Category Archives: Drone


By now most of us have recovered from the New Year celebrations, and what a night it was!!

Australia is always the first we see, streamed live at around 1pm UK time, although we were impressed as the rest of the world was, it wasn’t until midnight we see what I thought was the best display of the year.

Drones and Go Pro cams are becoming more and more popular these days being used for various reasons from fun pursuits such as filming the action as we hurtle down mountain paths on our all-terrain cycles hanging on for dear life. They also offer a chance at YouTube fame should it all go wrong and applications for use of these covert cameras are used to search in disaster struck areas, probing for survivors in impossible to reach situations or for nature conservation, observing the colonies of birds dotted around our islands cliffs without alarming them, making sure all is well.

Whatever the reason for owning one of these now inexpensive technological marvels, combing the Drone with a high spec 4k camera and flying through a fireworks display which certainly has to be one of the best reasons to use them in our considered opinion.

On New Year’s Eve, across the world these flying machines were out in force capturing the displays for prosperity these “Drones” or “Quad-Coptors” which can be picked up from a couple of hundred pounds, climbing to a couple of thousand for the better ones.

Whilst laws on the use of these gadgets can vary around the world, operation is becoming tighter, most counties are taking more interest recently due to the “security concerns” as their versatility is becoming more apparent, human ingenuity being what it is there are people have adapted the use of the Drones for many purposes, from farmers in the Highlands of Scotland keeping a beady eye on their prize cattle from the comfort of the farm, to commercial and military airports disguising them as falcons in an attempt to prevent flocks of birds damaging the jet engines and risking the loss of life.

If you filmed your Epic New Year display please send us a link and we will add it to the collection.



A Game of Drones

The Gadget Show on Channel 5 is techie heaven on all levels and a firm favorite with the crew here at Epic. They recently carried out a product test feature on the ‘love em or hate em’ Camera Drone.

Once, drones were only used by governments but today, the ‘Copter Camera’ is available all over the UK from around £50.00 for the really cheap up to a couple of thousand.

We are a little divided on how we feel about them having heard from friends in the professional firing business regarding how many times a drone has impacted on a display for one reason or another from falling from the sky onto crowds, knocking a shell off course and the people on the ground taking footage or photographs which have the lights of the drones on them, these are just a few of the reasons why the great unwashed are undecided about this new technology. That said, they offer up some brilliant footage when taken in amongst the bursting fireworks. As advised by the Civil Aviation Authority, they passed the operation of the devices onto a drone specialist Chris Ayres to avoid any possibility of interfering with the competitors in this fiercely fought event.

In this short video feature, the test team put the three chosen drones through their paces in a number of situations to see how they fared including first of all at a skateboarding track and then over to a grand firework display at Catton Hall, Derbyshire for Jubilee Fireworks’ Festival of Fireworks which pits the best in the World against one another on this one night super display competition.

First up; Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Elite Edition (GPS) which was found to be disappointing overall and highly unstable and difficult to manouevre but it is the least expensive of the 3 at £255.00 and the images are questionable at best.

Second to fly was the Blade 350 QX AP Combo RTF in the middle of our price range at £630.00 and sadly, the performance was once again at best underwhelming and the images were grainy and unclear with out of focus and a little washed out and in the midst of fireworks and the controls proved to be difficult to use. I must be honest, for over £600 I would have expected a much better result.

Finally, the daddy of those tested was without a shadow of a doubt the SJ Phantom 2 Vision + which retails at around £800.00. The quality of the video footage and the photographs was nothing short of awesome and it captured the midst of the display with top marks for moveability, image quality and ease of use.

So, the upshot is that yes, drones are the future but there have to be massive advancements in classification, where they can and cannot fly (we all heard about the incident where an R/C drone almost hit a passenger plane at Heathrow and the one which landed on the front lawn of the Whitehouse) and some sort of collision avoidance system before we all go out and buy one.

As with any technology though, the drones will continue to improve in quality and abilities and the price will come down too.

In the meantime, check out the Gadget Show video –

If you skip along to 5 minutes 30, the fireworks start shortly after.


Spider Aerial Filming Fireworks

Anyone who recently watched the British Musical fireworks championships could not fail to be mesmerised by all the fireworks, but for Ben Sheppard (pictured above) and Mike Bishop (pictured below) it was just another day at the office.

Mike & Ben, who run Spider professional aerial filming, were approached by the BBC ‘One Show’ to film the British Musical fireworks championships; making the video the UK’s first ever professionally shot fireworks with a drone flying through the display.

Using state of the art equipment, costing up to £7000 for the camera alone, we definitely felt that tensions would have been running high when you take how close to some of those huge display shells the drone was flying.

Filming at a whopping 4000 pixels per inch giving a resolution of 3840 x 2160 or 25 frames per second at 200 megabits per second, you really feel part of the action.

Using a Vulcan Multi Frame Spider Super 8 Octo-Copter fitted with back up batteries, this is classified as a 7-20 kilo aircraft and with CAA permission these coaxial designed aircraft are the safest in the industry.

The list of works filmed by the Spider guys is impressive in itself; you will have seen them in action if you have watched premiership football in Scotland on BT Sport, the World Formula 2 Powerboat Racing or the Evian Ladies Masters’ Golf Tournament.

So if there is anyone out there who wants to capture a moment for prosperity from an unusual angle, contact them through the contact page on their website –

In the meantime enjoy the fireworks.