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Old Dec 11, 2007, 06:42 PM
DWA
John 3:16
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Looks like another good camera candidate for AP: Canon A570is

I know when I started out in AP one of the toughest hurtles was selecting a camera and when I finally found one (Canon A620) it was not currently sold in stores anymore. I was able to find one (new in box) on e-bay. I am glad I did because it is a great AP camera used by quite a few people on this forum. Maybe this thread will help someone new to AP find a camera.
I just picked up a backup camera that may actually become my primary camera and replace the A620. After talking to Vince (AKA vapatron) who just bought one I decided to get one also. Good thing about the Canon A570is is that it is still available in stores.

Vince and I are going to be working on building an AP plane together so I thought we might as well build it around the same camera. Not that that will mater because the AP plane will carry a verity of different cameras, including old trusty A620, I just needed an excuse for the wife.

The camera looks like a keeper. It seems to have all the futures I like about the Canon A620 like live video out and shutter priority, but this A570 is 4oz lighter and has an optical image stabilizer and only uses 2 AAs instead of 4 like the A620.
It is 4oz lighter if you use the AA batteries. If you use a voltage regulator and power from the flight pack it is 2oz lighter.


I know Vince is working on a servo mount for the shutter control (he is the engineer type between the two of us) I on the other hand went for something simple. The servo, 3 rubber bands, a very small blue rubber band, and a piece of EPP foam. In the pictures the rubber bands are only wrapped around the camera once but I wrap them 2 times and that holds down the servo tight so it does not move. So far it has tested out fine; we will see how it holds up in flight. I used my radio end point adjustments and increased the end-point just until the camera fires, this way the servo does not stall, and it doesn't harm the camera by pressing too hard.

I am going to use a voltage regulator and power the camera from the main flight pack. I figure the camera only takes 2 AAs and only has a 3.15 volt DC in so it should not draw too much power from the main flight battery. Less than what the A620 would draw anyway.



If you are using this camera for AP (or not and just have something to add) please post your experiences here so we can determine if this is a good AP camera or not.



As soon as we can Vince and I will be flying posting pictures and evaluating this camera from the air.


Anyway I know a picture is worth 1000 words so here are the pics.

Dave
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 08:42 PM
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have the A550 version of it which is almost the same thing. i love it and it takes great pictures.
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 09:16 PM
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I bought one as well, but it will be a bit before it flys

GREAT camera so far!
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 10:38 PM
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My version of the servo shutter

Dave, nice simple solution! And easy to remove.

Here's my version of a servo shutter trigger for the Canon A570 IS. It's also simple. Servo is a Cirrus 4.4 gram micro sold by Hobby People.

The camera has a compound curve on the bump for the battery compartment, so I had to cut a slit so I can form the aluminum to the shape of the camera.
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 10:51 PM
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Powering the A570 IS

I ran the camera with the 2 diode in series to drop 5V to 3.5V at the camera. Current was as follows:

Playback with LCD displaying photos: 0.35 A
Camera mode, LCD disabled, no video out signal: 0.09 Amp
Camera mode, LCD in live preview: 0.50 Amp
Camera mode, jack in video out, video out signal on: 0.35 Amp

I powered it off my linear regulator (LM7805) which is also powering the 2nd RX, and 2 servos, and it got very hot. No wonder because with 0.5 Amp from the camera this meant (11.1V - 5V) * 3.05 Watts dissipated. So no good.

So new plan is to use a Dimension Engineering variable switching regulator from 11.1V down to 4.5V to run the second RX and pan, tilt, shutter servos (I fly the plane, my wife shoots photos).

The cable with two diodes in series will drop the 4.5V to 3V. The diodes will be dissipating 0.75 Watts, which should be OK.


For now, I'll just have to use two AA batteries until I make a new camera mount to fit the DC power plug.

-Vince
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 10:55 PM
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If you intend to use batteries with any Canon 2 cell camera, including the A570is (sounds more like a BMW than a camera), see:

http://www10.epinions.com/content_309637189252
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 10:58 PM
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vpatron, can you tell me the material used in your camera mount -- and the source. Perhaps a metal can?
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 11:07 PM
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Hi Jim,

Thanks. Good info.

Ya, I was going to reply to DWA's statement that he thought it would take less current that the A620. I suspect it would be the opposite. I think this camera with 2 cells will take 2x the current of the A620 because the A620 ran at 2x the voltage (i.e. to get the same power at 1/2 the voltage, you need to double the current.)

Most of the power in a digicam I think is used by CCD and the LCD display and it's the same between the two models.

As I reported in the current tests, the camera pulls as much as 0.5 Amp continous. That's quite a lot. The good thing is that my flights usually only last 10 minutes...

-Vince
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 11:16 PM
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Hi Jim, I use sheet aluminum I get from an industrial supply place here. They sell scrap pieces fairly cheap by weight so my 4 foot square piece has made many, many camera mounts and plane parts...

It's either 0.032" or 0.040" thick, I think. If I recall correctly, it was something like 6061 which is hardened but soft enough to work without cracking. 5052 I think was stronger but more brittle to work.

You definitely do not want to to use aluminum molding which is extruded. It will break when you make sharp bends.

Have fun!

-Vince

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Holloman
vpatron, can you tell me the material used in your camera mount -- and the source. Perhaps a metal can?
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Old Dec 12, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Vince, I am also interested in the aluminum fabrication. How are you joining it? Looks like epoxy. Also, could you post photos from a couple more angles so we can see how the tilt-servo is mounted?

Tom
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Old Dec 12, 2007, 10:19 AM
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With the A series Canons I have used goop to adhere the servo. It has been flawless and is removable. I use a rubber grommet over the servoarm to cushion the action a bit

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=199

Mike
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Old Dec 13, 2007, 12:54 AM
DWA
John 3:16
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I took my son to the park today so he could play with some of the kids from his pre-school class. About 14 kids. We go every Wednesday but this time I decided to bring the Magpie and test out the new camera. I have to say I was a little disappointed with the results. I seemed to get a lot more blurry images than I usually do, and the pictures that were not totally blurry donít seem as sharp as the pictures from my A620. It was a windy day though so I was getting bumped around some. I also noticed that when I mount the camera with the servo on top, the servo touches the top of the airframe where the camera mounts. Maybe this extra contact with the airframe is not good. I donít know, but I will try to mount it so it does not touch and try flying in calmer conditions tomorrow if the weather allows. I will post some of the pictures that were good and you guys can see if they look good. I know it is hard to really tell though, unless you can see a full resolution picture. I hope this camera works out it was nice flying lighter weight today. By the way, all the kids loved the plane and had a million and one questions for me. When the kids couldnít ask me they were asking my 5 year old son. It was cool to see him as the center of attention among his friends, and I could tell he was proud of his dad. Made my day.

The pictures are unedited taken straight from the camera just downsized to post here.


Dave
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Old Dec 13, 2007, 12:57 AM
DWA
John 3:16
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I think I will try to fly both cameras in one outing and compare the pictures. The jury is still out as far as I am concerned with this camera compared to the A620.

Dave
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Old Dec 13, 2007, 01:00 AM
DWA
John 3:16
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Vince
I like your servo mount. Very simple and reliable.

So from your test you think the A570is draws more power than the A620?

Dave
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Old Dec 13, 2007, 07:38 AM
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Thanks DWA for posting the pics! The "net" version looks great to me, but like you said, they aren't full resolution, and that's where it matters.

I can't wait to see the next batch compared to the a620!
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