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Video recording of HPR launches

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JimmyL

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I don't know if anyone else has this problem so I thought I would throw it out and see what happens. I have a Panasonic HDC-SD9 Video camera. It is HD and takes incredible video. The problem is the only viewfinder is the swing out screen. In the bright sunlight you can not see the screen. I usually end up with about the first couple of seconds of a launch and then it is just plain luck if I stll have the rocket in frame. Google searchs turned up nothing that would be helpful. As an amateur astronomer I remembered a reflex site for BB guns that a few of us used on home made telescopes. I adapted one to my camera and thought that maybe I am not the only one having this problem and would share it with the forum. At our next club launch next weekend I will give it a try and report back on how it works. Here are a couple of pictures of the contraption.....

camcorder1.jpg


camcorder2.jpg


camcorder3.jpg
 

jadebox

Roger Smith
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I don't know if anyone else has this problem so I thought I would throw it out and see what happens. I have a Panasonic HDC-SD9 Video camera. It is HD and takes incredible video. The problem is the only viewfinder is the swing out screen. In the bright sunlight you can not see the screen. I usually end up with about the first couple of seconds of a launch and then it is just plain luck if I stll have the rocket in frame. Google searchs turned up nothing that would be helpful. As an amateur astronomer I remembered a reflex site for BB guns that a few of us used on home made telescopes. I adapted one to my camera and thought that maybe I am not the only one having this problem and would share it with the forum. At our next club launch next weekend I will give it a try and report back on how it works. Here are a couple of pictures of the contraption.....
I have the same kind of problem with my Casio EX-F1. It has a viewfinder in addition to the LCD screen, but, the viewfinder is electronic and very small. So, it's difficult to track rockets in flight with it. So, I'm interested in hearing how your added sight works.

One thing I've considered is making a "bazooka" sight for the camera. I've seen some sports photographers using a rig that sits on your shoulder like a bazooka. I figure something like that with an optical sight (maybe just a cross hair) on it might work. It's another project in my "build pile."

-- Roger
 
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Queeg500

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I have recorded several low powered flights and I use a mini-DV camcorder that has both the swing out LCD screen and a standard viewfinder. The viewfinder technique I use - impossible to use the LCD screen - is to grab a 5-9 second closeup before launch - if I can't get that then I grab a still photo and drop that in during editing, then get back 20 ft behind the LCO and on ignition track the rocket keeping both eyes open all the way to apogee and when it flies out of sight. I hold the frame until I see something or I sort of guess at the decent and track downward until I see it and then zoom in. In descent segment I have the rocket in frame but it is in the lower left or lower right corner of the frame and this is the best that I can do with a $200 camcorder! Seems to me recording HPR flights should be a lot easier than LPR flights as the zoom can grab on to larger descending objects easier.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-7598214973898233833&hl=en&fs=true

I don't understand why it was a great idea to remove the viewfinder when these HD camcorders first came out but I think I saw one on a Sony or Cannon model the last time I was at Best Buy. on TRF v.1 someone said they created a bazooka sight but I'd love to see a picture of one.
 
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Winston

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I'm waiting for OLED displays to show up in still cameras with HD video capabilities, something which is past due (one manufacturer has already done this, but the camera isn't very highly rated for much other than its OLED display). They're already used in mobile gizmos including cell phones and a handheld game unit and provide excellent visibility in direct sunlight.
 

spacecadet

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You'd be better off shading the screen. The problem with fast- moving objects is that you need to see outside the frame, to see where it's going to go. That's why the golf cameramen have monitor-type finders. They don't look through a viewfinder.

BTW the word is 'sight'. I wondered which webSITE you meant for a moment.
 

bguffer

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With my old non-widescreen DV camcorder (circa 2003), i was always able to place the viewfinder against/over one of my eyes (like an eyepatch), then follow the rocket with my unblocked eye. That worked 90 percent of the time.

With my newer widescreen camcorder (circa 2008), that has worked about 50% of the time.
 

JimmyL

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SpaceCadet,


You are correct, sight is the proper word. With the sight mounted on the bottom I will be able to look through the sight and keep my other eye open. These sights have no magnification, they project a red dot in the center of the front glass. They work great for telescopes, of course the celestial objects aren't moving 400mph. Will give it a go next weekend.
 

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