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Old November 13th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #1
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Best settings for helicoptershoot

Hi,
somebody with experience with shooting from a helicopter with the ex1?
Wich are the best settings for that kind of footage?

Jurgen
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Old November 13th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #2
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If you are shooting handheld, I would recommend shooting 720p in full overcrank. Slow motion heli stuff looks great. Shoot short clips if you can then apply the smoothcam filter if you are using Final Cut. I originally thought that Smoothcam was a gimmick but it is actually quite amazing.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #3
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Shooting very wide, or with a wide lens or wide angle adapter, or even a fishey can help. Those things get very bumbpy sometimes and the wider you are, the easier it is to hold steady. Of course, you'll probably be shooting at something far away and will want to zoom in at time, so pray for good weather and a good pilot.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #4
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Smoothcam miracles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony LeHoven View Post
I originally thought that Smoothcam was a gimmick but it is actually quite amazing.
Tony is absolutely correct. Smoothcam indeed is can fullfill miracles - a gliding camera like an eagle's eye from high above. If you own a very performant Mac, you might even download Shake/Trial.
It's free for 30 days. Shake is where Smoothcam was born or comes from. See www.apple.com/shake
However it takes time to get to know how to handle Smootcam best and beware, ou might fall in love with an effect, which might cost you five grand ;-)

Just a short side note: Smoothcam works best with progressive video, so either de-interlace or record progressive right from the first take on.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #5
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It's been years since I shot from a plane but as I remember the most important thing is finding a way to brace yourself in your seat and still get the most variety of shots. These were larger, heavier cameras but in some ways that was an advantage. If you have a chance to get in early your seat early, experiment.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 04:01 PM   #6
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Shooting from a heli with EX1

You didn't mention if you'll be using a stabilized mount, if you are, you might/should be able to shoot at normal speed with good results.

Otherwise, Tony's suggestion is a good one, 60fps/720p. If you need normal speed in the edit, (as you no doubt know) you can do a speed change in post back to 24 or 30. I prefer to keep autofocus, steadishot and peaking on. The latter really helps with checking and correcting focus in a fast-changing setting like a heli.

Most of your effort will be in trying to keep the camera steady, so you don't want to lose a shot because you blew the exposure or focus. For practice, get someone to drive you around town in a car and try shooting handheld from the passenger seat. You can decide beforehand what ND filter you'll have on and what focal lengths you feel comfortable with. If you let the pilot know this and discuss the shots and sun position before he starts the engine, you'll improve your chances of getting good results.

Have a good shoot.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 04:58 PM   #7
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Thanks,
here a little more details.
The ex1 wil be mounted in a remote controlled helicopter with artificial inteligance for stability and with gyroscopes.
i worked a lot with helicopters but never with the ex1

thanks for the answers
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Old November 13th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jurgen Taghon View Post
Thanks,
here a little more details.
The ex1 wil be mounted in a remote controlled helicopter ...
You are a braver man than I! I imagined you using your camera, not mounting it and waving goodbye while nervously smiling at the RC pilot.

This must be a pretty big RC copter to handle the weight of the camera.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 05:04 PM   #9
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I do a lot of helicopter work, always handheld because it is often in locations where mounts aren't available.

I used to use my full size shoulder mount, but find a handheld is better with the OIS on.

If at all possible try to hire a gyro (or 2) to attach to the camera. I own a Kenlab KS8 and it makes a massive difference. One gyro only stabilizes 2 axis of movement though.

Also try to isolate your upper body from the helicopter to avoid vibration.

Try and find the smoothest shooting direction which depends on the wind. Make sure you have a very experienced pilot and don't encourage anything stupid! Filming from helicopters is pretty dangerous and has killed a lot of people!!!
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