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Old 03-10-2013, 05:41 AM   #1
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Default What is the best mini cam to try?

I would like to strap a cam on my plane just for the hell of it. What would be a good easy to use mini cam to buy. I have a flip video, but I would rather not wreck it because they quit selling them. I am getting too old to learn all about wi-fi, blue tooth, apps, and changing formats to view the video. All that I want to do is either plug into a tv or windows-7 computer and watch. Like everyone else I don't want to spend too much. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:51 AM   #2
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Personally, I think your best value is the 808 #16 HiDef 720p keychain camera. Here's a long thread on the camera, including firmware updates.

About $40 shipped, via eBay.

Here's some video from mine:
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

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Old 03-11-2013, 12:27 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. The video was real good especially at first when you put the plane down before takeoff. Think I'll try one.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:37 AM   #4
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Definitely drop in that thread I linked and read the first few posts. Among other things, it gives trusted dealers! There's a lot of crap on eBay masquerading as the real thing.

Also, be aware that there are different lenses available. That video was taken with 120-degree D lens cameras, which give a bit of a fisheye (which I happen to like.)

I'm sure you'll love it. The camera can also be powered externally, and used for FPV.

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Old 03-11-2013, 03:34 AM   #5
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http://www.meritline.com/usb-flash-d...FU-mPAod-wMAIw

I have one of these and it functions well. I need to get some new video with it to upload... I just got a new computer so no video on this one yet. Possibly I'll put it in my Dynam ME-262 in the scale gun camera location.

One advantage is the direction you aim this little camera. You point it forward and it will be lined up in the direction to give lowest wind resistance.

Not the most intuitive as to its controls... nothing on the camera is labeled and the instructions are in "chinglish". But it works fine.

USB adapter is built into the camera. It plugs in directly to your computer. No custom cable to lose track of. And its smaller than my thumb.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:27 AM   #6
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What lens if any does the basic model come with? I don't think that I want to start out trying to change lenses on the little bugger.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:40 AM   #7
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These spy cameras tend to have lenses fixed focused for about 15 ft to "infinity"

Good enough to capture some FPV footage but to get something acceptable for FPV flying the plane I'd recommend a better camera.

Cheap (disposable) "spy cameras" are fine to just strap on a model though. A good start for experimenting in videoing your flights.
These can be strapped on just about anything that uses 2S 600 mah or larger.

If you want something acceptable for use to fly by FPV... spend more money.
The downlink for the video and your screen/goggles will still make the camera the least expensive part of your FPV equipment cost.

Don't skimp too much if going for FPV flying. You'll just find out that the results are unacceptable and have to give up or spend more anyway.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:30 AM   #8
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You can buy them with either the normal 'A' lens or the wider 'D' lens. You don't have to interchange them or anything. If you get the wider angle lens, it sits outside the camera and can, sometimes, be turned a bit this way or that to adjust focus.

Here's one with an 'A' lens, and here's one with a 'D' lens, from the same vendor. The 'D' often cost $2-3 more.

I put them on my models with Scotch Heavy Duty Fasteners (kinda like Velcro). I also put them on my 'flying hat' to get video from my perspective, though all my 'hatcams' are older models.

You can clearly see one of the two flight cameras in that video (see attached photo). Here's a bunch of them for scale, with a piece of my Heavy Duty Fastener, as well.


These are all 720p HiDef. There's a 1080p HiDef version as well, but I haven't played with that one.


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Old 03-12-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Bog standard $5 Keychain camera ... I thought about HD but at end of day it's a hobby !!

My Cessna - I poked two small holes through wing just outboard of propeller arc ... then a tie-wrap through and round to hold camera onto a Velcro pad. Velcro on it's own allows cam to move ...
The holes are literally invisible when cams not there.

You need to put outboard of prop arc or you get the typical venetian blind effect of the prop in the video......

Here's with prop effect on my Me109 :


For some reason when prop rpm changes - the effect ceases but returns once prop steadies again.

You need sophisticated more expensive lens processor system to avoid it if you want to shoot through prop.

The same keychain cam sits on a Velcro pad on my baseball cap peak ... for ground to air vids.

But for high quality and serious vids where I want to really show with zoom and allsorts - then my Sony 8mm Handycam beats all hands down. But then you have to process the analogue video to digital to upload etc.

Here's my Cessna 182 on handycam ...


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Old 03-12-2013, 02:45 PM   #10
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You can get a 808 #11 for $9, or a 808 #16 for $40.

During the "learning" stages, you might bust up a few, so you may want to go with the cheaper, lower resolution camera. If it survives, you can always use it as a rear or side facing camera in the future.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:16 AM   #11
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Considering that many vids are crap - and I include mine in that ... I don't see point of spending serious money on this.

Main point for me in vids - a) for fun, b) to see what happens with the model in flight - diagnostics, c) show others what it can do after mods, build, etc.

A good example is that Skyartec Cessna .... what looks like an Intermediate Trainer actually also does well in the sport aerobatic stakes ... so I try to show that as well as it's slow Cessna style.

Another is Bungee Catapult launches ... to show there's no real black science to it ...

