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Old Jan 20, 2012, 08:21 PM
CURIOSITY Has Landed!
Fugitive_Bill's Avatar
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Tom, ISO, Prof100,

AND Rick662u, I gotta stop readin' this thread - it's doing my head in!!!
(ie: Post 1497 above, what the..!! - but I do mostly get it)

I just want the (for want of better word) the 'FLARE' up to go away. (this be being a factor of the WB or auto frame rate?)
Like when the camera is mounted on plane, and the plane is flying along and it has ground in 2/3 of the frame, everything looks fine, then if the AoA on the plane moves up to show 2/3 sky, the ground instantly becomes a brown or black muck and takes several seconds to recover when plane lowers the nose to 2/3 ground again.

Now by the sounds of things (if you get what I'm trying say, this problem has been corrected in the KeyCam #6 v0.18 firmware!?

I've done that put V0.18 in) but not really done any testing, but I will get out the field on Sunday if this rains clears up and do some onboard 'filming'.

Understood that the developer reads this thread, so I'll shut now so you and he and others can read posts that contain something that is of use/interest and get on with it!!

-B!
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 08:25 PM
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Eletoponline365 sent me a email that they sell lens/sensor modules for USD $8.99 each so if you break your you can get a new one.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 08:46 PM
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Okay I will record an uncompressed video on Vimeo today. But now it's dark outside, here are 3:45 am :-p

So it comes up today in 12 hours!
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 08:49 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick662u View Post
its trying to find 18% grey, ( probably doesn't have to be 18%, as that's for exposure, just neutral) which is basically what is involved in white balance, - how accurate white balance is taken is pointing a camera at a neutral target - note it must be neutral, not tinted - ie - plain concrete or similar. On higher end cameras, you can then lock this value for that particular shoot. This means, it knows that that value is 'neutral' and that fixes the subsequent 'tint' for that particular lighting. If you turn on tungsten, or indoor light, it is actually very yellow (not that our own eyes notice it much) - but you can simply point the camera at a neutral target (a grey object that fills the screen) and set the WBalance. This then neutralises that object (instead of yellow indoor light) it sets that as neutral, and all other colours are taken from this starting point.

What the little cam is doing, is only auto WB, so it can only 'guesstimate' what neutral is... if a huge area of green confronts it, it will try it's best to come up with decent colour, but recall, it has no reference point, other than observing a scene and averaging what it sees. Generally, most scenes have all colour of the rainbow (outdoor light) and lots of objects so averaging the wB works well... but, if you film in strange light, or surrounded by overpowering colours, it's going to struggle... hence the reason top end cams always have manual WB settings.

Oh, there's probably algorithms in there somewhere too - for example, cam sees lots of yellow light, it 'knows' its indoors, so adds a bunch of blue to the mix to correct this.... just a guess


Hope that helps some... layman's language.... there's probably some horrible math behind this!!
It has to be complex since the CMOS array has more green sensors than red or blue, because the human eye is more sensitive to green, and each colored sensor gathers information from the adjacent other colors to produce its output. I've done some reading on how the CMOS array works to produce each pixels color output, and I'm not nearly as impressed with how it works as I am with the fact that it works at all in real time HD at 60 fps in varying light conditions!

I've use WB settings in post processing and understand setting the point used as a white reference. And the camera must have a reference point pre-set... I've gone thorough several iterations of firmware, some of which looked good in bright sun light, but produced distinct pink hue in lower lit area or overcast gray days. That is now pretty much gone. And low lit indoor incandescent light produced very dark, over-saturated red/orange hues, and that now looks MUCH more natural (a recent post showed how much improvement has been made with the indoor video). What we now have in the current firmware is the best under many light conditions I've seen from any adjustments made to date, and I'm very pleased with it. If it were as simple as fixing the WB to get better results, it would have been done several firmware revisions ago.

I recall when the #11 came out a little over a year ago how amazed and pleased everyone was, with the main complaint "if only I could turn off that time stamp". Now a little over a year later we have a camera an order of magnitude better, and still wanting more. I'm all for continuous improvement, but you reach a point where the boundary conditions limit going further. I think that's where the #16 development is now. It's not a high-end camera, so I think we should leave well enough alone and enjoy what it can do, not dwell on what it can't.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 08:53 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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Originally Posted by jmdlcar View Post
Eletoponline365 sent me a email that they sell lens/sensor modules for USD $8.99 each so if you break your you can get a new one.
Thanks for posting that. I'll assume that includes shipping as well, like other items purchased from him. And I'll also assume the companion eBay sellers of the camera can do the same.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:00 PM
3d Kiwi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugitive_Bill View Post
Tom, ISO, Prof100,

AND Rick662u, I gotta stop readin' this thread - it's doing my head in!!!
(ie: Post 1497 above, what the..!! - but I do mostly get it)

I just want the (for want of better word) the 'FLARE' up to go away. (this be being a factor of the WB or auto frame rate?)
Like when the camera is mounted on plane, and the plane is flying along and it has ground in 2/3 of the frame, everything looks fine, then if the AoA on the plane moves up to show 2/3 sky, the ground instantly becomes a brown or black muck and takes several seconds to recover when plane lowers the nose to 2/3 ground again.

