Sensor – Electro-Optical

We have a range of high specification cameras which operate in the visible spectrum (as opposed to our thermal and multispectral cameras). These cameras have specifically been chosen for their characteristics which are ideal for low level aerial surveys, with different cameras being suited to different applications.

We also have a range of camera mounts which are controlled separately to the UAV. This includes two DJI Zenmuse mounts which are specifically designed for individual camera systems; we currently have these mounts for our Canon 5D and Panasonic GH3. These mounts offer unparalleled image stabilisation and can be controlled with a precision accuracy of +/-0.05°C with unlimited rotation around all three axes. We also have camera mount systems which can be adapted to any camera, so  if you have a specific camera in mind that you would like us to use then we can arrange for it to be mounted on the UAV.

Canon EOS 5D MK III

The Canon 5D is a full-frame DSLR professional standard camera. It is capable of capturing high resolution stills and high definition film. We typically use this for applications where very high quality imagery is required, such as for marketing or promotional applications. It is also the camera we use most commonly to perform photomosaic and photogrammetry operations due to the very high resolution it can capture. This high quality camera system is very heavy and very few UAV systems are powerful enough to lift these, let alone carry them for a valuable duration. Both our hexacopter and octocopter are capable of carrying this camera for a maximum of 10-12 minutes which we have never found to be a limiting flight time. It has the following key features:

  • 22.3 megapixels
  • Up to 60 frames per second video shooting
  • 1/8000 of a second up to 30 second shutter speed

Panasonic Lumix GH3

The Panasonic Lumix GH3 is a mirrorless, compact DSLR which is mainly used for videography as it returns footage at a broadcast quality. It is slightly lighter than the Canon 5D and so we are able to gain a few more minutes of flight time from it, making it particularly adept at capturing long durations of uninterrupted footage. Its key characteristics are:

  • 16 megapixels
  • Up to 60 frames per second video shooting
  • 1/16,000 of a second to 1/25 of a second shutter speed

Go Pro Hero3

The GoPro Hero3 is a very compact, lightweight camera. This greatly increases the flight time which our UAVs are capable of to up to 20 minutes, making it ideal for applications which require a very long duration of uninterrupted flight time. However, it is not capable of producing the same quality images as the other cameras. Due to its size it is also the only camera which we can mount on our quadcopter, ideal in operations where a smaller UAV is needed such as indoor flying. It can also be placed beside our other, non-visual cameras (the thermal and multispectral systems) to provide reference film or photography. Its key characteristics include:

  • 11 megapixels
  • Up to 25 frames per second video shooting
  • Wide Angle lens
  • Used in conjunction with the Thermal and Multispectral sensors