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Old 02-25-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
newrc
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Default Cheap Aerial Photography Quadcopter

I want to do semi-professional aerial photography and videography. Mainly, I want to photograph and take video of golf courses and real estate/landmarks. I want to do this at relatively low cost with high quality, stable, flowing video and with no vibration.

  • What is the best way to go for getting high quality, stable and vibration free video?
  • I want a quadcopter because a single rotor heli may be too dangerous to use in public and not stable. I know the damage even a 450 can do to someone. The less inertia behind the blades the better.
  • Will I need to add a few gyros to a camera mount?
  • Can you recommend a suitable quadcopter kit with a mount?
  • What do I need to do to it to make the video really stable?
  • Should I have a separate transmitter and receiver for the mount servos so a buddy can operate the camera?


Thanks
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:46 AM   #2
heliaddx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newrc View Post
I want to do semi-professional aerial photography and videography. Mainly, I want to photograph and take video of golf courses and real estate/landmarks. I want to do this at relatively low cost with high quality, stable, flowing video and with no vibration.

  • What is the best way to go for getting high quality, stable and vibration free video?
    There are many ways depending on what camera you will be using.
  • I want a quadcopter because a single rotor heli may be too dangerous to use in public and not stable. I know the damage even a 450 can do to someone. The less inertia behind the blades the better.
    Quadcopters and multirotors can cause serious injury to people. Therefore they are also very dangerous - even more so because of the 'They're less dangerous to fly in public' thinking which can't be further from the truth.
  • Will I need to add a few gyros to a camera mount?
    Yes you may, but you may also opt not to or you may use a stabilizer/fc with a built in gyro for the camera mount.
  • Can you recommend a suitable quadcopter kit with a mount?
    Most popular multi-rotor FCs are MK or WK-M, although if you want a kit that is RTF then you will be looking at spending USD 8K++ (maybe you get them at USD 6K++ but limited payload)
  • What do I need to do to it to make the video really stable?
    Lots of hours learning about vibration, vibration mounts, vibration isolators, camera mounts, gyros, post production techniques, frame rates and the like.
  • Should I have a separate transmitter and receiver for the mount servos so a buddy can operate the camera?
    Yes you can but you could also opt to fly and and shoot at the same time. Each has its advantage and disadvantage.

    The biggest advantage to having a camera operator is that you can concentrate on flying.


Thanks
My advise is to first learn to fly a heli/quad.

Then when you've crashed a few times - imagine what it would be like to strap on several thousands worth of equipment to whatever it is you're flying and how it would feel to see them all tumbling down from the sky.

And if all that still doesn't deters you - then you'll most probably succeed (just prepare the bank account).


This hobby/pursuit is far from cheap - especially if you want to get to compete at a pro level.

Go and learn to fly and have fun. This hobby is expensive and addictive. But it becomes an obsession. A wonderful one
.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
newrc
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I've actually been flying for quite some time; my username was registered in 2009 and even though it does say newrc, I know how to fly. I'm becoming bored of sport and 3d flying and wanted to introduce a new "spice" into the hobby. I'm thinking of buying the carbon quadcopter frame from hobbyking, but I'm not sure what motors, props, and escs to buy in order to support a camera ship and camera. Should I get a bigger frame, or possibly a hexacopter frame?

Can anybody recommend a setup suitable for my needs?
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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There's a lot of different opinions about this, but regarding safety, its the pilots responsibility to mitigate risk no matter what's being flown. The debate shouldn't be which type of RC is safer, it should be how do you mitigate risk? Multi-rotors don't autorotate, if you lose a prop, motor or ESC its going to crash and unlike a helicopter it will be an uncontrolled crash. So in order to mitigate that danger you fly multirotors differently than you might fly an RC helicopter. That doesn't make one more or less dangerous than the other. Depending on FC you can build in some redundancy, like an Octocopter, X8, Hexacopter or Y6 but there are a lot of variables on whether these would fly if you lost a motor or prop.

As far as inexpensive kits go a good candidate would be the DJI 450. This quad can easily lift a GoPro and its easy to build and setup. Its a good quad for learning how to safely fly AP missions but I wouldn't trust it around people. The NAZA controller is relatively new and it has issues. http://www.dji-hobby.com/naza/index_en.html

If your thinking of going the DIY route I'd recommend Rusty's frames, they're very configurable and easy to change from one type of multirotor to another: http://www.shop.aglhobbiesllc.com/Ru...AP1-Frame-Kit/

Motors, props and ESC's will be determined by how big of a camera you want to carry. Of coarse cameras and gimbals are a debate all there own.

