Winter is here –
and with it come hills covered in blankets of snow, lakes suddenly polished with ice, and brighter lights as festivities fill cities. It may be one of the most beautiful sights a drone can capture, but the temptation to do so can put your drone at risk.
Drones need the utmost attention and care during the winter months, but with proper precaution and action, you may be able to record some of the greatest videos and images of the year. Remember, every drone is different so reading specific notes on your model is important to consider while reading these tips.
We’ll cover these three topics if you want to jump ahead:
Tip #1: Check Your Battery
Low temperatures during the winter can decrease the lifespan of your drone’s batteries. Less current is produced by a battery used at a low temperature, meaning that batteries run down much faster in winter than at other times of the year.
To combat the cold, you can:
Use fully-charged batteries
Batteries that last 10 minutes during the fall may last 5 minutes during the winter, so ensure you have the most flying time by bringing fresh batteries. If you’re planning on flying your drone for more than one trip, make sure to bring extra batteries or a portable charger!
Keep your batteries in a warm environment
Your batteries will be affected immediately by the low temperatures outside, so try to keep your batteries at a more moderate temperature. Wrap your batteries in a scarf, keep them in line with the sun on your car’s dashboard, anything to keep them moderately warm!
Don’t max out your flight time
Flying modestly is key to using your drone in the winter. In this different environment, it is best to keep a watchful eye on your battery level and bring the drone back down earlier than normal. In an environment where batteries deplete quickly, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry!
Warm-up your drone
One of our more crucial tips is to warm up your drone before flying it out. It’s important to let your drone hover for up to a minute to warm up the batteries to function properly. Another benefit from this tip is that you can see how your drone is reacting to the weather – are the winds too strong?
Tip #2: Adjust Your Camera Settings
Captured from above, the winter landscape can be stunning. This comes with the assumption, though, that your drone’s camera settings are tuned to the cold-temp settings.
To better the quality of your shots:
Modify the exposure
With snow covering the landscape, your drone’s camera may accidentally underexpose the shot. To combat the reflective ground beneath, set your exposure above 0.
Change the white balance
Due to the abundance of white in the frame, the shot may come out looking more blue than intended – adjust the white balance before flying your drone to ensure crisp, accurate images.
Tip #3: Pay Attention to the Weather
Every drone is different, but most come with specific precautions about cold weather. Your drone may not be waterproof, and condensation can do significant damage to your drone. Make sure you have ideal weather conditions on the day you are planning to fly your drone – this slip-up can be fatal for your drone!
Pay attention to wind speeds – anything above 15 mph may prove difficult to the average drone pilot. The smaller the drone, the lower this allotted maximum wind speed. Don’t risk a crash! Be wary of strong wind and looming clouds – it might be detrimental to your shot and your drone!
Flying your drone during the winter doesn’t need to be a daunting task. With the right preparation and precautions, you can get fantastic images unique even to drone pilots.
Follow our tips to better prepare yourself and your drone for the winter months!
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