Aerial & Nature Videography

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    • #39594
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      Howdy again. Looking for your views on this: I’m making a nature / environment video and considering renting a camera to use. The camcorders offered for rent are the Panasonic PVGS500 and the 300.

      The specs for the 500 are:

      Digital Zoom – 700X
      Optical Zoom – 12X
      Optical Sensor Size – 1/4.7 inch
      Optical Sensor Type – 3CCD
      Minimum Illumination – 5 Lux

      The specs on the 300 are:

      Digital Zoom – 700X
      Optical Zoom – 10X
      Optical Sensor Size – 1/6 inch
      Optical Sensor Type – 3CCD
      Minimum Illumination – 12 Lux

      Part of the video will be aerial taken from a small plane (Cessna type) (not sure of the exact altitude). The other part would be while hiking or canoeing, which would bring the camera in much closer to the subjects. Would you recommend either of these camcorder for good quality video for this particular purpose?

      πŸ™‚

    • #170958
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      The 500 has slightly larger Optical Sensor Size, which is nice. Also, the 500 can shoot under slightly dimmer light, but either camcorder should work fine in daylight. Zoom range beyond about 6X isn’t all that useful unless you’ve got a tripod. When you’re shooting from the plane, it would be a good idea to use a strong UV filter, to cut down the haze. (By strong, I mean more filtering power. It will have a very faint yellow cast.) If you don’t use a good UV filter, the video might look too blue and hazey. Even when on the ground, shooting distant landscapes usually works best with a UV filter. When you’re shooting things up close, the haze it not noticable. For canoeing, a UV or clear filter would help protect the lens from water. You might even put the camcorder in a protective plastic bag.

      Good luck, πŸ™‚
      Ken Hull

    • #170959
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      Thank you very much for your advice!

    • #170960
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      One more thing about aerial shooting! I will have to put the camcorder through the window on the side. This will be for about 1 hour in total.

      I was thinking of placing it on a tripod (for the purpose of having it firmly clamped) of course with the tripods legs completely closed, or maybe a monopod, to keep it steady (and to prevent a seriously sore arm). Do you think using any of these things is a good idea, or a recipe for disaster?

      I don’t want to shoot through the glass because the angle will be funny and the glass will not be so clear.

      The other thing is that I don’t want the plane’s cross bar showing in the video. The idea is to record only the landscape.

    • #170961
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      The GS500 has the longer optical zoom, which will be helpful.

      If the purpose is to get the best video, I’d suggest renting or borrowing a helicopter.

      Planes make for especially unstable video, so you may want to make or buy a handheld stabilizer (Glidecam, Steadycam, Flowpod, etc.) if you’re serious about using the Cesna.

      Good luck!

      -andrew @ videomaker

    • #170962
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      eventDV magazine recently had an excellent article about shooting from aircraft. I recommend you read it before this shoot.

      Thanks Hank, I looked for the article, haven’t found it yet, but will continue looking.

      Both cameras are consumer grade cameras, with tiny sensors. If I’m spending money on a plane and if this excursion is a fairly rare occurance, I’m shooting with good stuff, not consumer stuff, though I admit to being hesitant about bringing my VX2100s & FX1 on canoe trips – especially when running Class II and better!

      Yes, this trip is a rare occurrence! Wish I could use a more professional camcorder, however, being in Trinidad makes buying or renting this kind of equipment prohibiitive for someone independent like me. The very PVG-S500 is for sale for $9,194.00 (about US$1,460.00) and that’s without lenses, filters or anything – just the camera in the box.

      I guess using the tripod as balance weight to smooth things out might be a decent compromise. Be sure and pump some iron for a couple months ahead of time!

      I’m also thinking of super-securing the camcorder via a strap leading from it to the inside of the plane. It would be a quite a sight if it became dislodged in mid-flight!

      If the purpose is to get the best video, I’d suggest renting or borrowing a helicopter.

      Andrew, I’d love to film from a helicopter – the price here will be about $4,000.00, the Cessna around $1,000.00. Perhaps it doesn’t look like alot of money when converted to US but it’s costly for us. Then, the fee goes up if you want to do video or still photos and goes up again for permission to fly at a lower altitude for the purpose of photography – why I need to pay for permission is beyond me, I think permission should be granted on a piece of paper and that should be the end of it, I’m already paying for the flight.

      Thanks for all of your responses, they are appreciated. πŸ™‚

    • #170963
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      πŸ™‚

    • #170964
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      [quote="compusolver"

      Unless your plane can fly a bit sideways to protect you from the wind, the above mentioned stabilizer systems will be of no use to you. [/quote]

      Ah, I didn’t read that Microchip was hanging it out the window πŸ™‚

    • #170965
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      πŸ˜€ heh heh, yep it’ll be out the window. I’m seriously contemplating Compusolver’s advice to

      Be sure and pump some iron for a couple months ahead of time!

      and just hold it with my arm. I’ve been on the Cessna and I recall the window being small.

    • #170966
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I mount cameras on planes all the time. see http://www.kbvp.com I now use the Viosport Adventure Cam III http://www.viosport.com
      With over 400 onboard mounts, I have yet had a problem.

      Keith Breazeal
      Flight Video Magazine
      http://www.kbvp.com

    • #170967
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      Cool website and info KBVP … πŸ™‚

      (I’ve never seen a Buggycopter before… πŸ˜‰ ) (Tried to see if the buggy was positioned in front of an aircraft and was totally separate from it. Can’t make up my mind.)

    • #170968
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      The car 😯 is part of it. No way would I even get close to that "aircraft" when it starts or flies! 😯 😯 😯

    • #170969
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      Small Cesna’s aren’t too bad shooting sideways and down, due to the high wing, but forward shooting is not so good due to the wing strut. The passenger door comes off fairly easily, and if the pilot is used to parachute dropping, he’ll be happy flying without it. You can then remove the passenger seat too, wear a harness for safety, and sit with your feet hanging out, and get controllable side shots with reasonable ease. He won’t let you take off in that position, but if you’re strapped in, it’s fine – and good fun too!

    • #170970
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      Thanks Paul for the suggestion! I never knew the door came off, now I wil ask about that!

    • #170971
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      On a high wing plane like the Cessna, you can mount the Viosport on the wing strut. I suggest about a 30-45 degree angle forward unless there are a lot of trees obscurring the subject. Using Viosport’s "ultra-clamp" really helps. If you want to go down this path of cool video, let me know and I’ll walk you through the proceedure.

      here’s what the camera and ultra-mount look like:

      Keith Breazeal / Flight Video Magazine / http://www.kbvp.com

    • #170972
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      Thanks for yet another option. πŸ˜€

    • #170973
      AvatarMicrochip
      Participant

      πŸ˜€ Hi once more. The flight is this weekend, we’ll be using the Panasonic AG-DVX100A to record the video. I checked with the company about having the door removed but it’s not their policy to fly with it off so we’ll have to be a little innovative about steadying the camera.

      So, just to reiterate then, for the nicest-looking video:

      No zooming
      UV filter to reduce the haze
      Steady camera

      If there’re any other helpful hints you’d like to drop, please let me know. Thanks again!

    • #170974
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      Just my $0.02 – The digital zoom is meaningless – You should never use it (it will just pixelate the image). Th optical zoom is the only type of zoom that is meaningful and the difference between 10x and 12x is negligible.

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