Have you ever used a drone?

Tony and Denyse Allsop — 31 August 2016

We have been reading about drones and their various uses for some time now and were interested to see what readers thought about them. Certainly we can see the benefits; however, it can feel like a bit of an invasion of privacy when you see them hovering about overhead.

We recently saw a good example of how drones can be of benefit when we spent a few days at Cape Palmerston Holiday Park, south of Mackay. The owners' son Ben had bought a second-hand drone on eBay. The total cost, including a gimballed GoPro camera, was about $2,000.

He brought it out to give us a demo and it was interesting to see how it works and how it can be of benefit to the park. Ben posts the pics on the park’s website to show the position of the van park in relation to the beach and Cape Palmerston National Park. You can see some of his images at www.capepalmerston.com.

Privacy certainly isn’t an issue for the park, either, as it covers about 70 acres and there are no nearby houses. Ben uses the drone only to cover their property.

Legally, the drone can fly to 200ft and the battery lasts about 20 minutes before needing to be charged. There are various rules in place, of course, and it needs to be registered if you are using it for commercial purposes or selling your images.

The wind on the day was about 15-20 knots, so quite strong, but it was still very manoeuvrable using the hand controls. Ben was able to hover it at head height on its return and grab it without the need to land.

Denyse and I were pretty impressed with both the video and still image quality, and the tiny camera will take 12MP images, although he has it set on only 7MP for his use. It can be programmed to take images at a set interval and Ben found 10 second intervals to work well.  A screen on the hand control shows a clear image from the camera lens.

It certainly saved the cost of a professional photographer and plane and we can see further uses for this amazing bit of technology. So will we see other parks using a drone to promote their features? We’re also curious to see what other uses readers can think of?

And what do readers think about the use of drones more generally – do you have one or would you use one? Or do you find them intrusive when you see them nearby?


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Tony and Denyse Allsop