Drones with Cameras: Who Uses Them and Why?

Drone with an attached Camera

Drone with an attached Camera

Drones With Cameras And Their Uses

People often fly recreational drones for fun and entertainment, but commercial drones perform key services in a variety of industry applications. When mounted with a variety of cameras, drones become an essential tool for obtaining information used in decision-making, planning, and operations.

At Sky Eye Films, we work with professionals from dozens of industries to use drones with cameras to improve their business. Here are just a few uses for drones with cameras.

Site Mapping and Surveying

Using Drones for Site-mapping and Surveying

Using Drones for Site-mapping and Surveying

Archaeological Surveying

Drones with cameras can make the work of archaeologists easier, and provide data that was previously difficult or impossible to get. Drones can fly into small spaces to obtain information for planning digs and excavations. Fitted with LiDAR or photo-grammetric cameras, drones can also penetrate through densely forested areas or see under the oceans, allowing archaeologists to find new sites and determine their size and features.

Geographic Mapping and Modeling

Some of the earth’s most dangerous coastlines or remote mountaintops are now accessible for geographic mapping, thanks to drones fitted with cameras. Geologists, climatologists, and other scientists are now able to study the terrain and assess changes over time due to global forces.

Footage from drones fitted with photogrammetric and LiDAR cameras can help create contoured topographical maps that show the denseness of terrain, the height, and steepness of slopes, and the position of hills and valleys. These maps are crucial for search and rescue operations, planning, and also for monitoring terrain changes due to weather.

Drones with cameras are also used in forest conservation efforts. LiDAR cameras can measure the differences in density of a forest to spot deforestation and track whether it is slowing or accelerating.

Real Estate and Marketing

View of City Buildings taken using a Drone camera

View of City Buildings taken using a Drone camera

Residential and commercial real estate agents are using drones with cameras to showcase properties for buyers, sellers, and renters. Drones can do dramatic fly-bys of homes, showing them off to advantage with panoramic views. They can fly around a property to allow potential buyers or renters to see how it sits on the land and what is surrounding it. Instead of stating “fabulous views” in the marketing material, you can allow interested parties to see the views for themselves using the drone’s camera footage.

You can also use drones with cameras to take footage of a building’s interior. Whether it’s a virtual walk-through with the drone flying through the front door, or a drone’s eye view of a warehouse, industrial, or office space, drones with cameras provide value to real estate agents and the market.

Other Commercial Uses

As drones become less expensive and more ubiquitous, they are being used in many industries, from mining and quarrying to autonomous vehicles, and just about everything in between.

Site Inspections

Drones conduct inspections of buildings, structures, and even natural features such as rock faces and caves. Using drones for site inspection allows the camera to reach places that previously were difficult or impossible. It also keeps humans safely on the ground operating the drone or reviewing the live feed rather than climbing to great heights.

In the mining and quarrying industry, drones with mounted cameras are sent to examine rock faces and crevasses to determine where to dig safely and whether there is a high percentage of ore. In the energy sector, drones with cameras are used to examine wind turbines hundreds of feet high, solar panel installations on tall rooftops, and oil or natural gas pumps out in a field.

With the information the drones with cameras provide, contractors and specialists can create better plans for repairs, maintenance, and safety.


Security teams at sites around the world see the benefits of drones with cameras. Even though many sites have a network of mounted cameras that provide views of critical areas, there are always places those stationary cameras don’t reach. Also, there are changing circumstances that require additional eyes in the sky.

As an example, corrections officers will use drones to monitor time in the yard or outside on work detail. Security staff at large sporting events, concerts, or festivals will also use drones with cameras to monitor crowd placement, congregation, and disbursement.

Herd Management and Agribusiness

Using a Drone to Monitor a Crop of Grapes

Using a Drone to Monitor a Crop of Grapes

Drones with cameras are being used in agribusiness for multiple reasons. Drones can cover large swaths of territory, such as hectares of grain or herds moving over land. Rather than driving to specific areas to monitor crops or flocks, you can use a drone with a camera to locate your stock or get a birds-eye view of your field.

Cameras on drones don’t have to be typical photography or video cameras. Drones can be mounted with multi-spectral, thermal, photogrammetry, and LiDAR cameras. Each of these specialty cameras performs a different function to help you see and picture what is happening.

For livestock management, a thermal camera can be especially useful. Thermal imaging allows you to locate an isolated herd member and also to take stock of the heat index. LiDAR cameras can also help crop or herd producers know the moisture content of their fields, among other data points.

Film Industry & Journalism

When you think about using drones with cameras, the film industry is often top-of-mind. Cameras mounted on drones allow directors to get fantastic visual footage that was impossible when they could only rely on human-crewed airplanes and helicopters. Drones can get much closer to buildings, mountain faces, and canyons, for some dramatic and bold shots that wow audiences.

Drones with cameras are also useful for filming sporting events. Drones can get shots that blimps and even aerial mounted cameras on wires cannot. They are handy for cross-country events, such as skiing or road races, as they can follow the athlete and obtain shots that are far from the start or finish line.

In journalism, drone footage can be crucial for telling the story of an event. In the recent devastating fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, drones with cameras were used to assess the fire and then document the destruction. After hurricanes, drones with cameras are sent out to document the extent of the flooding and damage.

In marches or demonstrations, drone camera footage shows the size of the crowd. Drones can even hover over speakers within a group or follow a march as it progresses.

Contact Sky Eye Films

At Sky Eye Films, drone videography and photography is our business. If you want to try out how drones with cameras can assist your business, give us a call. We’re excited to share the world of drones with you.