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Long Flight Time, Wind Stability, APS-C

Discussion in 'Other DJI Multi-Rotors' started by Outtahere100, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Outtahere100

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    Not much to ask for :lol:

    I am a pro photographer and recently bought a P2V to experiment with. After using the Vision, I have decided to try to add aerial photography of yachts underway, regattas, etc, to my business offerings.

    Unfortunately, this requires flying in wind, over water, launching and recovering from my boat and the need for a decent still camera.

    I do need to be able to tilt the camera but would sacrifice a stabilzed gimbal for longer flight time.

    Presently, I am looking at products from DJI and others and I would sure appreciate any thoughts from anyone with experience on a platform that might fit my needs.

    One last thing, I do not mind soldering, assembling or fabricating small parts.

    Thanks!

    John
     
  2. ladykate

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    IF you want everything, then you will need to go up in cost to a heavier multirotor. Take a look at the other threads about the larger airframes in this forum. I'm building a medium sized airframe (810) and the cost will be about double what a decked out P2 with zenmuse would be and that is without a higher end camera.

    Launching from a boat has its own issues. The airframe wants to know where it is before it takes off. If you have a failsafe situation and your boat isn't in the same place, the airframe will land in the drink. Compass calibration on a boat can be tricky if not impossible in some cases. This would be true with almost any option I can think of right now.

    Like many problems, cost will drive things - how much do you want to spend?
     
  3. Outtahere100

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    Thanks for the reply Ladykate,

    I know about the issues launching from a boat, I have done it with my Phantom and there is some definite risk, but, unavoidable for what I need to do. I have not experienced any compass issues and normally do not re-cal on the boat.

    Cost is always an issue, but not the most important. I know it's going to be expensive but I can adjust my end product prices accordingly. Flight time is a huge issue though, I need as much time as possible to hover at a mark on a race course to get pics of the first boat as as many followers as possible.

    What type of camera payload do you plan to carry? Any ideas what your flight time might be?
     
  4. wkf94025

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    outtahere,

    i have flown my P2/GP/H3-2D from boats in windy and bumpy conditions. I learned quickly that launching from foredeck was much better takeoff spot than aft, with full tuna tower an overhead risk.

    I am curious why the almost 20min flight time of my platform is problematic for regatta starts, assuming you can see committee boat and time the flags/start.

    I am not a pro photographer, but an avid Canon-based prosumer on land, and would think P2 with GoPro H3+, 5.4mm lens and new H3-3D, and likelihood you will put one in the water from time to time, would be a very workable still (and video) platform. and who knows what the next gen GoPro will bring?

    kelly
     
  5. Outtahere100

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    Hey Kelly,

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    The start is not the issue. I usually run out to the windward mark (in a windward/leeward race) after photographing the start, the windward mark is where the good photos are usually taken. After the start the boats spread out, and arrive at the mark at different times. If I have to land for a battery change, I miss some of the boats and increase my chances of splashing with each recovery.

    The more research I do, the more I agree with you that I may have to settle for the H3+. Even with the 5.4 lens, the still quality is nothing to get too excited about though. I need to print a minimum size of A3 and the GoPro doesn't cut it, especially if the photo has to be cropped at all. If you look at the quality of your Canon's pics at A3 size compared to a GoPro, there is a HUGE difference.

    I am not too optimistic about the next gen GoPro as far as still quality, the nature of the camera dictates that they are spending development dollars on video, stills are an afterthought.
     
  6. wkf94025

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    I get it. Weather mark rounding good opps for what we do.

    Last week I was filming surfing in Cabo, and as luck would have it, burned 15min hovering with no sets, then as soon as I can in for mandatory battery change, set of the day came through. Luck of the draw.

    Kelly
     
  7. Outtahere100

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    Funny how that works, almost like we pissed someone off :lol: I have thought about flying two platforms, have my assistant launch the 2nd a few minutes before I have to recover the 1st.
     
