KAP Cameras

Contemporary KAPpers use cameras ranging from single use film cheapies to Digital SLRs. Use this category to tell us what you use and why or to pose questions on matters photographic.

Ricoh GR - APS-C - fixed 28mm equivalent - intervalometer



  • Good to know that the battery lasts.... and lasts....and lasts ☺

    Fly High

  • I've started setting up 'my 1' for KAP. I am interested in knowing what settings you all use and how good the photos are, and under what conditions you took them.... Sunny.... Overcast......sunset..... Night KAP etc. (It will save me experimenting../ .I believe in using others experiences )

    Thanks in advance

    Fly High

  • Sue,

    Congratulations on your purchase!  I think you will be very pleased with the GR.

    I have been shooting with a GR on a small quadcopter for a couple of weeks now.  I find it a marvelous camera, absolutely perfect for my application.

    I'm really liking the TAv shooting mode that Ricoh has included in the camera where you specify the shutter speed AND the aperture settings, and the camera chooses the ISO necessary to make the proper exposure.

    For general daytime aerial photography with good light, I have set up MY1 in TAv mode, with shutter speed at 1/1000th and aperture at f/4, with -1/3 stop EV (exposure compensation).  I am using spot AF (autofocus), with center exposure metering    The ISOs of most of the photos I've taken have ranged from 100-200.

    I have set up MY2 for somewhat dimmer daytime light, using all the same settings as above, except for the aperture setting, which I have changed to f/2.8 (wide open).

    The quadcopter has inherent vibration, so I need to keep the shutter
    speed relatively high.  You may consider lowering it, if necessary, for
    KAP.  If you decide to do this, you may also want to stop down the lens a
    bit to f/5.6 or so .  

    I think these settings should result in sharp images with good exposure.  I'm sure there are many other settings using AV and TV modes with specific ISOs that would also work well.

    For night KAP, you might try AV mode with aperture f/2.8, -2 EV, and ISO
    1600.  The GR's image quality should be quite good at ISO 1600. This
    will allow very slow shutter speeds to be chosen by the camera.  Those
    are the settings I most often used when shooting at night with my kites
    or helium balloon.  I have regularly captured sharp shots at 1/200th,
    and as slow as 1/15th of a second.

    Good luck on your initial flights!
  • Thanks Michael that's just the information I need.
    It's going to be a fine sunny day on Saturday but the wind might be a bit light at the forecast 8 - 10 mph.
    I want to take photos of the new Beverly by-pass which has a roundabout at each end and two bridges, one over a minor road and the other over the nearby railway line. It will be cool if I can KAPture a train too. There's also a big new retail park and houses in Beverley which is the other side of a road to a playing field which I'm hoping I can fly in. Here's hoping the wind is OK.
    It will be cold here, just above freezing, but in other parts of the UK there are storm force winds and snow forecast. Brrr

    Fly High

  • Right. That's set up like Michael's ready for Saturday...I hope

    Fly High

  • for KAP, i have used most of the the time in Av mode, at 2.8 and iso 200. i set AF (and snap more by habit) on infinity. this last point has been the most important to me, the refocusing of the camera is not necessary and infinity allows to keep the image crisp. once again, in order to avoid the ev button to interfere, i advise to set the camera on the rig first and then switch it on. if u switch it on and then set the camera on the rig, the ev button is usually pressed. the config of my rig is such that the ev button was pressed to -4.0 and pictures were totally black, it took me a while to realize what was going on and i wasted nice sessions.

  • SueSue
    edited December 2015
    Here are the best two photos from a late afternoon session at Beverley.

    Beverley new retail park Dec 2014

    Beverley new retail park Dec 2014

    They are of the new retail park being built near Beverley Minster and I'm pleased with these shots. I'll go again when I can as the buildings are growing really fast at the moment. I chose to fly on the Leisure Centre playing field instead of near the muddy new by pass being built as the wind was light and the playing field was a better place to try out the Ricoh GR in case it landed unexpectedly (which it did) ( Need to straighten out the leg sockets on the BEAK which got even more bent when it landed) There was no wind this morning so I had time for lunch and a bit of shopping in Beverley before the wind arrived.
    I used Michael L's 'My1' settings to start with at 3-08pm. The photos were a bit dark before making them lighter in Picasa. I maybe should have used the 'My2' setting when I started. Sunset was at 3-40pm here.After a while at 3-25pm I tried to take sunset KAP but accidentally moved the setting from 'My1' to 'My3' which is the 'night KAP' setting. The photos were overexposed.  The sun set  before I finished but it was still too light for those settings.

