If you'd be so kind?

Discussion in 'Cinestar Misc' started by Scott.Dickerson, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Scott.Dickerson

    Scott.Dickerson New Member

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    Thanks for looking at my thread, I appreciate your time. I'll try and keep this brief and legible.

    Statements
    • I'm new to RC photography but experienced (10yrs) with aerial shooting. I've been flying a blade mqx for a couple weeks now. Love it!
    • From what I've seen, it's clear the cinestar 8 with radians on a 360 gimbal is an ideal aerial video machine. It costs about $13k to get a complete setup and requires two operators.
    • I'm looking to build a system for about $5k USD (if possible) to practice and learn with before I jump in with both feet and get the cs8 and all required trimmings for two operator video production.
    • Priorities for this system:
      • Capable of professional still photo shooting and basic camera move video shooting would be very nice.
      • Payload: GH3 with 20mm weighs about 700grams. That would be a minimum for me, but I wouldn't mind the option to fly my 5DmkIII (1600grams) if it worked out.
      • Maximum portability. I'm on and off boats a lot, in small (2-4 man) airplanes, road trips etc.. It would be very nice if this system was relatively compact for travel logistics.
      • Quick assembly. Since I'll be packing and unpacking it a lot, this is a pretty high priority.
    • I already have a Spektrum DX7s and full MK okto XL 2.0/2.1 electronics setup (Board with BLs, FC 2.1, Navi ctrl, GPS, USB) that I could use, or sell and get a different setup. I'm not sure whether I want to use MK, DJI, Hoverfly, APM . . .
    Considering the above statements I would love to hear your opinion on what a good system would be composed of. DIY style, I'm not looking for an RTF.

    There's a few specific things I'm wondering about. Please share your opinion if you would be so kind.

    Questions
    • Is a Cinestar 6 or 8 frame just plain overkill for my needs at this point? should I consider something smaller/cheaper at this point?
    • Comparing a cs8 and cs6
      • Is the cs8 significantly more of a hassle to transport and assemble? For example, if you were only going out to shoot one operator still photos would you be cursing your cs8?
      • Is the redundancy of the 8 worth this extra hassle & Expense?
    • Do you guys currently shooting with a cs8 two man operation have a second system that you use for shooting still photos by yourself? It seems the requirements of professional still photography is much less demanding than video.
    • When is the cs4 going to be available and could it fit my needs at this stage? I know, it's a secret! Best guess?
    • If you were in my shoes with everything to learn and a blank slate . . . would you start with MK, DJI, Hoverfly, APM? I like the idea of the open source APM, but I'm pretty undecided right now.
    I think that's plenty for now. I'm excited to hear your responses. I've been trolling the internet for the last few months and really appreciate this forum because so many of the members are excellent aerial shooters. I really value the fact that you guys understand what good results are; unlike many of the forums I've been reading elsewhere.
    For your entertainment, attached is a photo of my current favorite aerial rig. If you have any questions about this, I'd be happy to help! http://scottdickerson.com/2010/aerial-photography-from-a-powered-paraglider/
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Welcome Scott. Your website and use of the Paramotor with photography in the landscape you fly is a great idea. Sounds like you are on the right path and will get lots of feedback on your post. I'll give a longer post when I get home tonight but by then you may lots of good suggestions.
     
  3. Benjamin Rowland

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    The Cinestar 8 is a great rig. It can be packed down fairly small. Many have said that running the motor wires outside of the booms will save some time if you're taking it apart a lot. I plan to make this change soon. You could start with the 2-axis gimbal then move to the 3-axis when you have a camera operator. Some people prefer the CS6 for its smaller footprint. I like the 8 for the weight it can carry. I don't know how much redundancy a hex offers, probably depends on the flight controller and the pilot.
     
  4. Peter Gøthche

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    I would start of with somethink smaller and chepper and get the flying skills down before using 15 K There is a big different on a mqx and a big cinestar 8.
    Maybe its a good idar to wait and see when the CS4 is cooming. Or take a look at dji s800 + zenmuse. :) or a dji f550
     
  5. Marc BRACELET

    Marc BRACELET Active Member

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    Considering that you enter into the world of multi-rotor, and what you research is primarily a machine for taking pictures and a little video too, I would advise you to almost the same configuration as mine:

    - Cinestar 6
    - 3 Axis Gimbal or 2 Axis gimbal (Easier for Single Operator) + Radians
    - DJI Wookong-M for FC card.
    The electronics of DJI is very powerful, easy to adjust and has a good number of options such as OSD, Waypoint. It also has a GPS position hold among the most accurate (very useful in photo).

