Monday, August 4, 2014

Drones: Taking Railfanning to a Whole New Level

A drone's-eye view of the Cumbres & Toltec RR.

Talk about taking railfanning to a whole new level! Like about a quarter mile in the air, using a drone.

It used to be that if you wanted an aerial view of trains, you needed to use an airplane. Even then, you needed a good telephoto lens since you couldn’t come too low to the ground.

No more; now you can buy your own personal drone, like the DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter, which comes equipped with its own video camera.

The DJI Phantom 2

In 2013, Daniel Luke Fitch was the pilot and aerial cinematographer was the DJI Phantom Grand Prize video contest winner with his drone’s-eye view of the historic Cumbres & Toltec Railroad. Check it out here. 

Meantime, someone who goes by the name CSX600 posted a drone video of NS action in Tennessee and Kentucky. Check out that video here. 

The advantages of drones are many; they can go where normal photography isn’t possible, and get photos and video that would otherwise be impossible to get. 

We modellers have been taking drone’s-eye photos of our layouts forever; now those who are primarily interested in the prototype can do the same. 

For a drone railfan video update, click here.

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