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Thread: Cameras?

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    Default Cameras?

    One of the things I've always wanted to do was record on-board footage...this permates every hobby I have that involves moving things and even my daily commute(<3 dashcams). Problem is, N-scale trains are so small that putting a camera in the cab is 100% out of the question, and finding a camera that's worth using and will fit within the loading gauge for pushing along ahead of the train isn't easy.


    And that's what I'm poking you lot for.

    Requirements for the camera:

    * Small enough to fit within a standard loading gauge when mounted on a flatcar or well car

    * 720p resolution

    * at least an hour's recording time on the SD card

    * 120 FOV at max. I hate fisheye video and don't want to record it.

    * Decent sound.

    * Affordable-ish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JennyC6 View Post
    * at least an hour's recording time on the SD card
    You may need to prioritize your requirements -- do you really need 1 hour of recording time? Actually the issue with long run time is battery life more than SD card capacity (battery will run out on most small cameras before you can fill the internal memory much less an SD card (which could be swapped in a few seconds).

    I think that you can hit every piece of track in almost every layout (even going at a moderate pace) in less than 10 or maybe 20 minutes. Also editing video is a huge pain... might be better off planning your session and recording your run in 10 or 20 minutes and then doing minimal editing rather than making a very long and boring video that needs tons of editing.

    More I think of this the more I think this should be a service that someone could launch (since layouts don't change much over time you would likely play with the camera for a couple of days then the camera car would sit in a drawer for months till it is outdated). Service could work like: send customer the pre-configured camera car, let them run it around the track for a day or two recording footage, mail car plus footage back, have video editors (college students or cheap labor overseas) make the best operational video for you...

    Ok sorry about the side note -- on to camera recommendations...

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    Quote Originally Posted by McNamee View Post
    You may need to prioritize your requirements -- do you really need 1 hour of recording time?
    Yes, actually. The finished video might only be a couple minutes long, but if I were, say, recording operations? Yeah I could easily fill the SD card several times over with raw footage. And, hell, if I ever take it to a big meetup I might end up having footage of several roads if they'll let me plop it down. It may only take 10-20 minutes to circumnavigate one layout, but after the fourth or fifth one that larger SD card is coming in very handy indeed.

    Actually the issue with long run time is battery life more than SD card capacity
    Unless the camera takes up the entire well car I can power it off the tracks. Anything with a micro-USB port just needs 5 volts at half an amp or so, one at most(Limit of USB standard), and that's easily enough supplied with a bridge rectifier, a couple smoothing caps, a simple vreg circuit, and pickups on the well car. This can be made amazingly compact and within the spatial requirements. I run DCC so there's somewhere around 18 volts on the railhead at any given time.

    Battery life is irrelevant, the thing'll be perpetually tethered to a charger.

    Also editing video is a huge pain
    Not really, I've done enough of it that I know my software of choice and can clip out the interesting portions. And besides, there's no guarantee I'll ever fill the entire balance, as you said most layouts can be circumnavigated in a handful of minutes and that's all the footage I'd need to record if I wanted to do a cabride tour of the whole plan. There's no rule saying every recording sesh needs to fill the entire card, after all~

    I want the hour's worth of record time in the off chance I want to record op sessions, or I want to cut in various views/angles(Say, some shots from back in the consist, or pointing back at the locomotive pulling the train, or have shots of the train passing from a siding/grade crossing/et-al). I'd like to be able to record the bulk, if not all, of the footage in one go without having to keep track of several tiny little microSD cards. So I want a camera that will support a large enough card to record an hour's worth at 720p.
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    No suggestion for which camera to use for your purpose, but as for memory requirement, I have a small camera that I use for shooting video and it's fitted with a 4GB memory card. That gives me roughly 20 minutes of 720p video. For one hour plus, you'll then need 16GB.

    ... If you didn't know that already.

    Jens
    nScale.net: Elsewhere Yard
    nScale.net: AT&SF West Valley Division (abandoned)
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