How to mount a camera on a drone

How to mount a camera on a drone

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A large majority of drones’ & multicopters ‘users wish to fit a camera on their toy. Either for aerial shooting or for FPV, or for both.
If you do not know the word FPV (First Person View), this means that you pilot your drone with the help of a video stream in real time on a screen or with special glasses instead of looking at it from outside. Exciting isn’it?

In any case there are solutions suited for everybody’s needs, we will go through these solutions in details.

 

Direct fitting

Here,nothing more simpler.You simply fix your camera by means of scratch, adhesive tape or glue depending on your machine.Some frames are equipped with attachments for watertight cases such as GoPro or foreseen with bars will allow to hang a little support.
This solution is more adapted for FPV or occasional video.

Advantages
– Light
– Almost no costs

Disadvantages
– Every movement of the drone is visible on the image.
– Necessity to pilot quietly if you wish to exploit your video shootings.

Stabalizing gimbals

Gimbals are more and more popular. There are a lot of models with very varying quality, for mini camera of model-making, DV camcorder, reflex camera (DSLR), …
However there are two main types.

Servo gimbal

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These gimbals have generally a small size, they  take on board small model-making cameras but also some other mini-cameras ( equivalent to GoPro).

Advantages
– Rather light
– Rather good stabilization of the image
– Can be directly piloted by a large number of flight controllers.

Disadvantages
– Rather limited movements
– Slight lack of fluidity with regard to stabilization

Brushless gimbal

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Brushless-Gimbal-Camera
Here, we are playing in the first league.The smallest ones take on board a GoPro camera, the largest ones take on board reflex camera.

Advantages
– Perfect stabilization impeccable,  ultra fluid movements
– Freedom of movement (possibility of centering what you are shooting without being obliged to move the drone).
–Noiseless

Disadvantages
– Necessity to have a dedicated stabilization card.
– Rather expensive
– Weight

IMPORTANT
Whatever fixing method has been chosen, it is absolutely essential to balance correctly your propellers.If they are not properly balanced, this will generate high frequency vibrations in your frame and disrupt the sensor of your camera with a more or less embarassing distorsion of your image.
Some gimbals do have a fixing system with rubber damping slippers in order to limit the damages, nevertheless you will get a much better result in balancing your propellers.
You’ve been warned!

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