    The temperature today was 5 degrees C and I was warm enough but there was still ice on puddles in the shade all day. It's only been chilly for the last week.
    3 teenagers came over to see what I was doing and they could see the picture on the video down-link and were surprised at the good quality of the photos in my little KAP book. I later showed them the real photos and they though it 'cool'
    On the way home I stopped off at a garden centre car park to try out the 'Night KAP' 'My3'.  There was still a bit of colour in the sky and the lights of the garden centre in the other direction and photos took 'life like' photos with speeds of 1/40 sec at ISO3200  f 2.8. this was at 4-20pm One thing I tried was using flash towards the colour in the sky. The sky exposure didn't change but the things close up were lit up OK.. I also experimented a bit with the E/V settings which was interesting.

    It was good to be KAPing again. Can't remember the last time.

    Sunset at the garden centre

    Fly High

  • Hello Sue,

    nice to see your first pictures with the new RICOH GR, a GREAT SMALL CAMERA

    my kites are going into hibernation during the winter time,... I will try my GR for KAP next spring

    all the best possible

    SMAC  from Italy
  • Good pictures Sue. Had you locked the focus on infinity or have you used a different selection?
  • SueSue
    edited June 2017
    I found that the video out connector for the Ricoh GR is the same as one for a Nicon camera as well as for the Pentax W90. It is called a "uc-e6" and have ordered 3 from a UK supplier.."ABCproducts" £1.95 including postage.
    I am going to solder it to the BNC connector for a video downlink which I used previously before the cable got too short. It kept breaking as the wires are so thin.:-(

    Fly High

  • SueSue
    edited December 2015
    A week or so ago Tim- Suffolkkapper - pursuaded me to go to the "Drone Show" (shock horror!") at the National Exhibition Centre near Birmingham UK. He and a farmer friend were interested as there were supposed to be three talks of interest. Two were on the use of drones in archeology and one of how drones can be used on farms. Unfortunately the archeology ones were cancelled and they missed the farming one through wrong info of the time of it. There were drones from a few centinemeters across to the big ones about a metre across. I only saw two with a safety guards fitted. There were team competitions and the drones went whizzng round an obstacle course. They told me that they were flying slowly because it was an indoor course! Tim was able to have his many questions answered about the training and testing for the cetificate, costs involved, insurance costs and possibility of employment using drones. I think he has concluded it would be not be cost effective so as far as I know, he will remain an amateur.
    After spending the day there, we went out for a meal before driving 100+ miles in the dark to the depths of Suffolk.
    The next day he helped me put a temporary stratospool type reel together while the blustery strong wind howled round.
    In the afternoon there was a bit less wind so we went out to the church at Great Finborough, the site of Tims first KAP. We both used our Ricoh GR cameras with video downlinks. This was helpful as we could see if the photos were OK on the settings we were using. Mine on M2 (see earlier notes) produced OK photos considering that it was 3-30 pm and sunset was 4-30. After a very short while, the picture on my screen dissapeared....the camera battery was flat and the spare was in the car. I got one well framed photo out of the 40 taken.
    Tims setting were wrong and the photos came out very dark. Later he found that the ISO was limited to too low a value.

    Great Finborough Church, Suffolk UK

    Great Finborough Church

    After a meal in his local pub, we went out to Stowmarket for our first Night KAP. Tim knew of a small park which proved ideal. Again we both used the Ricoh GR cameras. He flew his camera on his drone which had flashing lights so we knew where it was. I used a glow stick looped into the kite attachment point and twisted another round the pendulum which showed up well enough . There was very little wind in the park. I did a solo long line launch by leaning the kite against a lamp post and putting out 60m + of line. A quick sprint and a little reeling in lofted the kite above the tall trees round the park and into beautifully clean stable air. I used legs on the rig so the camera waited patienltly for me, gently glowing so I could relocate it! I used Michael Laveski's night KAP settings but found that the lights of the town didn't show up too well. I altered the setings and was pleased with the results. The photos are a little too grainy but the ISO had taken itself up to ISO 25600 so there's no wonder. 1/125 sec F2.5 EV - 4.5 I pulled the kite down a few times to change the point of view.
    I haven't yet seen Tim's photos yet. Instead of staying for a few days, I left the next day having developed a cold and I didn't want to pass it on. That was a disapointment to both of us as we had all sorts planned. So it's back to long distance Messenger chats. :-(

