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AP & AV Cameras -The Good (and Bad)

Old 09-15-2007, 12:09 PM
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Murocflyer
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Default AP & AV Cameras -The Good (and Bad)

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Old 10-08-2007, 03:45 AM
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Wow, busy thread.

Frank
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:36 AM
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hillbille
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Camera that I use: Canon S200
Specifications
Megapixels: 2.1
Weight: 7.8 AUW
Price: $50 or less (mine was $30.00 shipped - ebay)
Power Source: Lithium Battery
Video Quality: Very good
Where to buy this camera: RC FS/WTB forums & <gulp> ebay (only used ones can be found now -out of production)


Description:
Nice camera for AP/AV use. Durable. Good pictures at infinity settings - albeit far away! Video is quite good but only in 15 second clips which must be assenbled into final video. I'm pretty new to AP/AV so I also have nothing else to compare with.

My rating of this camera (out of five stars):

AP Rating: 4
AV Rating: 2

Overall: 3
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:00 AM
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Thanks for the addition hillbilly.

I am confused about one thing though. A 2 rating for AV, but a comment of very good for video quality?

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 10-10-2007, 03:55 AM
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hillbille
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The 2 rating isn't for the actual video - it really isn't that bad - but this camera only allows 30 second "clips" to be shot with each press of the shutter. So the user is left to put them together for a full video - and since we can't look at the screen while we shoot or count seconds accurately - I sometimes STOP video when I think I am STARTING one and vice-a-versa a LOT - so it gets a 2!


Hillbille

P.S. - I'm on the lookout for a cheap Nikon 3700!!
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:13 AM
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Gotcha, thanks! That would be annoying, glad you mentioned it. The 3700's are a good camera. I'm trying to figure out what is the next step up from them now as my son would like to have mine. It is very hard to pinpoint a good AP/AV plane that meets all of my expectations.

Frank
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:12 PM
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Camera that I use: Samsung A63
Specifications
Megapixels: 6
Weight: 260g w/batts
Price: $300 (new)
Power Source: 2x AA
Video Quality: Good
Where to buy this camera: Not really available new anymore but I have seen 7 E-bay entries in my search

Description:
Normal SD card memory. I have placed up to 2gb chips and it accepts them. AP is top notch in daylight, AV is good, can go up to 640x480 at 30fps. Video recording is limited only to space on chip or battery life (whichever ends first) I test filmed 58 minutes to fill a 512mb card continuous and the battery was still good for a few photos. (my older Ricoh did 30 second clips, then saved for about a minute, then you could start the next clip)

My rating of this camera (out of five stars):

AP Rating: 5+
AV Rating: 4

Overall: 4+
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:24 AM
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pablo27
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Nice thread Frank, I am just venturing into AP flying and have a 3700 on my way from eBay (I didn't want to break the bank on my first cam).

Any tips on it's use would be great. I was going to rig up a servo for taking stills but will try your elastic band tip for continuous shots first.

Until I receive the camera I can't work on a platform for it to sit on, I will be using my trusty Wing dragon.

What is prefered, forward facing or side facing capture?
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:06 AM
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Pablo,

RE advice. Set your 3700 to Scene and put it in the Sports mode for sharper pictures. Also get a 2 GB SD card so you will have plenty of room for video and pics. That's the only advice I have for the 3700. It's a great camera. So good in fact no one can suggest a better one. I actually just gave my 3700 to my son thinking I was going to quickly find the next level camera. Fat chance on that and I don't want to take it back from him.

I prefer the forward looking slightlt down view, especially when making video.

To make the rubber band trick work easier, I put a little round piece of plastic, slightly concaved on the bottom using my dremel to go between the rubber band and shutter. This allows a little more pressure to be applied to button. There are so many things you can use for that I will not mention a specific thing. Oh and I found wide rubber bands work better to hold the button down then the thin ones.

Hope that helps and looking forward to your pics.

Frank
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:30 PM
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Thanks Frank some great advice there. I am still waiting for the camera to arrive in the post, we have postal strikes here in the UK, which is causing chaos at the moment. It is only coming with a 256mb card so I will order a 2Gb asap.

As soon as I have figured the camera it will be on my WD for filming !
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:17 PM
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English Electric
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I hope your Dragon can lift it!

That could be pushing it....

It least you have the power with that new motor!

Paul.
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:09 PM
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Camera that I use: Aiptek "Pocketcam X"
Specifications
Megapixels: 3.1
Weight: 90g w/o batts
Price: $29.99-new, $19.99-refurbished, $90.00-special RC version
Power Source: 2x AAA
Video Quality: Good
Where to buy this camera: Aiptek.com for standard model, RCPlaneCams.com for BEC powered RC controlled version

Description:
Normal SD card memory. Manufacturer (Aiptek) sells 512-MB card for $5.00 when you order camera. Video is excellent considering the cost of the camera. Photos are great. So far I have made 5 minute videos. You must buy the RC version from RCPlaneCams to take still photos OR make your own shutter trigger. I have filmed over an hour on one set of AAA's. This camera lawn-darted in my Zagi and ejected 25 feet. The camera still worked after I found it an hour later. Handles plane vibration well and shows no signs of EMF interference.

My rating of this camera (out of five stars):

Rick

AP Rating: 4
AV Rating: 3

Overall: 4
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:13 AM
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pablo27
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Originally Posted by English Electric View Post
I hope your Dragon can lift it!

That could be pushing it....

It least you have the power with that new motor!

