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Which is the best camera?

Old 19th Oct 2016, 05:26
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Which is the best camera?

Iím years out of date with cameras that mount on fixed wing and helicopters. Which one is the best one around now Ė is it the GoPro or is it the Garmin VIRB Ultra?

Does anyone have any experience on which is the best way to go for the best quality, the least vibration, and also removing that terrible propeller effect?
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 05:41
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Action cams

Try this....

Action Cams: GoPro vs. Garmin - Videos Article
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 05:53
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Go-Pro or garmin Virb. no others are as common or well supported
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 07:15
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the least vibration, and also removing that terrible propeller effect?
The recently released Hero 5 and Virb ultra both have digital image stabilisation and a neutral density filter will sort that out on either camera.
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 07:22
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I bought a Garmin Virb XE and the prop filter earlier in the year - works very well, for me anyway so I am happy.

For those who saw the sample I posted: the prop filter works; pilot holding the sequence of aerobatic manoeuvres in his hand, which happened to be on a phone so an EFB refer CAAP 233-1 - wouldn't like to see a pilot do an unapproved design change to mount a sequence holder in the cockpit.

Last edited by djpil; 20th Oct 2016 at 03:02. Reason: Don't need my amateurish comments after posts by others
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 08:55
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Prop filter is right: prop gone.

Aeros with his phone in his hand??
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 11:39
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With cameras Dick, people follow the herd and only tiny proportion of what's really available are ever tried and recommended for aviation and airsports use.

I'm here so the huge range of alternatives are discussed with a quick overview and some recommendations.

First of all Technical:

The vast majority all use a Sony sensor of 12 megapixels - the outlier in the market is a smaller group of of Action Cams adopting a Panasonic 16 megapixel sensor.

Neither is CCD and none have global shutters which means 'bent' props and jello effects can be masked but never really cured with CMOS sensors. There's a lot of snake oil poured on these effects but the simple alleviation is a neutral density filter to drop the effective 'shutter speed.'

Active vibration control is the key and offered by Yi, SJCAM and Sony, missed by everyone in aviation and offered at prices that have given Go Pro a year from hell, a collapse in their share price and heavy layoffs at the beginning of 2016.

Processors: Ambarella is the key player with the A7 and the newer A9 offering top quality imaging output, widely used and respected. Novatek tends to dominate the lower division of super low cost models.

Finally on processors, Sony gets a mention again. Their very well developed Bionz processor line is used in various iterations across it's huge line of still and video products. The processor also gets a mention because it is key to the remote control facilities offered in the upper range if their action cams which move up into the Go Pro price range. An economical wrist controller allows you to monitor and operate up to 5 Sony action cams at once for very simple multicam set ups. It has a screen so you can check the output from each cam and that they are running.

Even better, the controller image synchs every sensor being used so editing and cutting between cameras is just like being in a studio. They are all synchronised together to create an electronic clapperboard system.

Pricing: Simply the rug has been pulled out from Go Pro and all the other cams mentioned in the posts above. They all use the Sony sensor but use a variety of lenses. Go Pro lenses are simple plastic barrels glued in the mounts. It is no accident that there's a thriving niche market in alternative lenses for different fields of view. Break free from the glue and insert an alternative from the security camera industry. Test, rotate until desired focus achieved and then glue. Check You Tube to see how it's done.

Budget Cams: An amazing number available starting at a tenth of the Go Pro Hero price. Generically known as No Pros but as you move up to 30% of the Go Pro 4 and 5 price bracket you will find models with genuine physical lens stabilisation working effectively. Yi and SJCAM are punting out 6 axis stabilisation at incredibly low prices.

That lens stabilisation is at a low price point for a reason. Any higher and they are on Sony's turf. These cameras are Chinese, work well, use the Sony sensors and Ambarella processors but, theres always a but. The Chinese have not yet understood the concept of western customer service. Solution? Buy from Amazon, the prices are so low it makes a 4K multi camera set up very attractive.

