Id love to get an idea what people are using for their aerial mapping Canon cameras. I have the Canon S95, which usis optical image stabilization (OIS). This means the lenses are floating and move around in a very finite level to adjust for your hand movement. This poses a big problem for aerial work when the vibrations are noticeable. The lenses literally vibrate and no amount of shutter speed can fix it. I get very poor results; most aren't keepers but sometimes they are depending on motor rpm. Ive tested this camera for years on many different platforms, tried every vibration reduction method and still get bad results.


So, I'd love to hear what you are using and how the results work.


UPDATE: Ive ditched the Canon s95 in favor of a Sony NEX-5R with an intervalometer app. Ill be using a Sigma 30mm lens.

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The second sLED developed the same problem as the first once it was in the air (continuous shutter triggering). It turns out that the Flytron sLED requires that the supply voltage and the PWM voltage to be about the same. The Pixhawk flight controller PWM voltage is 3.3 volts so the sLED didn't like the 5 volt servo supply voltage. I wired three diodes head to tail on the red servo lead to the Flytron  sLED reducing the supply voltage to about 3.5 volts and the shutters work fine now.

Here's a photo of the adapter cord for the Flytron sLED shutter before I put shrink wrap around the diodes. The stripes on the diodes are on the left towards the connector where the Flytron sLED 2plugs in. I used 1N4585 diodes from my junk box but any small power diode should work such as the 1N400x series available at Radio Shack.

Hi guys
S100 must not shoot slower then 1600...1000 is not enough but I gaurantee it at 1600 and is great for mapping because you can set the lense and remember for accurate mapping you do not want to be wider then 35mm pref 50mm

I've produced several very accurate models (DGPS controls GCP RMS error <17 mm) with images from several S100 at 1/1000th second Tv; The minimum usable shutter speed will depend on flying speed/altitude, but I don't think it always has to be faster than 1/1600th.

Matt Gunn how good is the intervalometer app from SONY in mapping the ground and do some photogrametry?

I'm almost buying a a5000 and start using the app but i really need to know if the results are good, if it works using AUTO mode (Or any other mode) and if every single photo are focus. (i read some old posts regarding the app that says the app only focus the first picture and the next one are unfocus) :X

Thank you!


I've used the intervalometer app on a Sony NEX 5T. It was tricky to figure out a good setting, but I shoot RAW in manual with f/7.1-9, 1/500, and ISO 400-800 and have had great results. I simply set the manual focus for the first picture at infinity and then it works great.

Hi David,

But since i'm used to start shooting before the drone is in the air (Currently using a Canon SX260 with 3s interval between photos, 1/1000, ISO Auto, Continuous Focus) wont that Manual Photos shoot the first photo and the next ones gonna be unfocus?

For example the first 10 photos taken are from the ground (0m) to the altitude desired (100m high).

Can i see a photo from you Nex 5t to see how sharp it is?

In attach is one taken today (very cloud and no sun at all).


So, how I focus is the following:

Point the camera at a far off object (such as a tree outlined by the sky). Press trigger half way down. Turn focus ring until tree is optimally focused. Take picture. Now, the intervalometer has started with a focus of infinity.

An important part of that is the aperture. A low aperture (f/8) has a much wider depth of focus than a high aperture (f/3.5). The downside is that the ISO and shutter speed must be altered accordingly.

The attached picture was taken from around 400 feet. The difference in quality between the SX260 and NEX 5T is massive.

Holy crap man.

I really hope the a5000 pictures quality (somewhere between NEX 3 and Nex 5) can be very close to that.

So the trick to manual focus is so simple! lol! Thanks man.

But is possible to shoot in AUTO or the results are worst than Manual?

Hi There, 

I have just got hold of a canon SX260 which I'm planning to use for aerial mapping with a F450 running a Pixhawk.  

I'm rather worried about the weight of the camera on such a small drone, but We'll see how long it fles. 

I'm trying to figure out the best method for attaching the camera to the bottom of the F450.  I would really appreciate any suggestions. 


I am using 450 sized quad running on APM 2.6 using a cheap Canon 2300 point and shoot camera to do photogrammetry after following step by step guide on flight riot. Result is great without any blur or underexposure.

I am flying on 100 m Above ground with averagely 18Km/h horizontal speed.

Series of photo taken first stitched using ICE and then doing 3d reconstruction using Visual SFM and CMVS.

Fist trial, i was using ISO overides on CHDK as Canon 2300 doesn't have manual or semi automatic function (Aperture or shutter priority). I thought the ISO overides will force the camera to use higher shutter speed to generate a more steady picture, but i ended up with an overexposure photos. Then i re try using an auto function without any overides. The result is great.

Canon USA currently has the S100 refurbished for $98.99!  At this price you could buy a couple of them and convert one to IR.  Here's a link:

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