Helicopter Shoot vs Shoot with a Drone
I am often asked by clients wether it is better to use a drone or to shoot from a helicopter for aerial shots of yachts and sail boats. My answer is always the helicopter. Drones are great for accessibility and handiness but having a photographer do the job in a helicopter will ensure a better range to shoot as drones are limited on altitude and battery life. A helicopter shoot is far better for running shots as a drone won’t be able to follow a boat at 100 knots.
The sensor quality and size are fgreater on a professional DSLR than any drone and when a photographer has the full control of his equipment you are ensured better results with sharpness, details and of course composition. With a drone, the photographer can only view the subject and what to frame via the drone’s screen making composition very limited.
Controlling a drone is also almost impossible in windy conditions which will happen often when shooting a superyacht at sea. Using such (expensive) equipment on top of the water, not being able to land it on a still surface, also adds a higher level of stress to the photographer as the possibilities of losing the equipment are endless.
To top it up, there are many no flight zones in the Monaco - Cannes area making it sometimes impossible to use the drones.
In my opinion, drones are a great tool for aerial photography to be used for extra shots. They are quite limited when it comes to shooting what is required to sell or charter a yacht but they are very handy for additional pictures such as getting the underwater lights at night or the boat during sunset. But when it comes down to action shots, helicopter all the way!