Watch Amazing 5K Aerial Footage Shot with Custom Stabilizing Gimbal

Shooting aerial video for commercial purposes might be iffy in the United States, but the team at Helicam, based in Finland and Estonia, make some truly epic video using a quadcopter, a RED and a custom stabilizing gimbal. The featured video is a reel showcasing shots from the system, but we also have BTS footage of the team using the copter and a video showing the custom rig being constructed.

So who are these guys? "Helicam Services Oy is the leading close range aerial video, photo and cinematography service provider in Europe. With years of experience, Helicam has flown in feature films, commercials and television productions. We can operate with cameras ranging from HD Canon 5D mk2 to 5K RED Epic." I spoke briefly with Ville MJ Hyvönen who gave me a little insight into what the team does and the sweet quadcopter that they modified.

They have been shooting with this rig for the past two years with great success. "We have done aerial cinematography for 4 years now, about 2 years ago when Red Epic came out, we were looking for solution to have a light stabilized gimbal for it, but we ended up building one by ourselves."

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Behind the scenes:

Apparently there were some folks that didn't believe that the Helicam team actually made their own gimbal. Well, to put those skeptics to rest, Helicam made this little video showing them engineering the rig.

"The design and build is by a father and son team of brilliant engineers, both of them named Kristjan. It was built in our own workshop from carbon fiber and aluminum using a milling machine. Stabilizing sensors are made by Freefly systems, video link is Cube by Teradek and otherwise mount uses strong RC servos on all 3 axis. We are currently working on a new version with brushless direct drive motors that could handle bigger and longer lenses, as the current stabilizing is good only up through a 30mm lens."

For more, make sure to hit up the Helicam Vimeo Channel.

All images and video used with permission.

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1 Comment

The main issue with all of these effects ... they get tiresome and boring once totally overused.
Let's face it ... we have seen most of these footage back in the 90s in IMAX cinemas anyway. So actually there is little breathtaking effect of whatsoever.
It's more common and prevailing than ever before today because what required a $5000/day helicopter can be easily achieved with a drone at a fraction of the cost.
It's like 3D. If used wisely every now and then it's awesome ... but adding it in a cheap way in post processing to pimp an otherwise mediocre movie makes it even worse and spoils the experience.
Dear movie makers ... use it sparsely.