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September 12, 2013

Modded Phantom Gets Spectacular Aerial Footage of Burning Man

Burning Man_gopro_phantomIf you've ever been to or seen images of Burning Man, a week-long event full of art, self-expression, and exploration (of many things,) and yes, a humongous burning man made of wood, it'd be difficult to imagine seeing something more spectacular than that -- unless it was great aerial footage taken of the event itself. Shared with us by Duc-Duy Pham of DSLR Pros, check out this aerial video that uses a GoPro Hero3 and a modded DJI Phantom Quadcopter rig, allowing for more versatility and control in order to show Burning Man like it's never been seen before.

Run by a small team of filmmakers, DSLR Pros went to Nevada's Black Rock Desert where Burning Man is held and took to the skies with their GoPro Hero3 and a modified Phantom copter to show you what their rig can do (more on the mods later.) Though the propellers are visible in some of the shots, the footage is pretty amazing -- definitely takes event videography to the next level.

Check out the video of the aerial view of Burning Man below, then scroll down to find out more on how DSLR Pros modified a DJI Phantom using their Ultimate Cinema Edition Aerial Kit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzpUenHo17Y

DSLR Pros disassembles and rebuilds these copters with pieces of equipment that give the rig and operator more versatility and control. The 8" carbon fiber propellers run by T-Motor's Anti Gravity motors give the Phantom longer flight times and stability. The Phantom's stock radio receiver is replaced with a dual antenna receiver from Futaba, which includes a T8FG super transmitter that allows you to customize flight characteristics, measure flight times, and even switch between different copter models.

Another great feature of DSLR Pros' modded copter is the 5.8 GHz FPV wireless downlink system, which streams the video feed from the attached GoPro to a portable field monitor that can be mounted to the transmitter -- or if you're really cool, video goggles are also available.

The video below gives you the full list of what the kit includes and what each piece does. Check it out below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usHIFFu46_s

If you're an experienced quadcopter operator looking to upgrade or customize your rig, check out DSLR Pros' site to really get a feel for the services and products they provide. The Ultimate Edition will run you $3,926.87, however they offer kits for as low as $845, and give you the option to buy kits with or without a GoPro Hero3. If you're interested, head on over to their site.

Do you use any mods on your quadcopters? What are some you'd recommend to filmmakers with varying amounts of copter experience?

Link: Ultimate Cinema Edition Aerial Kit -- DSLR Pros

Your Comment

41 Comments

The operator flew his UAV over crowds, violating best practice guidelines agreed to in advance by UAV operators at the event.

September 12, 2013

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All great video/film needs to break/bend the rules.

September 12, 2013

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1. Wrong
2. He said guidelines, not rules. Agreed upon by all operators.
3. Not when you risk injuring people, especially people not involved in your 'great' project.

September 13, 2013

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Charlie

It is actually pretty dangerous. Especially given that they are out int he desert with wind storms and the like. These things could easily fall out of the sky.

September 13, 2013

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It's also not even close to a "great" piece of work. The footage is repetitive and relies on the spectacle of Burning Man and the novelty of quad/goPro rigs. Boring. And, yes, kind of dangerous.

September 21, 2013

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topaz

These things can kill people. An experienced operator recently sliced off the top of his head.

September 13, 2013

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Bruce

Granted, that was with a TREX 700, which is a single rotor heli with two blades that are more than half a meter in length each. It's literally a flying saw blade when out of control.
I'm not discounting your point though, it definitely stands, but honestly quads aren't particularly dangerous when out of control. It's just the momentum of the object that is the danger rather than the props.

September 15, 2013

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There's bending rules and there's flying 2+kg of carbon, plastic and metal topped with a set of spinning carbon blades in close proximity to people. I love my quads, I love flying FPV and I love recording aerial video but whatever any pilot or manufacturer claims this is all new technology and should never be considered low risk. Flying these systems that close to people is just plain stupid and dangerous.

September 20, 2013

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James

Who are you? The police?

September 12, 2013

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maghoxfr

"The Event". I thought that burningman began (back in the old days) way out in the middle of no-where to get away from cops and narcs and kooks. Has "the Event" devolved to the point where filmmakers have to be mindful of pain in the ass innocent by-standers and some self-proclaimed spokes-model? 2-bad.

September 19, 2013

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Babylon Slim

burning man used to be interesting

now its just a rave

September 12, 2013

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john jeffries

Pretty Cool video and nice system.

September 12, 2013

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Another (relatively) inexpensive tool to add production value. Been recently interested in going Ariel with the BMPCC though I have no idea when it's coming I see no reason why it shouldn't fly. I'm definitely gonna look up these guys. Thanks, great article

September 12, 2013

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Anthony Marino

The footage isn't /that/ spectacular.

September 12, 2013

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Tyler

Most aerial footage I've come across on the 'net is boring. Just more of the same-old-same-old.

September 13, 2013

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c.d.embrey

How about these guys! http://vimeo.com/38322747

I love the FS700 slomo shots http://vimeo.com/45762381

I think they have some great shots!

September 19, 2013

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Dan Herrick

+1 Tyler

September 12, 2013

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+1
Kind of boring...

September 12, 2013

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Marcel

+1
its like shaking some shiny keys in front of a baby. Some people are REALLY impressed by things.

September 12, 2013

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Tim

And yet I wasn't by this comment.

September 12, 2013

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V Renée
Managing Editor
Writer/Director
243

Too bad you stooped to get that jab in there. Follow your own comment policy next time.

