There is no refuting the impact of drones within the surf, or for that matter any other aspect of video and photography. Their ability to provide the unique angles and perspectives previously only reserved for those able to afford a helicopter is unparalleled.
However, it is still fairly rare to be out surfing at your local and have a drone overhead. Perhaps its because filming average surfers on average waves is umm..average. Although, that has never stopped anyone before! It probably comes more down to the fact, the price point is still pretty high and the fact that most surfers would rather be catching waves than taking pictures of other people catching waves.
Which is essentially why the GoPro is so popular – it is simple, portable and panders to our inner narcissist in glorious hi definition, wave shrinking, slo-motion. You simply use it while doing whatever you like doing and then review the humbling reality later.
So when the “Lily” camera was touted as the “GoPro of Drones” – a lot of people took notice.
“Lily” is a personal drone that is linked to the wearer of its tracking device. It then follows and records whomever is holding this device in glorious 1080 HD video for around 20min. No pilot required. Just launch, record and enjoy. Its also designed to be waterproof, portable and most importantly – affordable. The promotional price is currently less than a GoPro Hero 4 Black edition. It truly is a magnificent piece of kit.
At a first impression, the geeky narcissist within me loves the concept of my own personal flying cameraman, capturing every wave I ride and every move I do for later re-enactment. Its very self indulgent. Selfish even.
Which is fine, when you are on your own but what about the experience of those around you? We all have our reasons for surfing, its a long list that includes things like holistic expression, fitness, quiet self reflection but I’m guessing the drone of rotor blades in the morning isn’t on it.
So what then happens in a crowded lineup, with say five or ten of these hovering above? Besides the noise intrusion at the water level, what about the sky? When paddling through crowds – whose drone gets the right of way? Could we see the worlds first case of “rotor rage”? Should they be enhanced to include IFF (Friend or Foe) protocols aligned to surf etiquette – don’t drop in on me or my drone will shoot yours down ;)
Heady and interesting times in the next evolution of personal video. I’m looking forward to the results and the lineup “rotating” out after 20 min.
What do you think? Best thing since the GoPro or an annoying flying blender?
Check the Lily cam promo video below
Has spent over 30 years of his middle aged life trying to spend more time in the ocean. Likes to surf, bodysurf, free dive and pretend he enjoys chasing big waves.