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Shooting in Helicopters


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#1 Stephen Price

Stephen Price
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Posted 09 July 2009 - 04:38 AM

Hello All,

I'm looking for any experiences with shooting with the SI-2K in helicopters or any perceived problems. I've got a lot experience as a tech for this camera but as yet I've never used it in helicopters. I have a job in Africa which involves five days of aerial shooting with the SI-2K in helicopters, I have two complete camera kits, one as a spare.

Does anyone have any experiences or have occured any problems, my primary concern is problems recording to the harddrives.

Can anyone comment?

Thanks

Stephen Price
Digital Camera Technician
London
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#2 Thomas Dobbie

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 05:28 AM

Hi Stephen,

I've never shot with the SI-2K,but I have shot quite a lot with the Red in helicopters without any particular problems,just using the standard
hard drive without any shock mounting,and no dropped frames.
It's essential that the camera and hard drive don't come into contact with any part of the chopper,otherwise you will have problems.
I found my body,isolated the vibrations quite well,enough to prevent dropped frames,but I'm, shall we say quite well padded. :lol:
I'm assuming you're hand holding the camera,so you will certainly need gyro's,if you're only using the head,you can get away with quite a small one,
like the Kenyon KS6. You'll need something a lot more substantial like KS8's,if your using the camera fully built. I've been told by colleagues,that an easyrig works quite well in isolating the vibrations,especially coupled with a couple of gyro's,although I've never used one personally. The obvious down side to using this,is that you will have to have quite a large helicopter in order to give you enough headroom,it would be impossible in something like a Robinson 44,just not enough room.
Hope that helps.

Tom.
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#3 Ari Presler

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 09:33 AM

Although not a requirement, I would recommend using SSD Media due to the high vibration environments. The SI-2K uses a large RAM buffer to allow for conditions where a drive cant keep up with recording for short durations, such as shock and vibe and will not drop these frames. If the buffer fills up, the recording will stop and the balance of images in memory will get written off to the drive.

Here is a Discovery Channel coverage of the 9x SI-2K 360 shoot by ParadiseFX (currently shooting StreetDancer 3D in London). They used 9 MBPro's I think with standard 2.5" HDD......

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