September 13, 2013

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Scott

I'm not impressed by condescending remarks. I'd rather talk/debate about quadcopters instead of what I deem spectacular and why. That'd be a pretty tedious and self-indulgent topic.

September 13, 2013

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V Renée
Managing Editor
Writer/Director
243

Why is it that every example that I've seen of aerial footage from these nifty helicopters just reads like an advertisement? That video would have been five times better if it hadn't exclusively been aerial footage. The imagery became boring rather quickly, making the event look small and insignificant. I mean, okay, I get it, you have a helicopter that hugs a GoPro perfectly.

I'd love to see how these contraptions could really add to a story or explain something meaningful that traditional cinematography can't. It's just disappointing to watch videos like this and realize over and over again that I'm not impressed by the gimmick anymore.

September 13, 2013

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Adam

I'm sure any video that consists solely of aerial footage would get boring after a while, but they're at least good for showing what they can do. I've seen some pretty amazing footage taken by cameras mounted to quadcopters -- great establishing shots or shots that'd need a crane/jib -- extreme wide shots that go into close ups.

September 13, 2013

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V Renée
Managing Editor
Writer/Director
243

I have seen footage from previous years and ground level seems more suited to the event, aerial shots leave very little to the imagination! night stuff looked great though.

September 13, 2013

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rod Hardinge

I thought it was awesome, really gave you the scope of the event from up high. Why the hate?

September 13, 2013

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Anotherthing

Black rock city....sweet citizens of dust! What an incredible burn, Cargo Cult 2013 was unforgettable. Been shooting out there for the past ten burns and i never saw so many aerials, drones, copters etc...thanks for sharing! Its quite hard to capture the scope of burning man, and nearly impossible to capture the feeling. I brought the 1st RED one to the playa years ago (working on "As the dust settles") breaking my back, it was hellish lugging that beast around...perhaps i will let my thumbs do the driving next year with one of these rigs :)

September 13, 2013

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music is so over the top. Makes footage more underwhelming. The reason this stuff seems interesting to people involved is because they are on loads of x.

September 13, 2013

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Jake Jabbs

Nice footage for such a tiny camera (night stuff especially) but I'm not the only one who saw the word "Phantom" and expected it to be some ridicu-awesome slow-mo, am I?

September 13, 2013

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Adam S

I did it too, hoping for some ultra slo-mo flames shooting from above :)

September 17, 2013

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The mods are pretty basic as far as RC/multirotors go. Nothing special here, just fancy advertising. Learn RC flight properly, save yourself some money.

September 13, 2013

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HAP

i have a similar setup for sale. phantom, transmitter, monitor, case, extra bats, pan and tilt stabilizer etc.

mine is over $1k less.

email me if interested. n2itionproductions (at) gmail.com

September 13, 2013

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What was it that Ansel Adams said about fuzzy ideas? Aerial shots, slo-mo shots, steadicams shots etc are all tools to help you tell a story. If you don't have a compelling story to tell it all becomes very boring rapidly. Burning Man could make a fascinating 2 minuet video, but this isn't it.

September 13, 2013

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c.d.embrey

Was expecting this to be aerial Phantom Flex footage...now THAT would have been impressive.

September 15, 2013

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Brian

Was expecting that based on the article title, in case that isn't obvious.

September 15, 2013

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Brian

Reading some of the comments makes me wonder- this is footage out of a $4k setup. Its Spectacular when you consider that. Jaw dropping I would say, 5 years ago these were the kind of shots I could not have dreamt of.

September 15, 2013

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Archie

Good comment Archie. How quickly we video professionals become tainted in our views toward equipment these days since so much cool, new stuff is being introduced weekly. Several ears ago to get any aerial footage I would have needed a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter and Tyler mount...thousands of dollars for all that and I would have been shooting SD video with a 3-chip camera. The DJI Phantom, pimped out or not, is a good tool. A great mind will take it and produce great images that help tell the story even better. The more reliable, stable and easy to use they make these quad copters the better I say. We recently did a video on a big cattle ranch here in Texas and the quad copter footage really helped the viewer get a feel for the size of the ranch and just how beautiful the rolling hills acreage was, something hard to see from ground level and even with our boom arm.

September 19, 2013

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The music is awful !!!

September 19, 2013

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It seems that almost all of the 'GoPro" footage that I see is with the camera set to maximum fisheye. Gets old fast. The whole reason that I finally broke down and got the 3-black was because it has "variable" focal lengths. Please - you kids - start exploring those. Of course I want a 4 or 6 rotor copter, gotta get me one. Oh... and Burning Man used to be - blah, blaah, blah...

September 19, 2013

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Babylon Slim

Its not burning man but it is Hawaii, Ireland & Scotland... with better music too. http://fctn.tv/blog/fctn-product-test-003-dji-phantom/

September 25, 2013

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I ve participated once to the BM festival and i must say that i won't film with a drone for one reason: dust.
The Black Rock City in the Nevada desert is an hostile place. No vegetation, no animal, no water. It's hot and not sandy but dusty.
A lot of small drones have there motors / rotors not protected from the environment. This just for fan reason, to cool the rotors.
What would happened if just a small dust wind come into one or two rotors ? Would you be still able to control it ? Well you can take the risk to damage your drone but the most reasonable will be to fly far away from any Burners!
If i got one during my stay the most funny shot i would have done, was to film the arrival or departure.
Because it's unbelievable being in a flat desert and being in the same time in a hold up !
Just live it ... as photo & film are not permitted to push the Burners express themselves what they won't do anywhere else.

September 26, 2013

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