The New Panasonic AF100 Strapped To A RC Chopper

We have all seen some cool RC chopper videos with dangling DSLRs but AerialPan just took things up a notch. These guys strapped the new Panasonic AF100 to their heli and shot slomo in 1080p. I've always found that these small machines have a hard time keeping the camera steady enough for smooth shots but this looks pretty perfect to me.

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Looks fantastic!
How much is one of those puppies?

Am I the only one who finds all videos with this music as depressing as Requiem For a Dream?

@Patrick Agreed... they should replace it with some Yakety Sax! :-P

Lee Morris's picture

@Giovanni I've seen a few of these choppers go over 10k. Slightly outside of my budget, especially when I will crash it on the first try... And I actually like the music, makes the video EPIC!

Andrew Williams's picture

10k I was thinking about getting one of those chopper from those tv commericals and just putting my camera on that... Yeah when I say it out loud it doesn't sound as kickass.

It was good until I heard the unmistakable introduction of Lux Aeterna, which probably would have been an excellent composition had it NOT been part of the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack. While I realize the piece was written specifically for the film, the film's darkness really dragged down what otherwise would have been an excellent piece of music.

jeff zannella's picture

I can accept white balance and street photography disputes but I will not sit idle if we are calling into question the awesomeness that is Requiem for a Dream! 3.14 was just as sick

Philip Vukelich's picture

I'm pretty sure they used post processing to stabilize it afterward. There's no way any RC chopper could be THAT smooth.

Lee Morris's picture

@Philip, I was thinking that, and if so that speaks highly of the AF100 as it doesn't have a rolling shutter compared to the DSLRs.

I don't think any post processing was involved to smooth out the motion. Shooting in slow motion, even 60fps generally does it for you. It's a trick that cinematographers employ more frequently that you would think. Sometimes it just isn't possible to get that dolly/jib/crane shot as smooth as you would like it, and you have to shoot slow mo, then speed it up in post, to fix the problem. I'll admit to doing it more times than I can recall. I did it very recently on a shoot that had a narrow hallway, which was too small to fit a normal fisher 10 dolly in. We broke out the trusty doorway dolly and rolled it without track, just at 48fps. You would never be able to tell how bumpy the floor was, lol.

@ Jacob - It doesn't fix the problem if you just speed it up in post. Then you're not getting the smoothing benefit of the slow motion. Also, does this not have rolling shutter? Viewed full screen I was noticing the tell-tale wiggles in the footage of shaky CMOS sensor footage that had been stabilized in post and now looks like it's been shot behind a jet engine.

Sorry, I didn't make myself very clear. I wasn't referring to speeding it up back to normal speed, but only to a degree. I'm talking about shots that you already have planned as slow motion, but still notice shake on. In that case I'll pick a frame rate I know will give smooth motion, but is often too slow (ie, too high a frame rate), and have it sped back up to a more appropriate speed later. You're quite right through, speeding it up to normal speed wouldn't help much, lol.

actually, the reason most of those helicopters go above 10k is because they use gyroscopic rotating heads like the one you see on this RC heli. it has a dutch roll head with tilts the camera not only left right up and down, buton the z axis as well. so you can turn the camera upside down. this, combined with a good gyroscopic sensor and accelerometers, would make the motors on the head smooth out most of the shaking issues.

of course nothing ever beats the water based tripod heads they used in step into liquid.

@Philip - it wouldn't be smooth, your are right. but in this case, camera is in a gyro head, which stabilizes the camera. :) just like cameras mounted on a fullsize helicopters.

Thom Spierenburg's picture

C'mon guys! A lot of photographers/observers in this room and nobody sees that the Af 100 is mounted on a gyroscope?

This footage is epic. Kind of what Chase Jarvis did wiht his nikon D7000 movie.

Incredible footage, so smooth and crisp!

Hey thats the marina by Golden Gardens in Seattle.

This is sweet. And I agree the soundtrack makes it epic -- who thought a marina could be so dramatic?

I agree. That footage is epic!

I love this. It's inspiring and thanks to these guys for taking the time to sharing it. I don't really care what music is used. I don't think the music was the focus.