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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 95
Shutter speeds for aerial shoot?

Hi, I am new to this excellent forum and HDV. I am a long time pro stills photographer and of late I have been DOP ing some of my stills set-ups with a videographer and HD cam. I have purchased the XH-A1 to run in the same manner ... most of the time with a videographer.

However first job up is going to tight for room (on an offshore oil rig) where I will be shooting stills. Client has asked for some aerials in stills and video if I can manage.

My question relates to the choice of shutter speed for the aerials. I will be shooting (pal) 50i, and on reading lists etc. see that most people shoot 50i at 1/50th second, or multipuls there of .. 1/100th. Is this a good rule of thumb?

Can somebody suggest what the best shutter speed would be for aerials out of a chopper. Generally looking at smoothest image possible given that I can get the pilot to use the machine to my directions.

Many thanks
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Old February 15th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,448
Normal shutter speed for PAL video is 1/50, so that's what I would use. I've done lots of aerials in NTSCland and always have used the standard 1/60. In shooting 24 fps, I use 1/48. It's not like still photography where you use a faster speed to make sure there's no motion blur. Faster speeds are good if you might want to introduce a slow motion effect in post--sometimes they can help a bit for that. The main issue is to try to get the pilot to fly low enough so you can shoot at as wide an angle as possible. The more you zoom in, the shakier you will be. Some people have used a bungee cord to hook the camera to the top of the doorframe, and that can help you stabilize a little more. The best thing, however, is a good pilot who can go upwind and then drift downwind tilted so you can shoot. If the helicopter is flying against the wind or crosswind, it's always rough and shaky. For me, the most important accessory for shooting aerials is a barf bag.
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