point camera at specific compass direction

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Hello Phantom pilots forum.
My first post.
I have a client who wants a single image taken with these specs:
/ image taken from a specific lat and long location
/ image taken from a specific height above ground ( 90' for example )
/ camera pointing a specific compass heading, using true north not magnetic.
/ camera tilt to be set ( -5 for example )
I have done a few already manually.
doing them manually the compass heading is often a bit off.
Images really look wrong to client when a road seen in the image which in reality runs exactly north but is on a slight angle in the image. hard to charge money for images like that.
Really prefer way to automate this or at least have total control in a manual method.
Its too bad the DJI app and Litchi do not have a compass heading indicator using numbers, not just a tiny graphic arrow.
I have used Litchi and the DJI go4 app
Have done way-point missions in Litchi.
Have used google earth pro to make way-points.
So I'm somewhat familiar with those software solutions.
Drone : Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
Using iPhone on controller. So solution would need to be iOS
Mark McLean
 
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You might consider doing some actual mapping of the desired coordinates using a GPS unit.

Mark the ground above which the picture is to be taken. Map out another object at the correct heading, then aim your camera directly centered upon that point. That will be provably accurate on your pictures if you include a downward shot onto a bullseye on the ground. If you cannot access the ground beneath the hover-point, then you could at least map it out pretty closely using an internet map. I'd try Google Earth, as it is pretty friendly to GPS coordinates.

Then you can guess at the 5° tilt, or perhaps work out how much of the image height that would displace the horizon upward on a picture. At 90' altitude, you won't have much of a horizon to shoot, but you could perhaps go up 300', set your camera tilt off the horizon, then descend to the desired altitude and fire away.

A more definitive method might be to do a lot of math, create or project a calibration scale upon a wall at a measured distance, then learn how to duplicate the desired angle in the field.

Myself, I would take my survey transit, dial in -5° from true horizontal , then hover the drone right beside the transit and dial the camera in to the same focal point. Then fly up to the desired aerial location without moving the camera tilt.

Most folks don't have a survey transit readily available, though.
A hand held pocket transit is another option, but they really aren't too easy to hold at 5°. Another option might be one of the excellent laser rangefinders on the market that include a degree measure from horizontal. Any of these devices will be an improvement over guessing from the screen width. BTW: the tilt measuring laser range finders are really cool tools to measure lots of other stuff, especially the height of distant objects. They usually have pretty good optics as well.

With regard to your road looking crooked in your pictures? Unless you are hovering directly above the road, it will always look crooked. You should see that it still points to line of perspective established by your camera, providing it too is pointed in the right direction. That being said, wide angle lenses have too much warping in the image to make straight line projections with.
 
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Hello Phantom pilots forum.
My first post.
I have a client who wants a single image taken with these specs:
/ image taken from a specific lat and long location
/ image taken from a specific height above ground ( 90' for example )
/ camera pointing a specific compass heading, using true north not magnetic.
/ camera tilt to be set ( -5 for example )
I have done a few already manually.
doing them manually the compass heading is often a bit off.
Images really look wrong to client when a road seen in the image which in reality runs exactly north but is on a slight angle in the image. hard to charge money for images like that.
Really prefer way to automate this or at least have total control in a manual method.
Its too bad the DJI app and Litchi do not have a compass heading indicator using numbers, not just a tiny graphic arrow.
I have used Litchi and the DJI go4 app
Have done way-point missions in Litchi.
Have used google earth pro to make way-points.
So I'm somewhat familiar with those software solutions.
Drone : Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
Using iPhone on controller. So solution would need to be iOS
Mark McLean
That's what Photoshop is for!
 
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One maybe stupid answer. You said that the road is heading straight to nord.
So head the camera paralell to that road.
 
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Hello Phantom pilots forum.
My first post.
I have a client who wants a single image taken with these specs:
/ image taken from a specific lat and long location
/ image taken from a specific height above ground ( 90' for example )
/ camera pointing a specific compass heading, using true north not magnetic.
/ camera tilt to be set ( -5 for example )
I have done a few already manually.
doing them manually the compass heading is often a bit off.
Images really look wrong to client when a road seen in the image which in reality runs exactly north but is on a slight angle in the image. hard to charge money for images like that.
Really prefer way to automate this or at least have total control in a manual method.
Its too bad the DJI app and Litchi do not have a compass heading indicator using numbers, not just a tiny graphic arrow.
I have used Litchi and the DJI go4 app
Have done way-point missions in Litchi.
Have used google earth pro to make way-points.
So I'm somewhat familiar with those software solutions.
Drone : Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
Using iPhone on controller. So solution would need to be iOS
Mark McLean
Use GSPro to mark your Lat/Lon location. Remember your altitude and camera settings. Make sure EV is the same or close enough that it can be tweaked in post. Print a screen shot of your framing so you can match the composition every time. "Aiming" your camera at a specific target will be much more accurate than trying to dial in the specific heading in degrees.

D
 

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