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Video Production Q&A

Hi. I'm Michael (DP, Editor, Composer for Flite Test). Feel free to ask questions about what gear we use, what we edit on and how we produce the show here! I'll be glad to answer questions. :)


Rotor Riot!
Hi and welcome, Michael!

What cameras do you use? I have seen you guys use some kind of camera holder. Is that homemade?


Junior Member
Hey Michael! Glad to see you here. I just have to say I really like the tunes you've composed for FliteTest, they really add to the show!

Regarding the music, could you give us a little insight into the process of creating the music?
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Rotor Riot!
Hey Michael! Glad to see you here. I just have to say I really like the tunes you've composed for FliteTest, they really add to the show!

Regarding the music, could you give us a little insight into the process of creating the music?
Agree. Why not make a FliteTest Soundtrack CD?


Executive Producer
I'm sure Michael will be glad I posted this. It's all the data on the production equipment we use...

Here is a list of equipment that we use...

RedRock Micro - eyeSpy Deluxe Bundle
The eyeSpy line of DSLR rigs are ideal for any filmmaker who wants a shoulder-mounted ergonomic support system for their DSLR. The eyeSpy Deluxe Bundle builds on the Standard Bundle by adding the combined convenience of counterbalance weights for a perfectly balanced system, and a follow focus for pulling accurate focus.

Canon - 5D MKII
High Performance for High Expectation
Canon's update to the wildly popular full frame EOS 5D is here, and it's better than ever. The EOS 5D Mark II has a stunning 21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4 Image Processor, a vast ISO Range of 100-6400 (expandable to ISO L: 50, H1: 12800 and H2: 25600), plus EOS technologies like Auto Lighting Optimizer and Peripheral Illumination Correction. It supports Live View shooting, Live View HD videos, and more. It can shoot up to 3.9 fps, has 9 AF points plus 6 AF assist points, a new 98% coverage viewfinder, a 3.0-inch Clear View LCD (920,000 dots/VGA) and a rugged build. Full-frame shooters rejoice!

Canon - About EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Meeting the ever-increasing demands on image quality that digital photography brings, the redesigned EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is the latest update to the acclaimed L-Series of EF optics, re-establishing a new standard for superb optics, high-end durable construction and performance in professional zoom lenses. A standard focal length zoom lens, it features a large aperture throughout its focal length. Featuring the latest advances in optical lens design, it utilizes 1 Super UD lens element and 2 UD lens elements that help minimize chromatic aberration in the periphery at wide-angle as well as reduced color blurring around the edges of the subject. In addition, 2 types of aspherical lenses are combined to help reduce spherical aberration over the entire image area as well as through the full zoom range. Optimized lens coatings also help ensure exceptional color balance while minimizing ghosting. The lens is also equipped with a circular 9-blade diaphragm for beautiful, soft backgrounds. A ring-type USM and high-speed CPU with optimized AF algorithms enable silent and fast autofocusing. Built for the rigors of professional use as well as to meet the increased number of shots available with digital photography, it's constructed with improved dust sealing and water resistance while fluorine coatings on the front and rear lens surfaces help reduce soiling, smears and fingerprints. A zoom lock lever locks the zoom position at the wide end for safe transporting while attached to an EOS DSLR camera over the shoulder.

Canon - 60D
An EOS with Perspective.
With the new EOS 60D DSLR, Canon gives the photo enthusiast a powerful tool fostering creativity, with better image quality, more advanced features and automatic and in-camera technologies for ease-of-use. It features an improved APS-C sized 18.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor for tremendous images, a new DIGIC 4 Image Processor for finer detail and excellent color reproduction, and improved ISO capabilities from 100 - 6400 (expandable to 12800) for uncompromised shooting even in the dimmest situations. The new Multi-control Dial enables users to conveniently operate menus and enter settings with a simple touch. The EOS 60D also features an EOS first: A Vari-angle 3.0-inch Clear View LCD (1,040,000 dots) monitor for easy low- or high-angle viewing. An improved viewfinder, a number of new in-camera creative options and filters, plus HDMI output for viewing images on an HDTV all make the EOS 60D invaluable for the evolving photographer. With continuously curved surfaces, user-friendliness and exuding solidity and refinement, the EOS 60D is true digital inspiration!

H4n Handy Mobile 4-Track Recorder
The Zoom H4n Handy Recorder picks up where the H4 left off and adds additional features to an already popular audio recorder. Ideal for recording interviews, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, and more, this palm-sized unit packs the ability to record up to 4 channels of audio at greater than CD quality.

