Let's talk Canon cameras

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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  • My A490 with CHDK Interval script does perfect for me with Hexcopter. Makes for good 3D point cloud production with photogrammetry tools as well.


    Mounted with my custom made wire rope isolation platform. Also use this for shooting HD with Android phones which I then turn into mosaic maps via frame extraction.

  • Matt - Not much help here. But I started seriously using my Canon Powershot A4000IS and having similar problems (i.e., some shots are stable at certain RPM). I'm trying to download CHDK (Canon Hackers Development Kit) to see if the expansion of capabilities (shutter speeds) will help but currently no luck downloading CHDK.


    I'll be monitoring this post for others suggestions as well.



  • Has anyone tried this camera?

    Sony Cybershot DSCHX30V 18.2mp 20x or this one Sony Cybershot DSC-HX200V

    Cheers M

  • I suppose it depends on your application? Each of us may be aiming for a different purpose. My ultimate aim is to be able to create Ortho-photography to a high accuracy like these guys in ireland..http://www.uav.ie/ortho.html . In his paper http://www.uav.ie/PDF/Accuracy_UAV_compare_RTK_GPS.pdf . He use's a nex7, I think the main reason is for its 24 MP sensor.  This guy http://diydrones.com/profiles/blog/show?id=705844%3ABlogPost%3A9034... 

    uses the samsung nx cameras. I hope to use a high end interchangeable lense camera. The nex7 weighs 353 grams + the weight of a pancake lense of 67 grams. 

    However for simple photography, a point and shoot I think would be fine and I had planned on getting a canon to experiment with. Now using a timer is probably fine and most people use them however I take the point about varying flight speeds due to wind etc effecting performance. I personally don't like putting a waypoint every metres so I like the idea of using the gps to determine distance traveled and then triggering shots every 10 metres etc. It seems that this is in the pipeline for APM as I found here https://github.com/diydrones/ardupilot/issues/375

    This will mean we can use any camera we can remote trigger which will open up the field some what.

    Perhaps getting the right airframe setup would help carrying the bigger cameras? I like the look of the 

    finwing penguin

    2013 skwalker 1900mm


    Skywalker x8 or similar. I'm currently experimenting with the phantom from hobbyking just cause its available local in australia.

    Just some thoughts I wonder what everyone else is trying to achieve?


    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - Ortho Photography
    Unmanned Aerial Vehicle services including ortho photography, structural inspection and serial photography
  • S100 is gone, picked up the Nex5N for $329.  

    I really think the issue on the S100 is not so much the OIS, as it is the actual exterior lens barrel.  It was very easy to move lens barrel by hand.  While at the store, I played with the SX270, and it's lens barrel seemed quite a bit stiffer.  Maybe that's why people have more luck with it?

    It would be nice if we could get a good "tough" camera that would do what we want.  The lenses should be much more solid.

  • Actually get this camera when its released... http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20130627/samsung-galaxy-nx-camera-an...

    use the android to run triggertrap. Should = great setup?

    In the mean time I'll try it out with my sony xz to see how it all works.

  • Well, I think that settles that. I did some back to back testing of the Canon S100 vs. a ContourHD. The Contour took nice video, with just the merest hint of jello. Barely perceptible.

    The Canon was a vibrating mess. Just a disaster. I had IS turned off.

    Photos from the S100 are hit and miss. I was shooting ISO 800, with the sun still up but low. Exposures of 1/800 to 2000. Even a few of the 2000's are blurry!

    I think it's pretty clear the little lens is shaking around in there. Or maybe it's happening to the entire lens barrel. It moves pretty easy by hand. So, it goes back. The GPS and CHDK intervalometer were nice. But doing a mapping run and getting 1/2 shots blurry won't do at all!

    I think they should still have the Nex5N on clearance (Open Box). It was there last week. Think it's $300 now. Can't beat that.

  • I don't know why Canon's have such a bad reputation. The pictures below are taken with a Canon S90 hard mounted to a DJI f450 (with a GoPro mount) all stock except for Graupner 10x5.

    I use it to do photogrammetry (as a hobby) and I get at least 6/10 good pictures... sometimes even more. I only do it on calm days though, otherwise I think there is little hope with a hard mount. We fly around 75m high, at 10Km/h.



    • Luca,

      Can you confirm that you are still having good results with the Canon S90? I'm having the same blurring problem that everyone else is having with my S100. The S90 was the first Powershot S model with IS so perhaps the mechanism is different. I'm considering buying a used S90 and trying it out. 

      Do you have the IS feature turned on or off?

  • Spent some time looking at cameras last night and came away with a few ideas, but no cameras:

    One reason I've been holding out, is because I was waiting for the new Wifi enabled cameras to come out.  I played with a few last night.  I'm no longer waiting.  

    I played with a Sony HX30V.  This has built-in GPS, and as typical, Sony is at the fore-front of video quality in a compact point-and-shoot.  This one will do 1080p 60fps, in fact, Sony has had this for about 2 years now.  Compare that to Canon's offerings which are still stuck at 24fps!  Their image stabilization also works very well.  But that's where the goodness ends. The wifi system is completely useless.  It does not allow remote viewfinder, or remote control of the camera.  The only thing you can do is after taking a picture, you can send it to your phone/tablet/TV.  Whoop-dee-doo.  Also, this camera, like my WX10, has no continuous shooting ability.  Hold the button down, and you get 10 pictures, then it stops.  There is no ability that I know of for remote input.  Therefore, the only option is to set up a servo.  Yuck.  I was also kind of looking at the Nex-5R, even though I can get a 5N for much cheaper, due to wifi. But I assume the wifi is similarly useless.

    I was waiting for the Canon SX280 to be available for a hands-on testing, because of the wifi.  But last night I looked at Canon's instructional video for their wifi, and it seems to be similarly useless.  The only thing it appears to do is allow wireless viewing of previously taken photos.  What a waste.  So there doesn't seem to be any good reason to wait for the SX280 over the 260, other than maybe a minor improvement in video quality.  The 280 can do 1080p 60 fps, whereas the 260 is stuck at 24.  Another consideration for the time being, there is no CHDK available for the 280 yet.

    Then, I also saw an S100 on sale for a really nice price ($200), so I looked at it.  I hadn't realized that it had a GPS!  Nice. It is now being replaced by the S110.  The S110 has lost the GPS, and gained (useless) wifi.  Plus the S100 has CHDK available (in Beta) but the S110 is just starting the process I guess.  So this also seems like a no-brainer.

    So, we come to this:

    SX260 vs. S100.  I think the S100 will take better pictures, and it's a very nice price.  Anybody know?  The S100 is also smaller and lighter than the SX which is nice.  The SX280 has a crazy zoom lens (500mm) which we don't need, which I think is what leads to it's bulk.  The S100 only has a 120mm lens, but the image sensor is actually larger, and it's lens is brighter.

    The S100 seems like a no-brainer.  Am I missing anything?

    These cameras are not the best thing for artistic photos, or video.  You'll want a larger camera like a DSLR or Sony Nex for that.  But these cameras are perfect for compact, lightweight, photogrammetry usage.  Mapping, etc.  And they'll take fine photos for more "industrial" uses like inspections, or maybe real-estate.

This reply was deleted.


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