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Author Topic: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?  (Read 17912 times)

dreed

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Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« on: September 16, 2012, 01:38:27 AM »

Is anyone using or has anyone thought about how to use a drone (or quadcopter) with a DSLR for landscape photography?

How do you, for example, do a (say) 0.5 second shot using a drone whilst keeping a 36MP image sharp?

Is some kind of stabilisation a must?
Or are the movement harmonics of drones incompatible with the design of existing stabilisation techniques because what exists has been designed around the camera being held by a human?

How big does the drone/quadcopter need to be in order to lift a D800 sized body plus a lens such as the 24-120/f4 and for how long can it stay up?

Is there sufficient remote-control via wifi to make it work?
e.g. will live view work over wifi?
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francois

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2012, 08:22:30 AM »

Is anyone using or has anyone thought about how to use a drone (or quadcopter) with a DSLR for landscape photography?

How do you, for example, do a (say) 0.5 second shot using a drone whilst keeping a 36MP image sharp?

Is some kind of stabilisation a must?
Or are the movement harmonics of drones incompatible with the design of existing stabilisation techniques because what exists has been designed around the camera being held by a human?

How big does the drone/quadcopter need to be in order to lift a D800 sized body plus a lens such as the 24-120/f4 and for how long can it stay up?

Is there sufficient remote-control via wifi to make it work?
e.g. will live view work over wifi?

I know next to nothing about drones except for a few hours I spent with an AR Parrot. But this morning, I saw on TV that some guys are using drones to capture video using DLSRs. You might want to contact them and see if they answer your questions or give you some pointers for more info...

Here's the TV doc I saw (it's in french but you can see what equipment they use): http://www.nouvo.ch/2012/09/le-sport-vu-den-haut
Here's the Dedicam website: http://dedicam.tv
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Francois

electricboat aka Peter Bahry

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2012, 08:46:33 AM »

Hi,

This guy has been into remote controlled helicopter, aerial photography for a while.

http://www.rosaurophotography.com

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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2012, 09:58:45 AM »

The nikon d4 sports promotion video was shot using an octo-copter, can't find the link now.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-11675-12417

A friend just bought a 4 motor one for his RX100, I may have the chance ti play with it soon.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 10:20:54 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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A few images online here!

francois

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 10:11:21 AM »

The nikon d4 sports promotion video was shot using an octo-copter, can't find the link now.

The Dedicam guys are using an 8-engine drone. They seem to use a Canon 5D2 and a Red video cam.

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Francois

MrSmith

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 05:51:56 AM »

'drones'? For a minute there I thought you were talking about groups of retired men stomping around known landscape photography spots on camera club outings. ::)
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MrSmith

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2012, 06:16:24 AM »

No. Hair not quite grey enough and have been a photographer since leaving art college. I have seen these groups on my travels though. ;D
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dreed

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2012, 03:59:38 PM »

I really don't care about what is in someone's garden or backyard...

But what I do care about (or am interested in), is being able to shoot landscape from 200' - 500' up in a canyon, thereby changing where the vertical perspective(?) is without needing to use a tilt-shift lens or climb up the canyon wall with gear.

Or maybe I just want to get a photograph of a feature from a perspective that is otherwise blocked by trees/foliage.

An easy example might be to use an octocopter to shoot Yosemite Falls (all three sections) from somewhere directly above the meadows in the valley rather than needing to climb up the 4 Mile trail.
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lfeagan

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2012, 04:34:35 PM »

Even though these copters have gryo stabilization, flying them is still non-trivial with the heavy load of a DSLR dangling below with winds. I have seen videos from videographers that hired pilots that weren't experienced enough and attached their expensive cameras and lenses only to see them have a great fall from the sky within a few minutes. You can get experience flying with a heavy load by attaching a box filled with sand in place of the camera. The general challenge with a below-copter mounts for cameras is that the center of mass/rotation of the vehicle is far from where it would normally be leading to less stability. Specifically, in most of the crashes it seems like the update-rate of the gyros trying to correct caused nasty harmonics. There are some high-end gyros that are apparently better at dealing with the odd mass loading when flying with a camera underneath. I haven't the time at present to get into this hobby, but it does sound like quite a bit of fun. Someday...
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 05:47:45 PM by lfeagan »
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4

kers

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 05:22:07 PM »

Does this type of shooting comply with invasion of privacy laws? If it hovers over someone's garden does it break the law and what happens if someone decides to shoot it down?

a paparazzi drone :)   - makes wide angle shots possible of a nude Kate Middleton ...
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Pieter Kers
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francois

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2012, 07:41:29 AM »

Even though these copters have gryo stabilization, flying them is still non-trivial with the heavy load of a DSLR dangling below with winds. I have seen videos from videographers that hired pilots that weren't experienced enough and attached their expensive cameras and lenses only to see them have a great fall from the sky within a few minutes. You can get experience flying with a heavy load by attaching a box filled with sand in place of the camera. The general challenge with a below-copter mounts for cameras is that the center of mass/rotation of the vehicle is far from where it would normally be leading to less stability. Specifically, in most of the crashes it seems like the update-rate of the gyros trying to correct caused nasty harmonics. There are some high-end gyros that are apparently better at dealing with the odd mass loading when flying with a camera underneath. I haven't the time at present to get into this hobby, but it does sound like quite a bit of fun. Someday...

A couple of years ago, I saw a photographer with a small blimp (about 2 meter long) taking shots with a DLSR. It was powered with 4 (IIRC) small electrical engines. It looked quite stable and almost easy to control. Looked like an interesting concept.
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Francois

kaelaria

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2012, 08:44:11 AM »

Manually, manually and with a remote gimbal.

lfeagan

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2012, 10:38:52 AM »

A couple of years ago, I saw a photographer with a small blimp (about 2 meter long) taking shots with a DLSR. It was powered with 4 (IIRC) small electrical engines. It looked quite stable and almost easy to control. Looked like an interesting concept.

A blimp sounds like a great idea for less experienced pilots.
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
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OldRoy

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2012, 06:23:21 AM »

http://www.airpano.com/
Might be of interest.
Roy
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francois

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 08:54:18 AM »

For those interested, I just received a mail about some new drone demoed or presented at the Photokina show:

http://highdrone.com
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Francois

RobSaecker

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2012, 12:28:20 PM »

For those interested, I just received a mail about some new drone demoed or presented at the Photokina show:

http://highdrone.com

The dearth of information there is staggering. A one page website, and a three page brochure that's 66% images. Good luck with that.
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Rob
photo blog - http://robsaecker.com

francois

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Re: Drones with DSLRs mounted for landscape photography?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2012, 12:34:39 PM »

The dearth of information there is staggering. A one page website, and a three page brochure that's 66% images. Good luck with that.

Yep, I agree 100%. For now, I wouldn't put a cent on that. I thought that the website would be updated during the Photokina but so far, nothing! Googling provides little information except that the price for that drone ranges from $5000 to $25000 depending on options.
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Francois
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