Connecting your phone camera to your smartphone is relatively easy. The process is almost the same for virtually any drone brand.
To connect your drone’s camera to your phone, you first have to connect your phone to the drone itself. Once you have done this, the drone’s camera feed will automatically display on your phone. From there, you can adjust the camera settings and get started with your photography and videography.
Read the steps below to learn in detail how to connect your drone’s camera feed to your phone.
Download the Drone App on Your Phone
This is the first thing you have to do. Look for the drone app on your Google Play Store or App Store, or the manufacturer’s website. The drone app you need to download depends on your type of drone, the manufacturer and often the precise drone model as well. Check for where you can download the app and how to use it in the user manual.
Switch on Your Drone While the App is Still Installing
Don’t forget to switch on your drone when the app is completing the installation process so that you can get started on the set up process. However, this process depends on your particular drone. If you need help, you should refer to the user manual that came with the drone.
To get more information, or if you lose the user manual, you can watch video tutorials on YouTube or read articles on blogs that talk about your drone’s model.
Connect Your Phone to the Drone Using the App
How smoothly this process goes depends on whether your drone has a remote controller or not. For instance, drones that do not have remote controllers easily connect to your phone through Bluetooth or WiFi. However, you should keep in mind that the WiFi connection only covers a few hundred feet, so ensure your drone model doesn’t fly far from you.
Drones that use a WiFi connection are cheaper than drones that connect to controllers. The drones which connect to controllers can reach heights greater than what a WiFi connection can sustain. For this reason, you can fly your drone for as many miles as you want.
For instance, a drone like the DJI Mavic has a flight range of 4 miles, more than any Bluetooth or WiFi connection can reach.
However, if your drone has no remote controller, you have to connect it to your phone through WiFi or Bluetooth. To do this, you have to go to your phone’s Bluetooth or WiFi settings. Tap on the list of networks and select your drone from the drop-down menu.
If the connection requires you to provide a password, look up the password in the user manual. Don’t worry if the connection shows as unsecured; it is normal.
If your drone model comes with a remote controller, connect your phone to your remote controller through the USB cable. For you to enjoy this wired connection, use the telephone clamp your remote controller came with to hold your phone in place.
Ensure your remote controller is switched on throughout the process. If it isn’t, your connection won’t be successful.
Establish the Connection
Once you have connected the drone to your phone through a remote controller or directly through WiFi or Bluetooth, it is time to establish the connection. Launch the drone app on your phone and follow the instructions that appear on the screen.
The app will likely pick up your drone instantly, but if it doesn’t, it will provide an option for you to do so yourself. Through the option, you can connect your drone to the mobile app manually. Once the connection is established, the app will notify you.
To further verify the connection, check if you can use your phone as the drone’s remote controller. You should be able to see a live feed from the drone’s camera on your phone. If the connection is successful, you’ll be able to access the first-person view of the drone’s camera.
Why Connect Drone Camera to Phone?
Connecting your drone camera to your phone has a lot of advantages. For instance, you will be able to see what the drone sees as it flies around. If your drone comes with a controller, you can’t always use your phone to control your drone, but your phone would act as a viewing screen instead.
With your phone also, you can pre plan a flight path or track your drone’s flight. Most modern drones have GPS control that equips them with independent flying capabilities, so it is easy for you to control these functions from your phone.
If your drone allows you to use your phone as an actual controller, you have the added ease and flexibility of not having to carry the bulky controller around every time you want to fly.
With the aid of your phone’s connection to your drone, you can configure your drone’s settings and view diagnostic data. This will enable you to inspect your drone and know how to deal with any issues that arise.
Other Ways Your Phone is Useful for Drone Flight
However, simply connecting your drone camera to your phone isn’t the end game if you want good videos and photos. You also need to know how to improve your drone videography and photography.
You need to spend some time looking for locations to fly. Drone videography and photography require you to do some research to find the best sites. You can download some apps in addition to your drone app to find the best places to fly.
The weather conditions are critical too. Ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest information about the weather through your phone. Try using an app such as Drone Cast to help you stay on top of the best flying conditions. The best time to fly a drone is when it is not too windy or bright and in moderate temperatures.
When your phone notifies you that the temperature is cold, you might want to think twice before flying, as cold weather drains your drone’s battery faster. However, if you are good at operating your drone’s camera on your phone, and you’re prepared for a shortened flight time, such weather conditions can result in excellent videography and photography opportunities.
To capture exciting videos and photos, you have to plan your shoot. You need a location with a spectacular composition. When you strategically plan your videos and pictures, you’ll get the “wow” factor you’ve always wanted.
You can use apps such as Google Earth to find the best locations for your shoots. These apps help you scout your surroundings and provide more data to help you with your planning. Before you take the shot, you’ll see precisely how your perspective will look.
After launching your drone app on your phone, explore the camera settings so that you know the functions in and out. Most drone cameras have two pairs of rotors that rotate in opposite directions. This balance helps the drone to stay upright.
Drone Flight and Aerial Photography Basics
Before you start shooting, check your battery level. Ensure it is fully charged before you fly your drone. Have extra batteries in case your battery gets drained, or else you are at risk of losing your drone if it goes down in a place that it can’t be recovered from.
Check the remote control configurations if your drone has a remote control. To know more about your drone’s camera capabilities, consult the user manual. Some remote controllers allow you to directly control the camera from the controller rather than through the phone app on screen.
Take note of any local regulations in your location before you fly your drone. If there are power lines and other obstructions in your area, you have to use your phone or controller to keep the drone away from such spaces. Consider your drone’s flight range and look out for possible interference.
You can experiment with heights, but there will be restrictions on the heights your drone can attain (400 ft max in the US), depending on your location. Besides, if you are shooting aerial photography, you have to be careful as flying too high can make your photos look cluttered. To get an uncluttered image, zoom in on your subject or fly your drone a little lower. This helps to make the composition clearer, and in addition, your image resolution will be better.
After taking your shots in the air, ensure you land in a place with plenty of room. Keep a close watch on your surroundings before you land. You can use a landing pad to prevent any issues while landing.
While connecting your drone camera to your phone is a no-brainer, drone apps have different levels of support and quality. You have to be very conversant with your phone’s operating system and model so that you will know how to keep your drone app bug-free.
When downloading your drone app, ensure you download the latest version. Also, update it regularly. This way, you’ll have no trouble operating your drone camera from your phone and enjoying all the functions your drone offers.
If you experience any problems, always refer to your drone’s user manual or contact the manufacturer.