It's time to beat Google at its own game. They've got Street View? We'll have Aerial View, shots of the world from 30m up. It'll sell better than Seven Minute Abs and these seven tools will help you do it.
Yes, I suppose you could accomplish the same shot by clambering up a nearby flag pole, but wouldn't it be easier to just mount a telescoping mast to the rear bumper of your truck? The Giraffe Cam reaches a maximum height of 30m and can hold up to 200kg of recording equipment. Price depends on spec.
If you need a very tall, very stationary shot, aerostats are the way to go. They cost virtually nothing to operate — outside the cost of helium — and the Kingfisher series can lift loads from 2kg to 18kg as high as 1000 feet (300m). starting at $US1200.
If it's good enough for Rupert Murdoch, it's damn well good enough for you. Approximately $US15,000.
Whaddya mean you don't have $US15,000 to throw down on a quadcopter? You could do just as well using the wide-angle VGA lens mounted on the front end of an AR Drone, or hell, just strap a GoPro to its underside. $US300.
No Top Gun fanfic is complete without a DIY dogfight scene. This R/C F4E Phantom records up to four hours of AVI video and WAV audio using an 18 gram camcorder mounted on its belly. $170
Sadly no, this isn't a Batman Bat Cam — that would involve way more brooding and carbon fibre. This prototype Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) was developed by a US Army-funded research program, measuring six inches long and weighing only 114g. It has the ability to scavenge power from solar, wind and kinetic sources. $US22.5 million in funding so far.
Photo: Eric Maslowsk.
The end all, be all in aerial surveillance. The SR-71 Blackbird is the only plane in US aviation history to run continuously on afterburners. Its typical cruising speed was Mach 3.2 and its service ceiling was 85,000 feet (26,000m), making it the fastest and highest-flying plane in the world during its reign. And using the HYCON Technical Objective Camera (with a six inch resolution), it can totally see your house from here. $US33 million.