Delving Into the Most Important Aspects of Drone Imaging

Drone imaging has been one of the hottest trends in industries that heavily rely on the capture of high-quality images. Such industries range from movie production to the inspection of high-value assets. 

But it is becoming less of an emerging technology and more of a mainstream thing. 

The use of drones to capture high-quality images has enjoyed increasing adoption across industries. Now, it’s no longer a matter of whether to use drones. The primary concern now is how to use them with maximum effectiveness and get the highest return on investment. 

To make the most of drone imaging, you have to understand it. 

In this article, I’ll cover some of the most critical aspects of drone imaging. In the end, you’ll be able to confidently use this technology in a way that gives you an edge over your competitors. 

drone imaging

How Does Drone Photography Work? 

An understanding of how drone photography works is key to using the technology effectively. 

Professional drone photography involves attaching a payload to a drone. The payload usually consists of a high-quality sensor. For example, in drone inspection use cases, an inspection camera is attached to a drone. 

Still, at the basic level of drone photography, you can use a drone without a payload

Nowadays, the standard drone comes with a camera. Such cameras usually have low resolution compared to payload cameras. The resolution increases with the price of the drone. The average drone camera will have a resolution of about 24 MP. 

All drone cameras have resolutions of less than 50MP. 

When you have a payload that consists of a professional inspection camera, you can achieve resolutions of up to 100MP. 

Such resolutions allow you to comfortably embark on drone inspection missions, where you are required to capture images with extensive detail. 

How Much Does Drone Photography Cost?

The cost you’ll incur to use drone photography differs according to several factors. 

The most important factor is whether you are outsourcing the service. If you are, it will cost you a lot per session. 

If you routinely need drone photography services, consider buying your own drone. This option might have a high upfront cost but it will be worth it in the long run. The cost includes buying a good drone and training an in-house pilot. 

A high-quality drone for industrial use could set you back between $8,000 and $18,000. At such a price range, the drone can handle a range of payloads. It will be suitable for even advanced inspection and mapping use cases. 

If a consumer drone is suitable for the application you have in mind, you can get a drone for less than $5000. 

You might also have to factor in licensing costs, which depend on your jurisdiction and on the weight of your drone. 

If you choose to hire drone photography services, be prepared to part with about $200 an hour if you are getting the service from local providers. Such providers typically cater for customers with all sorts of needs. Hiring the drone for a day costs around $800. 

When you get the services from a specialist, for example a business that provides roof inspection services, be prepared to part with between $150 and $400. Such businesses typically charge per project. The cost depends on the complexity of the project. 

What Can Drones Detect? 

People who are new to drone photography can be forgiven for thinking that drones are only capable of capturing normal RGB images. 

An RGB image is like the one you take with your phone. The camera in your phone detects and captures visible light rays to come up with an RGB image. 

Every drone that can capture images will be capable of capturing RGB images. 

But it’s possible to go further. By equipping your drone with specialized payloads, you can capture an array of radiations in the electromagnetic spectrum. 

These include thermal radiation (heat maps), ultraviolet rays, and near-infrared imagery. 

Each of the above radiations is suited for a certain inspection use case. For example, you can use a thermal camera to detect damp spots during a roof inspection. 


Drones have become a powerful tool in the world of photography. Technology has advanced to the point where drones can carry heavier payloads and such payloads come with remarkably high-quality sensors that are capable of detecting more than one form of radiation. 

Using drone photography effectively will undoubtedly give you an edge.