Pictorvision Carries IMAX Camera

Pictorvision announced that its aerial photography system, Eclipse, is now carrying the Imax MSM 65mm film camera for feature productions.

Despite the fact that the Imax camera with full 1,000-foot mags of 65mm negative is significantly larger than most film cameras, Pictorvision said that pilots can fly just as fast and aggressively as with the smaller film and digital devices, and DP’s can enjoy a full range of steering and performance with no need to slow down or plan shots around traditional aerial camera system limitations.

To accomplish this, Pictorvision engineer Grant Bieman collaborated with Imax director of camera operations Mike Hendriks. They worked out the mechanical and electrical interface, including slight modifications, such as taking the eyepiece and handles off the camera, plus constructing a new Eclipse support for mounting the Imax camera.

Among the first to test the system: aerial cinematographer Hans Bjerno, loader Wayne Baker, and pilot Craig Hosking. When the team took to the air over New York, Bjerno was able to tilt the camera and track forward with the helicopter, looking straight down over the top of buildings. “With a wide lens, we could see the whole city and then tilt to horizon smooth as can be,” said Baker.

“Both in the tests in Los Angeles and the first shots for a major feature in New York, we flew the helicopter to its limits of bank angle, speed, and G forces,” said Bjerno. “The Eclipse was perfect in all cases. There were literally no limitations on what and how we could film and fly. The MSM camera got amazing shots, whether we were on a 50, 80 or 120mm prime lens. In all cases the package was stable, and operated the same as if we used a 35mm or small HD camera.”