Changing the R2A Camera Settings

Hello Guys,

We have been mapping for some time and have done hundreds of hours of photogrammetry flights. Usually we adjust out shutter speeds relevant to the horizontal speeds and in some cases switch from shutter priority to full manual control on the camera to ensure that the shutter speed does not exceed the cameras global shutter speeds and or the ISO doesn’t jump up too high while setting the aperture to the ideal settings for mapping. So couple of questions branch from this.

  1. How do I change the camera settings and modes? Mainly Aperture ISO & Shutter speeds, full manual mode shutter priority and aperture priority
  2. What is the lowest and least distorted camera setting for the aperture?5.6 seems to be a sweet spot in the past experiences.
  3. With the DJI X4S we aimed to be below 640 ISO, is this camera similar or is the noise level at higher levels acceptable
  4. How does changing these setting affect point cloud colorization, will it require boresighting? I expect it would with aperture changes since this causes increases or decreases in image distortion.
  5. Is there a full spec sheet available on the camera sensor for advance photogrammetry tunning?

My experience with this camera used in the R2A is pretty dismal for photogrammetric work. Once you get around its limitations / quirks, its more or less dependable. You can find the manual for it here:

I have managed to adjust the shutter speed only on the unit. Everything else seems to cause it to crash or give weird results. Its almost as though the settings are incorrectly programmed. You have to plug in a HDMI screen to view the options. But I really wouldn’t suggest doing this much as you may inadvertently change some crucial setting that messes up the entire fragile system and then you are down a camera. There is no easy way to “reset to factory defaults here” as there appears to be a script running.

While we don’t have the time right now to play fiddling with other cameras on the R2A, we have a temporary solution. We just installed our old iXM 100MP and SGB Systems INS combo along side our R2A! So its double the work (2 separate trajectories) but at least we dont have to fly an area twice. We then just use the resultant pointcloud as a DEM and direct project the images on it in Terrascan to generate an ortho (like the big boys do it!)

All of the Sony a5100 settings you can change can be found in the PCPainter app. If you change settings there then you can send these parameters to the R2A using the ppk.pcpp file and putting it on your USB drive. Then when you are in the R2A GUI you can simply upload these parameters into the unit as the new defaults.