360 Camera Techniques Drones

Hands-free bullet time is NOW EASIER than you think

Hands-free bullet time effect is now easy

Do you want to do a bullet time video but without your hand sticking up into the air?  It’s now a lot easier than you think.  Here’s a sample:

Hands-Free Bullet Time! #bullettime

The bullet time effect made famous by the Matrix movie in 1999 was turned into a feature for the Insta360 One (reviewed here).  By spinning an Insta360 camera overhead around you, you could get a cool effect that looks like a moment frozen in time while the camera revolves around you.

Insta360 - Introducing Bullet Time

The only issue with bullet time is that you had to stick your arm up in the air in every shot.

I have been trying to get a bullet time effect without my arm up in the air using different devices.  I finally found one that is convenient, economical and looks great.

The Hover X1 (reviewed here) is a self-flying camera that can follow you around and other tricks including orbiting around you.  Other drones have an orbit feature as well, so what’s the difference?  The difference is that the Hover X1 enables you to do an orbit at close range (as little as 5 feet), even with people around because its propellers are enclosed in a flexible plastic cage, making it much safer than a typical drone.

The other advantage of the Hover X1 is its convenience.  Not only is it light (about the weight of a bar of soap) and pocketable, but it can also launch into orbit mode (or any other mode) in less than a minute.  No need to wait for a GPS lock.

So in this case, all I had to do was choose the orbit height (low angle) and distance (8 feet), and let the Hover X1 fly around me, creating the bullet time effect without my arm sticking up.

How much is the X1?  That’s the other thing — it’s about the cost of a GoPro Hero, which is substantially less than a typical DJI drone.  Check out my full review here.


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Mic Ty

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  • yea except that its horribly slow and not practical, no slow motion ability cause the drone cannot fly fast enough.

    its a stretch for a technique really.

    360 cam will always be superior for stuff like this.

    The only option would be some type of ring around your waist that it can slide around like a hula hoop

    • Thanks John. If you want the slow-motion effect, then yes a bullet time handle with an Insta360 or other camera would work better. If what you want is a circular parallax shot or something like a 360 photo booth / glam cam, then I like this better because my hands are totally free and the subject can dance or whatever. I can also choose whether to do 360, 180 or 90 for smaller spaces.

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