Unsure which camera??

Discussion in 'Cameras' started by Marty Ferris, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Marty Ferris

    Marty Ferris New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am midway through my Cinestar 8 build. I have the radian on the 3 axis gimbal programmed and things are going well.

    The one thing I am stuck on is camera choice.......

    I am not sure whether to go the Slr route or a dedicated movie camera, I like the idea of a camcorder, but I imagine the stills are not going to be the best?

    Can anyone recommend an all in one solution, I want to be able to capture hd video and still images, I see many people using Cannon 7d's, but when I was speaking to my local camera supplier he said the 7d cannot autofocus in movie mode:confused:

    He recommended a Sony Alpha 77 to me for being the best of both worlds.

    Can anyone chip in with any recommendations or advice?

    Many Thanks,

    Marty
     
  2. Joe Azzarelli

    Joe Azzarelli Active Member

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    I can recommend only what I have used. The Sony CX760 is a really good balance of quality, weight and it will take 24 megapixel photos. Autofocus, zoom, and several options with regard to manual exposure control.

    Happy flying
    Joe Azzarelli
     
  3. Pavlos Antoniou

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    I would w8 to check the new GH 3..
     
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    The *real* attractions for the CX760 for me were:

    1. It shoots at 1080p60 -- so you can slow it down to p30 for even smoother motion.

    2. The Sony mechanical optical stabilisation seems to be far superior to any of the electronic stabilization systems. It's almost up there with a Steadicam -- you can walk with it in your hand but the footage makes it seem like it's on a dolly -- sure, you have to hold it like it was a full cup of coffee, but still it's amazing. I was showing some footage to the shooters at Oregon Public Broadcasting and they were amazed at how smooth it was.

    3. The MK IR Trigger is already configured for it (as is the Stratosnapper).

    4. The dynamic range is pretty good for a camcorder with a small sensor. You get pretty good shadow detail. It's not a Black Magic Cinema by any means, but it is good.

    5. You can power the camera up by pulling back on the viewfinder eyepiece (so you don't need the LCD display open).

    6. The larger battery gives you almost four hours of shooting (and the 32GB SD card has capacity). The CX760 also rolls over to recording on its internal 96GB memory if you fill up the CX760.

    Things I don't like about it:
    1. The composite video output is "clean" -- that is, no viewfinder icons, so the only way you can tell it's recording when you're shooting at p60 is to try and take a digital still. If you can, it's not recording, if you can't it is recording. (Taking a digital still fortunately causes the focus to shift briefly and you can see this on the ground station monitor.) A "workaround" is to modify the IR trigger to send the "menu" command (which is a toggle). Then you can see the recording state -- but to use the menu command that means you give up either Zoom In/Out or Take Digital Still as the MK IR and Strato Snapper only have limited control capabilities.

    2. If you start/stop recording manually when you're on the ground with the LCD display closed, you can barely hear the chime tones that indicate whether it's starting to record or stopping recording.

    3. The tally light (which shows whether you're recording or not), is (a) very dim and (b) obscured by the lens hood, so you cannot confirm recording state on the ground, especially in sunlight.

    4. If you try to use the HDMI output, when you start to record, the output stops. It's also a "clean" output that doesn't show any viewfinder icons (at least using the FF HDMI converter). I think this is the HDMI interface being "clever" because if you feed the HDMI output into an HDMI monitor, it keeps the viewfinder icons on the screen.

    4a. Even if you could get the HDMI output to work, the LCD screen rest on the right-angle mini-HDMI connector -- so you'd need to construct a foam "bridge" around the connector to avoid the LCD screen being scratched. Fortunately the screen is not active when it's resting on the HDMI connector.

    5. The Center of Gravity is right above the 1/4 x 20 tripod screw which makes it very awkward to mount on the FF camera plate (which presumes that the CofG is not above the 1/4 x 20 and therefore you will not have it right above the front transverse boom.

    All of the above said, I'd prefer to fly a CX760 (European equivalent is CX730) that a 5D Mk III as it's about 1/3 of the weight -- I can't remember the exact weight, but it's significantly lighter -- and thus you get longer flight times.

    Even though there are more words required to write about the dislikes, on balance (no pun intended), I'd recommend the CX760.

    Hope this helps
    Andy.
     
  5. Guilherme Barbosa

    Guilherme Barbosa Distributor

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    Hi Andy, could ilustrate or describe the item 5 as we will be flying with a cx760 and would be great to have tips on leveling it on ff gimbal.
    I have a cnc friend close by, would be better to manufacture a diferent plate?
     
