Here's a follow-up to the backyard test of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera aboard the DJI Phantom. BTW, I'm flying the first generation Phantom. The lens is an Olympus body cap lens which is basically like shooting with a pinhole camera, fixed at f/8. It's very cheap but, more importantly, very light. I was at 200 ISO, 180 degrees shutter angle and no ND since it was overcast. The BMPCC was fastened to the landing gear with gaffer tape and no stabilizing devices were used. Wind was gusty, probably 5mph.
What I came away with from my experiment is that the Phantom has no trouble at all flying and maneuvering with the camera. The camera did not experience any of the jello issues common to the GoPros. Despite those two encouraging facts, the video was shaky from the buffeting of the quadcopter and unusable for any professional purpose. I ran the video through FCP7 smoothcam but the results were not very good. It needed a substantial crop and the high frequency vibration was exaggerated. (You have too look hard to spot it in the unstabilized raw footage.) I still haven't tested on a perfectly calm day. I imagine I might coast into a few good shots that where smooth enough to use, but nothing that approaches the GoPro with gimbal stuff I've seen so far. I'm still a novice at flying and would like to see what a better pilot could achieve with this setup.
Bottom line is that the stability of the GoPro system trumps the video quality of the BMPCC. I'm sure I'm not the first person to consider this option and I hope I have given a little insight to those thinking of trying this configuration out.

Music: Herons Are Mellow by Daniel Maze (

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