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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Drone warfare
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03/16/2021 10:44:25 AM · #1
I reviewed a search for drone discussions. Not much there, only a few complaints. So I’m willing to get hammered here for bringing up this topic FOR DISCUSSION.

Proposal: drones be ruled out of select challenges.
Rationale: We all have to deal with the ever growing wealth disparity issue, especially in US. We have always had our members with megabucks studios and even those that have access to professional models. But do we all now have to buy drones to be competitive? Before the surveillance state we could perhaps get rooftop access for some “aerial “ perspective but those days are gone.

Curious what others think about this. Am I the only one that has the fleeting “hey,that’s not fair” reaction to some of these images? Sour grapes? Jealousy? Perhaps, but we all remember the days of hundreds of entries and wonder why 50 is pretty good now.

Your thoughts?
03/16/2021 11:40:29 AM · #2
Hi Jim. Why limit the number of entries even farther?

There's always going to be advantages / disadvantages with the user community and equipment available IMO. For example, some may only have a modest point & shoot camera while others have top of the line <name your brand> that cost literally thousands of dollars for the body alone. What about lens? Some people can afford to purchase a fast 500 prime, while that's out of the realm for many of us. Should we not let that person with the 500 prime participate in wildlife challenges because they have a perceived advantage?

Just some thoughts ...
03/16/2021 12:00:38 PM · #3
I'm in agreement with Barry; we do have to recognize that there is a "wealth disparity issue" however this is a fact of life. I don't own a drone, but if I did, I sure would be disappointed to be locked out of challenges because I own something that not everyone can afford. Please accept this as my personal opinion, and not a statement of policy.
03/16/2021 12:02:50 PM · #4
As cameras have advanced, the state of the art has always been at the high end of the money curve, then it trickles down. Drones were once in the $5,000 and up category, now you can buy a capable photo drone for ~ $1,000. This is no different from the mega-pixel race, the glass race, the mirror less race, the adventure race. Drones allow a unique point of view that can enhance photography, period. [/tongue in cheek] We should allow helicopter shots even though at $250 and hour, they are not approachable for most of us.[tongue in cheek/]

I say, let’s allow drones and allow the tools of our trade as they evolve.
03/16/2021 12:38:11 PM · #5
It's always been about the person behind the camera, regardless of price. I've owned cheap and expensive gear but still produce crap ;)
03/16/2021 01:15:41 PM · #6
Agree with previous speakers (full disclosure: I am a recent owner of two drones). Yes, drones do expand your photographic options, but so do many other things. High-end DSLRs allow you things that cellphones don't. Living in New York presents you with immensely richer photography opportunities than those living in small midwestern towns, doesn't it? How do we handle this injustice? :) And indeed, as ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Dr.Confuser said, drones are not expensive these days, so it is not a rich vs. poor issue anymore. My first drone that I bought a year ago, Mavic Mini, sells for $400, a very capable drone, I got some good shots out of it. A much more powerful Mavic Air 2 is only $800. A fraction of a cost of a half-decent camera.
03/16/2021 01:22:22 PM · #7
Originally posted by MAK:

<snip> ... I've owned cheap and expensive gear but still produce crap ;)

Ummm. Yeah, no, don't THINK so. ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30049/800/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_831514.gif', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30049/800/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_831514.gif', '/') + 1) . '
03/16/2021 01:28:11 PM · #8
Originally posted by LevT:

High-end DSLRs allow you things that cellphones don't.

Based on some pictures my daughter took sometimes it might be the other way around ... and the phones cost as much or more than a camera.

Originally posted by LevT:

A much more powerful Mavic Air 2 is only $800. A fraction of a cost of a half-decent camera.

On that scale I guess I have a quarter-decent camera ... :-(

I don't think we ever have (or can) limit the type of equipment other than requiring it to record valid EXIF data.

Question for drone users: will you fly it over water (e.g. lake, river)?
03/16/2021 02:28:54 PM · #9
Originally posted by oldbimmercoupe:



Your thoughts?


You have a 26 MP camera of more than 2 times the price of my 14 MP camera. You can shoot a lot of crap and just crop it away. It's not fair.

Just kidding. I agree with the others. We should not limit it. Some of us have long telephoto lenses, others have macro, or lensbaby, or wide-angle, or high quality prime.

In the end, the voters will decide.

03/16/2021 03:28:28 PM · #10
Gonna go with the majority on this one. There are so many disparities in individual financial reach that the only way to try to level the playing field is to have everyone use the same camera and lenses. But then different locales offer different ranges of photographic richness. And how about personalities? Like introverted and extroverted, etc. I don't use photoshop, for feeble reasons, yet I don't begrudge those that do. How about those people who have tons of creativity, but sparse funds for entering what can be an expensive hobby? Speaking of creativity, our cohort is likely well aware that the eye of the photographer is way more important than a stellar kit. So let's live in a wide meadow rather than squeezing through a narrow defile of dubious restrictions. We're doing this for fun, right?
03/16/2021 03:41:24 PM · #11
I'll throw another variable in, for what it's worth: limited mobility. I have severe breathing issues now and always will: they are not going to improve. I am in early-stage Alzheimer's and mostly do not drive. The drone has become my legs, so to speak. A lot of the time I'm droning at or near eye-height, for whatever that's worth :-)
03/16/2021 03:44:28 PM · #12
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