For more than a year now Sony have had models on the market at 50% of the cost of the Go Pro 4 but have a completely stabilised lens unit that cost more to produce than the entire Go Pro. The Go Pro 5 model is trying to counter that.

Check out the base model Sonys at 50% of GO Pro prices. Sony AS50 Action Camera at 168 USD. HD, flat bottom for mounting and the fully stabilised lens.

You were expecting that stabilisation by now but I was saving one item up. Like all the Sony cams this, the cheapest, has has a Zeiss lens. Still interested in that Go Pro at twice the price with a security camera lens glued in??

At Go Pro 5 prices look at the Rolls Royce end with cams like the Sony FDR-X3000 if the wrist controlled potential for multi cam set up appeals.

I do have a full set of tried and tested recommendations which I'm happy to share for those who feel able to step away from the herd who just buy what the other bloke's got. I can show you the Chinese super cams with full 4k and even the monitor screens produced with Corning Gorilla Glass. There's new breed of Japanese super tough cams from Olympus and Ricoh but I'll finish today with a special recommendation for Dick.

Dick - Entrepreneur, electronics ace, film maker of adventures and besotted by supporting Australia. His possible future camera is already being made in Oz right now.

As Dick has done the hard yards in producing his films I know he'll have a critical eye for quality and there's a super strong, magnesium bodied, ultra high quality TV broadcast camera being made in Australia by a company called Black Magic.

Think Go Pro on steroids and an interchangeable lens mount for pro glass from Olympus, Panasonic or, my recommendation, SLR Magic. All the cams previously discussed have a sensor smaller than your little finger nail. The Black Magic has one far bigger and records in RAW or the main Pro Res TV and film editing formats. The camera comes with the most widely used editing software in the world which is also owned by Black Magic and totally dominates Hollywood. It doesn't autofocus worth a damn for remote mounting but the wide lenses never needed that as GO Pro proved and why I belaboured the glued in lens business.

Interested? Here's a review: RedShark News - The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera: "A great addition to anyone's arsenal."

Happy to return if there's any call for more information. I've been doing this remote mounting stuff since 1977

Regards
Rob
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 12:23
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Great post Rob! Thanks for sharing your advice.
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 15:50
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Hey Dick,

Thinkin' of getting back into the CE market?
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 20:10
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If you have 10 minutes spare this is worth watching. There's a few similar ones out there by other youtubers. Casey did a Sony comparison a while back and it wasn't an amazing review compared to the GoPro.

https://youtu.be/1FQ4NAfNyRA
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 20:13
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The other big change is that stabilised mounts are now in the affordable range. Eg look at the DJI osmo which was used for this footage.
https://vimeo.com/172999817
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 23:17
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Wow No_one, that is impressive footage indeed. I don't think I've even seen a gimbal on a fixed wing in Australia. These guys are experimental which would make it a lot easier.
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 23:47
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Thanks for all the info. The DJI mount is impressive. Love to know how it is shielded from the wind in that video.

Anyone want to buy a $250 k Cineflex cheap?
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 00:05
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The DJI Osmo is just the core of that system - theres a driven, baby cineflex turret around it by that company. That's what they're really selling.

Presumably a development model as when the Osmo gimbal is working you see it does its thing just fine but when the turret pans it is too fast and is undamped on the start and stop of the movement across that cloudscape. Soft start motor controllers would sort it.

Rob
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 00:46
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It all depends on the installation investment you want to make. The RV video posted above doesn't really need to be concerned about prop distortion as it doesn't need to look in that direction, however mounting a gimbal may require a significant LAME investment. If you simply want to put a camera in the cockpit and have it film out the front to see where you are going, you'll need the filter. If you only want footage facing forwards and no control over where it points, the GoPro session 5 would be fine (wing mounted), but batteries aren't interchangeable so a Hero 5 would offer more flexibility.

