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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: Garmin Virb Camera Mounts
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Author Topic: Garmin Virb Camera Mounts  (Read 2705 times)
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 500

« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2016, 10:25:49 PM »


NHQ saves are cell and radar forensics saves.

Ahh. Thanks. I don't know much about those areas. Our Squadron doesn't seem to be involved with that. I'll look into it.
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Spaceman3750
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Posts: 2,531

« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2016, 10:31:20 PM »


NHQ saves are cell and radar forensics saves.

Ahh. Thanks. I don't know much about those areas. Our Squadron doesn't seem to be involved with that. I'll look into it.

It's a national level team. It's little secret squirrel for my taste and I've never seen them advertise open positions but some day when I'm not a commander any more I'll start pestering people about it until I get a crack at the fun.

AFRCC speaks very highly of CAP in general, but especially the cell forensics piece. The way they put it, the software the team has developed to process the cell company data is light years ahead of what any other rescue agency, including USCG, is doing. In fact, I think I saw on the AOC Facebook page that the cell forensics team recently helped the USCG locate a boater in distress.
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"I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody." - Lily Tomlin
"I'm sorry sir, which tab were we on?"

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
PHall
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Posts: 5,581

« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2016, 10:33:14 PM »


NHQ saves are cell and radar forensics saves.

Ahh. Thanks. I don't know much about those areas. Our Squadron doesn't seem to be involved with that. I'll look into it.

Yeah, your squadron most likely won't be involved in it. There's only a very small number of people involved in it and most of them work in the industry.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 500

« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2016, 10:41:38 PM »


Yeah, your squadron most likely won't be involved in it. There's only a very small number of people involved in it and most of them work in the industry.

Yep, I figured as much. I meant I would 'look into it' in terms of learning more about CAP's missions and capabilities. Its a bit above my computer knowledge for sure. LOL  Looks like its a handful of folks running that show. Are they training the next generation for when they retire? Henderson's knowledge, experience and expertise will take a special person to replace for sure.
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Eclipse
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Posts: 27,078

« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2016, 10:41:46 PM »

So, to reiterate - are our total SAR missions down? Yes. Does that mean there's less SAR to be done? Absolutely not. It just means that the role of our local ESOs is now more critical than ever.

You may very well be right that SAR is not the future of CAP. But it's not for lack of work; its for lack of vision and manpower.

This, and why many of us push back against statements that insinuate "SAR is dwindling", etc.  "SAR" is not the only reason CAP has a fleet of planes,
and SAR is not the totality of ES, but when too many people start saying "SAR is dwindling" that makes for an easy excuse for them to quit
the first time they don't get the sortie they wanted, or something like this VIRB issue comes up.

It's easy to sit on the sides with a t-shirt on that says "business acumen" and pretend you could do everything better.  Give anyone a plane, unlimited funds,
no legal or organizational restrictions, and unlimited time, and they could come up with a fantastic airborne platform, but not one which
is scalable from either a deployment or training perspective.

There's also the non-trivial reality that government approvals to spend your (our) money are not taken lightly, and unfortunately
rarely if ever keep pace with technology, especially these days.  The private sector has the advantage again, from a design perspective,
but is rarely able to scale without that sweet, sweet gov'mint honey.

The actual truth of the matter is that most of CAP's aerial recon and photography mission can be fully accomplished with a smart phone (or even an iPhone).

Those 25MP DSLRs are beautiful pieces of heavy, mostly useless tech, while a GPS-enable cell phone camera can get the majority of the job done
for a 10th of the cost.  We were doing AP with 1MP cameras that had floppy drives in them 10 years ago, and I guarantee you I cold still get the job
done with one of those today. We sure as heck don't need RAW, and 80% of the people seeing those file type couldn't even open them.   In the time
you're making them "pop", FEMA has already deployed resources off the Barbie digital camera's shakey, blurry image of high water marks.

Real time video?  Facetime or Hangouts gets the job done without a complicated ground station or a lot of expensive equipment.

Work in a disaster area?  Maybe, maybe not.  In that case the photos come back in 20 minutes or as soon as you hit an FBO with wifi (BTDT).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 10:53:35 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 500

« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2016, 10:49:30 PM »

Good points Eclipse.

We could always go back to the satellite business that is STILL on the CAP website:

Quote
Airborne Digital Imaging

CAP maintains a strong nationwide capability to not only take digital images from the air and carry them back to customers, but to transmit images via satellite phone to any email or web address in the world. The process is so quick, that the receiver can often call back on the satellite phone to talk with the air crew while they are still over the target area!

https://www.capmembers.com/emergency_services/operations_support/advanced-technologies/
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 500

« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2016, 10:52:33 PM »

Good points Eclipse.

