Drones are capable of capturing amazing aerial shots as well as collecting valuable data.
But beautiful drone photography and collecting data come at a price. High-tech drones usually cost $US1,000 or more, so the investment doesn’t necessarily make sense for everyone.
Plus, most consumers are not skilled at operating drones, so by flying a drone they could create a hazardous situation.
Fortunately, though, a number of start-ups are making it possible to rent drones — and drone pilots — for a fraction of the price.
Here’s a look at some of the companies making it possible to get high-quality drone photography without making an expensive commitment.
Fly4Me is sort of like TaskRabbit but for drone services.
Here's how it works: You provide the details of the event you want shot, and pilots on the platform bid on your job. You then choose your pilot and accept their bid.
All of the pilots are verified and insured and a customer's card is not charged until after he or she has approved of the footage.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company will shoot all kind of events, and it also provides its drone pilot services for mapping and research purposes.
Fly4Me was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in the spring and is currently in beta mode serving customers across the country, the company said in a statement to Tech Insider.
If you want some cool drone footage of your wedding, graduation, or next party, Droners.io will provide a drone pilot fully equipped with the proper drone to make sure you get all of the best shots.
Consumers simply submit their job online, the company approves it, and the request goes out to professional drone pilots in the customer's area. Users receive bids from pilots and can even use the service to review the pilots' portfolios of work and see customer reviews.
Droners.io pilots shoot everything from special events to sporting events. They also provide their services for construction and real estate.
Dronebase is a pilot rental service that provides aerial footage as well as mapping and surveying services. It caters towards business, like real estate and construction.
The premise of Dronebase is pretty straightforward. You go online and enter the location you want scanned or filmed as well as the dates for service. The pilot, along with the drone and appropriate sensors, goes to the site and operates the drone. Then you download the imagery to use for your business.
Prices start at $US400 for a basic package but range depending on how many locations need to be shot and the size of the area to be filmed.
If you have some flying skills and are comfortable handling a drone yourself, you might want to consider checking out the drones available for rent on gadget-rental site Lumoid.
Lumoid rents all kinds of consumer electronics and has a handful of high end drones. Some of the drones available on the website include the DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter, which features a 4K UHD video camera, and the Parrot AR 2.0 Elite Edition, which has a built-in 720p HD camera.
Rental prices depend on which drone you want to lease, but the cost ranges from $US20 per day to $US65 per day.
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