Hello, my name is Ryan, and I am an aviation addict! Whether work or play, my career and hobbies all revolve around airplanes. I have been fortunate over the years to be allowed to fly numerous rare aircraft. On many of these great flights I have found myself wishing my family or friends could be there to experience it with me. We take some pictures and we have all said that pictures just don't do it justice. Then came HD cameras. These small, affordable, high definition video cameras have allowed anyone to capture a flight almost as though your viewer is right there. I purchased my first HD camera in 2008 and duck taped it to the wing on a trip to Greenland. Since then, I have recorded many terabytes of video on numerous aircraft in all conditions. With growing popularity and demand for aviation specific cameras and products, I have used my experience and flying / maintenance background to help others share the world of aviation through HD video. I hope you enjoy my “Flix Trix” articles. If you have any questions about my article(s), or specific questions you would like addressed in future articles please “post a comment below”.
Bending propellers with cameras.
I am frequently asked why propeller blades bend, float, or distort on video taken from HD cameras. After a great flight, it is very noticeable when your distorted propeller takes all of the attention in your video. This annoying effect is called rolling shutter. You may also hear it referred to as, prop flicker, prop distortion, or stroboscopic effect.
What causes it? Most HD cameras use rolling image acquisition. Unlike the old family camcorder that takes numerous snap shots in series making a video, HD cameras use CMOS technology. CMOS HD cameras scan across the image like a copy machine many times per second. This technology has given us the small affordable high definition cameras we love. The down side is rolling shutter distorts fast moving objects such as propellers. The propeller moving during the scan or acquisition of the image causes what appears to be a bending or detachment of your propeller.
The great news is there is something you can do about it. By simply adding a propeller filter to the camera lens you can reduce the effects of rolling shutter. The goal is to increase the exposure value of the camera which essentially softens the image helping to blur the fast turning propeller.
Some cameras have auto EV (exposure value) while others are set manually in the menu. By adding a filter to a camera with auto EV, the camera compensates for the filter by increasing the EV automatically. With manual EV, you can increase the value as needed and then add the intensity of filter you need to darken the image.
Also a polarizing filter will double as a prop filter and glare reducer for shooting in bright environments.
I have tested numerous filters in a variety of conditions and cameras. With many filters and price ranges out there, I have chosen two great filters that will not break the budget. Flight Flix Filters are designed to fit nearly any camera. Flexible adhesive rings are included that allow you to stick any of the Flight Flix Filters to the camera quickly, easily, and at an economical price.
Check out the available filter kits at www.flightflixcameras.com. Get your prop filter kit for $9.99 by using discount code AOPF on checkout. Great stocking stuffer!