The flying X1

After looking at Pierre’s wonderful shots of the Windward Isles with the M9 I thought I’d report back on the X1 experience.

The main problem I have with it ( for KAP)  is the lack of a live video output. Working with a mini cam mounted on the hot-shoe doesn’t really let me see how the camera is behaving and consequently I have tended to rely on the ‘Auto’ settings for exposure and hoped for the best. The camera’s characteristic of using a very wide stop and a very slow shutter speed in anything other than the strongest light suggests a bias towards a fixed ISO setting.

For the Bartlow Hills flight I fixed the shutter speed at 125th and the ISO at 800;  test shots with these settings on the ground were coming out ok so the only auto settings were aperture and focus.

There is a certain ‘softness’ to the images and I have pushed the intensity to give them a bit more  contrast.

The full picture, I have taken out the kite line: So I think it’s fair to say at around 55m stand off the X1 captures ground detail pretty well. I would love to be able to get better resolution but, provided the X1 is kept low I think it does a good job for views like this. For good metric photography it would have to be much lower to get adequate digitising precision. Here is the 1.8m object in the centre of the scene at pixel size:

it’s something like 4cm per pixel. That’s a 10″ Halo reel on my knee. At the moment I’m shooting in Jpeg ‘fine’  because of the amount of image sifting I need to do which is something of a chore with Raw format files at 200 shots in a 1 hour flight.

The sharp shots really work well and the resolution is fine for the landscape record I want. I could fly a DSLR and I know the resolution would be at least double this but at 1.4kg (against the 270g for the X1) the D70 is staying on the ground…for now.

More on the Hills here

Comment on the condition of the monument here

Discussion thread on KAP cameras here

Why I chose to fly the X1 here

Flickr set from 2 KAP flights over the cemetery here

About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
Gallery | This entry was posted in KAP and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The flying X1

  1. Phoebe Taplin says:

    Hello! Lovely pictures of this great site. Just wondering: are these shots for sale?

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