One of the main assets that technological evolution generally brings us, whatever the industry, is democratization; that is, to make accessible to the general public what was previously reserved only to a minority, in part because of prohibitive costs but also because of logistical complexity. This is all the more striking when one analyzes the evolution of aerial photography.
UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are not new. Originally used by the military on dangerous missions, these devices quickly saw their fields of application expand to the private sector, such as with agriculture, for the spreading of fertilizer and the monitoring of crops’ irrigation, but also for simple hobbyists who started experimenting with home-made drones and autopilot systems.
It is no coincidence that the evolution of consumer drones closely follows that of smartphones, as a large number of improvements in this area directly answer to specific needs drones have: geographic positioning, orientation sensors such as accelerometers, and above all, the miniaturization and simplification of processors via a new architecture specially designed for manufacturing lighter, faster and more efficient electronic chips; the ARM architecture (Advanced RISC Machines, Reduced Instruction Set Computer).
In 2006, Jack Wang launched his soon to be famous commercial UAVs' company : DJI. Today, with a market share of over 70%, it is the largest manufacturer of commercial drones in the world. From its first model, the Phantom 1, released in 2013 to the Mavic Mini, released in 2019, DJI has completely revolutionized the domestic drone market, so much that a need for new legislation governing what was initially perceived only as a hobby, was quickly met by new, stricter regulations regarding the standards, permits and certifications necessary to legally fly these aircraft, especially in Canada, where flying a drone weighing over 250 grams without certification is prohibited since 2019.
Despite these new regulations, the commercial drone market is still booming, as the devices are improving. It is now possible to take ultra-high-resolution aerial images, day or night, manually or by following dynamic programs in the form of flight plans that fits the specific needs of a project. This can range from a simple program to follow a moving target on the ground, to more complex programs for mapping a piece of land by systematic taking of overlapping photographs, for more sophisticated applications such as orthophotography or photogrammetry.
Before 2013, the only way to get aerial photography was to shoot from an airplane or helicopter. All that changed when drones entered the consumer market. Drone photography allows mobility and maneuverability that was unheard of, at a fraction of the price of traditional aerial imagery.
Modern drones, when operated by an experienced certified pilot, are a flexible imaging tool due in part to their maneuverability. They allow extremely meticulous positioning, for a precise framing, ranging from the overall view to the finer details.
The market for commercial drones is booming, and as a result, the technologies they use are developing at full speed. Modern drones are safer, thanks to the improvement of their sensors and programs against collisions and loss of connection, but also more versatile, thanks to the dazzling technological advances of control software.
Commercial drones, when operated by experienced and certified pilots, allow you to get very close to the subject to capture all of its finer details. Needless to say, this up close and personal style of aerial photography is only possible using UAVs.
In addition to allowing companies to build a more prestigious brand image via an aesthetic that we naturally associate to helicopter footage, drone photography is also used for different types of surveillance, inspection, mapping, volume estimation and modelling tasks. Whether it is to ensure the safety of an outdoor event, evaluate the condition of a structure, produce a photographic map to scale, calculate the amount of open-pit mining ore, or produce a three-dimensional rendering of a building, the possible usages of drone photography are numerous and varied, and for a good reason; they often allow vast savings, for projects that would take more time and involve more risks, if the available solutions were limited to human intervention at ground level, or higher up in scaffolding structures.
The Mavic Pro is one of the lightest, smallest and sturdiest drones on the market. In terms of image quality and maximum flight time, it is similar to the Phantom, but does not allow such complex or varied flight programs. For video capture, it's one of the best choices out there, but for more sophisticated applications like geomatics we will prefer the Phantom 4 Pro or the Phantom 4 RTK.
The little brother of the Inspire is a lighter drone, with better autonomy that retains a very high image quality. For all your needs of aerial imagery, the quality of the content produced by this drone is suitable for almost any commercial project.
The most advanced UAV in our fleet. It offers the best picture quality and unparalleled flexibility in terms of lenses you can use and the field of view they can provide. If you're looking for the sharpest images, the richest colors, the biggest flexibility in your composition and framing, and a decisively cinematic look, the Inspire Pro DJI will marvel you with the quality and accuracy of the images it produces.