I used Pix4D Capture Pro intensively this summer, including during a 10-day completely offline remote field trip. Over the summer I collected a list of issues and feedback on the new app.
First of all, I really like a lot of things about the app and it is a huge improvement over the previous Android app. Unfortunately, I also had a lot of frustrating offline troubleshooting to do and encountered various errors and issues.
Setup: Pix4D Capture Pro (android version), DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2, high overlap double grid surveys
- GPS error > forces you to take control manually and ends mission BUT mission can’t be resumed and now counts as finished.
- Very frequent ‘Campus calibration in vendor app error’. The error often pops up when the UAV makes a turn at the end of a grid line, or when the wind picks up. Sometimes the error came 3-4 times in rapid succession and crashed the mission or even the entire app. Seems to be better when flight speed is reduced to below 6 m/s. Compass calibration in DJI Go4 doesn’t change anything.
- The app doesn’t specify how long a single mission can be but over a certain threshold, the mission fails to be uploaded to the drone during mission checklist without giving any error or indication of what is wrong! The only way I could fix it was by duplicating the mission and flying to separate perpendicular single grid missions. That is how I found out that it was related to the mission size.
- After changing a duplicated double grid mission to single grid, all parameters are preserved except the camera angle which gets reset to 90 degrees. Very annoying if you realize that after flying a 30-minute mission with limited battery charging capacity in the field.
- The mission time countdown almost never seems to show a realistic value
- Before an upcoming battery change during a long mission, I like to change into manual flight to land quicker. But even when already in manual flight mode, when the battery drops below 25%, the drone starts beeping and initiates a RTH sequence. BUT it’s not officially in RTH mode. What I mean by that is that the interface still says you are in manual mode and to take manual control once again, you need to click on the RTH button in the app, press OK, and then end RTH mode again.
- Incredibly frustrating bug where you start a mission but the GUI is not showing the UAV location/direction/flight path. Also speed, altitude, and camera angle are not changing and just remain 0 or whatever the value was before take-off. Once the first waypoint is reached, it gives you an error that the SD card space is not changing.
- Sometimes the mission fails to upload to drone. The only fix is to force shut down the app and then restart phone, app, RC, drone.
Ideas for additional improvement:
- Add feature that allows to start a mission at a custom waypoint along the flight path. Sometimes missions fail and are set as completed missions but are in fact interrupted half way through the grid mission.
- I wish you could download bigger offline maps. Why is it possible to plan large missions that cover a larger area than the maximum offline map area? If I have enough batteries, I want to make my own decision to create a very large mission without having to split it up into multiple sections (which can be tricky with complicated study area geometries, like when surveying complex shorelines or river banks).
- I wish I didn’t have to UAV camera live feed window in order to maximize it
- I wish I could double click on a mission plan in the map view to open it, instead of it just being highlighted and having to scroll through the plan list to open it.
- I wish I could rename plans.
I hope these comments will help improve the app, its very promising. I especially like the mission plan map view and to be able to click on my plan on the map to open it.