Thanks to drones, aerial photography can claim many of the world’s most stunning photos, And while drones are powerful flying machines, aerial photography is the kind of hobby that calls for the right kind of planning and preparation to achieve the best pictorial results.
To take your photography game to the next level, either as a beginner or a pro drone photographer, you need to select the right kind of accessories to add to your armory.
That’s why our list highlights 9 of the very best drone accessories, to improve the safety of your gear, and also enhancing your aerial photography experience. Have a look:
Best Drone Accessories for Drone Photographers
#1 – Photography Gloves
Different landscapes come with their own unique weather conditions which, when scoping for a shoot, will require not just a durable but comfortable pair of outdoor photography gloves.
It is best to get 3M Thinsulate cotton gloves, for they are light, breathable and stay cozy warm in cold & wet weather. Safe grip gloves with windproof lining, a water-resistant surface and adjustable cuffs, like EnergeticSky Gloves, serve well during shoots in snowy landscapes.
Gloves like PGYTECH’s Photography Gloves, provide for even better drone operation control and touch screen capabilities. Their conductive finger-tip caps work on smartphone or LCD controller screens. The caps, too, can be flipped back and kept in place by tiny magnets.
#2 – Drone Take-Off/Landing Pad
To keep from dirtying and damaging your drone during take-off and landing, with dirt, mud, sand, snow, moisture from wet grass, or even stray blades of grass, a landing pad comes highly recommended as an accessory. by pro pilots for such concerns.
Landing pads protect and keep the camera and gimbal off the ground, during the gimbals initializing process. Precision landing software in newer drones is enabled to use landing pads.
And if you like to take late-day shoots close to dark, landing pads like PGY drone launch pad, has a built-in backlight to ensures a safe landing even at night. Pegs are also included so you can firmly plant the pads to the ground, to guard against windy situations.
They are extremely light, foldable, compact and easily packaged in a special case.
#3 – Hard-shell storage case
When you travel often for shoots, you quickly discover that you’ll need a sturdy hardcase that will protect your drone gear from the elements, and in demanding environments.
Your best answers to this should be to use lightweight, impact-resistant and waterproof resin hard cases. Unlike soft-shell cases that are only water resistant, hardcases on market are dustproof (IP6X), & Waterproof (IPX7), up to depths 3 feet of water, for 30 minutes.
Take the NANUK Plasticase Drone Hardcase, for instance.
With an empty weight of just 2.16lbs, it has soft corners, and chamfered edges that seal the case tightly once shut, and prevents ANY moisture from getting in.
The vibration proof hard-shells, coupled with special laser cutout foam inserts, offer larger, more unbending frames that provide a level of protection during transit or outdoor shoots.
#4 – Spare Propellers & Propeller Guards
Drone propellers are perhaps the most frequently damaged part of the flight machine, so much so that brand new drones come out-of-the-box with a spare set.
While the body of the drone can endure the inevitable flying incidents, and unfortunate packaging mishaps, propellers seldom survive. Thus, you’ll need extra sets of spare ones.
A great upgrade from the default heavier plastic kind is DJI’s platinum propellers for Mavic Pro’s. They are slightly quieter, and improve flight time. It’s also best to use official propellers, over third-party options which can compromise flight experience.
For the pilot that’s often on the road, with extra change in your pocket, an accessory bundle to look out for should include DJI Propeller guards to protect them during flight and landing incidents, and DJI Propeller holder straps to secure your drones in storage as you travel.
#5 – Portable Power: Extra batteries & Power Bank
Flight time on most drones lasts between 25-35 minutes. This is not nearly enough time for a decent shoot, and is why the very first beginners must buy should be a spare battery.
Or at least two spare Intelligent Flight Batteries which give 30 more minutes of flight time to drone photographers that expect to be flying a lot each day.
For the more practiced aerial photographers, the best power accessory for your off-grid photography trips, right now, is an ultra-high-capacity power bank.
The Anker PowerCore+ 26,800mAh has a Quick charge output that fast-charges devices and it also has a stylish hard casing. The RAVPower series is also an inexpensive option.
Drones like DJI Mavic Air and Mavic Mini are USB Type C enabled and can charge in your bag directly through the power bank from just the battery pack and a USB cable.
To ensure normal charging without damaging the battery, we strongly recommend using the official micro-USB charger, two-way charging hub, or the charging base to charge the battery.
#6 – Li-po Safety Bag
Now that batteries are in your cart, the next item to think about is battery care.
For maximum safety of your drone batteries, you’ll need a dedicated fire and explosion-proof battery bag. That’s because Lithium-ion batteries are a fire hazard and can explode.
Although incidents are uncommon, beginner landscape photographers should note that, the FAA and airlines have stringent regulations about carrying these batteries on-board airplanes.
DJI’s Battery Safe Bags fit the bill, and provide extra special attention to DJI owners. These are made to offer reliable storage, and transportation and fit easier in backpacks.
#7 – Darkening ND Filters (Neutral Density Filters)
Often referred to as sunglasses for your drone camera, neutral density filters (ND) and graduated ND filters (GND), are ‘must have’ filters for landscape drone photographers.
These filters balance the light entering the camera lens especially at higher altitudes during shoots that risk of over/underexposure between a bright sky and a dark foreground.
This happens usually during the golden & blue hour landscape shoots.
For amateur photographers with DJI Mavic Mini/Mavic Mini 2/Mini SE, threaded round filters, from DJI are a safe start to learning how to use filters. For the devoted and professional landscape photographers, we recommend upgrading to square/rectangular filters.
A good set of ND filters might seem costly, however, consider making the investment in official products that are as they are specially designed to work well with the gimbal camera’s center of gravity. They will, as well, last a lifetime compared to cheap filter alternatives.
#8 – Range Extenders
As an outdoor drone photographer, you know the feeling of your “shot of the day” being just one foot out of range for a clear visual signal to reach your screen.
Antenna signal boosters are the answer, and allow you to fly further distances, before automatically activating RTH, by reducing the angle of the signal transmitted.
The range extenders are designed with an inner reflective surface and made of high-quality plastic to solve transmitter interference issues, or lack of Wi-Fi in out-of-town.
#9 – Drone Location Tracker
While most drones come with their own built-in location trackers via the bundled drone app, as a travelling drone photographer, you should purchase a Bluetooth tracker right now.
Bluetooth trackers are small low-weight devices that attach directly to the drone and report back using cellular networks and GPS. These versatile tools come at various price points, from $20 to $200+ depending on functionality and features.
Top ranged premium trackers like the Cube PRO GPS Tracker offer limitless tracking capabilities, thanks to GPS, Wi-Fi, cell tower triangulation, and Bluetooth.
It also connects to the Verizon Network, is virtually trackable anywhere in the USA.
In the event of an emergency landing far from where you can physically rescue the drone, or if you lose your drone in a loud place, you would want the Chipolo One that produces very loud (120dB) sounds, to help ping and echo-locate the precise location of the fallen machine.
Without spending too much money, hopefully this extensive list of the best drone accessories can guide you to properly outfitting your drone gear to be safer, more guarded and better armed to accomplish your drone photography dreams.
Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.