Mounting a consumer grade SLR style stabilisation gimbal inside the aircraft (anything up to $1k) with a Canon D5 could work well. The video I posted above is filmed on a D5 for the studio scenes and skateboard unless noted otherwise as GoPro.

The biggest problem I find with GoPros and gimbals is managing the batteries and chargers. So many USB ports are required, it all gets too hard sometimes.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 09:08
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Squawk I have my Cineflex certified and mounted on the port wing of my Caravan C208 fixed wing. Works well but very expensive !
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 09:53
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so many aircraft across Alaska, Canada, and the USA falling out of the sky with Go-Pros hanging off them....
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 12:25
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Originally Posted by PPRuNe Towers View Post
I do have a full set of tried and tested recommendations which I'm happy to share for those who feel able to step away from the herd who just buy what the other bloke's got. I can show you the Chinese super cams with full 4k and even the monitor screens produced with Corning Gorilla Glass. There's new breed of Japanese super tough cams from Olympus and Ricoh but I'll finish today with a special recommendation for Dick.
Rob, I'd love to see your tips for cameras across the low to mid price range. I bought my teenage son a GP Hero 4 last Christmas on his advice, and having read your post I'm glad that I don't have a cat. It would have been kicked.

I'd quite like one for myself - where image quality and splash resistance are the priorities for use on a fairly wet boat. (I realise that this probably means a housing is needed). I'm not a brand junkie, but it would be nice to know that I might get usable warranty unless the £30 jobbies otherwise satisfy.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 15:41
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New breed out there boguing and you don't need a case.

For boats can I point you towards the Olympus Tough TG-Tracker series?

No case down to 100 feet, 4K, five built-in sensors (GPS, compass, barometer, accelerometer, thermometer), real Olympus lenses and quality plus very, very tough. Comes in at the Go Pro 4/5 price with proper warranties and support. Haven't tested it in water so you must check if it is a waterproof sinking brick and needs some floatation on the strap.

In contrast the Go Pro Hero 5 and 5 Session will go in water without a case but are only 1ATM rated to 33 feet.

One price notch down is the Ricoh WG-M2 - super tough for all outdoor activities no matter how wet or cold. Water, snow, ice all covered but think batteries in cold conditions for all these action cams and especially cell replacement when wet. Cheaper cams are generally 900 mAh units, middling are 1200/1300 (GoPro) and they top out at around 1700 mAh.

All the Sony units from the cheapest at 168 USD come with external cases for water and the top line one at GoPro prices is is 4K, rated to 197 feet and, of course can be externally hull mounted and controlled with the wrist monitor/controller.

Finally, and in the real budget range I'd like to suggest pointing out a newcomer, the OLFI ONE.FIVE 4K HDR ACTION.

It's 4K, Sony sensored, waterproof housing to 90 metres blah, blah, blah: great mounting options for boating - think suction, tube mounting and chest harnesses. But the real reason for this being at the the top of my list is HDR.

That's high dynamic range shooting and I'm not going to go on about it. Just get to a shop that prides itself on good TV and ask to see an HDR model side by side with their best 1080p and 4k traditional models. The womenfolk in my family have never been truly excited by 720p, 1080p or 3d as they arrived. They really can't get excited about 4k either but when they were shown the Barrier Reef in HDR their index fingers went straight out to point - that one please.

Attenborough's team are just about to release Planet Earth 2 but they're already arranging to go HDR for everything following.

Rob
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 17:46
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Excellent Rob, I'm slightly less confused...

As I read through your reply I'd decided on either the Olympus or choosing one of the Sonys, but then got to your comments on HDR. And since impressing wimmin is always good, looking back through the choices I can only find HDR with the Sony HDR-AS50...

Given that the boat is now out of the water until March, should I wait until the likes of Olympus and Ricoh launch an HDR model (and hopefully benefit from post Christmas pricing?).
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