Best Camera for aerial photography? - RC Groups
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Apr 20, 2001, 05:41 PM
Function Over Form
BillH's Avatar

Best Camera for aerial photography?

Hi all, I just got my twinstar, and I want to use it for a Photo recon plane.
I know a lot of people are doing this with the twinstar, but its almost never mentioned what camera you guys are using.
I'd prefer a nice cheap digital camera where I can just download the pics into my computer. I have a Kodak dc215, but I dont have the guts to put it in my plane, lol.
Are there any cheap 30$ to 40$ digital camera's that do a decent job?
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Apr 20, 2001, 05:53 PM
Registered User
BEC's Avatar
I may be wrong, but I don't think there are any digitals in that price range, yet.

I do my aerials (not with a Twinstar, but it would work) with a Vivitar 35mm camera I bought some years ago for about $30.

I also have a Cannon Elph Jr. APS camera that will someday get flown.....but setting that up keeps getting pushed down the priority list.
Apr 20, 2001, 06:11 PM
Don't cut the Yellow Wire
dr.E's Avatar
Agfa makes an affordable digital camera for 70 dollars. The savings in film will pay of the initial cost. Now for the ultimate trick!! Buy it at Sears and get the extended warrantee. They will reolace it no questions asked!!! ( don't ask how I know)
Apr 20, 2001, 06:57 PM
Tell that to George Zipp!
mikeb33's Avatar
That was my first camera, the Agfa. I paid a lot more of course. It has a max resolution of 640 X 480. Ok for email or web, but too small for anything else, like printing. I've been eyeing the Cannon S100, the worlds smallest digital camera. It is around $400 to $450 though.
I think the best low cost idea is a cheap APS camera, then scan the images if you want to show us

Apr 20, 2001, 07:21 PM
Registered Snoozer
Neil Morse's Avatar
I use a Canon Elph, Jr. I agree with Mike that the camera Dr. E proposes will not give you satisfactory results -- the resolution on the inexpensive digitals is just not good enough yet for aerial work. I got my Canon at Ritz camera, and also got the deal referred to by Dr. E -- for I think an extra $15, you get a one year extended warranty that covers any damage to the camera "for authorized or unauthorized use." I've already had to use this once, and got a brand new camera no questions asked. (Since I know you guys will ask, the answer to the question is "elevator servo failure" )

Steve DiStasio has had the guts to mount a nice, expensive high resolution digital camera on his Twinstar, and has gotten great photos with it.

As always, please post any resulting photos on Steve's site at

Apr 20, 2001, 10:54 PM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
What about the guy who nailed the Stratos? He's using $1000+ DV cams as best as I can tell..
My little Intel @ 640x480 may just end up stripped apart soon.. in fact, I have my tools right here..
Apr 20, 2001, 11:38 PM
Registered User
newflyer's Avatar
At Wal-Mart I saw a 640-480 digital for $25.00. Very small, too.
Apr 20, 2001, 11:58 PM
Function Over Form
BillH's Avatar
Come to think about it, I have an intel USB webcam, Its black and white, Nevermind, It sucks. That 25$ camera at wallmart is sounding good.
Yeh, I like that Idea of buying the camera at Sears, You got to love their warranties.
What can I say? I am too lazy to get film developed, hehe.
My kodak cd215 digital camera takes beutiful shots, but I spent over 350$ for it at the time, and there is no way I am going to risk that in an airplane, lol. But come to think about that, the first 6 inches of my Hangar 9 cub is worth that much, with the aveox setup and all..
Apr 21, 2001, 12:44 AM
Registered User
emaij's Avatar
How does one hook up a servo to snap photos?
Apr 21, 2001, 08:29 AM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
See pictures at bottom of this page..
Apr 21, 2001, 12:38 PM
Ascended Master
Sparky Paul's Avatar
I use the Canon Elph-LT. About as light as a camera can get. Film out-resolves any digital camera. Scanning an enlargement brings out details lost in a 640x480 basic image.
Lots of aerial photo stuff on my Sparky site:
Sparky Paul
PJB's Seriously Aeronautical Stuff
Apr 21, 2001, 02:29 PM
Registered User
Steven DiStasio's Avatar
Last edited by Steven DiStasio; Nov 04, 2013 at 03:08 PM.
Apr 21, 2001, 03:03 PM
Function Over Form
BillH's Avatar
THat is a nice quality picture.
Well one thing about digital camera's. You no longer have to pay for film developing, BUT, you do have to pay for new batteries, if your not using rechargeables.
My little DC215, that little sucker draws 2.0 amps!!
Those poor AA batteries can only take so much, lol.
Apr 21, 2001, 03:19 PM
Registered User
JTinCT's Avatar
Bill, I have a Mustek VDC 3500. I bought it last year to photo item for eBay sales. I just bought a nice new 2.3 megapixel camera so I don't need that one. I will sell it to you for $25.00 I can meet you and hand deliver it if you want some day next week. Let me know by email if you are interested or if you want more details.
BTW I have not flown in the Ive's Center since we were there last. JT
Apr 25, 2001, 11:18 AM
Registered User
I just bought a Keystone autowind 35mm at a flea market for $1. Guess what, it works. I think I can afford to cast a $1 camera to the gods. I'll keep you posted.

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