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With the rise of drones we have seen an entirely new industry/niche spring up for pilots whom use drones to film and take pictures for others, but what if you are not the biggest hotshot pilot nor have the funds to have a personal photographer follow you around 24/7? What if all you want is to take your selfie game to completely new heights? Well, then I believe I might just have the answer for you here today! Let me present to you the Lily Camera!

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This little fella will not judge you when you just want to please your inner narcissist, and to  be honest do we not all want to do so just once in a while?
The Lily Camera takes your selfie game to a whole new level. It allows you to shoot 12  megapixel photos and film video in 1080p with 60 FPS. The best part is probably the  accessibility, not everyone has the time and dedication to invest in expensive equipment  and learn to fly properly which is where the Lily Cameras auto pilot function comes into  play. You are equipped with a small wristband control unit that functions as a tracker,  which the Lily Camera will follow. The controller allows you to change flying modes as well as use the photo and video functions. The biggest hurdle for this little drone in order to fit the niche that it seems intended for would be its price, it will set you back roughly £330/$519 (shipping included) if you pre-order it before the 15th of June(it is currently slated for release/shipping in February 2016). It is a slightly high price tag, but we will let you be the judge in regards to whether or not it is worth it.

The Lily Camera is 10.29 inches (26.1 cm) wide, 10.29 inches (funnily enough once again also 26.1 cm) long, 3.22 inches (8.18 cm) tall and weighs in at 2.8 lbs. (1.3 kg). It features a lithium-ion battery that offers 20 minutes of flight time with a 2-hour recharge time. The max speed is 25 mph (40 km/h) so you are not very likely to outrun it and in the event that you should somehow drop it in a river or get caught out by rain then worry not: its waterproof (the controller also comes with a wrist case for waterproofing). Finally yet importantly, it features several flight modes that will change how it follows you, but instead of trying to describe them all we will instead leave you with this short video that showcases all of them.

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We are always looking for new stores and websites from which we can purchase our drones! We rejoice whenever we find a new one, or see newcomers making headway: The more the merrier!
We were recently introduced to DroneFly, which sells drones through their online store. DroneFly is based out of California and they offer free shipping in the United States, but also sell to the rest of the world with only a 5-7 day delivery time in Europe.

Their website has a sleek and clean look and allows for easy navigation through all their different products, the large range of products available is one of the their strongest points. If you need to purchase a wide array of items then you can find almost anything you could possibly need (This even includes repair services, and video tutorials).

In terms of pricing, we found the store to be very competitive. They have a very wide variety of drones for sale A good example is the 3DR Solo Drone (preorder) that they are currently offering at £640/$999, if ordered before 30 June 2015 with the Gimbal add-on then you even get an extra battery included free of charge.

Take a look at their website before you buy your next drone/equipment, you could potentially save quite a bit of money. As the drone industry continues to grow we have no doubt that we will continue to see an increasing amount of resellers competing over the market, this all bodes very well for the consumer whom will certainly benefit from being in the middle of this continues struggle for their attention.

road-to-success

Youre starting to get the hang of it.

Taking off and landing. Rolling and pitching and yawing and throttling. Adjusting your gimbal, calibrating your software, and flying with strict safety and ethical standards.
Maybe youve graduated from your beginner drone and have upgraded to something with a little more pizzaz. A little more technologically advanced.

Being a recreational pilot is fun, but so is flying AND making money at the same time. Whether its just a side gig, or youre looking to dive first into the UAV industry as a professional drone pilot, Ive got good news for you:

If theres any better time to turn your drone hobby into a profession, its now.

As you think about building your drone business, keep these three points in mind:

U.S. DRONE PILOT CERTIFICATION / FAA EXEMPTION 333

While Im not a lawyer, what I can tell you is that you dont have to apply for the FAAs Exemption 333 to become a professional drone pilot. Yes, read that sentence again.

hobby-proffesion2Contrary to popular belief, there is no federal legal drone licensing system in the U.S. right now. While the FAA claims that its illegal to fly drones for money in the United States, thats just a guideline.
Its not a law they can enforce.Hundreds of UAV pilots across the country right now are already starting their businesses.

