Saturday, July 15, 2017

Burst or Video for Launches?

Here's the camera I use for my blog and launch pictures, the Canon ES280 HS. I like this camera and I'm getting better at using it. But - I'm not making any recommendations to anyone looking for a new camera.

Here's a recent comment from BAR Geezer - 
"I remember once you mentioned that you use "burst" mode on your camera at the moment of launch. Have you tried shooting a video instead, and using a screenshot capture? That way you don't have to worry about missing the takeoff.
I use a free program called VLC Media Player. It has an option called "Take Snapshot" which saves a picture file of a video freeze frame. Got pretty good results from my cheap cell phone camera. With a 32GB SD card you can take hundreds of videos before the card fills up."

Thanks BAR, sounded like something I should try.
At the recent N.E.F.A.R. launch I recorded a few launches using the video record on the camera. I downloaded the VLC Media Player and found the screen capture function. I compared some burst and screen capture pictures.
The results were a little better using the burst feature on the camera. This camera takes seven pictures in a half second in the burst mode. Right at ignition everything is sharp but by the time the launch rod is cleared it's still a blur. 
I press and hold the shutter button when the first hiss of the engine ignition is heard, sometimes I miss the shot. It's more difficult when the RSO is pressing the launch button.
I was interested in trying the video mode and another camera could give better results. With this camera the resolution turned out sharper in the burst mode. Still a good thing to test and I found a good free video player! 

I have to be honest - When somebody posts launch videos on the forums or Facebook I don't normally watch them. After the rocket clears the launcher you can't find it in the sky and I won't follow a tiny speck of a parachute until touchdown. Launches (like marching bands) are always better in person.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Chris.
    Interesting post.
    I always use my cel phone in video mode for all of my launch shots. Like BAR Geezer, I run the video on the computer desktop, pause it at launch, and do screen shots of frames I can pick up (I use the Windows snipping tool). Typically get two or three frames of the model liftoff at various places on or above the launch rod. I do follow the model's flight path and recovery (If I remember to), but this is mainly to get flight duration data from the video.