My drone business provides ultra high definition still photographs and videos using a DJI Phantonm 4 Pro Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). I am a licensed FAA Remote Pilot operating under the new Part 107 Federal Aviation Regulations for commercial use. I have a North Carolina permit for commercial UAS operations. Until the availability of high quality UAS in the last two years, it was extremely costly and difficult to obtain the viewing angles and high quality of aerial camera systems since only certain helicopters could provide them. The purchase, operation and maintenance costs of properly equipped helicopters made high quality still photographs and videos available only to the wealthy. The purchase cost of a minimal helicopter such as a Robinson R22 Beta II is $309,000 without the camera system, which can cost another $50,000 or more. Fixed operating cost per year is about $8,057 and hourly operating cost is about $200 per hour including the pilot. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro UAS that I own costs about $1,500 with very little hourly operating cost other than a small amount of electricity to recharge the batteries but provides more operational flexibility than a helicopter. The Phantom 4 Pro has a maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (due to FAA regulations). It is much smaller, quieter and safer than a helicopter and can take off or land in a tiny space. It is very portable, unlike a helicopter, and does not produce any pollution since it is electrically powered. I have a spare battery that allows me to get up to an hour of use on a charge and the batteries can be charged from a car cigarette lighter if necessary. The computer-controlled, gyroscopically stabilized camera produces extremely stable videos even in windy conditions that would challenge a helicopter. The camera provides 20 megapixel still photos and videos up to 4K at 60 frames per second. Still photos look like those created by high end digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. The videos are better than most theatrical movies and HD television broadcasts.
|* Real estate videos and photographs|
|* Advertising/marketing videos and photographs|
|* Land area/agricultural inspection|
|* Construction progress/inspection|
|* Outdoor weddings and special events|
I charge by the hour rather than by the photo or video. Since I have very low operating costs and business costs, my rates are much less than larger commercial aerial photography companies. My rates include travel time and I have a 1-hour minimum. I use new, state-of-the-art UAS technology. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro became available in November 2016. I have 26 years and 2,500 hours of pilot experience so I am well-equipped to handle weather, regulations and flight controls. Since I am located in Burke County North Carolina and my target customer base is in this area, travel time and cost is much less than companies located farther away. Because I only charge when you are satisfied with the results, you assume no risk. I provide you with still photographs or videos on a MicroSD memory card directly recorded by the Phantom 4 Pro to ensure the privacy of your media. I keep no copies of your photographs and videos. You own the photographs and videos and may do with them as you see fit with no further charges. This process also relieves me of the responsibility of safeguarding the privacy of your media so that I can keep my costs and rates low. If you would like me to edit the photographs or videos, you can provide me with a copy on a thumb drive and I will return the edited photographs or videos to you on the same media. I will not keep any copies. Several types of editing services can be provided: photo cropping, rotation and re-sizing with limited post-processing to improve brightness and contrast; slide show creation; trimming and composing video clips, adding titles, voice or music and video effects. I charge the same hourly rate for editing as I do for the initial aerial camera services.
Here are some example still photographs and videos of a possible home sale. Click on an image to show the full size.
I charge $50 per hour for aerial camera or editing services. This includes travel time to and from your site. Prices are subject to change in difficult conditions. The cost of the 16GB Class 10 MicroSD card required to record good quality photographs or videos is about $15. If you wish to supply me with a data card that meets these specifications, you can do so. If you need a USB card reader to read data off the MicroSD data card, the cost is about $12. I do not mark these devices up. You pay whatever it costs me to purchase them.
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