Paul.
Should be ok Paul, 135g's inc battery, I have been loitering with my cell phone (ooo matron !) and that weighs in at 120g.

You should post the specs of your camera, the results look great to me.
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:46 AM
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English Electric
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Ok, I'll take that back.

I always thought they looked a bit lardy, but that's not too bad....

Good Luck.

Looking forward to seeing some results!

I've been inspired by our recent encounter with WG1 to dust of my old Dragon.
Will have a play about with it today....

Paul.

P.S. Cheers for the DVD. It arrived yesterday.

Last edited by English Electric; 10-13-2007 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:19 PM
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Well the 3700 arrived today and I was amazed at just how small it is, I really don't think it will affect my mighty Dragon very much at all ! I just need to free up some time to mount it onboard for a flight.

Glad to see that you are dusting your WD off Paul, I can see that smile on your face as you fly her now !
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:58 PM
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Pablo,

Any pics with your 3700? How is it working out for you.

Anyone else care to share the AP cameras? Good to know what works and what doesn't.


I'm really hoping for a review on the Pentax Optio S10. Anyone using one yet?

Frank
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:49 PM
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pablo27
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Hi Frank,
the Nikon has performed well, I have posted a couple of pics here for you to see.

I am still using the rubber band sports mode system and of the selection of shots that are recorded a good few of them suffer from what appears to be camera shake. I'm not sure if this is normal or my AP mount or even my flying !

I have suffered a 'heavy landing' recently and had the message 'lens error' appearing on the screen, this has only appeared a couple of times so I may have gotten away with it. I now do a pre-filming flight using a weighted dummy camera (a small box carrying ballast) before fitting the Nikon, this allows me to check out flying conditions first. My Wing Dragon can be a little unpredictable at times when windy.

I may buy another as a back up if one appears on ebay for the right price, I would certainly recommend this camera as an intro to AP.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:35 PM
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Pablo,

That second picture looks great. One thing I'm not sure if I mentioned, the auto focus starts the minute the shutter button is partially depressed. So whatever the sensor is reading at that time (say the camera is facing the ground) then that's how the focus is going to be set at. Best to point it at something farther away to get the focus correct when putting on your rubber band.

I still haven't decided on what will be my next camera. Ricoh Caplio R6 or the Pentax Optio S10.

Frank
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:54 PM
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Yeah I found out about the autofocus! Landed the plane after a lovely flight to find a load of blurs My daughter mentioned the autofocus and it all clicked, I won't do that again.

Let us know which camera you choose and then show us some nice pics
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:00 PM
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Sparky Paul
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The Nikon "lens error" can be costly. Drop it in fine sand, for instance.
$180 later, it comes back repaired.
I'm use an AIPTEK Digital Camcorder, DZO-V3T right now.
It takes 640c480.
The LCD door needs to be propped open about a 1/4" for the camera to run.
With 80 minutes on a 1GB card, there's no need to turn it on and off in flight.
I turn it on before flight, and off after.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:30 AM
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Any new additions?

Frank
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:20 AM
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hillbille
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I have now changed - necessity due to hard landings and so forth too many times - from my old heavy duty Canon's to the Pentax Optio S5i. It is another of the "feebay" buys (I was able to get 2 of these for appx. $70)

Nice camera. I admit I have NOT tried the video mode as of yet - only stills.

Camera that I use: Pentax Optio S5i
Specifications
Megapixels: 5.0
Weight: 120g AUW
Price: $ ??
Power Source: Lion Battery
Video Quality: Unknown at this time
Where to buy this camera: RC FS/WTB forums & <gulp> ebay (only used ones can be found now -out of production)


Description: Small 3.5" X 2.75 X .75 appx. size - and easily shuttered using a 5g servo or has capability to have the ir device mounted for more control also. I have found that this camera has a totally different "focal length" than the Canon's I have previously used. What I mean by this is that objects in pictures taken at the same altitude as previously with the Canon seem to be farther away. This means that the flight need not be as high to get the same area in a picture. But it also means that detail is sometimes lost due to "distance" shooting. Learnig curve on my part I'm sure and will adjust itself as I take more and more photos with this camera.

Hillbille
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:57 PM
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Default Pentax Optio's

Hi All, My brother and myself use optios exclusively for AP. Using an infra red trigger that my brother "home brews"?
We also use a small HD video (720p)camera, a badged affair called a "Traveller" from ALDI (about 65GBP). This works with the screen door fully rotated and flat on the side.
All the optios we have are either S4i,S5n, S6 or S10, all from ebay and nothing more than 65GBP.
Good old easy star planes and uprated motors etc.Although standard prop that came with it.
I will post some examples of our photos when I can get them small enough to post. Keep on snappin

Mutleyman
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:59 PM
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mallettron
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Im the brother, yes we use Pentax Optios, mainly for the small size and weight, dead easy to control using IR (DIY, GentLed or Prism), I have made several IR switches that work fine, the fastest Pentax (S5n) takes 1 picture every 1.5 secs, so from a 2gb card I get about 1170 pictures and the battery hasn't emptied!. the S10 takes a bit long per picture (about 3.5secs), its all down to the settings. They all fit on our EasyStars using a plate instead of the canopy. The canopy goes back on when we use the Video (Jazz HDV178 lookalike)

Ronnie
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:51 AM
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Larry3215
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Im seriously considering getting into AV.

Would the PENTAX OPTIO W10 be good enough to get started? I dont want to spend the bucks unless the video quality is half decent.

Thanks.
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