Looking for advice on setting up an Alta kit with Alexa Mini for cinema / TV use.

Discussion in 'ALTA' started by James Layton ACO, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. James Layton ACO

    James Layton ACO New Member

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    I'm a camera and steadicam operator in film and TV in the UK and I'm trying to find advice regarding getting an Alta setup to use for cinema and TV use with an Alexa mini, focus and iris motors and wheel controllers (i.e. wheels used for stabilised heads on cranes etc). I'm thinking along the lines of:

    • Alta
    • Movi (can the M15 be used or is it just for the M10?)
    • Movi controller or wheels from a third party maufacturer with third party focus unit like a Preston etc.
    • Alexa mini with Super Speed lenses
    • FPV unit for pilot - perhaps HUD glasses?
    • Long range transmitter such as Teradek Bolt Pro 2000
    Could anyone recommend which kit I should be looking at as it seems that there are so many accessories required for a full kit and i'm confused! I admit it!

    I'm also wondering if there are any parachute systems out there at the moment as the camera and lens would be in excess of £40,000 so this is something I'd have to take very seriously.

    Anyone who works in this area who could give me some advice?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Hi James. The best advice I can give you is to get your feet wet with a much smaller, simpler system like a Phantom. Despite what it looks like in the videos, the ALTA cannot fly itself, and not even a parachute is going to help with most of the problems you can run into. The size of parachute required to successfully recover an ALTA with a full payload would be considerable. I'm not aware of any chutes that'd do that right now.

    But the best defense you have against catastrophic events with a small UAV is a lot of practice. Most crashes I've seen, even among experienced operators, are the result of pilot error of some kind.

    Good luck.
     
  3. James Layton ACO

    James Layton ACO New Member

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    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the reply. I do have a Phantom. I've had it for a of year or so so I'm happy with the flying of it all. I also used to fly r/c Helicopters so I'm not too worried about that. It's choosing the right setup which is stumping me at the moment. I need to get FPV/control range and reliability with payload capability, too.

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers.
     
  4. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    A few thoughts:
    1) the M15 has some significant advantages over the M10, including being able to work inverted on the ALTA should you want to do that.
    2) if you're talking about range of 200-400m, RC control with a Futaba (the default Freefly setup) is going to be fine, and 1.3gHz FPV works great out to far beyond that
    3) I've heard the new Connex HD video system is terrific, and is quite a bit less expensive than the other offerings out there

    Unfortunately I have no experience flying anything bigger than a 5D on my ALTA so far. But I know Freefly have flown all kinds of cameras.
     
  5. Klaus Friedrich

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    Hi James,
    looking at your wish list you like to fly I can tell you that you will reach the max payload of 6.8kg very easily with the Alexa mini, Super Speed lenses, follow focus, video transmitter, M15, Camera/gimbal battery, etc. - a (not yet existing) parachute system not even considered.

    Maybe this was the reason why Freefly used the Cine 8 with the Alexa Mini in their promotion video and not the ALTA (according to Arri website information).

    Probably you have to reconsider your payload/copter (wish) list
     
  6. Sal Etarf

    Sal Etarf New Member

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    Here is some info from the setup of the gear that they used during the telecast of this years US Open golf tournament. They provided live aerial footage during th Fox broadcast...

    A Blackmagic Design 4K production camera and a Panasonic DMC-GH4 will be mounted on two drones during the tournament. Footage will be transmitted via microLite transmitters from IMT. The microLite provides MPEG-4 COFDM HD wireless transmission links providing HD video at distances over one mile.

    “The UAV relies on IMT’s microLite for its HD downlink and the company’s DirectVu [handheld dual-diversity COFDM HD receiver] for reception,” said John Payne, CTO for IMT. “COFDM is a highly robust modulation specially designed for high-performance and high-reliability. COFDM is the only modulation today that supports long-range requirements and the stability that UAV applications require.”
     

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