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Help and advice please re swap from Vision to non-Vision

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by Peter Evans, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Peter Evans

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    Hi everyone,

    I've just popped over here from the Phantom 2 Vision board for a bit of advice.

    To begin with, let me say that I'm first and foremost a photographer, not a 'petrol head' r/c flyer (although I have great respect and admiration for those who are).

    OK, here's my story. A few days ago I took delivery of a Phantom 2 Vision and, as it was my first ever r/c UAV, I spent what good weather there was practicing flying it whilst awaiting the release of DNG for the camera (so that I could see it's true potential).

    As you know DNG arrived a couple of days ago and Mon Dieu was it ever a huge disappointment. Obviously, I did not expect the same results that I get from my DSLR , but I expected much better results than I could get from a low-end smartphone.

    The sensor of the Vision's camera is 1/2.3" which is the same as the sensor in my wife's Canon Ixus 95 from 2009; However, in the Vision camera there is no LCD screen, no diaphragm, and no zoom lens; so because it's much less complicated (and therefore less costly) than a compact that retailed at apx. 200 euros five years ago, logically, one might reasonably expect good results. But that's not what my device gives me. The results are awful. Really bad. Very noisy (even at 100 ISO in bright sunlight) and so lacking in detail that the bottom left of the RAW images are just a mess. Indeed, IMHO, for DJI to describe that camera as 'High End', as they do on their website, is grossly misleading.

    Anyway, with that out of the way I have to say that I'm hooked on the concept for expanding my photography in this way (and for getting back into videography after a break of some fifteen years).

    So my question is:

    If I want to keep the Phantom 2 as the flying platform (which I do), is there any better (or cheaper) way to achieve good stills and video than going the route of Phantom 2 + DJI Phantom RX100 Mount + 5 inch LCD from DronExpert.nl + Sony RX100 (which is the combination I'm currently thinking about)?

    Many thanks in advance for any help

    Pete

    PS
    I'm pretty sure my French supplier will take back the Vision if I buy something else off them
     
  2. LeoS

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    @Peter: I assume you're talking about Sony RX-100 II? The one with WIFI, so you can use the app to control the camera... and potentially boost the range to ~1km with a wifi repeater, similar to the Vision?

    If that's so, make sure you stick with a Phantom model that runs on 5.8ghz control channel. There are two of them and they're Phantom Vision and Phantom FC-40.

    Phantom and Phantom 2 both use 2.4ghz as their control channel, which will interfere with the 2.4ghz wifi that we can use for remote controlling cameras. We don't wanna repeat what Chase Jarvis has done in Iceland :)

    http://blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/2013/1 ... arvistech/
     
  3. Peter Evans

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    Hi Leo,

    Well I don't know. That "DJI Phantom RX100 Mount + 5 inch LCD" from DronExpert.nl comes with a special Wi-Fi transmitter which is part of the camera support that attaches to the Phantom 2 (non-vision) and was designed for the original RX100 (which I was hoping to pick up reasonably cheaply on eBay)

    Thanks

    Pete

    PS
    see http://dronexpert.nl/product/dji-ph...e-shutter-integrated-hdmi-to-video-converter/
     
  4. pault

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    The reason I got the PV2 was for still photography and so I am also dissapointed. I have also been thinking of another route but am now wondering if the PV2 is powerful enough to lift the RX100 ii which weights 250g. I am willing to sacrifice quite a lot of flight time and would try to think of a way to attach it to the PV2 whose camera i would just use for navigation.

    Any opinions please ?

    Sorry to jump in on your thread Peter but I think we are trying to achieve similar things.
    Edit: I know this is not the Vision forum but hopefully someone might know .....
     
  5. Peter Evans

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    You're welcome,Paul. I'm glad you've joined in :)

    So you're thinking of 'hanging' the Sony from the PV2 Vision. How would you fire the shutter on the Sony at say 100 metres?
     
  6. LeoS

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    @Peter: That's an interesting mount. I've never really looked into mounting an RX-100 to a Phantom (albeit having one). Do note though, that it's just a mount without gimbal... so it would be crap for video. Looking at the price of the mount (bl**dy expensive considering the parts!), it may be cheaper if you just buy RX-100-II and use its wifi for FPV + control.

    Let me break it down...

    Using RX-100, they need the following additional parts:
    - HDMI to composite converter
    - Servo + controller to mechanically trigger the shutter button
    - FPV transmitter

    With the RX-100-II, all of the above can be omitted, replaced by the wifi app. You'll need a wifi booster, but that is positioned at the ground, just like the one on Phantom Vision.... and like the PV, you will need to use 5.8ghz as the control channel to avoid interference (get a Phantom FC-40).

    @pault: I don't know of the 'empty' weight.. but I've read of Phantom's max limit at 1400gr. Another figure to keep in mind is that for every gram you add to the Phantom, it'll 'cost' you 1.2s of flight time. I expect it to get worse up to 1400gr and goes to crap above that.
     
  7. pault

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    The way I was thinking of doing it was to mount the RX100 ii in such a way that it was aligned with the Vision camera (I would not alter the Vision mount in flight) and then connect the RX to my tablet with wifi extender connected. Then compose shot with Vision camera and trigger the RX with the tablet. A downside is that the RX only shoots in full auto with wifi but I could live with that. If I just lose 5 minutes of flight time it would be an option for me. (plus, swmbo might be convinced that a new hi end point & shoot would be a good investment :)).
     
  8. Peter Evans

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    It's all so confusing! And the DJI tech specs don't list the same data across the model range so it's difficult for a newcomer to these things to make any comparisons. And the FC-40 seems to come with a camera. I'm getting to the point where I can't tell my gigahertz from my elbow. :?

    As I see it, if I going to use the Sony RX100 as the camera (which I'm strongly favouring because of its still (and video) image quality, then I need something with some guts/power/stamina to carry it otherwise no sooner will it get off the ground than I'll have to bring it back.

    I need to fire the camera remotely. I need FPV. And I need Wi-Fi up to 300 metres. The camera itself is image stabilised, so that seems to overcome the lack of gimbal problem. So the DronExpert platform ticks all the boxes, except for the VERY high price.

    Hmmm
     
  9. pault

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    I think the starting point should be the camera and at the moment the Sony seems to lead the field. It then just depends how you can lift it with FPV without spending a small fortune.
    Second on the list is the ease of use of the PV2. I would not now want anything more challenging.
    Actually, I agree, it is totally confusing, everywhere you look there are threads about this and that. It is so easy to spend more time researching than actually doing anything

    Edit: it is a fascinating new area of discovery. I can really understand the excitement of people who can fly out to several km with goggles and at the same time people who can nearly get aircraft quality still photography.
     
  10. LeoS

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    [​IMG]

    @peter: the rx-100 may have 'Sony SteadyShot Stabilization' but it's not even gonna be visible compared to the zenmuse gimbals. Not even comparable to the single axis servo driven one on the Phantom Vision. It may be useful to alleviate the micro vibrations that causes jello effects, and at most it corrects 1' tilts, whereas the zenmuse can correct +30' tilts in any direction (no yaw correction though).

    This matters more to video capture of course, but in still photography you should still be able to grab sharp images (if RX100 selects the right shutter speed) except that you may be getting non-level shots when the Phantom is tilting\banking to fight the wind.