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philthyy

using camcorder on plane

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Todays digital camcorders are amazing in what they offer at the price. I am most fascinated by the (potential) payoff of using a camera as a FPV flight camera that has image stabilization, as many of todays comcorders have. It seems to me that that feature would really help video clarity. SO, is it possible to hook up my video TX to a camcorder and use that as my camera instead of my tiny basic cheap CCD? I want to veiw the image in real time, on the ground, through the camcorder....

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If you're video camera has a video output, then sure you can, just like many people do to get a live view of what their digital still camera sees to help frame shots!

Seeing what the higher quality CCD board cameras can do, I'm not sure the weight increase fora full-on camcorder would be worth any benefit.

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No problem, I've never seen a camcorder that had no video output.

What I'd wonder about is how the stabiliser would work in these conditions. These things are made to dampen hand movements, not realtively high-frequency vibration. I've already sent my camcorder with optical stabiliser on a R/C airship, the result was better without stabilisation, it was kind of amplifying the movements. The correction amplitude is very small too.

Oh, and you'd have to add the weight of a wide-angle lens. Camcorders often have a FOV of around 30° at the widest setting.

Making a pan-tild mount for a 500gr camera is something else too...

Edited by Kilrah

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Ok, thanks guys. I am planning on getting the ARF 8 foot electric telemaster by Hobby Lobby for the reason that I've heard it flies very nice, and also it will definetly be able to lift all the high end gear I am planning on putting on it. I know it will be able to carry a camcorder. But then I was thinking, maybe I should just use a good digital still camera that can record in 640X480 at 30FPS to get the quality of video I'm looking for....

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But then I was thinking, maybe I should just use a good digital still camera that can record in 640X480 at 30FPS to get the quality of video I'm looking for....

What quality are you looking for ?

Terry

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Well...I've learned a couple things about CCDs and cameras in general and I know resolution isn't really king here. I currently use a cheap CCD that has 320X240 res and I've seen quite a few videos from the KX131 which is a much better camera but still not much higher res and it just doesn't seem to give a clear enough picture when flying FPV. The colors are much better than mine, and overall image quality is much better, but without a high enough res it still doesn't give the clarity I'm dreaming of. My brother has a Canon S2 IS he bought six months ago and it records video in 640X480 at 30 FPS and its really the kind of image quality I'm hoping to eventually have on my downlink for when I fly live FPV. Could I just buy a Canon S2 IS and use that for my camera? Hook my video TX to that?

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If it has a video output then yes. Just check if there aren't some nasty things like the OSD (pictures left, recording mode) that can't be hidden (happens on certain cameras).

Some also record at like 30fps, but the preview on the screen (and thus the video output) has a reduced framerate of maybe half than that, or a rough image quality to save processing power to actually encode the file.

Make tests on your brother's one before buying one for yourself...

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Also make sure there is not a "sleep mode" to worry about. I'm assuming in video record mode it should be ok. When taking pictures however, most cameras will normally turn off after several minutes of no activity. You want to make sure that doesn't happen in video mode.

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Ok. I'll see if he dares to let me get my hands on his camera, and make some tests. LOL. I'll be sure to report back here whatever I find...

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I have an S2 IS and the thing weighs over a pound with batteries. The frame rate on the live video output is lower in low light, but I'm not sure about with full light.

The newer S3 IS can do 640x480 30fps or 320x240 60fps!

There are quite a few of the compact Canon cameras with this capability now as well. I think some are around 5-7 oz. and much smaller than the S2, but they don't have the 12x zoom either.

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