July 4th Parade: GH4 on my Octocopter

Discussion in 'Video to Share' started by stevemaller, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. stevemaller

    stevemaller New to Mu-43

    I'm fairly new here, and I have learned a lot about the M43 system from the postings and discussions on the forum. In particular, I was looking for an alternative to the Panasonic 12-35 lens that I've been flying on my GH3 and GH4. I settled (for now) on the Olympus 12/2.0, and so far am quite impressed.

    By way of introduction, I'm a professional photo and video guy, and I've been flying UAVs for about 2 years. I currently fly a large X8 octocopter with a MōVI M5 gimbal. My camera of choice is the GH4 and the Olympus 12mm lens. I generally shoot in 1080P at 24.0 fps, but I have shot 4K on a couple shoots.

    I was given permission to fly over* my town’s annual July Fourth parade by the parade organizers. A local shopkeeper gave me permission to use his building’s roof as a base of operations so I could avoid the complications of taking off and landing around people. I should say that I observed myriad safety precautions (extensive preflight, route testing, LoS flying only, separate camera op, many safe landing zones ID’d) to get these.

    My X8 octo performed flawlessly, and the crowd that gathered around us after I brought the copter down from the rooftop kept me there for 1.5 hours peppering me with questions (all curious, polite and positive).

    My camera operator and I had to climb two ladders (basically fire escapes) with eight 10000mAh LiPos, my ground station, and other paraphernalia. I was trying to figure out how to get the copter up onto the roof, but I realized the easiest way was to fly it up there. I resisted the temptation to have it fly my gear up there, too, but maybe I’ll try that next time!

    Getting it down was harder...it’s tricky to land on the ground 35’ or so below where you’re standing! So I did it in two stages by landing on the lower roof first, climbing down to that roof, then landing down in the parking lot (with my camera op forming a human barricade).

    Shot 30+ minutes of video on the GH4, and it’s awesome. What a day!

    * I should clarify that of the 30+ minutes in the air, I was only “over” the crowd for less than one minute (as I was flying across the street). I was careful to remain over rooftops and trees the entire time.

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  2. Natureman

    Natureman Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    Nice looking footage. Glad you took all the precautions. I am seeing a lot of aerial video being posted where they are not and I am afraid it might ruin it for the rest of us. I see the day coming when you can only fly over your own property as a hobbyist and other property only if you are a licensed operator.
  3. stevemaller

    stevemaller New to Mu-43

    Thank you.

    I actually welcome the day that there's some kind of licensure. I (and many others) have invested lots of time, energy and money in this pursuit, and I think there should be a way to raise the bar a bit WRT who can operate commercially, or at least out amongst the general public. They're amazing tools!
  4. saywhat

    saywhat New to Mu-43

    Aug 9, 2012