skywalker X5 mapping camera choice


i plan to set up a X5 wing + pixhawk FC in order to try aerial photogrametry. I have all the parts except the camera. I noticed most of people use either canon s110/120 or sx260/280hs. 

I would like to have users opinions of these cameras : pro and cons.

Beside, another camera looks good at least on specs side : ixus 240hs, with its 1-2.3" sensor and 16MP + lower weight (150g vs 217g for s120).  Did someone already try this camera for mapping purpose ?

I know some people use Sony Nex5 with this platform but since i expect to do hand launch, i dismissed this camera.

Big thanks.

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  • I have used SX230hs, SX260hs, S100  and IXUS 110 on Skywalker X5.  

    All are out of production, from what I gather on camera websites. The IXUS is lighter  but don't have a aperture, just ND filter. Something to consider to if you depth-of-field.

    I like SX260 the best for its speed, colour and focusing.

    The X5 can take the extra 100gm weight of the Powershot series, no problem. 


    • @Chris, i don't understand why you says there is no aperture on your ixus 110, on canon website i read f/2.8 – f/5.8.

      SX260 (weight :236g) is certainly a proven camera with good spec, but since i will use pixhawk to control shutter i don't need built in gps, neither flash in fact. Pro : if we consider availability of chkdsk scripts, we can find many for this camera. Also in case we upgrade to a Sony RX100 III, we would only add 50g , then cog effect would be probably easier to manage.

      Do you hand launch ?

      Your ixus 110 sensor size is same as sx260 : 1/2.3"
      S110 has a better sensor : 1/1.7"

      • The IXUS 110 I used did not have the aperture leaf in the lens. Instead it uses a ND filter that flips in and out. Say if you select f5.6 then the ND filter flips into the lens assembly to reduce the light getting it. 

      • Do someone use a Sony RX100 III with gentwire cable or smartfpv diy cable solution connected to a pixhawk/apm ?

  • @Alex, i tried different setup but 2 are ahead of others :

    -2836 sk3 1500kv motor + multistar 3s 5200mAh (18mn)

    -2836 sk3 1040kv motor + multistar 4s 4000mAh (21mn)

    Since the 1040kv is normally given to be used with 3s battery i tend to prefer to use 1500kv motor.

    I use a Pixhawk. For a while i hesitated to use a lighter version of this FC : virtualrobotix microbrain but i didn't find out if we can use a digital airspeed sensor so i gave up (i do know that we can use an analog sensor) . If i had to change, i think i would take a dropix because i don't like df13 connectors especially since most chinese stuff come with picoblade that not perflectly match with it.

    @Dwgsparky,  Cons of  ELPH520  : sensor is quite small (1/3") and offers only 10MP.  Good point, Weight is ok : 150gr

    It is not the topic, but i tried autotake off and a no go for me is that if take off fail, the prop continue to turn (not nice when the wing crashed on the ground haha..). I have no idea if it is possible but we could imagine that if the plan doesn't move or there is no accel then the engine cut off. Well, just an idea for developpers.

    • Sensefly ebee carries a ixus 127hs so it is probably a safe choice.

      I have seen some people talking about Sony rx100 (1" sensor !) but it looks more complicated to set up than canon camera.

      • damned, chkdsk is not yet available for canon S120.

        • Moderator

          so use a micro servo to press the button . 9G won't hurt you payload and its easy to set up and to test on the field.

  • Moderator


    The Canon ELPH520 works well on the X5. for serious use and a positive launch you should consider a catapult. 

    The X5 with large batteries and a large camera can be a problem to launch successfully 

  • Hello,

    I'm currently using a Canon SX230. I plann to buy a Canon S100 , I saw that is a very popular camera.

    Here is my setup :

    What electronics will you use ?

This reply was deleted.