The other day I was asked to take aerial photos of the Museum Garden at The National Colonial Farm. Most of what I’ve done till now has been video and I have a very good setup for the GoPro. For this job I wanted higher resolution stills aimed directly down which called for a real camera. I also now have more faith in my skills and my equipment so I decided to use my Panasonic LX3 (aka Leica D-Lux 3). Using some aluminum stock I fashioned a 90 degree mounting bracket. The bracket is offset like that in an effort to keep the center of gravity in line.
Now the LX3 has no IR receiver nor cable release so I had to trigger it the old fashioned way, by pushing the button. The last time I made a servo trigger I crafted an awkward bracket out of Shapelock thermoplastic that was heavy and ugly and flexed under stress. luckily the LX3 has a hot shoe and I had a hot shoe to 1/4 20 lying around. Attached to that, I had a piece of Lexan and a scrap of some other flimsy plastic, a 9g servo, and a short piece of silicone fuel tube. All cut, drilled, and fastened and voila!
What you’d see from the ground.
And here’s the resulting photo
It’s actually a composite of several shots because I didn’t have FPV live video set up for that flight (I couldn’t find the video out cable for the LX3) so I had to kinda fly back and forth trying to hold the copter steady while pulling the trainer switch to take pictures.
Next time I plan to have at least a down facing FPV and possibly a co pilot to help guide me into position and take the photos. Also, while I did use altitude hold mode for this, I had no idea what my framing looked like but alt hold combined with live video feed should make future shots much clearer.