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View Full Version : First camera set up - advice needed!


Tom Sawyer
07-11-2006, 10:39 AM
Been thinking about putting a camera on board one of my planes for ages but only recently discovered what seem like purpose made set ups on the internet for about the 40 mark.

Can anyone advise on a good basic colour set up that has good picture quality and yet is fairly lightweight (set up will go into a Pico Cub or E Starter)

Will these transmit back to a portable battery powered monitor? Will the aircrafts motor cause interference? What is the best resolution for decent quality playback?

Probably most important of all; what to avoid so I only have to buy a complete set up once.

Starting from scratch with this one so any advice will be helpfull.

Thanks!

TexasRCFlyer
07-11-2006, 11:01 PM
Same here, I am fixing to buy my first AP camera and would like some input on recomendations.

Brad

For Tom Sawyer, I can say from reading on here, most do not have any kind of downlink, they just fly from experience, point the plane in the right area and start snapping pictures remotely. You can look at something like Black Widow for a downlink if you need it.

TexasRCFlyer
07-11-2006, 11:09 PM
I have looked at the Nikon CoolPix 7600. That has 7.1 MP resolution, weighs 5.1 ounces and shoots video at 30 fps. You should be able to pick one up for about $150.00. Not a bad deal. Thats probably the way I will go.

aviatordave
07-12-2006, 02:54 AM
I think you would be happy with that camera, alot of guys have had good luck with Nikons. Make sure you get a decent SD card with a fast write speed.

Dave

Tom Sawyer
07-12-2006, 06:11 AM
The ones I have seen so far are tiny 9v powered cameras with a claimed 640 x 480 resolution. They seem to come with a receiver and RC aircraft photography is quoted as one of the possible uses for them.

Only thing is that they looked 'too' small to be any good and if people are opting to put a full sized digital camera costing hundreds of pounds and weighing many ounces on board a plane, then perhaps these smaller cameras do not perform as well or have other drawbacks to them?

TexasRCFlyer
07-12-2006, 06:21 AM
I have a small video camera that sends a 2.4 Ghz RF signal down to a downlink which has RCA outputs. The image quality is very marginal. Nothing close to professional and nothing that I am even happy playing around with. I wish I could sale it. The only downlink setup I know of that is any good is Black Widow, and you are going to pay in the hundreds of US dollars for that also.

Kosh
07-12-2006, 07:18 AM
Almost everyone that carries a digital camera up uses brushless and lipo power so hauling up 6 ounces isn't a ordeal. While a downlink looks cool its really of limited use with lots of extra gear to pack around the field. Range and dropouts seem to be a major issue with most systems other than Black Widow. With pretty good cameras for around $150 US and a 2 gig hi speed memory card for under $50 thats alot of photos or 30 minutes of 640 x 480 video @ 30 fps. I normally send a plane up twice at each site, Once for photos and again for some video.

aviatordave
07-12-2006, 02:19 PM
Dont forget that you can also use a digital live feed from your camera (well some cameras, like my optio s5z) and see on the ground what the camera sees. This costs more, but you have the best of both worlds, live feed and a camera with good quality which helps you line up the shots. Its got a price, about $150 US for the camera and about $150 us for the live feed.

I dont have the live feed (yet) but start out with the camera then work up after a few months after your wallet gets back to normal.

Like Kosh said, the planes we use dont care about the weight to awful much, they were designed to carry a load.

Dave

Tom Sawyer
07-12-2006, 07:08 PM
Great idea - we were going to buy a new digital camera anyway as our old one is about 6 years old - so I dont even need to justify the expense..

Best I dont mention to the wife that its going to go 200 feet up in the air though!

aviatordave
07-13-2006, 04:14 AM
Best I dont mention to the wife that its going to go 200 feet up in the air though!

That worked for me!

radioyankee
09-14-2006, 05:18 AM
Dont forget that you can also use a digital live feed from your camera (well some cameras, like my optio s5z) and see on the ground what the camera sees. This costs more, but you have the best of both worlds, live feed and a camera with good quality which helps you line up the shots. Its got a price, about $150 US for the camera and about $150 us for the live feed.

I dont have the live feed (yet) but start out with the camera then work up after a few months after your wallet gets back to normal.

Like Kosh said, the planes we use dont care about the weight to awful much, they were designed to carry a load.

Dave
any idea what the range would when using the live feed? thank you

aviatordave
09-14-2006, 02:42 PM
According to what I have read, it can be about ~ 2000 feet. Alot of guys go pretty far with them, out of their line of sight with a better antenna, but thats not what I intend to do.

There are some neat websites to look at them:

www.microwireless.com (http://www.microwireless.com) (click on the digital link) ($159)

http://www.blackwidowav.com/bwav240200digiliveUFPbasic.html ($280)

http://www.aeropix.ch/store/ (if you can solder....) ($105)

Microwireless & Blackwidow both sell a higher gain antenna which will increase your range. If your into building your own antenna, check this out, it has the same capabilities at a fraction of the cost:

http://www.rc-cam.com/gp_patch.htm (about $5)

Sorry for so much info, but take a look and do some reading and comparing and see what suits you.

I plan to get one here in the near future and will most likely post my results in a thread.

good luck,

Dave

Twizter68
11-06-2006, 11:14 PM
Is 1.2 GHz legal in the US? I was given a wireless color security camera w/1000 ft range (or 1000m) and am curious.....

Kosh
11-06-2006, 11:22 PM
Sorry but there illegal with darn good reason because its restricted for aviation use by FAA.

More info: http://customerhelp.us/interfaqs/advance/answer.php?questionId=298&PHPSESSID=bc4a453dcefa6621e49ab65d13c909f9

Twizter68
11-06-2006, 11:28 PM
Thanks, Kosh! Said cam is being returned to the fella who gave it to me!

david212
11-12-2006, 11:39 PM
i just ordered a micro panther plane and i was wanting to know if any company makes a camera small enough to fit on the plane. the demensions on the websight are:
Wing Span:30cm
Length:29.5cm
Weight RTF:800g

here is a picture of the plane i got
http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m104/davidgeorge212/3843plane.jpg

comets8518
11-12-2006, 11:55 PM
I think those specs are wrong.. 800g is extremely heavy for a plane of that size (as shown compared to the controller) ..thats about 1.8lbs

Kosh
11-12-2006, 11:55 PM
Sorry but your very unlikely to find anything that your plane will lift. I think you will find it has a hard enough time just keeping its self in the air without adding anything.