July 26th, 2011
Thanks to Michael McCreary for pointing out this recent article on helimalibu.com. UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technology is evolving very fast. The UAV the Helimalibu.com guys use is a rig worth about $20,000. This is typical for a UAV that will carry a DSLR. To me this seems far too expensive to be a practical addition to a real estate photography business. A UAV like this is ideal for shooting waterfront properties or the kinds of properties around Malibu but in most areas, the economics don’t make sense.
However, small economical UAVs are going to move into this business soon, if they haven’t already. For example I did a post on the Parrot AR.Drone ($299) a year ago when it came out. It’s a drone that has two built-in cameras that you can control with a iPhone or iPad via Wi-Fi. In the year that this device has been on the market it appears to have morphed in to a couple of versions and now has an onboard HD video camera. Here is a YouTube channel where users post video the’ve taken from Parrot UAVs. It appears that these devices are already capable of shooting some pretty cool aerial videos of homes. It looks like the the biggest issue is just keeping the drone stable while shooting. I haven’t had much time to research small UAVs but it appears if you could shoot stills with it you could do some pretty good elevated real estate shots.
Has anyone tried to shoot elevated shots with one of these?