path before you begin.


Learn your drone’s setting and flight modes

Some quadcopters, like the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, have an autopilot mode that you can program the flight route. If you start to tinker with this stuff, know what you’re doing. Dont put your quadcopter in an autopilot mode without having the ability to easily change back to manual mode.

The Hubsan X4, as another example, has a standard mode and an “Expert Mode.” In the last, the controls are fundamentally more tricky and truly enable you to barrel roll, or to do a front or backflip.

Know whether your unit flies in GPS or not! That can be valuable as an aerial videographer. Understand that if you fly in particular modes, you won’t get as smooth of footage as if you fly manually. Your quadcopter will ceaselessly be endeavoring to auto-correct itself.

Experienced aerial videographers know how to fly both in manual and customized modes, with students leaning towards more automatic settings.


Slow, Easy, Steady

The primary concern an experienced aerial videographer will learn is that, to get the kind of footage worth editing and exhibiting on YouTube or anywhere online, you’ll need to ease off your quadcopter.

As in any case, it’s valuable to think with respect to 3-7 second shots. It requires a significant measure of concentration to have the ability to get your thumbs to move so meticulously and in a constant, fluid, controlled way. Imagine a really long shot, where you start zoomed in all the way and after that steadily get height, while focusing on the face, moving until you’re high up over the city. To be sure, even a specialist aerial videographer would require a couple takes to get such a fabulous shot. Start little.

Keep your camera moving in one direction, keep it simple and simply make minor adjustments. Notwithstanding how remarkable your camera, quadcopter or gimbal setup is, you’ll have to learn how to master the techniques of professional aerial videographer.


Gimbals and Propeller balancers

If you are looking for more consistent video footage, these two devices are crucial.

Gimbal – A gimbal is a pivoted support that allows the smooth movement of something around a single center point.

More wonderful gimbals can cost upwards of $379, like the DJI Zenmuse H3-3D. Various gimbals cost lest than $100-$150. It’s basically an issue of what you fly, what kind of camera you have and what you’re willing to pay for. GoPro gimbals are basically the standard as of now.

Your gimbal should use brushless motors, which have changed the UAV world with their unfathomable power to-weight proportion. Basically, a sensor on your camera mount is continually adjusting the gimbal controller to be level. The gimbal controller sends signs to brushless motors that roll out little improvements to the quadcopter’s pitch and roll

Prop Balancer – Ever seen the “Jello” effect?

Jello footage happens for a combination of reasons; one of the easiest fixes is to modify your propellers! As a general rule, your propellers will leave the drone unequal, or shaky, where one side is to some degree heavier than the other.

A prop balancer like the Du-Bro 499 Tru-Spin Prop Balancer can help you appreciate paying little attention to whether your propellers are equal. You can just apply clear tape to the lighter side, or sand the heavier side to acheive the most ideal equality.


Settings Adjustments

If you want a beautiful, slow, and smooth shot, you may want to consider tweaking your transmitter settings to make your joystick less sensitive. In the below video, you’ll see how Chris slows his DJI Phantom 2 controller’s yaw:


Fly through the shot

In visual effects (VFX) and animation work, it’s called handles. Think about what shot you want to take. Ideally, your flight path and video recording start well before your shot, and end well after. Professionals call this flying through the shot. Get in the habit of doing this. Even if you dont think the shot isnt good, try to keep filming in 15 second segments. Many times when you get to post, you realize that the shot is great.

An aerial videographer editor’s biggest problem is not having enough room on either end of the shot to edit. Sometimes, a pilot will swerve away right after the shot is over, leaving an editor no room.


Dont overdo your flight time

This may seem incredibly clear, yet in the event that you’re several hundred feet up in the air and a couple of hundred feet away from your landing zone, the last thing that you need is run out of battery and crash into the ground. It’s happened time after time.

You should be resolved about arranging each of your flights. You’ll have to plan your use and evaluate your power system. Test your battery before each flight to ensure it’s totally charged. Make a point to land with safe battery stores of no less than one minute (1:00).

