My trip to Iceland is in two weeks, and I have been getting everything ready to an absurd degree. Plus, as happens in all last-minute-panics, I made some crazy decisions recently that are going to have a big impact on my trip. Just a few days ago, I decided that it would be a good idea to bring a drone to Iceland for landscape photography purposes. I had no clue how complex the world of drone photography really is.
For starters, no one does drone photography. About 98% of drone media usage is for videography, and I know of less than twenty people in the world who use one exclusively for professional landscape photography. So, to stand out in the world (and because it would be fun), I bought a drone, using the money I raised from my Kickstarter project.
It turns out that drones are unbelievably complicated. I don't know a thing about radio frequencies, circuit boards, transmitters, wiring, wind speeds, or much of anything that is necessary to fly a drone. Plus, because practically no one does landscape photography from a drone, I can't ask anyone for help.
After hours of research, I found a drone, a gimbal, a camera, a mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor, an HDMI to AV output adaptor, an AV transmitter, and a monitor receiver that are all, in theory, compatible. These products have been arriving over the past few days, and I think that I am slowly building a system that lets me take high-quality landscape pictures from the sky.
I based the whole system around the lightest, smallest, and least expensive drone that can carry the lightest possible camera with an APS-C sized sensor. That camera is the Coolpix A, a tiny 16 megapixel machine from Nikon. The drone I chose was the 3DRobotics X8+, which just barely carries the Coolpix A and all the transmission equipment.
I managed to mount the Coolpix A on the drone yesterday and take some test photos, although I am still waiting for about half the equipment to arrive. I'll be posting more about the drone on photographylife.com after my trip, but I do have two images to show from my brief first flight:
Everything looks promising for Iceland!
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