Drone camera capability testing

By August 19, 2017 Cameras, Drones No Comments

target boardIt’s not enough to know that your drone has a camera and flies to deliver a high quality product to your clients, you need to understand what it’s real performance level is and its operating limitations.

Using a standard target board (left) we have been able to compare a range of cameras, lenses and drones.  The target board includes contrast lines that are 1cm, 0.5cm and 0.25cm wide.  There are many factors that affect the delivered images you take raw resolution is important but vibration, exposure and aperture can undermine that capability.

If we take the example of exposure, people can assume that a camera’s auto exposure is “correct”.  This is true based on the settings (usually an average across the whole image).  This assumption can create issues if your subject is different, from a contrast or lighting perspective, to the rest of the image you are taking.

exposureAs you can see from the images above detail is literally washed away from the image.  If you are looking at this part of the image for an inspection or your a looking to achieve a specific real world GSD (ground sampling distance) this is a critically important factor.

Look at the images below, its a daft example but it contrasts a Mavic with a Zenith (equipped with a Sony A7rII) both flying at 100m.  Its a question of the right tool for the right job.

mavic

Image from Zenith at 100m using Sony A7r II