NZ Drone Use Laws and Good Practice For Quality Footage

Home / Technology / NZ Drone Use Laws and Good Practice For Quality Footage

Both the quality and popularity of drones have been picking up at an alarming rate over the last couple of years. Small and large businesses alike have started using drones to show off their creative side for marketing and YouTube videos. However, when it comes to trying out new things, there’s usually a bit of a learning curve involved, and sometimes, even laws.

While you may already be familiar with some of the laws that are in place with regards to recording videos (in public spaces for instance) – creating videos, and most other marketing media for that matter, are relatively legislation free. Copyrights aside, of course. However, with drones there are a whole new set of rules to acquaint yourself with and these rules can differ from country to country, and even between recreational and commercial use.

New Zealand Drone Regulations

So the first step in creating amazing aerial shots for your business is taking a look at what your local lawmakers have to say about handling drones in your area. When it comes to what New Zealand legislature says about owning and operating a drone, there’s a standard set of requirements for unmanned aerial vehicles that weigh under 25 kg. If your drone is above that limit, it will need to go through a certification process.

According to New Zealand’s government regulations, “The standard operating requirements include restrictions on, for example, the height at which UAVs can be flown and flying UAVs near airfields. Permission must be obtained to fly in certain areas, and the consent of the relevant persons must be obtained before flying over people or private property.”

The current laws in New Zealand do not distinguish between commercial and recreational use of drones, but laws may differ a little from region to region, so you might want to check with your local government just to be sure.

Tips for First-Time Drone Users

drone videography

If you’re just starting out with your first drone then chances are you’ve already flown it around a couple of times and tried to figure out how recording works. We aren’t going to be giving any tips here on which drones or cameras are the best to buy for drone videography, since there are many detailed blog and reviews out there to help you with that already. If, however, you’re very new to the world of drone videography, then you’ll likely find the following tips helpful.

Steady as she goes: After purchasing your drone, you’ll want to get fully acquainted with its flying mechanics and develop your drone pilot proficiency before starting work on any cinematographic masterpieces. All it takes is practice.

It’s easy to become excited about your new “toy” and you likely can’t wait to start creating videos with it. But you’ll be glad you took the time to learn how to properly fly it first. In fact, don’t even think about shooting any videos at first – just try your best to not crash your new drone!

Also, make sure to get acquainted with the software part of flying a drone. You don’t want to accidentally turn on the automatic pilot mode (if your drone has it) and see your drone fly away on its merry way.

Take things slow: While learning to become proficient in basic drone flight is one thing; learning to shoot even passable videos that don’t blur is another matter entirely. In order to get the best kind of footage, the first thing you should focus on is making sure that you fly your drone at a slow and constant speed.

High speed usually isn’t necessary for taking great shots with a drone because you can always speed up the footage in post-production if you need to.

Start small: It takes a great deal of finesse to create a beautiful aerial shot. Even aerial videography professionals usually need several takes to get a good-looking shot. The trick is to keep your drone moving in one direction (remember to take it slow) and making only small adjustments as you go along. This will require some practice since it takes a lot of concentration to get your thumbs moving slowly enough for non-jittery footage.

Mind the weather: The weather plays a big role in how things turn out when it comes to most types of videography, but no more so than with aerial videography. Wind is a major factor and you’ll want to take note of any wind gusts before shooting starts.

The wind isn’t the only thing that can ruin an otherwise perfect shot, however. Direct sunlight can have a few unwanted effects as well, including making the drone propellers cast strange shadows on your lens and highlighting any dust that might have accumulated on the lens during take-off. So always make sure to prepare ahead by defining and finding your perfect lighting before leaving the ground.

Combine different movements and angles: While moving forward and backward is easiest when starting out, you’ll want to combine different shots if you’re looking to add more depth to your footage. One solid trick is making use of more than one axis at a time, like flying up and backward, or down and to the side. Orbiting is also a neat trick that takes a lot of practice but looks amazing when you get it right.

There are quite a few things you can try out if you flex your creativity muscles, like strafing, moving sideways only, taking multiple shots that follow a subject from different angles, and making use of gimbal movements. Once again, practice makes perfect and if you keep at it, you’ll soon be on your way towards creating amazing aerial videography shots.

Have Fun!

After all, you’re basically playing with a toy, albeit a fancy hi-tech one. Using a drone can give you a whole new perspective on your marketing – literally – and inspire some creative ideas. If you’re looking to add some new tricks to your toolbox then using a drone could be a unique way to do it. The good news is that this technology is still relatively new, especially in marketing, so that leaves a lot of legroom for businesses of any size that are looking to provide something fresh to their customers.