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4k filming on BlueRov2


(Robert Rundle) #1

I am looking for some guidance on filming 4k video from the BlueRov2. I have yet to purchase, just looking at my options. I dont need to stream the 4k video to the surface, but at least frame and focus the pictures, low quality is fine for this, the camera can be mounted in a fixed position as I can control movement of the Rov. I would potentially also need to have a 4k recorder on the Rov as well, to ensure that the film could be later used for video purposes.

What are peoples thoughts or expereinces.


(Julian Hancock) #2

I work a lot with BlueROV’s bigger brothers. The ROV world has stepped up to the 1080 world through fibers but 4K, I suppose it depends where you are using it and what the visibility is like.


(Robert Rundle) #3

Julian, I guess no matter what the resolution of the camera, visibility is always going to be an issue. Maybe the easier question to answer, 'Is it possible to mount an external camera onto BlueRov and are there any recommendations for doing this?


(Jacob) #4

Yes it is possible. We carry a gopro mount that fits to the front of the battery enclosure.


(Robert Rundle) #5

thanks jacob, what about something bigger than a go-pro like a MFT DSLR or Blackmagic micro camera?


(Jacob) #6

Do you have a watertight enclosure for these cameras? The BlueROV2 was designed to accommodate 3rd-party payloads. We carry a payload skid if you need more space to mount your camera. Do you have any concerns beyond just mounting the camera to the BlueROV2 and waterproofing it?


(Robert Rundle) #7

I haven’t purchased anything yet, just trying to work out what my options are. I already operate an aerial drone commercially for filming work and looking to extend through into water. Basically to give ventures access to something which they might not have budget for.

The important thing is to work out what cameras would mount easily either onto the ROV or into it. The possibility of taking a hdmi feed from the camera to the surface either via the ROV electronics or direct.


(Marcus) #8

Hi Robert,

Not sure if there is anything commercially available for taking the Black Magic cams underwater, certainly not with a live feed functionality. Conflict of interest alert-we do live feed/remote control of HD action cams at Spot X Underwater Vision (mods, remove if this is not allowed) and we have a number of customers add one of our units to their ROV, but I can certainly offer some advice for people going it alone.

I use Hero5 Black and Garmin Virb Ultra 30 cameras on board our BlueROV2, both with image stabilization on (available up to 2.7k). The downside with shooting 4k is that the cameras overheat quickly, especially in housings, so you may only get 15mins of footage before they shut themselves down.

In regards to a live feed, it’s not easy to do in HD form. If you can get by with a composite feed (500TVL) this is how you do it.

**Hero 5 -**You will need to convert the HDMI to AV using a powered adapter for the Hero5. These are readily available, but need 5v.

Hero3/3+/4 You can take live composite feed straight from the USB of these cameras using the correct connector, you can find these on Hobbyking or any FPV store.

Depending on RF noise, you can actually run an AV live feed directly over a spare twisted pair. Just use some screw down baluns to match the cable coming from your camera. I haven’t tried it on the BlueROV2, but it may work, composite feeds are pretty robust, and because they are analog, they just degrade, they don’t “fall off a cliff” like digital signals

If you use a Garmin Virb, you can convert HDMI to AV using the unpowered boards offered by HobbyKing.

If you need a remote trigger for the GoPro (start/stop record from the surface) this can also be done but that’s probably a bit off topic, let me know if you’re interested.

FYI…Rob, no doubt you understand the benefits of 4k, but for those reading who may not, and be wondering why bother…it’s true, for most people, 4k isn’t worthwhile for viewing, 1080 is “good enough”…but most importantly, especially if your 4k camera is flying blind, consider that in post-processing you can “zoom in” on that 4k image up to 200%, crop, and still have a 1080 finished image.

Another cool editing trick, is that you can make it look like you have multiple camera angles, using just the one camera, eg some wide angle views, some close ups etc. If you can shoot in 4k, and export in 720p, you have a lot of options


(Robert Rundle) #9

Marcus,

Thats great, thanks for comprehensive reply. Your absolutely right about 4k, its why I shoot with it on the drone, as it gives some many more options in editing. Even on faitly undynamic shoots you can introduce movement through moving the 1080p frame through the 4k frame.

I would probably only look to run a 100m tether, so hopefully the drop wouldnt be too excessive. If you can give me some info on the remote trigger that would be great, happy for you to contact me through info@aerial-visuals.co.uk

Go-Pro’s could work, potentially i could mount two, one with a zoomed lens and one with a wider angle, would give me a range of shots that way.

Looks like this might actually work as I want it to.

Rob


(Julian Hancock) #10

I use the external mounting that BlueROV produce for my gopro. I am not a fan though as the camera is vulnerable. I was thinking about another housing inside the skid.