Now by the sounds of things (if you get what I'm trying say, this problem has been corrected in the KeyCam #6 v0.18 firmware!?

I've done that put V0.18 in) but not really done any testing, but I will get out the field on Sunday if this rains clears up and do some onboard 'filming'.

Understood that the developer reads this thread, so I'll shut now so you and he and others can read posts that contain something that is of use/interest and get on with it!!

-B!
Well, I think 0.18 has done a great job of helping with the exact thing you speak of here. And improve the colour etc.... An ev adjustment setting would help further, but I'm satisfied... I havent mounted on a plane, but I do include sky in the shots I've done.

Test it and see what you think.... I'm uploading a really horrible test I did with the cam into extreme light, and it was pretty decent.

I'm going to leave it as it is, and may not even put on the deal extreme lens as it seems quite wide enough.

I agree with Tom, I think they have got things pretty sweet right now, but I'm sure they will keep tweaking....
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
Thanks for posting that. I'll assume that includes shipping as well, like other items purchased from him. And I'll also assume the companion eBay sellers of the camera can do the same.
They didn't say I'll try to find out let you know.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:17 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugitive_Bill View Post
I just want the (for want of better word) the 'FLARE' up to go away. (this be being a factor of the WB or auto frame rate?)
Like when the camera is mounted on plane, and the plane is flying along and it has ground in 2/3 of the frame, everything looks fine, then if the AoA on the plane moves up to show 2/3 sky, the ground instantly becomes a brown or black muck and takes several seconds to recover when plane lowers the nose to 2/3 ground again.

Now by the sounds of things (if you get what I'm trying say, this problem has been corrected in the KeyCam #6 v0.18 firmware!?
-B!
Not really! What you are referring to is the auto exposure, and the camera is adjusting it based on evaluating the average light level in a central part of the frame (I think!) So when the plane pans up slightly, more of the brighter sky tells the camera it needs to speed up it's shutter speed to reduce the amount of light the CMOS sensor receives for a given frame so that the sky is not over exposed. That brings the exposure of the sky back into a normal range, but the darker ground area below the horizon becomes even more dark, and all the detail disappears into a black, under-exposed blur. The v0.18 firmware has not changed this auto-exposure issue, but it does seem like the camera is a bit slower to adjust to a changing light conditon that it was in earlier firmware. If that's the case, a brief panning excursion above the horizon would not cause the ground to darken as fast, so the net result may be better than before. If I had some sun, I could do some testing.

I think the easier solution for this is to "fool" the camera by repositioning the area of the frame it uses to adjust the exposure from the center of the frame to the bottom center of the frame. Then the ground would have more influence is setting the exposure than the sky, and you could see the ground detail much better, with the sky area being somewhat over exposed. But for most of us, the ground detail is more important than the sky, so that's a better trade off. That could be done as a permanent firmware solution, I think, based on the CMOS features listed in its data sheet.

Other solutions have been suggested, like having a user selectable setting for slight over-exposure and slight under-exposure, so you could set the camera's reaction to your preference, leaving the existing metering area the way it is. That's a more elegant solution, but requires more code in the firmware, and reportedly there is not enough camera memory for it. It was suggested to eliminate the sound level toggle and replace with a +/- exposure adjustment. I'd be in favor of that... sound can be attentuated by other means, both during recording and in editing afterwards. But only the developer can initiate any changes like this, and he monitors this thread. So your concern is duly noted in the record!
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:24 PM
Team WarpSquad
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Joined Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
I think the easier solution for this is to "fool" the camera by repositioning the area of the frame it uses to adjust the exposure from the center of the frame to the bottom center of the frame. Then the ground would have more influence is setting the exposure than the sky, and you could see the ground detail much better, with the sky area being somewhat over exposed. But for most of us, the ground detail is more important than the sky, so that's a better trade off. That could be done as a permanent firmware solution, I think, based on the CMOS features listed in its data sheet.

