HAB-2 carried three cameras: two photo and one video.

1. DSLR Camera

To shoot high-quality pictures, we launched Canon XS camera with Canon 24mm f/2.8 STM lens. Camera’s shutter release was connected to sensor board, which triggered it every five seconds.

Power: with manual focus and LCD turned off, standard LP-E5 battery pack delivered ~3,500 shots. (Canon claims only 600 shots in its specification – but I guess auto-focus and LCD are real power hogs).

Focus: Using Canon EOS utility and Remove Live View, I manually focused the lens on infinity (a tree far away). Once the lens was focused perfectly, I taped focus ring in place. To prevent front lens element from moving, I applied a few drops of hot glue between front element and lens body.

Camera settings:

Setting Value Comment
Review time Off
Auto power off Off
LCD on/off btn Shutter/DISP
Live View Disable
Flash firing Disable
Focus MF Manual focus on infinity
Mode Tv Shutter priority
Shutter speed 1/500 Next time will use 1/1000
AWB Daylight
Exposure comp -2/3
Turn off display Press DISP after power-on

Triggering: camera’s remote shutter release was connected with a cable to sensor board, which “pushed the button” every 5 seconds.

2. Point-and-Shoot Camera

As a backup, I used Canon A1100is camera – the same one as in previous launch. The camera was “hacked” with CHDK and ran a script to take a picture every 5 seconds. You can read more about it on this page.

HAB-2 Point-and-shoot camera

HAB-2 Point-and-shoot camera

Power: During previous flight, powered by 2xAA Energizer Advanced Lithium (model L91) batteries, camera took ~3,200 shots. No kidding!

Focus: Specifically on this model, CHDK had difficulty overriding focus to infinity. As a workaround, camera had to point to far-standing trees during power-up: when CHDK started, camera would focus on infinity and CHDK would lock the focus at that position.

Settings: same as on this page.

Triggering: CHDK script can be downloaded from GitHub.

3. Video camera

For video footage, I used 808 #16 Micro Camera. It’s an amazing piece of electronics, which weights half an ounce and shoots 720p video of excellent quality. (beware: there are a lot of cheap knock-offs; mine is from this eBay seller).

HAB-2 Video camera

HAB-2 Video camera

Power: I removed built-in 250mAh battery from the camera, and soldered an extension wire to 2,000mAh LiPo battery. With larger battery, camera could shoot over 2 hours of video before depleting the battery. Camera would get quite hot after prolonged use.


Nr16Setup utility makes configuring 808 #16 a breeze.

Setting Value Comment
Timestamp Off
Power-on delay Delay
Auto-record On Start recording on power-up
Recording indicator On
Video data rate 10 Mbps
Video frame rate 30 fps
Video frame size 1270×720
Video clip length 20min Create new file every 20 minutes
Audio volume Medium
Exposure Normal
White balance Daylight Auto WB does not work well for shooting skies
Saturation Normal
Color options Normal