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Carpool video advice


Papiskokuji

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Hello guys !

I need to do an unusual corporate video. The compagny wants a carpool video (see the youtube video reference down below) to introduce a live event (the video won't be live of course !). They will be probably eight people in a mini van. I'll install maybe five cameras in the car. So far I was thinking of using gopros and monitor it via wifi in a car following the main car. But I have a few questions that you might be able to answer to.

First, do you think I'd lose the wifi signal of the gopro if I'm not in the same car as the talents ? Is the gopro wifi reliable ?
And if it ain't, what kind of route should I go ? Is there a HF set up that wouldn't be too time consuming to install, not taking a lot of place and expensive to rent ? I saw that Teradek released new HF systems, lighter and cheaper. I'll be renting the gear, so I don't know if the rental house is up to speed with latest tech.

Have some of you guys already done that kind of shoot ? I also want to be able to monitor each camera maybe from only one monitor ? Do you guys think of convinient cameras with hdmi or sdi out ? It's not a big production. What would matter the most is a reliable signal I guess. Then practicallity and image quality comes last.

Thanks !
 

 

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Are you that adamant on wireless monitoring?

I'm quite into cars so I follow some automotive journalists if you will in the form of these 'cartubers'. Tim 'Shmee150' Burton for example mounts Sony FDR-X3000 action cams (with BOSS) in- and outside the car. So... that's the sorta thing I would do.

The smaller the camera and the wider field of view the lens has got, the easier the rigging of course. So... Sony FDR-X3000... GoPro, Blackmagic Pocket or Micro or any other MFT camera perhaps (broadcast shows like Top Gear and The Grand Tour use Panasonic GH-range cameras most of the times). Set up your cameras, have a look at how they're pointing, hit record, fetch the recordings after the drive and put it all together. Have a trial run beforehand to make sure every occupant is clearly visible and audible.

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 You can also use a 360 VR cam...

Full thing: here btw (campaign is long over, but info can be found here). That's like the only VR 360 application I actually thought was a promising format. I could imagine a 'who dunit?' crime video/game, where you have to pay attention and catch clues of who killed who and schtuff. Otherwise I never found implenations of VR that interesting.

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Depending on which vintage of GoPros you use (the new(er) ones don't have the AV output), you can go the old school quadcopter route of using FPV transmitters and monitor on either a dedicated FPV monitor or one of the plug in receiver adapters for phones.

The FPV transmitters are cheap, have a much longer range obviously and far lower latency than using WiFi.

Whether you'd get enough channel separation to run more than a few in the same space is something you'd need to look into.

 

As an alternative If you are going to use cameras that have live HDMI outputs then you could get something like this.

49390915_ScreenShot2020-01-18at18_40_30.png.bc05a1f0ee9833bff0a51f85885cc7fe.png

This lets you put 8 different feeds in a variety of different splits (one big one with seven small picture in pictures etc) onto one screen simultaneous so you would put this in the car and then attach its output to a single Acsoon CineEye HDMI transmitter (which has enough range for the sort of distances you would be running) to monitor in the other car on a tablet or a phone.

It runs on 12v so will be easy to power from in the car and small enough to put under a seat.

There are 4 channel versions as well if you don't need to monitor everything.

Total price including the CineEye would be under £300 and you'll get a lot of bonus use out of the CineEye on other jobs when the car one is over !

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000089013424.html

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3 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Don't forget about sound! 
I've got lots of videos on my YouTube channel about car rigs:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCniNTuAtkFiSCQNfIaw9SJw/search?query=car


And WiFi from the camera won't be a robust and strong enough signal to be able to always monitor from in your follow car. 

Yes, actually there will be a sound operator with HF mics, so we are fully covered on this side of things :) 

Sound guys always have better equipment than us at video hehe

 

Thanks for your input guys ! I guess I'm gonna try to monitor with wifi (and also from the sound I'll get from the Sound OP), let the camera run and hope for the best ! I'll stick to the simple solution :)  I'll make a call at the rental house if ever they have a miracle solution.

And for the FPV, I guess it won't work. I think rental houses have the latest gopros. The hdmi multi viewer thingy seems interesting for future productions ! But I'll never receive it on time for this very job though

Thanks again, I'll let you know how it turns out !

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19 hours ago, Papiskokuji said:

Yes, actually there will be a sound operator with HF mics, so we are fully covered on this side of things :) 

Sound guys always have better equipment than us at video hehe

HF??? Do you mean "RF mics"? 

You ideally need more than just lav mics to do a car scene well. 

Does you sound mixer have experience doing car scenes?
 

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Can you connect gopro to a wifi network? If so you can add some mesh AP to extend the range. Probably exist some USB powered versions to use with power bank.

If the gopro can only present itself as a network you could connect to it with an AP and have that extend the signal.

If you want some cheap point to point link I like the UBNT NanoStation LocoM2 or M5 (there is a now AC version too). They can be set to work as AP, station (connect to network) or router if you need that too. Think most if not all of 24V passive poe so should not be hard to power it.

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Same thing as BTM_Pix said. The analog route with FPV system works very well with "old" GoPro. You can find all in one FPV monitor for $100 online (minitor + battery + video receiver).

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=fpv+monitor&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

An antenna costs $10. Then you just install a video transmitter on the AV out interface. Range will be more than enough (get at least a 100-200mW video transmitter, with CP antenna on both ends).

As for the GoPro, the wifi link is weak, it might be fine if the follow car is close but it will be prone to disconnection. Plus the latency will be bad whereas there is almost no latency on analog FPV system except for the one introduced by the AV out interface but this is not major (less than a second).

As for mounting, I recommend the magnetic route which is easier and more reliable than suction cup. Plenty of options for GoPro online. For serious rig, the RigWheels RigMount is very solid. However, a few cars don't have magnetic hood but they are the minority (usually high end cars or green vehicles).

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I've done these ride along style shoots a few times with gopros and here's my experience.

We've used 3 or 4 gopro hero 5's I think and monitor them via gopro's phone app while driving behind in a follow car.

You can still get connection if you're not in the vehicle, but it's as spotty as you'd think it'd be. It worked, but you do have lag and dropouts.

That said, the cameras kept rolling and recording, so The app is more to just make sure you're still rolling. Plan and lock off your shots before you truly start shooting.

We kept an audio field recorder in the talent car with mics on talent and lav mics clipped to the cars sun visors. We took a line out from the audio recorder and put it into a sennheiser G3 wireless transmitter. We plugged the g3 receiver into an aux line in in the follow car so we could hear and monitor the conversation in the talent car. 

We also had a camera shooting out of the window in the follow car to highlight what the talent was talking about in the surrounding neighborhood.

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