It is undeniable that both drones and helicopters play important roles in the field of cinematography, commonly employed by remarkable filmmakers worldwide for capturing stunning footage. But which one is superior?
Drones find applications in various scenarios such as police work, search and rescue missions, thermal imaging, 3D surveys, and cinematography. They have made a significant impact on the film industry, and they also possess additional advantages.
Why Choose a Drone?
Many people assume that renting a drone is costly. However, a comparison with helicopters reveals that drone rentals are likely a more economical choice. It’s essential to note that the cost of a helicopter involves two components: insurance and aircraft expenses. Even opting for the most budget-friendly helicopter is still relatively costly. Charges accrue from the moment you start its engine until you shut it down, billed on an hourly basis.
Helicopters are inherently limited in accessing areas where drones excel, such as locations near structures, through trees, and close to the ground. Such limitations can pose risks for helicopter pilots.
Using a drone facilitates easy shooting, as the director can monitor a first-person perspective through a monitor, ensuring precise shots. In contrast, the experience with a helicopter is different, involving limited communication between the camera operator and the director, leading to potential delays in retakes.
Choosing a helicopter introduces various considerations. For extended filming sessions, refueling becomes a necessity. Additionally, the availability of a nearby landing zone and the terrain of the location must be assessed. In contrast, opting for a drone simplifies logistical concerns, focusing mainly on battery changes.
Why Use a Helicopter?
A helicopter can reach high altitudes, making it ideal for shooting in vast areas. With a helicopter, you can capture panoramic shots of significant events or sprawling cities.
Helicopters offer advantages when tracking vehicles, whether from the front, sides, or behind. They excel in showcasing vehicles on winding roads or driving courses.
In comparison, a drone’s flying range is limited to at least a quarter of a mile before experiencing lag. In contrast, a helicopter can cover greater distances until the cameras run out of battery life or the helicopter exhausts its fuel.
Pros and Cons of Using a Helicopter or Drone for Aerial Filming
In this digital age, technology surrounds us, and one aspect gaining prominence is aerial videography and photography. To capture stunning footage from a bird’s eye view, two methods prevail: helicopters and drones.
While most aerial photography companies employ both, it’s crucial to recognize that each method has its own set of pros and cons. Understanding these factors aids in selecting the most suitable option for your specific needs.
Cons of Using Helicopters
Regrettably, helicopters entail higher costs. It is essential to note that the longer you shoot, the more expensive it becomes. The lower end might cost you around $5,000, but for high-quality aerial footage, you should anticipate spending around $20,000. This financial decision requires careful consideration, emphasizing the importance of determining the desired footage type before opting for a drone or a helicopter.
Additionally, flying helicopters involves inherent safety risks. The lives of passengers and crew are at stake during flight, necessitating stringent safety measures. Conversely, drone pilots remain safely on the ground while capturing footage.
Drones have the potential to revolutionize the future of filmmaking, impacting various fields such as architecture, engineering, police activities, and search and rescue operations. However, it would be unjust to completely disregard helicopters, as they play a crucial role in handling heavy camera equipment and emergency services. As camera technology evolves with decreasing sizes, it may influence outcomes.
In an era of constant technological advancements, more people are leveraging these innovations. Both drones and helicopters serve essential roles in aerial photography and videography. While helicopters excel in certain scenarios, the continuous growth of drone capabilities suggests their increasing prominence.
BA Productions offers aerial filming services, along with various other video production services. For more information, contact us at 877.378.7225.