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HelicopterAerial Photography and Video › New to Aerial Photography and Video
06-04-2009 01:31 PM  8 years agoPost 1
SCC

rrApprentice

Mobile, Al. USA

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I really would like to get into Aerial Photography. As we all know $$$ is an issue in these times of unknown. Thats not going to stop me from following my plans and dreams. Anyway, any info for beginner Aerial Photography would be great. I have alot of question. Size Heli, best camera, camera platform, transmitter etc. All the pro's out there have all the answers I'm sure. What should I start with. Used equipment...New equipment and so on. Rome wasn't built in a day so I'm going at this at a slow but steady pace. What's next?
Thanks
Mark

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06-04-2009 01:40 PM  8 years agoPost 2
rerazor

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Mich.

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What is your budget?

Heli experience?

Robert

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06-04-2009 02:22 PM  8 years agoPost 3
SCC

rrApprentice

Mobile, Al. USA

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Budget $500 to $1000 a month.
Heli Experience...I can hover great with lite weight low cost Electic Heli's.
I haven't moved up to the big Gas/Nitro's yet. I figure...with a better gas/nitro Heli with great upgrades...servo's/gyro's, transmitter etc. flying might be a little more stable.

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06-04-2009 06:20 PM  8 years agoPost 4
Envision

rrVeteran

MI

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Light weight low cost helis? Are you talking about the ones with twin rotors in the front where one rotates the opposite direction as the other? (havoc style Walmart heli's?) Or are you talking something like a Trex 450?

With little experience I would recommend getting a good simulator while putting your heli idea together.

Troy

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06-04-2009 07:01 PM  8 years agoPost 5
SCC

rrApprentice

Mobile, Al. USA

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No not the counter rotating type. Helimax Axe CP which suckes by the way but I've tinkered with it enough and got it flying nicely. Just ready to move up to better equipment. I know everybody has there opinons about the best heli's on the market. I have the realflight simulator 3.5 and can fly everything on it very well. I have not mastered any 3D flying really. I don't think the pro's can even do that...just kidding pro's Ya'll a whole different breed. Its amazing what ya'll can do.

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06-04-2009 07:25 PM  8 years agoPost 6
Louisiana Helicam

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West Monroe, LA

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I'd look into getting a used 50-class (600-class) machine such as a TRex 600E. They're cheap and do quite well for many on here. Learn how to fly it well and then purchase a mount, downlink, and camera gear.

Also, do several searches on this forum. There are many threads of valuable information for those that have posted this same question in the past.

www.louisianahelicam.com

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06-04-2009 07:37 PM  8 years agoPost 7
Hogster

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Surrey, UK

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I would recommend starting with a good simulator like PhoenixRC. Once you're able to fly in all orientations (nose pointing towards you, away from you, both sides, and flying directly above you), at many different altitudes and in windy conditions (good simulators are able to simulate turbulent wind conditions) then it's worth looking at helis. I would personally recommend either the Align RC TRex or Mikado Logo range of electric helicopters ...

See how well you get on with the simulator and let us know

My 2p,

David

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06-04-2009 07:42 PM  8 years agoPost 8
SCC

rrApprentice

Mobile, Al. USA

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Thanks Guy's! Knowledge is everything! I'll look into the PhoenixRC simulator. I have the realflight 3.5 that is pretty good but then again its the only sim I've played with...

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06-04-2009 07:45 PM  8 years agoPost 9
jrzboy

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South Jersey

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+1 on the 600e, i got a 450 and 600 and sim when i started 600 was much easier and rarely flew the 450.

AMA #920724 Watch what you wish for, you just may get it!

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06-04-2009 07:48 PM  8 years agoPost 10
Louisiana Helicam

rrKey Veteran

West Monroe, LA

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Continue using Realflight 3.5 if that's what you already have. Don't bother downloading more models and turning it into a video game. The stock machines are good enough for learning.

www.louisianahelicam.com

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06-04-2009 09:03 PM  8 years agoPost 11
rwagner24

rrNovice

Jonestown, Pa USA

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SCC,

I just started out in the last 6 months and followed the same road you are. I have Realflight 4.5 and a Trex 600E. The pictures come out really good. I will give you all the info you want. The one thing I want to make sure you know that I didnt untill I bought everything is according to the FAA you can do this all you want to for fun but they consider it illegal if you are charging for your pictures. The FAA is supposed to be working on a certification program but looks like it could be a few years down the line. You see according to the FAA rc helis pose no danger to anyone unless they are carrying profitable pictures. The picture attached is a test at a friends house a few weekends ago.

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06-04-2009 10:02 PM  8 years agoPost 12
SCC

rrApprentice

Mobile, Al. USA

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Great picture! MAke type Camera did you use? So the Trex 600E is the way to go? How did you click the camera to take the shot?

