Zeiss is to supply aerial specialist Heliguy with its cinemizer OLED head-mounted displays for Heliguy’s professional aerial photography platform, Icarus. The cinemizer will act as a remote viewfinder, using a wireless video-link from the octocopter. This live first-person-view means the camera operator can be sure they are getting the best shot, and they won’t lose track of the action. The glasses are already being used by 3D filmmakers as viewfinders.
The Icarus Heavy Lift octocopter system is flown by a pilot and camera operator. The cinemizer’s eyeshield means that external distractions and light can be kept out of the viewfinder, so that the operator can concentrate on capturing the scene. The glasses give the impression of viewing a 40-inch widescreen display, and provide integrated stereo sound. Each OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display has a resolution of 870×500 pixels, 24-bit RGB colour depth, and 30° field of view.
“The cinemizer is already being used as a remote viewfinder where movie cameras are in hard to reach positions. But it’s great to see Heliguy’s Icarus system taking this idea into the air,” said Franz Troppenhagen, cinemizer product manager, Zeiss.
Icarus was designed to carry the weight of professional movie cameras for more than 15 minutes. Lighter payloads, such as stills cameras, can remain airborne for as long as 30 minutes. The low power consumption of the OLED display mean the cinemizer will provide several hours of flying using its integrated, rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The camera gimbal can be remotely operated either by remote controls, or optionally by using the Zeiss headtracker attachment. The optional headtracker gives the operator hands-free three-axis control of where the camera points, simply by turning or tilting their head.
Joel Ross, managing director of Heliguy said: “When filming with the best cameras in the world, it’s essential to use the best head-mounted displays available. The cinemizer offers a high-quality OLED display in a compact and lightweight design, and comes with additional features like the eyeshield and the headtracker option. So it’s perfect for movie making.”
Using remote controlled aerial platforms like Icarus is far cheaper and quieter than using helicopters to get aerial shots, so the system is ideal for wildlife photography, sport or movie making. The Icarus Heavy Lift system is custom built, with prices starting at £9000 (not including the camera).
The cinemizer, which costs about £600 (plus about £50 for the eyeshield – both including VAT), can also be used as a 2D or 3D Viewfinder.
It can be connected to a DSLR camera or camcorder via a digital HDMI or analogue video interface to become an electronic viewfinder, which is particularly useful where the camera is in a remote setting or on a long jib arm. It can also block out ambient light, so all aspects of the image can be seen in even the brightest sunlight.
If used with a 3D camcorder via HDMI, it becomes a full 3D viewfinder, so that 3D quality can be evaluated while recording, making it easier to modify camera and scene settings on site. They are also useful for stereographers or directors, or anyone who needs to view 3D on location.
By David Fox