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Sony FDR-X1000 / X3000 - good for flying movies

here

This version, I was told today, includes this little remote controller

and a “splashproof” case, for about 300 quid. The salesman claimed this waterproof case is also included but looking at the site I am not so sure.

It would be necessary to stop water droplets at 150kt getting inside, IMHO…

On Amazon it is here

and they do show the whole kit

It has enough battery capacity to record 1-2hrs (so would need external power if it is to be left unattended for a whole flight, probably). It seems to have a limited zoom range, but that’s much better than nothing.

The 4K mode is a but useless in practice but if you record in normal HD you should get great videos, up to 120fps.

I am thinking about mounting it just outside the airframe, on a thin (1mm) metal bracket which has a suction cup inside the aircraft and which passes through the door seal, so security is assured, and one could power it continuously. It will take, they claim, a 64GB micro-SD card which will take care of the longest recording.

It is much more aerodynamic than a go-pro.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Looks like everybody is using the Go-pro or the Garmin?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Looks like everybody is using the Go-pro or the Garmin?

Yep, GoPro mounted on the wing strut here.

Peter wrote:

It is much more aerodynamic than a go-pro.

I really wonder how much of a difference that makes. It’s hard to judge.

Peter wrote:

which has a suction cup inside the aircraft and which passes through the door seal, so security is assured

I’m always skeptical about “suction cups” and “security assured” used in one sentence. How do you assure security (meaning the suction cup will not go off and your camera dangling about outside the aircraft and causing potential damage? I find the suction cup I use inside the cockpit to be unreliable > ca. 7000 ft.

Last Edited by Patrick at 28 Jan 08:18
Hungriger Wolf (EDHF), Germany

That’s a really good point. The suction cup holding force reduces as you climb. At FL180 it will be 50% of the sea level force.

But I think it still works well because I did flights to ~FL150 with this one

My proposition about securing the camera inside the aircraft is just to stop it coming off and dangling in the airflow, held by just a piece of wire. At 150kt, that would damage it and damage the aircraft.

I don’t think a go-pro will slow the plane down (maybe 2-3kt at 150kt, based on known data for antennae for example) but the drag on it will be large, requiring a proportionally stronger mount.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

but the drag on it will be large, requiring a proportionally stronger mount.

There’s some really good options to mount the GoPro on the wing struts. I realize that’s not a solution for you.

I have this antique one: http://s93.photobucket.com/user/sacbluesman/media/DSCN0579.jpg.html

Nowadays, the luxury solution is this: http://www.wingitmounts.com/

Or the most economical solution: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00O39P0ZY

Hungriger Wolf (EDHF), Germany

I have the older Sony, looks the same but probably is one generation before.

I was and am very happy with the results. The only thing that is annoying is that you can’t get the prop effect (for the lack of a better word) out if it, so for SEP’s to film out of the front window is next to useless. I have however seen that most Go Pro movies have the same problem.

For anything else, the quality of the movies was absolutely great. Even enough that I used some single frames for pictures. These are some:




LSZH, Switzerland

Interesting… These “webcams” all use a similar technology so I see no reason why a neutral density filter might not help to the same degree as it helps with a go-pro (i.e. partially).

The only complete solution is a “proper” camcorder with a manual shutter, or a video camera with a global shutter, and I have never one of those in a small package.

Unfortunately, where I would propose for the camera to end up, at the top edge of the LH door and just outside the cockpit

the propeller would be very much in the (forward-looking) frame. The Q is whether I want to spend 300 quid+ to find out

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Upon looking into this further, I think the 1000V is not going to be any good because the battery life will be no more than about 2hrs and that is on 1080P, not even 4k. So the only way to use it on a longer flight would be to remotely turn it on/off, but since it supports only wifi (no bluetooth) and since with wifi on the battery lasts only about an hour, it’s useless.

The one to go for is a new model, the HDR-AS50. This can be bought with the LVR3 remote controller and does bluetooth (as well as wifi) which makes it last a lot longer. One should be able to do say a 5-6hr flight during which the camera is turned on for a total of 1hr.

This one is not waterproof so would need to be in the housing (as shown above) in any aviation usage.

There are various subtleties in the way Sony have crippled these products and these are far from obvious. You have to compare the manuals page by page and read between the lines.

For example the 1000V has 120 or 170 degree angles available, but this is selected implicitly by enabling/disabling stabilisation (respectively). But feedback from one GA user (the one who did those great seaplane vids I posted yesterday) suggests that the stabilisation is no good in that application. So you end up with a 170 degree camera which, like the go-pro, distorts massively, especially around the periphery. Whereas the AS50 has directly selectable 120/170 angle mode, with a caveat that the stabilisation cannot be used in the 170 mode but that doesn’t matter since you don’t want it anyway. I am trying to get away from the go-pro “fisheye” effect which IMHO gets boring after a short time…

In 4k mode these cameras are a joke, with battery lives measured in tens of minutes, so they 1000V would IMHO be practical only if used as a realtime webcam i.e. USB power provided, no SD card, and with the video coming out over HDMI and recorded elsewhere. But 4k video is not practical anyway; most consumer IT devices cannot play 4k at the appropriate rate of about 100mbits/sec. High quality HD is really great.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Garmin VIRB works well but is perhaps not as hackable as you would like Peter. The advantage is it does just work.

Last Edited by JasonC at 04 Feb 16:04
EGTK Oxford

Garmin VIRB works well but is perhaps not as hackable as you would like Peter. The advantage is it does just work.

Why would I want it hackable? I am just writing something up, from the GA perspective, in case somebody finds it useful. I am not “hacking” anything.

The Virb has various issues too e.g. here is a long review. Loads of limitations, and a battery life too short for many flights, with WIFI remote control which will pretty well wipe out the battery life, and who wants WIFI running (and not possible to turn off, since the camera is remotely mounted) when e.g. flying an IAP in real IMC?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
80 Posts
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