Now, the FAA does have the authority to come after you if youre flying recklessly. That happened last year with Raphael Pirker, who was fined for operating recklessly. Make sure you have an intimate understanding of what it means to fly safely, and that youve got countless hours of flight practice. Stay under 400 feet, dont fly within 5 miles of an airport, gain private property flight permission, etc.

It also helps to have insurance, which youll not only use in the unfortunate event of a crash but also to gain trust and credibility with your potential clients.

It also helps to have gone through a formal drone flight training program. Here are a few programs you can look into:

PICK YOUR PERSONA

When youre building a service-based business, youll benefit from a persona-based marketing strategy. In a persona-based marketing strategy, youre not going after everyone. Youre picking one particular type of ideal client, with one particular set of problems and challenges.

Youll zero-in on that one persona and develop an intimate understanding of them. By focusing on one type of ideal customer, youll learn things like common objections and industry nuances much more effectively, and youll get your business off the ground much faster.

START MARKETING ASAP
Think youre not ready to become a professional pilot right this second, but its something youre still interested in pursuing?

Thobby-proffesion3hen why havent you started marketing yourself? Defining your persona, your brand,and designing your website and lead generation strategy–this stuff takes time, folks!

If youre not yet confident in your piloting skills, thats OK. You should still have a published website and a brand you can show to people, and you can try to get a few free gigs under your belt.

Offering your services for free will help you get more comfortable working with clients. If your clients can give you a positive testimonial / case study and you have their permission to put their project footage on your own website, then thats a great way to start establishing credibility and authenticity.

Free gigs will also help you better understand how to price and package your services in the future. How long do certain types of projects take? What are your margins?

CoM_Black-Hawk-Drone

What is the Hawk Camera?

Briefly put it is a new contender in the upcoming market for drones focused around their ability to follow the user, and film them without any/much user input.
Previously we have featured the Lilly Camera on DroneBlog and the new Hawk Camera definitely seems to be crashing into their intended user base, but lets get down into the hard data first and examin what this beauty has for us “under the hood”:

What are the stats on the Hawk Camera Drone?

Speed: The top speed is 20mph
Weight: It weighs 1kg
Flight Time: It is capable of flying 30 minutes on a fully charged battery(as with all battery powered applications this varies depending on the conditions it is being used in)
Water: It is not waterproof and should only be flown in dry weather.
Camera: The Hawk Camera Drone comes with a HD 4k camera and a gimbal mount, that also fits a GoPro Camera.
Size: The Hawk can be folded up, making it a 25cm x 20cm x 6cm fit for a bag(it comes with a carry case).
Control: The drone is controlled using a GPS Watch, supplemented by a Smartphone app.(included in the price)

It compares quite well to other drones on the market such as the Lilly Camera, DJI Phantom etc. Especially the watch control is something I am rather happy with, I would hate to be required to carry my phone while performing various sports activities. You rarely have the pocket-space for safely carrying your phone, but a watch is something you can almost always wear without any issues.

Stuff you should know if you are looking at purchasing the Hawk Camera

There a few things you should keep in mind if the above information made you reach for your wallet, I would also recommend that you go to their website and look around, as well as watch their beautiful video.

How much is the Hawk Camera Drone going to cost?

The Hawk Camera is going to be priced at £449, an immensely aggressive price point when compared to other high end drones such as the Lilly Camera at £575 or the DJI Phantom which, depending on the version, can quickly go above £700. If you have broken out your wallet to buy an expensive drone in this price class then that difference probably is not going to be the biggest deciding factor, but it is worth considering nonetheless.

When does it ship?

It is slated to start shipping on the 30 March. If you are considering pre-ordering you should however note that this is only guaranteed for those who buy before February 28th, orders placed after this date are expected to be delivered in April.

What is the Warranty policy?

They offer a one-year limited warranty, you can find further reading about what this entails in their Terms. Since you are pre-ordering they also guarantee full refunds if for some reason you decide to cancel, before the shipping date.

Here at DroneBlog we are certainly very excited to see more contenders in the market, the more the merrier! Increased competition will make sure we continue to see new exciting innovation as well as competitive prices.
See you all next week, where we are going to take a look at all the exciting news that came from CES!