Drone Photography Vs. Helicopter Photography : A Brief Comparison

There are special rewards and drawbacks to the two ways of shooting aerial pictures. Dwelling in Hawaii offers us entry to numerous helicopter tours and some of the greatest views on the earth. And given that we have several drones and skilled cameras at our disposal, we’re in a unique place to share distinct examples and our experiences shooting aerial images from the two helicopters and drones in Maui, Hawaii.

drone flying on street marketThe Distinctions amongst Drone Photography & Conventional Helicopter Images

Lawful Top

This is one particular of the biggest distinctions, and equally sorts of aerial pictures have execs and downsides. With drones, you cannot lawfully fly in the US above 400 toes.

This is great for shooting folks, shifting objects on the ground, sporting activities, structures, etc… But, to get a actually magnificent birds eye see, a lot of instances capturing from a helicopter is the only way to go. We locate taking pictures towns, towns, and main landmarks offers a fuller composition from larger up.

Flight Length and distances

DJI statements the new Phantom four has a max flight time of roughly 28 minutes (identical with the new Inspire two and Mavic Pro), the DJI S900 does eighteen minutes (relying on the bodyweight of the hooked up camera and gear), and the GoPro Karma has a twenty moment flight time. This is normally adequate time for each shoot, and there’s always the alternative of having much more batteries when you return to home. When traveling with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, you fly for up to a two hour tour. This makes it possible for you to shoot for for a longer time and travel increased distances. However traveling a drone out of line of sight is easily done, it’s not advised and restricts the distances you can cover on a single full demand.

Basic safety & Liability

We fly solely with Blue Hawaiian’s skilled pilots and top quality aircrafts. As much as drones, you can find a million scary videos on the internet of drones crashing into bystanders as nicely as drone operators. Thankfully, utilized sensor technological innovation is maintaining new drones from crashing into objects. We’ve all been waiting around for this! I have a robot kitty cat toy my child has played with for above 4 a long time that has this sensor engineering. Why it took so long for drone makers to add this attribute is outside of me. Relying on how effectively this technologies works, you ideally won’t have a difficulty. If you do, you’re the one liable for damages.


Of system, if you fly infrequently, most drones will finish up costing you much less than helicopter flights. There are, nevertheless, some hidden charges for drone owners. If you journey, you need to consider the extra baggage expense of checking in things you may usually have on (result in we know you’ll likely carry your drone on, right?) One more further expense to flying drones is upgrading.

It would seem each time we acquire a new drone, the up coming model will come out a month later on. Also, regrettably, we’ve misplaced a amount of drones in several approaches such as tree & waterfall collisions (which it appears like will be a point of the past), and malfunction in excess of the ocean… I truly cannot expand on this. It’s emotional.

​Camera Kind

Although our Phantom cameras aren’t quite to the specialist level we want, the new cameras that can be extra to the Encourage are phenomenal. We also enjoy the ability to drop our Canon Mark III on the S900. That being said, there is further cost for these cameras, and having out the massive spreading wing rig needs a lot more time, muscle and power. When capturing aerial photography from a helicopter, we can use any size and excess weight rig we want, which is genuinely wonderful.


Helicopters are obviously significantly louder, but it doesn’t make a difference. You’re in no way likely to piss off neighbors and have ignorant men and women phone the police on you if your flying with an seasoned helicopter pilot. Plus, they give you sound-cancelling headphones so you can chat to each other.

When you fly large adequate with a drone, you cannot hear them, but when lower, it can be upsetting depending on your location and proximity to animals and individuals. I got kicked out of the Browsing Goat Dairy after cause my Phantom was bothering the goats. I truly feel poor about it to this working day.


The new Encourage two flies up to a whopping 67mph! Which is rather spectacular. We ponder how considerably that drains off the battery and your flight time? We’ll check it before long! As far as helicopters, you can fly considerably more quickly and much further. For sustained shots above considerably expanses, you can not beat the helicopter.
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​Camera Handle

Specialist drone pilots can management equally the flight and the camera with relieve. We really like that the Inspire provides you the option of possessing 2 controls so that two men and women can manage each and every independently. We also genuinely like the new attributes extra at DJI that enable for following the subject matter or spotlighting them. But for these of us with much less encounter and the need for intricate photographs, flying from a helicopter is preferred.

​Flight Restriction

There are certain regions you cannot seize with a drone in Hawaii. For instance, Haleakala Countrywide Park—or any US Nationwide Park—prohibits flights in excess of them. With a helicopter, you can lawfully get shut adequate to see them properly. With a drone, you risk receiving tazed by a ranger. Also, traveling above private residence and specified secured animal life (Humpback Whales) is not permitted under 400 toes. You’ll need to have to guide a helicopter tour in Hawaii for these unique shots.

Proximity to Subject

Once more, pros and negatives for equally. Your helicopter pilot isn’t going to allow you fly inside mere toes of another particular person or a developing. But you simply cannot get up close to a towering waterfall in the West Maui Mountains with a drone (until you want to hike and rock climb for days.) Temperature is also an concern. A minor rain won’t trouble your helicopter flight, but it’ll fry your costly toy.

Gimbal for Online video

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If you want to shoot movie on a helicopter, you better have a excellent gimbal that lowers shake. Most drones these times are geared up with 3-axis gimbals and shake-eliminating engineering.

The Thrill

This is a plus with both. My coronary heart races flying both drones and in a helicopter. My adrenaline amount is absolutely higher when traveling up coming to sea cliffs, racing more than rainforest, and continual correct following to huge waterfalls. But there is a giddy exhilaration every time I provide a drone into flight.

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