Aerial Cinematography

by | Sep 13, 2013 | All posts, Digital Cinematography | 0 comments

Aerial Cinematography

Aerial Cinematography testing with the new H3-2D gimbal and Phantom quadcopter has begun at TVS Pro. Here is the first test video and keep in mind it was shot at 24 fps and the YouTube playback adds some additional hesitation (will depend somewhat on your graphics card and download speed) and frame skipping that is not there in the actual file but it will give you an idea of how smooth this gimbal really is. Take a look:

You will also see a lot of other H3 videos out there but what you have to keep in mind is that this is one of the first with the integrated gimbal controller on the new upgrade board that we just received and installed. This new board gives us two very important advantages over the previous separate controller system. One, we have eliminated the weight and space required by the separate controller module and two, we now have the tap for the live video feed for our real time monitoring of what the camera is seeing through the Go Pro Hero 3 lens as we fly and all through the same single cable used to control the gimbal.

As you will also notice from the test video we have complete control of the gimbal and camera direction from the remote control. In other words if we put the Phantom in a GPS hover, for example we can point the camera anywhere from straight down to slightly pointed up. Of course we can also control the gimbal during full motion flight as well. This next image looking down is a still taken from the 1080p video while the quadcopter was in hover above our parking lot. As you can see I did this very early in the morning before work and the sun is very low in the sky hence the very long shadows but we moved the gimbal by remote to get a near straight down view. It is also fun to even start with the gimbal facing straight down and go straight up like a rocket launch and then when at altitude move the gimbal to point in the directions you want as we did in the first video above,

This 2nd photo is also from the H3-2D gimbal and taken from the 1080p video and shows the East side of our building at slightly above roof height. One of the key differences between the Phantom and RC helicopters or conventional quadcopters is the ultra stable assisted flying modes of ATTI mode and GPS. In GPS mode if you simply let go of all the control inputs on the transmitter, the Phantom will simply stop itself and hover in whatever location you let go of the controls. In ATTI mode if you let go it will continue to fly in the direction it was flying and maintain its altitude. This is very useful in conjunction with the H3-2D gimbal as you can set up some very nice dolly-like shots and concentrate on pointing the camera rather than trying to maintain the flight path of the Phantom. So, we are very excited after the first couple of test flights with the H3-2D gimbal using the new integrated flight control board and look forward to installing the FPV live video transmitter and receiver for actually seeing what we are shooting through the lens of the camera.

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