Radio-Controlled Helicopter Gives Stunning New View of Peaks

The two big video revolutions of the last five years have been the rise of the DSLR (Canon 5D Mark

The two big video revolutions of the last five years have been the rise of the DSLR (Canon 5D Mark ii and company) and the boom in hands-free cameras (GoPro, Unless phone cameras start getting seriously good, for my money the next one will be the use of radio-controlled helicopters to capture previously impossible or unaffordable shots.

Take, for example, this Mammut expedition to Trango Towers in Pakistan. The crew went a little overboard with the RC heli shots – EVERY segment is from the mini chopper – but it’s hard to blame them when you can get such stunning angles. Every one gives you a new perspective, and the constant motion makes the short film that much more dynamic. The cost of an entire RC setup is less than the tab
to simply to fire up an A-Star, no lives are at risk, and you can be much less obtrusive (check out the shots of village). They aren’t easy to operate expertly (it’s nerve-wracking if that’s your 5D hanging out there), but as more action sports production companies make the leap, it’s inevitable that we’ll see waves of RC ninjas and even more jaw-dropping cinematography.

Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal.
  • Dave Young

    It’s true! Amazing shots can be captured without breaking the bank to get them. Myself and a friend started up a business doing this and everyone we’ve worked with is amazed by the footage you can capture and how little hassle, noise and expense it takes. I think people are a little shy of using it because it’s so new but everyone who has taken the plunge has been delighted. I don’t know how regulated it is in other countries but in the UK you have to get qualifications and permission from the CAA which will hopefully enable it to remain a safe alternative and stop ‘cowboys’ setting up dangerous and uninsured operations. You’re right to mention that it isn’t as easy as people think it is!

    I’ve put a link below of our slightly tongue-in-cheek showreel/advert to show some more possibilities! Hope that’s ok in the spirit of this article…


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