Drone recommendations?

(Abby Crawford) #1

I'm looking into getting a quadcopter for photogrammetry, but have no experience with them at all. Are there specific features that are better than others? What kind of camera resolution is best, and are shutter speeds and drone stability usually good enough to capture good quality, usable photographs? I'm at the beginning of my research, so any tips and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. smile

(Geodrone) #2

hi abbyec!

We use a Sony A5000 totally stock and we get fantastic results. The latests sony's are the best for this type of work (A5100, A6000) low weight, big sensor, high quality and intervallometer.

Shutter speed depend alot on the weather. 1/800 to 1/1000 and ISO 100 to 320.


(Fae Drones) #3

Hello, i am an experienced drone pilot and i did many 3D reconstruction projects using drone, check my projects on sketchfab.
The best drone should carry a mirrorless camera, i use Sony A6000 with fixed focal lens, to minimize the distorsions and exclude the possibility of changing the focal length during the flight. I prefer 16 mm or 30 mm.
So 1Kg of payload (camera + gimball) should not overload your UAV platform, engines should work at about 50%to 60%.
Because you need at least 20% spare power for platform stabilisation, even when your battery is empty! Some times you fly on high grounds, above 1000m and the engines has less efficiency. Some times you get into downdrafts, or some times you have high winds.

That power request excludes almost all comercial drones.

Also an UAV who empties your battery in les than 20 minute, will destroy your battery in less than 50 flights. So chose drones who fly with 1Kg of payload for more than 20 minutes or else you'll have problems with your batteries heating and puff-ing.

A good practice would be having an good autopilot with auto grid pattern generation, like mission planner. Telemetry is a very useful bonus, helping you to exactly appreciate the distances to your objectiv.

I found out that FAE Drones sell the right kind of drones for 3D mapping at very good price for the performance range they offer. FAE sells the entire solution, including flight training and all accessories. You need your own camera and you are ready to go.
Here is the drone for 3D maping link:

(3deffe) #4

FAE_Drone has well described what you really need to make a professional work.
In any case I think that You can begin donig experience also with more "commercial" drones as djiF550 who let you use mirrorless cameras as welll without such a big expense as for a pro drone as the one suggested by FAE.
In my case I'm usig the dji with a sony RX100MIII. In italy the laws are changing every day and I'm waiting for more clarity before making bigger expenses, however (imho) we're having good results as is possible to check in our models' gallery.
If I can suggest someting more is, before trying to get 3d models from a flight, to get expeience with small "ground" subjects in order to familiarize with the method an the tecnique necessary to get the best photoset.
Good work to everyone!

(Iconem) #5

I all,
Abby, quadcopter is good for photogrammetry in archeaology, but it is not the only solution. UAV plane can save you a lot of time, doing more surface in a short time. For archaeology and prospecting, it could be very usefull, and also safer because very light. We are doing this week 60 km2 in Africa with that. So, better to look at exactly your need first, to find the tool that fit to your job, good work!

(Bart) #6

What would be a good 'starting model' for someone who just wants to try this technology out? $10k is a rather large investment, is there anything, say, sub-$1000 on the market that would yield acceptable results?

(Abby Crawford) #7

Yes, I think that at the moment I'm really more in the boat that @bartv describes - experimental and drone-curious - rather than ready for a large investment.

@geodrone, thanks for the camera tip!

@FAE_Drones, thank you for the info on specs. I will definitely keep your recommendations in mind when I'm shopping.

@3deffe, this past summer I was chatting with a friend in Rome who has a drone and I was left with the impression that their use is either heavily restricted or that you need to jump through a number of hoops (paperwork, permits) to use them. It sounds like a challenging situation. Thank you for your suggestion of the dji - it's closest to what I can afford right now.

@iconem, I hadn't even considered a UAV plane, but it's an interesting idea. Are there any that you would specifically recommend?

(Bart) #8

Hey @abbyec how about finding a drone enthusiast in your area and working with him/her to do a test?

(Abby Crawford) #9

@bartv, that's a good idea. I will have to do some research... smile

(Bart) #10

How about these groups?

(Abby Crawford) #11

@bartv - you're very on the ball! I will see if I can meet up with those folks. Thanks!

(UncleSkoot) #13

I am looking to use a drone for the purpose of auditing attics and crawl spaces. Currently, I have to climb in to these locations to assess for things like water, rodent issues, attic layout, mold growth, etc. I would like the flexibility of flying a small drone into the space so that it can take video and photo instead. I need it to have it's own lighting source as attics and crawl spaces are dark. Good range and connectability. Battery life and battery replacement are important as job can run long hours on some days. Can anyone make any suggestions, recommendations or steer me in the right direction please, I would love an alternative to the current method.

(Abadillo) #15

Hey Abby,

I just got in the drone photogrammetry game this past Summer. Phantom 2 version 2 and a GoPro camera using an H4-3D gimbal works well. It's also good if you are just breaking into it. I got the whole package for $900 online. Check out my page for some examples of the models it produces.

(Abby Crawford) #16

Thanks, @abadillo! The price sounds right and your aerial models attest to the quality of your setup.

(Diven Parker) #18

You should choose a good lipo battery for your drone, because your drone only can fly about 10 mins, so you should prepare some drone battery, and you should know more battery knowledge, quadcopter are also equip with 3s lipo batteries.

(Rocky444) #19

You can try DJI Phantom 4 or DJI Inspire 1. I use DJI Inspire 1. Performance is also very good. But you should research more about best drones from internet or other sources. If you get proper knowledge then you feel much satisfaction

(Nataly35) #20

I crusched another one yesterday :confused: I'am looking for a new one so thx for advices

(Jackyoung) #21

Hi For AP I recommend DJI and Yunneec drone to you. Both of them are great.

(Jon Walter) #23

Beside Hubsan, i read everywhere random sites, i personally think that, JJRC or Holystone seem great also. Then maybe Syma X5, i mean these drones all great for a jumpstart before starting into more pro drones. This Holy Stone stuff quadcopter looks nice, i mean the first impression like, “What? is that Mavic?” Then when i read the details and look closer, ouh and it was Holy drone.

(Delnith) #24

I want to find some suggestions here, what is best drones with camera? I saw some information about drones in this article: https://thedigitalcamera.net/best-drones-with-camera/, please tell me which is the best, I want to choose one among them.