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Robert McIntosh is Back with Another Aerial GoPro Video That Will Blow You Away

07.28.13 @ 7:40PM Tags : , , , , , ,

Video thumbnail for vimeo video Robert McIntosh GoPro - nofilmschoolYou’ve likely seen a few aerial videos online at one time or another, with some using a DSLR or mirrorless cameraSony F55RED EPIC, or even an ARRI ALEXA. A few of the most impressive videos, however, have been with tiny GoPro cameras. Robert McIntosh showed us absolutely breathtaking aerial footage with his custom quadcopter earlier in the year, and now he’s back with another fantastic video that he shot in Lone Pine, CA:

This is what he said about the location:

I’ve been flying for about 7 years now and I think this has got to be my favorite place yet. There are all kinds of cool rock formations to zoom around most of which can easily be climbed in case you need to retrieve a downed copter. The color of the sand and rocks are more or less a middle grey which the gopro’s auto exposure handles really well. The color also makes finding a downed copter very easy. There are no hard to see branches or power lines. There are lots of detailed terrain to make fpv navigation easier. Most mornings are a dead calm until about 8 or 9 am from what I hear. It’s so quiet there that even if you get lost fpv flying you can echo-locate your way back home.  (I had to do that more than once) Most of the time there is not another soul for miles. And the park ranger I met was actually stoked that I was flying there!

If you missed his last one, Santa Monica Airlines, check it out:

If you’re curious about his rig, Robert had this to say, and also sent over this link that can help you build your own:

I will say that I never use a dji phantom contrary to popular belief. They are poorly designed, low quality, and overpriced in my opinion. I would encourage anyone who wants to get into this, to actually… get into this. Learn how the machines work, build you own, tune your own, know your machine inside and out because you WILL be rebuilding it at some point.

Here is a video showing the rig he’s been using. You can see the camera on top that helps pilot the rig in FPV mode, which allows him to see exactly what the copter is seeing as he’s flying:

While you may not be too much of a tinkerer, I think it’s pretty solid advice to learn your machine inside and out, which may not be as easy when you’re simply buying it pre-built. If you want to learn more about building these on your own, head on over to the link below.

What do you guys think? Who has built their own rig, and what advice would you have for newbies?



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  • Yeah…that’s impressive on so many levels. First off the Go Pro is capturing footage that could easily be mistaken for a higher end Canon DSLR or even a lower end Sony. Secondly, you can’t do that shot in a normal sized helicopter, so it IS a 100% unique perspective. Something that only an RC copter with a very talented (OK, very doesn’t start to describe it) pilot can do.

    I have always been skeptical of RC aerials because they seem to be a different shot type than what a full size helicopter gets. Very though to get those epic landscapes with RC because the pilot needs to be within a certain distance of the camera. This video changed my thought process on that.

  • No jello. Good job!

    Yes, GoPro does look very good. Looking forward to HERO4.

    And still hoping GoPro will use the guts of the HERO to make a camcorder. Been waiting……….

  • I also am not surprised to learn that he doesn’t use the DJI Phantom…

  • More RC helicopter, but with a DJI. No jello too. He must have tinkered for hours on the DJI to have none.

    Over Niagara Falls. More beautiful GoPro footage. Amazing, brilliant camera:

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  • If you check the video quality of the Sony RX11 ii you may be surprised, and not much heavier than the GoPro.

    • Sorry, RX100ii

      • I like the RX100′s myself. It makes beautiful video,1080p, at 60fps (that’s real 1080p, 60fps, no ‘i’ involved). Here’s a sample: But it has some shortcomings, shortcomings I wish it didn’t have because I would have IMMEDIATE uses for it. Those shortcomings:

        -no microphone jack
        -no headphone jack
        -that gah danged 30 minute limit


  • This man is the god aerial video in my opinion. I’m not into intentionally risking my rig like that but I love to see his footage. Speaking of Phantoms,

    Here is a video I made using an out of the box Phantom (no gimbal or FPV gear):
    It was for the same contest that the Niagara Falls video is competing. It’s not 100% jello-free, but I’m happy with the results. Looks a lot better in my living room TV with the original rendered file vs. the Youtube violation… I mean compression. Maybe someday I’ll plunk down for Vimeo Pro.

  • I couldn’t agree more with Robert! Throwing money at aerial rigs without fully understanding how they work is a complete waste. Simply put: learn it now or learn it after your first crash. I have been flying quadcopters for exactly one year and last week I got my first true filming rig up and I couldn’t be happier!
    But enough about me… Robert’s footage is f-in amazing! He is combining his top notch flying skills with his knowledge of what is optimal for the gopro and his risk it all attitude (no way could I pull off that shot! … then again, he has 6 years of experience on me, lol). I got into flying because I see it as a unbridaled filming tool and Robert further confirms this! Great work, keep it up!

  • My ADVISE in getting started in this field of production is to:

    1 START SMALL: Start flying with a cheap toy quad (Syma X1, on amazon they are about 40 bucks cheapest than anything else out there) all the basic components in one package, yet important controls needed to start flying. You would rather crash this than your 5-10k rig,…. that sinks into the river…

    2 RESEARCH: if you want to get into this then you better love researching about this, this shows that you have a passion for this sort of thing, and you won’t be as frustrated when problems come up. You will save a lot of money if you learn how to build one yourself, then you will be able to repair it when it goes down, rather than paying someone else the big bucks to fix or needing to purchase a new multicopter. Follow and learn from people like Robert McIntosh.

    3 PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE: Practice makes perfect, like learning the piano. And when your big multicopter is in for repairs then you still have the syma x1 quad to still practice on, get your skills where they should be.

  • Jaw droppingly stunning. Is there some sort of electronic sensor on the helicopter so it makes micro adjustments automatically to avoid obstacles? Bats seems to bounce sound off of dark cave walls to help them navigate — is there some similar device on Robert’s rig…

  • That is truly stunning. I want so bad to be able to fly like that, but know oh so well that I could never, at least in this season of life, devote the time to learning me. Oh, priorities. I do wish that flying RC copters could be one of them.

  • Man-oh-man, McIntosh is a real pro…not only good at flying his quad copter but he thinks very creatively as well. Really enjoyed this video. Keep ‘em coming Robert.

  • I’m amazed that he is using a quad-copter and a a gopro.

    A friend of mine is building on an octocopter rig with another friend of his (both experienced rc model builders but more in the car section) and they are having a lot of trouble with vibrations and also stable flying.
    Maybe having less rotors instead of more is the answer – but I still don’t get how Robert can fly this thing like there is no wind at all and vibrations don’t exist.

    Also again amazed at what the Hero 3 Black can do. I mean I got one myself, but I still find it pretty unbelievable sometimes what that little action camera can deliver…

  • Not to be the buzz kill of the party, but all of Robert’s work is highly illegal right now. Just an FYI