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Colorado-rc

Camera suggestions... Help please!

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Hello everyone, I'm new to posting in this forum, but I've been reading it for a long time now. I'm at the point in my project, that I need to chose a camera. I've been banging my head on the desk all week trying to research cameras, and haven't really found one yet. As the camera is single most important decision of this project, the entire project is designed around the camera. First the platform, its a kit bashed Telemaster Senior, made just for aerial photography. I'm running 5v and 12v regulated power on-board so that is not a concern, and weight is not a concern (although I do want to keep it a board camera.) The camera is mounted on a full continuous rotating pan and tilt. Video quality is a very important! Price is always a concern, but if need be I can save my pennies for the camera, because as mentioned above it is the most important part of this project.

Is there any advantage to using a dc auto iris lens?

Cameras I've been looking at:

DX201

KPC-HD38CZCM (And similar)

DPC-480A

I've read in other forums about the CMOS rolling shutter problem, and I'm not sure if the DX201 has this or not. I've read post saying that it does and does not have a rolling shutter, so I'm confused about this camera. I've seen many very nice videos using the DX201, but they were ALL on small, light, electric powered planes. Anyone with any experience with any of these cameras that can point out the pros and cons would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!

James

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You seem to be saying that you need good quality video from the camera you will be transmitting your down link from, why?

If you need good quality video as an end product then you are better off using an HD camcorder on board the plane, you will not get great quality out of your down link anyway. I use a KX131 to aim both still and video cameras but never worry about the quality of what I see as long as I can frame the shot and fly the plane with it.

Terry

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I'm a little unclear by what you mean about "you will not get great quality out of your down link anyway." I've seen videos where people had to ask if it was recorded on-board or down linked. That seems to be pretty good quality, if people need to ask a question like that. I don't know though, this is my first experience with video EQ on a rc aircraft (I've been flying for a little over ten years now.)I'm trying to get the best quality I can, without using a HD camcorder. The plane will be flown 98% of the time line of sight from the pilot. The camera system will be monitored and controlled from the cameraman. I do plan on flying FPV from time to time just to have some fun with the plane.

This project is going on about four years now, so long because of time, money, career, and family. I'm sure most of us that fly RC have experienced the same thing from time to time. I'm at the point in the build that I need to finish the camera system, and I'm afraid of investing my limited funds in a camera that will not perform the way I want.

I'm interested in the DX201, but all the video examples that I've seen has been from electric powered aircraft. Anyone know how the camera will perform on a nitro powered plane?

Thanks,

James

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I'm interested in the DX201, but all the video examples that I've seen has been from electric powered aircraft. Anyone know how the camera will perform on a nitro powered plane?

Just the same, IF you manage to keep oil away, keep vibration levels down at the same level than on an electric plane, etc... But that's valid for any camera, you WILL have to spend some (a lot of) time getting these points right, they are more important than the camera itself.

This is difficult, and is why there's pretty much no more real reason to use a nitro plane for video nowadays, except for special cases like ultra long flight times.

If video quality is very important, go for HD, there are small HD cams that are <150gr and fit on pretty much every plane around. I don't know if you're planning to do "commercial" work with it, but if yes, know that pretty much everybody has HD nowadays.

You will have to deal with rolling shutter with these though.

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Hi James,

What I ment by you will not get great quality from your downlink is :

1. The downlinks we use have a limited band width, that is to say there is a limit to how much detail you can send with them. 5.8Ghz seems to give the best detail but still falls short of full HD. You can opt for pro gear but your project will get very expensive. You said the video quality is very important so I guess you want to create at least DVD quality videos?

2. Any downlink can suffer from interference and dropouts, this is not a worry recording on board. I have recorded a long flyby scene that was perfect, it showed a heron take off and fly the same direction as the plane passing from bottom right to top left. The shot was fantastic but it had a few dropped frames close to the middle of the scene there was no way to save it. Now I always record on board if I have to get the shot in one go. You can spend a lot of time and money with different aerials and diversity systems but recording on board is the only way to be 100% sure of great quality.