    Stowmarket UK



    Fly High


  • Wonderfully descriptive, Sue. Wind Watcher has a rival for his story-telling!
  • edited December 2015
    Nice to hear from Tim, I think more practice with the camera is needed. Great shot of the Finborough spire! Night wind is always smoother than daytime but I think Stowmarket looks better in daylight ;-)
  • Hi Bill
    I'm sure Stowmarket is better in daylight but we wanted to give Night KAP a try and we learned a lot but need a lot more trials before we take decent photos of interesting subjects.
    One thing is that we needed to be nearer our subject to get more light into the camera. I took photos of the lit up pub and Tim leant out of the window of the car to take a photo at a junction in Stowmarket which came out a lot brighter than the Night KAP ones.



    The main thing was that we had fun!

    Fly High

  • Hi Bill! Only just getting back on my feet really after a pretty rubbish year, but plan to do lots more KAP over the coming year! It was lovely to spend time with Sue again, and look forward to the next time! Night KAP definately is a challenge, but it was supising how clean the wind was, once the levi was over the tree line.
  • GREAT, Ricoh GR is really surprising for very good results in very low light conditions YES YES,....
    SMAC from Italy
  • A couple months back, after seeing what some of the folks at KAPiCA were using, I bought myself a Ricoh GR. I should have got one years ago. My main goal was to be able to extend my KAP days - my trusty Pentax W80 takes decent shots in bright daylight ( Ken Conrad reminded me that all cameras can do that ) but that's about its limit - and fly in low light, long shadows, evenings, sunsets, etc.

    I built it into a full r/c Brooxes rig, triggered by a GentWire. One photo on the workbench and I pronounced it good-to-go-and-ready-to-launch.

    Finally, on Saturday, it flew. The winds are too squirrelly around my house to test fly anything, so I waited until I could get to the coast to send it up with the kite.

    It does just fine on shingled roofs and lighthouse bricks. I'm impressed with the quality of the photos I'm getting, and I'm still experimenting with the settings.

    Thanks to this thread, most of my questions have already been answered without me having to ask. But I still have a couple questions:

    1. What would cause the camera to shut itself off a second or two after powering up, despite a fully-charged battery? I have disabled the auto shut-off, but sometimes it takes a try or few to get it to stay on. And it shut itself off in mid-flight yesterday, despite the battery showing a full charge. I can't imagine anything could come through the GentWire that would do that.

    2. Who buys these cameras besides us? What do people do with these cameras if they don't KAP?
  • Chaz I never experienced the GR shutting off in mid flight but, have experienced starting up issues. I blame it from the countless times it has crashed to the ground from high up. That said it is the toughest camera I know compared to a Nikon Coolpix A. The GR lens protector blades don't close anymore but it is still operational. These cameras are popular with street photographers and are bought often by them for its silent shutter and its many advance operations. Enjoy this great KAP camera.
  • Thanks, Nestor!

    I could not be happier with this camera. Like I said, I should have got one of these years ago. The photos it takes just blow ne away. You saw the Point Pinos shots I got yesterday, and I don't even know what I'm doing!
  • Hi Chaz and Nestor,

    I had in the past a disappointing problem at lens when touching the sand for few seconds on a GTX and so for the GR I have foreseen a hard - solid tube + UV filter that protects lens

    I never had problems on GR but on interval shooting the camera shoots only if the picture is "possible"; if out of possible parameters or too shaky view after some trials goes to stand-by and off

    I'm quite satisfied of GR, great little camera for KAP

    SMAC from Italy
  • edited June 2017
    Thank you for the information, SMAC.

    I'm very happy with mine, too.

    497 jpeg images today in Oakland, and the battery was still showing a full charge when I brought it in.

  • It's good to hear from you Chaz and that you are enjoying the Ricoh GR. I hope to fly mine this week during World Wide KAP Week (till 12 June this year) as I'm in Brittany, France which is a beautiful region. There are cliffs and headland which would be good KAP subjects.

    Fly High

  • edited June 2017
    Best of luck to you, Sue. And have a nice glass of wine for me. I'm leaving wine country this morning, and heading up into beer territory, so I'll be thinking of you folks while I enjoy a nice pint of ale this evening.
  • 1,192 jpeg images at Point Arena this morning, and the battery was still showing 75% charge when I brought it down.

    I can't say enough good things about this camera. It has exceeded my expectations!
  • In found that Zoom can be set. I've got it on the f2 button. 28/35/47mm so it goes from quite wide to 2 zoom levels. Very handy.

    Fly High


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