I need a good action cam for high DR situations

N4865G

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Good day all,
Came across this forum searching for an answer to my dilemma.

I shoot a lot inside the aircraft ****pit which during the day is a prime example of the extreme dynamic range situation.
The bight sky and the clouds and relatively dark ****pit.
One example HERE
Which of the current small form factor action or in fact dash cams would be the best performer in this scenario?
The low light performance would be preferential as well.
I have not much need for the image stabilisation as the cam is normally mounted on a fixed window which is a stable platform.
I read a lot about the new DJI Osmo Action cam, perhaps this could be the candidate?
Price is not really an issue. Performance is.

Thanks in advance
Dom
 

Nigel

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Welcome to the forum :)

Maybe the Gitup F1: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/forums/f1.249/
Gives a nice 4K image with plenty of detail, nice and small for mounting, works well as a dashcam with auto start, loop recording etc., although I'm not sure it fully solves your dynamic range issue, so I'll stick with my previous recommendation.
 

Dashmellow

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I'm not aware of any consumer level action camera or dash camera that will provide the wide dynamic range requirement for your purposes. If price is really not an issue and performance is paramount then you may want to consider a professional cinematography camera.

Take a look at the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera. This tiny camera uses a Super 16 sensor and has a dynamic range of 13 stops which is far beyond what any consumer level action or dash camera can currently achieve. The camera features a Micro Four Thirds bayonet lens mount and accepts a wide range of lenses which opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities. There is practically no smaller camera in this class that offers the performance and capabilities of a camera like this.

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicmicrocinemacamera

BMmicro.jpg

BMmicro2.jpg

helmet_mount.jpg

BMmicro3.jpg

Another possibility might be the Sony RXOII, a true action camera but one designed for professional use both in its rugged construction as well as its imaging capabilities and other features.

It has a one inch stacked 15.3-megapixel Exmor RS sensor and Sony’s BIONZ X processor, Zeiss Tessar T f=7.9 mm F4.0 lens (24mm equivalent, possibly too long a focal length for your needs?) and an ISO range of 80-12800. It can shoot 4K @ 30fps and also can shoot at extremely high frame rates (960fps/1000fps) and shutter speeds of 1/4 in – 1/32000 for slow motion capture.

It features extensive DR controls - Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level 1-5), Auto High Dynamic Range (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1.0–6.0 EV, 1.0 EV step)

https://www.sony.com/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-rx0m2#editorial_image_1606646521211529564450917

RXOII.jpg

RXOIIb.jpg
 

Nigel

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The pixels on the Sony RXOII are significantly smaller than on the Viofo A129, I think the A129 would be better unless the 4K is a requirement, especially at dusk/night time. Also the A129 can be left to get on with it without any worry of overheating or running out of memory.
 

Dashmellow

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Despite the smaller pixels on the Sony, the one inch sensor would be nice to have. The camera does have a reputation for getting pretty hot but because it is built on a machined alloy chassis it can take the heat. I guess the heat "might" present an issue but based on the length of most of the videos presented on the OP's YouTube channel it would likely be ok but it sounds like a valid concern to look into before purchase.

Of the two cams suggested the Blackmagic Micro Cinema would probably provide the best quality footage and certainly the best dynamic range of any other suitable camera available. And the prospect of using different focus-able lenses would be appealing. The one thing to understand about a camera like this is that as a professional cinema cam it requires careful setup, a separate video monitor and you need to do a fair amount of post processing on the video to render suitable footage using the various RAW codecs it shoots in. This is not a "point & shoot" camera like a typical action cam.

But then again no standard out-of-the box action cam will yield footage with this kind of "filmic" quality.

