The camera, along with a computer, were stolen from the back of a sports utility vehicle on Oct. 12, shortly before the crew was to shoot aerials from a helicopter rented at Peachtree DeKalb Airport, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
"They go in and eat breakfast and someone breaks in while they are eating breakfast. It could be that. It was someone who didn't know what they actually had until he brought it out," said Chamblee Police Sgt. Ernersto Ford.
Police said the camera, which is owned by a Miami-based company, is rare and would be tough to sell at a pawn shop.
"I don't think a person who is not in the industry would even know what it is," Ford said.
Peter Morris, a helicopter employee working with the crew, said the thief didn't get away with all the camera's parts.
"The camera system comes in nearly a dozen cases. Only the camera itself was stolen, making it useless," Morris said. "The camera itself won't work without the other parts and pieces. There's a control board and a power supply for the recording system. They didn't get all that."
The owners have offered a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the return of the camera.