Quick Guide: Drone or Plane?

Drones are now standard kit for most photographers but their use on commercial assignments are heavily regulated especially in tight urban environments.

We have been flying drones since the outset and our experienced drone team are fully qualified with relevant permissions and, of course, insurance cover.

We fly planes, helicopters, drones and our vans are equipped with 25m telescopic masts which is another option depending on the brief, location and budget and can be used in conjunction with traditional ground-based photography.

Clients often ask what the advantages are of using a drone over a plane or helicopter. We have compiled a quick guide to help you decide as follows:


Plane (same applies to a helicopter)

  • With shared flight options its often no more expensive than flying a drone
  • Places the site in context with its surroundings and local landmarks
  • We can cover more sites in a day – so its very cost effective for multiple sites
  • We can get much higher taking in a wider angle of view, distant road networks etc.
  • Generally, we can capture better quality images – more flexible
  • Different cost options - shared or dedicated depending on budget/deadline/brief
  • Not as restricted by weather - whereas a drone cannot fly in wet or windy conditions

IMG_20200110_123618Helicopter flight over London


HLP_B_160714_3457Aerial image taken from our BIOB plane


  • A drone can easily tag on to a ground shoot and be completed at the same time
  • Ability to get much closer to the subject than a plane/helicopter
  • Can add video at the same time
  • Restrictions may apply limiting the angles/height we can fly the drone
  • Gaining access to the site can be an issue from neighbouring buildings/land
  • Views often blocked by neighbouring buildings
  • We have different size drones to cover all eventualities
  • Can be a quick and discreet option for sensitive sites

HLP_OB_190919_9111Setting up the Drone for view photography dusk shoot 

HLP_B_190919_3154-EditView photography taken from Drone

As ever its not just about price. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that flying a drone is a cheap option and photography from a plane or helicopter is going to be horrendously expensive. In some instances, the reverse is true.

What is important is that we discuss the various options and arrive at a solution which will deliver the results your client is going to be happy with.

Contact us to discuss your next project and we will advise you on the best solution as we have a number of options at our disposal.

How can we help you? 0203 3355 0274 info@highlevel.co.uk www.highlevel.co.uk



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