Here’s a quick post running through how I’ve tried to smooth out the footage coming from the GoPro and DJI Phantom.
There are basically two important things to do so that the footage doesn’t have a jello effect.
You need to balance your props and create a shock absorber between the camera and aircraft.
Continue after the break…
It took me three days to come up with a solution to separate the camera from drone. I ended up finding a Meccano set and using parts from that.
I tried ear buds as dampeners, but they were too soft and the camera wobbled around.
I tried reducing the wobble by adding springs in, but this didn’t work either. The rubber needed to be harder.
Here I have replace the headphones with rubber seals. The GoPro mount is still separate from the drone but tight enough not to wobble. I added the extra springs just to help with the sturdiness of things… also it makes it look pretty interesting.. like it should work, even if it’s pointless.
Next challenge was to balance the props. This literally means making sure that both sides of the propellers are of equal weight. This is important because unbalanced props create vibration that is noticeable in the footage.
Trying to get a spindle to fit this shape was hard. I ended up relying on the trusty Meccano box again.
Using a dremel I span a small plastic washer at high speed and used a knife to create a taper.
I could then use these tapered washers to wedge into either side of the prop, and keeping everything perfectly centered.
When I placed this spindle between two points so the blade could move freely, the heaviest blade would rotate towards the ground. This told me that I needed to sand some material off this side until it would not spin any more.
This method was very effective. I would highly recommend you invest in a prop balancer. Due to my current location, buying one online would mean a two week wait, so I set out to make one my self, but remember what ever you do it has to be pretty accurate so you dont end up causing more damage.
It will be interesting to see what others come up with to reduce the vibration. I can vouch that this method works pretty well. Footage to prove it on its way..
Update: Here’s the latest mount that works a lot better than the one above.