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How to respond to a public that is convinced drones are for "peeping Tom's"?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skywalker, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. Skywalker

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    I've never been approached while flying, but I've heard many comments to that effect.

    If I try to explain that drones don't do closeups well (wide-angle lens, vibrations, noise, etc.) their eyes glaze over. I hate to let them keep that misconception, but I haven't found a short, convincing response.

    It's like they automatically assume we're all pervs.
     
  2. TidewaterGibson

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    I had a couple of people express their displeasure to me while flying a couple weeks ago. I invited them to come watch the video feed on my RC to show them how close you have to fly to get invasive footage with a wide angle lens. Neither one took me up on the offer. They were convinced that I would just not show them the true capabilities and continued to harass me about invasion of privacy. In short, people are going to believe what they want to believe. Perception is reality! With the media droning on (pun intended) about the evils of flying cameras and some manufacturers advertising their equipment as "Spy Drones" we're in for an epic uphill battle! I just resort to a quick statement that not everyone flying a camera is a perv and most of the general public are not that interesting anyway.
     
  3. Richard W

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    As above mentioned, try to show them the footage. Just have a sample or two ready on your device that show "beautiful panoramas but lousy closeups" ... and that is the line I would use.
     
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  4. zitrojj

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    You know when people suggest these things about UAV's, seems to me that is where their mentality is at. I see photographers all the time in the street with high zoom lenses, should I assume they are also peeping toms? In fact you can't even hear a photographer.

    Luckily I have not been asked that question.
     
  5. flybid

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    I've turned my whole family around including my evil step mother who gasped when she heard I bought a drone. All it took was to show her some video of what I'd shot. She's been a fan of my drone ever since. She can't wait until the next round of videos. So I think showing them the result of what you do is important. Almost everyone I show is taken back by the beauty of the scenery that these things can showcase.
     
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  6. GoodnNuff

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    I had an interesting interaction last week when I was flying out over an old quarry.
    A guy was walking his dog and stopped by to see what I was doing. He was quite friendly and
    didn't seem annoyed by the drone's presence. We chatted a while and privacy came up. I told him that the camera was a fixed focus and had no ability to zoom. I mentioned that it was 4K and he replied; "You said this wasn't a threat to anyone's privacy, but with that sort of resolution, you may not be able to zoom in from the air, but I bet you can really zoom in once the video is downloaded, can't you? No lose of detail at 4K!" I didn't know how to respond (he had a very valid point), so I said "well, that is why I am out here flying away from people and homes."

    So, I will not mention what my camera's resolution is to curious onlookers unless they ask from now on.
     
  7. Sabalon

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    I think just having them stand there when you take off, and then ask (nicely) do you think that could sneak up on you and spy? That and showing them what the image looks like when it gets far enough away that you can't hear it! Then again, I have a large reflector telescope that I was accused of using to spy on a neighbor on the far side of my house. People will stick to their theories regardless!
     
  8. Rothgarr

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    I usually make the case: What would be more inconspicuous if someone wanted to spy on you?
    a) A drone flying through the air with flashing lights that sounds like a loud swarm of bees that may as well be screaming "Hey look at me up here!". Or,
    b) Someone using either binoculars, a camera with a zoom lens, or a smart phone or other form of hidden camera.

    Many people wind up on camera every day in one form or another and don't even know it. But I bet there's a zero % chance that any of those people were photographed with a consumer drone. I'd be more paranoid of hidden cameras in bathrooms and changing rooms, etc.
     
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  9. jason

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    Wrong answer!!

    Even though you are shooting in 4K and the ability to zoom in it depends on how high or how far you are from the subject as to much clarity you will have when zoomed in in post. Converting from 3840 x 2160 to 1920 x 1080 is not zooming in.
     
  10. GoodnNuff

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    huh?
    Neither I nor the dog walker were talking about converting from one PPI to another. Take a 4K still image and you can zoom into any particular part of the photo and retain amazing clarity as you enlarge the image.
     
  11. flybid

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    Interesting.
     
  12. Sabalon

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    A bit off topic, but good example London 80 Gigapixels True you can zoom in on a 4k photo, but not at the level of clarity that CSI and the news would have you believe. Still impressive what you can do though.
     
  13. jason

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    Yes but there are limits in how far you can go before losing clarity in the photo/video. Sensor size also plays into those limits as well.
     
  14. GoodnNuff

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    You are right. From 200 feet I can't "zoom in" enough to count the number ants moving out of the ant hill to the left of the driveway, but I can zoom in enough to read the title of the book the sunbather is reading, among other things....
     
  15. movius

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    @GoodnNuffIt It occurred to me that yes, with the 4k resolution on offer, you can zoom right into the subject with I suspect, amazingly good results. Best not to mention it I think!

    Having said this, I fully agree with everyone here that, unless you're a private detective, we are way more interested in the bigger picture than focusing in on couples walking hand in hand on the beach. Nonetheless, privacy is an issue which is why here in the UK, I believe we are supposed to maintain a 50m exclusion zone - from people and buildings - when filming in public areas. Not easy to do though. Even when you think you've found a totally deserted place it's amazing how many people pop up!

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
     
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  16. TidewaterGibson

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  17. movius

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  18. jiggyb21

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    The only legitimate concern I would have to think about how I'd answer is that of safety from falling drones. The more driven I am to capture a given moment the more willing I am the fly too near people and property. I would clash head on with someone that thinks anyone cares enough to spy on them but the first time someone asks me if they can crash....I won't have an answer for that. I really do believe though that the hysteria will subside. People will get a drone, crash it and not buy another....X100000.
     
  19. jimerb

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    I call it a quadcopter when people approach me curiously. It has more of a RC helicopter sound to it. I avoid saying drone.
     
  20. dbeavers

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    Good point jimerb