 
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kamkar1

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You also have to be earning air captain money to buy the Blackmagic camera Vs the other ones that can be had on a stewardess wages. ( i assume )
The HDR mode of the osmo action, maybe paired with a ND filter i would think work fine, and it is fairly easy to line up with its front LCD screen, as i assume from example video you do have to put the camera up close to something.
And mounted upside down so the lens can be as close to the window as possible.
Only the osmo action are not the wide angle king, with or without EIS & dewarp enabled
 
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Nigel

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Despite the smaller pixels on the Sony, the one inch sensor would be nice to have.
Yes, but dynamic range is closely tied to pixel size (how much charge the pixels can hold), so it depends on how important dynamic range is vs the 4K resolution of the Sony. Or go for the best of both with the Blackmagic which has a bigger sensor than both while still only being 1080 resolution :)
 

Dashmellow

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The Blackmagic would certainly be the way to go but it's not a camera for the average person primarily because of the requirement for post processing the footage.

The camera runs about an hour and a half off the attachable lithium-ion battery. Hooking it up to a permanent power source requires a monster of a cable harness that some pros don't like but something like that might be just fine inside the c0ckpit of a commercial airliner.
 

kamkar1

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Yes indeed, ****pit area are a bit dark though, i would assume HDR would help with that, maybe also a ND4 filter or something like that ( never really worked with filters in photography or video making )
 

Dashmellow

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Yes indeed, ****pit area are a bit dark though, i would assume HDR would help with that, maybe also a ND4 filter or something like that ( never really worked with filters in photography or video making )
An ND filter over the lens would make the entire image darker including the c0ckpit interior. While there are graduated filters available as well as filter holders that allow a photographer to cover only a selected portion of the lens with ND or color correction filters they would be virtually impossible to deploy in a scenario like this.
 

SawMaster

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A suitable cam is out there to be sure, but I think at this point if we could know how involved @N4865G wants to get with setup and adjustment would get him better answers sooner.

A plug-and-play person like me won't like a "Hollywood cam", and a good videographer wouldn't want a simple "Action cam" that lacks adjustability to best fit their needs.

Phil
 

TonyM

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Of all the small action cameras and dashcams I've had the opportunity to play with, the GitUp F1 with modified firmware has by far the greatest dynamic range. It is also quite happy to run continuously without overheating.

I'm not in a position to comment on the larger cameras @Dashmellow suggested, although at first glance they do appear to be a better solution.

Are there any restrictions on devices containing lithium batteries inside aircraft ****pits?
 
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N4865G

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Sorry for the late reply. I somehow lost the feedback from this forum.
I am not looking into spending a fortune to make blockbuster movies.
Merely looking for the best dynamic range camera out of the consumer market choices out there just to document some of the nicer destinations we get ot fly to.
Something compact, unobtrusive, providing reasonable quality and not necessarily stabilised, as it is normally mounted on the fixed window platform anyway.
This is to be the upgrade to my long lasting and so far reliable, but dated Mobius Actioncam 1080p.
Possibly, on occassions I would like to take it scuba-diving into shallow waters as well.

Thanks again
Dom
 

Dashmellow

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Sorry for the late reply. I somehow lost the feedback from this forum.
I am not looking into spending a fortune to make blockbuster movies.
Merely looking for the best dynamic range camera out of the consumer market choices out there just to document some of the nicer destinations we get ot fly to.
Something compact, unobtrusive, providing reasonable quality and not necessarily stabilised, as it is normally mounted on the fixed window platform anyway.
This is to be the upgrade to my long lasting and so far reliable, but dated Mobius Actioncam 1080p.
Possibly, on occassions I would like to take it scuba-diving into shallow waters as well.

Thanks again
Dom

In your original post you stated, "Price is not really an issue. Performance is.", hence the recommendations for professional level cameras that would provide the dynamic range capabilities you were asking for.

All in all, most consumer action cams will have a more or less similar but somewhat limited dynamic range compared to something like the Blackmagic Micro Cinema or Sony.

Perhaps the Gitup F1 4K (or the new F1C - with super-capacitor) might be worth a look?

https://www.gitup.com/home/116-gitup-f1c-130-fov-4k-wifi-action-camera.html

https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/forums/f1.249/
 
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N4865G

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Thank you all very much,
I came across the Sony Action cam X3000 as the one having good low light performance.
Could this be a viable option?
Thanks
Dom
 

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