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06-04-2009 10:38 PM  8 years agoPost 13
rwagner24

rrNovice

Jonestown, Pa USA

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This was a test shot because I was trying a new camera. It's a Canon Powershot SX1IS. It takes large 10mp pics. It also does HD 1080 video. The only thing I didn't know was a CMOS sensor dosen't handle vibration well for video. I made a little wodden frame to mount a small servo to to push the camera trigger button. I'm using a camera mount from Airfoil Aviation that spins 360 and you can tilt the camera while flying. I use a video downlink displayed on a porable dvd player. I fly and my wife usually takes the pics. My Trex flyes great but with the mount and camera I get about 6 minutes of flight time on a 5000mah batt. That sounds really short but you have plenty of time to get pics. Quiet and clean it the advantage with electric.

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06-05-2009 04:16 AM  8 years agoPost 14
borneobear

rrVeteran

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Do a search on AP businesses. There is much to learn about real-world AP enterprising here. Examples:

http://runryder.com/helicopter/t250...ght=real+estate
http://runryder.com/helicopter/t329...ght=real+estate

Your dream consist of two things:
Aerial - requires you to fly well, and
Photography - you will need a good photographer's eye.

You need to be able to take pictures that clients want to buy - therefore knowing basic photography is critical - lighting, composition, exposure, ISO, shutter speed, etc.
Public Relations helps too. Clients like photographers who appear confident and competent, therefore justifying his price. Repeat customers is what keeps your business alive.

Good luck (we all need some).
BB

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06-05-2009 04:49 AM  8 years agoPost 15
classic

rrElite Veteran

All over the place!

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Do a search on AP businesses. There is much to learn about real-world AP enterprising here. Examples:
Borneobear hit it right on the head, before you spend a dime, do your research First!

Look into all the differant companies out there, {there are a LOT of them} and some are here in the states, you can call most directly and get info on their products.
{Just don't let them talk you into their products, thats a decision you need to make for what is best for you}

There are a lot of reputable companies out all with their own good sides and bad sides. Again, I can't stress it enough, Find what you feel will work best for your a/p needs.

Also, do some searches on the web on the products your looking at, things like warranty coverage, look for happy customer experiances, But NOT testomonials from a/p web sites but from differant r/c forums.

There are a lot of choices to make in front of you, make sure you will be happy with whatever your choice is before you buy.

Stick your toe in the water first, don't just jump in headfirst, you may make a purchase you will regret later.

Before you buy anything a/p, learn to fly larger birds well first! Thats a lot of money hanging in the air, and it sucks to crash!

The waters warm! Come on in

Which is worse, ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care!

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06-05-2009 11:09 PM  8 years agoPost 16
axemanclint

rrKey Veteran

Cypress, Tx. USA

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Hey SCC,
Sounds like you are striving for a new adventure and wanting to take your hobby to the next level. Congrats! you will love AP if you do it right and have patience and stick with it. At times it becomes very frustrating, time consuming, annoying and downright a pain in the you know what... However, if you have a true passion for flying (be it RC heli's, full scale) and image capturing then you will love this side of the hobby and business.

I myself am pretty new to AP, i started almost a year ago and i am currently doing it the "poor man's way."

I fly (2) Trex 600E's with a homemade mount that i created out of PVC, aluminum and such.

I got the design/idea from just studying other guys professional mounts and systems and trying different things out until i got the right one for me. I have NO cameraman, i am Pilot, cameraman and all. basically i have a fixed postion pitch on the camera (25 degree down pitch) which allows for me to fly to a specific altitude that i have determined from experience and then using a special servo built on the mount that has a rubber gromet on the end of a flex tube pushrod i can hit a button on my TX that then pushes the shutter button on the camera. I pretty much have to guess at the shot angles and position, take the shots and then return to the ground at the end of the flight and then download the pics to my computer and view the results. It's pretty hard to do it this way, but you learn a lot real quick and it allows you to get your foot in the door and start doing some work right away and making some income to put back into your equipment and continue upgrading.

I am currently doing work for 3 different people, in fact i just got off of a shoot today for a housing community that i have been working for, for over 4 months now. They have me taking pictures of all the houses being built, ones that are done and also shots of there grounds, lake and waterfall for different brochures and personal use. I have also done shoots recently for an archeological dig site (that was just last week) and really cool too. i did some for a local elementary school and many other really fun things. here are some examples of my work the first shots are the ones from today at the housing development. (just a taste of this sort of thing.)
The fourth pic is one from the dig site i just shot, and then the rest are some from various other clients like a baseball teams field, elem. school, and others. These are just some good examples of how a cheap setup can actually get you some decent shots and some business if you just work hard at it and keep trying. Overall the mount only cost me around $35.00 to build, the camera is like a cheapo Kodak at around $250.00 and the heli is your stock run of the mill Trex 600E. This is the cheapest way to get started and can really work if done right. Designing your own mount and making it fly and work right is really hard and takes a lot of testing to get right, but if you stick with it in the end it will pay off.

I hope this helps you out in a little way to point you in the right direction and also give you some inspiration and hope that someone with little experience and NO money can get a start in AP. Let me know if you have any other questions or whatever and i will try and answer them to the best of my knowledge. The guys on this Forum are awesome and will help you immensely if you really listen to their advice.

Cheers,
Clint

"what goes up must come down," hopefully in one piece!

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