Jason De Freitas combines his passion for film photography and flying drones to build a camera drone that shoots 35mm film. Jason is from New South Wales, Australia works as an engineer by day and a mad scientist photographer by night.
According to De Freitas, “Anyone that has known me for a long time will know that this project was inevitable for me. Since I was 16 I was building and flying RC helicopters and later on quadcopters. It was an obsession I got deep into both for the love of tinkering and the incredible challenge of performing aerobatics. It was a hobby that led me to become an aeronautical engineer.”
Camera Drone that Shoots 35mm Film
For the project, he selected the iFlight Chimera 7-inch mid-to-long-range FPV (first-person view) drone for $620. He chose this drone to be able to capture dynamic shots compared to a slower and more stable drone. Also, he was used to flying the 5-inch freestyle FPV drones and the 7 inches gave him a similar feel. With the flying person view heavily regulated in Australia, he continued using it as a second operator to communicate framing in this project.
While the weapon of choice was an Olympus Stylus Mju-1. It had a roll of film inside and weighed 80g more than the GoPro 8. A perfect choice with a clicky shutter button and a quick response. The camera was attached to the drone and operated remotely. To fire the shutter he designed a 3D mount that would house the camera and micro servo to press the shutter button. The servo was wired to the flight controller and controlled by a switch on the radio controller while flying. The FPV camera was aligned with the mount by attacking the phone with the 3D printed mount and comparing the views from the mount and FPV camera. After a few test rolls, he was able to set up frame lines in the goggles to get a pretty accurate field of view to compose with.
The photos were taken on Fujifilm Provia 100F and developed by De Freitas. You can visit his website, YouTube, and Instagram to find more of his work and buy prints of his photos on his online print store.
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