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E90 camera settings for mapping? terrible results

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Hello, has anyone had successful mapping results with the E90 camera? I have an H520G (which uses Yuneec ST10C controlled + iPad + SiteScan iOS app). This is a pain to use for manual camera settings as it won't let you change them while you're up in the air. Thus far I've just flown all missions on auto camera settings.

Today I decided to compare the output orthos of the H520G with those taken from a P4P. I did two exact flights using SiteScan iOS app, back to back, only that for the P4P I used manual settings: shutter priority, ISO 100, and Auto AWB. This was at 300ft altitude and 80% overlap, 80% sidelap.

The H520G pictures looked overexposed and almost soft / no good color. The resulting ortho was pretty terrible, the trees were more like blobs and you could not define the leafs very well. On the other hand, the P4P outputs were amazing. The images were crisp and colorful. The trees came out stitched almost perfectly. Are there any settings/workflow you follow for this? Any help would be extremely appreciated.
 
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I haven't come across your equipment set-up before, but it looks very complicated. I use a H520 with the usual ST16s controller and E90 camera. This has the Yuneec built-in DataPilotPlanner for mapping missions which is very easy to use and gives good results. Flight speed can be an issue with the E90 rolling shutter so I keep mine to 3.5m/s, and fly as low as practicable for the site, usually 35-60m. There is also the facility to change camera settings, by pausing the flight and re-setting the camera.
 
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I have found with the H520 and the E90 doing agricultural maps and bananas under a mesh cover it has a lot to do first what program you are using for the stitching process and making sure the settings are correct for the camera and the program. Second has to do with the overlap of the settings of the flight. This might not make sense but thew trial and error I found out that sometimes with too much side overlap and the flight going to fast I have gotten blur in the map. Also, it makes a difference if you refly the fight at the 90 angles. I have been able to produce a map with 0.6 cm/pix ground resolution and the ability to see individual leaves on a tree from 45-meter high. Here is what I am talking about from 80 meters. So it might be a matter of the equipment. Just kept trying till you get it right. View attachment bansurvey_Orthomosaic_export_TueJul09163416.472933.jpg
 

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I would try to lower the speed of flight, activating the lens correction if your camera suffers from that problem and choosing the right profile color.

In the time of the year in which we are, that we have the lowest sun, I would take it into account because depending on the height the light of the sun can affect the lens of the camera causing overexposure and therefore it should be calibrated manually instead of leaving it in automatic.

You have to be careful with the overlap and pay attention to the interval of photos, lowering it to 1.5 seconds does not give good results. Do not use cross flights if you do not have significant elevations of the terrain, it would be a waste of time when you solve it by lowering the speed a little, especially when you are only looking for orthophotos. Capturing good detail in shaded areas becomes difficult or impossible at high speed.

The default speed of the DataPilot survey missions, in my opinion I have always seen them a bit high. It depends on what you're photographing.........................

Now I can not think of more things, there are many variables to take into account but it is true that it is trial and error, many times simply by lowering the flight speed, you get good results.
 
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I always tend to fly at lower speeds which can vary a bit depending on flight hight above terrain. Higher altitude makes it possible to fly a bit faster. I rarely fly faster than 5 m/s and sometimes only 2 m/s. I don't know your system (ST10C +...) as I have st16s with yuneec's proprietary DataPilot which works fine for survey mission planning&execution. DataPilot allows for various adjustments of overlap and speed. One thing is worth remembering. This is speed of sd card one uses. According to Yuneec's technician photo interval should not be lower than 2 sec. otherwise there might be issues. If you had st16s you could play here adjusting your speed so that you reach picture interval of 2 sec.
As for colors I mostly fly unprocessed and other things set to auto.
 
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I have found with the H520 and the E90 doing agricultural maps and bananas under a mesh cover it has a lot to do first what program you are using for the stitching process and making sure the settings are correct for the camera and the program. Second has to do with the overlap of the settings of the flight. This might not make sense but thew trial and error I found out that sometimes with too much side overlap and the flight going to fast I have gotten blur in the map. Also, it makes a difference if you refly the fight at the 90 angles. I have been able to produce a map with 0.6 cm/pix ground resolution and the ability to see individual leaves on a tree from 45-meter high. Here is what I am talking about from 80 meters. So it might be a matter of the equipment. Just kept trying till you get it right. View attachment 19960
Hey, it seems like getting it to work with different settings certainly is part of the process. I'm using the software coupled with the H520G unit which is ESRI Drone2Map (it's a simplified interface with a Pix4D engine, I read that somewhere). My main issue is that from the get-go the raw photos that I am able to capture are so far apart in terms of detail that I can't blame the stitching process. I'm going to run some more experiments trying out other settings / compare standing still shots vs moving shots and all of that.
 
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Hey guys, here's an update. Due to the pandemic my contacts at 3DR and Yuneec stopped replying for months. I opted for finding a contact on my own and found a Yuneec higher-up through LinkedIn. After another month or so I was finally able to get a replacement E90 camera. Unfortunately, this was not the end of the story.

