Surveying/Camera/Camera Mount/Gimbal

Hi all,

I work with a UAS/drone program at a university in the United States (just fyi in terms of shipping/component availability). I am somewhat familiar with the Ardupilot/Arducopter platform as far as flight of the vehicles go, but I lack experience in the surveying/mapping side of the UAS world. I am currently in the process of outfitting 2-3 500mm class quadcopters (HolyBro X500s and Hexsoon EDU450s) with some basic surveying abilities. I am not finding a lot of information on a relatively straightforward implementation of some still image cameras that I can use on the aircraft with automated triggering in the autonomous missions, regarding the hardware specifically. I have come across the Sony Alpha series of cameras, 5000, 5100, 6000, etc. which seem to be mentioned here and there, as well as seeing the Seagull UAV name mentioned across the forums here in a few places regarding camera triggering. However, I would really love to hear from some of you with more experience in this kind of thing what you might recommend or be using in this type of scenarios. Again, this is not really part of a commercial project, but rather to help students learn how this process works, as we’ve already learned about autonomous missions and used the MP SurveyGrid tool, now the next step is to help them accurately capture images and process them with something like Pix4DMapper. I was looking at some of the recent SIYI products here, but don’t know if those would be a good fit or not compared to a more traditional camera. I also found this site that seems to sell gimbals for many popular mapping type cameras - maybe someone here has experience with them?

I would really appreciate any advice you can give or share. Thanks!