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Old April 26th, 2004, 12:13 PM   #1
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DVX100(a) from a helicopter

Working on a project where the producers have decided they want some aerial shots, and I need to find out if there's any special settings I should use when shooting from a helicopter. It doesn't seem like there ought to be, since all you're doing is going really high up. . .but what do I know?
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Old April 26th, 2004, 01:24 PM   #2
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I say enable OIS and a normal shutter speed should be fine.

Myself, I'll be shooting an aerial video soon in the week or so. My first...so I'll be learning as well.

Good luck!
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Old April 26th, 2004, 05:34 PM   #3
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Well, if I don't die, I guess mine'll be fun too.
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Old April 27th, 2004, 07:16 PM   #4
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I've shot from a helicopter with a full size camera - sitting in the doorway tethered, with my feet on the strut no less. There is a lot of vibration in a chopper that will tax the OIS. Pros shoot with a Tyler mount or a gyroscopically stabilized remote mounted on the nose.

Good luck, and don't forget the Dramamine.
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Old April 27th, 2004, 08:06 PM   #5
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Ok, that's the second dramamine joke. . .

I'm pushing for the nose-mount, mostly 'cause hanging out the side of a helicopter seems extremely dangerous. . .maybe that's just me (not that I don't admire those who've done it, but I don't particularly want to be one them).

It's also been suggested that I shoot in either 60i or 30p, as the slowdown that'll result from converting back to 24p will take the "edge" off the footage, from the jolting ride.

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Old April 28th, 2004, 07:38 AM   #6
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Never shot from a helicopter, but I'd think you'd want a safety strap for the camera, as well as yourself.

Come to think of it, if the strap was tethered from above with a "bungee" cord, it might help with the stabilization.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 07:49 AM   #7
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You definitely need a camera mounting plate gyro. It can be rented here:



The smooth footage will be well worth the cost.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 10:23 AM   #8
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I meant to respond to this earlier. No gyro, no side mount. Me shooting out the open door or the windshield (do they call it that on a heli?) is the best these people will pay for.

On another note, I'd like to go back to what I mentioned earlier about shooting in 30p or 60i for this stuff. I have a friend who's a pro DP, who does a lot of HD work, and he said when he shoots aerially, he shoots at 30p or 60i, even though the project is 24p, because the slightly slower frame rate, when time corrected, gives you a slight slow motion that takes the edge off all the vibrations. . .

So what I'd like to know is: which is better? 30p or 60i? 60i converts to 24p more easily, correct? And any jaggies incurred from the interlaced video are removed when it's deinterlaced, no?
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Old May 1st, 2004, 10:44 AM   #9
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I meant to respond to this earlier. No gyro, no side mount. Me shooting out the open door or the windshield (do they call it that on a heli?) is the best these people will pay for.

On another note, I'd like to go back to what I mentioned earlier about shooting in 30p or 60i for this stuff. I have a friend who's a pro DP, who does a lot of HD work, and he said when he shoots aerially, he shoots at 30p or 60i, even though the project is 24p, because the slightly slower frame rate, when time corrected, gives you a slight slow motion that takes the edge off all the vibrations. . .

So what I'd like to know is: which is better? 30p or 60i? 60i converts to 24p more easily, correct? And any jaggies incurred from the interlaced video are removed when it's deinterlaced, no?

Sorry, didn't mean to post this twice.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 10:48 AM   #10
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JOsh,
I'd be curious to hear your responses. I will be shooting with the DVX and now am not sure what file scene to use....24p...60i...etc?
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Old May 1st, 2004, 11:50 AM   #11
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Take the door off if you can. Two bungee cords, each attached diagonally across the open port, will form an X where you can rest the camera to reduce vibration. I'd leave the OIS off for this.
Secure yourself to a floor D ring with a safety line (in addition to your seat belt) and also secure your camera. In this type of shoot, the pilot is doing the real work. Communicate what you need BEFORE take off to save time, money and frustration.
Hope this helps.
Ken
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Old May 1st, 2004, 11:59 AM   #12
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Josh,
If you have Premiere Pro, you can use the awesome Steadymove plugin.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 12:31 PM   #13
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Thanks.

Why would you want the OIS off? I won't be shooting from a tripod or anything.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 02:08 PM   #14
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Josh,
I'd leave the OIS off because this feature on the 100/100a has a tendency to "skip" and play catch up more than others I've used. It probably won't play nicely with the kind of vibration you're likely to find in the aircraft. Just my .02.
Ken
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 08:16 PM   #15
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alright. . .I'll take y'all's word for it.
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