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Old Dec 13, 2005, 12:01 AM
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Joined Dec 2003
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Opinions for best on-board video camera (record in plane, not transmit to ground)?

I'm real keen on aerial video, we live down the road from Pismo Beach, got lots of dunes to the south, Hearst Castle/Big Sur to the North, and we are on the road quite a bit to other locales.

Got a glider that's underweight by about 5 oz, so adding a little camera that can take and store short video makes good sense.

I would probably be interested later on in a BlackWidow remote system, but right now, I'm looking for opnions on the best small, affordable camera that can shoot and store its own videos that I can mount on my glider and get some good stuff.


Quality of the picture--a lot of the onboard stuff I've seen has great colors and doesn't have the transmission dropouts of remote cameras.

Length of recording--how much video can I get per flight?

Ease of transferring to PC--a big one, the more user-friendly, the better!

Weight--the lighter, generally speaking, obviously the better.

Price--hey, I like a good bargain as much as the next guy!

Thoughts? What's working for other people in aerial video applications?

Thanks for your thoughts,

Johnny B
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Old Dec 13, 2005, 01:14 AM
Pull out early!
DiveBombDave's Avatar
Lexington, KY
Joined Jan 2005
1,956 Posts
Tons of opinions, here's a couple -

Pentax Optio S6 3.8oz without batt, 4.2 with. 6.1mp. Digital Image Stabilization in movie mode only. Lightest 6mp out there, criticized optics? A gig stick on my pentax s5i gives 88minutes in movie mode (I think same res for the 6) FITS IN AN ALTOIDS CAN.

Panasonic has a really nice 8.1mp out with Leica glass... I'm researching it tonight, but I think Centexflyer put up some shots today that were so pretty I have to have one. Heavier, tho (? how much).

You want a downlink. You don't know it yet. But you do.

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Old Dec 13, 2005, 01:30 AM
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Ducman69's Avatar
Houston, TX
Joined Feb 2004
439 Posts
Length of recording--how much video can I get per flight?
That Optio S6 mentioned is the first DivX certified digital camera. That means that its 640x480/30fps movies can maintain good quality while being quite small (10x greater compression than MPEG2).

This may be a moot point considering how cheap good fast memory has become. I got a 2-gig A-Data 150x (22.5MB/sec read, 15MB/sec write... woah) with a lifetime warranty for $120 from NewEgg. But I still think its nice to have it in that format when you want to share it over the net (use the USB cable provided with the camera to connect or simply plug the SD card into a reader connected to your computer).

I believe thats around 1.5 hours of footage on highest quality using 2 gigs. A 512mb would probably be fine and would be dirt cheap (just make sure its high speed though, as I read thats required for movies). Battery life is likely going to be the issue though, as its only an 800mah (the one I bought at least, and I'm using the stocker as a spare which I think was even less like 700ish). I haven't read the manual yet, but I hadn't figured out how to turn off the display while recording video (I can turn it off when taking pics though). Well... I'm actually thinking of other uses... for RC duty, even with a glider you'd surely be happy with an hours worth of action.

Sorry I haven't posted a review yet guys, but they've been working me to death. When I get home this morning it'll be after an 18 hour shift (luckily I get a week off... whew). I'll try to throw up a movie and at least some regular shots.
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Old Dec 13, 2005, 01:36 AM
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Joined Sep 2004
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Originally Posted by Johnny B

Thoughts? What's working for other people in aerial video applications?

Thanks for your thoughts,

Johnny B
This works for me. Note the file is compressed by a factor of 10. $99 for the cam and an SD card and you can record for ~45 minutes. Pop the card into a card reader and play it. Camera is ~5.5oz with battery.

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