We could always go back to the satellite business that is STILL on the CAP website:

Quote
Airborne Digital Imaging

CAP maintains a strong nationwide capability to not only take digital images from the air and carry them back to customers, but to transmit images via satellite phone to any email or web address in the world. The process is so quick, that the receiver can often call back on the satellite phone to talk with the air crew while they are still over the target area!

https://www.capmembers.com/emergency_services/operations_support/advanced-technologies/

Or maybe GIIEP

https://www.capmembers.com/emergency_services/operations_support/cellphone-and-data-card-use/
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Eclipse
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« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2016, 10:56:40 PM »

SDIS hasn't been a viable platform for ages, and GIIEP, while effective in its own right, is very dated tech in very limited availability.
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SarDragon
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Posts: 9,688
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2016, 12:09:33 AM »

[redacted]

The actual truth of the matter is that most of CAP's aerial recon and photography mission can be fully accomplished with a smart phone (or even an iPhone).

Those 25MP DSLRs are beautiful pieces of heavy, mostly useless tech, while a GPS-enable cell phone camera can get the majority of the job done for a 10th of the cost.  We were doing AP with 1MP cameras that had floppy drives in them 10 years ago, and I guarantee you I cold still get the job done with one of those today. We sure as heck don't need RAW, and 80% of the people seeing those file type couldn't even open them.

I think you're being unfairly dismissive here. It's not just all about the pixel count here. These DSLRs have much better lenses, and provide a much better range of operation than a cell phone camera.

As for the RAW format, that capability may not have much application right now, but it provides the ability to really zoom in on the subject of the photo. Right off hand, it's really useful in fire damage analysis. CAWG has had several fire aftermath missions just this year, and they like our product.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
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LSThiker
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,657
Unit: Earth

« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2016, 12:47:07 AM »

It's not just all about the pixel count here. These DSLRs have much better lenses, and provide a much better range of operation than a cell phone camera.

It really is not even about pixel count period.  Although manufacturers really love hitting the markets about pixel counts, it is grossly misleading unless you know something about digital photography.  While pixel count was important in digital photography 10-15 years ago, the main important factors in digital photography are the quality of glass, aperture, and the sensor size. 

Comparing a 1/3 in smartphone sensor (even if it is a BSI-CMOS) against a full-frame CMOS is comparing fruit to vegetables.  That is, you are comparing a 15.5mm2 sensor vs a 864mm2 sensor.  The dynamic range in a full-frame CMOS is vastly superior to the dynamic range of a 1/3 in smartphone sensor.  Heck, full-frame CMOS is vastly superior to APS-C/APS-H. 

Even comparing the apertures of the cameras is comparing fruits to vegetables.  A f/2.2 on an iPhone or even a f/1.7(?) with newer smartphones is nothing compared to the f/2.2 or f/1.4 on a dSLR.  There just is not ability to compare the aperture (when taken into account the image sensor size and focal length) to that of the aperture of a dSLR. 

The quality of lens for a smartphone is just nothing compared to the quality of a dSLR even on the low-end.  The amount of chromatic abberation in a smartphone vs a quality low-end glass lens is noticeable. 

The photo missions I have done have turned out great with our dSLRs while the quick PnS with our smartphones turn out crappy.  Too much noise, too little zoom ability when asked, not nearly as sharp, etc.  Definitely keep the dSLRs.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 12:50:19 AM by LSThiker » Logged
Eclipse
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« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2016, 07:46:44 AM »

The last two above both miss and make my point at the same time (kinda impressive, actually).

Members want to start talking about apertures and focal lengths and f-stops in a world where most
people take selfies with a finger-smeared FFC and are impressed with the image.

Yes, better is always theoretically better, but the mission isn't architectural photography.

"Is the building there?" and "How wet is it?".  Are generally the missions.

The photo mosaics are a different animal, intended to take pictures of ""stuff we didn't know about" for later.
So I will grant resolution helps there.

Anything else is gravy and in my experience the extra pixel density and resolution is a nice-to-have
that as much makes up for the AP's short  comings as (i.e. "he snapped the wrong target but we can zoom")
as a mission necessity.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 07:52:02 AM by Eclipse » Logged

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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 500

« Reply #51 on: September 13, 2016, 08:52:52 AM »

SDIS hasn't been a viable platform for ages, and GIIEP, while effective in its own right, is very dated tech in very limited availability.


Yep. Funny how all those pages on the CAP website just never seem to get deleted or edited.
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etodd
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Posts: 500

« Reply #52 on: September 13, 2016, 08:58:34 AM »


"Is the building there?" and "How wet is it?".  Are generally the missions.


I'm seeing that now. A cell phone camera or little pocket cam would certainly be just fine for so many missions, provided gps data is there. And dropping back to 3-6 mp images would certainly help with upload speeds as opposed to 24mp, when you have hundreds of images. 
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LSThiker
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Posts: 1,657
Unit: Earth

« Reply #53 on: September 13, 2016, 10:51:05 AM »

The last two above both miss and make my point at the same time (kinda impressive, actually).

Members want to start talking about apertures and focal lengths and f-stops in a world where most
people take selfies with a finger-smeared FFC and are impressed with the image.