The drone has become my legs, so to speak. A lot of the time I'm droning at or near eye-height, for whatever that's worth :-)

I was wondering whether people were using it to gain an otherwise unreachable perspective, rather than just altitude. That's why I asked about flying over water ... maybe there's an aftermarket for lightweight pontoons ...
03/16/2021 04:47:53 PM · #13
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

The drone has become my legs, so to speak. A lot of the time I'm droning at or near eye-height, for whatever that's worth :-)

I was wondering whether people were using it to gain an otherwise unreachable perspective, rather than just altitude. That's why I asked about flying over water ... maybe there's an aftermarket for lightweight pontoons ...

Too late. Already a bunch of those (pontoons for drones) out there now. :-)
03/16/2021 04:55:04 PM · #14
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Question for drone users: will you fly it over water (e.g. lake, river)?

I fly mine over the ocean often, never had any problems. I heard that reflection from the water surface may fool some sensors, but never experienced it. Water has one big advantage: it is usually pretty flat. So if I don't try to go down too low and just fly horizontally, it should not be a problem.
03/16/2021 05:08:20 PM · #15
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

The drone has become my legs, so to speak. A lot of the time I'm droning at or near eye-height, for whatever that's worth :-)

I was wondering whether people were using it to gain an otherwise unreachable perspective, rather than just altitude. That's why I asked about flying over water ... maybe there's an aftermarket for lightweight pontoons ...

Too late. Already a bunch of those (pontoons for drones) out there now. :-)

Yeah, but mine won't be filled with cocaine ... ;-)
03/16/2021 05:48:23 PM · #16
What they say re: water. I'm out over the water a LOT. Sometimes far enough out I have to watch the charge gauge to be sure I have enough juice to come home... These two were a quarter-mile away over open water.

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03/16/2021 08:01:46 PM · #17
One of my favorites (literally), and the image that influenced me to finally go ahead and purchase one too. :-)

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/3000-3999/3133/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1256686.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/3000-3999/3133/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1256686.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
03/16/2021 09:10:22 PM · #18
Earlier today, this afternoon, we went out for a walk. We passed a house that, like many, had a painted rock in the front garden. This one said, "STILL I RISE."
03/17/2021 08:46:01 AM · #19
I forgot: some people live in Iceland .... LOL
challenge results
03/17/2021 06:32:04 PM · #20
Am I occasionally jealous when I see a "made me gasp" drone shot? Yes. Would I want that shot disallowed in a challenge, any challenge, because it was taken with a drone? No.

We think we have had very occasional challenges which, by their very nature, ruled out drone shots - like maybe we had a cell phone challenge once (and I thought it was unfair because my cell is a trac phone and takes crappy pictures). Other than something like that . . . no.

Edit to add: " . . . Curious what others think about this. Am I the only one that has the fleeting “hey,that’s not fair” reaction to some of these images? Sour grapes? Jealousy? Perhaps, but we all remember the days of hundreds of entries and wonder why 50 is pretty good now. . . . " (from original post)

It seriously never occurs to me to enter or not enter a challenge because of what I think the competition might be. Every photo group I'm in, whether on line (most of them) or in person (though we are virtual these days) is struggling to attract and keep members and IMO it has little or nothing to do with equipment.


Message edited by author 2021-03-17 18:37:37.
03/17/2021 07:07:53 PM · #21
a really interesting discussion ..
and i'd be putting my 2 cents worth in and saying bring it on .. fair's fair in love and war .. and in photography .. !! .. lol .. ;)
whatever ppl want to use would be ok with me .. :)

there are so many variables in our situations .. not only our finances, but in the equipment we use, our approach to photography and our creativity ..

and like Robert said limited mobility .. that applies to me too .. so atm especially .. and for quite a while .. i've been limited to whats around my house .. the reasons are probably unimportant to most ppl here .. but around my house is definitely not as pretty as iceland ..lol.. so mostly i go macro .. or my dog .. occasionally family members ..

we've gone into autumn here in australia so ppl may be pleased to hear i wont be posting heaps of insects for quite a while .. ;)
03/18/2021 11:59:26 PM · #22
Acknowledging I haven't been around much lately, I'ma side with the old drone hater (OP) just because I see far too much agreement in this thread. Not enough drama and conflict like the good ol' days.

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03/19/2021 12:59:08 AM · #23
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Acknowledging I haven't been around much lately, I'ma side with the old drone hater (OP) just because I see far too much agreement in this thread. Not enough drama and conflict like the good ol' days.


Just droning on again. Yeesh!
03/19/2021 01:06:08 AM · #24
Pro-Drone over here. Both of my drone cost more than my cameras, so I agree it isn't not a rich vs poor thing. I think it will be a lot like many other things and be unique for a while. That will soon wear off and the drone shots will be evaluated as harshly as any other technique.
03/19/2021 01:06:21 AM · #25
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Just droning on again. Yeesh!

I just don't think you should be getting high and taking photos.
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