From beautiful beaches to leafy mountain trails, drones are amazing tools for capturing stunning aerial videos. But what’s the best video drone to use? And what do you need to do to capture the best cinematic drone footage? With so many models, settings and techniques, it can be hard to know where to start.
The team at Ted’s Cameras have put together a guide to help us all out. Here are six simple steps to create beautiful cinematic drone videos, from how to choose the right drone to how to edit the footage in post-production.
1. Purchase a drone with a stabilised gimbal
First thing’s first. Do some research and choose a drone that will suit your specific needs and preferences. The bestselling DJI Mavic Air is a great place to start. It’s lightweight, portable, and highly versatile – so if you’re not quite sure what you want from a drone, this one will have you covered. Better still, it comes with a stabilised gimbal.
Much of the smooth-sailing quality that we love about drone videos comes from the steady and smooth footage that a good quality gimbal provides. Drones with stabilised gimbals are great for capturing jolt-free footage, such as the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Drone and the Phantom 4 PRO 4K Drone.
2. Get to know your drone well before you start filming
If you are new to drones, take your new purchase out to a safe area and learn the basics of flying before you press record. Don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment with different setting, subjects and techniques to find out what works for you.
3. Make the most of automated flight patterns, or “Follow Me” modes
Some drones have a Follow Me feature, which ensures your drone follows a smooth and steady path from point A to point B. Make sure you utilise this handy mode, which can lead to a more impressive capture of your chosen subject.
4. Get to know the basic settings of your Drones’ camera
As with any type of photography, getting to know your basic settings and how to adjust them accordingly can drastically improve your results, and fast.
Some key things you should practice include flying at a very slow speed, interval timed shots, and waypoint mode, which helps you set your drone on a predetermined path. Mastering exposure and white balance settings can also save a load of time and stress in the post-production stage.
5. Try these nifty filming tips for stunning shots:
- Capture more footage than you think you’ll need – Film for an extra 5-10 seconds.
- Film the same area from various different angles – This can lead to a more dramatic and immersive video when spliced together.
- Choose when you shoot – An old landscape photographer’s tip is to come back and shoot a scene when lighting conditions are more favourable. The same tip can be applied to Drone videos.
6. It’s time to edit! Follow these editing tips for a polished video:
- Keep your scenes short and sweet – A common error in drone videos is to drag out every scene for as long as possible. For more eye-catching results, experiment with splicing together multiple shorter scenes – but be careful, cutting away too soon is also undesirable.
- Match your exposure levels and colours – Making sure all of your footage is colour and exposure corrected is a sure way to give your work a more professional edge.
- Experiment with sound effects – Adding a little music in the background can help viewers engage with your video. There are numerous free audio libraries available online, but always double check the copyright terms, particularly if the video is to be shown publicly.
The sky’s the limit
Follow this guide and you’ll be creating incredible aerial drone videos in no time. To get started, check out a range of great and affordable drone options at Ted’s Cameras dedicated drone page today. Happy flying!