Basic mapping with Iris+ Canon S100

[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.

BUT

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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              • I dont know yet. Still waiting for mine in the mail haha. Ill try and post it when I get it.

                In the mean time I have been using my GoPro Silver+ with good effect. I have flown 3 missions already. The overlap of the GoPro is pretty small so the area covered isnt as large as Id like, but it works. 3702906128?profile=original

                • Did you use MS ICE to put the image together?  I noticed that the road isn't straight, and I've got similar problems myself.  Photoscan does a much better job, but takes to long....

                  • The road is straight. Ive overlayed it onto Google Earth as well as properly Geo Refrenced it. 

                    What I think you see is the undulation of the road. When viewed as a 3D model the road has a bit of up and down elevation. I believe this is due to the fisheye effect of the GoPro as well as the fact these images are at the edge so they dont get as much overlap. With not enough images there arent enough pixels to properly rectify would be my guess.

                    I draw this conclusion as the water is damn near vertical in the 3d Model, while everything in the very centre is where it should be. When I get my SX260 Ill have to resurvey that area and compare the results. 

                    And I did use PhotoScan. Took about 3 hours. I used MS ICE before but I didnt like the results and I found it took longer. PhotoScan was a breeze. Im actually very happy with the results of the GoPro; was not expecting the success Ive had. 

                • Hi Nathan,

                  Could you please elaborate more on the flight mission hight (how many meters or feets) and share single image result from GoPro silver?

                  How you setup on the Camera section from Mission Planner Auto Grid?

                  Many thanks.

                  Waladi

                  • For that mission I was at 80 Metres above ground level.

                    I didnt use Mission Planner; I havent been able to find GoPro Settings in Mission Planner, not to say they dont exist. I found Droid Planner 2 for my android device much better. 

                    To create a Survey grid in Droid Planner all you do is go to the Editor, and select the third item on the left which is a polygon tool. Draw the survey area and it auto generates. It will create a green waypoint at the bottom. Short press the waypoint and the parameters for the camera opens up.

                    The hatch angle changes the direction of the flight path. This is useful for flying into a head wind, or change it to optimize flight time.

                    Flight altitude is pretty obvious. The higher you are the more ground you cover in each photo.

                    Overlap. I dont know if overlap works without pixhawk to control the camera. I have just been using a 1 second time shot without pixhawk and its worked fine for me. But in general you would use overlap to ensure good coverage. For GoPro you would want around 70%.

                    Sidelap. This controls how much each adjacent image overlaps the row next to it. This is very important. For the GoPro I dont use less than 70% sidelap. This ensures when I go to stitch my images together there is more than enough information for it to be successful. 

  • I get no jello from the S100 so far.

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

    • This might help:

      http://cameradecision.com/compare/Canon-PowerShot-S100-vs-Canon-Pow...

      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.

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

      • Thank you!

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