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MikeJ Jun 5, 2004 6:06 AM

Hi list,

I use a helmet-mounted camera for skydiving. The traditional control method is to use a bite- or blow-switch in the mouth, but I'm looking for a digital SLR camera which will allow me to just push a button on exit from the plane then leave it to take 60 seconds of continuous high res stills by itself.

I see from the reviews that the Nikon D70 comes close in that it will take 144 high res stills in a burst, but I understand that the frame interval for this function is fixed to 3pfs (i.e. 144 images doesn't actually get me 60 seconds).

Can anyone recommend a camera which will allow me to take high quality images continuously for 60 seconds, preferably at2fps or more?

Thanks in advance,


ohenry Jun 5, 2004 10:58 AM

Seems to me that a digital movie cam would be your best bet, then you can extract the stills that you want in software.

NHL Jun 5, 2004 11:18 AM

Have you take a look at the A2? It's close to a dSLR:

In UHS mode this camera can take anywhere from 100-180 frames at 7fps depending on the compression. It's only limited to 640x480 size images in this mode, but has a wired remote cord option.

bradg Jun 5, 2004 12:40 PM

the mark II can do 8.5fps for 40 frames....

NHL Jun 5, 2004 12:47 PM

... I think what MikeJ wanted to do is to "machine gun it" out of the plane and sort out the good ones afterward: The MarkII will give him ~5s worth while the A2 will give him almost 1/2 a minute.


bradg Jun 5, 2004 1:19 PM

ohhh, ok

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"if you go for non-dslr, you might want to check what kind of lens your getting, i would think you wouldwant a wide angle, maybe a fisheye?

Freefly Jun 6, 2004 9:42 AM

Mike, I dont think they actually make a digitalSLR for that yet, digi´s have too small a buffer to cope. Your only option would be to stick to a film camera and put the special reel back on it that would take around 100 shots in that minute that you get!(Expensive).Your other option is to jump with 12 EOS 1d Mark II´s. Use one every 5 seconds and you would end up with a respectable 480 shots each jump from 12k! But it WILL cost you somewhere in the region of $54,000! and you would need a PD980 to cope with the extra weight! :lol:Where do you jump by the way? Surely the camera guys at your DZ could help you out? I used to jump at Langar and Headcorn in the UK.......

Effen Jun 6, 2004 9:55 AM

Try this review of the Canon S1 IS. It can do 1.7 fps continous at decent resolutions. It also has an adapter lens systems which might help protect the optics and image stablization which may help when shooting from a small plane or in free fall.

MikeJ Jun 8, 2004 5:44 AM

Many thanks for the responses. It looks like camera technology isn't quite up to what I want yet. Replying to everyone at once:

ohenry: I didn't make it clear in my original post - I already have a digital video camera (Sony PC9). Iwould generally jump with both stills camera and video camera. The trouble with picking stills from the video is that the resolution is far too low. Hence my desire for an auto-shooting stills camera, to get good high resolution stills.

NHL: I just read the review of the A2 - thanks - it certainly looks like a nice piece of kit, but unfortunately the 640x480 limitation for continuous shooting is a show stopper for me (I can do that from the PC9 well enough for email thumbs, but it's no good for decent prints of course).

bradg:The Mark II seems to have the same limitation - too low a resolution for not enough time. Regarding the lens, a wide-angle lense is indeed often used for skydiving, though a fish-eye would only get used for 'special effects' shots, like showing a nice round planet earth beneath a skydiver. This is something else I need to look into.

Freefly: Greetings fellow lunatic. In the past I have been known to do the odd lob at Headcorn, but these days I don't actually jump in the UK at all - given a choice betweenEmpuriabrava and Headcorn, which one would you pick?! Regarding the 12 x EOS 1d, do you think the setup might give me a bit of a hard landing underaSpectre 135? Maybe I should talk to the chaps at the Space Centre. Iremember seeing film of a rather nifty looking 3000-ish sq ft ram-air canopy used to land an experimental shuttle - just what I need.Paying an extra two slots forevery jump to get the rig into the plane would up the $54,000 a bit though, and I'd definitely want to pay someone else for the pack jobs!

Effen: Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, the S1 ISis also limited to too-few frames - maximum 24 - i.e. not 60 seconds worth. The stabilisation technology is a nice development for skydiving. I see the Minolta has a similar capability.

Thanks everyone.


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