Drones have quickly evolved from a niche hobby into ubiquitous devices. Earlier generations of these incredible flying machines required considerable skill from the operator. Advances in autopilot software and automatic obstacle avoidance have changed that forever: anyone can fly a drone today (whether you’re allowed to is still a matter of national legislation, though).
The addition of artificial intelligence will make drones even easier to fly. Just plot the desired flight path, and the drone will fly on its own. This will also enable drones to fly in low-visibility circumstances – essential for missioncritical and commercial applications. For camera-equipped drones, UHD/4K has rapidly become the standard for video. At IFA you can expect to see amazing hi-res footage captured from high above the ground. On the still image side, earlier this year pioneer DJI and iconic camera maker Hasselblad announced an astounding 100-megapixel drone imaging platform with exciting possibilities for landscape photography, surveying, and mapmaking.
At the other end of the spectrum, miniature “selfie drones” that fit into your shirt pocket may spell doom for the much-maligned “selfie stick”. Indeed, why carry a camera on a clumsy stick when you can launch one from the palm of your hand and have it take your picture all by itself?
Photo: Erik Derycke – Editor of Shoot, a photography magazine based in Belgium. Shoot is a member of EISA, the European Imaging and Sound association