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Old Aug 11, 2002, 09:57 PM
Real Men Fly Pink Planes...
kepople's Avatar
United States, TX, Rockwall
Joined Jun 2001
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In the market for a new platform...

Well, my Aptek carrying ship spun in tonight from about 100 ft. All of a sudden the thing stated to spin. I realize now that the tail came loose in flight. Based on its flight characteristics before I can deduce that was the problem. The Funny thing is on one of the passes over the complex I was shooting, the plane took a photo of the tree it was soon to be come lodged in...see the photo attached.

The camera was strapped to the wing, just scratched the coating. THe plane however did not fare so well. Wing in 2 pieces and fuse nose is cracked in multiple places. This was an Aventura, but it will be reapirable for flight, but will not be seaworthy for a while.

Thanks for the fun Aventura....

kirby
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Old Aug 11, 2002, 10:48 PM
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Bloomington, IL (Hell's Cornfield)
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kepople-

Sorry to hear about your plane, but your story sounds a bit familiar to me. I went over to a friends house to do some pictures of his neighborhood. It was WAY windier than I had expected, but it was blowing right down the street, so I thought no problem. The flight went fine until I came down the street to land. Lots of traffic all of a sudden, and the wind blowing around the houses made control of the Wingo quite interesting. After a couple of saves, I thought I was putting it a neighbor's yard, but instead it ended up in the only bush for 100 yards around. Probably better than hitting a mailbox. The Wingo and camera were none the worse for wear. Only the tiniest of dents in the LE of the wing.
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Old Aug 11, 2002, 10:53 PM
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Here's a shot of my Wingo flying happily over my neighborhood. Still haven't been able to locate the elusive nude sunbathers yet...
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Old Aug 11, 2002, 11:07 PM
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Can you say "Fun with Photoshop layers?"
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Old Aug 11, 2002, 11:21 PM
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Bloomington, IL (Hell's Cornfield)
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Videos

Anybody experimented with videos on the PenCam? I have tried a few experiments, but have been generally unimpressed with the results. Here's one I did in the HIGH res mode. This shot filled up pretty much the entire 16mb of onboard memory and resulted in a 234mb AVI file. RealMedia seems to produce about the best compression results for the file size. You'll need RealPlayer to view it. There's some quality loss, but then again, it wasn' that great to start with. The PenCam shoots at 10fps, which produces pretty jerky video when there's much motion involved. The time scale has been expanded in Adobe Premiere so that the clip plays at 75% of the original speed, which I think makes it a little easier to look at and gives you more time to look around in the frames.

This was taken at my local R/C field just down the street from my house. The launch is to the south, with a gradual circle around the field for the duration of the sequence. I can be seen in the very last frame standing in the middle of the open area in the original, but I doubt you can make out the little speck in the compressed version. The download is approximately 1.3mb.


right-click HERE and choose "Save target as"
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Old Aug 11, 2002, 11:27 PM
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cactus-

Caught me. I have lots of fun with Photoshop. On the same "bush" flight, I got a picture of my buddy's house and yard. He's really particular about his yard, it's probably the greenest one in the neighborhood. Soooo....see if you can pick out which one is his
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Old Aug 12, 2002, 01:19 AM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
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Grass Valley, CA
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Here's my first decent shots from my mini pencam. This is about
1/3 of the field:
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Old Aug 12, 2002, 01:20 AM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
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Grass Valley, CA
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and most of the rest of the field. As you can see, the
boundaries of the field are somewhat unforgiving:
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Old Aug 12, 2002, 06:25 AM
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Tel Aviv-Yafo Sde Dov, Israel
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here is the Israely tennis center.
photo was taken by a canon pocket camera using the twin star !
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Old Aug 12, 2002, 09:24 AM
Real Men Fly Pink Planes...
kepople's Avatar
United States, TX, Rockwall
Joined Jun 2001
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Hey guys, Great pix! I love the Tennis center and the Wingo!

Kat I gotta ask., Your photos are consistantly sharper than mine or everyone elses for the most part.

I know you have a very Stable airplane and are flying slow. What time of day are you shooting, and is there some editing you are doing to the photos?

They seem to have more sharpness to begin with. My results got much better when I switched to the Aventura, alas, but still, not as sharp as yours.
Thanks
Kirby
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Old Aug 12, 2002, 01:34 PM
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Kirby-

I'm not doing anything special to my pictures. I generally just upload them to the computer after a flight, pick some that I like and run a generic "auto-levels" on them to correct some of the color and contrast. Sometimes I don't like what the automatic does, but generally, it's better than I can do manually. I use one of two different aps for this; ACDSee and Photoshop.

I've used Photoshop in a couple of instances to bring the horizon level. If you do that, you will loose some of the corners of your picture when you crop it back square again.

I'm pretty sure I have NOT used any kind of sharpening on anything I have posted. I think I mentioned before, I used a filter called "despeckle" to actually blur and average some pixel patterns that showed up. In the paste up of the wingo in flight, I actually used "Gaussian Blur" slightly on the background to give the impression of depth of field with the camera focused on the airplane in the foreground.

I've mentioned before, I find I get the best results with lots of light. Pictures taken in dim conditions really don't look as good. I don't know that much about digital cameras, but I suspect that an $89 miniature digital camera web-cam doesn't have a real high-end sensor in it. (I don't see Carl Zeiss' name on the lens either) For me this always brings a conflict in conditions. I like to fly the camera in relatively calm winds, but the calmest times of day around here are very early and very late in the day.

A corollary to that is which way is the wind blowing? Are you able to face the items that you are shooting with very little relative motion AND have the light more or less behind you for best effect?

Which way is your camera pointing? I have mine facing forward in the nose of the Wingo, so it doesn't "see" a lot of movement when the picture is taken (in theory at least). The downside of that is that it's hard to get more than one shot off in a good position if you're flying right at it. Again, the wind will help if it's right and you can practically "hover" over your target. Lots of variables to cosider here....

Keep those pictures coming (even though we can't have our own forum)
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Old Aug 12, 2002, 01:45 PM
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Port St. Lucie, FL
Joined Apr 2002
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A few pics

Here are some, I have a few new ones on my web page. Enjoy!







That last one is of our nuclear plant way in the distance, about 10 miles away line of sight!

[url]http://home.earthlink.net/~vwhed84
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Old Aug 12, 2002, 02:42 PM
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Newbury, UK
Joined Aug 2002
671 Posts
how do u take pics?

Sorry for butting-in on this thread! But how do you take photo's with the pencam? Are all these still extracted from movie files that the pencam has taken? Over here in the UK, these pencam are available on ebay for around 40 or less, so I,d like to get one.
They only have 8mb of ram and are made by AIPTEK and desribed as a 3 in 1 camera - is this the type of camera thats taken the shots in this thread?
I was wondering how you get it to take a shot - or does it have a 'continuous' mode?
TIA
Texy
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Old Aug 12, 2002, 02:50 PM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
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Grass Valley, CA
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Most of these photos are taken with the Aiptek Mini Pencam in
still mode, although it can also do videos. It has 1.3 megapixel
resolution (1248 x 960) for stills, and 640x480 for video.
Total memory is 32 MB, with 16 MB flash for the stills, and 16MB
RAM for video (you lose the video if you take out the batteries).
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Old Aug 12, 2002, 03:07 PM
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Newbury, UK
Joined Aug 2002
671 Posts
thanx for far mx, but...

...how do you take a pic then?
Surely they don't kick it off in 'video' mode then fly the plane - it'd only last a few secs ?
Is the original pencam, only 355 x whatever, no good then?
Texy
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