What I do like is when someone does a good job of filming a Display Meet ...

Onboard cams - I do it myself occasionally - but 99% of the time I find them boring and uninteresting - again includes mine !

What IO would like to add ... is It's quite easy to Title / caption vids even with Windows Movie Maker ... to edit out the crap ... makes video more interesting to watch. I try to include info in the title / captions for viewer, maybe they are looking to have same model / system etc.

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Old 04-12-2013, 05:49 PM   #12
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here is a video of mine on my slow stick key chain cam that is go to my channel I got all kinds of video's from the air and ground
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:20 AM   #13
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What is the smallest type of plane you can put a cam on? I am guessing UM P40 is too small?
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
You can buy them with either the normal 'A' lens or the wider 'D' lens. You don't have to interchange them or anything. If you get the wider angle lens, it sits outside the camera and can, sometimes, be turned a bit this way or that to adjust focus.

Here's one with an 'A' lens, and here's one with a 'D' lens, from the same vendor. The 'D' often cost $2-3 more.

I put them on my models with Scotch Heavy Duty Fasteners (kinda like Velcro). I also put them on my 'flying hat' to get video from my perspective, though all my 'hatcams' are older models.

You can clearly see one of the two flight cameras in that video (see attached photo). Here's a bunch of them for scale, with a piece of my Heavy Duty Fastener, as well.


These are all 720p HiDef. There's a 1080p HiDef version as well, but I haven't played with that one.
I love these in fact I use them all the time however they are not always the most sturdy camera. Case in point I just ordered a brand new #16 because mine had slipped out of its mount on my mini quad copter and fell from about 5-6 feet and something dislodged from the inside and now nothing works. The video quality is good but just keep in mind that they are made from recycled cell phone camers etc so if you happen to crash often like me well...

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mattman0182 View Post
What is the smallest type of plane you can put a cam on? I am guessing UM P40 is too small?
I have put them on my modified ultra-micro J3 Cub, and my ultra-micro Gee Bee, as well as my Blade mQX.

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Old 04-13-2013, 09:41 AM   #16
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Blade MQX loves the minicam. I was just havig hard time mounting it but the MQX lifted it like a champ

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mattman0182 View Post
What is the smallest type of plane you can put a cam on? I am guessing UM P40 is too small?
As you go down in plane size - the placement of the camera is more important than size in fact. Most models are capable of carrying more than you realise ... especially todays foamies that are often too light anyway.

Example ... 1980's QB10H I built in original balsa / lite-ply form ... I recently built another in foam + wood spars ... result is 60% of original weight for same form.

Back to placement ... as model size reduces - the effect of that few grams keycam increases ... so you need to find a way to get it as close to CoG position as possible..... preferably with no offset to side.

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Old 04-16-2013, 06:45 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
These spy cameras tend to have lenses fixed focused for about 15 ft to "infinity"

Good enough to capture some FPV footage but to get something acceptable for FPV flying the plane I'd recommend a better camera.

Cheap (disposable) "spy cameras" are fine to just strap on a model though. A good start for experimenting in videoing your flights.
These can be strapped on just about anything that uses 2S 600 mah or larger.

If you want something acceptable for use to fly by FPV... spend more money.
The downlink for the video and your screen/goggles will still make the camera the least expensive part of your FPV equipment cost.

Don't skimp too much if going for FPV flying. You'll just find out that the results are unacceptable and have to give up or spend more anyway.
Depends if you are lucky or not with the FOV, but even the 808 lens is adjustable, albeit with difficulty. My #16 with D lens is excellent up to a few inches and infinity and I have the vids to show it. For aerial photography it is hard to beat at the price.I would not recommend the D lens for FPV as the distances can be deceiving.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:27 AM   #19
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I wouldn't recommend one for FPV. I just threw out there that it's an option that's available. People do run external power for long recordings, though.

I only use mine (with stock batteries) for recording flights, onboard the planes or with a camera velcroed to my hat.

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Old 04-17-2013, 03:33 AM   #20
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I would just want to see what my plane sees, AFTER I am done flying lol.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:57 AM   #21
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That's what I do a lot of. You can see some of my onboard video here:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...-nWLQ1zmZ_TPgi

The more recent ones are taken with #16's with stock D, wide angle lenses.

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Old 04-18-2013, 09:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
That's what I do a lot of. You can see some of my onboard video here:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...-nWLQ1zmZ_TPgi

The more recent ones are taken with #16's with stock D, wide angle lenses.
Surprised you allowed to use Copyright Music on some ... noted Ella Fitzgerald on SE5 as example.

I got slammed by Youtube until I agreed to change music on some of mine ...

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Old 04-18-2013, 09:06 PM   #23
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Most music companies now have an agreement with YouTube. Provided you're not trying to make money from them, 90% or so of the music out there works out.

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Old 04-19-2013, 09:31 AM   #24
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I've got a veho muvi micro camera. Cost about 30, isn't the best quality, but is cheap enough to lose in a crash. Its also very easy to mount on almost any plane due to is shape. I took this video the other night with it tapped to my undercarriage (the plane undercarriage, not literally mine....)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK9p...e_gdata_player
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