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Old May 20th, 2006, 07:24 AM   #1
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Aerial Shoot with xl2

About to start major aerial shoot with xl2. Would like to give viewer sense of flying. Most shooting will be from helicopter - some fixed wing. Have shot other non-aerial parts of this production in 24p advanced with cine setting - but concerned about helicopter vibration (which I understand can be severe). Need recommendation for frame rate (switch to 30p or 60i? - or stay in 24p advanced with high shutter speed)? Most will be daytime bright conditions.
Thanks.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 08:43 AM   #2
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Hello Patrick:

The amount of vibration may or may not be an issue the type of helicopter is a big factor some will shake the guts out of you while others are no problem what so ever.

You mention that the shooting will be in done in bright conditions, my concern would lean more toward the issue of rotor strobe. I've discovered that its difficult to see in the view finder, if you can get a monitor on board and view the output at a larger scale it sure helps.

If you do decide to go at 24 I agree keep the shutter speed up. Again watch out for the strobe if it comes through there goes the illusion of free flying.

Brian
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Old May 20th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #3
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Will the fixed-wing shooting be out a side window or is there a forward looking pod for the camera? A big factor with fixed-wing shooting can be turbulence... especially if the plane is flying low. If it's a clear sunny day, you can almost expect low-level turbulence, and might want to post-pone the fligh so you don't waste money. A day with a featureless overcast or a hazy day (which might not be great for the picture) are best for smooth flying. If shooting out a side window, it seems like the effect of turbulence can be more pronounced in the footage as opposed to a forward looking cam (the plane's roll wil vary more than its pitch).

On the other hand, if it's a very smooth day, you should have absolutely no problem shooting 24p from the plane. As for the chopper, I agree -- it depends on what kind it is.

Hope some of that helped a little.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 09:25 AM   #4
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Very early morning flight is the best time to avoid thermal generated turbulence. The haze will be less as well, but if it's getting to be Summer where the shoot will take place it may be a factor. In the East US it has been very windy. Again, flying very early in the day will mitigate this somewhat. Wind traveling over the Earth can result in turbulence even at higher altitudes.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #5
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24p advanced/shutter speed for hellicopter flight

Appreciate the replys - still have a couple of questions:
1. Is it smart to shoot 24p advanced from a hellicopter - wouldnt the vibration be a problem?
2. If 24p advanced is ok - then any recommendations on shutter speed?
3. Woud helicopter "strope" be a factor even when shooting down - away from the blades? If it is - can you do anything to reduce or eliminate it? Will I be able to see it through the xl2 viewfinder?
4. Is a polorizer recommended?

I am a fixed wing pilot so I am familiar with aero issues, etc. - but have never done any aerial videography before. High quality is important - but dont have the budget to hire a copter with camera stabilization equipment.

Thanks so much.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 07:58 PM   #6
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Hmm, on 3 and 4... I don't see why the strobe effect would be an issue if the blades are out of the image, but certainly, someone correct me if I'm missing something. And I would definately use a polarizer -- either for the window reflections or for the greenery if reflections aren't an issue (unless of course you'll be zoomed in a lot -- my polarizer isn't the best so I tend to get an astigmatism early on)
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 02:24 PM   #7
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Oh boy, something that I actually have experience with!
First off, what effect are you looking for? If you are in 24p and want to keep ground blur to a minimum I would go for a 1/60 or even the next one up (1/75, I think). Before I get attacked, I know that 1/48 is cine-rate, but if you are traveling around at 75+ knots (never mind the vibration) 1/48 @ 24p will really start showing ground blur. If that's the effect you want, then no big deal. Also, since you are shooting on a clear and sunny day, the higher shutter speeds should not affect your exposure (as much).
One thing that I constantly fight is my iris settings. Unlike filming on the ground, when you are in the air (banking, ascending, descending, etc) the sun has a nasty habit of jumping into and out of your FoV.
Now, do you know what aircraft you will be in? I shoot for the National Guard and for a land investment/development firm, so I get stuck in all kinds of machinery. I have found that the UV shade film that you can stick on the window is invaluable to help eliminate sun-spots.
One thing you may want to check out is if your Dept. of Transportation (FDOT?) contracts out with any specific company for their roadway surveying? NDOT contracts with a guy out of Reno that has a camera pod on the bottom his Cessna 404 that will accept all kinds of cameras.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 03:24 PM   #8
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Hi. I too am a commercial pilot. I own my own charter/survey company in Canada. I operate a couple Piper Navajos and just aquired an xl2. I'm wondering if anyone has heard of and knows where a guy can get a camera pod that would attach to the belly of a 'ho or even the wing strut of a single engine Cessna?
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Old June 5th, 2006, 06:44 AM   #9
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Low altitude Aerial Shooting

Thanks Colin and Kelly - good stuff that will help.

The effect I am after is both a sensation of flight , and a "tour" of the characteristics on the ground ... and airport facilities. The film is about a system of airports in a particular area.

If there is vibration in the helicopter - do you think increasing the shutter speed up to say - 100 or 250 would help?

If there isnt substantial vibration - would 60 be good in 24p advanced?

Am I making a mistake trying to shoot aerial in 24p - should I go up to 30p or 60I?

I dont want ground blur.

Appreciate the help.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 09:44 AM   #10
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I took my camera up in my plane and there wasn't any problem with vibration, however I've never been up in a helicopter but I imagine there is alot more vibration in those ugly things. That's what makes a helicopter fly they are so ugly the earth repels them :-)
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Old June 7th, 2006, 02:18 PM   #11
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Camera Pod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Harmsworth
Hi. I too am a commercial pilot. I own my own charter/survey company in Canada. I operate a couple Piper Navajos and just aquired an xl2. I'm wondering if anyone has heard of and knows where a guy can get a camera pod that would attach to the belly of a 'ho or even the wing strut of a single engine Cessna?

Try http://stickypod.com/


Vince..
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Old June 7th, 2006, 03:25 PM   #12
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That's a neat idea. I think I'd want to attach a safety cable of some kind to the airplane as well. I'd hate to see my XL2 take a 5000 foot fall to the ground if those suction cups ever decided to let go. seeing as my plane cruises around 175 kts there's a good chance the suction cups wouldn't hold.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 05:28 PM   #13
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I have done a fair ammount of handheld shooting from helicopters and have found that it is better to tuck the camera under your arm rather than place it on your shoulder.

By removing the door of the helicopter, you are able to lean a fair way out so that you can shoot looking ahead, for a more dramatic shot

This example was shot on SP Betacam only because I don't have a wide ange zoom for my XL2, unfortunately if you look closely you will see part of the helicopter comes into frame

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...9678&q=sai+wan

Remember most of the work is done by the pilot, in positioning and keeping the aircraft stable

Good luck

Bob
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