Tips for drone video - camera settings

Drones can get great aerial photos and video, but they're only as good as the person piloting them. In the right hands, a phone camera can get fantastic shots, and all the equipment in the world won't help if you don't know how to use it.

The first time you take your drone out, you're probably not getting dramatic, hollywood shots.

Here's some tips I've found help me get better photos and videos.

  • The biggest thing is that aerial photos and video are photos and video - all the same rules and tips apply, your camera just happens to be up in the air.

  • First things first, find the image quality settings and turn the image quality all the way up. If your drone supports RAW, go ahead if you want to use it. For most purposes, the highest-quality JPG will be more than sufficient. Memory cards give you effectively infinite space - no sense saving room for photos you'll never take.

  • Another setting you should turn on is the grid. This lets you easily check your composition against the rule of thirds. It still makes for good shots when you're airborne!

  • Last thing in the settings - white balance and color settings. Most drones have pretty blah defaults. If you're flying outside, you probably want sunny or cloudy white balance. If your drone supports it, you can enable different color modes for a more vibrant look. DJI has a few options, try them out and see which you like best. D-Cinelike in particular works pretty well.

I plan on making more tips for aerial video. If you're interested in more, check out Drone Stable and sign up for the newsletter. Good luck flying :)