Author Bio

TJ DiazT.J. Diaz, had long been consulting in IT software for a living and flying radio-controlled helicopters on the side as a hobby. Then in 2008, Canon introduced digital single-lens reflex cameras that made it possible to obtain cinema-quality video on a modest budget. “I just connected the dots,” says Diaz, who immediately went to work mounting such cameras on his helicopters and soon added gyro-­stabilized gimbals to dampen their motions in the air. “Once I saw the video, I knew we were onto something big.” Diaz now works entirely with drones, as an instructor with the ­Phoenix-based Unmanned Vehicle University and also designing equipment for drone cinematography through his own company, Denver-based Xfly Systems.

The camera swoops in