It's International Drone Day – but has the golden age of UAVs been and gone?

Parrot AR Drone in outdoor hull by a lake
(Image credit: Adam Juniper)

It's International Drone Day and I have to ask, "Is the golden age of drones already behind us?" It's not that the tech is getting worse; it's better than ever. But I am starting to feel that we've passed Max-Q; the pressure to improve is slackening off while rules (and irresponsible pilots) are spoiling things for everyone.

When I was first getting into what we now call drones, the emerging community hated the word 'Drone.' Hated it. There were connotations of the Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which had dropped thousands of bombs in Iraq. Their use was, at best, unsporting in military terms. Very few enthusiastic hobbyists playing with electronics and software wanted the association.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook