DROTAG.x is a small board that simply sits between your Sony Alpha Series camera and your Pixhawk, allowing you to plan the camera trigger events and have the pictures taken automatically geotagged on the fly. Upon landing you only need to take out the card from your camera and the images are immediately available and ready to be used in your favorite mapping software!
Plan your mission using a GCS software
Perform your planned mission using DROTAG.x running your Sony camera
Just grab the SD card from your camera and use the ready to be processed images!
All relevant position metadata is fully embedded on image’s EXIF. DROTAG.x also generates an extra file containing all the flight attitude angles for every image (roll, pitch and yaw) to give you extra accuracy on image stitching softwares like Pix4D Mapper.
Easy, simple and fast: Save time and money
Plug Drotag’s USB to the camera
If your camera has an external flash socket, plug the Drotag’s hot shoe to the camera
Plug Drotag’s DF13 to the Autopilot’s Telemetry port
“Psst, GoPros are light and all the rage!” – Why are Photographic Cameras better for mapping?
Very simply: camera settings and bigger image sensors! With a GoPro or similar when you take a picture you have no control over the camera settings like Exposure, Shutter Time, ISO values, etc…, not to talk about distortion. The lack of control over these settings will make each picture unpredictably different from one another.
Pictures with different settings over a flight make the stitching process result in worse mosaics. Another mapping product which will have a worse quality is the 3D image meshes generated from aerial pictures. This is due to fact that the algorithms that match image overlaps, have a difficulty doing so if the images of the same point in space “look” different in different pictures.
Bigger and better sensors combined with correct settings will give you true Pixel per cm measurements, because the pixel truly represents what is being imaged at that point. Worse sensors and wrong settings will most likely give you high resolution noise which is actually useless information.
What about the cameras?
In theory, DROTAG.x is compatible with all Multiport capable cameras from Sony. However the fully tested equipments by Airborne Projects are: A5000, A5100, A6000, A6300, A7, QX-1 and RX100M2.
What happens if the camera misses a picture. Is it all gone and out of sync?
No! With DROTAG.x we guarantee you that if the first picture is correctly taken then all others are also. Thanks to our special algorithms you will neverneed to manually tag a picture again because the camera lost sync with the logs. Peace of mind for your 1000 picture set.
Case Material: ABS
Size: 71 x 28 x 00 mm
Weight: 40 g – with cables
TTL: 3.3V (NOT 5V tolerant)
Power supply: 5V via Telemetry Port cable
Operative temperature range: -20 / +70 °C
Communication Input: MAVLINK v1 on Telemetry cable
Camera Control Output: Multi Port (supported functions: Focus, Trigger, Keep Alive and all USB Storage capabilities)
Logs: Pix4D compatible log with roll/pitch/yaw angles for enhanced accuracy | Stand alone backup file with all position data related with each picture DROTAG’s operational debug log
DROTAG.x now includes a hot shoe board which sits in the external flash plug of your hot shoe enabled camera. With a camera that supports external flash you can have your mission plan trigger pictures as fast you like and have them correctly geo-referenced when you land. The advantage is that you can be sure the positioning that gets into your pictures corresponds to the exact microsecond instant your camera’s shutter opened. Never worry again about flight speed! The hot shoe capable Sony cameras are: Sony A6000, A6300, A7 and RX100M2.
Camera SD Card
There are plenty of cards on the market, but not all card models are the same. A good way is to sort the benchmark table by the “Tested Write Ran” which represents Random Write characteristics. This characteristic is important because it makes the DROTAG.x tagging faster. It is not essential but a very nice characteristic if you want to land and have all pictures already tagged without further waiting.
We advise the Samsung 16GB Class 10 Pro or the Samsung Evo Series cards. Obviously, we didn’t test all cards on the market, it’s a growing list. There are other adequate cards for the best experience using your camera alongside DROTAG.x. Read more about SD Card Choice on DROTAG’s user manual.
Airborne Projects stands behind it’s projects continued development and refinement based on customer feedback. Continuing this trend, we designed the system so that users can upgrade the firmware behind DROTAG.x with enhancements and a mix of add-ons. Another aspect is that new cameras being launched will also be added to the compatibility list in time and your DROTAG.x will have the possibility of using ever more and more advanced camera functions.