MoVi Tips & Tricks Tutorial | HD Downlink

We’re constantly learning new and innovative ways to optimize our aerial cinematography gear. Just wanted to share a few tips and tricks with you all.

Remote Triggering Red Camera

red-start-stop-cableFirst tip, is Red Start/Stop cable for remote recording for the Red Dragon/Epic/Scarlet cameras. Now why is remote start/stop so important in the aerial world? When shooting in RAW, your media storage size contains a lot of gigabytes of information and you can burn through your media real quick when out in the field. In the past, we used to start recording Red on the ground, and then would fly for 10 minutes to capture all of our shots and then land our multirotor and “cut” or stop recording Red. This created several issues. First, it wasted a lot of media, therefore when it came for the DIT to dump the footage, this wasted time and hard drive storage. Second, with all of the wasted footage, this wasted more time in post production. Editors are never happy when they have to hunt for the correct “takes” in raw footage.

taranis-receiver-moviSo as you can image, when the ability to start/stop Red from the air came to be, we all had smiles on our faces. So what all is needed to make this cable work with your Red? The cable is a mini 4 pin lemo to servo cable, so you’ll first need a receiver. Since we use Taranis radios with our Freefly gimbals, we were able to spare an extra channel to trigger Red. There are also some simple setting changes in your Red that are needed to complete the use of the cable. Those instructions are in this video.

So where do you go to purchase this handy cable? Quadrocopter has it for sale on their site for $140 USD.

HD Downlinking

connex-hd-downlinkHD downlinking is the ability to stream an HD video signal from your multi rotor, down to an HD monitor. For years we were forced to use SD video transmitters. This was a problem because when you take an HD signal and convert it to a SD signal, the overall composition changed. So how is this a problem… if you can’t get an accurate preview of your image, your exposure and focus could be off slightly, therefore ruining the shot. We did our best to overcome the challenges. It hasn’t been but for a few months that HD Downlinking has become quite affordable. We used to use the Teradek Bolt Pro 2000 with our aerial gear. This unit only costs $9,000… yes, pricey!

There’s been a new piece of HD Downlinking gear that has hit the aerial market. It’s called Connex. Connex offers a lot for it’s price, coming in at $1600. We’ll be covering the Connex in a more depth review soon. In the mean time, I will say we have had the most success with the Connex vs. any other HD Downlink system while in the air.

So where can you purchase the Connex System? You can order it right on our own VidMuze Store.

HD Monitoring

So now that we have the ability to send an HD signal wirelessly, you’ll want to preview this glorious HD footage on a dependable and accurate HD monitor. We’ve been very happy with SmallHD monitors. On our aerial rigs we use the DP7 monitor. It’s a great size and doesn’t use much power. I love two main things about the DP7. First, the overall HD image is beautiful and a joy to look at. Second, all of their software tools such as waveform, focus assist, histogram, etc., makes for composing your aerial shot correctly. When using SmallHD monitors, our workflow has become more efficient, faster in general and the final composition of our aerial shots are maximized. SmallHD also released a new 500 series. You can check them out here.


Drone Tutorials

We thoroughly enjoy sharing the knowledge we’ve learned over the years with our aerial cinematography techniques. If you want to learn more, be sure to check out our Multi Rotor Tutorial Series for Filmmakers.

I hope you enjoyed the tips and tricks from today’s video. If you have any comments, let me know down below!

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