Smartphone photography has undergone incredible transformations in the past decade. With high-resolution front-facing phone cameras and selfie sticks, the days of mounting DSLRs on tripods with the timer on are over. The selfie game continues to evolve as aerial imaging has become increasingly accessible. In fact, the most recent trend, the ‘selfie drone,’ has taken selfies to a whole new level.
Most selfie drones are compact, foldable, and portable. They have integrated cameras that are on par or better than many smartphone cameras out on the market today. What’s more, they have control options that make taking pictures and videos as little hassle as possible.
So why is using a selfie drone a step up from a selfie stick?
Though the selfie stick is a great accessory that can be used anywhere and anytime, it only provides a very limited field of view. The vantage point is fixed at an arm’s length from the user, and its tough to get too creative with it. The selfie drone however, is novel technology that lets you capture shots from unique perspectives.
Envision a family portrait on the beach, with both the shore line and cliffs behind visible. Imagine a travel Instagram selfie with all the contours of the landscape around you visible. Millions of travelers take selfies at popular tourist destinations, but far fewer capture their selfies from the air. With a drone, cliché photos become eye-opening works of art.
It’s pretty hard to take a basic selfie with a selfie drone. If you’re serious about elevating your selfie game, then the selfie drone is definitely the tool for you.
So what are the features you should look for when purchasing a selfie drone?
Ideally you want your drone to fit into your backpack or purse, so that it is as convenient to carry around as your smartphone. Drone manufacturers have done this by creating relatively small foldable drones, as well as mini drones.
Ease of Use
If getting your selfie drone started up, in the air, and positioned correctly is a long, drawn-out process, then it’s not the right one for you. Some selfie drones can perform basic functions and be controlled with just a smartphone and a few simple taps. Others come with an app that allows for fast editing and sharing. For example, with DJI GO 4, you can edit your selfie super quick and share it to social media.
Even with selfie drones, you can expect professional camera quality. To ensure your selfies are smooth and really stand out, chose a selfie drone that shoots at least 1080p video at 30 fps, and ideally with a mechanical gimbal.
When traveling to remote destinations, satellite positioning may not always be available, and your selfie drone will be prone to drifting. Not only can this be dangerous, but also its no good for the perfect selfie! Chose a drone that has vision sensors and hovers precisely in place, even without GPS.
A variety of flight modes and features can add extra pizzazz to your selfie. Take a look at the DJI’s Gesture mode. In this mode, you can use physical gestures to direct the Mavic or Spark to locate you, center you in the frame, and take a picture of you. The drone’s flashing lights indicate the timer is on, so you can be ready with your hands free and your controller or phone out of the shot when the drone captures your selfie.
Take a second to digest that. This means you could get an aerial perspective selfie of yourself doing a cartwheel. And you don’t need help from anyone! Now that’s some next-level selfie action.
Which selfie drone should you get?
The DJI Mavic Pro $999 and Spark $499 are two drones that sport all the features listed above. Both have mechanical gimbals, gesture recognition, mobile device controls, visual positioning systems, and solid cameras. Plus they’re portable and easy to use.
If you feel the Mavic is overkill for your basic selfie needs, then Spark is the way to go. You’ll sacrifice one axis of gimbal stabilization, some flight time, and 4K resolution, but you’ll gain access to new shooting modes like Pano and ShallowFocus, new advanced gesture controls that let you control Spark entirely by hand, and added portability.
Either way, DJI offers two selfie drones that are great for creating and sharing unique aerial selfies. Up your selfie game and get yours today!
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