That Drone is (probably) NOT Spying on You

Shoot Down Drone

So another guy decided to take it upon himself to shoot down his neighbor’s Drone. The idiocy behind this Drone shooting has pissed me off enough to write this glorious article. I will begin with an easy to digest list of reasons that will help people unfamiliar with Drones understand why they (probably) aren’t being spied on.

7 Reasons that Drone Isn’t Spying on You:

  1. You’re much less pretty, handsome, or interesting than your parents led you to believe you are.
  2. No one is so interested in you that they’d pay someone to spy on you. Most strangers wouldn’t want to spy on you without being paid.
  3. Drones generally use cameras with wide angle lenses. These lenses are designed to capture landscapes. They capture a big wide view of things, and unless the drone is literally 10-20 feet from you – its user won’t see too much.
  4. Drones can be seen, heard, and easily detected – making them terrible tools for spying. People who spy on you will not use stark raving white drones, or grey ones, or black ones. Not even green ones. You will not see or hear their equipment. People conducting surveillance generally use quiet, high end DSLR style cameras with expensive zoom lenses that allow them to photograph you from a distance without being detected.
  5. Most people are just flying their drones for fun as a hobby or pastime. Some are even photographers and video professionals.
  6. Perverts now have internet porn, so there’s no need to go through the expense and trouble of flying a Drone just to get off.
  7. Battery life on most Drones is 12-15 minutes. Wasting that precious time spying on you takes away from the fun.

I can rationalize with people all I want, but there are still some folks out there that my reasoning just won’t be good enough for. So let me make some suggestions for Drone pilots and for those concerned about their privacy.

NAY — let me not make suggestions, but provide clear, precise instructions on how to handle things.

What to do if you’re the Drone Pilot:

  1. Fly over uninhabited spaces. Never fly over private property without permission.
  2. If you want to fly over or even near private property – TALK to a few people who own properties where you’ll be flying. Let them know who you are and tell them why you’re flying — for fun, take photos of sunset, etc…
  3. If they express interest, let them watch. Ask them if they want a photo of their house from the air.
  4. If they give you any opposition, just let them know you’ll remain well clear of their property line and won’t take any photos or video of them or their family.
  5. If that isn’t good enough and they won’t leave you alone – call the police.

What to do if you you’re the person who wants to SHOOT down the Drone:

  1. Go and TALK to the person flying the Drone. Express your concerns.
  2. Realize that you can’t just go around shooting at people’s property. It isn’t legal and the Drone pilot is surely not worth wasting time with the police or in jail.
  3. If the Drone operator is rude, or inconsiderate – then call the police and have them work for you instead of against you.

Calm, level headed communication will solve most issues!

So, with all this talk of Drones not being good tools for spying, you might want to know – What would be a great tool for spying?

GLAD YOU ASKED! My choice as a photographer:

But that stuff is expensive. So if you’re paranoid about people spying on you and you really want to get freaked out, check out the Nikon COOLPIX P900 – it has 83X optical zoom and costs around $600. If someone wants to see you from very, very, very far away – this will do the trick. Here’s what it can do: