advice for new camera flyer please!!!

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I have never worn a camera before, and I am going to be flying camera for a freefly team this year. I'd like to have opinions/advice from any experienced camera flyers out there about:
1. what type of helmet you've had the most success with freeflying
2. different types of cameras
3. ways to mount the camera(s)
4. the different sights, and which are most user-friendly

I have over 2600 jumps, and am planning on starting out with only a video camera for the first hundred jumps or so - mostly to reduce weight and keep things simple. Eventually, I'll have a still as well. I do not plan on using this setup for anything other than filming my team - so tandem/AFF/4way video is not something I'll be doing.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks -

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You know, if I didn't shoot stills for tandems, and only was getting photos for coaching and publicity, I'd definitely be shooting digital. The Canon D60 is way cool and is friendly to the conceptus shutter releases.

If you don't already have a still camera preference, get a Canon, they have the 2.5mm jack that makes hooking up a shutter release easy.

For the digital video if weight is a concern, get the PC 101 series. I have a 120, but I use it to take stills and stuff of my kids too.

The aircraft you use has some impact on what kind of helmet will work best. Top mounts can be a little bit of a pain in small door planes like Cessnas and Kingairs, but they align easier. I use a hawkeye LT and I'm happy with how it's holding up. When I get close to my subject, though, I have to be conscious of which camera I'm using, and I have to compensate when I take stills up close. If I was using a helmet with both cameras on top, I wouldn't have that concern.

Also, the side mount is really akward at first. I'm totally used to it now, but at first it was really akward and uncomfortable and I wished I had gone top mount.

Quade's site has some great info, and there's great links already posted. The Tandem and 4 way stuff is real helpful, so I encourage you not to overlook it. The guys that shoot for money HAVE TO BE CONSISTENT and even if you're not shooting for money that consistency will really improve your video.

Welcome! And good luck!


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Whoa! I am waaay honored - you used my links in the same conversation as the Jedi masters!

Seriously - my skydreams stuff is fairly old and not freefly oriented - but may be at least some use.

I know there's a lot of better stuff around....

Thanks and happy reading!

Robbie Culver

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