NEAR SPACE BALLOONING - STRATOSPHERIC PHOTOGRAPHY

VIDEO

LAUNCH 1 : CALMAR, IOWA TO CEDAR SPRINGS, MICHIGAN

The GoPro Hero 2 failed to capture the entire flight on video. I had read that with the extra battery pack getting four hours of film was possible, but it was not to be (see Lessons Learned). The 32gb memory card had room to spare as only 19gb of footage was shot. Watching the video, it was disappointing to see that despite all the precautions (using RainX, a waterproof case, and five anti-fog inserts) the lens had still fogged over. However, as the balloon rose above sixty or seventy thousand feet the fogging disappeared. The video quality was excellent. Having seen too many distorted, fish-eyed videos from near space, I had set the field of view to Medium (127 degrees). The resulting images appeared much more realistic.

In comparison to the GoPro, the Sony HandyCam HDR-CX190 captured better sound and adjusted for contrast better. It also handled the pre-dawn darkness better than the GoPro. However, one downside to the HandyCam was the auto-focus, which was much too active, often inducing an out of focus image. The battery also died at about the same time as the GoPro's; three hours. Overall, the GoPro seemed to have the sharper image--when it wasn't fogged over.

LAUNCH (GROUND VIEW) 6:28 AM CST
HDR-UX10

LIFTOFF (PAYLOAD VIEW) 6:28 AM CST
HERO 2 (Medium FOV)


SUNRISE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
HDR-UX10

SUNRISE
HERO 2 (Medium FOV)


JET FLY BY OVER WISCONSIN (TURN VOLUME UP)
HDR-UX10

OVER WISCONSIN, APPROACHING LAKE MICHIGAN
HERO 2 (Medium FOV)


3 HOURS INTO 4 HOUR FLIGHT, THE BATTERIES DIE
HDR-UX10

LAST 5 MINUTES BEFORE BATTERY DIED
HERO 2 (Medium FOV)


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