Hi Everyone

Im putting together a UAV for aerial surveying using stereo photogrammetry.

Id like to get some input for the experts before going ahead.

My plan is to buy a high wing trainer coupled with an APM2.

Electric powered with a gyro camera mount.

The software Im using is photomodeler scanner. It can do DSM.

Im quite a n00b when it comes to fixed wing, but I have got a fair amount of expericence on multi-rotors.

Im doing this on a fairly tight budget and need to know a good camera to use.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated and will gladly buy any1 a beer if you're ever in South Africa :)



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Compact cameras usually have worse signal/noise ratio than slrs and evils. In addition, zoom lenses use to be unstable in terms of construction. Just turn your camera on and gently try to move the lens barrel from side to side. you see? it has too much slack and this inevitably causes changes in focal length and other parameters of the interior orientation that are needed to be stable for serious photogrammetric work.

Primes are more robust and need less moving parts.

Olympus cameras are extremely easy to interface by wire without any sdk. micro four thirds gives today the best IQ/weight and lenses are great.


Agisoft is def a much better option than Photomodeler, have been assessing a number of digital photogrammetry offerings including cloud upload sites such as Dronemapper & Pix4D, will probably go with Agisoft, used Leica when it was V...
@Gisela & Joe - great, great work (is Gisela loading all those Gb chunks, Joe, while u post? kidding ! ) , am in process of a startup doing v similar in UK/Ireland, have ordered an X8 airframe, had decided on a Sony NEX-7 for imaging but now veering towards Samsung NX200/210/1000...
Re aerial RTK / post processing, one factor that I assume people realise is that the GPS must record either RINEX format or raw signal in a standard format usable by the RTK/post processing software.
I spent a year managing data from an aerial survey research aircraft which had a cruciform GPS setup (i.e. GPS unit fore/aft/port/starboard, & one critical factor was integrating IMU yaw/pitch/roll readings with GPS @50hz, synchronising timestamp info was critical in this case...
Again Joe, excellent setup & project implementation, serious coverage,
Denis Deasy
Red Kite Aerial Survey

Joe, how much of a difference in accuracy did the different lens focal lengths make (base to height)?

hi Joe

I'm Fabrizio from Italy. 

thank you very much for sharing your experience about areial mapping. 

I'm really interested in buying a nx200 with VoigtLander 15 or 20 mm..

2 questions:

- what about ring adapter from VoigtLander M mount to nx mount? infinite focus is possible?

- what about remote shutter? you solder an rc switch to shoot button? have you got some pictures? suggestion?

thank you very much


I am a beginner, but I have a Samsung NX1000 camera with a pancake 16mm lens that I would like to use.  Could you show us what type of micro-connector you use to interface with the camera?  Do you just splice the wires in the camera and connect them to the wires in the micro controller?

Samsung NX 300 is being launched this month. Specs look good.

I use Photomodeler and canon eos mirror less in one drone and a canon sx260 in the other, results are consistent, I have never had a problem with accuracy, if your results with photomodeler are inaccurate its because you doing something wrong, when selecting a camera take focal length multiplier into account. 10mp is more than enough for photomodeler provided image quality is good,

Wayne Upfold

Aerial Inspection

Hi Joe,

Is it true that using an adapter for Voightlander on the Samsung NX  means will lose infinity focus?

Did you find out any solution or tech for RTK GPS ? 

Hi Joe,

How do you trigger /run the intervalometer on the cameras you mentioned? It sounds like you are getting great resolution.

Also, I just wanted to mention that for those performing mapping for research, education, or personal use, you can use the following software:




You will of course require sufficient GCPs as Joe stated or RTK GPS to get "survey grade" results and bring the results into GIS instead of MeshLab, etc. 

I hope the links are helpful. 


Will Stevens.

Can you tell more abour your experience with the Samsung NX100 camera? can this camera be triggered?

Thanks for your help

Guillermo A.

Hello Joe,

I have been reading your posts and learning all about aerial photography from UAV's! You really seem to know your stuff.

I was hoping you could help me figure out how you get the overlap of the images you want. Do you calculate plane altitude, speed etc, or have some type of gps driven trigger for the camera as well?


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