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My Phantom 2 custom camera mount

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hughsnews, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. hughsnews

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    Hi All,
    As some of you may know I am an archaeologist and one of my specialties has been kite aerial photography. A few weeks ago based on advice I got on these forums, I decided to get a Phantom 2. I have fallen in love with my little quad whose new name is Phaethon(my kite is Icarus).

    Anyways, for archaeological work, taking photos vertically downwards is a great resource to have. However, the use of a gopro just won't cut it simply due to the massive fish eye effects. Although most small cameras have barrel distortion, we are after the flattest image possible. So in kite photography I send up a S110, a small canon with CDHK. I really enjoy the photo quality of the camera and although its only 12.1mp, this is actually good as I often stitch photos together and the file size rapidly increases.

    So in order to take shots and use the S110, I created a custom mount for the phatom 2. My original design was less than pretty and quite heavy but the photos here are of version 2.

    It's made out of a thicker perspex material in order to stop cracking etc. I have used some packing foam and the rubber stabilisers from the H3-2D gimble to help stabalise the camera as my original mount which didnt have this had very blurry photos.I have used two L joint pieces of metal to help hold the camera in place along with the thumbscrew. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have since modified the mount you can see in the photo- things like cutting the screws down to size.I also simply used a few furniture non-scratch strips(the things you put under chair legs to stop it scratching) in order to stop the screws etc scratching the camera. Over the next few weeks when I can get my hands on a better saw/jigsaw, I will start removing sections of the perspex to help lighten it.
    Altogether, with the s110, they weigh around 270grams from memory.

    I was fortunate enough to be visiting my parents in the country recently, and so I had nice wide open spaces to fly and test it out. I have given it about 6-7 test runs at various heights and with different conditions.
    [​IMG]

    I sent the puppy up pretty high as you can see, but the photos came out really well and the quad handled the extra weight ok. I will be tinkering with it more as time goes on, reducing the weight etc. But just thought I would share.

    If anyone here has any suggestions that might help, or have your own custom rigs, I'd be awesome! Cheers
    Hugh
     
  2. hughsnews

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    I might add, I am not a good builder etc. I never did any kind of manufacturing or woodworking in school so this is pretty rough in comparison to what others might be able to make- but heck- it works!
     
  3. gbshovel

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    Location:
    Conneaut Ohio
    Good cobble

    Looks heavy and will kill flight time but...
     
  4. hughsnews

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    Yeah it will obviously cut flight time. I am researching smaller cameras as the s110 is 200grams which is a bit too heavy and will ultimately start replacing metal sections of the mount with plastic, cutting out small sections of pespex. Even just topping the end of the bolts lowered the weight considerably.
    Work in progress.
     
  5. ARThompson

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    Here is my (experimental, as yet untested) version. The camera (Canon A2400IS) is 126gm, plus mount gives just under 200gm. It is based on a mount which is used to fix a camera to a car windscreen, which I have substantially modified and drilled. I've put in anti-vibration washers, but I don't know whether that will be enough to cure the vibration. I've seen all the special mounts for video cameras but I wondered whether still shots might be less sensitive to this problem. If not, then back to the drawing board!

    Unfortunately the weather is very bad here at present (wind and rain), and I'm away next week, so it will be at least a week before I can test it.

    ALAN
     

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  6. PitStop

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    That's what I thought

    To the OP, did you attempt to use narrow FOV on your gopro? Is there any advantage to using the canon?
     
  7. hughsnews

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    Its all about fov as we are often after shots of a larger area etc. Also, I already had a S110 for kite photography as the mount I had for that didn't support go pros.
    But that being said, I may run a few field tests to see how much fisheye their is on narrow fov.
     
  8. ARThompson

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    My earlier camera mount did not work very well. The pictures were badly affected by vibration. So I've made a new version which is very simple and comprises a modified P1 anti-jello mount (if you drill carbon fibre be very careful of the dust) and a bracket made from 1.2mm aluminium. It has two holes to mount the camera - at first I thought I would need space to operate the controls of the camera, but that isn't really necessary so I use it with the closer hole, which gives better ground clearance for the camera. I'll separately post a picture taken with this. ALAN
     

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  9. ARThompson

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    Here is a picture taken with this mount, reduced from 5Mb to about 500Kb, which unfortunately loses quite a lot of detail. ALAN
     

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  10. wharfbanger

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    Nice work Alan.

    I should be getting my A2400 today. I improvised a mount in the bottom of my P2 Vision Plus that I tested yesterday with a an iPhone 4S with an intervalometer app. I will post some photos of the assembly and sample images after I get the camera.
     
  11. enseth

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    Excuse my ignorance but how do you activate the shutter when using one of these point & shoot cameras? Is it on timer or what?
     
  12. Joel_t

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    It's cool to see people customising their Phantoms. No matter how rough you think the mount looks the result looks great for what you're after and isn't that all that matters? Also interested to know how you are remotely triggering the camera to take photos though. Thanks for sharing
     
  13. hughsnews

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    I use chdk- which is a script you can run through canon cameras and allows you to run an intervalometer script(which is basically allows you to set it to take photos every x seconds).
    Very easy stuff and lots of cool things you can get your camera to do/shoot
     
  14. MonsieurAnon

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    Did the 3D printed mount end up working well for you?