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REVIEW: 3D Printed Camera Mount

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by hughsnews, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. hughsnews

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    Hi All,
    I use my phantom to take photos for archaeological projects. The photos we want are a birds-eye-view vertical shot down of archaeological features. GOPROS although great, I just don't trust the barrel distortion(and correction in photoshop) to give a truly accurate representation of the feature. As such, I try to fly up decent, but light, Point and Shoot cameras, such as the Canon S110.

    I built my own mount out of perspex etc, and it worked but was heavy and ultimately if I could get say 1 out of every 3 shots being in focus, I was happy. I saw MonsieurAnon's post on building a 3D printed mount (viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9796).
    So I ended up buying two of them, the heavy duty mount and the regular mount(https://www.shapeways.com/shops/Mortar_Art). I also used a horizontal mount made by Monsieur to get my vertical shots. Yesterday I finally managed to mount everything and go for a fly with good wind conditions so I thought I should review it.

    The heavy duty mount is light but feels good in the hand and not flimsy, which I feared. Putting it together is simple as long as you have the required parts listed. I lacked the Vision dampeners but managed to find some ultra squishy ones I got when I bought a dampener pack from Helipal- they say they are (50) on the pack but I am unsure how much they differ from the regular white dampeners for the vision.

    I attached the mount, my canon S110(approx 200 grams with battery), my Boscham transmitter, props etc and weighed it- it was 1340 grams. Excuse the wires, I just attached everything quickly to weigh it before I took it apart again to travel to the park.
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    The camera is held pretty tight to the body which is great as when you land you don't want to get the lens close to the ground.
    I flew the P2 with regular flight settings and got massive oscillation. I then dropped pitch and roll to 110% instead of 120% and left everything else standard. This worked a treat. I did drop both down to 100% as well, but noticed no real difference between 100 or 110% so I left it on 110%. (On a side note- if I then swap this mount for the h3-2d and do not change these, will I notice any difference? I am fairly new to the world of gains :D )

    It was a bright day, full sun and a light breeze (5-10km/h max). The camera decided to shoot between 1/160- 1/250 at ISO 80. Which is quick but not crazy fast like 1/500-1/1000. So the conditions were pretty ideal. In the end, the mount worked really well. I think maybe 1 in every 4 or 5 were blurry, so around 75% were crisp and sharp. Pretty good considering the quad does continously move and I do suffer slightly from TBE. Here is one probably from around 5-6 meters. You can see all my fragile stickers from the various plane trips I have taken.
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    Here is a similar photo at similar height, cropped and at 100%. Remember my camera is only 12.1mp so it's not massively detailed.
    [​IMG]

    I attempted to fly the lighter mount but I mounted it slightly differently(camera sticking out from the quad rather than under it). This caused it to wobble a lot- which I expected but I just wanted to test it.

    In the end, I am really happy with this mount. It works a treat and is handling well. It does require some tinkering in the sense of gains but you'd expect that for any mount. With a 200g camera it worked really well. It is about to get put through the wringer as in a week and half I will be in Greece in 40 degree heat, shooting for an archaeological site, so that will be its real test. If it is anything other than great(which I think it is at the moment), I will let you know.
     
  2. MonsieurAnon

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for the solid review. Do you mind if I use your photos and information for promotional and instructional purposes on Shapeways?

    Was the tripod bar no longer flush to the fuselage after mounting the camera? A side note for others; this was something we discussed in private messages. As Hughsnews mentioned he is using different dampeners to the ones I tested with, and as a result there is less clearance.

    How much does your video tx weigh? Does the Canon output steady footage while shooting?
     
  3. hughsnews

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    Yeah go nuts.
    The tripod bar seemed to hang a millimetre or two off as the weight of the camera causes it to flex slightly. So there is less clearance but as it works, I will not be adding spacers or anything.

    My video tx is 55grams(heavy)- yeah the Canon footage is pretty steady. Thats actually when I know it's too flush against the mount, as the camera feed will shake due to the vibrations.