Video from an RC helicopter?

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Garrett
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Video from an RC helicopter?

Post by Garrett » Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:18 pm

You know how you get someone to video your run, and when you get a chance to review it, that darned red-shirt-wearing RO keeps blocking the view? I've shot at one club that has a viewing platform above the shoot house. It makes for a great, unobstructed view.

So has anyone ever played with one of the video-mounted RC helicopters (no, I'm not going to call them "drones") that are on the market now? These things have gotten down to a few hundred dollars in price, rather than the few thousand dollars they used to go for. For example, here's one fairly in-depth review:



This particular model can be bought new on Amazon for $300, or they have some used ones listed starting at $200. I imagine there are some other similar offerings out there as well. I don't have any first-hand experience with this unit other than watching a few reviews. But it seems to have some potential.

RC coptors of the past were fairly operator-skill intensive. This one seems to have enough onboard brain power to fly by its self without crashing every time you take your hands off the joystick (or I-pad in this instance). Seems if you wanted, you could just fly up above the range, get a decent view and set it in place to record. Or you could get a little more involved and follow the shooter around, but overhead for a better view.

Or with one of these, you could safely get some video from downrange, looking back toward the shooter. Might be a neat perspective.

Which brings up some important considerations. At what point does it become too much of a distraction to the shooter? If all they can hear is a whirring background noise from an RC copter hovering behind them, is that okay? What about if that noise changes as the copter follows the shooter around from 20 feet up, and to the rear? How distracting would it be, 40 yards downrange and above the shooting zone, but clearly visible to the shooter?

Good idea? Bad? Something worth pursuing?

Of course, this would not be some surprise you would just spring on any competitor at a subgun match. The shooter would know in advance they would be getting videoed by an RC copter. You would probably want to run it by the match officials in advance as well.

Discuss.
Last edited by Garrett on Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:47 am, edited 3 times in total.

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bob
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Re: Video from an RC helicopter?

Post by bob » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:43 pm

Could be interesting.

We gave Emily (#2 daughter) a "Fire cam" so she can wear on her fire helmet making runs, she can also use it on her whitewater raft trips, and I imagine next fall at KCR she'll be wearing for her subgun run. She's interning again at FDIC and it concludes the weekend of Spring creek.

It would be neat to see, just don't get too low!
Bob
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Garrett
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Re: Video from an RC helicopter?

Post by Garrett » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:51 pm

Hi Bob,

We have had hat cams, sunglass cams, GoPro cams, etc. for a while now. They do give a good, unobstructed view from the shooter's vantage point. It typically makes for pretty good viewing.

But a nice, unobstructed wide-angle shot from behind, to the side, or in front of the shooter would be nice too.

And of course, running both a first-person cam, and another cam can be edited into a pretty good match video, too.

Actually, I was just thinking, you could use something like this to get a good side-view shot as well. Something that could show both the shooter and the targets, but is in front of the firing line, so you don't want a camera man up there.

We have had people plant video cameras downrange before, and they give a good view (Todd has some nice video of me shooting the Reising at one of the ISSMC matches, done this way). But those were completely static - no panning or moving the camera to follow the shooter.

For the cost involved, I'm considering trying one of these things out. I would just need to train a pilot / camera man for when I'm shooting.

If nothing else, it would be fun just to play with in the back yard.

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medphys
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Re: Video from an RC helicopter?

Post by medphys » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:23 am

At first I was like, meh... then I watched the video.
Like.

Which leads to other possibilities:

Video camera (gopro) mounted on a telescoping pole that you can walk around with-

Stationary camera far enough away to cover the entire course (something l might try at the Creek). Maybe a security camera of sorts tied to a laptop with a huge hard drive... remote controlled with pan and zoom...

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todd
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Re: Video from an RC helicopter?

Post by todd » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:24 pm

Awesome topic, Sorry I'm a little late to the party but here's my 2 cents...

Yes yes and yes.. they are the future and I'm biding my time before I get one. We've been playing around with them for a while here in FL as a guy who shoots the local 3gun matches brings his out and we've done a few tests with them. Here's a video with a bit of footage from an AR drone...


(Garrett take the S off your https and it will embed)


It has huge potential and I foresee in the future we'll be able to put a marking tracker on a competitor and have multiple cameras automatically follow the action. The technology is huge right now but give it a few years and I think we'll have it. Combine an AR drone with this



and it's game on:)

3Gun Nation used drones to record their last 3gun event in vegas at the SHOT show.. for me the tech needs to mature a little bit but It's close.... I'm excited to see it in action

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medphys
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Re: Video from an RC helicopter?

Post by medphys » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:40 pm

Awesome.

todd wrote:Awesome topic, Sorry I'm a little late to the party but here's my 2 cents...

Yes yes and yes.. they are the future and I'm biding my time before I get one. We've been playing around with them for a while here in FL as a guy who shoots the local 3gun matches brings his out and we've done a few tests with them. Here's a video with a bit of footage from an AR drone...


(Garrett take the S off your https and it will embed)


It has huge potential and I foresee in the future we'll be able to put a marking tracker on a competitor and have multiple cameras automatically follow the action. The technology is huge right now but give it a few years and I think we'll have it. Combine an AR drone with this



and it's game on:)

3Gun Nation used drones to record their last 3gun event in vegas at the SHOT show.. for me the tech needs to mature a little bit but It's close.... I'm excited to see it in action

klyph12
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Re: Video from an RC helicopter?

Post by klyph12 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:34 am

I think that Soloshot has great possibilities, if you could get it mounted high enough, say 10 to 12 feet above the range. It would make for some interesting angles, much like Todd L did with the monopod set up GoPro in some of his videos. Another advantage of the Soloshot, you do not need someone to run it. Adapting a tripod with some type of extension to get the height should not be to big a deal.

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Garrett
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Re: Video from an RC helicopter?

Post by Garrett » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:56 am

"They were all in love with flying, they were doing it in Vegas..."

There some aerial-filmed subgun match footage at http://vegasshooters.net/showthread.php ... tch-6-8-14

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