So to get the benefit of flying the increased load of the DSLR I need to sort servo control and video feed to ground. Not a simple matter given the D70’s mass and connectivity. I wire up what I can and the only way to get a video relay going is by using a pilot cam- not good news given the weight is really a big problem.
Some careful consideration of what I’m getting into here reveals things have really moved on since Nikon brought out the D70: for the same sort of money as the D70 cost I can get a live view DSLR that runs up to 3200ISO and 16Mp..and weighs only 530g!. Hmm I could spend an age on sorting the D70 and still have an awful pixel to weight ratio compared to the current crop of ‘pro-sumer’ kit. A quick hunt though the DPreview pages and the D5100 comes up with the best pixel/weight ratio..Arriving at my local camera shop with a birds nest of wires and radios I was able to discover, to my utter joy, the ‘live view’ on this camera will port out of its AV slot as NTSC or PAL video.
It takes my Nikkor 28mm AF-D (although not with working AF so it will be a case of taping up the focus to infinity,…sigh!) Next step is to set about converting the Brooxes ‘simple tilt’ rig to full RC. Brooxes rig parts are wonderful because they have all the cut outs needed to get from simple fixed tilt to full control: the tilt servo was easy and balancing the rig wasn’t too bad either with the ‘short’ lens but the worst bit by far was hacking the AV cable to fit; it had to be gouged away until the tilt was cleared- a horrible business.My home made ‘AV out’ cable is not a pretty sight – but it works!so there we are at 1.3Kg. A quick flight over the common and, despite the weight (it still needs an LiFe battery, a lighter mounting bolt and some metal removed from the tilt frame) it’s working well:there is still much to learn about exposure control on this camera I found ‘Auto’ to be a bit over exposed with a bias to ISO 400 so I’ll be trying out faster shutter speeds with higher ISO settings after this 1st batch of blurry shots.In practice I think the D5100 will fly under my 3 main kites happily but the Leica X1 does better in the ‘light variable’ stuff and, surprisingly, has a faster shutter release, image stabilisation and a very useful ‘burst’ mode which I can’t use on the D52100 as I’m using IR release.