I wanted to share what I have been working for the past month to properly mount a camera to the IRIS+ (or original IRIS). I never liked the idea of flying a camera like the Canon S100 (or any camera) without some protection and vibration isolation. All take-offs and landings stir debris that can impact an open lens. And any type of crash or flip during landing has the potential to damage the camera.
When 3DR came with the mapping kit for the X8 I was hoping that they would sell the camera case and mount to everybody. That's not the case. And the price for the mapping kit is high and I don't need more telemetry radios and a Pixhawk. I'm referring to this kit.
The mount and case are very similar to the ones offered in the kit. The mount has an isolated top plate with a GoPro mount to latch the camera case. The bottom plate is screwed to the adapter plate that goes to the belly of the IRIS. The GoPro mount from the top plate goes through a hole in the bottom plate. The plates have 10 mm holes to add bigger rubber dampeners.
The case is designed around the Canon S100, but similarly shaped cameras will fit. There are 5 mm in all directions to add a layer of foam. The white label in the front is where I'm going to add another hole. The red sharpie marks in the back are where I'm going to expand the holes for easier button pressing and screen viewing. You can also glue a filter for lens protection. There are clear filters and UV filters, for example. The diameter of the filter you see below is 58 mm.The pictures below show how it fits on the IRIS+. There is a clearance of around 2 cm from the ground to the lens tube, so I'll most likely add legs that are 5 cm taller. There are 2 leg designs for the IRIS in Thingiverse where 8-mm carbon fiber rods can be added. Again, the white label you see is where I will add another hole to manipulate the shutter, the dial, and the power button.
The complete set weighs 322 g (IRIS+ maximum payload is 400 g). The weight contribution of the camera is 193 g and the camera case and mount weigh 130 g. Well worth the weight for camera protection and vibration isolation. Weight will go slightly down with the next version I got printing (2 expanded holes and 1 new hole).
I will test the flight performance soon. We just got a big snow storm so I won't fly until next weekend. The design is very solid, and I'm expecting no major issues. I'm hoping that the weight distribution doesn't affect the flight performance.
I have another design for the back portion of the camera case with a longer GoPro mount, so the camera could easily be pointed forward if desired.