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Old Sep 26, 2011, 09:10 AM
Graham Dyer
pardus's Avatar
Johannesburg, South Africa
Joined Jul 2003
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Aerial Photography suitable Camera Shortlist

I'm looking for a good aerial photography camera. It needs to have a couple of specific features as I want to use it for AP AND probably as a general landscape/scenery/people camera.

These requirements seem to be what would be the minimum for an AP camera:
  • 10+MP
  • Analog A/V out (for FPV)
  • Very good still image quality (good lens)
  • 720p HD recording minimum
  • CCD sensor (no rolling shutter effect)
  • Low weight
  • conventional point & shoot layout
  • Selectable Auto-off time
  • optical image stabilization
  • Auto-focus while videoing
  • prefer 24-28mm min lens
  • Prefer a bit of manual setting ability
  • Sub $250
  • HDR and/or auto-bracketing would be nice but not essential

A friend has the Canon IXUS 220 HS (ELPH 300 HS) which is very nice, produces very good images, great video (despite being CMOS) BUT... it only has digital A/V out - no analog (stand corrected, it has USB > A/V.)

My shortlist stands at this so far:
#1 Canon S95 - bit expensive, heavy
Panasonic Lumix LX3 - noisy, slow auto-focus, shutter-lag, pricey
Panasonic Lumix LX5 - average video, lens is flare-prone, pricey
#3 Canon PowerShot SX130 IS - heavy
#2 Canon IXUS 220 HS - CMOS

Any other suggestions?
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Last edited by pardus; Mar 09, 2012 at 05:36 AM. Reason: added to shortlist
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 04:26 AM
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After a lot of research and debate with myself I chose the Panasonic Lumix LX5 over the Canon S95 (and upcoming S100).

Also, you said "Sub $200" is one of your requirements; the S95 is closer to $350.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 05:01 AM
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Hamilton, New Zealand
Joined Jan 2007
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A second-hand 10Mp LX3 is worthy.
I still use ours for commercial AP of construction projects - over 9000 AP shots in nearly 2 years.

Pete
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 06:39 AM
Graham Dyer
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Joined Jul 2003
699 Posts
Yeah, didn't realize the S95 was so expensive (hadn't really looked at it's price rather just it's features).

Thanks, will investigate the Panasonic's...

Any other recommendations?
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Last edited by pardus; Sep 28, 2011 at 07:28 AM.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 08:37 PM
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United States, TN, Thompson's Station
Joined May 2004
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Canon SD780is. You can turn off the 'is' if you like. And it has analog out. Second-hand is around $130. Some of these were still made in Japan, too. Not China.
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Old Mar 08, 2012, 04:56 AM
Graham Dyer
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Joined Jul 2003
699 Posts
Struggling to find the Panasonic's here, and certainly none second hand. LX3 also criticized for noise, slow auto-focus, shutter-lag, pricey

LX5's video isn't very good, lens is flare-prone, pricey

Canon SD780is hard to find here too (has been criticised for noisy images and poor lens)

Nikon Coolpix S9100 looks good but is a CMOS sensor and I want to avoid the "rolling shutter" effect at all costs.

Any others to suggest?
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Old Mar 08, 2012, 06:33 AM
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Germany
Joined Mar 2005
10 Posts
My experience with the Panasonic LX5

Hello,

In the past I have used these cameras:
- Panasonic LX30
- Panasonic LX37 (good image stabilisation, a little bit noisy above ISO100)
- Canon IXUS 115 (image stabilisation during flights works very bad)

Currently I use a Panasonic LX5. It's my best aerial camera until now (because of the good sensor and the lens).
I have build a servo shutter control, but the control is only for still pictures, video recording is started on another button.

Here an example:
http://rcluftbild.rc.funpic.de/Herlh...00564m_LX5.jpg

A major disadvantage is the limited picture bulk function (max. 3 pics).
I have eliminated this drawback by an automatic servo control (ATTiny25 in my tx between the switch and the transmitter board).

The videos are a bit better than the Panasonic LX37
Here an example of a Panasonic LX37 video:

Flug über die Ruine des Gutshofs Öttershausen (5 min 12 sec)


Dieter

the servo shutter control:
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Last edited by Dieter59; Mar 08, 2012 at 06:38 AM. Reason: corrected wrong model number
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Old Mar 08, 2012, 07:05 AM
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Are you planning to do photo or video?
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Old Mar 08, 2012, 07:13 AM
Graham Dyer
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Joined Jul 2003
699 Posts
Both actually, from a quadcopter, but also as a general purpose consumer camera.
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Old Mar 08, 2012, 02:02 PM
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Hello

Pardus, are you sure that the Canon IXUS 220 HS only has digital A/V out - no analog ?

Thomas
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Old Mar 08, 2012, 07:10 PM
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Joel K. Scholz's Avatar
Kingsland, Texas USA
Joined Aug 2000
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I have been using a canon 800IS for years. I have had at least 5 of them. Here are a few shots and video
.
Catching the Sun (6 min 9 sec)
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Old Mar 09, 2012, 04:44 AM
Graham Dyer
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Joined Jul 2003
699 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliAgri View Post
Hello

Pardus, are you sure that the Canon IXUS 220 HS only has digital A/V out - no analog ?

Thomas
Actually I may be wrong there, it does not have a 2.5mm A/V out jack but does appear to have a USB out for a USB to A/V cable. It is CMOS though.
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Old Mar 09, 2012, 04:50 AM
Graham Dyer
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Joined Jul 2003
699 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel K. Scholz View Post
I have been using a canon 800IS for years. I have had at least 5 of them. Here are a few shots and video.
Unfortunately not (at least) 720p HD...
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