Adventures of the PXW-FS7 on a Drone

by Sony Pro Team 09/13/2016, in 4K, Cameras, Press, Sony Professional, Notes From the Field

Interview with Aerial Videographer/Photographer for Quadrocopter & Gravity Shots

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Adele Scholl is an Aerial Videographer/Photographer for Quadrocopter & Gravity Shots, two companies that make the impossible shots, possible. Adele uses the PXW-FS7 to capture stunning drone footage across the United States. We conducted a Q and A to learn more about her experience with Sony’s cameras:

How did you get your start in aerial videography/photography?

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About 15 years ago, my husband Jeff and I were working in website design and part of our job was to develop photography for the sites. We’d be out in the field getting photos, and Jeff would say things like, “Gosh, it’d be perfect if I could just get a shot over those treetops.” One day, we decided to actually do it.

Jeff has a background in aeronautics, so he literally rubber banded the digital cameras we had to remote control helicopters and we would shoot blind – there were no video downlinks back then. We started off shooting real estate and showing the views that others couldn’t show, and it just evolved from there.

So besides real estate, what other footage are you capturing?

People use our services for all types of productions. Recent use cases include programs like Fox News’ Legends and Lies, Bill O’Reilly on CNN,  car commercials for Ford, an Angry Birds 2 commercial, hunting shows, multiple reality shows including History’s Mountain Men and No Man’s Land and lots of action sporting competitions like Spartan Races and fly boarding.

 What is shooting Mountain Men like?

It’s a lot of fun! As I’m sure you know, the show is about these older gentlemen living in remote locations across the United States. When we come on set, they sometimes will share things like their homemade elk recipes. It’s quite an experience, and we love working that shoot.

I’m assuming you get to travel a lot with your job then?

I do. Sometimes Jeff travels alone, and sometimes I go with him. He flies the helicopter and I generally run the camera gimbal underneath.

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So tell us about your use of Sony’s cameras.

We have used Sony products for years. We started with the FS100 then progressed to the FS700. Once available, we shifted to the FS7 and the α7S. We are always using and trying out new cameras and solutions to yield shooting the best footage possible.

Are there any particular features you like?

We really loved the slow mo features that you’re able to capture from the ground. One of our first big applications with Sony was a Class 5 kayak competition in Idaho. Unsurprisingly, white water is really hard to expose, not to mention capturing the action of a fast-moving river. But we really loved the results we got from Sony, so we continued expanding with its products.

So how did you ultimately decide on using the PXW-FS7 with a drone?

Well, attaching a camera to a drone is no easy feat, and weight is a huge factor for us. We love that you can strip the FS7 down to make it lighter without losing the valuable camera capabilities. The customizable features are a dream for us – it’s mobile and provides top quality shots.

Now that drones are a hot topic, are you expecting a lot more work?

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Yes! As pioneers with 15 years of experience in the drone world, we like to think that we’re ahead of the game on understanding drone capabilities. We are on the list of the FAA 333 exemption, and we continue to create a lot of great content for our clients. Let’s just say that business continues to soar since the addition of the FS7, and we’re excited to continue capturing the shots that were once impossible.