    - For motors, I advise the RC-Tiger 35-15 or Plettemberg motors coupled with the best market ESC Castle Creations Phoenix ice 50A. (with this setup you will have a huge reserve of power to carry large cameras safely if needed)

    Regarding the rest (video transmission ...), it mostly depends on your technical constraints.

    With such a basic configuration like that, you can't go wrong and will be very versatile in terms of shooting.

    I hope that this will give you an idea ...

    Forgive the S800+ZenMuse, impossible to carry others camera than NEX5/7 or GH2.
    Go with Cinestar 4,6,8+Gimbal...with Radians i can assure you won't be disapointed...!!!

    Best.

    Marc.
     
  6. Marc BRACELET

    Marc BRACELET Active Member

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    Oh Scott,

    I have a little gift for you, video shot by French fellow ... I think you should appreciate (although I'm sure you've already seen)
    Very impressive for all of us...(Sorry for the off topic but i can't resist...)



    Cheers.
    Marc.
     
  7. Scott.Dickerson

    Scott.Dickerson New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the comments so far.

    @Gary - The paramotor is great. After shooting from many small planes and helicopters I think the paramotor is my favorite aerial photo platform. Not the best for everything, but has a lot of really fantastic advantages. The multirotors are my obsession now because they seem like the obvious next step in my desire to be able to shoot aerials more often. The paramotor opened up a lot of opportunities and now I'm looking for more! Turns out that this multirotor thing might be more expensive than paramotoring, but the ability to shoot lower and in smaller spaces and have an even more portable system is very exciting.

    I look forward to longer reply when you have time. Thank you.

    __________________

    @Benjamin - I see there is no arguing the quality of the cs8. I've watched enough videos to be convinced that with the right people at the controls it delivers the goods consistently! Thanks for the motor wires tip. I was thinking the same about the gimbal (start with 2 then move to 3 when ready).

    With the speed of development we are having I think it would be wise for me to buy close to the minimum of what I need at first knowing that when I'm ready to upgrade to a more complex two operator system the technology will likely be different/better.

    The question for me right now it seems is - what is this minimum system that is going to be a solid reliable platform, that can teach me the skills and knowledge I need to learn as I'm moving towards a large high end system like the cs8.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond Benjamin.

    ___________________

    @Peter - Starting smaller and cheaper is what I'm hoping to do as well. However, I think that in order for me to really put in the time practicing I'll need something that I can do at least some photo work with. Just flying is fun, but if I can be flying and taking photos I will do it much more often and take the flying more serious. I've considered the s800 or another version of it but without any first hand experience I'm not sure it will serve my needs. The quick disassembly looks nice for sure. From what I've read these plastic frames can have very bad vibration problems which the zenmuse can handle, but other gimbals struggle. Sometimes reading on the forums just makes things more and more complicated and confusing, so that's why I'm grateful for this forum where the users are more professional and know the difference between professional and amateur results.

    Have any of you used a dji plastic frame with good results? is this a valid option for me considering my needs do you think? One thing I really want to be careful to avoid is spending several thousand on a lower quality system that is incapable of producing good results. My thinking is that if I'm not going to get the equivalent quality of a freefly system, then it better be substantially cheaper!

    The CS4 definitely has my curiosity, if it will be capable of carrying a camera like the gh2 or gh3 then it could be a great beginning step for me and come with the benefits of this community to support it. I also think that it will always be handy to have a very small compact system that I can easily take with me all the time. Like the saying - the best camera is the one that's with you. I think that way about a multirotor. One that you didn't hesitate to throw in the car when heading out for a shoot would certainly come in handy for me I'm sure.

    Thanks for your thoughts Peter.

    ___________________

    @Marc - Thanks for your advice and the details you suggested. I have a few questions regarding the cs6 vs cs8. From what I understand when comparing the two:
    Considering the cs6:
    pros: A little cheaper initially and also for repairs and replacement parts. Smaller footprint. I would assume a bit quicker to assemble after transportation.
    cons: Less or no redundancy in the event of motor failure. Less lifting power if the maximum is needed. Less stable in flight because of resting on fewer 'columns of air'.

