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Author Topic: shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor  (Read 6970 times)

billy

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shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor
« on: July 13, 2009, 12:26:03 PM »

hello, I will be going up in a helicoptor to shoot video with a canon 5D II and 50mm lens, for landscapes. the coptor goes 60-80 miles per hour and we take the door off to shoot un-obstructed.

when I shoot stills in this manner I shoot at 400 ASA , F8 1/2 @ 1/800 a second, more or less, and it works great. But what do you do when your shooting video? Most people seem to think that 1/30 of a second is the optimum choice for that smooth film like look when shooting video with the 5d, but will this work for this situation or will it be blurry? I am extremely new to video so thanks in advance.

I am guessing I will have to drop to ASA 100 or 50 and set the exposure mode to TV and select 1/30 second but maybe I am wrong.

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jsch

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shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2009, 03:39:59 PM »

Sorry, I just saw you want to shoot video. The tip is for still.


Hi,

go to: http://www.yannarthusbertrand.org/v2/yab_us.htm

Move the mouse over the image, go to Section 2 /Backstage and then working methods -> aerial photography and photographic equipment.

There you find how the master does/did it: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
"Helicopter vibrations make it necessary to work at high speed, between 1/250 and 1/1000."

Hope that helps,
Johannes
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 03:43:14 PM by jsch »
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Chris Sanderson

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shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2009, 06:58:56 PM »

My short advice: Stick to wide panoramas and you may get some usable footage...

Shooting handheld from the open door of a helicopter is very difficult. Many millions of dollars have gone in to the development of specialised rigs for helicopter shooting. Even then the footage is only as good as the Pilot and the operator can make it.

Try and stay out of the slipstream. Try and isolate the camera from the vibration of the helicopter by using your body as a shock absorber. Shoot wide lenses with IS if you can. IF the pilot will let you, attach some elastic medical tubing (bungee) to the cabin roof and suspend your camera from it, then guide the camera using Live View. Forget about recording audio except for the drama of the aircraft noise!
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Christopher Sanderson
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billy

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shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 11:14:34 AM »

thanks for the replies but can anyone else go back and read my original question and answer on that?
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Peter McLennan

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shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009, 01:04:53 PM »

Quote from: billy
thanks for the replies but can anyone else go back and read my original question and answer on that?


I shot Hollywood movies from helicopters for three decades. Chris' advice is spot on.   For live motion shooting, shutter speed is irrelevant as long as it's 1/60th or so.  Movie cameras shoot at 24 fps, right?  That's about 1/50th.

Seldom do you overcrank when shooting aerials, and then it's not to get a higher shutter speed, it's to smooth out the camera/helicopter motion.

When shooting motion media aerials, by far your largest problem is keeping the camera still enough, especially with a difficult-to-hold form factor like a DSLR.  ie, be very careful you don't drop it overboard.

Stay wide and go slow.  At "60-80 mph", you'll get nothing useful.  

Use the helicopter as your zoom lens.  Anything longer than 35mm equivalent and you're toast.

Stay calm.  It's a stressful environment.







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billy

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shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009, 06:52:17 PM »

Ok, thanks again for all your replies. I do not have the oppurtunity to test the camera ahead of time, I will be borrowing one right before I go up. So from what I have learned so far I will be shooting at 1/60 of a second, TV mode, and with a 35mm lens ( I cannot go any wider on the lens or I will see the rotor blades of the helicoptor ).
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jaginthedu

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shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 12:03:23 PM »

Quote from: billy
hello, I will be going up in a helicoptor to shoot video with a canon 5D II and 50mm lens, for landscapes. the coptor goes 60-80 miles per hour and we take the door off to shoot un-obstructed.

when I shoot stills in this manner I shoot at 400 ASA , F8 1/2 @ 1/800 a second, more or less, and it works great. But what do you do when your shooting video? Most people seem to think that 1/30 of a second is the optimum choice for that smooth film like look when shooting video with the 5d, but will this work for this situation or will it be blurry? I am extremely new to video so thanks in advance.

I am guessing I will have to drop to ASA 100 or 50 and set the exposure mode to TV and select 1/30 second but maybe I am wrong.


I"m about to purchase the 5D mkII and shoot often from a Russian M17 helicopter that speeds along at 155mph at hight altitude, 12,000 - 18,000ft. We fly with windows open and with full access to both sides of the aircraft, it's a dream because we fly over the himalayas!  I can't wait to get my hands on the 5D Mk II along with it's video capabilities. So far been shooting with a Canon hf 10 and find it easiest to go fully automatic, focus infinity, stay wide and go with the flo of this incredible flying machine. I keep it steady as possible but don't worry about the rocking ride you get with five blades, I find it ads to the reality of filming from a helicopter. Yes the noise of the rotors is ok but the squeeky bearing noise bothers me a bit but it comes and goes with the flights. I like the idea of suggical tubing and will try it on my next flight, what about bungee cords?
Thanks for all this great info, will stay in touch
JAG

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Chris Sanderson

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shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 12:07:10 PM »

Quote from: jaginthedu
I like the idea of suggical tubing and will try it on my next flight, what about bungee cords?

They work but not as well due to their greater mass and less flexibility - therefore transmitting more shake
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Christopher Sanderson
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KevinA

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shooting video with 5D from a helicoptor
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2009, 04:25:00 AM »

Quote from: billy
thanks for the replies but can anyone else go back and read my original question and answer on that?

This is a filming disaster waiting to happen, which ever shutter speed you pick will not smooth out the filming, you might get the odd 5 secs. There are very good reasons why gyros and stabilisation devices for filming have been made.

Kevin.
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