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Beta Capture App - Sucessful but a little clunky

We have successfully mapped and processed a 300 acre project with a Phantom 3 Pro using the Capture App (Android Beta). Best result we ever had with UAV imagery acquisition.

We flew 5 missions and captured a little more than 600 images. There were many issues related to trying to sync the photos to the tablet for better geotagging, so we abandon that process and used the imagery straight from the Phantom’s memory card. We processed the imagery in Pix4D Pro, which seemed to resolve the camera position without any issues. We set out 7 ground control targets on the project and collected survey-grade GPS coordinates (arbitrary coordinate system). The flight height was 360 feet for all missions. We used “medium” overlap.

We have never had a better ortho result! I credit the new 2.0 Pix4D software and the exceptional stability of the Phantom’s camera gimbal. There were no blurry photos! We have mapped many projects using a Sensefly eBee and we like the phantom better now.

Issues we had:

We did not try to sync the images from the Phantom to the tablet because in previous tests it either stopped working or took too long. Therefore we had no use for the Pix4D file created on the tablet for each mission. But we did have very precise ground control coordinates.

The app should allow for a polygon shape mapping area rather than just a square or rectangle. We had many unnecessary photos outside of the mapping area because of this limitation.

We would like to control the camera settings within the Capture App.

The size limitation of the mapping area is accurate for the Phantom 3 Pro, all of our missions were “yellow” warning, which we opted to ignore (thank you for that option to ignore). The wind at the site reduced the flight time considerably and we ended up abandoning a couple missions halfway through.

There were many “missed photos” indicated on the Capture App during the mission, however the picture was actually taken by the Phantom and used in the processing. What is the app indicating when the green dot does not appear at an expected photo location?

We had one mission where the App stopped showing the location and progress of the Phantom entirely, however the Phantom completed it’s mission as expected and all photos of the mission were taken and used. We re-booted everything before the next mission.

I would suggest adding a compass calibration tool incorporated into the Capture App so that we don’t have to use the DJI app to calibrate the Phantom. I know there is a manual calibration procedure, however the DJI app indicates issues or success when calibrated through the app.

The camera icon button only turns the screen black. We realized that this button activated the Phantoms camera to take an extra picture… is that right?

It would be really nice to be able to plan missions in the office and save them on the tablet before going to the field! This would be a significant improvement.

We would like to know what the overlap is (percentage wise). We used medium overlap, for our project which work great. We’ve tested high overlap and found it really useful for modeling at lower altitude.

Overall the beta version of the Capture App worked and when combined with Pix4D Pro software achieved a better than ever ortho image result and I am super impressed with your product! A professional result, not a single place that required editing, not a single noticeable artifact! All images were seamlessly blended without noticeable color differences, even the water (ponds) looked completely normal. The image scale was perfect and fit our collected GPS data exactly.

When will you release the consumer version of the Capture App? And thank you for a job well done with your products - they make me look good!

One more thing… recommend a tablet that you think works well with Capture App. I’m not happy with my current device.

 

Hello Jeff,

Thank you for you long and very nice feedback! It was forwarded to our developers. 

Regarding your feedback:

  • sync of the images: It is still not working very well at the moment. We hope that it will be improve in future version of the SDK.

  • polygon shape: This was requested by many users. We will see it we can implement this but it will not be available in the short term.

  • camera settings: We might give this possibility in future versions.

When an image is taken you should see a small camera icon on the map. The green line is showing the path of the drone during the mission.

When the screen in the camera view turns black it indicates that an image is taken. The camera cannot be in 2 modes: taking images and displaying live stream.

The overlap that you should have at Medium is about 80% frontal and at High it should be about 90%.

The app should work with device running Android 4.0 and above. You can find a list of devices that we use for development of the app on the following post. But there is only one tablet: the Galaxy Note 10.1:

https://community.pix4d.com/t/4527 

Note that a new version 2.0.5 was just released today on the Google Play store make sure to give it a try!

Best regards,