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Hello,

I am working with the Lake Eustis Youth Sailing Foundation.

We want to hang an camcorder/camera from a kite. We need to be able to pan and tilt the camcorder/camera. We are going to using this for training youth sailors to help them sail around marks (buoys) on a race course. Because we will be flying the kite over water we are thinking of using a HD actioncam. We are looking for something that is very simple to use. We use volunteers so the person taking the video/photos will often change. We talked about this and thought having a controller with two dials not joy sticks would be best. One dial to control pan the other to control tilt. If possible we would also like two or three buttons on the controller.
one button would be the shutter/record button, the second button would be the mode (photo/video) button. The third button would be turn on the camcorder.

We were also thinking it should be able to shoot 1080p and have a 10MP camera or higher.

What setup do you suggest to meet our needs.

Hopefully we would be able to get some donation money for some of the photo from the parents of the youth sailors, to help our non profit youth sailing club offset the price of this setup.

Thanks for your assistance,
Greg

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Thanks for replying.

I am guessing at this point. It would depend on the field of view of the camera. My action cam has a 145 degree field of vision. Using my cameras field of vision, for the kids sailing in Prams I am thinking 65 feet to 100 ft (20 metes to 30.5m). With the Laser sailboats it will need to be 80ft to 120ft (24m to 36.5m). These hights I am giving are if we are able to center the camera directly over the mark (buoy). Maybe a little higher if a regatta was going on because there could be more sailboats rounding the mark (buoy) at the same time. From what I can tell action cams have field a vission from 120 to 170 degrees.

How high should the kite be at those camera hieghts?

Greg

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There is a whole side of kite flying devoted to KAP ( Kite assisted photography) - usually panoramic scenes from high up - but it's not something I personally know much about.

Reading your first post and what you are trying to do, my first thought would be wouldn't it be a lot easier with one of those camera equiped RC quadcopter drones? It seems to me that you would have a more stable and controllable platform to film from than you would get with a kite set up and you can get a pretty good drone with a pretty good camera for not too much money these days.

Just a thought.

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Hadge,

Thanks for your input. Using a drone was our original idea. Having a different volunteer each weekend control a drone in wind up to 20 mph (32 kph) over water rules them out real quick. Also their flight time is not long enough. The kids are sailing for 2 to 4 hours at a time. We looked at using a balloon before going to a kite. Tethered balloons are not recommend to fly in winds above 8-10 mph (12-16 kph).

Our thought to solve having different volunteers was a kite. One of the instructors will get the kite up with the camera then anchor the kite line to the boat which is anchored to the bottom. The instructor will then set the pan and tilt for the camera position in relation to the mark (buoy) or the race course. Then turn over the controller to the volunteer. The instructor will then transfer to his boat so he can follow the kids and give them instructions. This allows the volunteer only have to control shutter, video/camera mode and turning camera off and on.

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Most KAP devices are made to order, as far as I've learned, though some are made as "fit most". I would recommend you inquire on the Facebook group called Kite Areal Photography KAP. personally I do my KAP with an action camera that has a Wifi app which allows me some of the control your looking for, mounted with a relatively simple device I made, but I don't this it would fit your purpose, especially not in that kind of wind. For that you need an SLK setup.

Thank you kindly, Iftah.

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For that you need an SLK setup.

Iftah, What does SLK stand for? I did a search on the forums for SLK and nothing came up. Tried Google still did not find anything that I thought was relevant to kiting.

Where would I go to find made to order. It seems anyone selling kites in Central Florida is selling kids toy kites.

Thanks,

Greg

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I've messed around with doing some KAP, but I wouldn't call it a reliable platform for doing the type of work that you're describing. Also, the winds that you're describing are really too high for flying a kite reliably. When the kite decides to do a barrel roll unexpectedly, it will dump all of your expensive equipment in the drink... not really where you want to be.

My first thought on reading this post was to suggest a drone, but winds 20mph+ ? Not really good for anything that flies, especially in the hands of a novice. Maybe putting geo-tags on the boats and and markers could provide a virtual overhead to review once the data is collected...

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Box kites can be rock-steady in 20+ mph winds and can be scaled up to lift any KAP rig. There are many different kinds of box kites.

Using a GoPro or other camera with a waterproof casing will take the worry out of wind shifts or other anomalies that might dunk your rig.

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You can fly reliably over 30mph with proper care and setup.

170 degree view will "push" things away. I have Kap'tured pics of large masted boats where the camera is right up on it and looks many feet away. I use a GoPro on and automatic rig. Your rig can be set up however you desire. More options generaly means more weight..which equals more kite/wind to carry the load. Lenses can be changed in most cameras these days to aquire what you are looking for.

P.s. I usually shut down around 25mph....just doesn't become much fun for me, as I Kap mobile with kite in hand walking about.

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mystainedskin can you tell me what kite(s) and string you are using with your gopro and about your automatic rig. A photo or two of the rig would be great too. I just purchased a parafoil 5, and 150lb string. I am waiting for the reel to come in, so I can do a test to see how much weight I can lift with this setup. I have seen where people have changed lens on the gopro but I have seen or heard if after they do so it will fit back into the water tight housing. I have seen action cams with a 140 degree field of vision, but they seem to only have a 5mp camera.

Thanks,

Greg

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I do not use soft kites. I use framed kites. A Genki,Delta and a Delta Conyne on 160# hollow core dacron line. All kites are 8'/10' wingspan.

To be quite honest.. the genki variant is the best for me. The other 2 kites provide too much lift.

I do not have my rig on hand for a pic at the moment. Basically a modified brooxes beak kap rig. 1 single constant rotating servo.

Find some photos later.

The gopro is light.... even on the rig.It will not take alot to lift it.

You are correct about cams fitting in waterproof cases after lens swap. I vary rarely use mine in the case. I use the naked frame. Ya...it will be ruined if it hits the water...but have become confident in my abilities of judging the wind or quick recovery.

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