When you watch X-Games aerial footage, you think, "Wow that must've been shot from a helicopter with a badass camera." Now take a look at this video of gnarly stunts. It cost a fortune to make right? Wrong.
It's sort of true that this was shot with a helicopter. But instead of a huge news-chopper, this incredible aerial video was shot with a drone-mounted DSLR rig that you don't need a government contract to afford. Here's how it's done.
The videos were shot by a UK-based pair of videographer-producers who call themselves HeliPOV. On the team's YouTube page, they specify that the videos are shot using a Canon 550D—that's the European name for the excellent, inexpensive Canon EOS Rebel T2i. The camera comes equipped with an APS-C sensor, and was perhaps the first budget DSLR to shoot convincing HD video. A T2i with a kit lens costs just $650 through B&H right now.
As for how it gets way up in the air, HeliPOV uses a Droidworx ADX-4 Heavy Lift with an attached camera mount. At $900, the frame alone costs more than the camera it hoists up in the air. Here's what HeliPOV have to say about the drone.
The Droidworx ADX-4 is our principle tool. Compact and quiet, yet stable and strong, the ADX-4 is the perfect drone for almost all situations. With a fully independent gimbal that can rotate 360º horizontally, and 90º vertically – from flat to straight down – we can capture pretty much every aerial angle you can imagine, whether it be video or stills photography.
The final cost of the DSLR drone depends on how muh you spend on electronics, motors, and propellers. But assuming you can get that all put together for a liberal estimate of $1000, you're looking at a $2500 rig that can stomp out footage good enough for the pros. [HeliPOV]