New GoPro Lens vs Cannon CHDK for mapping


I was looking at this post and am looking to get into mapping with an Iris and currently have a GoPro Hero3+ Silver camera.

I am thinking of either changing the lens to remove the fisheye or distortion, or buying a Cannon camera to use CHDK.

Here is a blog post about about changing your GoPro lens .

I am leaning towards buying a Cannon camera because I think you have better control over the images with CHDK and no distortion.  This Cannon SX 230 HD has built in GPS.

Anyone have any tips on mapping?

How do you get your pictures to overlap?

What is the best height to fly at?

Can anyone point me to a "mapping 101 for drones" webpage ?

Thanks :)

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


    • Doug-  It seems the nice folk at 3DR customer service may say things they perhaps ought not to. My Iris Tarot gimbal, that came in a nice 3DR-labelled box, weighs-in at 284 grams with gopro. See this link for weight on the scale. My Iris will fly about 15 minutes with that rig while scanning a roof or taking other shots. It has never labored or struggled with that payload, (plus the video transmitter & antenna), btw.

      Unless 3DR examined your tlogs and other data from your Pixhawk, its them guessing as to what caused your crash. My first Iris unit's crash was caused by a IMU fault that locked-up the pixhawk while coming out of follow-me (guided) mode. That was the extensive log analysis results from 3DR.

      I do like your ortho images. 

      When you were using the Canon, did you use the KAP-UAV script whilst running the camera under CHDK?  That script will essentially prevent blur in nearly all daylight lighting conditions...its well designed and constantly updated.

      With so much control over all aspects of the aerial photo shot that I cannot get with a GoPro on auto mode only, I'm going to primarily use my Canon when I can. I've got my Nadir mount and the stock GoPro fixed mount on the Iris and use both. 45 degree angle shots of the structure with the camera on the GoPro mount, and straight down (using the Nadir mount) with a structure scan using a cross hatch pattern. Scan time is less than 15 min depending on flight speed..... and processing time, well, a few more hours on my Sony Vaio-L desktop with an i7 processor.

    • They looked at tlogs and told me not to fly my S100 under my Iris+ as it was too heavy.   That's what they said.

      I was using the KAP-UAV script - and never, not once, could I get consistent un-blury photos.  I wasted days trying - and there's many a thread in this place and elsewhere talking about people having the same problems.

      The GoPro solution is lighter, easier, more reliable - couldn't be happier. :)

    • iso 100-400, shutterspeed 1000-2000, infinity focus do the trick

      even a ixus160 which is dirt cheap at 50 bucks gets more decent pictures compared to gopro imho!

    • Do you have your GP mounted on the gimbal?
      I also note the S100 weighs 170 grams. Mine is newer and lighter, significantly.
  • I use a Canon Elph of the smallest Canon P&S units made, but with fill HD, image stabilization, and it runs CHDK and the KAP-UAV script very nicely.

    I had thought about using a camera with built-in GPS, but the Iris+ tlog file will have the accurate location over ground where it fired the camera that's what I use.

    Learning CHDK has been quite a journey. You need a trigger cable (I've got two, one gives me live video feed), experience with the software, a NADIR mount (from IMP concepts) and a collection of post-processing software.

  • Hey all....I too am trying to figure out how to get accurate mapping capabilities using a gopro hero 4 silver....I have ordered the flat lens, and it has not arrived yet.  I was wondering what software is best for stitching?  So far I have used Microsoft ICE using the video from panorama option, and it has done a decent job of making an accurate map, but there are still some pretty visable seams.  I set the gopro on 1080 narrow, and am flying at 50 meters.  I attached the image I was able to come up with...My main question is what stitching software would you guys recommend that is either free or doesn't cost an arm and a leg...Thanks for any advice!!

  • Have you tried changing the angle of view in the settings menu for the stock GoPro lens?

    I use Medium angle of View and have no wide angle distortion.  Image size is still 8x12 @ 300dpi.

    • Image distortion on Gopro comes from its lens feature. Medium angle of view is done only by cropping the center of the image. Yes, it is less distorted but is not good enough for mapping. Unless you change your lens with the flat one, Gopro is useless for mapping applications. However, changing Gopro lens is quiet pricey.

    • What I like about the gopro is that it seems you can change lenses on site, after it's been modified.

  • Hi,

    Any recommended gimbal for aerial mapping with Iris ? Planned camera is Canon sx 260



This reply was deleted.