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Camera Control: Zenmuse, Hero 3, Phantom 2 (or Vision)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PitStop, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. PitStop

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    Alright bear with me... I just picked up my Phantom Vision last week. It's my first "RC" since flying nitro planes and helis over 15 years ago.

    The Phantom Vision really sold me with all of it's out-of-the-box features; telemetry, in-flight control of the camera, isolated camera mount with single axis gimbal, etc.

    When purchasing it I knew that my expectations would soon exceed the abilities of the Vision camera and mount/gimbal, however I really like the ability to control the camera in flight (change from stills to video, video modes etc).

    From the reading I've done here (and other forums) basically it sounds like if I were to retrofit a Zenmuse H3-2D onto my P2V I would lose my telemetry and camera control (iOS connection is made through the Vision camera). Ok, I can deal with losing the telemetry, but I would really like to be able to control my Hero3, change shooting modes etc (inflight).

    So what are the chances of Zenmuse (or other) implementing an app and associated software/firmware that will allow us to control our Hero3 camera in-flight? Or has someone already done this and I'm missing it? I really don't want to trudge through 25 min of video each time I fly my Phantom, nor have the ability to take stills in the same flight.

    So, I assume my options are:
    1. Keep the Vision camera for when I want to fly FPV, use telemetry, and take video and stills in one flight
    2. Retrofit a Zenmuse H3-2D onto my P2V for when I want higher quality, stabilized video only (or stills only), but loss of telemetry. And add a Fatshark system for FPV
    3. Switch back and forth between the two setups as necessary
    4. Or say the hell with it and return/sell my P2V, buy the Phantom 2 with Zenmuse and deal with no telemetry or camera control....
     
  2. OI Photography

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    Unfortunately, I don't believe there's any solutions right now that will let you trip the shutter (for vid or pics) on the GP3 Black or Silver editions, though I do believe that can be done with the White model, or the GP2 (via a special cable that plugs into the big control port on the back).

    Telemetry can be added to any RC aircraft via a number of methods. You could add an on-screen display (OSD) module that will overlay that info on your transmitted video signal, or even get a Transmitter/Receiver that has telemetry capability.
     
  3. hulihee

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    I like option #2, Retrofit a Zenmuse H3-2D onto P2V for higher quality, stabilized video but loss of telemetry

    The only problem is, it doesn't appear that anyone has been able to retrofit a zenmuse gimbal onto a vision and get it to work correctly. Seems to be a software related issue. I'm hoping it will get fixed with some kind of update. The other thing to consider is this... since it sounds like the current zenmuse gimbal is not compatible with the P2 (not vision), the new P2's zenmuse may be an updated version, and thus compatible with the P2V.

    Here's another option if you haven't already seen this. Unfortunately there are still a lot of questions about it and not a whole lot of sample footage out there yet. But above all else though, the price tag kinda kills the deal..

    http://www.dronexpert.nl/dji-vision-gimbal/
     
  4. PitStop

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    Great replies thanks!


    Interesting, I wonder why that capability would only be available on Hero3White but not the Silver/Black
     
  5. OI Photography

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    Not sure exactly, the answer is probably buried somewhere in the hardware + firmware differences between them, I'm not familiar enough to say. There are several cables available that will let you control the gopro via Rx output, but they all specify that shutter trigger is not functional for the silver and black GP3 models.
     
  6. Driffill

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    Plenty of people are working on how to wire a remote shutter button to the GP3, I myself have a breakout board for the rear bus of the gopro, the board I have has the provision the add the required I2C chip to "identify" the backpack (be it wifi, LCD, power, data). As far as I know, the shutter hasn't been cracked, in fact it looks as tho it has been made unavailable in the FW as early hero3 black could do it depending on the FW (or serial).
     
  7. PitStop

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    Just following up...

    My dealer (who is local to me) allowed me to return my vision after about a week and a half with a 10% restocking fee. The way I see it, I basically got to rent the P2V for 1.5 weeks to get acquainted with it and compare it to the P2(nonvision).

    So after returning the P2V, I walked out with a new P2 with Zenmuse, iOSD mini, AVL5.8 VTX and BTU for basically the same money.

    So far I am much happier with this decision. The telemetry is much better with the iOSD (and hopefully even better when I'm able to update to V1.04 Firmware). Video quality is also far superior with the zenmuse/hero3 combo. Here is my tradeoff analysis:

    Phantom Vision Pros:
    Quick and easy flight setup - turn on P2V, TX, and rang extender, then connect iPhone to range extended.. Ready to go!
    Slightly easier batteries maintenance- Charge your iphone (which you do everyday anyway), charge P2V smart batter(ies) and range extender.
    Streamlined interface and in-flight control of camera shooting modes, stop start video, option changes etc.
    Better (14MP) photos than GoPro (for now)
    Longer flight time

    Phantom 2 Pros:
    Significantly better video quality with Zenmuse (most important to me)
    Easier expandability
    FPV selectability - Fatshark, Monitor, Groundstation etc.
    Longer range
    More comprehensive telemetry with mini iOSD (or Mark II)
    I would expect that the Zenmuse H3-2D will be compatible with the future GoPros allowing easier/cheaper upgrade of video equipment/quality.


    Summary:
    Phantom 2 gives significantly better video quality for a slightly higher price when factoring in the cost of the Hero3 (however I personally don't consider the cost of the Hero because I own 2 anyway!). Better and more comprehensive telemetry but loss of camera control that results in wading through unwanted footage at end of flight and some more hassle involved with pulling the footage from the sd card (vs wireless to iPhone with the P2V). Flight time is sacrificed when opting for the P2/Zen/VTx/iOSD but lets face it, 15+ minutes is still pretty great.