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Old January 7th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #1
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Small HD cam for RC Helicopter

I have some canon hv 20's and 30's but it looks like they'll be just a few ounces too big for the rc helicopter I'm looking at purchasing.

I have about six months to buy the camera and copter and get it and myself ready for a shoot in the Amazon. I need it for shots above the canopy along the Tambopata river. Doesn't have to be fantastic but getting somewhere near the HV's in good light would be great.

Budget about 1k for camera. Another 700 for copters.

Looks like there's not much choice at that size and image stabilization sounds like a worry.

Any ideas, comments, concerns would be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 12:08 AM   #2
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Virtually any of the AVCHD cams are smaller and lighter - no mech, no VF= smaller & lighter.

That leaves a wide range of selections, I'd suggest the CX12 from Sony, which probably will have a better IS than Canon offerings - from reading a few forums, the Canons aren't up to the typical "extreme" shoot, where the CX12 is fairly popular.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #3
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What choper are u looking at?
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Old January 9th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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Craig, right now we're looking at the dragan fly savs; however, I think we're open to what works best. The main problem is I have no flying experience and I need to be ready in six months.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 03:33 AM   #5
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most people are looking for helicopter, but what about regular aiplaine.
they are easy to fly and operate , more stable that heli, cost less, can fly very slow and can lift really heavy payload.
Unless you need stationary flight, it could be a solution too.
the electric senior telemaster Ready Built Senior Telemaster ARF from Hobby Lobby! is a good choice.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 03:51 AM   #6
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Matt...

Check this out. It's a "quad copter". I've been looking at similar solutions since a conventional helicopter has a couple of problems: they're tricky to learn to fly and the main rotor is essentially a flying lawnmower.

A New 1000mm Quad Copter Design - RC Groups

This is built from various components, the key one being the circuit board that controls the four motors. A bit of knowledge about electronic speed controls and RC equipment will help. But overall the cost of this system is a LOT lower than other multi-rotor machines off the shelf right now.

I have a TRex 450 with a tiny video camera and transmitter but haven't flown it much. Right now I'm working on making a more efficient transmitter antenna. Not sure if I'll sell the TRex and use the money to get the components for a quad copter. But for now that design seems to make a lot more sense.

Another possibility: shroud all four props on the quad copter. If it bumps into something, no big deal. Whereas if a conventional helicopter bumps into something, you'll have to deal with possible life-threatening injuries in addition to a wrecked helicopter and a mashed camera.

Good luck with the project!
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Old January 11th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Buys View Post
Craig, right now we're looking at the dragan fly savs; however, I think we're open to what works best. The main problem is I have no flying experience and I need to be ready in six months.
I haven't flown a real RC chopper, but I can suggest from fiddling with an RC simulator, it's not as easy as you might expect... my 6 year old son seems to do OK flying the heli models, but I pretty much end in a pile of computer generated wreckage... Not saying you can't develop the skills, but crashing and RC helis seem to be closely related...

If you have runway, maybe an airplane as suggested? I'm presuming though that VTOL is preferable in the rainforest.

I think you'd be OK with the Sony CX12 weight and size wise, or one of the AVCHD canons, but it just occurred to me that storage/media might become an issue - can't just stow the tapes, you have to download or store the files of have a stack of memory cards/sticks. Other than that, probalby an efficient solution.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #8
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Hi Matt...............

This looks kinda cool...................

CES 2009: Sony introduces sexy $200 MP4 1080p camcorder


CS
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Old January 11th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #9
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Lots of great suggestions here as usual. Thanks. Airplane sounds like it'd be better but unforunately I'll be on the Tambopata river which is supposed to be the most remote place on earth and so I doubt they'll be many places to launch. It'll be during the dry season. Can you launch a plane from a sand bar?

The quad heli looks great. I emailed the link to a RC gearhead friend of mine who hopefully will volunteer to build it for beer.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #10
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Here's the source for the "brains" of the 1000 mm quad copter.

New Page 1

There's tons of info available on that thread at RCGroups.

This could be hand-launched, and possibly retrieved in a specially designed, lightweight but sturdy scoop-type net.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 01:27 AM   #11
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what about the cameras that sanyo makes?
Digital camera | TOP : VPC-HD1010 | SANYO
That one is 200 grams lighter than an hv20.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 03:33 AM   #12
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Something else you might want to consider since you'll be flying this in the dense rainforest:

Loc8tor Ltd

It'll help you find it in case it gets away from you.
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