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Old Nov 23, 2008, 12:37 AM   #1
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Greetings everybody !

I have been flying my camera (Panasonic DMC- LS60) for some time now on rc airplanes and, given the camera, I was pleased with the results : http://picasaweb.google.com/bujora


Now I am looking for a better one and can't decide what will be the good choice for improved quality :
- a entry level camera like Canon Powershot A 1000, or A 2000
- a super zoom like Kodak Z 8612 , Fuji Finepix S8000

I don't need the zoom for my pictures , I am just thinking that the bigger optics of a super zoom will yield more quality and details ! Am I wrong ?

It is a big decision to make because if I will chose a super zoom, due to increased weight ( double !) will also involve bigger airplane !

As a concluding question : Is there enough difference between those two choices to justify going bigger with everything ?

Thank you !
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Old Nov 23, 2008, 1:42 AM   #2
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Just finished looking at each and every shot. Amazing. Its been my dream to do aerial photography like this. I have to learn more. Thanks so much for the opportunity to see it in action. Its nice the way you have presented your model world to us. Were all the pics taken at random or are you able to see what you are shooting? Just having a look at the camera you are presently using. It seems to be a good choice. Image Stabilization helps with the movement of the plane. How are you able to take the pictures? I imagine its by remote control servo. But could you explain how you have it set up? Perhaps a picture of the camera in position on the plane. Thanks so much.
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Old Nov 23, 2008, 2:01 AM   #3
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Bynx wrote:
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Just finished looking at each and every shot. Amazing. Its been my dream to do aerial photography like this. I have to learn more. Thanks so much for the opportunity to see it in action. Its nice the way you have presented your model world to us. Were all the pics taken at random or are you able to see what you are shooting? Just having a look at the camera you are presently using. It seems to be a good choice. Image Stabilization helps with the movement of the plane. How are you able to take the pictures? I imagine its by remote control servo. But could you explain how you have it set up? Perhaps a picture of the camera in position on the plane. Thanks so much.
Thank you for the kind words ! Here is a link that will get you deep into RC aerial photography world : http://www.rcgroups.com/aerial-photography-128/

Look for bujora and you will find all the details about my planes!
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Old Nov 23, 2008, 2:37 AM   #4
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Overall you have done very well with your current camera selection. By considering a superzoom for better optics, you also increase the camera battery capacity, body and everything else.

You can obtain some rather good optics in your current form factor while concentrating on improving other areas like increased sensor size and lower ISO speed, which would all combine to improve your image quality along with a faster lens. Also since you really do not need the zoom capability, you could increase the wide angle capability. Also, everything that your considering has image stabilization which is very good for your present application.

Panasonic DMC- LS60 - your current selection which overall is pretty good, sensor currently at 24 MP/cm² (smaller is better) at 1/2.5 " (demonator smaller is better)

Canon Powershot A 1000, or A 2000, sensor at 35 MP/cm² at 1/2.3 "

Kodak Z 8612 , sensor at 33 MP/cm² or 1/2.5 "

Fuji Finepix S8000 - large, 4 AAA batteries, heaviest at 510g

Panasonic DMC-LX3 - wider lens 24mm, larger sensor size 1/1.63 ", 24 MP/cm², better iso speed - Auto, Hi Auto (1600-6400), 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 will go down to 80. faster lens - F2.0 - F2.8, shoots in RAW format, larger but not as large as the superzooms. However this is heaver 256g as opposed to your current 188g

I would consider the LX3 for a number of reasons - wider angle, larger sensor with a better iso speed of 80, faster lens and the ability to shoot in RAW, thus having a better opportuity of post processing the images.

One of the questions is how large (heavy) a camera payload can your current air frame handle with out change?

hope that helps...

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Old Nov 23, 2008, 3:23 AM   #5
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interested_observer wrote:
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One of the questions is how large (heavy) a camera payload can your current air frame handle with out change?

hope that helps...
I design and build my airplanes around the camera to optimize weight balance and flight performance. If I will change the camera, there will be a new airframe for it !
A bigger plane will mean slighter bigger transport problems, larger landing-takeoff areas,... All manageable for the good cause of getting higher quality pictures!
But...if only an expert eye can make the difference between the works of a well chosen compact size camera and their bigger brothers, I will prefere to stay small !
And why not, keep the present setup for the less demanding jobs and add a second camera, plane, etc, for higher quality jobs!

Thank you for the very well documented answer !
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Old Nov 23, 2008, 5:17 AM   #6
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Adding financial factor into equation, at the present time I am looking at :

Canon PowerShot A 1000IS:

pluses: 10 mpx sensor
AA NImh batteries
only 155 g

minuses: compact size optics might not be able to provide best quality ?!

Kodak 8612 IS

"+ " : - large, good quality optics can provide top images ?!
- HD video

minuses : Li batt. requiring dedicated charger
heavy: 355 g

NIKON COOLPIX P50

pluses - wide angle objective
- cheapest !

minuses -" only" electronic stabilization that seems to be less than the optic ones
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Old Nov 23, 2008, 10:30 PM   #7
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With a big helping hand from people on this forum I understood a lot about digital cameras and..... I have chosen :

KODAK Z 1085 IS

for the following characteristics :

- big sensor 1/1.63
- low pixel density 21MP / cm^2
- large number of effective pixels 10 Mil
- low ISO rating starting at 80
- fast lens f/2.8
- optic image stabilizer
- HD video

The camera has good reviews and, all these comes with a price tag of 200 $, much cheaper than other cameras with the same features (PANASONIC LX3, CANON G7, NIKON P5000, CASIO Z1080, SAMSUNG NV15 )


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