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Old Feb 17, 2015, 06:08 AM
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Recommended Compact Cameras for Aerial Photography.

Hi folks,
I currently use a Hexacopter for doing aerial photography, mainly stills, for my own hobby use, and for a Facebook page I run to show off my photos.
I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 compact camera. Its 14Mp stills, and can do 720P video.
It weighs 120 grams, and I use it by simply using a servo to press the shutter button. Its mounted on a DIY 2 axis gimbal, which works great.
There is no video out, which is a real problem for framing shots. I do use a small Sony CCTV camera as my "eyes", to feed back to the monitor so at least I know roughly where its shooting.

I would like to upgrade to a slightly better camera. Video out would be a great asset if possible, as well as a better way to trigger the shutter via radio.

What are the suggestions? I dont want to go for anything too expensive, as everything I do is low budget because Im Scottish and too tight to spend cash.

I bought a Nikon Coolpix S3600 to use. Its 20Mp, but I cant get a decent photo out of it in flight. The pics are mostly all blurry, and nothing helps. Pics in regular use are great...
I went back to the Lumix and the pics are all great again.
Both cameras are CCD sensors.

Heres a link to my Facebook page, its open to anyone to view, even those without FB accounts.
https://www.facebook.com/#!/highlandaerialviews

Over to your reccomendations.....
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Old Feb 17, 2015, 07:06 PM
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Any information I might have is admittedly dated. I've been using a DSLR in the air for several years now. The last compact camera I bought for aerial work that I wasn't intending to convert to IR was a Canon Powershot A650. I like the Powershots because you can use CHDK to run an internal intervalometer or trigger the camera through the USB port. Handy, but not necessarily what would drive a camera purchase for me these days.

Of the compacts I've seen recently, one that caught my eye was the Sigma DP1 Merrill. I've never owned one, but the photos I see coming off it are gorgeous. It's a little dear if you're trying to keep a tight budget, but it's a beautiful piece of kit.

I'm still eyeing the current crop of mirrorless cameras. Again, I haven't used these in the air but I know a couple of people who are flying EOS M and Nikon 1 cameras. Results vary since image quality depends more on the lenses each person is sticking on their camera, but on the whole the results have been quite good.

I'm eager to see what cameras others put forward.

Tom
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Old Feb 19, 2015, 12:32 AM
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If you think the Panasonic LX100 is not too expensive go for it, is crazy crazy good camera!

Otherwise get the very good Sony RX100 second hand, it can be found very cheap if you look hard enough ($300ish).
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Old Feb 20, 2015, 07:34 AM
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If you mainy shoot pictures, consider the Panasonic GM1, or GM5. With a good lense, you cant get better image quality with less than 300 grams. It also has live out (for stills) and an intervalometer.
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Old Feb 21, 2015, 02:25 AM
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Ricoh GR is still the lightest APS-C sensor featured camera, for more than one year. It is even lighter than a RX100, having sensor 3-4 times smaller, hard to believe !...
Fixed lens camera, which is both a plus and a minus.
Has all the required features, live out and intervalometer.
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Old Feb 21, 2015, 05:05 AM
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Hi folks,
These sure look like some very nice cameras, thanks very much for the help. I'm going off to have a wee look at them right now!
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Old Feb 21, 2015, 05:53 AM
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Now I noticed you are Scottish, and no doubt how you voted
My daughter did studies at Glasgow, and we visit here often, had a very good time visiting Argyll/Bute... this summer I have plans for the islands
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Old Feb 22, 2015, 08:27 AM
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Aye, I'm definitely a supporter of Scottish Independence. The struggle continues.....
Its a bonny place to live alright.
Which islands, the Western Isles or the Northern Isles? Both are lovely, in different ways.
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Old Feb 22, 2015, 10:12 AM
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Western, Islay, skye...
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Old Feb 22, 2015, 12:07 PM
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Lovely place, but Skye was full of Midges. They drove me insane!!
Im sure you will have an amazing time!
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Old Apr 01, 2015, 05:41 PM
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Sony MultiPort trigger solution – "SkySight MONO"

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Old Apr 01, 2015, 06:56 PM
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I can recommend any CHDK (a firmware extension) compatible Canon P&S -cameras for the simple fact that CHDK allows many neat features otherwise not available in most P&S cameras, notably intervalometer and more versatile manual controls. (For example, I can adjust shutter speed as fast as possible and let intervalometer take a shot every x seconds...)

I personally own a Canon IXUS 125 HS (ELPH 110 HS in US), and I'm pretty happy with it. I'm sure there are better cameras in terms of picture quality, but for the price and versatility this was a great buy.
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Old Apr 04, 2015, 04:14 AM
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Fintastic, I use CHDK on an old Canon A570IS which has a seperate AV jack plug and I trigger the shutter using CHDK and the camera's USB port. With the IXUS 125 having a combined USB and video out port do you know whether it is possible to obtain a cable to do both functions? A search on the internet has not produced one and I believe that the Cannon USB port is non standard.
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Old Apr 29, 2015, 03:40 AM View Post
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