11 Tips On Using A Drone To Shoot Great Videos

Last Update:

We may earn commissions on our links. Learn more

DJI inspire camera drone

Drones can be used to shoot stunning videos. By following the 11 tips on this list, you can learn to shoot great videos with a drone.

1. Pay Close Attention To The Weather

Never fly a drone during windy conditions if you want to film. While you will be able to easily see if the conditions outside are windy at the moment, winds can kick up without warning. This can cause your drone to crash or throw it off course. Here are some websites where you can check the weather forecast prior to using your drone for filming:


2. Pay Attention To The Lighting

Many camera drones are unable to deal with a high level of contrast. Therefore, you should use caution before shooting footage while facing the sun. Check to make sure that the image does not appear washed out prior to capturing footage.

3. Read Regulations For Drone Flights In Your Area Prior To Taking Off

It’s important to make sure that you never fly your drone into restricted airspace or any area where it could disrupt air traffic.

If you don’t pay attention to regulations, set by the FAA, you could potentially end up facing fines or even more serious consequences.

Also remember, if you plan on using your drone for commercial activities, you will need a drone pilot license.

Turn your drone hobby into a Drone Business.

Make Money from Aerial Video

A complete guide to shooting, editing and profiting from aerial video from the pros at Drone Launch Academy. 30-days no questions asked guarantee.

4. Never Just Shoot One Video

While one video you take could come out poorly, the risk of having a series of shots all come out badly is far lower. It’s important to shoot a significant number of versions of the footage. After you get all the videos, you’ll get to choose which one is the best!

Video drone functions selfie
With functions such as the selfie you can make some really cool video effects

5. Allow The Viewers Of Your Film Experience Movement

Since drones are able to fly at a significant speed, it is possible for the viewer of a film to experience the thrill of a chase scene or the movement of a vehicle. Footage captured while in motion can add a lot to just about any movie. This technique is used in just about every well known action film.

6. Get Inspired By Watching Movies

If you are looking for sources of inspiration, you might be able to just check out a movie you like.

Helicopters used to be the go to tool for filming aerial shots in movies, but recently this has changed.

There is a good chance that some of your favorite scenes may have been filmed using a video drone.

7. Invest In A Quality Camera Drone

While nearly any drone will be able to take footage from the air, not all drones are created equal. A low quality UAV may not work very well, and the built in camera may be of low quality.

You may also consider getting a drone with fpv goggles, to make capturing daring videos easier.

Camera And Gimbal Quality

Lack of gimbal will make the video shaky and unusable professionally.

Look for a 4k video camera and make sure to get a good gimbal with the drone. DJI Phantom 3 Professional and DJI Phantom 4 are examples of amazing drones that come with a great camera and excellent flight time.

Some drones can shoot 360 degrees, like the commercial drone DJI Inspire 1 v.2. and the Yuneec Typhoon H.

drone follows surfers
By using the follow me mode a drone can trail after a surfer and capture amazing footage

Aerial Video Functions

Many of the better drones also has lots of cool aerial photography and videography functions, such as “Follow Me”, “Orbit” and “Cable Cam”.

The 3DR SOLO is a good example of a good video drone available at a decent price. It is a GoPro camera drone, so you need a GoPro Hero 2,3 or 4 for it though.

Aerial Videography For Beginners

The best drone for beginners in aerial videography might be the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. It is not very pricey, has great performance,and a flight time of around 25 minutes. Its biggest limitation might be the 2.7 k video camera.

For Shooting Action Sports

If you are looking to shoot surfing, snowboarding, cycling, skiing, kiteboarding or other action sport videos you will need a drone that follows you. Follow drones can follow behind you, or even stay in front of you and get action footage.

8. Get A Camera Drone With Long Flight Time

Flight time is always important. Invest in a camera drone with good flight time of at least 15 minutes. The DJI Phantom 4 has a flight time of 28 minutes, which gives you plenty of opportunity and time to shoot. Always bring extra batteries, so that you can get the drone up in the air fast with minimal time loss.

9. Don’t Try To Pull Off Advanced Maneuvers Until You Have Lots Of Drone Experience

While it can be tempting to try to perform cool tricks with your drone, it is best to just stick with basic maneuvers until you have more experience. If you try to perform rolls, dives, or other tricks, you risk crashing your drone if you lack flight experience.

10. Plan The Video And Ensure That There Is Enough Battery Life For The Flight

Make sure your drone is fully charged before flying it, and plan your route very well before taking off. If you are taking great shots, you could end up losing track of time. Making sure that the battery is fully charged will ensure that you don’t end up running out of charge while in the air. Also remember to bring a spare battery or two, so that you quickly can do more takes.

11. Master Hovering

Learning to hover your drone can be challenging, but it’s one of the most important skills for drone pilots to learn. Practice hovering as much as possible when you are first learning to fly a drone. Here are a couple basic tips for hovering your drone:

– Ensure that you are a sufficient distance from the ground. Hovering should be done when you are more than four feet off the ground.

– When you hover, it is important to keep the throttle at the right intensity and ensure that you have the correct roll and pitch.

Always use a great drone with a good camera. Dont fall for the temptation and get a cheap drone copy for half the price. Chances are high you will regret it. Buy quality and you will only have to buy once.

In order to operate a drone for any business purposes (to make money) in the United States you will need a license.

This is called a Remote Pilot Certificate.

Remote Pilot Prep Course

The Prep Course by Drone Launch Academy is comprehensive and fairly priced. 

They’re so confident  they’ll give your money back as well as the $150 test fee if you should fail. 

Jesse Young

4 thoughts on “11 Tips On Using A Drone To Shoot Great Videos”

  1. Thanks for the tips on using a drone! I have wanted to learn how to fly a drone for a long time; I love the idea of using it for videos. Thanks for mentioning to pay close attention to the lighting and the contrast. I will keep that in mind.

  2. Great article! And to top off this list make sure you’re practicing photography in different lighting and times of day. Face the sun and face away from the sun to get used to how it changes the entire picture and you’ll start being able to plan your shoots better!

  3. I have a friend who is trying to break into the videography industry and she’s been thinking about purchasing a drone, but hesitates because the high quality ones are so expensive. This article makes it easy to decide whether or not a drone would be a worthwhile investment. I also appreciate that it details the things you can do with a drone, like use the “follow me” function.

Comments are closed.