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Some paragliders are used for aerial photography, although powered paragliders are also popular because they are not limited by the need to find rising air currents to stay aloft. A powered glider can also fly early in the morning or late in the evening when thermals are difficult to find.

Paragliders are the cheapest aerial photography platform and fly as slowly as 30 kilometres per hour. They are inherently stable craft, so the pilot can find time to control a camera at the same time as fly the paraglider.

The powered option involves the pilot wearing a small motor and caged propeller on his or her back, and the activity is sometimes known as paramotoring. The principal advantages of a paramotor system are portability and low cost of operation. The system can be conveniently transported by car and launched almost anywhere provided weather conditions are suitable.

Paragliding and paramotoring pilots have a high degree of control over flying speed and the angle of a shot, and can often operate closer to the ground than the pilots of other aircraft types.

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