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.3691181909?profile=originalThe 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.

3691181989?profile=originalThe 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.

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  • Great work!

    Do you know if the body of the IRIS will interfere with the camera gps ??


  • Camera plates (front and back) attached in the same .STL file. I'll upload the mounting plates tomorrow or Friday.


    • Gimme the donation link! I grateful for your efforts.

    • Modded plate to fit old shock mount


    • Thanks a lot !

      Are the mounting plates different from the previous ones ?

  • Here is the latest update. Less weight, more clearance from the ground, and now there is access to the USB port, battery and memory card without having to remove the camera from the case. The plate that connects to the adapter was also reinforced with a second pair of arms (not visible in the pictures). It feels more rigid than the previous version. The camera plates don't require support to print; I recommend printing them with 100% infill. A 58 mm lens protector can be glued as well for further lens protection.

    If you are interested in having the new .STL files send me a PM. Thank you to all the users that supported the project!3701980379?profile=original

    • What's total weight looking like? 

      Great job btw 

  • Hi everyone. This is my first post here. Fantastic discussion.

    I am putting together an IRIS+ system for crop scouting, and came across the Sony QX1.


    This is a funny little camera that is designed to use the memory and processing of a smartphone or tablet. Essentially, it a shuttered, large format detector with a lens mount and some comms. It's an A5000 without the body. Lifepixel does an IR conversion on this camera, if, like me you are interested NDVI. Paired with a 16mm f2.8 pancake lens, you've got a pretty nice mapping camera. Maybe.

    I realized that to use this for mapping you've got to come up with some kind of outboard processing and memory, so I kept on digging and came across this:


    Wow! Now that's a flying camera! I belive this is the work of Iain Butler (@theuavguy on twitter). He is getting around the outboard processing problem by using DroneDeploy, and apparently getting good results (Something like 25+ acres in a 12.5min flight). 

    I like this minimallist approach, as range is very important to me (and every one else, I suppose). In my situation, I am hoping to be able to map a single 160 acre irrigation pivot in a day while the sun is high. That would be perhaps 7 flights with that kind of range. That's alot, but seems pretty doable. (For a variety of reasons, I have no desire to pursue fixed wing for its increased range at this time.)

    Anyway, I am reaching out to Iain about that slick mount, but I was wondering if any of you folks have seen anything like that mount or have any experience with that camera.

    Again, great discusion.

  • I have the files: 


    Dropbox - Error
    Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again!
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