But by DIY you can build a good heavy lift quad or Hex for about $1K.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:33 AM   #5
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@newrc
What camera do you plan to fly?

A DJI Naza or Xaircraft can lift a Lumix LX5, gopro and the like quite well.

What do you currently fly right now?

If you have a 600 size heli - then you could use that.

Not only does it have the advantage of being able to lift heavier camers - such as a T2i but if it's something that you've owned and flown for a while - then you would know it like the back of your hand.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:13 PM   #6
newrc
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Originally Posted by Av8Chuck View Post
There's a lot of different opinions about this, but regarding safety, its the pilots responsibility to mitigate risk no matter what's being flown. The debate shouldn't be which type of RC is safer, it should be how do you mitigate risk? Multi-rotors don't autorotate, if you lose a prop, motor or ESC its going to crash and unlike a helicopter it will be an uncontrolled crash. So in order to mitigate that danger you fly multirotors differently than you might fly an RC helicopter. That doesn't make one more or less dangerous than the other. Depending on FC you can build in some redundancy, like an Octocopter, X8, Hexacopter or Y6 but there are a lot of variables on whether these would fly if you lost a motor or prop.

As far as inexpensive kits go a good candidate would be the DJI 450. This quad can easily lift a GoPro and its easy to build and setup. Its a good quad for learning how to safely fly AP missions but I wouldn't trust it around people. The NAZA controller is relatively new and it has issues. http://www.dji-hobby.com/naza/index_en.html

If your thinking of going the DIY route I'd recommend Rusty's frames, they're very configurable and easy to change from one type of multirotor to another: http://www.shop.aglhobbiesllc.com/Ru...AP1-Frame-Kit/

Motors, props and ESC's will be determined by how big of a camera you want to carry. Of coarse cameras and gimbals are a debate all there own.

But by DIY you can build a good heavy lift quad or Hex for about $1K.
That's not really my concern. My view is that if it does crash or go out of control, a quad has much less inertia behind it's blades than a 600 or 700 size nitro or electric. With a quad, you can shut it down and the blades stop spinning nearly immediately. Also, it's more likely that a servo will fail than a motor or esc. Far less moving parts in a quad means less combinations of possible "shit happening."

It doesn't matter what can be done when something has gone wrong, the blades are what'll do the most damage to someone if it hits them. I don't want to pretend it's never going to hit somebody, because shit does happen. I want it to do the least damage possible in the event that it does.

I really like that link for the UAP1, thanks for sharing it with me. Is that your hexa in the picture?

I don't have a good DSLR right now, but I would like to be able to accomodate a Canon 5D Mkii. Is this achievable with the airframe you posted?

Do you have a recommendation for a camera gimbal that can be accomodated by the UAP1?
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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The cool thing about the UAP-1 is that you can configure it anyway you like, the attached picture is the same frame as a Y6.

How much you can lift is going to depend on how you configure your multirotor. The Hex and Y6 in these photos were designed to lift up to a GH2 or T2i. They have 30A ESC's Avrotto 2830/14 motors with 11x4.7 props.

If you want to carry a 5dMkII I'd recommend larger ESC's and props, but the frame can be the same.

The gimbal on the Y6 is from here: http://www.x468.com/ I've had this gimbal for over a year and have not used it yet. And obviously you can get a gimbal from here: http://www.photoshipone.com/products/mktr/

I don't disagree with your point about the inertia in the blades of a 600 to 700 helicopter but, you might be surprised by the size and weight of a multirotor that can fly a 5dMkII, the props are probably going to be around 12 to 14 inches and with a 5800mah battery your going to need to get just five or six minutes of flight the AUW can easily be above six or seven pounds. If one of the motors fails the remaining motors will throttle up significantly to compensate, if they can, so if it falls out of the sky under power the remaining props can do significant damage.

I get a little apprehensive when I'm around a 700 taking off and landing, you can feel the thrust and the power, its the same when I fly the Y6, the thing is a flying skill saw. Here's a video of my first Hex crash and a video of an AP test, both with GoPros.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgZ4aYnHBIw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKi9erPaIfM
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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Wow, thanks Av8Chuck for opening my eyes to the UAP1 kit and posting the picture of your hex. Hope you don't mind a couple of questions about your hex?

- Are the arms pictured on yours the T-rex 500 size?
- If planning to use the AVRoto motor which mount do I need? Small pre-drilled?
- Any recomendation on the electronics plate if going with NAZA to start?
- How is all the battery esc wiring accomplished with the NAZA sans DJI plate?

