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Unique aerial shots taken by new TNP drone

The New Paper | Thursday, Jun 12, 2014

Aerial of the Gardens by the Bay taken by TNP latest photog, The Drone.

With four propellers and a range of 300m, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision offers a panoramic view otherwise available only to Superman. This series kicks off with shots of the Gardens by the Bay and other landscapes.

Photographer Benjamin Seetor, 35, shot these photos. He said: "This set of pictures offers a unique perspective."

The first operator of the TNP drone was journalist Azim Azman, 27. He has no prior experience with drones or remote-controlled planes. But he was able to fly it "straight out of the box".

He said: "With an app on your phone, you can see what the camera on the drone sees. This makes it very easy to navigate." STRONG WINDS However, the drone is unable to fly in rain, and strong winds affect its stability.

Mr Azim also had to bear in mind that Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore rules state that model aircraft may only fly up to 61m and must stay at least 5km away from an aerodrome.

There are also other challenges.

Said Mr Azim: "When I was flying the drone around Marina Bay Sands, the numerous Wi-Fi connections interfered with the machine's signals."

Fortunately, when the signal is lost, the Phantom 2 Vision is designed to either hover in place until the signal is restored or return to its launching point.

Mr Seetor added: "The main limitation is the weather. You may not feel much wind on the ground, but at certain altitudes it becomes harder to control the drone. In addition, the drone only has enough battery power for 20 minutes of flight. So, I had to plan the route carefully before I flew it."

The main limitation is the weather. You may not feel much wind on the ground, but at certain altitudes it becomes harder to control the drone.

- TNP photographer Benjamin Seetor

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