View Full Version : Tips for a newbie

02-24-2006, 05:03 AM
Howdy all...I have a Kodak C340 that I want to experiment with.
Can any of ya help me out with how to set up the camera?

I think I know how to mount it to the airplane, (I'm thinking of modifying my slow stick to brushless and Li-Poly) and activate the shutter w/ a servo (HS-55?)
What I'm not sure of though is how to program the settings into the camera? I just got this (my first digital) camera, and it's still a bit of a mystery to me.

After seeing all the fantastic photographs you guys are taking :cool: it really makes me want to give it a try.

I have 30+ years of R/C experience, so the flying part is no problem, but aerial photography is a completely new challenge :D


02-24-2006, 04:03 PM
Hey Tom,

The only experience I have with anything remotely close to your camera is a Kodak C7310 (3 mp) which is quite generic when it comes to settings. I played with the exposure and quality settings during low level light conditions and found out that it performed best if I just left it alone on the default settings. I always took pics at max resolution for cropping later on. The shutter was triggered using a HS-55 on a spare channel (retract for me). Just remember while your flying, to take a picture often enough so that the sleep mode does not activate (I couldnt bypass that on my cheapo Kodak). And another point of interest is when the cameras are taking pictures at full resolution, the time to write the picture to the card is usually longer than if the resolution is at minimum.

As far as upgrading the motor and Lipo - GO FOR IT! you will be glad to have the extra power and run time. Dont forget that the slow stick will need some modifications to the wings and landing gear to accept the extra payload. If you need more info just hollar, there are alot of Slow Stick guys in here...I use the Mountain Models Magpie AP as one of my AP ships.

good luck,


oh yea...another way to trigger your camera (if you dont mind opening it up) would be to buy a pico switch or similiar which is nothing more than a dry contact that gets connected to your spare channel and triggers the camera shutter button - I've seen models as low as $13 and as high as $25

02-25-2006, 01:17 AM
Thanks Dave...
I was thinking about strengthening the wings and landing gear...I might just get a smaller/lighter/cheaper camera to start with and see what I can do with that.
I'll have to re-read the manual about the "sleep" mode if I decide to use the 340.
The C340 is up to 5mp...are you saying that it might be better if I set it to a lower res like 2.something?

I know very little about photography, (does that seem obvious?:) ) and if I read you correctly, you're saying that the higher the resolution, the longer the shutter stays open and that's not nessessarily a good thing in an aerial (moving) platform situation?

I also want to try some video...
I have an on-going project with our local high school and we have some kids that are learning to fly. I think making some aerial pics and video would be interesting to all involved.

I'm looking at the Black Widow AV site...
Anyone have any other suggestions as to video equipment suppliers?


02-25-2006, 02:25 AM
The higher the resolution the longer the write time from the camera to the memory card. The shutter speed can be controlled from your menu/display. You may be able to disable the sleep mode on that camera, I did with my Pentax Optio S5Z. If you have a little extra cash and dont want to send that camera in the air, you can get a 'cheaper' camera from Blip Australia (http://www.blip.com.au/) in which alot of guys have had good luck with. Its a 2 mp that can plug directly into your receiver...it kind of hones your skills before you send up some expensive camera. And its small & light - the slow stick wont even know its there.

Black widow is likely the best out there. Alot of good reviews from other guys who used them.


02-25-2006, 04:17 AM
On some of theres cameras on the sports or action mode the cameras will take a pic every 2 to 4 seconds as long as the shutter button is down.
My Nikon 3700 takes a pic every 3 seconds when the servo is down.
The Black Widow AV gear is pretty good for the money but lugging all the extra stuff around to make it works grows tiresome. Most of the other AV gear on the market is not worth the powder to blow it up so you do get what you pay for there. Lots find the digital camera movies to work fine without adding any more gear. Try yours first before buying anything and edit some stuff for us? After all you already have the camera so give it a try. The SS really needs the front landing gear beefed up the handle the landings with camera and a wing brace for the loading. The rest of the plane holds up OK. If you hunt around you can find lots of homemade camera mounts that will point anyway you want. Made mine from Home Depo paint stir sticks and it points forward and tilts down.
Good luck and let us know what you come up with.


02-25-2006, 05:21 AM
Thanks a lot for the tips guys, you're being very helpful :D

At first I was going to use our clubs XE-2 trainer, and maybe electrify it with a big outrunner, but getting that by the vote of the membership and the treasurer might be a problem?!:confused: I mean we're talkin' $ome bucks there huh!?

Anyway...I think the idea of just using my C340 might be a good start...
I had forgotten that my camera has a short video capability...(told ya I was new at this :rolleyes: :) )

We will get something going soon...this spring for sure. We aren't able to use our field right now, because of the weather here in central NY.
I just want to get my ducks in a row before then, and know a little more that I do now so I can sound like I know what I'm talking about when I make my "presentation".