It used to be if you needed aerial video you had to use an airplane or helicopter to acquire the shots. That idea remains the same, but what has changed dramatically is the type of aircraft used. Today, rc helicopter videos acquired by small unmanned drone type helicopters are a viable alternative to the costly expense of renting a full scale helicopter or airplane.
In the past 10 years or so rc helicopters have evolved into very stable aerial video platforms with the ability to carry cameras weighing up to 10lbs. These helicopters can be equipped with electronic gyros and accelerometers that work to keep the helicopter flying smooth and stable which is an absolute requirement when shooting aerial video.
Usually the rc helicopter videos are acquired by camera gimbal systems that have two or three axis camera heads attached to them. The cameras are mounted in the camera head and their video output is connected to a real time video downlink system. This allows the pilot of the aircraft or camera operator to see in real time what the camera is “seeing”. The downlink sends the cameraʼs video output signal to the ground where it is displayed on an LCD monitor. The ability to see the helicopter cameraʼs output in real time allows the pilot and/or camera operator to compose the shot and make adjustments to aperture, shutter speed, zoom, shutter trigger etc.
Itʼs important that the camera head be isolated as much as possible from vibrations from the helicopter. As you might imagine, helicopters have considerable vibrations with so many moving parts. A camera head attachment system that offers isolation from those vibrations is critical. Our PhotoShip One rc helicopter camera mounts are designed with silicone oil and neoprene vibration dampers. That combined with our unique swing arm style tubular front mount make for an exceptional platform for shooting video from rc copters.
You might have never noticed but if youʼve seen aerial shots in your most recent favorite feature film or video thereʼs a high likelihood some of those shots were acquired by an rc helicopter. RC helicopter videos are quickly becoming more and more prevalent in the video and film making industry.