There's been a bit of media coverage lately of drones. Until fairly recently these remote controlled aerial vehicles outfitted with cameras were out of the reach of most people. Only the military could afford them and their spy cameras came alongside weapons.

The newest models, however, retail in camera shops and hobbyist stores for less than $1,000 plus the GoPro camera that can be fitted with them. And they're easier than a remote controlled helicopter to fly. In fact most people pick it up in less than 10 minutes.

Hamilton's Snapshot Cameras, in Victoria St, recently became New Zealand's authorised reseller for US manufacturer DJI and has sold around a dozen of the company's drones since Christmas.

Phantom 2 Quadcopter

Drones have all sorts of commercial and domestic purposes.

Imagine a real estate agent being able to photograph a property from the sky with one, or a farmer being able to check stock up in the hills. What about being able to photograph your son's football or rugby match from the sky, or your daughter's surfing?

As usual legislation has not moved as quickly as technology, so privacy issues are covered by the same rules that include closed circuit television camera. If you have one of those on your property it must not cover your neighbour's back yard unless they consent.

Civil Aviation Authority rules also prevent you from flying a drone with 4 km of an airport for fear it could interfere with a commercial or even private flight.