GPS equipped cameras reduce UAV operator workload.

This year perhaps marks the end of one of the biggest frustrations for operators of small UAVs. Where exactly were the photos taken?

Small form factor point and shoot cameras that have their own GPS onboard able to tag image EXIF files with a position and time offer faster processing times.

Currently most UAS operator work backwards from the time that a shot was triggered and position the image accordingly. The post production imaging work required after a UAV flight is often very labour intensive. Several companies work to the rule one days shooting, three days post production.

Panasonic, Sony and Samsung all have contenders in the market. The Lumix range from Panasonic have been popular for several years with the UAS aerial photography crowd as they were one of the first to market with a wide angle lens point and shoot.  Their offerings in this space are the DMC TZ8 and 10.

Lumix TZ10

Sony closes the wide angle lens gap with the Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V

Sony Cybershot DSCHX5V

Finally the Samsung ST1000 which actually was the first of the pack to hit the market.

Samsung ST1000

It might not quite be the time to make the leap. Triggering  shots in an elegant manner is an issue. Servos acting as fingers and IR (infra red) switches are one way round. They add weight to solutions.

But Canon and more specifically their cameras that support CHDK (Canon Hackers Development Kit) are gradually gaining ground with aerial photographers. The CHDK hack allows them to trigger their cameras via USB or in a timed manner with no added hardware and control many variables, including shutter speed.

There must be many UAS operators sat in the wings waiting to see what GPS enabled POS offering Canon will bring to the party.