At first the camera would not connect, saying "wrong password". After having sent it to Vertigo Drones and having the password reset, now the camera connects but it is misaligned. I tried updating firmware and running through the acc, gyro, and compass calibration options that I have on SiteScan app, but nothing works. I don't have an option to calibrate gimbal because of this being the H520G model.
 
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Another update, Yuneec provided a replacement used E90 camera which wouldn't take the default password to connect. Vertigo Drones reset the password on it and sent it back (this is not an option for us running iPad/Site Scan setup). Camera was tilted from the start, we also don't have gimbal calibration option in our software.

Yuneec sent me a new E90 camera, and I was able to test that the video is way smoother now. Unfortunately, I've been having firmware update issues and will have to report further once that is fixed.
 
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A couple of questions regarding mapping with the 520. Comments are appreciated.

I have attempted to load P4D Capture as I have used the software on a Mavic that I fly for an Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. I attempted to download the software directly to the ST16s based on the following article:


When I try to connect the 520 and controller using CTL+Yuneec I get the screen with the box in the lower right corner of the screen that says open Pi4Capture. I get When I tap the box I get a message saying the plugin is meant to be used with the P ix4 Capture app. It asks if I want to install it. When I say yes I get a screen that says "Your device isn't compatible with this version. I am not aware of another version. Any suggestions?

Situation #2
Today I flew 2 autonomous flights over a friend's property in survey mode using Data Pilot. I followed up that flight with a cross hatched flight over a building on the property in an attempt to later process a 3D model. The 520 flew both flights as I programmed, both times taking off, doing its thing, coming back to land and shutting down while I petted my sweet puppy. While flying the camera icon appeared each time an exposure was made, or more accurately, was supposed to have been made. It dawned on me during the first flight that there was not shutter sound as typically is the case. No pictures were captured. After the flights I hovered in non autonomous flight and was successful in taking pictures. I used the SD card the previous day in a Typhoon H and it captured pictures. There were pictures from several previous flights with the 520, non in autonomous mode. I see nothing I should be doing to start the camera's taking pictures. I believed that once the 520 reached the start point the camera would automatically begin taking pictures. What am I missing? This system has just returned from Vertigo Drones, twice in the past 2 months, so, based upon what they told me was wrong with the system, and the amount of money I paid to "repair it" (A story for a later time.) I would like to think it is not a mechanical issue. Firmware and camera are up to date.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Paul
 
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I have continued to fly short autonomous "mapping" flights using Data Pliot and hav yet to be able to get the system to take pictures. I have tried checking the camera option, the survey option, pictures by time, etc. Each time I get ready to fly I get a message asking if I want to revert to recommended camera setting for the mission. I have said both yes and no but still get a drone that flies the route but does not take pictures. I was under the belief that the pictures are automatically initiated once the drone gets to the start position. Am I missing something basic here. Thanks.

Paul
 
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Hi Paul - I had that problem with a previous H520 and E90. Problem seems to resolve after updating firmware and software on all devices (E90, gimbal, ST16, DataPilot). AND, I also format the SD card prior to each flight. Since then, no issues.

I do have another question for you regarding the message you have received asking if you want to revert to recommended camera settings for the mission. I have started to receive the same/similar message on our new H520E and E90x platform: "Would you like to use the camera settings to the recommended mission settings for the mission?". Did you ever determine what this is asking and why? I do not understand the potential implications of choosing one or the other (apply or not apply). Thanks
Jason
 
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I do a lot of site mapping with the H520/E90, and have tried both the Yes & No recommended camera settings options, which seems to make no difference whichever you choose. If you go with recommended settings you get unprocessed images. This may be ok if you want to post-process, but the maps are pretty flat without doing so.
To set your own settings, you need to pause the mission, then adjust settings to what you want, then re-start the mission. The controller will still ask if you want to use recommended settings, but this time when you tap 'No' the settings you have input will remain.
I prefer mapping with 'Enhanced' quality pictures, which produces good maps.
Hope this helps.
 
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Jason

I never did figure out what the difference was or what I was supposed to do. Obviously Tone-Drone is a whole lot smarter than I am. He seems to have figured it out. Hard to believe it has been a year since I was on the Forum. Got sidetracked I guess.

Paul
 
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Thanks Paul and Tone-Drone. I need to do some more testing I guess. With our previous H520/E90 setup, I never received that message - and our final DEM was always within 0.1-0.2 feet vertically compared to our GCPs. With our new H520e/E90x setup, we are finding more separation from our GCPs (vertically) when we post-process (Metashape), sometimes up to 0.5-ft differences.

I have read that we might have to pause the mission and make sure all settings are correct to what we want, but haven't verified that yet when our bird is in the air. The fact that it would potentially change settings for us between programming and launch is frustrating.....
 

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