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Old 03-21-2020, 08:24 PM   #16
Young Gun
 
The Shaggy Sniper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: SoCal / Colorado, USA
Posts: 86
Did you ask for another update? NO. Am I giving you one? YES. This quarantine sucks and I'm bored and stuck at home due to this quarantine, all field games have been pretty much cancelled, and Daddy Navy put the rule down on us that we can't do anything except stay home, except to work on our duty days. So, with so much free time on my hands, it's time for another great addition to this endeavor.

While I had the zoom portion down on my last attempt, I couldn't keep it centered up and down for hop-up adjustments, or switching it between rifles. No matter what I tried, the camera would always end up out of alignment. Switching between rifles, dialing in the hop-up, all of this would put the camera off-center from the shots, and making those fine adjustments to try to recenter the camera were tough. Trying to pan the camera left or right just by mere degrees was impossible without using a fair amount of force that would then jerk the camera entirely off-center, and not being able to adjust the camera up and down for hop up made it even harder for that. I needed something that could adjust with the scope, in a sense. Zero in the scope, and the camera follows suit. So, I did what I had to.


Meet the Side-Shot GoPro scope mount, from Side-Shot. As much as I've stayed away from this (for reasons I'll explain in a moment), I caved in and bought one to see if it could solve my mounting solution issues of keeping the camera centered with the rifle. While it still requires the modified Back-Bone camera, this attaches to almost any scope, provided you buy one that fits. Side-shot sells these scopecam clamps in 30mm, 34mm, and 1" clamp sizes. I've mounted it on a 3.5-10x 50mm scope, which has a 30mm tube.


The eye cup is 2.5" in length, which is actually how much my scope provides in eye relief, so I guess that kinda worked out perfectly. You can adjust the clamp position, as the tubes are sliding rods that can be easily adjusted to the eyepiece of the scope. This can also make for quick removal of the cup assembly while leaving the mount in position.


My only gripe was that nobody mentioned you needed to do some hardware work to get this to really work. The BackBone GoPro M12 Lens Adapter is a complete circle. In order to get this to fit into the GoPro mounted case, I needed to have it conform to the case by flattening some of the edges with a dremel. Yes, that adapter has gone through hell, those scratches were there before. And yes, the dremel job is absolute garbage, I was doing it in a pinch (no garage, no outdoor power, and the whole fam is home). At least the gopro fits in the case now - it does take a bit to clamp down the case, but it's perfectly center with the sight picture.


Side-shot recommends 12mm or 16mm lenses for best results - being that I have a random assortment of M12 lenses, I couldn't find a 12mm but did find a 16mm lens and it does the job just fine when you focus it. However, focusing it is a pain. If you focus the GoPro to infinity outside of the mount, and then drop it into the mount, you will get a blurry picture. But you cannot focus the lens while it's in the mount, so you need to find the sweet spot by trial and error. Right now the GoPro is in focus with objects 10" away with the 16mm lens - when I drop it into the scopecam mount, it will be in focus with the sight. So what does it look like?


It's amazing. It's everything I wanted. I wish I could go out and REALLY field test this thing, but right now I'm stuck with what I've got, which is a cramped neighborhood with neighbors just over a hundred feet from the house, and a tree not too far past that. One thing to note is that the Side-shot is made possible through mirrors - so in post, you'll have to reverse the image. It was weird, looking at the GoPro while trying to focus it and moving the scope left while the image would move right.

The only downside is the fact that there IS a reticle. And I'll explain why.

We're human. We have heart rates, we breathe, we're not rock-steady. Offhand shooting (not resting the rifle or having an external force to stabilize the rifle) will show this dramatically. So as you sway, shake, tremble, everything will be shown through the scope. On a normal scopecam, like the ones you can get from Runcam, this is present but can be fixed in post with image stabilization. Essentially, all the shaking can be edited out and most people won't notice because there's not a fixed reticle. You can film at higher resolutions (1080p) and then scale it down to 720p if you're not going to use the full image, and then you can add the stabilizer and make it look like you're not having a seizure while holding a rifle, you can move the image around a little bit and make it more centered with the shot to make it look like you have a "laser beam" of for a sniper, instead of the fact it shot at an angle.

