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Author Topic: Using drone in place of super tele  (Read 2581 times)

EinstStein

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Using drone in place of super tele
« on: January 01, 2017, 05:17:17 AM »

I am looking for a super tele lens or a P&S with super tele lens for a trip to Africa. It could be used in any other wilderness too.
I have compare RX10III, FZ2000, FZ300, and P900 as well as Lumix 100-300mm (with Lumix G5). By the way, for normal or wide lenses, I will have Leica T + one of the T zooms, likely the 18-56mm, but that should be irrelevant to this question.

After comparing the above choices, I couldn't settle on any to get happy resolution, IQ, tele-reach, and stabilization all at one solution.  So, I wonder if a drone is a reasonable alternative. Put aside the technical skill and drone manipulation issues, which I think I can manage given enough practice, it is allowed to use in Africa (in National Park?). I heard it is banned in any US national park, but is it widely true too?

Any other hidden issues I might have overlooked?

 
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EinstStein

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 05:19:53 AM »

OK, one forgotten issue. I heard the drone could be kidnapped or attacked by eagles or strong birds. Any such experience in Africa?
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 10:43:50 AM »

Where in Africa? In South Africa and Namibia drones need to be licensed and so do the pilots. Drones are being used extensively to combat poaching and someone showing up with one to use for photography could cause a lot of confusion. Both for the poachers and the anti poachers. I would be wary of that. People are being killed.

Of course the other thing would be the disruption to animal behaviour. Imagine inadvertently disrupting a cheetah hunt. There are only 11000 of them left. Wouldn't want to risk their survival.

No idea about the large birds thing. We are having cats being taken by owls in Johannesburg and that's a city of around 5 milliion so I guess it could be a risk. 
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hogloff

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2017, 11:52:27 AM »

You'd get a totally different perspective with a drone versus a long tele. Drones will be overhead of the game looking down onto them. Might make for some great wide views of herds.
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EinstStein

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2017, 01:46:09 PM »

The more I think about it the more it seems annoying to the animals and other tourists.
Maybe it is not a good idea.
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Petrus

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2017, 01:53:51 PM »

Typically drone cameras are wide-angle, so you would need to be within the striking distance of a leopard or a lion to get a reasonable close-up. Or you could use a heavier drone with a camera with a longer focal length lens. It would be considerably more difficult to operate than just shoot with a superzoom camera. It is quite amazing that now you can get a 20 MPix 600 f/4 equivalent camera with perfectly good IQ at 10% of the price of a pro DSLR and 600mm f/4 prime... Not to mention the size/weight advantage.
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Alan Smallbone

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 02:31:06 AM »

It would scare the animals from a long way away, you would never get real close to them. Animals do like the sound of the drone. Also as stated they are very wide angle.

Also distance is an issue and flight time unless you got a large drone, which is even more visible and louder, etc.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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BrownBear

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 07:48:22 AM »

There's a long list of countries I wouldn't want to visit with a drone in my baggage.  I simply do not relish lengthy interviews with officialdom.
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Alan Smallbone

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2017, 12:20:53 AM »

The other issue with traveling by air with a drone, is the batteries. The large LiPo batteries are a problem and there are restrictions with carrying them on aircraft. They can catch on fire, even with a small drop. I saw one burst into flames, yes it was quite warm from a high discharge rate on a drone that was in the air, two rotor motors failed and the drone twisted out of control throwing the battery out and it landed on the edge of the battery and burst into flames. They did have an extinguisher, it also did hit a hard surface, height was about 3 feet. I have a lot more respect of how I handle LiPo batteries. Do a search for LiPo fires.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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HSakols

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2017, 08:30:10 AM »

Drones are now illegal to fly in many of our national parks without a permit.  Still it does open up all sort of possibilities.  Just a couple of weeks ago I found a DJI Drone in a meadow in Yosemite.  It must of been a fly away! 
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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2017, 05:06:26 PM »

Everything else aside...remember you have to carry, unload, setup, calibrate compass, launch, and stay roughly where you launched from if you want it to "return home" via gps.  (ok you dont need to stay there, but it will go back there...)  These few items to me seem like a rather large hindrance unless I was specifically going to capture aerial imagery from high angles.  Regulations aside, what needs to be considered is what kind of image you expect to make and is a drone even the proper tool to achieve that.
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pcgpcg

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2017, 06:41:05 PM »

I heard it is banned in any US national park, but is it widely true too?
I just returned from Patagonia and saw signs posted banning drones in national parks in both Chile and Argentina.
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KevinA

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2017, 05:45:03 AM »

The more I think about it the more it seems annoying to the animals and other tourists.
Maybe it is not a good idea.


Got it in one, annoying. Not only that will all the others trying to take pictures really want a drone in shot.
Drones are brilliant for many reasons, but for many more reasons they are unsuitable for general use.
I was at a firework display a couple of years ago and someone thought shooting it with a drone would be a good idea. It annoyed the hell out of most spectators and ended in an argument.
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Tony Jay

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2017, 06:37:52 AM »

While drones can be useful in several situations it simply cannot be used as a substitute for a super telephoto lens.

Apart from the fact that taking a drone into a National Park or even a private game reserve is very likely to create a lot of static no self-respecting bird or animal that I am aware of is going to stick around and pose while being buzzed by a drone.

And, I will say this: if I was trying to shoot wildlife or birds (something I do a lot) and my subject was buzzed by a drone I can promise you I would raise merry hell...

Nuff said
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DeanChriss

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Re: Using drone in place of super tele
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2017, 04:46:54 PM »

I'm in the US where drones are illegal in national parks, but I frequently see them in national parks and I always hear them before I see them. I have even had people fly and hover drones IN photos that I was actively taking in US national parks. I recall photographing birds just after sunrise on a desolate beach in Florida only to have every bird in the area scared off by a drone flying the length of the beach along the waterline. I have seen drones in designated wilderness areas where there are no roads or paths. When drones first became available I thought they were an interesting tool but I have grown to hate the things and their obnoxious whine in any sort of natural setting. Not two weeks ago I saw someone flying a drone next to the Anhinga Trail in Florida's Everglades National Park - a place loaded with birds, some nesting, at close range. Fortunately a park ranger nabbed that person.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 04:51:14 PM by DeanChriss »
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