I am blessed to live in a time where flying cameras exist.

You may have heard weird whooshing noises coming from the sky. You may have also seen red and green lights flashing against the night sky. For the uninitiated, they may have dismissed it as an army unmanned aerial vehicle or in some extreme case, an unidentified flying object better known as an UFO.

To everyone else who knows what i’m talking about. Yes. Its the drone.

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The Mavic Pro. A nimble yet powerful drone.

I’ve always wanted to fly. I had bold yet unrealistic dreams of being an airforce pilot. Which is undeniably hard to get into. I wanted to be in the cockpit of an F-15 Eagle. Which is also my favourite fighter plane. That dream will never be a reality for me. So i buried those dreams in the pile of my darkest recesses of my unachievable dreams catalog.

The only way to be in the sky back then is to be in a simulated environment i.e video games. So i spent a chunk of my time immersing myself in games where i had the chance to be a pilot. Notable games include the Battlefield and Ace Combat series. The flight controls and physics in those games are universal and it applies the same as you would have pilot a drone. You have the yaw, pitch and roll to account for the control of a plane. I became used to the understanding of these basic principles to generate thrust and maintain flight.

The only way to be in the sky back then is to be in a simulated environment i.e video games.

Then came along the introduction of drones. They never really caught my attention because frankly, the camera quality and gimbal(stabilizer for camera) on those early drones or prototypes didn’t quite appeal to me. One company brought a revolutionary product to the table and they are called DJI (Dà-Jiāng Innovations Science and Technology Co., Ltd) and yes it’s a company from China.

New Zealand Honeymoon Mavic Pro Video
Check out my other videos here.

They are known for dishing out quality gimbals for cameras such as the Ronin but later developed drones for professional and consumer use. I am sure you might have heard or seen the Phantom, Inspire and Matrice series. All ranging from consumer to professional and industrial grade of drones. Again, i had a problem with all of them. They were too big to carry around. Although they pack one of the best cameras in the dji drone range.

My first drone was the phantom 3 standard and it was a birthday present from my wife. I had some time with it to practice but it had some problems. First it was too bulky to bring around especially when I’m planning to bring it overseas. Another downside was the range. 1km transmission range simply was not enough to fulfill my vision.

The Mavic Pro was developed last year and it immediately got my attention and money. I was ready to make it rain. Mind you, i had gone through an extensive research on the drone. Be it from user reviews to the critics. But nothing could have swayed me from buying it except for the first hand footages of the drone in flight on Youtube. It is an amazing feat to see something so nimble and portable (reasons which have helped me purchase the drone) fly up high in the skies amidst the strong and unpredictable winds. I was sold. Furthermore, my wife and i had the intentions to film our trip in NZ with a drone. So i had to train and practice before heading to NZ.

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The Mavic Pro Flight Controller

The controls for piloting the Mavic Pro is pretty much the same when i pilot in games such as Battlefield. More so with the helicopter controls. It clicked with me. In no time, i have slowly mastered the art of flying the drone.

Coming from a photography background, some of the concepts of videography are similar. I had to learn everything on youtube. I skipped some of the basic stuff and went right into editing because that’s where it really matters. I’m running on a windows platform and since i’ve been using Lightroom to edit my photos, it was a clear-cut choice for me to get the Premiere Pro. It was daunting to see all the dials and controls when i fired up the program the first time but i got used to it after awhile. Just to make it clear, editing videos is much harder than editing photos.

I’m running on a windows platform and since i’ve been using Lightroom to edit my photos, it was a clear-cut choice for me to get the Premiere Pro.

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Snapshot captured by my drone

I have a long term goal on drone ownership. You must know why you want to buy a drone. For me its simple, i want to take aerial videography for my wife and I when we are travelling overseas as well as help people document their special moments from the air. If you have any queries, you can email me at anuar.tahir@gmail.com.

The trend for drone ownership is rising and with the new DJI spark out, more casuals will try to get their hands on it. The Spark is much more user friendly and caters especially to the casuals. Those who want to try out or are interested in aerial photography/videography can visit these two shops in Singapore. Links can be found here and here.

To all aspiring drone videographers, happy droning!

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