I am looking for feedback on using the Sony RX100iii as an aerial mapping camera. Currently we use the Canon SX260 with occasional blurred shots and lower-res/quality than we would like. The RX100iii looks like an excellent replacement but I am hoping for some feedback before making a purchase.


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Hi, we use the SONY QX100 with an excellent result, and I think they have the same sensor and the same optics. We say QX100 to weigh less gaining autonomy on the drone.

@ Habitat Estudios Ambientales s.l 

Please could you tell me how you control the camera.

Thanks, regards

Interesting. I will check into the optics and sensor comparisons.

I did find this about camera trigger: http://e4e.ucsd.edu/wordpress/?p=1268

Their mention of no shutter priority and their mapping mission results of blurred images concerns me with the QX100. Just discovered they update the QX100 to have shutter priority mode recently. It sure would be an awesome setup though!

We control the camera with the mobile phone. The shot of the camera is amended and directly connected to the autopilot, but know it can be done via USB SONY though it is complex, we are studying.

It is very easy to trigger the Sony RX100 III with a direct cable connection. The RX100 has a special micro USB port that is called a "multiport". This is more than just a micro usb.

With the stratosnapper2 from littlesmartthings (http://alpha.littlesmartthings.com/stratosnapper2/) and the direct cable for the Sony RX100 they also provide, you do the following:

-Plug the direct cable on one end at the "wire" port of stratosnapper 

-Plug the other end of that cable to the multiport of the Sony camera

-Plug a servo cable between the output of your receiver (or via your flight controller, such as pixhawk or APM if you use those) and one of the servo control input of stratosnapper

-Program a switch of your transmitter to raise a high PWM value on that servo cable connected to the receiver

When you will activate the switch, it will raise the PWM value high on the receiver's corresponding channel, that will go into the input of stratosnapper; stratosnappert then outputs a focus+shutter signal to that special multiport on the Sony camera.

And you thus get a perfect in focus picture result, everytime.

Further, if you connected the servo cable via your flight controller, you can ask it to trigger pictures based on traveled distance or elapsed time...

Hi Shawn

Making a USB camera trigger for your future Sony is easy ..see my very simple circuit below.. This will allow the Pixhawk to control when your camera triggers..

Thank you for your reply, that's what I also have found out so far....., so it's a wifi range issue and a interference problem with the normal 2.4 Ghz RC.

I did not find anything about USB control, do I know it is possible with other Sony models.

What wires in your schema connect to the two pins shutter and focus?

Hi the end marked Sony S2 plug on my setup connects to the camera end .. try first to set the camera up as manual focus ..and connect gnd and shutter wires .. If you cannot set the camera to Manual focus when its on auto focus connect the two wires Focus/shutter together from the S2 plug end. 

Hi Reuben,

The cable from stratosnapper has three wires going into the multiport (what you call the S2 port) :a ground, a focus, a shutter. This allows the camera to focus first, then trigger.

Too bad your suggestion ties focus and shutter together, it would allow to build a cheaper cable.

Reuban, thanks for sharing this schematic, I've followed you on a couple other threads.
Out of curiosity, how might I get a hold of one your cables?

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