This is a drawback to this scopecam. What you see in the picture above, is what I was actually seeing through the scope. There's a little bit of ghosting going on (the christmas lights in the 3.5x picture) were doubled because this was actually using the photo mode on the GoPro, it wasn't a still from a video, just to save time of picking the "right frame".

Video Test number one - zoom from 3.5x to 10x.

In this video, you can see how much I'm shaking, but this is also due to the fact I'm essentially holding the rifle with one hand while trying to adjust the zoom. But you can see how much I'm shaking, but the reticle stays in place. Now, you can turn on auto-stabilization either on the GoPro or do it in post, but.. you get a much different effect, and it looks terrible.

Same video, but stabilized in post.

You can see just how much I'm shaking as I'm holding the rifle with one hand. It's a bad example of beta footage, but the point is that it's a drawback to this mount - there is no way to edit your way out of this.

But, the biggest advantage of all, is once again: Holding Zero.
As I mentioned before on my previous setups, if the camera was off by just a little bit, it was a pain to get it centered. On the Runcam Scopecam, there was no option to center if it was shooting high or low, or left or right. With this mount, as long as you keep the scope zeroed, the video will be too. This takes out all of the guesswork, all of the "oh it was out of alignment", everything.

Thanks for tuning in guys, next up I'll probably be drilling a hole in the side of the GoPro case so I can charge this stupid thing.
__________________
Rifle:
Ares Striker AS01
Maple Leaf 6.02 540mm Inner Barrel
Action Army Hop Unit
Maple Leaf Autobot 70
Long Spiral Fluted OB
M140 Spring
500 FPS/0.2g

Cameras:
-GoPro Hero 8 (headcam)
-Mobius Actioncam (alternate headcam/POV)
-Backbone GoPro Hero 7 w/ 16mm lens + Side-Shot scope mount
-Insta 360 One rear facing camera
-GoPro Hero 7 Alternate rear facing camera
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:49 PM   #17
Young Gun
 
The Shaggy Sniper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: SoCal / Colorado, USA
Posts: 86
Oh no.. he's at it again.
Newest addition: A new scope.. because reasons.


So the mount is working perfectly, but the major drawback is the eye relief factor. The mount itself takes away 2.5" of eye relief from you, which for some scopes like the 3.5-10x50mm, is all that you have. So you need to plant your face firmly into the mount in order to get a good picture without sight picture problems. So, I did what anyone with a government stimulus check does, I got a new scope.

Or.. new to me at least.

So I got the Vortex PST 1-4x24mm. Yeah, it doesn't look as traditional as most real sniper scopes, but this is airsoft and you REALLY don't need anything past 4x, maybe 7x if that's your style. And the higher you go in magnification, the less you're going to get in eye relief. A 2-7x scope can give you up to 4" of eye relief, which is what I'm getting with my 1-4x. In th end, I don't need to have my face completely backed up against the eyecup in order to see through the scope clearly anymore. Additionally, I'm a fan of Vortex's AR reticles.. Just because.

I also played around with framerates this time around. I kept going back and forth between 4k/60 and 1080p/240, but they both have some wide image settings. I could shoot in 1080p/120p and just zoom, but for some reason there's a bit of a loss of quality in doing that.

So I switched to 2.7k/120. It's supposed to be the same as shooting in 1080p/120 with maximum digital zoom, but there's a lot of image quality loss when doing so. at 2.7k, I can still shoot in slow motion, retain quality, and choose the FOV.

Here's a quick video test.. Unfortunately we're still in Covid lockdown, so no actual shots were taken, but this shows the differences in 2.7k/120fps cropped down to 1080p and slowed down to 1/4x speed, and 1080p/240fps slowed down to 1/8x and shows the full image that the camera can see without distortion.


Here is a frame taken from the video using the 2.7k footage..


