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X5R for photogrammetry work

May 19, 2017
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Some context for the following. We're in the process of starting a new UAV photogrammetry group to compliment our survey group at a smaller engineering firm in the states. The equipment we have was purchased prior to me and my colleague being hired, so we had no say in the current setup. We're assessing if it would be prudent to try to make our current setup work, replace aspects of it, or just relegate it for marketing purposes and purchase a purpose built UAV like the Ebee or something of the sort.

I was hoping you guys could shed some light on an issue I’ve been having. We’ve currently using an M600 with the X5R setup with the 15mm Panasonic Lumix lens, and we think that the camera / lens may be the root cause of some accuracy issues we’ve been having for our photogrammetry work. We're using ground control, and have had a batch of inconsistent results rerunning the same set of images multiple times though Pix4d. This questionable result from the camera was verified in a more traditional fixed wing photogrammetry software.

My camera knowledge is limited, but I believe the main issue is that the X5R has a variable focus rather than a fixed focus. Is that an accurate assessment? I know the X3 has a fixed focal length, making it better for photogrammetry work in some ways, though it doesn’t have the image quality we’re looking for though. So I was curious to see if the X5R had any way to lock the focus to infinity? This would presumably put all distant objects in focus correct? If locked, would this setting hold if we were to use a 3rd party mapping app? Alternatively, would a different lens be a suitable option?

I’m curious to hear any recommendations, thoughts, or alternative cameras that could be used with the M600 for photogrammetry work.

Thanks in advance.

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