2013 has been quite the year for the proliferation of flying robots with high definition cameras. For less than $1000, it’s now possible to put together your own stabilized flying camera rig. This has resulted in many early adopters going down the rabbit hole, like I have, in building or acquiring their own rigs. Here are ten of my favorite videos shot from the drone’s perspective in 2013.
I’ll start off with the OGs of the FPV (first person view) UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) scene, Team BlackSheep’s own 2013 retrospective video of their work. Team BlackSheep is a European based collective of “R/C daredevil” hackers and pilots. These guys specialize in building and flying multirotor and fixed-wing RC aircraft. TBS has been very active this past year, capturing epic footage all over the world as is obvious in their retrospective. One of my favorites in this montage, is the renegade Costa Concordia wrecked cruise ship flyover.
Over the summer, police tried to supress a demonstration at Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul, Turkey. This is the first aerial riot footage I can remember seeing from a drone and it’s an amazing point of view. Riot police with water canons and tear gas take on the demonstrators. Also notable is that the Phantom used to capture this footage, was eventually shot down by police. You can see that perspective as well.
Here’s one vision of a dystopian drone future.
Pal and fellow Phantom owner Nate Bolt, got permission to fly his rig inside the historic New York Public Library in NYC. Such classic. So spacious. Wow.
A top 10 list isn’t complete without a Burning Man video. This one by Ziv captures the morning light nicely as Truth in Beauty awakens.
You’ve likely seen this one already. This is an example of what happens when bad piloting and weddings mix. Don’t be this guy.
This Niagara Falls video is pretty epic. It got me super interested in the possibilities.
Eric Cheng’s aerial footage of surfers at Steamer’s Lane in Santa Cruz really illustrates the beauty of the Northern California coast.
Morning at the Santa Monica pier. I love the precision of this pilot’s chosen flight path. He has balls.
This video by my pal Nate is what finally got me to pull the trigger and invest in my first flying robot. It’s short, simple and poetic. Also, slo-mo. Who doesn’t love good slo-mo?
If you like these, I’ve got a YouTube playlist going of aerial favorites as I discover them. Feel free to subscribe and follow along. Happy New Year and may your 2014 be filled with peaceful, unarmed, non-surveillance drones!