Terry

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Thanks for the replies guys... Do any of you know if the DX201 has the rolling shutter then? Also, what about the auto iris? Worth spending the money on the lens?

We had a Gulfstream G4 do a drop in at work today, the flight hydraulic reservoir is bypassing fluid. So, I have a pretty busy weekend in front of me, but I hope to order a camera ASAP!

Terry:

Thanks for clarifying that for me, I was unaware of the bandwidth issues of our AV gear. The interference and dropouts will be acceptable for this project, as long as I can get the setup correct so that it not to bad. The idea behind the project is to record air to air and air to ground video of events such as, fun-flys, warbirds events ect. ect. Our goal is to capture high quality video of RC events, and the aircraft at those events, then make them available from our site. Here

If you guys would like to watch a few, I would suggest the Warbirds over Denver 2008 Here and the F-4 turbine maiden Here. They are large files, but worth the download...

again thanks for the help!

James

Edited by Colorado-rc

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We had a Gulfstream G4 do a drop in at work today

Now that sounds like fun work!

what about the auto iris? Worth spending the money on the lens?

Useless and bulky/heavy.

Auto iris would be interesting if the iris had enough adjustement latitude to cut enough light for the shutter speed to come back to regions where prop blur occurs instead of prop "flashing" (assuming a prop is in the view of course), but it isn't the case...

If you really want, buy a pair of $5 plastic gray sunglasses, cut them into pieces and tape one or more pieces over the camera lens depending on the day's conditions, it will be more flexible. But you're not there yet, you first need a camera ;)

But IMO, image "quality" is secondary if the footage is interesting and the other aspects are good. Work hard to avoid *any* vibration, which is highly annoying for the viewer, do not abuse of the pan-tilt mount, use it rather to place your camera at an approppriate angle, let it there, shoot a few seconds, move to the next angle, shoot, etc... You'll most likely use the bits where the camera is fixed, as the harsh movements aren't pleasing either and you'll make your viewers sick more than anything else if the camera is moving around all the time. This is more important than having a highly detailed camera with lots of gimmicks.

This video has onboard shots taken with a good old KX131, but IMO they do mix nicely with the HD footage from the semi-pro ground camcorder, even if yes one can see there's a lot less detail...

BTW, nice videos! What's the first music on the warbird one?

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Thanks about the videos, and the band is "A Perfect Circle - The Outsider Apocalypse Mix"

Awesome video! Very lucky man right there!

Thanks for the help,

James

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Looks like they are calling it DPS Digital Pixel System.

I think I read somewhere that it is a modified CMOS sensor?

I will try to find a link....

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Their paper states that DPS allows different exposure times for each pixel - which would not be something practical to do with a CCD sensor at all, so it's most likely CMOS. BUT, it might behave very differently than usual CMOS in terms of rolling shutter effect... the best would just be to find a video made with it.

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That's right DX201 is neither CCD nor CMOS. It uses new DPS technology that surpasses CMOS and CCD technologies in image quality, dynamic range, exposure...

You can read more about the DPS HERE.

I don't know what the rolling shutter effect is, but i'd assume it does not have it.

I've ordered this camera from RangeVideo and should be getting it this week, hope i won't be dissapointed since it's not cheap...

I can check for rolling shutter effect when i get it...

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This is an example of a rolling shutter Here I got that link from this forum DX-201 camera This is the thread that got me all confused about the DX-201. You have people saying it has a global snap shutter, and it has a rolling shutter.

Anyway just to get more done with the build, I decided to go with the cheaper KX-191H. depending on the results, I might upgrade at a later date.

James

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The seller at RangeVideo reznikvova stated that DX201 has a global snap shutter instead of a rolling shutter, basically it processes frames differently.

Though i did not know it is a CMOS sensor...

The Digital Pixel System provides a fast global electronic shutter to capture bright lights and produce images

that do not exhibit rolling shutter artifacts common in APS sensors.

I found this here

Edited by AndrejSl

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