Forget the $500 Gimbal; Make a DIY Anti-Vibration Drone Camera Mount for $10

The problem with mounting a GoPro to a DJI Phantom or other drone is that the vibration of the propellers creates a terrible jello effect in the footage. This is the main reason that gimbals have become such a popular accessory for drones. But gimbals are expensive.

Two grad students from USC were searching for a cheaper way to reduce the jello effect in their footage from their Phantom-mounted GoPro. After months of failure in testing several aftermarket products, they finally built their own mount with household items for less than $10.

They discovered that they had to dampen the attachment between the GoPro and the Phantom, which is something that none of the attachments on the market allowed. In the end, they used a pair of sponges and some semi-rigid wires to connect a mount that was constructed from a plastic lid.

The results are impressive and resemble the look of an expensive gimbal when viewing the output footage. You can see a full walkthrough, along with sample footage, in the video above.

Atomos Releases Affordable CFast Cards for Ninja Star ProRes Recorder

Atomos Ninja Star

The Atomos Ninja Star was announced at NAB 2014 and touted as a ProRes recorder for the GoPro. The immediate downside that everyone saw was that it only recorded to CFast cards.

CFast cards are great from a speed standpoint; however, a 60GB SanDisk CFast card still costs $650! That’s a tough pill to swallow for a $300 recorder. While some more recently released cards are lower, they are still well above CF card prices. [Read more...]

GoPro Hero 4 Specs Leaked? 4K at 30p and 1080p at 120fps

gopro-hero-4

Hero 4 Mockup

The chip manufacturer for GoPro cameras have released specs for its new system on chip (SOC). The company building this chip, Ambarella, has been exclusively providing SOCs for GoPro, so it looks like this could be the real deal on what to expect from the GoPro Hero 4.

If not the actual physical board shown in the A9 release, the tech specs should/could be the equivalent to a customized board built specifically for GoPro. In fact, the A9 board in Ambarella’s press release is marketed toward the imaging industry as a whole and would almost certainly not be the final GoPro Hero 4 SOC.

Notably, the SOC delivers 4K video at a full 30p, along with 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps. In addition to the powerful video features, it also delivers on multi-exposure HDR and WDR tone mapping.

GoPro Hero 4 Board

Actual A9 4K Board from Ambarella

If these specs show up in the GoPro Hero 4 later this year, it likely means GoPro will taken even more of the market share that it created while everyone else plays catch up.

Of course, we would expect these specs to only land in the top end model, like we currently see with the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition, while cheaper models get a reduced set of features. [Read more...]

Shot-by-Shot Breakdown of Cameras Used in ‘Need for Speed’ Trailer

Shane Hurlbut is the cinematographer for the new Need for Speed movie. A couple weeks ago, he had a contest to see who could spot the GoPro footage in the trailer. The contest is over now, but Shane put together an annotated trailer that labels all the cameras and lenses used in the trailer for each and every shot (…and there are a lot of cuts in there).

Need for Speed Trailer

Along with the C500 and Alexa Plus, there are a few shots using the Canon 1D C in obvious tight quarters or crash cam situations. Notably, all the cameras are capable of 4K image capture (and were shooting 4K) even though the film was finished in 2K. However, the 4K frame gives plenty of room for reframes and stabilization, which makes sense when you’re shooting car sequences at 120mph. [Read more...]