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OT Professional aerial photography with Hexcopter

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  • OT Professional aerial photography with Hexcopter

    I'm building a 680 class Hexcopter for professional photography purposes, I.e. making money. Already have my part 107 license, an S corp, etc. Please forgive me, I have crossed post this from a forum dedicated to multi-rotors, but 98% of the users are technical dumb dumbs who couldn't fix a bent nail to save their life. I value your opinions far more, because of the extremely wide ranging talent everyone on here exhibits.
    -------------------------->>>>
    My camera expertise is with full sized SLR's being used in a conventional manner. I love my Canon 60D, but I am not going to even entertain the thought of carrying it on a MR. I know the Sony mirrorless camera's get excellent reviews, but I know the Canon's can run 3rd party firmware that makes it easier for them to be used for our purposes. I suppose I could spend hours on DPreview, but I have low expectations of any of the legacy camera review sites having tailored information for our purposes.
    Right now I am thinking about a 2 axis brushless gimbal for the camera, and a fixed FPV camera for maneuvering the Hexcopter. I would like to use a video switcher to allow the good camera to be aimed through the FPV goggles once the Hexcopter is in position hold. Is this the generally excepted way of doing this? The camera obviously would need to support this with video out. The camera shutter and focus would be nice, but I am not too worried about that, as in the past I have programmed an Arduino driving an IR led to remotely operate my 60d. The goal is to do this professionally under my S corp, already have my part 107 license.
    <<<<<---------------------
    So basically, what camera do y'all reckon would work? And any other thoughts that come to mind.

  • #2
    No real knowledge here, but I would think that most cameras now only have hdmi, which will be harder to stream than the analog video signal I presume they still use for the FPV.
    However, using an older camera with analog out would rob you of the image quality and weight advantage of modern cameras.

    Could you not mount the fpv camera on the gimbal as well? It's so much smaller than a real camera it wouldn't really interfere. That way you know what the camera is looking at without any engineering effort.

    If you take a modern wifi enabled camera like an EOS M6 you could also use you smartphone to fully control the camera. The multicopters are so stable nowadays you can just hang it while you operate the camera.

    Igor
    Last edited by ikdor; 07-10-2017, 02:44 AM.

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    • #3
      Not my area of expertise at all, but I've seen professional drones in use. Having a fixed camera for FPV flying sounds like a good idea.

      Could you either split the screen, or have 2 separate screens, one for each camera? I can see switching between the 2 being a bit clunky; if the main camera's pointing backwards and you switch to it to maneuver, you need to remember to reverse flight controls etc. Might get confusing.

      Keep us posted, this is more on topic (to me, at least) than a lot of posts here...

      Ian
      All of the gear, no idea...

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      • #4
        They make video switchers for analog signals that you switch with a spare r/c channel. My radio is 16 channels, so no shortage there.
        I thought about mounting the fpv camera on the gimbal as well, suppose it would work well enough.


        Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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        • #5
          What sort of professional work are you going for? Will it have the lift capacity to carry an Alexa Mini?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
            What sort of professional work are you going for? Will it have the lift capacity to carry an Alexa Mini?
            I never held an Alexa Mini, so couldn't tell you. I believe it could carry my 60D, but a mirrorless compact would be a better bet.
            I used to have a gig in Berkeley documenting the construction of Berkeley Cal stadium from a Cessna 172, shooting with a Cannon 20D then later, my 60D. It was for the construction project manager. I want to start out with real estate photos, insurance claims on property and crops, and perhaps 3d mapping, but will use a fixed wing for that. I currently have a fixed wing with an Ardupilot APM that I have been extensively testing for the past year.
            Going to start out cheap, sub 1000$ camera. Should clients and business demand it, I'll move up to something like that Alexa.


            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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            • #7
              Are you intending to use any of the zoom functionality of the cameras? If not, I'd give another look at the cameras that are built for the purpose (like the DJI products) because from my limited exposure they're pretty good, and getting better all the time.

              Alternately, you *can* do multiple video streams, there all multiple frequency transmitters for video/FPV. I think I've got a 2.4Ghz and 5.8 Ghz sets sitting in my cube right now.

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              • #8
                My R/C TX is 2.4ghz, FPV equipment is 5.8ghz, and telemetry radio is 915mhz. I would like to use the zoom functionality, the go pros are out because of the fish eye effects, too wide. Actually the zoom is not needed, a fast 50mm equivalent would work just fine


                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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                • #9
                  I'm not familiar with the 3D part of mapping, but I'm very familiar with the mapping part. If you haven't done it before, I suggest researching that subject before advertising the service. I use aerials that come georeferenced, meaning when they are loaded into the mapping software, they are aligned with the map. I'm assuming this is done with some pretty accurate GPS technology. The also come in very specific resolutions, such as 6" per pixel.

                  Best of luck.
                  Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

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                  • #10
                    Now looking at the Sony RX100 series


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                    • #11
                      Haha, I enjoyed reading this. I am a very experienced photographer, over 50 years experience, but I have no idea what you are talking about. I am still thinking film, or analogue as you modern people call it.
                      I did investigate kite and balloon carried cameras 30 years ago but these drones make it so much easier.

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