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Old Oct 01, 2011, 07:40 PM
3d Kiwi
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New Zealand
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Be careful what camera for multirotors!

I've conducted some basic tests on a new vtail quad, especially focussing on stills for AP. I'm a photographer so my camera settings were optimal for each test (usually at least 800th second, TV mode if availbable, and under 200 iso, IS off)

Cameras tested were:

Canon s90
Canon a590is
Canon a550

s90 - I tried for several days to get a sharp shot from the excellent s90 (OIS off) - after many mounting options, vibration reduction techniques, I only managed to pull off about 3-5 tack sharp images, out of probably 50 or so.

a590 - not a camera to rave about imagewise, but less affected by vibration in the same mount as the s90. However, overall poor results. NB: Cam uses OIS system

a550 -tack sharp almost on every shot, right off the bat. This is a little 7mp camera with pretty poor specs, but actually nice images. NB: No Cam uses no OIS or IS system

My conclusion, after seeing another quad flyer stuggle to get tack sharp with an s95, is that indeed, the OIS system is to blame. All I can assume is that the a550 has NO stabilization, and is rock solid.

It would be interesting to compile a list of cameras whos OIS/IS does not interfere with use in multirotors. It could potentially save someone a lot of money who purchases a great camera, only to find that on rotors, it is virtually useless.

Of note is that the s90 produces brilliant images on fixed wings, with not a hint of blur. Just as sharp as on the ground. The vibes in rotors, massively affect this and I assume other similar cameras.

If you have experience with similar cameras on rotors, or want to add a known good camera, it would be useful I think.
PS - images with IS turned ON with the s90 were just as poor.

Regards
Rick
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 07:56 PM
Frogman
Stoughton, WI
Joined Jun 2009
1,702 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick662u View Post
I've conducted some basic tests on a new vtail quad, especially focussing on stills for AP. I'm a photographer so my camera settings were optimal for each test (usually at least 800th second, TV mode if availbable, and under 200 iso, IS off)

Cameras tested were:

Canon s90
Canon a590is
Canon a550

s90 - I tried for several days to get a sharp shot from the excellent s90 (IS off) - after many mounting options, vibration reduction techniques, I only managed to pull off about 3-5 tack sharp images, out of probably 50 or so.

a590 - not a camera to rave about imagewise, but less affected by vibration in the same mount as the s90. However, overall poor results.

a550 -tack sharp almost on every shot, right off the bat. This is a little 7mp camera with pretty poor specs, but actually nice images.

My conclusion, after seeing another quad flyer stuggle to get tack sharp with an s95, is that indeed, the OIS system is to blame. All I can assume is that the a550 has NO stabilization, and is rock solid.

It would be interesting to compile a list of cameras whos OIS/IS does not interfere with use in multirotors. It could potentially save someone a lot of money who purchases a great camera, only to find that on rotors, it is virtually useless.

Of note is that the s90 produces brilliant images on fixed wings, with not a hint of blur. Just as sharp as on the ground. The vibes in rotors, massively affect this and I assume other similar cameras.

If you have experience with similar cameras on rotors, or want to add a known good camera, it would be useful I think.
PS - images with IS turned ON with the s90 were just as poor.

Regards
Rick
The Canon A640 I use works great on both planes and multi-rotors. It's probably the big brother the the A550 you are playing with. It is a 10mp camera but it has 2 key features making it great. Electronic stabilization so it is easy to turn off. Second is it has a big sensor for a small camera. Small sensors can have high MP counts but that means all the pixels are tiny and susceptible to lots of noise. The A640 has a much bigger sensor on it so each pixel can gather more data for the images. I've shown a few people images from my A640 next to a DSLR image and they couldn't tell the difference many times. THe big sensor also allows you to crop the image more without losing detail. There are still some A640's floating around on eBay. Seems the going price is just under $200.
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 08:16 PM
3d Kiwi
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New Zealand
Joined Dec 2007
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Thanks - yes it seems the OIS is to blame, rather than IS. The newish Canon 1200 and Canon 2200 have 28mm lens. Being cheap, they appear to have no IS at all. However, image quality is unknown, and could be lowish. Only the 2200 is begining to have CHDK ported. The 640 is now added to the list.

Cameras proven sharp on rotors:

Canon a550
Canon a640
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 08:30 PM
Frogman
Stoughton, WI
Joined Jun 2009
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The 2200 has a very small sensor too. First thing I check on a cam for AP besides seeing if it has Electronic or Optical IS is the size of the sensor. Check out these specs on the 2200.

http://usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/p...Specifications

This part here tells the size of the sensor.

Image Capture Device

Type
14.1 Megapixel, 1/2.3-inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)

Total Pixels
Approx. 14.5 Megapixels

Effective Pixels
14.1 Megapixels


See where it says 1/2.3 for the sensor size? Thats basically the standard sensor size for most consumer level cameras these days. The A640 has a 1/1.8. The smaller the number after the slash the larger the sensor. The A640 has about the biggest you can find for a point and shoot. The S90 has the same big sensor as the A640 but does have OIS which is probably the bad part.