  6. Guilherme Barbosa

    Guilherme Barbosa Distributor

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  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Well done -- yeah, Joe's document is very helpful.
    And yes, you're also right about the forum's growth. I attribute that to the fact that everyone on this forum is a professional aerial photographer or is working towards becoming one and therefore the forum is demonstrating precisely what forums and the Internet can do -- global information interchange by creating a community of interest. We may never get to meet one another, but the level of cooperation, helpfulness, and professionalism is impressive.

    Andy.
     
    Jon F. and caju like this.
  8. Angelo Borter

    Angelo Borter New Member

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    don't you think the cx760 is too light for a cs 8?
    we also consider to get this camera instead of the fs100.
     
  9. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Is there such a thing as "too light" when it translates into longer flight time? :)

    I'm not sure what the negative consequence of having a camera that's too light might be? Would it not stretch the O-rings sufficiently?

    Andy.
     
  10. Angelo Borter

    Angelo Borter New Member

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    that could be a problem, no? too bad the offer for the red scarlett is already over :)
     
  11. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I fly a CX760 and the footage is very smooth unless I really translate the C8 hard (as in nick or roll the C8). In that case the weight of the gimbal and the camera cause the vibration isolators to "bottom out" (as it's lateral motion I should really call it "sideways out."

    Andy.
     
  12. Angelo Borter

    Angelo Borter New Member

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    they are too stiff then. this is on the 3 axis gimbal?
     
  13. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Actually, not too stiff -- they're too soft, and under harsh lateral movement do not resist enough so the vibration isolators touch against the lower hub plate.

    This is on the 3-Axis.

    Andy.
     
  14. Angelo Borter

    Angelo Borter New Member

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    okay thanks andy :) i think i ll give this cam a try :)
     
  15. Marty Ferris

    Marty Ferris New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice guys, I would love to have a Fs100 but unfortunately my finances will not stretch that far at the moment!
    The CX730 seems a good candidate but I also need a quality stills camera and I am not sure the Cx730 stills will do, So I may be back to the drawing board:)
     
  16. Jon Fredericks

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    Marty - I think the CX 730/760 does stills at 24MP...no?
     
  17. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    The CX730 (the EU version the North American CX630, does indeed do stills at 24 Mpix. JPEG only, but the image quality is quite good. I say that as someone who normally shoots with a Hasselblad H4D-50. It obviously doesn't have the dynamic range of the Hassie (12 stops), nor the resolution, but it does record pretty good shadow details and produces quite serviceable images.

    I have uploaded a sample image. This is an image out of the CX760, brought into Photoshop to add a text caption and then saved as a JPEG at quality setting 11. The original image was 5.9MB, this version is 6.9MB. I didn't do any sharpening or adjustments.

    I've also done some composite images taken by stitching multiple CX760 images together.

    Andy.
     
  18. Guilherme Barbosa

    Guilherme Barbosa Distributor

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    Hi Andy , on this one I will have to post a 2nd opinion
    To be as eficienty as you can be, you will want the minimum weight possible to carry all your extra gear, besides the bird itself
    So a bigger engine than you need will translate in less air time even if only 1 or 2 minutes, on the other side an octo has a safer caracteristic? Didnt need that yet.
    And also dont forget the higher costs of e erything on a octo, investment, repair, maintanance, time to set up, So you really need to think if it worth it for you. Its kind of hard answer to answer there is no simple one ,I think. I do fly much more the cx on a hexa. But there are moments
    that i fly go with the octo with same camera. Notice that the pan likes more the octo, maybe some craziness of mine. But at the moment hte hexa single operator with the 360 locked.
     
  19. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Far less than part-way through my Cinestar 8 build, but I will be experimenting with a stable of cameras, from the GoPro HD Hero2, HD Hero 3 Black, NEX-5n, Canon XF100 camcorder, and 5D Mark III with various lenses. My 5D will probably start with the 17-40L, which has nice optics, a wide coverage area, and is quite a bit lighter than my 16-35. I'm also looking forward to flying with one of my Tilt-Shift lenses, as I love the effect one gets with these...
     
  20. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Hi Caju:
    I think you may have misunderstood my post: I'm saying that having a light camera is a good thing. :)

    I agree with this too.

    Hmmm. When you say "if it worth it to you," I'm not quite sure what you mean. Can you clarify your point, please?

    Andy.
     

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