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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Great thanks!

Does anyone know of the advantages of the SX260 over the S100?  Can the SX260 take photos quicker than the S100?

I get no jello from the S100 so far.

This might help:

I think overall they are very similar. They both do 2 fps continuous shooting. Personally I'm going with the s100. I like it's wider ISO range, larger sensor and the fact that it's over 30g lighter.

Thank you!

That's quite a comparison! I think the larger sensor size clinches it...although the faster shutter speeds would be good too.

I've had several MaxMax-converted cameras. Never had a problem, so I'm surprised to hear about Michal's issue, but they are pricey.

Event38 has a filter that is not quite equivalent to the MaxMax filters, but still useful.

A potential new option, with a filter that is very similar to the MaxMax filter, is AgEagle, but they are still gearing up towards in-house camera conversions, and the camera selection may be limited to what they use in their airplanes. It may be worth contacting them though. 

Nice discussion

I use a S100 for aerial mapping of my fields - at the moment just RGB for overview.


  • 3dr Y6 modified, (3506 650 KV Motors, 13/15" Props, 16 AH 4s LIPO) 25-30 min flighttime, AUW 3,2 kg
  • simple servo gimbal with Canon S100
  • USB trigger cable
  • chdk with kap script
  • Mission planner 
  • Ptgui pro for stitching
  • qgis for georeferencing

A few experiences to share:

  1. Camera top forward for landscape pitures -> less stripes, saves flighttime
  2. Gimbal for nadir pictures -> much better stitching
  3. Without gimbal - mount camera with 15 deg pitch to have nadir pictures when flying forward
  4. 130 m is a good height for pictures
  5. sidelap/overlap has to be >70%
  6. max  1 picture/ 4 s -> 8 m/s speed
  7. wind is a problem, I put wp_nav_speed  on a tuning knob and reduce speed when flying against the wind

The chdk- script takes care of the camera settings, I´m very happy with the results of the S100.

I use a sensor on a tractor for NDVI-Mapping, it would be great to hear about your experience with the modified camera.

That sounds really cool, do you have pics about your Y6 with gimbal?

It is a modified 3dr Y6 with longer arms and a quadframe landing gear.

That's fantastic man, thanks for sharing!

Very nice, looks tight. I've had bad results using the GoPro for orthophotos as well, although it works really well with ReCap360 for 3D modeling.

I'd be curious to know if an SAS like would work for you. Other than that, I've done a ton of research that points to Agisoft as well.

Thanks for posting!

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