[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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Hi Wolfgang

How do you find the wing mounted camera? Any pics would be great.

I've done that on my Maja too, but obviously it creates a lot of drag, and I feel like I have to add weight to the other wing to balance it (extra weight = more drag).

How did you decide how far out to mount it. I planned it so that I could bank at 25 degrees and not get the fuse in frame. If I was doing it again I might bring it in towards the fuse a little, as it never needs more than 15 degrees bank except when turning at the end of passes.

Hello Wolfgang,

After drawing your polygon and creating survey(grid) a new window pops up, going to "camera Config" you are given three different trigger methods to chose from

Trigger method:




Which method are you selecting? I'm assuming the distance one since you gave your settings for that.  I will try your settings this afternoon and see how it goes. I haven't been able to get the same amount of photos that the program tells me I should be getting, far from it in fact which leads me to believe that perhaps this flytron IR sensor is not fast enough to continuously trigger this camera....

I just flew a mission with trigg_dist setting of 20 and got 165 images for a fairly large area.  I seem to have captured all areas of the mission this time. I unfortunately had to land after first take off because my HUD display went dark and didn't check focus again before re-launching second time so all images are blurry.

How do I check the RCOUT log file?


I found the Flytron iR is slower than the cheap HobbyKing one. Ultimately you should either hack your camera shutter button or get an a5100.

Hi iskess. How do you trigger the a5100? I don't think it has IR

It uses USB (multiport)

Hi Darryl,

I'm not on my computer so have to recap out of my head.

Set the LOG_BITMASK that 12:CAMERA and 13:RC are enabled.

In the flash logfile count the number of 'CAM' lines.
You must subtract about 7 lines at the beginning not
being an actual CAM trigger command.

At the related RCOU pin you can check details about timing.
I do this in Mission Planner.

If you need more details I can add it this evening (Europe time).

Wofgang R.

Please STOP spamming the threads with your product. I am well aware of it since you have been posting advertisements about the Seagull on numerous threads here and on RCGroups. For the a5100 I can trigger with a single 10 cent transistor, no need for your overpriced product. Manufacturers who actively participate in helping others are welcome, however you have contributed nothing in all your posts other than self-serving advertising.

Hi moglos

I do not use a gimbal but simple velco strips.
For me the results are really fine.

But of course there is a major downgrade of the Skywalker
performance. I need some higher cruise speed. I fly
it for a year now either with the cam or an identical
dummy like seen in the picture. Note that I've a Sigma
30mm. The lense center is about 8.5cm from the fuse.
You see the counterweight on the second pic.

With my 5000mAh/3S I'm close to 30min. But I plan to
migrate to high power Panasonic cells which should give
me 1h flight time. For 2h I'm awaiting a 3m Skywalker.

I was a little skeptical at the beginning but now I feel
it a perfect low cost solution. I tried a Vamp before
and have two Maja pilots next to me. The Skywalker is
so much easier to work with.

Wolfgang R.


Hi iskess,

Please contact me directly about this amazing business proposal with a matching solution for 10 cent - I am really interested in hearing about this solution and would like to become a retailer/distributer of your solution..

A contact form can be found on my website under the "Support" page

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best regards

Rone Scholz-Nielsen

I flew a mission this morning with incredible success! I increased the IR trigger control distance to 15 meters with flight speed of 12m/s.  Looks like I got great overlay of entire area. Flight level of 333 feet, maximum allowed altitude in Canada for drones.  I also taped my focus ring in place (manual focus), this helped tremendously, all images are perfectly in focus and exposure worked great with these settings:

Shutter priority - 2500

auto iso

auto f stop

manual focus

Now time to create the mosaic.

Looks good. I see the fairings for the camera too, that should help. 

I wondered for a while if it would be worth cutting a relief in the wing to allow the camera to fit in flush (or somewhat flush). I even did some tests and found the wattage saving was 15%.  But I wasn't brave enough to go through with it and actually cut my wing. 

I use the Panasonic cells, I think they're great. Note that they only have a 2C rating, so you need to take care not to use full throttle for very long on takeoff. 2C * 3.4mAh * 3P = 21A max.

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