And here is a frame taken from the video using the 1080p footage. A̶ ̶s̶l̶i̶g̶h̶t̶l̶y̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶i̶c̶e̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶d̶r̶o̶p̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶q̶u̶a̶l̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶-̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶s̶e̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶d̶e̶t̶a̶i̶l̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶e̶t̶i̶c̶l̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶m̶u̶c̶h̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶2̶.̶7̶k̶,̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶'̶r̶e̶ ̶b̶o̶t̶h̶ ̶1̶9̶2̶0̶x̶1̶0̶8̶0̶ ̶f̶r̶a̶m̶e̶s̶.

Edit: I had it wrong. 2.7k cropped down to 1080p does not actually retain as much quality as 1080p does at full zoom.. however, 2.7k does offer a wider view while still allowing you to zoom in on your target further. Here is another test, using 4:3 shooting (more natural, but also limited to 60fps for both tests). Here is the newer video test.

Additional findings: Less taxing on computers..
Traditional scopecams such as the Mobius, Runcam, Foxeer, etc, do not actually look through the scope, as many of you may know. The image is recorded simply with a zoom lens, and then a transparent image such as scope crosshairs, a red dot, whatever the user desires, is overlaid on top of the video. Now you'll probably also want to color grade and edit the contrast or brightness of your scopecam footage, to make things clearer and less washed out. The more effects and layers you add to your video, the more stress you're going to put on your computer. Hitmarker? Another transparent image overlay that goes by super quick, and probably fades in and fades out in about 10 frames or less. That's more that your computer has to do.

So far, it seems I don't need to color grade as much, as the GoPro does have it's included ProTune settings that I can tinker with before recording. Better contrasts, use the GoPro Color scheme to make it less washed out, adjust the white balance (normally to Native), and adjust brightness if needed. This takes out a good chunk of the toll on my computer (which is a pretty decent computer that was built with gaming and video editing in mind). The fact I don't need to add an overlay of a scope reticle is actually great as well.

Provided there's still the original drawback I had to this idea, which is that your rifle will be shown for how accurate it really is. On a traditional scopecam, you can film in a wide field of view and adjust the reticle position to the shot. But chances are that on your next shot, it's not going to stay on that trajectory. On traditional scopecams, you can just simply edit the overlay and the footage to make it seem like your rifle obeys your every command and the shots hit exactly where you were pointing, every single time. The drawback to this setup is most of these cameras are fixed, so if you adjust your hopup, or if for some reason the shot isn't nearly centered enough in the frame, there's not much you can do to correct it.

On a mounted scopecam setup where the camera actually does see through the scope, you don't that problem as long as you dial in your scope. But it does have the problem that it will show the accuracy of your rifle, every single time. So if it shoots a little high and left on one shot, and shoots relatively centered on the next, high and right on the shot after that, there's nothing you can do to try to hide it. The reticle is fixed, and your shots may vary. BUT, the good news is that if you get your rifle dialed in and your scope dialed in, you won't have this issue. Hell if you get one of dem fancy scopes with range adjustments, you can set it up so that if you adjust your hopup for those longer shots then you can just turn up the range (or down I guess, because the shot will go up.. whatever), and then zero it back out when you zero the hop up.

What does all this prove?
That I am bad with money and need this lockdown to end so I can go out and FIELD THIS STUFF. DAMMIT.

Up next I'll probably do comparisons of each resolution's quality.. because I was a little bit turnt when I made this post and realizing my math is slightly off. If it weren't so hot outside we'd have the blinds open and I could do this all day, but it's hot here in SoCal and we don't have A/C for the time being. Guess that isn't helping with the booze...
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__________________
Rifle:
Ares Striker AS01
Maple Leaf 6.02 540mm Inner Barrel
Action Army Hop Unit
Maple Leaf Autobot 70
Long Spiral Fluted OB
M140 Spring
500 FPS/0.2g

Cameras:
-GoPro Hero 8 (headcam)
-Mobius Actioncam (alternate headcam/POV)
-Backbone GoPro Hero 7 w/ 16mm lens + Side-Shot scope mount
-Insta 360 One rear facing camera
-GoPro Hero 7 Alternate rear facing camera

Last edited by The Shaggy Sniper; 04-28-2020 at 07:55 PM.
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