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Old Nov 09, 2004, 12:57 AM
Registered User
Joined Jan 2004
89 Posts
Help!
IR Prizm - Better than my servo??

I've got a Pentax S50. So far I have not been able to get a descent picture. I'm thinking of traiding it in for a Optio S4.
I think the camera may be having a hard time focusing. I am servo actuating the camera, it just slams down on the shutter button, not sure if the camera has time to focus before taking picture.

My question... does the IR prism take this into account? Will it allow the camera to focus and set up before taking a picture? Is the prizm in any way superior to my servo method?

Thanks
I'll keep trying!

Brad
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 01:06 AM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar
Grand Junction, Colorado
Joined Jul 2002
4,636 Posts
I don't know if the PRISM switch works with the S50.
However, in my opinion, it is far superior to a servo. There is no mechanical link to fail, and it can't damage the camera (or the servo).

A camera with the IR receiver is made to take a photo that way, so the PRISM switch works just like the IR remote you can get for the camera. It focuses just fine before snapping.

It's a brilliant device. Light, simple to use, works 100% of the time. The mount does not have to be made special for it.
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 01:46 AM
Seeker of Thermals
botulism's Avatar
United States, MT, Kalispell
Joined Aug 2004
662 Posts
Like Steve said, the Prism works just like the Pentax IR remote controller, so yes, the camera has time to focus.

Your picture looks like it might be the infamous vibration induced blurriness. Have you tried shutting the motor off on your airplane before you take a picture? What do the pictures look like if you take one (on the ground) with the motor not running?

Also, if there is a manual focus mode on your S50, try that (set to infinity), rather than autofocus.
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 01:47 AM
err...see where it went?
crooser's Avatar
Qld, Australia
Joined Sep 2004
605 Posts
i got my prism switch yesterday (thanks MX!)

i modified my old servo to now turn the camera on and off while the prism takes care of the shutter

works flawlessly... no more puckering up when landing with lense extended
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Simply amazing shots guys
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Last edited by slopedog; May 21, 2008 at 06:16 PM.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 02:33 PM
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Joined Sep 2004
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I can attest to the quality of Slopedogs photos. If I'm not mistaken, slopdog is using quite a stable platform to shoot from - We're not all lucky enough to have a custom machined aluminum isolation mount on our planes

It looks to me that bbarrus problems are most likely motion related. Shutter speed is critical to taking sharp photos on moving planes, especially downward looking ones. My suggestion is to lower the exposure level to -.3 or more which would might persuade the camera to calculate a faster shutter speed to shoot the picture with.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 02:44 PM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
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Grass Valley, CA
Joined Sep 2001
3,732 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbarrus
I've got a Pentax S50. So far I have not been able to get a descent picture. I'm thinking of traiding it in for a Optio S4.
I think the camera may be having a hard time focusing. I am servo actuating the camera, it just slams down on the shutter button, not sure if the camera has time to focus before taking picture.

My question... does the IR prism take this into account? Will it allow the camera to focus and set up before taking a picture? Is the prizm in any way superior to my servo method?

Thanks
I'll keep trying!

Brad
PRISM sends the same shutter command that the Pentax remote uses. I have mine set for autofocus and it does fine. With my S4, I've found that I get blurry pictures when one or more of the following occurs:

- flying in gusty winds
- unbalanced prop when taking pictures power-on
- bent prop shaft when taking pictures power-on
- taking pictures on very cloudy days (darker lowers shutter speed)
- loose mount allowing camera to wobble (works best with camera firmly attached to plane's mass).

I get the best pictures when I climb up, slowly power off into a level glide, then start snapping pictures. Power up again, circle around, and repeat.

MX
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 04:59 PM
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Joined Jan 2004
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Thanks Guys

I ended up trading in the S50 for the S5i. So far it takes MUCH superior pictures. I dont think i'll have a problem, especially if I use sport mode. Thanks for all your tips, i'll put them into practice as soon as I get this new camera in the air.
Sounds like the switch from MX is the way to go. I assume I buy directly from MX. I'll search around for a URL etc. Is it possible to use the zoom function from MX's interface? I know the remote will allow it.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 05:21 PM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
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Grass Valley, CA
Joined Sep 2001
3,732 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbarrus
I ended up trading in the S50 for the S5i. So far it takes MUCH superior pictures. I dont think i'll have a problem, especially if I use sport mode. Thanks for all your tips, i'll put them into practice as soon as I get this new camera in the air.
Sounds like the switch from MX is the way to go. I assume I buy directly from MX. I'll search around for a URL etc. Is it possible to use the zoom function from MX's interface? I know the remote will allow it.
You can order here: http://www.hexpertsystems.com/prism

Yes, it supports the zoom function. To do both zoom and shutter requires plugging into a receiver channel that's controlled by a stick, or a 3-position switch with a center position.

MX
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