Filming from an aircraft

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    • #47479


      I want to start doing aerial filming i.e. taking video from a light aircraft of the landscape. Hi,

      I want to do HD video from an airplane, but need advice on
      which type of camcorder. I have been told that becuase of the vibration
      in the aircraft I must be careful which medium the camcorder writes to
      (i.e. disc, card etc). Any advice on what specs a camcorder must have to
      take high quality footage from an aircraft.

    • #195632

      The first question that comes to mind for me is – how do you plan to steady or stabilize your camera during the flight while shooting footage? Handheld will be too shaky. Resting on a pillow – maybe. Gyros – mostly way out of budget. Glidecam – possible. Tripod or monopod – no. Camera or lens stabilization – yes, it worked for me on a helicopter should produce footage that can be worked with in post fairly easily (warp stabilizer). I have used the on camera and on lens stabilization filming on board a high speed boat that had a great deal of bouncing going on and was able to capture acceptable footage.

      I would think writing to disc could be problematic but I do not have any experience recording directly to disc (moving drive head). However, writing to a card should be fine – there are no real drive mechanisms writing to the card just 1’s and 0’s.

      For what it’s worth – now you have my two cents.

    • #195633

      also depends on the type of footage you want… lens selection and focal length etc…

      I’d shoot go-pro cams as you can do a multi angle multi-cam shoot cheap and get cutaways with the wing, or tail or inside of the aircraft, as well as the ground and sky.. but go=pros are ALL fish-eye ultrawide lenses…

    • #195634

      Ok, maybe need to have given more info. I am the pilot and my partner
      sits at the back (handheld) and films through large open windows. We
      film landscape scenic shots. It is a light aircraft that can fly slowly.

      1) Is a CMOS sensor a problem?
      2) Will a card based camcorder work?

      Any other advice?

    • #195635

      how you intend to shoot doesn’t help as much as what you intend to shoot… lens focal lengths are critical here… the longer the lens, the greater the challenges regarding image stabilization…….. also affects things like depth of field…

      so as for sensor type,, you’ll be shooting during the day? good light? ANY sensor ought to be fine (read up on rolling shutter effects if you’re including moving subjects from a moving vehicle) in good light.. make sure the lens can take filters as a polarizer may be needed for some shooting..

      anything that shoots to hdv or memory card… memory cards being preferable… will do.

    • #195636


      Having cut my teeth in the business as an Aerial Photo/Videographer, the first question you need to ask is; ‘What type of aircraft will I shoot from?’ The aircraft (or platform) you’ll be gathering images in will decide what your options are for getting smooth aerial footage.

      If you have a certain degree of room to shoot (like out of a helicopter door) it may be possible to rig up an impromptu bungee cradle for your camera. If you have much less like out the window of a Cessna, you’ll have to use long straps securing the camera to you so it can be held out the window.

      First thing to remember is you cannot rest your arms or any part of the camera array on the aircraft. Whether a prop, jet or glider, there will be vibrations causing camera shake.

      As for what camera to use? Again, it depends on how much room you’ll have in the aircraft. I’ve shot with big broadcast cameras in helo’s and palm-sized rigs in the back of a fighter.

      Whatever you shoot with make sure you have medium to telephoto length lenses. You can shoot with wide lenses if you’re looking for ‘Planet Shots’. But if you’re looking to highlight a specific area or structure, you’ll need those longer lenses.

    • #195637

      also with a helicopter… there is such a thing as Balancing the rotors… that can be done before shooting.. and makes a huge difference in vibrations!

    • #195638

      I will be shooting;

      1) In good light during the day

      2) Mostly landscape “planet” shots

      3) From the backseat of the light aircraft through large opne windows

      4) Handheld

      5) Not enough room for large broadcast cameras. A medium sized camera can be used.

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