With drones as filmmakers, these ski resorts let you leave camera at home

We have seen awesome amateur GoPro content, and we have also watched some bad ones. While the tiny GoPro Hero camcorders make it easy for everyone to record their vacations, shooting the type of cool action shots, popularized in GoPro ads, require pre-planning and equipment – not exactly what you want to think about when you’re trying to enjoy your holiday, especially if you’re racing down a snow-packed mountain. This winter, if you’re planning to hit select ski resorts in the U.S. and Canada, a company called Cape Productions is offering to film you in a highly polished manner worthy of the X-Games.

At British Columbia’s Fernie Alpine Resort; California’s Homewood Mountain; Colorado’s Winter Park Resort and Copper Mountain; Idaho’s Schweitzer Mountain; New Jersey’s Mountain Creek; Oregon’s Timberline Lodge and Mount Hood Meadows; and Utah’s Powder Mountain, Cape will use its arsenal of customized autonomous drones to track and film you as you ski or snowboard downhill. You don’t have to worry about making sure you’re in frame or carrying a telescoping pole, so you can concentrate on, you know, not crashing into anything; the drone can keep up with its subject, flying up to 40 miles-per-hour (unless you’re doing Super G). Using GPS and mapping, the drones are programmed to avoid obstacles. But what drone videography gives you that you could never achieve on your own, are the aerial shots from various angles.

The added benefit to the service is that Cape will edit the clips to produce a professional-quality, two-minute video that you’d want to share on social media. As a production company staffed with former Google and Stanford University engineers, Cape has worked with the likes of the U.S. Ski Team to film their training sessions. Depending on the resort, the service costs between $100-$200 and includes three runs. Even if you decide to shoot some POV footage from your GoPro, you can add the aerial shots from Cape to create an even more impressive video.

And before you consider bringing your own drone to the slopes, realize that they are banned at most resorts, despite their increase in popularity among hobbyists. The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), which represents more than 300 facilities in the U.S. and Canada, has drafted a policy that restricts drone usage without authorization. The agency told Outside Magazine that it isn’t against drone usage – unmanned aerial vehicles can help in search and rescue missions, and, in the hands of professional videographers, can capture the type of great footage that used to require helicopters – but, in the hands of inexperienced users, they can be disruptive and dangerous.

Cape, however, has received permission to fly at Canadian resorts from Transport Canada, and has special approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly drones at select resorts. Founded in 2014, the company spent the last year building and testing its drones, and is now working with the FAA and NSAA to expand the service to more resorts, and recently raised $10.4 million in private funding in order to do so.

Product Review

With the Z7, Nikon gives DSLR holdouts the mirrorless wonder they've waited for

Nikon’s long awaited full-frame mirrorless cameras are here, and the Z7 is the new flagship model. But does it stand up to the company's DSLR pedigree, and, more importantly, does it have what it takes to compete with the likes of Sony?

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Emerging Tech

Bottle-flipping robots may be the most millennial thing we’ve ever seen

Until drones start vaping, you're unlikely to see anything more millennial than a recent contest in Japan in which robots competed to pull off some seriously impressive bottle-flipping feats.

Photography News: Flickr keeping Creative Commons photos, ONA gets colorful

Flickr has confirmed it's saving all Creative Commons images, ONA has released a new capsule collection in partnership with Passion Passport and 7Artisans has launched a new drone-specific 35mm f/5.6 lens.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.

Flickr just expanded Pro tools — but free users may have to delete some photos

If you have more than 1,000 photos on a free Flickr account, you might want to decide which to delete . Flickr announced some changes following an acquisition by SmugMug, including a new way to calculate the free account storage limit.
Product Review

Rylo is the 360 camera that finally makes 360 video useful

The Rylo puts a new spin on 360 video by focusing on flat, fixed-frame output. It can’t quite replace your action camera or camcorder, but it shows a glimmer of what the future of consumer video could be.

Premiere Pro A.I. plug-in for Adobe paints your videos in the style of van Gogh

CyberLink is bringing its suite of artificial intelligence-based video effects directly to Adobe users as a plug-in for Premiere Pro. The A.I. Style video plug-in "redraws" video in the styles of artists like Vincent van Gogh.

Get your Sagan on with 60 awe-inspiring photos of the final frontier

Few things instill a sense of wonder quite like the final frontier. The best space photos show off the beauty of Earth, our solar system, and the far corners of the universe. Here are our current favorites.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Product Review

Airselfie 2 may as well be a GoPro stapled to a drunk hummingbird

On paper, the Airselfie 2 is marketed as flying photographer that fits in your pocket and snaps selfies from the sky. Unfortunately it’s more like a HandiCam controlled by a swarm of intoxicated bumblebees

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.