Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about drones and marching bands! If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.
I’m looking for a drone that will auto hover and film. I will be using it primarily to record our high school marching band from directly above to assist with formations. There are just SO MANY makes and models, I end up overwhelmed and lost in details from one to another. I’m hoping to stay around $400.
This is my favorite question ever, and not because I know exactly what to recommend to you! I was in orchestra in high school (I played the viola) so I can appreciate the marching band too.
How cool! An aerial video of the formations will definitely help out your students — and you. What an excellent use case for a drone.
- Buy the DJI Phantom 3 Standard directly from DJI.
- Buy the DJI Phantom 3 Standard from Amazon, on sale for $439
- Buy the DJI Phantom 3 Standard from B&H, on sale for $476
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard is definitely my favorite drone for under $500. (DJI already has a Phantom 4 drone, so you’re essentially getting last year’s model at a discount.)
GPS assisted flight means the drone can hover in its place for a flight time of up to 25 minutes. (However, just because the drone can hover, I always recommend someone has their hand on the controls just in case).
The drone also allows you to get a live video feed from the drone’s camera streamed through the DJI Go app to your smartphone or tablet, so you can see the formations in real time and give feedback to your students right away.
The drone also records 2.7K video which is decently high quality for your marching band students to review later.
I think this drone is incredible easy to fly, though as per my usual advice, I do recommend practicing on a cheap toy drone so you don’t damage your more expensive Phantom.
Also note that you should never operate over people, so I recommend having the drone hover over the track or the stands (and not your students), and ensure no one sits below where the drone is hovering.
Also beware of any GPS interference, so if there are tall buildings in the area, that may impact your drone’s ability to hover. It shouldn’t be an issue, but just practice flying in the stadium before you have students there!
Happy flying, and happy marching!