A cool aerial shooting experience
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A cool aerial shooting experience

Until recently, shooting from the air meant hiring an aircraft to take you and your camera into the sky, but consumer drones have changed that equation. So, when I started thinking about what drone I would buy if cost were no object, the answer was easy: the NASA Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. As you would imagine, flying on Mars doesn’t come cheap and entails unique technical hurdles, like the speed of light. But if you can work around the limitations, you can fly on Mars.

In addition to a 12MP camera with a global shutter, Ingenuity has solar-charged batteries (a necessity considering the distance to the nearest electrical outlet), can fly in an atmosphere with 1% the density of Earth’s, and has a remote control range of 300 million km.

I know, I know… some of you have already concluded that this isn’t something anyone could actually buy, but hear me out. At a cost of around $85 million, plus a mission control center and some brilliant engineers, this is within somebody’s price range. For the well-positioned multi-billionaire, it’s a lot less expensive than starting a rocket company. Or buying a social network. If cost is truly no object, this is within reach.

If $85 million is out of your price range and you want a more affordable aerial adventure, consider going old school and hiring a helicopter for a shoot. It may stretch your budget, but there’s nothing like shooting out the side of a helicopter with its doors removed.

— Dale Baskin