We admit it. We're fascinated by UAVs. These radio-controlled, finely-steerable helicopters can get cameras into angles that would previously have been impossible. And because they're small, they're relatively cheap, which is a concept that meshes perfectly with the abundant availability of small, robust, HD cameras
But until now, there's been a large gap between the model-scale UAVs, whose maximum payload is a DSLR, and manned flying machines, that can carry gyroscopically stabilised broadcast and cinema-quality cameras, albeit at a huge cost.
Small cameras are fine up to a point, but, ultimately, they have issues, either with their cheaper lenses, lack of adjustability, or artefacts like rolling shutter.
So if a UAV could be made that could carry a full-specification movie camera that could shoot in full HD or beyond, or which could film at a very high framerate, then it could be rightly be considered to be a breakthrough.
And that's exactly what we are about to see here.
Filmed by SnapRoll Media, it's the first time we've seen cinema-quality video combined with slow-motion, shot from a UAV. This technology is now so good that we're going to lay awake at night just thinking of all the applications.
Here's SnapRoll's own account of the video:
For the past few years, SnapRoll Media has been at the forefront of remotely controlled aerial camera systems. Like most, we started out using DSLR cameras to record video, but it wasn’t long before the image quality wasn’t up to our standards. We began designing and building larger airframes to carry the weight of the cameras we and our clients wanted to use.
Our hard work paid off. We were the first to successfully carry the RED ONE digital cinema camera safely and smoothly. Then, we added Vision Research’s Phantom Flex and Phantom Gold high speed cameras to our arsenal. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to be the first in the world to successfully fly the new RED EPIC on our proven remote controlled aerial system thanks to Jarred Land and Jim Jannard.
We are constantly researching, developing, and fine tuning our helicopters to carry larger cameras with maximum stability. The greatest reward is seeing our clients' faces when we get the shot that no crane, cable cam, or full size helicopter was able to capture.
Edited By: Chris Murphy, Helio Collective (heliocollective.com)
Music By: Awolnation - Sail