Aerial Photos Without an Airplane

With a remote controlled flying camera able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, Anthony Jacobs, founder and pres of, has hit on a very lucrative aerial photography business that has competitors grounded. No need for pilots, FAA flight plans, or mega-expensive aircraft, Jacobs has built a tiny (less than 2 pounds) gyroscope-balanced quad-rotorcopter capable of shooting HD video and stills for clients looking to save a ton of cash.

Anthony Jacobs/perspectiveAerials Ritz-Carlton in Westchester, Connecticut, photographed by a radio-controlled aerial vehicle.

Jacobs, a New York based photographer, started playing with his remote controlled camera as a hobby that ended up getting him fired from his day job as an editor for Getty Images when his aerial shot of Yankee Stadium ended up on the cover of USA Today. Getty Images felt there was a conflict of interest, slapped Jacobs with a pink slip, and inadvertently launched Jacobs into the stratosphere of aerial photography.

Real estate developers and promoters are Jacobs' largest client base, but folks like the NFL are looking into using his services for future Super Bowls. Jacobs uses a do-it-yourself kit, the Mikrokopter, invented in Germany, to keep his cameras flying smoothly. Most RC craft have problems with stability but the mikrokopter's on-board computers and gyroscopes eliminate the bumps.

Basic MikroKopter model

Jacobs has stripped a 1080p Panasonic HD camcorder from its casing to make it lighter and mounted the lens on a bracket that swivels. For stills he loads a Canon G10 on-board. Says Jacobs, "If you have aerial aspirations with a budget on a diet plan, contact perspectiveAerials and we'll feed the need with quality video footage and photography."

Check it out at

For MikroKopter info:

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Filed under: Photo Extras July 17, 2009
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