Sunday, November 07, 2010

Is mini video a good idea ?

While I was at the Large aircraft show, one of the traders was selling micro video cameras. For 50 quid you get a tiny little camera that records on micro SD cards. It looked interesting so I took a leaflet. Back home it turned out that despite selling a device who's output is going to end up on teh Interweb, the seller doesn't have a web site !

Luckily a little searching finds a similar item available from Maplin

In fact it turns out there are several versions of the same device. A cheap plastic one and a better version in a plastic case for about 20 pounds or a better version in an alloy case for 50. Better still there is a video taken from a radio control glider.

Which shows that the quality is pretty good. At this point I'm thinking that this looks like a lot of fun. I should have one. First thoughts turn to model boats. How about some shots taken at water level ? Maybe I could fit one to a Slingshot and film a race from within the action ? Maybe, but would it work ?

Think about it, when you are in a car do you stare straight ahead ? No, you turn to look around corners. Film makers know this and swing the view around. To get a decent bit of footage I'll need to do something similar. Some sort of linkage driven from the rudder might be possible but this means the camera needs to be built into the boat rather than fitted as required. This is all sounding like work.

Next up, how about filming model railways from the point of view of the driver ?

Again, technically possible. If you look at the end of the glider footage the grass is in focus so the close-up capabilities are OK. But, and it's a big one, model railways are built like stage sets. You look at them from the front. Any other viewpoint and all you'll notice is the audience. The actors on stage and telly aren't in an immersive environment and our train sets aren't like that either. The results will be a bit rubbish.

So; 50 quid saved then.


Jim said...

A garden railway however... I like the idea of filming my tiny circuit from within an LGB cab.

John Teal said...

I've seen quite a few model railways use "keyfob" cameras. They can be found quite easily from £5 upwards on ebay.