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The Electronic Camera Gimbal

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CamNerd:
Short flight test video compilation testing a electronic pan tilt gimbal without moving parts. The data was transmitted using single frame JPEG compression and an IEEE802.11n Wi-Fi connection:
The Electronic Camera Gimbal

jwatte:
So, basically, cropping out a sub-picture of a high-resolution fish-eye input?
Eliminating the cost and power draw of two servos might be worth it, and the cropped image may require less bandwidth to transmit than the full fish-eye view.
But don't you get much less light sensitivity when you use a high-resolution sensor, where each pixel is small?

CamNerd:
"So, basically, cropping out a sub-picture of a high-resolution fish-eye input?"
Basically yes, the fisheye cam is calibrated to get out undistorted images.

"Eliminating the cost and power draw of two servos might be worth it, and the cropped image may require less bandwidth to transmit than the full fish-eye view"
Yes, for this use case you need the undistortion onboard. The other use case is a high capacity data-link (e.g. 801.11n) to transmit the whole fisheye image. You can do the undistortion on ground and in addition you will have the multiuser feature.

"But don't you get much less light sensitivity when you use a high-resolution sensor, where each pixel is small?"
You are right, we compensate it using a cam with a large sensor.

bdeuell:
Cool idea, I imagine the improvement of camera technologies in recent years makes this a more practice approach.

Any idea how the weight and volume of this system, using the larger camera and fish-eye lens, compares to a system with a smaller camera having the equivalent resolution and light sensitivity of the cropped portion placed on a gimbal?

jwatte:
Thanks for the answers!

What's the onboard computer? If it's something with a GPU, I imagine you can do anti-distortion using that pretty efficiently.

And, the $1M question: Is the additional cost of the larger sensor smaller than the saved cost of the servos you eliminate? Or is this mostly about weight savings?

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