Fishing upstream for quality
In the quest to generate better quality video, one must look as far upstream as possible to get the best bang for the buck.
A well edited video is only as good as the source footage. Lens quality, sensor capability, resolution, frame rate, and compression algorithm of the camera all play critical roles in the quality of the end product. But even if these align, a poor quality mounting platform can negate it all. Shaky, nausea inducing footage from an unstable platform greatly reduces what is usable and only so much ‘fix it in post’ can correct for it.
Up until now I employed a rather lo-tech means of achieving a semblance of stability for non-helmet mounted cam footage. Attaching a Flytec hang gliding camera bracket to the interface between riser and carabiner, I was able to capitalize on the most stable point in my paragliding kit. But even that point was not without unwanted motion.
Enter the gimbal. A gimbal is a means of attaching an instrument to a platform that allows movement along an axis with the goal of counter acting the motions of the platform in said axis. They are commonly used in film and have shrunk in size and weight over the last few years to have become viable for paragliding.
One of the growing favourites is the Feiyu line of gimbals. While initial offerings came in a variety of selfie stick form factors, the more recent ‘wearable’ (WG) line offers increased flexibility in how and where the platform can be set up.
A trip to the hardware store + a bit of work with a drill and impact driver was needed to get the Flytec to interface cleanly with the base of the WG3 (yet still be detachable).
Testing It Out:
And in the air: