Retailers explain why drones are taking the camera market by storm.
Ted’s Cameras, which sold out of its drone stock in its Sydney CBD store over the weekend, expects drones to be a booming category and 2016 to be the watershed year in its growth cycle. Varying price points and a range of different uses have leveraged the strong demand for the devices, making them accessible to all consumers, according to CEO Nic Peasley.
“There is no key demographic for drones as everyone from kids wanting to have something to fly all the way through to businesses which are using them for a range of functions.
“Real Estate agents are now getting images or video from drone flyovers for house sales brochures and web content, spotting events have been a popular location to use drones, fire departments are using them to assess damage to buildings before sending personnel in and virtually any other activity that needs aerial images can be a spot to see a drone in operation,” Peasley said.
“The benefit that drones have over traditional cameras is the sheer portability, the ability to capture images from the air and also the ability to provide live back to base over WiFi images and video content. “Any new technology product will attract strong interest especially when combining taking photos or videos with flight.
“At this stage stock will be tight but most suppliers have indicated that they can meet demand through January and with a growing range there are enough models to choose from,” Peasley explained.
Drones are falling into the camera accessory category across a range of national electrical retailers including Harvey Norman, Dick Smith and JB Hi-Fi.
Harvey Norman has the Parrot Minidrone Cargo for $148, Dick Smith is selling the Parrot Minidrone Jumping Race for $265 in an online exclusive offer and JB Hi-Fi ranges more high-end models, including the Parrot Bebop Drone and Skycontroller for $1,499.
Drones make the impossible, possible
Michaels Camera managing director, Peter Michael, agrees with Peasley saying that drones have gained traction as they enable photography enthusiasts to expand their capabilities. Michael also expects drones to be a popular gift idea this Christmas.
“Drones allow photographers and videographers to shoot from places that they previously could not do without great expense, such as helicopters or planes. For others, it has become a new hobby,” Michael said.
“Drones provide a completely different photo and video shooting aspect, but our main customer demographic seems to be male consumers aged between 20 and 40.
“With drone film festivals and photo competitions, I predict solid growth for the drone category in 2016 and beyond,” he added.
The Annual New York City Drone Film Festival made its debut this year and will be hosting a three-day event from March 4 to March 6 in 2016 featuring interactive panel discussions, guest speakers, screenings of nominated films and the annual awards ceremony.
Festival founder and director, Randy Scott Slavin said, “Just as drones have become more technically advanced and integrated into society, the NYC Drone Film Festival has experienced a year of tremendous growth.”
“We have expanded from a one-night event to a three day happening. Our interactive panels and seminars will highlight the influence of drones around the world and our award categories have expanded from nine to eleven. The 2016 festival is going to be bigger and bolder in every way,” he added.
The Flying Robot International Film Festival, another open competitive drone film festival, made its debut this year with an award ceremony and screenings held last week in San Francisco.