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Real Estate Video Basics

Discussion in 'Photos and Video' started by Loon, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. Loon

    Aug 22, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I'm going to be doing some real estate aerial video as a favor to some friends that own hotels and rental properties in a small resort town. Being a complete photography newb I was wondering if there is a comprehensive list of basics built somewhere that I could familiarize myself with to get the best results.

    Does aerial video have a set of best practices, others interested in the same thing please chime in. This may be a good thread to consolidate a lot of standard techniques for rookies.
  2. RobertMfromLI

    Aug 12, 2014
    Likes Received:
    With what setup?

    Let's assume a Phantom/Phantom 2 and GoPro Hero 3+ (and Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal). My suggestions would be:
    • Get a neutral density filter for the GoPro (one with a small ring, and small lens filter surface area)
    • Use only slow forward or sideways motions so you don't capture the props in frame
    • Look into a lens shield that goes above the lens to prevent prop shadow (or watch your angles in respect to the sun)
    • Plan out your course ahead of time (not just the standard checking obstacles, but plan out what you want to shoot) so that you have to do less cuts in the video).
    • Consider a second flight for photos only, and set the GoPro timer to whatever (we usually use once every 2 seconds) - with an FPV, it is easy to see what and when it is photographing (or more accurately, at least on our setup, we see nothing as it snaps the pic, then the video feed resumes).
    • If on firmware 3.06, and using P2 GPS mode, watch your battery levels - the copter will auto-land at 20%, and you want to take care to ensure it's not auto-landing within the 10-12 foot accuracy range (or loses GPS and auto-lands exactly where it is currently positioned). Switch to ATTI on the remote if an auto-land in an undesired position is initiated, but keep in mind that ATTI is harder than P2 GPS mode to fly in, AND, most importantly, the speed limitation on landing is removed (and you may accidentally slam your copter into the ground or whatever is below it, if not careful), so use small movements on the stick when descending.
    • Set the GoPro for "Medium" angle mode for more realistic shots (ie: less wide angle distortion), or set it for wide or ultrawide for massively wide shots in the event of a massive piece of property you want to film.
    • Make sure you're fully calibrated (compass, gimbal, etc) and are in GPS mode, so that hovering accuracy increases. Firmware 3.06 makes the copter hover better (after a few "training flights") in the first few seconds of flight, so, consider an upgrade.
    • Look into alternate software for video editing (than the GoPro stuff) for anything complex.
    • Always fly in lower to no winds for better accuracy, less chance of being blown into a structure, and less chance of catching a prop in frame (when the copter tries to compensate).
    • Be aware that winds a 100-150 feet up (or more) are often more severe than ground level winds (we've seen a 20 degree tilt at 150 feet up as the copter fights to maintain position on a day where there were virtually no surface winds - and heard it in the audio as well, all on simple hover-in-place).
    • On the H3-3D, make judicious use of the gimbal tilt for more creative photos (again, watch for props and legs)
    • Consider wider landing gear (BEWARE: the compass MUST be mounted in the exact orientation it was before (up and down distance don't matter, but angle, vertical and horizontal orientation most DEFINITELY matter, and a mis-mounted compass will likely cause a crash). Also, be careful what you buy - some of them will take you over weight.
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