  8. wkf94025

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    Like that idea of dual rigs insuring zero down time. how many chargers would you need going simultaneously to fly indefinitely?? four? five?

    kelly
     
  9. david_a

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    Kelly, how did the Cabo footage come out? East Cape? Just got the vision 2 and am hoping for a flight soon. Perhaps going to get some apple orchards here in Sebastopol. We shall see...., update... just returned the vision 2 and ordered the +
     
  10. OI Photography

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    Outtahere, what size camera body exactly are you looking at...not sure if you're thinking a compact or full-size. I'm looking at putting a compact in that class on my 550 (DX100, NEX5, lumix, etc)...highest quality sensor I can get in the lightest body.
     
  11. Outtahere100

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    I am looking at the same class of camera that you are. It seems like camera choices are very limited by gimbals that are available. I suppose a smaller sensor (MFT?) with good glass would work for this application, for my needs, high ISO performance is not really an issue.

    What gimbal would you use on your 550?

    John
     
  12. Outtahere100

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    I haven't done the math for indefinite, but 2 platforms, 8 batts and one charger (if using the Phantom 2 platform) would get me through a day of shooting with power to spare.

    If you could, I would really like to see a full res still that you have shot with your Ragecam GoPro.

    John
     
  13. ladykate

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    For an indefinite presence, and if the P2 works for you, then the solution you just outlined would be the most cost effective but you may need several chargers. 8 batteries would get 160 minutes (ideally - probably a little less, though) - having enough chargers to turn out a battery every 20 minutes would mean several chargers... as many as 8 but I doubt you would need an indefinite supply since even four would give you a battery every 40 minutes or so and that would mean most of the day you would have fresh batteries.

    I have a Ragecam GoPro but I've only used it to shoot ground movies so far (just did a wedding with it). For movies, it is great and the video was better than my Nikon full DSLR with Nikon 18-55 on it... Would be interested in seeing good stills, too.
     
  14. wkf94025

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    These probably aren't great examples, and I have very few to offer at the moment, but here are four taken in Cabo recently: https://picasaweb.google.com/1110845729 ... directlink

    The first two are sunrise on tripod, and we all know that low light is not the GoPro's forte. The two aerials were shot on a cloudy overcast day, and were simply to get a sense for what shots my sales team and design team would want on that next bluebird day. I am happy to shoot some Napa Valley aerials today, which should be good light. Most of my focus has been on videos and learning to fly smoothly. Agree there is plenty of room for improvement on GoPro for stills, and I am hopeful GP4 is a nice step up in that regard.

    Here are some of the videos I have captured in Cabo. Whales and surfing are two fun subjects.

    Whales:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYaPQxUqGj4 (shot from the boat)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxI9zrb51do (shot from shore 1600 meters away)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYwHJFT58Cw (shot from shore 1500 meters away)

    Surfing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KrAjw_aHT8 (happy with this as my first attempt at filming surf)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHacpjv23gw (2nd attempt, not as good as first)

    I have had very little time to edit the above.

    Regarding # of batteries and continuous flying, I shot first surfing session with AC outlets nearby, and as soon as a battery came off P2, it went on charger. With three batteries and three chargers, it wasn't enough for continuous shooting indefinitely, but it was close. I think five of each would absolutely do it, possibly four.

    Kelly
     
  15. Outtahere100

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    Kelly,

    Thanks for taking the time to send the pics and vid. Nice work on the whales and surfers!

    John
     
  16. Outtahere100

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    Not sure about LiPo chemistry, but is OK to put a hot battery on a charger just after discharging?
     
  17. wkf94025

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    Never thought about issue of putting LiPo straight off Phantom onto charger. Is that an issue? Never seen anything warning against that. If so, add ice chest to the ultimate arsenal. ;)
     
  18. FangsCPO

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    You need to let the lipo cool down because if you don't it may affect the lifespan of the cells.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
     
  19. ladykate

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    It only takes a few minutes to cool enough and the better chargers have a temp sensor so you don't get the cells too hot. I doubt it would be a problem.. but I wouldn't risk my $250 batteries - if they were warm to the touch, I would simply wait a few minutes.