    Questions if you don't mind:
    • Approximately how long does it take you to put your cs6 together from boxed up to ready to fly?
    • Do you find yourself wishing you spent and extra few hundred to get the cs8? Be honest ;-)
    • Considering your configuration which would give longer flight times with an equal load? Is one generally more efficient than the other? (beginner question I'm sure) What do you average with the cx760?
    • Do you use FPV? Or just video link from your cx760?
    I put together a little spreadsheet based on your recommendations.
    Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 9.55.47 AM.png

    I'm guessing that it will cost me another $1,000 - $2,000 to get the rest of the required gear: Charger/power supply, main batteries, auxiliary batteries, video transmitter/receiver/monitor/battery, radio receiver. This is certainly stretching the budget on a starter rig for me, but not out of the question and obviously a very professional setup.

    Thanks again Marc.
     
  8. Peter Gøthche

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    Its a hard choice for sure but one thing that is importen is choosing the right model for the job, but a thing to consider is the cost When/if you crash, the cinestar is not cheap in parts.
     
  9. Marc BRACELET

    Marc BRACELET Active Member

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    @Marc - Thanks for your advice and the details you suggested. I have a few questions regarding the cs6 vs cs8. From what I understand when comparing the two:
    Considering the cs6:
    pros: A little cheaper initially and also for repairs and replacement parts. Smaller footprint. I would assume a bit quicker to assemble after transportation.
    cons: Less or no redundancy in the event of motor failure. Less lifting power if the maximum is needed. Less stable in flight because of resting on fewer 'columns of air'.

    Questions if you don't mind:
    • Approximately how long does it take you to put your cs6 together from boxed up to ready to fly?
    • 5 minutes and i'm ready to fly
    • Do you find yourself wishing you spent and extra few hundred to get the cs8? Be honest ;-)
    • Not really, if ihad the choice, i would take a CS8 for sure
    • Considering your configuration which would give longer flight times with an equal load? Is one generally more efficient than the other? (beginner question I'm sure) What do you average with the cx760?
    • If you plan to use small camera like Cx 760 a CS6 is just perfect, i have 10 minutes flying time with one 6000mAh 6S and 17 minutes with two 6000mAh 6S in parallel and 12 minutes flying time with 7D+lens with two 6000 mAh in parallel, so to carry safely cameras like RED or simply 5D go with the CS 8 and 3 Axis gimbal. I think you'll have more flying time with CS6. I think also that CS8 is more stable than CS6
    • Do you use FPV? Or just video link from your cx760?
    • I use the two bur regarding French rules i prefer flying with no FPV
    With Wookong-M and CS6 config you can loose one motor and having possibility to land safely, you can loose two motors with CS8 config...

    CS8 is the most evolutive Big Bird...CS6 is lighter and cheapper...As i said if it is just for pictures CS6 is pretty good but if you want to make some videos and carry saffely bigger cameras go with CS8

    A CS8 bird's friend with T-Motors 3515 and wookong-M
    IMG_9472.jpg


    My bird with T-Motors 2826 and Wookong-M
    DSC00492small.jpg

    The choice is Hard...

    I put together a little spreadsheet based on your recommendations.

    I'm guessing that it will cost me another $1,000 - $2,000 to get the rest of the required gear: Charger/power supply, main batteries, auxiliary batteries, video transmitter/receiver/monitor/battery, radio receiver. This is certainly stretching the budget on a starter rig for me, but not out of the question and obviously a very professional setup.

    Thanks again Marc.
     
  10. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Scott first suggestion is to take some time, read through the forums since they have a lot of information about how to progress from zero to a CS8. General guidance, other than doing a lot of research is to buy AeroSim, a sim program, to learn the basics and something like a Blade MQC that can teach the basics and you can fly it in the house in bad weather. There is a lot to learn and a lot of the folks that you have seen with videos that are incredible typically have been doing this for quite awhile.

    You will find information here that can answer lots of the questions you might have. Hardware, motors, props, radio systems, video, gimbals are all being covered. Since you are on this site then the closest dealer for the Cinestar series is Quadrocopter in Montana and they have a great wealth of knowledge and can answer questions/make suggestions for you.
     