Guess that is more then a couple questions....
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:41 AM   #9
Av8Chuck
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Originally Posted by supergravy View Post
Wow, thanks Av8Chuck for opening my eyes to the UAP1 kit and posting the picture of your hex. Hope you don't mind a couple of questions about your hex?

- Are the arms pictured on yours the T-rex 500 size?
- If planning to use the AVRoto motor which mount do I need? Small pre-drilled?
- Any recomendation on the electronics plate if going with NAZA to start?
- How is all the battery esc wiring accomplished with the NAZA sans DJI plate?

Guess that is more then a couple questions....
No worries.

Yes they are Align 500 booms, I cut them down to 13 inches long

If I remember there are two choices and I got the larger slotted motor mounts

The UAP1 kit comes with a lot of different plates, I actually mounted my NAZA on a motor mount.

The NAZA comes with a BEC that I wired directly from the battery, I made [soldered] a wire harness for the ESC's.

I also got the props and motors from Rusty.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:05 PM   #10
Adidas4275
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Originally Posted by Av8Chuck View Post
The cool thing about the UAP-1 is that you can configure it anyway you like, the attached picture is the same frame as a Y6.

How much you can lift is going to depend on how you configure your multirotor. The Hex and Y6 in these photos were designed to lift up to a GH2 or T2i. They have 30A ESC's Avrotto 2830/14 motors with 11x4.7 props.

If you want to carry a 5dMkII I'd recommend larger ESC's and props, but the frame can be the same.

The gimbal on the Y6 is from here: http://www.x468.com/ I've had this gimbal for over a year and have not used it yet. And obviously you can get a gimbal from here: http://www.photoshipone.com/products/mktr/

I don't disagree with your point about the inertia in the blades of a 600 to 700 helicopter but, you might be surprised by the size and weight of a multirotor that can fly a 5dMkII, the props are probably going to be around 12 to 14 inches and with a 5800mah battery your going to need to get just five or six minutes of flight the AUW can easily be above six or seven pounds. If one of the motors fails the remaining motors will throttle up significantly to compensate, if they can, so if it falls out of the sky under power the remaining props can do significant damage.

I get a little apprehensive when I'm around a 700 taking off and landing, you can feel the thrust and the power, its the same when I fly the Y6, the thing is a flying skill saw. Here's a video of my first Hex crash and a video of an AP test, both with GoPros.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgZ4aYnHBIw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKi9erPaIfM
I agree rusty's frames are great and inexpensive.... perfect for AP work. The Naza controller looks great, i fly a mutlwii quad and a hoverfly pro Y-6. I love the Y-6 design, super stable and compact for travel.

here is a pic of my Y-6




here is a video i shot 2 nights ago when testing my gimbal and sony nex-5n.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:33 AM   #11
newrc
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Originally Posted by Adidas4275 View Post
I agree rusty's frames are great and inexpensive.... perfect for AP work. The Naza controller looks great, i fly a mutlwii quad and a hoverfly pro Y-6. I love the Y-6 design, super stable and compact for travel.

here is a pic of my Y-6




here is a video i shot 2 nights ago when testing my gimbal and sony nex-5n.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAn7F71EVPU
Do you get a video downlink with the NEX 5n or do you have a separate viewfinder camera?
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:35 PM   #12
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I don't want to pretend it's never going to hit somebody, because shit does happen.
Ok take a big step back for a minute. If you have the attitude that you want to fly a multicopter because *when* it looses control it's likely going to hit someone, then you need to really re-evaluate your idea of safe flying.

Flying directly over and around people is a big no-no in this community. No matter what you are flying, we are all using hobby grade equipment that is prone to failure (mechanical or electronic). It's your job as the pilot to ALWAYS fly in a manner in which if you lost control, or had some kind of failure, that your equipment will not injury anyone on the ground.

For this reason you'll find many people argue that a single rotor heli can be built more reliable, in the event of a power failure (most likely type of failure) you still have control and often can auto rotate, or at least ditch into a tree or generally away from things on the ground. I won't say one is safer than the other, but don't fool yourself, a heavy lift multi falling out of the sky has more then enough energy to kill a person.
Please play safe, the rest of the community counts on it.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:35 PM   #13
Akoni
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Originally Posted by newrc View Post
Do you get a video downlink with the NEX 5n or do you have a separate viewfinder camera?
You can do a video downlink with the 5n using an hdmi to av converter that then feeds that output to your Vtx.
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