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Interested in exploring drone photography, but not sure where to start? As hobbyist photographers, my husband and I were curious about using drones to capture sky-high shots, when we discovered a drone rental service called Lumoid. Lumoid, which rents out an assortment of drones as well as other photography, video, and audio equipment, seemed like a great way to try out the new tech to see if it would be a good fit for our photography lifestyle. Here’s how it went!
The Rental Process:
Lumoid has an impressive assortment of drones available, with pricing ranging from $5-$45 per day. There’s also a variety of accessories to rent (like batteries and controllers) to optimize the experience. We decided to go with the “AirDog Action Sports Drone,” because as a couple that surfs and skis on a regular basis, we were interested in the “hands free” option for birds-eye-view sports shots.
Ordering was quick, but there are a few steps involved: For first time rentals, you’ll need access to a scanner or camera-equipped smartphone because proof of residence, (like an addressed utility bill) and a copy of your photo ID is required. While it takes an extra few minutes, it’s an understandable and easy way for Lumoid to avoid fraud and theft. The good news is, this info is stored for future rentals. There’s also an insurance collateral of a few hundred dollars that is set aside to make sure the drones are returned from their renter. This is, of course, 100% refunded at the end of the rental.
We decided to rent over a weekend so we could get a few days to experiment! The drone was delivered on a Friday, and we planned to ship back on Monday.
What’s In the Box
The kit included the drone itself, detached propellers, charging accessories, and a “leash” for us to carry so the drone could follow our movements. The one thing that was missing was an instructional guide for setup. As a not-particularly-tech-savvy person, this meant that my husband had to do some Googling. It took about 20 minutes for him to figure out the process, which was actually great because we got to watch a few instructional videos that gave us a better idea of what this baby could do. (A support rep later told me that they normally include instruction manuals with drone delivery, but the one for the AirDog wasn’t quite ready yet).
Taking It for a Spin
For our first flight, we went to a flat, open area near our home (it used to be a shipping dock). We figured avoiding trees and obstacles was smart for the first pass.
As newbies, it took us a few minutes to figure out how to “pair” the unit with the leash, but after takeoff, we were TOTALLY on-board with the drone trend!
After playing around with it for a while, I can honestly say that it’s a blast even if you have no intention to use it for photography. The “leash” that you carry makes it follow you around taking continuous footage, so you don’t have to think about it being in the right spot to capture you. We spent the better part of half an hour just taking turns flying it around before we started thinking about getting some shots. When we took a look at the capture, it was really cool to see that bird’s-eye view.
If we were to do another rental (which we fully intend to do), we would probably go for a model that lets you see what you’re shooting as it flies. That said, I can see us bringing an AirDog up to the mountains when we ski, to catch some footage of our friends on the slopes.
The experience as a whole both with Lumoid and the AirDog was really easy. If you are interested in seeing if a drone is a tool that might work for you, I’d suggest taking a test flight with Lumoid first. It’s a great way to test out a particular drone that you might be interested in purchasing, before committing. If you aren’t looking to own a drone, but enjoy playing around with the latest tech for one-off projects or for shooting special events, Lumoid is a great solution!