[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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Anyone tried mounting the camera on top of the wing and shooting down through it. How would this affect the flight characteristics?

It might be a simpler method of mounting.

@Wolfgang, did you think about going up to a 5000mAh 4s batteries to increase your flight time or even 2x5000 mAh?



yes, I'm aware that this is the downside of the high capacity
batteries. But I'm sure I can stand away from their limits.
For a couple of months I flew a tiny Hacker with 14A max for
this payload. This motor was a bit too small but only little
more power is needed during launch.


I wouldn't think much about modifying the wing. A recent article
about the atlantiksolar convinced me that a streamlined hanging
box works very well. It is a matter of minutes to have a reasonable
working version.

For the Lipos I think about two 3S4P (2x6400mAh, 600gr). A bit more
than my Turnigy (420gr). But this is for next year and I will check
what 4S is giving me more. In the meantime I'll hope that a large
cheap plane comes up. That would help more for efficiency.

Wolfgang R.

How exactly did you get these 15% values?

Wolfgang R.


I flew three laps with the camera mounted as normal. Then I flew three laps with the camera removed, but the equivalent weight of steel plates fitted flush to the wing. The average power required to fly with the steel was 15% less.

Interesting discussion, I really enjoyed this. Also quite surprising how different we all are.

I use A5100 usually with Wide Heliar Voitg Lander lens. And shoot with the following params.

UAV Speed 12 - 14 m/s

Manual Focus set to infinity and taped

Auto ISO

Auto WB


Speed 1/1000 for a cloudy day 1/1250 for sunny day

Usual Flight Alti: 300m

Results: Sometimes good but sometimes not so good focus. Any suggestions?


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