My use case is mounting a camera on a drone and taking periodic downward-facing pictures for mapping purposes.
I have searched for drone-specific cameras, but was not able to find it.
I currently have a solution of using a Raspberry Pi with Wifi dongle connected to a Sony RX100 Mk IV.
Running Gphoto2 on the Raspbbery PI. (Another setup with Canon and CHDK was used with reasonable success as well)
Apart from carrying a camera with various unused features (display, controls, separate battery), there are suboptimal aspects to this setup.
The primary issue is that I cannot get it to be reliable, in the case of the Sony RX100. I might be able to get it reliable through consultation with the libgphoto2 community.
Secondary (perhaps primary) issue is that it is inelegant and cumbersome, a lot of unused and redundant hardware is carried by the drone.
My question is: Is there a more elegant approach?
- Shutter triggered from waypoints rather than a fixed timer (I am aware this can be achieved with Sony/Canon camera through special shutter wiring)
- Transfer images using MAVLink (Camera Protocol · MAVLink Developer Guide), as opposed to separate radio link (wifi) on companion board for image transfer.
- A camera with only minimal hardware (USB, no physical controls or display needed, no battery).
- The radio would have to be fast enough. My current radio is based on a standard SiK Telemetry Radio, which can handle 115200 baud rates, not enough for image transfer.
- The camera would integrate somehow with arducopter.
TLDR: What elegant and recommended camera setups, minimizing complexity?
PS. Resuming work on drones after a few years of doing other things. There seem to be no obvious hardware options that integrate well with MavLink and/or Ardupilot, but I might have missed things.