A few weeks back, some guys at our fire station brought in this little waterproof, ruggedized, solid-state video camera that they had gotten from Oregon Scientific. It records up to an hour of video on a 2 Gig SD memory card, in 640x480 resolution - just fine for web videos! I got to thinking that it might be kind of cool to play with in the airplane - good for external mounting and lighter than a regular camcorder if I wanted to strap it to a helmet or headset.
For $125, it was hard to pass up, and I got one in the mail last Friday. I immediately went out to the airport, strapped it to my head and went to fly a a few rolls and loops. The resulting video was cool, but pointed out a real problem with aliasing of the prop - black lines that will drive you nuts if you watch it very long. The first video I shot is on YouTube here
, but watch out - the prop lines get annoying pretty quick - hey, I warned you!
Today, I decided to mount the thing outdoors, down low on the landing gear, to try and get the prop mostly out of the picture. The results are better, but the camera shut itself down both times I flew it, apparently right at landing. I'm guessing the impact shook the battery contacts and it powered down. My next try will be to build a little mount to screw it into the wing tie down fitting - that should work fine for a fixed-camera, forward-looking view. It really isn't going to work at all for views with the prop (from the cockpit), but might be effective looking backward out of the cockpit.
Today's video is here
, and was a nice excuse to get an IFR block for a few minutes and fly close to the clouds. I was up about 9,000' at the time....
I mounted the camera on the gear leg with it's Velcro strap, overlaid with vinyl tape (which leaves very little residue), overlaid with duct tape on top of that, and finally, a loop of safety wire around the camera and gear leg - hey, I'd hate to lose the thing in less than a week!
The quality is far from what Doug is doing with a REAL camera....but I doubt he wants to strap his camera outside the airplane.....