How to Shoot Smooth Footage with Your GoPro and a DIY Steadicam
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There is a way for you to get those ultra smooth aerial shots with your GoPro HD camera: The XPro Helli Quadcopter.
Now, by the way these shots look, I guess the GoPro quadcopter can actually replace your GoPro steadicam, camera slider, jib crane and dolly. Especially outdoors and in open spaces, where you wanna take long moving shots. And what better way to move your rig than actually flying your cam?!
You can mount other small cameras as well but I guess the GoPro or the Contour HD are the best cams since they're rugged, shock resistant and have no moving parts inside (no zoom, no focus, no hard disk, no tape).
Perhaps you're gonna crash it a few times until you'll get to flying mastery. That's why I think keeping your GoPro in its underwater case is even better (you don't wanna ruin your camera if you land in the water...)
One feature that seems cool is the GPS hover control. The kit comes with a GPS device above the gyroscope (which keeps the rig stable while flying) and when you hit a certain spot in space, you simply set that as a hover point. So your camera helicopter will hover at a very specific set of GPS coordinates, letting you capture a static aerial shot. How cool is that! :-)
Okay. How much?
It ain't cheap.
The basic kit sells at $1299 and the RTF version (Ready to Fly) costs $2399. (This prices may vary depending on the time when you read this article)
Is it worth it?
Well, a Kessler slider costs at least $1200 and a Glidecam HD 1000 costs $400 so this means the helicopter is as cheap as the rest of the tools used in film making.
So you tell me. Will your videos be more interesting with aerial shots or not? Can you charge your clients more for such footage? If so, then it's worth it.
Other RC camera helicopter systems
There are other remote controlled helicopters designed for video shooting out there (some for DSLRs):
- Copter Kids
- RCHelicopter - a resource site that covers this topic
Which one do you like best?
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