Basic mapping with Iris+ Canon S100 <TOPIC CHANGED FROM: CANON SX260 vs GOPRO>

[UPDATE: Original title has been changed, as the thread has evolved.  Typos also removed]

OK, so I am ready to purchase the IRIS+ and start doing some small scale mapping.  Thank-you to everyone who suggested some DIY kits, but I'm not there yet.

People have given me some GREAT advice about camera, and that the GoPro is not the best for mapping.  I have looked, with earnest, at the Canon Sx260.


As cost is a limiting factor for me (and I don't need industry quality just yet) I am still considering a GoPro as my camera (sans gimbal).  Yes, it is more expensive initially but I can buy kits to change the lens to a 'flat lens' (check out the IR Pro website), as well as get a IR/NDVI kit for the GoPro. These can be swapped pretty easily. 

What puts me off from buying a Canon Sx260 (for example) is that it is more complicated to convert to NDVI (and I don't think I could do it myself), and I would not be able to change on the fly between 'regular' and NDVI.  Getting a pre-modified Sx260 is pretty pricey too.  I've seen some prices on the E38 website for $599, for a converted Sx260. A 2nd hand Sx260 is about $150 an ebay. E30 Charges $210 to make to conversion on a Sx260.

The new GoPro Hero 4 Silver (recommended by IR Pro) is around $400, with additional lenses going for about $150 each (IR Pro website).  I feel like I could possibly make the modifications myself (IR Pro charges about $150 for them to do the mod, I think). 

The Canon Sx 260 is also a fair bit heavier than the GoPro, but has a GPS.

Does anyone have any thoughts/comments on this? 

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OK, I've pretty much answered my own question.

2 x Canon SX 260 = about $300

Convert 1 camera to NDVI from E30 = 210

TOTAL: $510 (approx)

GoPro Hero 4 Silver = about $400

Flat lens and NDVI lens from IR Pro = about $300

TOTAL: $700 (approx)

So, the Canon is the obvious budget choice as well as producing better images.

My only concern now is attaching the Canon Sx 260 underneath the Iris+, and the heavier weight of the Canon.

Thoughts or comments?  I would really appreciate some suggestions on attaching the camera. I have had 'strong Velcro' suggested.  How much would this extra weight affect flying time?

How have you made out with the Go Pro and NDVI on the IRIS+? Im looking to do the same thing, and wondering if you have had any success?

I bought my first Go Pro,  and just waiting for my IRIS drone. Very interested in which you went with for cameras.


I didn't.  Ended up getting  such poor service from IR Pro that I returned everything I ordered from them. They really don't know their products, or check orders before mailing stuff.  I was very disappointed.  A colleague ordered from them as well, and also received the wrong product...even though the correct product was listed on the sales receipt. -_-

I've bought a Canon S100, and got a custom mount from:

Waiting for the wind to die down up here, and then I'll test more.

I am meeting on the 10th with Dr. Staid. From what I have been researching he and his wife, also a PhD, are the industry experts in NDVI.   Luck has it that his place of business is just a few miles from my vineyard.  Every expert that i get a chance to speak with tells me that the modified GoPro is not the way to go for truly detailed NDVI because their spectrum is rather wide.   I also found out that TetraCam offers a 3 day course in their cameras, next one being in June.

Wow, cant believe I got such fast replies. 

I read an article talking about NDVI. It talked about the fact that NDVI was originally meant for use from Landsat as the Bands have better normalization due to the satellite being so high and not having interference from cloud cover. 

Have you thought about trying out a regular Vegetation Index? I am thinking about using just NIR/Green to see if I can get a better Vegetation index. I think this might suffer less from difference in the quality of light, ie cloud over and such. 

The geologist who taught me RSI and NDVI is still around so Im gonna try and pull his ear for his thoughts. 

I will post what I find out if you gents are interested.

Thanks for the reply. 

I always thought the IR-Pro looked a little dubious, but was worth a try.

Thanks for the link, will definitely look into that. Is the S100 compatible with the survey portion of APM mission planner?

Ja, and also has a listing under Tower (DP3).

3DR uses the S100 for their mapping products, so it must be good.

Interesting stuff going in here, think i will sit and watch :-)

Can you post the website you got the NDVI conversion at?

Have you decided on your post processing software? I'm gonna try the open source grass orthorectification, but it doesn't look very friendly.

I emailed drone deploy but they haven't responded to any of my requests for info. I read they aren't offering service in Canada yet.

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