It was suggested to eliminate the sound level toggle and replace with a +/- exposure adjustment. I'd be in favor of that... sound can be attentuated by other means, both during recording and in editing afterwards. But only the developer can initiate any changes like this, and he monitors this thread. So your concern is duly noted in the record!
I'd agree - for inflight RC applications the sound of the motor is generally a bit annoying after 5~7 minutes but having a correctly exposed lower half of frame and excellent video is required. One point though, there needs to be some sort of user control for that because if you (for whatever reason) need to mount it upside down then you'll be exposing for the sky all the time
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:29 PM
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Re the exposure flare up issue, I saw what was quite a nice solution, perhaps not intended to be, but the guy simply mounted underneath the plane, making a large part of the upper frame darker (from the fuse in the shot) - this meant the sky coudln't interfere with the exposure. Result= nicely exposed video of the ground. OK, you see wheels/undercarriage, but still, quite a nifty solution.

For me today, the cam seemed to handle exposure nicely, even tho sky obviously influenced.... video coming on that.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:35 PM
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V. 18 firmware indoors under bright incandescent. Makes my UM Beast look pink. It's not native, I edited in Videopad.
V18 firmware #16 HD keycam indoor.mov (1 min 22 sec)
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:37 PM
3d Kiwi
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That's its best guess at averaging... all in all, probably not too bad... most $100+ point and shoots dont do any better. I think even my DSLR would struggle, but I"ve got a white balance card for that :-)

PS - I promise to sign off soon... just too much time near a computer today with other jobs!!! Annoying really, getting a sore neck! One more video and I'll power down,,,, haha
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:45 PM
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Prof, that sure is a cute little beast... is that a custom paint job for your wife??? lol

So we need another firmware for filming the indoor sessions at USA soccer ey??

Pat
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
[...]

Regarding all the additional features, I agree they would be nice for some users, but it's been said SEVERAL TIMES NOW, that the camera needs more memory to implement more functions (according to the developer), and that means a different memory chip and quite possibly a different circuit board. In other words, a new camera!
We're talking about the Flash or the RAM?

I did some digging in the data sheets, and I doubt I'm not the only one who did this already

RAM:
The #16 is using a 512Mb DDR2 memory the "Hynix H5PS5162FFR"
They share identical features but the only difference is the 512Mb has 4 banks and the 1Gb 8 banks (32Mx16 vs 64Mx16 i guess).

H5PS5162GFR 512Mb DDR2 (Fxx, 7th vs Gxx, 8th die generation)
* 32Mx16
* JEDEC standard 84ball FBGA(x16) : 7.5mm x 12.5mm

H5PS1G63JFR 1024Mb DDR2
* 64Mx16
* JEDEC standard 84ball FBGA(x16)



Flash:
The #16 is using a 2MB Flash the "Windbond W25Q16BV" (barely to see at picture, i hope I'm right)

W25Q16BV
* 16Mbit (2MB)
* 80/104MHz (160/320MHz Dual/Quad-SPI)
* SOIC8 208mil (i hope you're using this one, or the deal is off)

W25Q32BV
* 32Mbit (4MB)
* 80/104MHz (208/320MHz Dual/Quad-SPI)
* SOIC8 208mil


W25Q64BV
/ CV
* 64Mbit (8MB) OVERKILL
* 80MHz (160/320MHz Dual/Quad-SPI)
* SOIC8 208mil


So hardware wise it "shouldn't" be the issue, only programming i guess Only the devs knows

Quote:
Alternatively, different firmware which adds certain functions and takes others out to free up space might be possible, but a LOT of work for the developer for a $40 camera! The whole idea with this camera was to eliminate a bunch of different firmware to toggle the functions (like was required for the #11 camera) and doing it with a user configuration text file. The main idea was to provide the functions which a majority of users would want to change, and the ones provided were taken from a wish list users of the #11 camera had suggested. So I question how many people who buy this kind of camera care enough about the new functions (or even understand how they would help) that they are willing to give up some of the existing ones in return.

[....]
I'll be one of them buying the "#16 Pro" (I expect not the same price of course)
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:49 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
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Originally Posted by Prof100 View Post
V. 18 firmware indoors under bright incandescent. Makes my UM Beast look pink. It's not native, I edited in Videopad.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uywCMgWBYQ
Yes... SOME incandescent bulbs have a lot more red in their light spectrum than others. I have some over head ceiling flood lights in my house that look like your example. Bit I tested also outdoors at night with just incandescent flood lights and got normal looking video, and also indoors with fluorescent energy saving ceiling flood lights and got normal looking video. So artificial lights of all kinds are a crap shoot in terms of color rendition. But I think with an editor having color tweaks for RGB separately, you can correct them to look normal if necessary.

But here's another variable. I tested a new 70 deg. AOV lens in another #16 with same firmware, and IT looks really good in ALL of the same light conditions I just mentioned, but has a very slight pink hue in some outdoor video when gray/white area are in the scene (v0.18 firmware). So the lens also dictates what the recorded video colors look like with THIS camera. The developer has acknowledged that the wider angle lenses he is testing may need their own firmware for best color rendition. There's nothing simple about color control with this camera!
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