You may need to buy extra batteries. Attaching your quadcopter to a camera and gimbal can impact your flight time, and since flight times are typically15 minutes, and batteries can take a few hours to charge totally from 5-10% up to 100%.


avoid wind and rain

Try your best not to shoot aerial videography into the sun. Truly, endeavor not shoot in even remotely the same direction, as your propellers can cast shadows on your lens and can distort your video in irregular ways. Moreover, if direct sunlight hits your lens, it may highlight dust gathered in the midst of takeoff. On that note, make a point to clean your lens before every flight!

You’ll have to pay thought on wind impacts while flying. It’s typically endorsed that you don’t fly in wind more than 15-20 knots (17-23 mph). At those speeds, it’ll difficult to get smooth footage. For best results, you’ll have to fly in wind rates of under 7-9 knots (8-10 mph).

Flying in precipitation is definitely not recommended, but in the event that you’re using a UAV that has been adjusted to perform in precipitation, fly at your own risk.


Take time to plan your shots

Make mental notes of all electrical wires, tall trees, buildings, or other obstacles.

It may help to establish a hover, several hundred feet off the ground, slowly rotating your camera around to look for potential shooting spots.

Fly with a direct line of sight

This is an important one, particularly if you’re not using (and an expert at using) an FPV system.

When flying your quadcopter, establish a direct line of sight. It’s always easier to fly directly toward or directly away from you. Anything beyond that requires more advanced depth perception.

Use objects near and far from you to set up the direct, unobstructed line, and fly in a straight line when you can.

first-person-view (FPV) system

A first person viewpoint (FPV) system includes transmitting live video from your aeronautical camera to the ground, either to a screen that can be joined to your transmitter, to an iPad or video screen, or to exceptional FPV goggles. Experienced aerial videographers can fly FPV 100% of their flight time.

If you’re using a FPV system, you’ll need a “spotter,” some person who can keep an eye on your quadcopter at all times, particularly during takeoff and landing. If you get occupied looking at your screen and dont see an upcoming obstacle, the spotter will be able to save you.

An example of a FPV system is the Hubsan H107D FPV X4 Mini RTF Quadcopter, which joins the quadcopter, and also an innate scaled down camera and transmitter with its own video screen. At the top-end, a more advanced FPV setup may include the DJI Lightbridge.

aerial videography pans to master


This is an awesome beginner move. You’ll need to position your camera to where it’s shooting straight down. You can either hover in one place, or move gradually over a scope of an area. You can likewise try different things with gradually turning your quadcopter while picking up height. It can yield a cool, spiraling impact when you’re looking straight down at something.


In gaming, this is known as a strafe. Here, you have a subject that begins outside of the edge, and afterward you gradually, while keeping the same height, move to the side in a straight line, giving the subject slide over your video a chance to screen. It’s an aerial version of a dolly slide.


This requires more experience. Here, you’re steering your drone through some sort of crevice or opening. Utilizing a FPV framework is an unquestionable requirement! You should completely scout out the hole before flying through it, and you should have a second individual watching your drone with you.


This is one of an accomplished videographer’s more specialized moves. To render smooth, fluid video, you should not just be an good pilot, making a able to manipulate both sticks at the same time, yet you’ll likewise require an incredible gimbal, adjusted propellers, and amazing vibration absorbtion.

You’ll require a steady yaw rate, which can be tedious to accomplish, and you’ll have to conform both your forward/backward and left/right movements to keep the flying machine the right distance and speed from the subject.

This is one of an ethereal videographer’s more specialized moves. To render smooth, liquid video, you’ll not just should be an astounding pilot, making a huge amount of minor conformities on both sticks at the same time, yet you’ll likewise require an incredible gimbal, adjusted propellers, and amazing vibration hosing.

You’ll require a steady yaw rate, which can be precarious to accomplish, and you’ll have to conform both your forward/in reverse and left/right movements to keep the flying machine the right separation and rate from the subject.

In lieu of a full circle around your article, you can likewise attempt what’s called a circle by, where you approach an objective at a slight point, to where you’d be flying quite recently to the side of your objective. As you cruise by, gradually yaw to keep the article in edge. The shot closures as you move away and in reverse from the objective.

Check these videos out for more tips