June 24 2022

Self-flying 4K Camera Drone is Solo-Creator's New BFF

Kendall Martin

Kendall Martin

Introduction

Everybody calls me simply Lukas, I live in the UK and I'm a media freelancer by profession. Outdoor adventuring and sports have always been my favorite hobbies. I'm most proud of recognizing that the simple things in life give me satisfaction. Things like going out into nature, exploring new places, experimenting with new sports and enjoying everything I've got, regardless of how much I've got.

Experience with drones

In 2014 my business partner and I bought a DJI Phantom 2 which was my first ever drone. We used it to film weddings, corporate videos and it was the drone I acquired my license with. Flying a Skydio drone is completely different and light-years better. There’s no way I could predict this technology back in 2014. I thought drones would always have to be flown manually, but Skydio changed that.

"Skydio is one of very few companies that show the truth in their marketing material. What I saw in Skydio's promo videos is exactly what I'm getting now with my Skydio 2 drone."

Lukas Staniszewski

Skydio Featured Flyer

Skydio 2 launching from case at beach
Skydio 2 launching from Starter Case

In 2019, I was robbed of my possessions, including my drone, laptop, camera, iphone, bluetooth speaker, even my bicycle, as well as a few other items. When I started looking for a new drone, I stumbled across the Skydio 2 Launch Video and I have to say, the first shot in the video is Oscar-worthy! After watching the whole video, I knew I needed a Skydio 2. Skydio is one of very few companies that show the truth in their marketing material. What I saw in Skydio's promo videos is exactly what I'm getting now with my Skydio 2 drone. Because of that, I have a huge amount of respect for everybody that works at Skydio.

Skydio 2 following electric skateboarder
Skydio tracking Lukas in dense obstacles

Skydio drone experience

The first time I flew my Skydio, I was very nervous. As much as I believed Skydio was capable of avoiding obstacles, I couldn’t stop watching it over my shoulder, constantly supervising the environment and hovering my thumb over the red emergency-stop button on the Beacon. My heart was pounding. I was totally focused, and step by step I was building my confidence in the drone. After two more flights, I gained much more confidence in my Skydio 2. I stopped watching the drone fly and started focusing on what really mattered, enjoying the moment.

Skydio filming skateboarder
Lukas riding his e-skate on a beach boardwalk

Early on, I ran into a few hardware & software issues, but Skydio's customer support was excellent. I was sent replacements and what they did for me is what I would consider, “the gold-standard of customer support.” I have massive respect for Skydio's customer support team and I'll always remember how fairly they treated me.

"In my family, I have always been the one filming and photographing family and holiday events. Over time I came to realize that the footage I capture is more valuable than anything else."

Lukas Staniszewski

Skydio Featured Flyer

Favorite things to film

Among many outdoor activities, riding an electric skateboard is the number 1 on my list. There aren't enough words to describe how grateful I am for Skydio because I can finally film myself riding my e-board, without looking at a controller (ruining the shot) or worrying about trees. Coming home to watch the smooth footage in stunning 4k HDR is always so satisfying. My friend who flies with a DJI Mavic Air is alway dumbfounded when I show him my Skydio footage. Most importantly, I feel safe while piloting and riding. I can completely focus on riding, which is necessary as my e-board goes up to 30mph and I often ride in sketchy terrain.

Skydio 2 tracking electric skateboader in trees

In my family, I have always been the one filming and photographing family and holiday events. Over time I came to realize that the footage I capture is more valuable than anything else. When I see tears in the eyes of my family as they watch VHS tapes from the 90's, I know the same thing is going to happen to me with my Skydio footage. In the future, my videos will be priceless to me. I’ll be watching them, reminiscing about the awesome times I had, all thanks to Skydio.

Skydio 2 orbiting subject at beach
Skydio 2 capturing Lukas' climb to the top of a jagged rock

Favorite features/Skills

Without any hesitation, Drag & Drop has to be my favorite overall Skydio feature. Controlling the Skydio drone like this as it follows you is ingenious and whoever came up with it should get a bonus! I love simplifying things in life to make it easier. Drag & Drop is not only ingenious, it’s simple to use. I didn't even know such a thing could be done with drones! This is just more proof of Skydio engineers’ genius. I use Drag & Drop to position my Skydio 2 before starting an activity and for framing the exact shots I want. It's brilliant!

My favorite tracking Skill is Orbit, which is great all around for capturing smooth shots with dynamic motion. You can even control Orbit direction, speed, and height, all using Drag & Drop with the Beacon. Superb simplicity.

"Un-f*cking-believable, this looks like something from Michael Bay's movie!"

Lukas Staniszewski

Skydio Featured Flyer

Favorite Skydio video

Without a doubt, this is my favorite Skydio footage I’ve ever captured. I love it because it turned out to be so epic and yet all I had to do was let Skydio do its thing. Although this entire rock was razor sharp, I managed to climb to the top without too many cuts. I used the Beacon to engage the Orbit Skill and then mainly focused on not falling to my death. I have to confess, I was scared at the time, but I had 100% confidence that Skydio would  autonomously capture the moment so I could return home with another priceless memory. I showed the footage to my friend and he said, "Un-f*cking-believable, this looks like something from Michael Bay's movie!". If it weren’t for my Skydio 2, the video would have been much less memorable.

Skydio 2 orbiting subject at beach
Skydio 2 orbiting Lukas at the beach

Tips for success

Analyzing the environment prior to launching Skydio is crucial to flying safely with an autonomous drone. I always thoroughly check the area for potential risks such as: thin cables, safety nets, and people. In short, my top advice is: use your common sense to predict potential risks and dangers in an area you want to fly the Skydio in. Random people's behavior is always the most difficult to predict. Some people love drones, others are scared of them, some hate them. Being aware of your surroundings when it comes to hazardous obstacles, airspace restrictions, and other people is extremely important to avoid any dangerous flying situations.

Skydio 2 following subject autonomously at beach
Skydio 2 following Lukas at the beach in Portugal

Being able to take control or stop at all times is just as crucial to staying safe. Always have the ability to quickly stop your drone from tracking with the Skydio App (red X at the top right of the screen) Beacon (red square button), or Controller (same as Skydio App). I keep the Beacon on a leash hanging from my neck. This way I can quickly grab it and press stop in an emergency, swiftly move the drone to safety using Drag & Drop, or simply change the Tracking Skill. With this ability I feel confident that I can fully focus on whatever sport activity I'm doing and capture the incredible moments of my ride.

Skydio tracking through dense forest
Skydio 2 tracking Lukas on his e-skateboard through dense forest

Social

I mostly share my Skydio videos on Facebook and my YouTube channel. I love to share footage from Portugal, which I often visit. The South of Portugal has got one of the most epic landscapes and terrain features I've ever seen. Weather there is perfect, the light is amazing and the ocean looks marvelous during sunsets. I'd also go to the US and go on a road trip along the West Coast with my Skydio drone.

"Go out there, do what you love while letting Skydio film it for you. These videos, these memories, they will be priceless in the future."

Lukasz Staniszewski

Skydio Featured Flyer

Conclusion

Remember, if you look after your gear, your gear looks after you. My dad taught me this when I was a kid and I'm hugely grateful to him for such a valuable lesson. As drone technology gets better, it also gets more complex and delicate (if treated poorly), so please look after your Skydio drone and it will look after you (while capturing incredible shots). Make sure you also understand your Skydio drone’s features by watching Skydio Flight School, reading the manuals, and transporting/storing your Skydio gear responsibly.

Go out there, do what you love while letting Skydio film it for you. These videos, these memories, they will be priceless in the future.

Lukas and family Skydio 2 dronie