DroneDeploy

Modified NDVI cameras for DJI

This page contains information on mapping with DJI drones that have been converted to capture data for NDVI imagery. Here you will find:

  1. An explanation of map quality issues related to NDVI DJI cameras
  2. Example imagery
  3. Suggested camera settings to fly with the DroneDeploy mobile app.

Map Quality Issues

We are seeing a number of users who have experienced map quality issues with modified NDVI cameras for DJI Phantom 3 and Inspire. We have identified a few factors that result in poor performance of final map stitching.

Compared to standard DJI cameras, imagery from modified NDVI cameras:

  • Are blurrier, resulting in a loss of the data needed to stitch a map
  • Contains more noise in the imagery

Additionally, there is inconsistent quality control on aftermarket camera lens modifications.

DroneDeploy cannot guarantee good map quality with these cameras. We consider a good map to have over 99% coverage. We are not able to ensure this on modified DJI NDVI cameras because of issues with inconsistent input imagery quality. Though you can still fly and process data with these cameras, we will not be able to fix poor quality maps flown on this particular setup.

It's important that you follow the steps below to have the best results when flying with modified NDVI cameras.

Examples of Poor Quality Imagery

The images below demonstrate some of the issues we've seen from modified DJI cameras.

Blurry Image Example 1

NDVI images may have blurriness around the edges. The extent of blur depends on actual quality of lens modification and camera settings.

NDVI images may have blurriness around the edges. The extent of blur depends on actual quality of lens modification and camera settings.

Blurry Image Example 2

This is an image captured with a modified Phantom 3. On closer examination, this image is sharp in the center, but blurred at the edge.

Zoomed in sections of the image shown above.

Suggested Camera Settings

If you are capturing data with a modified camera, we recommend using custom camera settings when flying with the DroneDeploy mobile app. This can help increase the final quality of the map. Please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Setup for flight.

See here for instructions to get the app and ensure the right settings for aircraft compatibility.

Step 2: Open the DroneDeploy app and choose "Plan"

Settings will not be retained unless you connect and fly

Connect a drone to fly this plan, otherwise re-adjust the settings when connected.

Step 3: Open to Advanced settings

Once you click on Plan a Flight , select Advanced.

The standard settings will appear on the next screen.

Step 4: Disable Auto Settings

-Toggle off Automatic Camera Settings Make sure you see the alert at the bottom of the screen.

When setting your manual camera settings, we recommend the following:

-Set Frontlap and Sidelap to 80% This will insure more photos with sufficient overlap since modified NDVI photos tend to be sharper in the center and blurrier toward the edges.

- Increase altitude Adjust altitude according to your site and needs. We recommend flying higher to increase map quality, especially with modified cameras. It may be helpful to do small tests at different altitudes to compare quality. We recommend flying at 300 feet.

Suggested settings.

Suggested settings.

Step 5: Close the DroneDeploy App and Open DJI GO

Only one app can be connected to the drone at a time.

Please be sure not have DroneDeploy open when working in DJI GO, and vice versa.

Step 6: Set Manual Camera Settings in DJI GO App

In DJI GO, select the bottom right settings icon and adjust the camera settings as shown below.

Please note that these settings are a suggestion- you may want to adjust settings for your environment, or experiment to achieve the best results.

Pro Tip!

The ultimate best way to tune the camera settings is to launch the drone with camera facing downwards and then tune the settings shown below such that you get a clear and balanced NDVI photo.

You should try to apply these settings in the daylight and at the area of interest for best results.

ISO: 100 (to reduce noise)
Shutter: (1/200 or faster)

Note

You should make sure to increase the shutter speed if the image appears to be over exposed.

Step 7: Set the White Balance

Set the white balance to "Sunny".

However, if the camera is displaying dark photos, you can set a custom value of white balance by selecting "Custom" at the bottom of the list and select appropriate temperature.

Step 8: Take a test photo!

Take a test photo in DJI Go app and make sure it is good quality. After this, you're all set to make a map.

Close the DJI Go app completely before you open DroneDeploy app.

Questions?

We hope this helps! Please reach out to support@dronedeploy.com with additional questions.

Modified NDVI cameras for DJI