I have a cheap Kodak camera I got to play around with when I started that has a small sensor that is so noisy all the pics look like they were taken at 3200 ISO.
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 08:37 PM
3d Kiwi
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Thanks Frogman. Agreed. The S90 has a wonderful sensor. It is only spoilt for multirotor by the OIS. A great shame, as there is no comparison to many other cameras. I've looked at some sample images from the 2200, and they are not pretty!

I'd be very interested to hear if the IS systems on mirrorless compacts are compatible?

EG:
Panasonic GF1/2/3
Olympus Pen
Sony Nex 5 etc

It would be pretty tragic to purchase such great instruments only to have them vibe out due to wrong OIS systems etc. Actual users reports would be very informative....Rick
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 08:45 PM
Frogman
Stoughton, WI
Joined Jun 2009
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I would love to have the NEX -5N. I am contemplating getting one for the video functionality. I'm a videographer by trade and looking to go all solid state cameras and the NEX-5N and GH2 are pretty sweet DSLR like cams in an inexpensive package. They take amazing video as well and many are using the GH2 professionally just for video. The NEX-5N is better in low light and I am thinking of getting one just for the low light ability since I film lots of weddings and receptions are dark. Of course if I had an NEX-5N it would be flying on my planes as well. :-). I'm leaning more toward the GH2 right now for my business but it's a little too heavy for my tricopters to lift....but my Heptad could haul it with no problem.
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 08:51 PM
3d Kiwi
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I too would love the Nex 5n. I read that new firmware for the Nex 5 (not 5n) also allows manual controls for video. Can you confirm this. The 16mm pancake lens gets bad reviews. Such a shame. The perfect combo for AP. Does the Nex use IS or OIS? I know some are sensor based and others within the lenses. I forget. Oh yes, I'd get a GH2 if I could. My Octo could lift it eventually. Sigh....
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 09:02 PM
Frogman
Stoughton, WI
Joined Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick662u View Post
I too would love the Nex 5n. I read that new firmware for the Nex 5 (not 5n) also allows manual controls for video. Can you confirm this. The 16mm pancake lens gets bad reviews. Such a shame. The perfect combo for AP. Does the Nex use IS or OIS? I know some are sensor based and others within the lenses. I forget. Oh yes, I'd get a GH2 if I could. My Octo could lift it eventually. Sigh....
The NEX-5N and NEX-5 have IS in the lenses not the body so you can alway just get a lens without it. That 16mm pancake would be cool. From what I have read the 5N version improves the sensor a bunch and adds lots of better features to it. I'm not interested in the 5 but am the 5N. The drawback for me on the 5N is some of the controls are all buried in menus and when you are a videographer running and gunning you need quick access to features to get the most from your setup. The GH2 wins in that regard. I still may end up with a 5N for low light though.
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 09:09 PM
3d Kiwi
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Yes, GH2 ground video, Nex 5n airbourne! Nice combination. Charge the customers for the quality, and it will work out! My gopro will eventually be reserved purely for aerial panos! I'm not going to Sunex my gopro. Too many focus dramas and cracked CCDs! Not worth it IMHO.
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Old Oct 02, 2011, 04:54 AM
HeliAP'er!
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I have noticed similar problems with the S95 ... I've spent a long time trying to get sharp shots out of it, and after a rebuild using aluminium motor arms instead of carbon fibre, my hit rate seems to have increased marginally. Still, much below 1/800 or so and motion blur starts to become a problem.

My A620 and Canon 550D with 10-22mm lens produced the highest % of sharp shots of all my cameras ... interestingly neither have OIS!

Cheers


David
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Old Oct 02, 2011, 05:45 AM
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Israel, Ness Ziona
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I get perfect AP with my S95 canon
It is a Great camera and works great
I Use M mode with manual setings!

GUY
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Old Oct 02, 2011, 09:17 AM
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Swansea, Massachusetts
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I use a cheap a490, no image stabilizing, and get 80-90% good shots from a quad. I'm also running CHDK
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Old Oct 02, 2011, 12:01 PM
3d Kiwi
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New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyg View Post
I get perfect AP with my S95 canon
It is a Great camera and works great
I Use M mode with manual setings!

GUY
Is this in a multi rotor? My 550 is sharp even at 250th! The s90 is no good even at 1000th. The s90 is tack sharp on my planes. Please share your setup. Thanks. Rick. Mean I'm zooming in to check the images closely. Look at them at 800x 600 on a monitor you'd never know they were blurred shots in many cases.

What I'm really interested in is finding a good canon with a 28mm or wider lens that does not have ois.
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Old Oct 02, 2011, 12:21 PM
3d Kiwi
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New Zealand
Joined Dec 2007
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So cameras so far
A550
A640
A490
550 slr
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Old Oct 02, 2011, 04:07 PM
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You are spot on about the s90 and s95. I have the 95 and have done extensive testing on multiple platforms and have come to the conclusion that even the slightest high frequency vibes render the picture useless. I/S on or off, shutter fast or slow, it doesnt matter. Something in there gets rattled around and blurrs it bad.

If i had known this, i would have never invested in it for AP. Great walk around though.
Matt
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