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Video: FC40 vs GoPro 3 Black vs GoPro w/ Gimbal

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by FatKevinSmith, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. FatKevinSmith

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    Here is a quick comparison video I did comparing the FC40 camera to a hard-mounted GoPro and a gimbal-mounted GoPro. Not the best comparison video because on the GoPro flights my props were all chopped up and I've made no gain adjustments whatsoever..

    I just wanted to show the differences you can expect as you make upgrades to your FC40.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY8AYyxGF6U
     
  2. Woody

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    That's quite a difference Kevin, good comparison video. Is the color grading done in your editing software? And what type of gimbal did you use? Thanks for posting.
     
  3. Boozshey

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    Nice comparison of the camera quality. Thanks for sharing. Another key for props is film in 960 so you can trim the props out in post.
     
  4. FatKevinSmith

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    Correct, most video editing applications allow you to tweak the color settings. The FC40 shoots a "flat" image, which means the color saturation is reduced and the contrast is reduced. This is actually done to preserve as much detail as the sensor can pick up, and relies on post-production (i.e. in the video editor) to balance the color and gamma (contrast/exposure) to your particular liking.

    The gimbal I used is one of the $100 ones you can find on Amazon, commonly referred to as the "goodluckbuy" gimbal. It required no programming or anything. Just a matter of attaching it to the bottom of the Phantom and connecting the power cable to the auxiliary power cable already in the Phantom (if you look at one of the rubber grommets where the antenna comes out of the Phantom, you'll see the very tip of the cable poking out, and you need tweezers to pull the rest out).
     
  5. FatKevinSmith

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    The GoPro Hero 3 Black shoots in a number of modes, and as you mentioned, you can crop the larger modes down to effectively obtain a digital zoom which cuts out where the props would show up on a hard pitch or bank maneuver. The Black edition shoots up to 2.7K at 30fps so if I were going to crop the image, I'd use 2.7k and crop down to 1080.

    There is another thing you can do with the GoPro without having to crop, which is to reduce the field of view from "Wide" to "Medium" or "Narrow". This performs the electronic equivalent of an optical zoom (as opposed to a digital zoom where the pixels get upscaled which loses detail) Here's an example of what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KItJRr9Hlo

    The downside to the GoPro is twofold:
    1) it has a much shorter WiFi range (about 1/2 to 3/4 of the FC40 camera)
    2) it has about a 5 second delay, so flying via FPV like you can on the FC40 is not an option. This is why some people I've seen in this forum keep the FC40 somewhere on the Phantom and use it solely for FPV.
     
  6. Nada1

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    Nice video, and I agree it's better, but if you add in the go pro at $399, and the gimbal at $100 you have more then doubled the price of what gave for my FC40 ($419) so to me (just an opinion) the stock camera is what works for me....
     
  7. FatKevinSmith

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    I agree, the FC40 is a good value and some people have even used it on the GoPro gimbal. If you ever want to upgrade at some point to a GoPro, rumor has it that a new version will be coming out later this year, which should drive the prices of the current GoPro down and I anticipate you'll see a lot of Hero 3 Black editions on the used market at that time.
     
  8. ericdes

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    I tried to put the FC40 camera on a Gopro gimbal. You need magic... Maybe it does balance but once you start to fly it goes crazy. Gave up and bought a 3+Black. The difference between them is really incredible, not really surprising considering the Gopro is more expensive then the FC40 kit altogether.

    All of a sudden this is a serious filming kit. the FC40 camera is mounted and providing FPV with an Amped SR10000 repeater, so easily 1000 feet or more. I fly line of sight. So far anyways.

    I got 6-8 minutes flight time so how far can you go anyways.
     
  9. BladHaund

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    Very nice comparison. What video editing software din you use and what color grading settings did you use (the text says "basic" in the video)?
    Also, the youtube video is available in 1080p. Did you upsample the FC40 video? What settings and software tools did you use?
     
  10. FatKevinSmith

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    I use Sony Vegas Pro 12. The color grade I used was Sony Color Corrector with a bump of about 15% color saturation and I nudged the gamma down a bit and the offset up a bit.

    GoPro has some editing software that is free and works with a lot of video formats, it's called GoPro studio I think.

    I get about 7-8 minutes flying time with the stock battery and props. I plan on getting the Mad Dog 2700mAh battery and the Phantom 2 props, which should bump me to 10-12 minutes of flying time.
     
  11. FatKevinSmith

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    Well to get the gimbal to work with the FC40 you probably have to tweak the settings on the gimbal controller circuit board... I haven't done it myself though. The difference in sharpness between the FC40 camera and the GoPro is very apparent but for the price, the FC40 does a darn good job with wifi range and decent video quality.

    I have not done any distance testing w/ my Phantom yet.. Still running stock everything.. I definitely want to go FPV, but would probably get a kit for that as I want to minimize the complexity of adding a relatively heavy FC40 (compared to a tiny FPV cam) and dealing with a range extender. Plus, it can be difficult to see the screen on my iPod when outside and I think the FPV goggles help considerably w/ that.

    Cheers!
     
  12. BladHaund

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    By 15% you mean you set the value to 1,15?
    I'm asking because I'm trying to come up with some simple presets, for example "bright day", "cloudy day" etc., because the default FC40 image is too, well, ugly, IMHO. People seem to be content with the default image quality, reasoning that you get what you pay for, but some simple post-processing might do wonders to this little bugger. Not everyone is a cinematographer, so I think some presets should be more than adequate for the average user, no need to fiddle with parameters on every video.

    After coming up with these presets, should be no big trouble adapting the parameters to filters available in common and free editing programs such as Avidemux.