Drones might seem like very new technology – and they are, in the sense that they are extremely modern and cutting-edge – but the hardware has been around for some years and has been tried, tested and proven in professional use time and time again.
Because of this, we are able to bring the best of both worlds to our drones, choosing equipment that offers the very latest capabilities, but which we know will perform reliably across a wide range of different projects and film shoots.
Here are the types of drones and camera equipment you can hire Aerial Republic are likely to put to good use on your next filming project:
The Heavy Lift Drone is the beating heart of our filmmaking drone hire equipment, providing a completely integrated aerial filming platform capable of carrying a variety of cameras into the air.
It’s a comprehensive camera lifting rig that we can put to use on everything from light photography to professional broadcast-quality television and film footage.
We can equip it with a smaller DSLR camera, for example the Sony A7sII or Panasonic GH4, or for more high-end footage for broadcast, we can use an ARRI Alexa Mini or RED Epic camera, giving you the best quality output for your specific needs in every case.
Our heavy lifter system is integrated into the drone, but can also be used vehicle-mounted or handheld, so the footage you obtain is consistent, with the same agility and capabilities across all formats.
This allows you to use any camera weighing up to 6kg, with total control on the ground, on a vehicle and in the air over features like ISO, f-stop, shutter speed and frame rate.
The gimbal is part of the heavy lifting rig but deserves its own mention as it’s such a crucial part of our drone technology offerings.
With 360 degrees of continuous movement, it means that the camera never needs to be re-centred – you can just rotate it into the desired position and get the footage you want.
One of the platform’s more unique features is its support for tilting beyond the vertical axis to 135 degrees, and this function used well can create some truly memorable, artistic and agile camera shots.
You don’t have to wait until post-production to see the results – the platform supports live television broadcast via SDI-out, which means real-time footage can be viewed at 50 frames per second at 1080i, or 60 frames per second at 720p.
While some companies solely offer drone filming and photography, we appreciate that sometimes you want a similar end result via a different method, and our 360-degree gyroscopic image stabilisation can be used in other Steadicam applications as well.
As such, we can offer vehicle-mounted and handheld filming as well, giving footage from ground level to complete your cinematic experience without any inconsistencies between the look and feel of different camera shots.
This allows you to obtain individual long shots to a cinematic standard on a budget that would have previously been impossible, or to combine ground and aerial shots with vehicle-mounted tracking to capture a scene from every angle.
Steadicam means shots can be set up much faster and more easily, with much better access to remote areas, as there is no need to build larger stabilising rigs to hold the camera equipment.
And it’s not just for light use – our Steadicam stabilisers support broadcast-quality cameras including the Alexa Mini, and even the RED WEAPON 8K, which gives IMAX-quality output at a resolution 17 times that of HD.
As mentioned above, drone filming isn’t always used in isolation – you might want to combine aerial drone footage with shots obtained at ground level, either by hand or from a moving vehicle.
Our cross-platform gimbal means the camera can work even across platforms, getting it into the air in a matter of moments, and the peek-out connectors mean you can add a transmitter or follow-focus to the drone and the installed camera along the way too.
Shots can be obtained on land, in the air, and over open water – and at the transition between these, for ground-to-air tracking or beach and lakeside scenes that move between land and water.
Finally, our camera operators are as much a part of our ‘equipment’ as the hardware itself, and we have crew fully trained in skateboarding, snowboarding and roller blading.
With a Steadicam rig in hand, this allows them to agilely track even fast-moving vehicles along challenging routes, giving your ground-level footage the same seemingly inexplicable manoeuvrability as the scenes shot by drones overhead.