  11. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    I am not by any means an expert but I think this would be a good place to start
    https://www.quadrocopter.com/MK-Basicset-Okto2--26_p_313.html with this kit Quadrocopter can actually sell you this kit cheaper because you already have most of the electronics already. You could use this money to purchase the AV200 camera gimbal. I think this would be a very good kit to start with and if you end up crashing it because of inexperience your investment is anywhere as high. I almost bought this as my first kit but I opted to go straight into the C8. Talk to the guys at Quadrocopter!
     
  12. Scott.Dickerson

    Scott.Dickerson New Member

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    Good point about the expensive parts Peter! I do expect there will be some crashing with this first multirotor especially. My little Blade mqx has taking an incredible beating mostly just because it's so tough I'm able to fly it carelessly around the house for fun knowing there is little to no consequences.

    @ Marc thanks again for your help. I really appreicate it.
    - I am shocked it only takes 5 minutes to assemble your cs6. That is great news. I was thinking it was more like a 20 minute process!
    - Those flight times sound great, also better than I expected.
    - Nice photos. I think it takes a multirotor enthusiast to think these piles of carbon fiber and wires are beautiful.

    @ Gary - Thanks for your thoughts. I've been flying my little blade a lot. It was some great advice that I read early on in my hundreds of hours of forum reading. I'm continuing to practice with it regularly, but am ready to start doing something besides just flying around. I like the flying, but what I really love is taking photos from interesting angles! I've been talking with quadrocopter a bit and have a couple quotes from them. The price on those quotes is the main reason I posted my initial questions. I'm not ready to jump in with $13k! So I'm looking for something between. See my priorities above.

    Thanks Dave, I'll look into my options with that. I've been told that the carbon frames are much better than the aluminum and that's why I wasn't really pursuing the metal frame options much.
     
  13. Scott.Dickerson

    Scott.Dickerson New Member

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    This thread about coaxial has me wondering if I should be looking into building a Y6. Anybody here tried that before? I've read pretty contradictory information about the coaxial systems. Some people love them and say they are more stable, others say the opposite.

    Also it seems like freefly is about to release a lot of new stuff - cs4, new flight controller, and maybe a brushless gimbal. Clearly drone technology is on fast forward, but this seems like a particularly exciting time here at the beginning of '13. It's giving me a bit more reason to just get the minimum of what I need to practice with and then when I'm ready to really invest I'll be getting the latest technology.

    Anyone want to sell me your soon to be outdated system? ;)
     
  14. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    If you are making the jump from an MK Octo XL I would go with a modified Cinestar heavy lifter. The table you show has everything except he complete frame kit comes with 450mm booms you will need 500 or 550 booms to handle larger props.

    I would definitely keep it an 8 rotor system. For the money it seems to make the most sense if footprint is not the issue. I am really curious about the Cinestar X4 that kopterworx put together.

    To save money you can keep the MK FC and NAV stack to drive the Castles. My understanding you need a good BEC to drop the voltage down to 12 V for the FC and get a 12C to PPM converter versus buying the Wookong M. Personally I like the MK electronics itch the exception of the under powered ESCs. There is a whole HeavyLift build thread on the CS8 forum
     
  15. Marc BRACELET

    Marc BRACELET Active Member

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    In fact my CS6 is not in Disassembled, 5 minutes is the time i take to sort all my equipment from the trunk of the car (everything is prepared in advance the day before), power on the TX(s), connection of the CS6 and everything is ready ... There is still to be done before a location of the zone and a security setting of the take-off area.

    But preparing CS6 on the shooting location takes very little time actually...

    To take some pictures in a place the total time of work doesn't exceed 40 minutes all included.:cool:

    Ps : i hope you unterstand my poor english:rolleyes:

    Best.
    Marc.
     
  16. Scott.Dickerson

    Scott.Dickerson New Member

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    Well after a lot of reading, and listening to advice I've decided to build an inexpensive y6 that should be able to fly my gh3 and give me good practice with a substantially lower investment at risk. If anyone is interested, the frame I'm going to build is from Rusty of RCGroups fame. If I can produce some good aerial photos with that system it will pay or itself quickly and then I'll see what the latest gear from freefly is when I'm ready to upgrade.

    I really love the freefly products and this forum, and I'm continually impressed by the results produced with them. But spending $5-7k to just get started is a bit much so I'll cut my teeth elsewhere. Lots to learn and as Peter said having cheap parts for repairs will be good at my stage!

    Thanks to all of you for taking the time to share your advice. I hope to share some interesting aerials with you this spring.
     

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