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    Formation Skydiving
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    Freefall Photography
  1. Oooh that new FDR-X1000V looks nice! If you have good look at the pictures in this article:, you can see the rear door has a flap too, so you can open that flap to access the ports without having to expose the battery. You could remove this flap and cut a hole in back of the waterproof case to allow constant access to the ports without needing to take the camera in and out of the case or open / close flaps. I did this for my HDR-AZ1 and it's great!
  2. sunnyape


    This camera is basically the same as the AS-15, except it has GPS tagging and a revised case that is lighter thinner.... neither of which has any bearing to use for filming skydiving. Read my review of the AS-15 to know more why you should not choose this for filming RW teams.
  3. sunnyape


    I usually film RW teams and the occasional AFF. I wanted something compact and light to replace my CX115 with a .3 lens. I've tried the GoPro Hero 3 for a while, but lack of image stabilisation is an issue. Sure, the ActionCam's SteadyShot smooths out the footage, but that's about all its has going for it. The silly shape means that you MUST put it in the case to mount it, then take it out of the case all the time to charge, get footage, change settings. The case can only be top mounted with no tilt adjustment. When you film in 720p and use 60 or 120 fps, you end up with fixed slow motion footage, so you are forced to choose from 720p in 30fps or 1080 in 30 or 60fps. The SteadyShot only works with the 120 degree view, not 170. I normally add a powered light relay to my GoPro to flash an LED on my ring sight to know when it is on, a bit like a Hypeye does for a CX. But the light on the rear of the ActionCam is too weak to trigger a light sensitive resistor, so the only way to make sure you have it turned on is to start recording on jump run, then lock the button at the back to ensure you don't bump it on climb out etc. You end up wasting lots of battery and have tons of excess footage. The ActionCam has so many other silly design and usage flaws that makes it more like an original GoPo Hero 1 to operate. Yuck!
  4. sunnyape


    I have just done a few dozen jumps on a new Xaos 21 117 after having done 1,000+ on a Velocity 111. Both canopies are loaded to about a 2.2 At last, a cross braced canopy that you can trust to open. Although Velocities open softly, their pig-headed desire to go where you don't want until the slider is down can be a P.I.T.A. In comparison, although the Xaos shakes itself around during opening and the slider stays up longer, nothing untoward actually happens. I had a brake come off during one opening and all that happened was it maintained a stiff turn that I could lean against until I popped the other brake. The same scenario on the Velo would be a catastrophe. (if you ever want to scare yourself silly, jump your Velo with the brakes off!). The Xaos doesn't dive as hard as the Velo and planes out a bit more by itself, but the swoops are still almost as long and just as fun. Not quite as steerable on the rear risers as the Velo and the transition to stall before you need the brakes to flare is a bit more abrupt, but that is a matter of adjusting your technique. If you really must have the extra swoop performance, go for the Xaos 27. If not and you want a more well rounded canopy, the 21 will give you 95% of a Velo's performance without the downsides. My only gripe is the thin HMA lines. Having done 1,000+ jumps on the Velo with Vectran 750 lines before doing a reline, (even though they were still in trim and in fairly good condition), it would be nice if Xaoses (Xaoi?) had an option for a slightly heavier version of the HMA to have longer between relines. ------------ 5 years later ------------ It's been five years living with the Xaos 21 117 and it's been a very good relationship. Over the past hundred jumps, the slider has become more reluctant to come down during opening, causing the 'snivel' stage to last longer. The HMA lines looked in fairly good condition with just mild piling on the surface (I've been using a stowless bag), so I was getting ready to replace them.... when a B line broke (It was perfectly fine to fly and land). Oh, well, the choice was made for me. The slider's got some mild abrasion near the grommets, so I'm getting that replaced during the re-line, but I'm getting one with stainless grommets instead of brass in the hope the openings will be a little more positive as the Xaos can be a bit slow to open.