[Aerial Mapping] What is best Sony Nex 5 setting for Aerial Mapping mission?

Dear All,

I was using Cannon S100 previously for mapping purpose with CHDK, 1/2000 shutter speed, IS turned off and focus set to Infinity but still get around 50% blurry image.

Now I will use Sony Nex 5n camera on Flatmap1 gimbal with 16mm stock fixed lens and IR triggered from APM for more ground coverage and quality image (hope so..)

Please share your Nex 5n camera setting (Auto or manual or shutter priority?) and any experiences, pros & cons using Nex 5n for mapping purpose.

Let me start from what I was reading from some forum (forgot the link):

Sony Nex 5 series  Camera Setting for Mapping:



  • More pixel compare with S100 = More ground coverage
  • Fixed lens 16mm = less blurry image result
  • ??


  • Heavier compare with S100
  • No GPS onboard
  • Nex 5n Time between shutter > 2 sec = S100 faster < 2 sec (if you need to fly really fast)
  • ??

I will update first page regularly that may be useful for others.

Many thanks in advance for your contribution.


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I didn't realize the NEX-5 was so slow. I have the NEX-7 and it triggers 2x/sec (.5 sec). I'm surprised that the NEX-5 is 4 times slower. Are you sure?

Perhaps it's because the setting on my Nex 5 was not optimum enough for speed < 1 sec, any suggestions?

If I shoot on burst / continuous mode, it will shoot just like Nex 7 but since it's triggered using IR then I should select Remote mode which is not continuously shoot the image (one every shutter signal from APM).

I found that different IR triggers have different speeds. The HobbyKing one is actually the fastest I tried.

Thanks iskess for the hint, do you mean this IR Shutter from Hobbyking ?

That's the one. I found that I was sometimes missing a shot due to my Flightmap 2 roll gimbal being in the wrong position relative to the IR trigger. I just bought a second IR trigger to wire in parallel so I can get a good angle either side. I haven't tested this yet. At some point when I get the courage, I will probably do the shutter button mod on the camera so I don't need to use the IR anymore at all.

Really interested with the second IR using Y parallel cable?

Do you use Nex-7 on mapping mission?

If yes, care to share the camera setting when shoot for mapping?

Will put your recommendation on the original post.


For mapping I use:

Mode: Aperture Priority

ISO: 400 or 800 (if you want faster shutter speeds, you'll have to increase your ISO, check it http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Your-Digital-Camera%27s-ISO-Setting)

White balance: Daily/Sunny or Cloudy

It would be good to set the sharpness at infinity, but it is tricky with 16mm lens, so I use auto.

Thanks Krajst, will include it into original post.

Do you have any blurry image on above setting?

No, I do not have any blurry images, but... I fly with quad at ~4 m/s at height from 35m up to 90m.

Regarding shutter speed, I can shoot at 1 sec interval (jpg). I bought high speed SC card for that - SANDISK EXTREME PRO SDHC SD 16GB, 95MB/s.

Noted Krajst. 

Just curious, have you ever tested with speed above 15m/s ?

I tested once using S100 and 150m, the blurry image increase dramatically.

I have not tested with that speed and with parameters mentioned above, though I put Nex5 into Skyhunter fixedwing but the camera was set in auto mode. The speed was 15m/s and some of the pictures were sharp some of them blurry.

Hi Waladi, I think this is a good discussion around the Sony choice.

Maybe you should take one step back and try to look at different reasons why the Canon is giving you blurry images. Have you looked at your airframe and ruled out all possible mechanical reasons - motor, prop, servo vibration ect. Is there not a part of the airframe that starts to oscillate at your cruise speed? 

Is the camera mounted with dampeners between it and the fuse?

Have a look at you log files and see if you are experiencing excessive vibration during flight.

Good luck,


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