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Building Vision+ features around a GoPro

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by CosmicRay, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. CosmicRay

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    Hi folks,

    I recently got my FC40 and I must say I am hooked. As a hobbyist photographer, however, the 1280x720 photos are quite simply not at all what I'm after.

    The Phantom 2 Vision+ looks like a neat system, but I am skeptical about putting that much money into a copter that controls one particular camera. When a year from now cameras are a lot better, I'd like the option to be able to put a better camera on without a huge additional investment. (Plus I like the idea of being able to record prop/wind noise with video!)

    So to that end, I'm trying to put together a list of what I'd need to get Vision+ features around a GoPro camera. I'm looking for these features:

    • FPV showing the same thing the camera is
    • Remote shutter / start/stop recording would be nice to have
    • Ability to tilt the camera up and down (does the Vision+ or ZenMuse let me rotate it left/right as well? If so, that would be very handy)
    • Stabilized gimbal
    • Data feed showing aircraft battery status, elevation, orientation, and distance from me
    • I like the idea of the Phantom 2 control software with autonomous course navigation, but if I could build this around my FC40 and later upgrade to the Phantom 2, that'd be ideal
    • Range-extended telemetry and FPV would be ideal but not required

    I'm frankly confused about all the options for video feeds, FPV, gimbals, etc. I have never used a GoPro (I use mostly Canon DSLR for both my photography and videography) so I guess some of the FPV systems take some sort of video out from the GoPro?

    Thanks -- much appreciated!
     
  2. Mal_PV2_Ireland

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    Ok where to start. The best route is a p2 with zenmeuse h3-3d gimbal for better quality video but you lack raw pics. You also lose control of the camera via the app compared to the vision. With an fpv system on the p2 and ios groundstation you can get all your telemetry but it will cost you twice the price of the vision plus but you will be able to upgrade to a gopro 4 with 4k rez whenever they decide to release it. Forget about upgrading your fc40, it just wont happen, treat it as a trainer and thats all. Its really horses for courses, what is your priority? Pics or stabilised video. If I were you id wait till the p3 comes out. I have a feeling it will be out in Oct/Nov for the xmas market. You could buy something now and kick yourself in a few minths which happen to a lot of non plus vision owners, then you can make your decision. Just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons, dronexpert, a dutch company put a youtube video out about a month ago showing that they could take the gimbal and camera off the p2v+, replace it with a zenmeuse and gopro or another standard camera and still keep all functionality off the app. It really is a teaser and knowing dronexpert it wont come cheap but it bridges the gap between the p2v+ and p2 gopro that many want. Its all down to what you need and what you are willing to spend. You can spend up to $3500 on a gopro3+ with zenmeuse and lightbridge or you could buy a much more pro rig like the s1000, spend $12000 on that with gimbal and then add your own 5d canon. How much can you afford is the question? If it was me id wait to see what the xmas market brings out, you can be **** sure it'll be much better than the p2v+
     
  3. Mal_PV2_Ireland

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  4. CosmicRay

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    I appreciate the advice. I really don't want to spend much more than the P2V+, which is already around $1300. I know that sending my DSLR up is out of the question - way too heavy.

    I see what you mean about costing twice the price of the Vision. My priority is pics, but stabilized video is a nice to have. But pics are more important.

    I have an Olympus E-PM2 micro-four-thirds camera I sent up under my FC40 tonight (without anti-vibration, just using the included mount.) Every pic was too blurry to use. Every last one. I suspect an anti-vibration mount will help with that some, but I'm guessing it won't eliminate it -- plus not being able to see my frame before taking a photo is a real downer.

    I am all-Android so that is another limitation of the iOS ground station for me.

    Is there a difference between the Zenmuse H3-3D and the gimbal installed on the V+? (Other than size -- are they alike in capability?) Can both gimbals pan and tilt?

    How does one control the gimbal on a P2 (non-Vision) with a H3-3D? Is it still with an app, or is it some other way?

    Thanks for helping me see how it all fits together.
     
  5. CosmicRay

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    One other question - should I look into the Ardocopter stuff at all for this?