Above: this image won first prize recently in a National Geographic-sponsored competition exclusively for drones. Read the full story at bbc.co.uk

Above: trekking in the Himalayas. Drone pilot Jon Miller put his drone to good use on a trek to the foot of Everest.

Camera drones ("drone" meaning Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV) have very much revolutionised the way video and pictures are recorded to the same extent that action cameras like GoPro and other brands have made the filming of action footage accessible and even fashionable - filming yourself doing crazy stuff at high speed is now cool and you can (and you'll want to!) share it online with the wired world.  Strapping a GoPro to a radio-controlled quad copter was simply the next logical step in the evolution.

I've now used a camera drone in a number of projects and honestly, I'm hooked. Before the rise of the drone, aerial footage was something only big-budget productions could afford. Now you can shoot your own aerial landscapes in crystal clear HD if you're willing to fork out some cash for a GoPro and what is basically a small radio-controlled helicopter on steroids. The top of the range models feature gyro-stabilised camera mounts and GPS guidance and these little machines have very legitimate roles in everything from cinematography to industrial site inspections and surveying. Sadly this is all very much being ruined by the agendas of narrow-minded government and civil aviation officials who regard drones as evil, dangerous and a threat to everyone's privacy. Personally I think this is all utterly ridiculous and only time will tell how the legal situation around this will play out.

In the meantime, elsewhere in the free world, people are filming extraordinary things with drones. The images speak for themselves.

I wonder if the eagle in the picture above complained afterwards about its privacy being violated, or if that's just something modern day humans worry about...