The H4n features onboard true X/Y stereo microphones to pick up clear, natural sound without phase shifting. The mics can be rotated to select a 90° or 120° recording pattern for terrific versatility. The digitally-controlled preamp, combined with the high-quality microphones, allows you to capture Linear PCM audio at rates up to 24-bit/96kHz. The recorder captures audio to SD or SDHC cards with capacities up to 32GB. A USB 2.0 port allows you to quickly transfer files to a Mac or PC, or use the H4n as a live audio interface.

For connecting your own microphones or instruments, the H4n features XLR/TRS combo input jacks with phantom capability. A 3.5mm line output is provided, and a reference speaker is built-in for quickly reviewing your recordings. The unit operates on a pair of standard AA batteries, and features a Stamina mode to provide up to 11 hours of continuous recording at 16-bit/44.1kHz. Other useful features of the H4n include variable playback speed, automatic and pre-record functions, a low-cut filter and limiter for improving the sound quality of recordings, time stamping, a metronome and tuner, and more. The backlit LCD screen and intuitive controls are easy to use, even for the recording novice. A collection of accessories are included so you can start recording right out of the box.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium

AVID - Pro Tools


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Hey colorex! I use a Canon 5d Mark II and a Canon 60d. There is a post below from StoneKap (the company I work for) that lists everything we use. Hope this is helpful!


Hi and welcome, Michael!

What cameras do you use? I have seen you guys use some kind of camera holder. Is that homemade?
Hey Sole, thank you for the kind words!

The process of creating the music was pretty simple from the beginning. Keep it up-tempo, keep it electronic/techno sounding and keep it professional quality! I created about 3 or 4 tracks (that no one has heard) as a guide and only used a section of one of the tracks, on the Parkzone episode. From then on, I usually created tracks based on the mood that the episode needed. Night flying needed something different than the Tech one Angel, and the Frankenplane needed something different than the Flying Brick episode. It's all about creating a different mood for each segment. Sometimes I use 5 different tracks in one episode, depending on the need. I think we have about 15 tracks total that we use at any given time.

Hey Michael! Glad to see you here. I just have to say I really like the tunes you've composed for FliteTest, they really add to the show!

Regarding the music, could you give us a little insight into the process of creating the music?


Junior Member
Hi Guys,

I don't really want to complain on my first post BUT, could you please ask that guy hitting a saucepan with a couple of sticks to stop whilst the Joshes are talking. I have to use a hearing aid and the frequency is smack dab in it's center of audio bandwidth. At least it sounds like it.

Regards Stu
Hey Chad,
I'm going to be working toward getting a DSLR for video work. You said you use both a 5D (what i really want), but also a 60D (which is a lot more affordable). How much greater is the video quality from the 5d? Is it worth the added cost in your opinion?
I switched to Premiere Pro CS5 from Final Cut as well, so far I've been very happy.

@ Scott, I personally have not used the 60D for video, but the 5dmkII and the 7D are very similar as far as quality the 5d is a full frame sensor so you do not have the crop factor that you will have with the 60D and the 7D being and aps-c sensor. The 5d MKII is also much better in low light.
Rifle looking camera mount??

Hey ;)

I cannot recall the exact episode but in one of them I saw one of the camera guys with a rifle stock looking mount that I assume would be for fast action and sweeping shots of the RC models as they pass. Is the mount homemade or purchased?

The idea makes sense to track a fast moving object by 'aiming' down a sight so I may build one (for my 60D)

(only problem is that I live in Australia and legislation regarding guns and 'items that look like guns' are pretty full on) :(


- Michael
Micheal, Chad,

Thank you for being so open about your production equipment software..

Personally I've been looking to improve the "production value" of my FPV videos. There's really been an explosion of FPV / RC videos lately, and myself included, lack any sort of production.. (i.e. footage straight from the FOB or GoPro uploaded to YouTube - maybe a title slide and if you're lucky replacing the audio with a music track) No doubt I'm guilty of this..

With all that said - I'm looking for ways to learn some of the basics of video production. Not to produce the next Flite Test, but to elevate my work going into next year. To date the best I've come up with is spending some time on Vimeo (as opposed to YouTube) and going through their lessons. But am starting to realize how little I know about this stuff..

Any suggestions for myself (and probably a lot of other fliers) in video production 101?



Old age member
I am normally going still picture with a cheap Kodak compact camera as it will only take minutes to get some daily pictures in the log. Sometimes i movie is more interesting and i am using the camera in video mode. I also have other cameras and video-cameras.

At first i used the Windows Movie maker in XP - not god....
When i got .mov videos i had to upgrade to Vista and Movie Maker Live - better but not god.

Today i have a camera making films in HD - my PC and software can not handle this at all.

What PC hardware is required? Core 5 or core 7? Ram? graphics board?
What software will handle "all formats2 mov avi mpg and others?
I dont need any fancy - just to cut, merge and add text and music.
I am looking for a screen where i can watch HD and have menues - i assume 2400+1400 pixels?

Please help me with suggestions.