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 We have officially entered a new era that might be identified as the drone age, and in terms of the potential of this technology for media makers, the sky truly is the limit — at least for now.
Yet despite the growth of the drone industry, only DJI stands out as a major market leader. In recent history, we’ve another example of a single 800-pound gorilla dominating a market, leading to stagnant innovation: GoPro. As consumers, we should learn from this and support companies that provide DJI real competition.

Creating captivating video is all about showing the viewer unique and interesting perspectives, and there are few shots more exciting than aerials. Prior to the drone age, flyover shots were only attainable by big-budget productions with enough cash to send shooters up in actual airplanes or helicopters with paid pilots.

The low price point of video-equipped drones has made eye-in-the-sky camera perspectives hugely popular with professional and hobbyist video producers, and aerial shots are becoming increasingly common, even in low and mid-level productions. The ability to shoot dramatic aerials of a local client’s own business, neighborhood or event is a hot new novelty that instantly adds pizzaz to any production.

With video-equipped drones capable of capturing professional quality video at resolutions up to 4K, DJI is poised to become the Coca-Cola of prosumer UAV drone footage.

Like Coca-Cola and Kleenex, the name GoPro has become synonymous with the product category that it established. GoPro defines extreme POV video. With video-equipped drones capable of capturing professional quality video at resolutions up to 4K, DJI is poised to become the Coca-Cola of prosumer UAV drone footage. DJI’s Phantom line has set the standard for aerials in the drone age and continues to be the favorite choice of mass market video producers, professionals and hobbyists alike.

There’s no questioning that DJI produces quality products. The question to ask is: Who else will enter into this space in a seriously competitive way? Competition in the free market does several things that benefit customers. Competition drives innovation. As innovative as any company may be, technologies develop faster when multiple companies must compete for a sale.

Another benefit of competition is price. Companies seeking to gain a competitive advantage often lead to lower prices, which in turn drives even more cost-saving innovations and efficiencies. Corporate competition also often results in improvements in quality and performance. Camera companies innovate new imaging sensors, lighter lenses and superior optics, longer battery life and higher resolution images because they are in a competitive market. And companies that deliver pizzas or parcels compete to get their payload to their customers faster than their competition and may do so with drones. While DJI and GoPro both produce quality gear, let’s not let their dominance blind us to worthy competitors in the market. 

Matthew York is Videomaker's Publisher/Editor.

Videomaker's Publisher/Editor, Matthew York
Videomaker’s Publisher/Editor, Matthew York

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I own 2 drones, one for recreation and the other for aerial video and photography. I make videos professionally and did a lot of research before deciding to buy the Solo 3DR instead of the DJI Phantom 3 Professional that I was seriously considering. The main reason for going with Solo was because I wanted to also purchase a GoPro 4 camera to use alone. Another reason is that solo is open source software that invites a passionate community of developers to contribute to future upgrades of the software. I have been very pleased with my decision as the Solo flies very well and in combination with the GoPro produces beautiful images. Customer support from Solo has been excellent. I had an issue with my unit when it stopped pairing the controller with the vehicle. Solo replaced the unit within a week through FedEx at no cost to me and this was from Montreal Canada to California. I know DJI is currently the market leader by far but there are many alternatives that deserve a close look.

  2. DJI products are great, especially with this year’s release of Phantom 4, but there are other drones out there that bring something else to the table. Walkera QR X350 Pro Drone is just one example. Even though it’s hard to master, it pays off when it comes to usability and flight time. Another great example of an advanced drone is Aerialtronics Altura Zenith ATX8 – it’s a long range drone that can go for 1 km, has 45 minutes of flight time and an affordable price – $2000. These 2 drones are for advanced users, if you are a beginner you should start with some cheeper models – http://droneista.com/10-cheap-drones/ .