Yet knowledge or the ability to set f-stop (which is aperture), focal lengths, ISO, etc is not necessary as long as the image itself is still good.  The auto function on all dSLRs is pretty good.  Nevertheless, bad glass, chromatic abberation, and poor dynamic range cannot be overcome regardless of how good the photographer is.   


Quote
Yes, better is always theoretically better, but the mission isn't architectural photography.

"Is the building there?" and "How wet is it?".  Are generally the missions.

The photo mosaics are a different animal, intended to take pictures of ""stuff we didn't know about" for later.
So I will grant resolution helps there.

Oddly enough, most of my mission are exactly "architectural" photography (even though that is not the correct term for that type of photography).  My state's "3 and 4 letter agencies" request that they want high quality images.  In fact, I have flown state funded photo missions to simply photograph state buildings for state planning purposes.  I have flown photo missions for the state that wanted to see the condition of bridges after heavy flooding so that their engineers can determine the damage.  On tornado missions, they want a wide area, but they also want the ability to "zoom" into areas to look more closely if they need to.  The vast majority of the photo mission I have flown were more than "is the building there" and "how wet is it".  The agencies want high quality images that simply a smartphone just won't cut. 

Perhaps that works for your state, but I know that is not what my state wants for when they request our assistance. 
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 500

« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2016, 03:07:14 PM »


 The vast majority of the photo mission I have flown were more than "is the building there" and "how wet is it".  The agencies want high quality images that simply a smartphone just won't cut. 

So again goes back to innovation and long range planning of what CAP's future missions will be and what gear and skill sets will be needed. Do we dumb down all assets to a lowest common denominator? Do we split it all up with some Squadrons using cell phones or pocket cameras and others with high end gear? Or do we hope that we have the best gear for everyone?

Long range goals and planning. 5 to 20 years.  I'd sure like to be a fly on the wall at all those meetings and planning sessions at Hdqs.
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Spaceman3750
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Posts: 2,531

« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2016, 03:40:58 PM »


 The vast majority of the photo mission I have flown were more than "is the building there" and "how wet is it".  The agencies want high quality images that simply a smartphone just won't cut. 

So again goes back to innovation and long range planning of what CAP's future missions will be and what gear and skill sets will be needed. Do we dumb down all assets to a lowest common denominator? Do we split it all up with some Squadrons using cell phones or pocket cameras and others with high end gear? Or do we hope that we have the best gear for everyone?

Long range goals and planning. 5 to 20 years.  I'd sure like to be a fly on the wall at all those meetings and planning sessions at Hdqs.

At least in my wing we have a DSLR assigned to every aircraft (or very close to it). When we get the VIRBs back we will have the same situation there. What more do you want?

I've said it before and will say it again. You seem pretty sharp. I like your enthusiasm. But maybe you should spend some time getting to know people in your wing and getting a feel for the actual state of things, before shaking the boat back and forth based only on your perceptions and assumptions.
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"I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody." - Lily Tomlin
"I'm sorry sir, which tab were we on?"

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 500

« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2016, 04:30:12 PM »



I've said it before and will say it again. You seem pretty sharp. I like your enthusiasm. But maybe you should spend some time getting to know people in your wing and getting a feel for the actual state of things, before shaking the boat back and forth based only on your perceptions and assumptions.

Thanks. I really do need to sit back in the corner of the room and listen more often. I admit that.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 500

« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2016, 04:33:17 PM »



All he did wrong was not making it a church.


Well ....

Quote
The United States Ranger Corps is a ministry of New Beginnings dedicated to strengthening the bond between fathers and sons using weekly meetings, monthly outings, quarterly trips, and annual excursions.

http://www.nbbconline.com/ministries/usrc/
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scooter
Forum Regular

Posts: 195

« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2016, 05:36:48 PM »

Since our short experience with the VIRB was mostly OK, now would be a good time for Wings, or better yet National, to come up with a standardized checklist for using it based on experience.. From what I saw, using the tablet in flight made things difficult. Should probably not use it in flight and just use it to turn on the camera prior to takeoff and leave it on for the remainder of the flight. Whatever! Anyway, seems like a standardized checklist would benefit users and customers. FWIW.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 500

« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2016, 09:12:46 PM »

Since our short experience with the VIRB was mostly OK, now would be a good time for Wings, or better yet National, to come up with a standardized checklist for using it based on experience.

I attended a SAREX at Maxwell specifically geared toward AP using the Virb and we did have a good checklist. And most of us agreed with you. We started up the camera on the tarmac using the tablet, closed up the tablet and stowed it until we landed. The tablet is no more than a remote start and stop button anyway. Sometimes it would loose connection with the camera, hence our decision to just start the camera on the ground. Delete those un-needed images on the laptop before uploading. Some folks would start the camera using the button on the camera before engine startup and not worry about the tablet at all, once you have verified settings, using the tablet.

Which basically meant you could fly without an AP on-board if needed. The MP or MO could start the camera before starting the engine. You could then have several planes flying the mission and one AP on the ground editing and uploading as the planes returned. (Well ... as I said .. if needed. LOL)
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 10:26:44 PM by etodd » Logged
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