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External cameras - performance, mounting and legal issues

There is a lens kit available for the GoPro

That would be just a neutral density filter. This reduces the shutter speed by reducing the light getting in, which helps. I have tried this in the past and the result was never complete.

It doesn't seem that there are small camcorders with 1080p resolution that can be mounted externally that do not suffer from this

That's true; manual shutter speed control is one of the things the camcroder makers use to differentiate "consumer" from "prosumer". I used a Canon Legria G10 which originally cost about £1500 but things have moved on a long way since then (bought 2-3 years ago) and prices are a lot lower.

The other thing you get with a "prosumer" cam is a really well implemented MPEG compressor which doesn't suffer from motion stabilisation artefacts when the camera is moved around fast. This is a big thing and is where optical motion stabilisation makes a big difference. My Nokia 808 phone probably outperforms a £1500 cam on straight video quality but is crap when the phone itself is moved around.

Vibration is also an issue; more so when a camera is mounted on any window.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

My only issue with GoPro cameras is that to get an extremely wide angle, they often give off a fish eye look about them. I don't have one but I have seen friends videos in various high action scenes, and I'd have to say the quality is very good nonetheless.

I always put mine (GPH3 Silver) on the (inside of) windscreen, right next to the thermometer (C172), with the standard suction cup. If you tilt it enough you can record the panel and the landscape, but the former not very clearly due lighting. On Cessnas there is a possible non-interfering (?) place you can put it: on the "footrest" of the main gear strut. In some Cessnas (?) one hole does not have a screw attached to it, so it could be placed there. I have bought a small adapter (10E) that connects the GP to the standard camera screw and maybe it could work. This company aerovideo makes a strut mount (100USD) that looks beefy and sturdy etc but is quite large. On Cessnas it could be also placed on the rope anchoring metal on the base of the strut, where it meets the wing.

LGMT (Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece), Greece

i like the idea of using the tie down eyes .. however I have not found the correct fixture for that

Here I am using several GoPro's both inside and outside as well as one Nflightcam Contour to the front (prop distortion). I once lost a GoPro when trying out (and trying to film) an emergency descent mode (EDM) on the Garmin Perspective from FL250. You don't touch anything in the aircraft for 5 minutes and the Perspective system will start alerting you "are you awake?" and if not responding will take you down to first FL140 and then FL125. It will take you down fast and the speed is more than the GoPro (brand new GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition) could take.

I have also used the Nflightcam Contour camera's and the Nflightcam filters for the GoPro and iPhone. The latest GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition or even better the new Hero 3+ Black Edition give the best video quality you can get.

EDLE, Netherlands

Mine is not that impressive as AeroPlus's, but this is our landing at Tatoi (LGTT) for the Athens Flying Week last week:


LGMT (Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece), Greece

I've never ever landed on the line in the middle like that!

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Well it wasn't windy :p

LGMT (Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece), Greece

I used ducttape to fix a small HD camera to the wingtip. No noticeable difference in flight characteristics.

EHTE, Netherlands

How can you know without an analysis and test program?

Common sense, maybe? You know, I have no POH data for grass runway takeoffs, and no analysis and test program going on, yet I do it all the time. And most shockingly, the authorities are ok with this.

Compared to the performance impact of a wet grass runway, a small camera is harmless...

LSZK, Switzerland
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