Q: Why use a drone to film Olympic events?
A: "We can go really, really close. And we are really quiet, so nobody is distracted," said pilot and cameraman Remo Masina, who has used drones to film skiers in Switzerland for commercials.
And it's cheaper than a camera crew on a helicopter.
A drone with mounted camera can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $37,000 for a top-of-the-line Ikarus from Britain's Heliguy, which is advising broadcast clients in Sochi on using drones, said Heliguy's Justin Pringle.
That compares with the cost of a few thousand dollars an hour to rent a helicopter with pilot, not including the camera crew and equipment.
Flexibility is key. Drones allow unique angles and "allow more height than a crane, but are able to get lower than a helicopter," said a statement from Olympic Broadcasting Services, which provides the official world feed of all the events at the games and is using one drone in Sochi.
Broadcasting live from a remote-controlled device is more complicated than recording, but not hugely so. It requires an extra transmitter to send back live video, which adds weight and limits how fast the drones can fly. But Masina, who is not involved in the Olympic footage, said he can still fly a drone at up to 40 mph while transmitting a high-definition, live image.
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