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Author Topic: Best camera for Photoscan?  (Read 34087 times)

kirk

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Best camera for Photoscan?
« on: January 13, 2015, 05:59:33 PM »
Since Photoscan just needs a sharp, no boke  picture across a frame it probably doesn't need anything too expensive. 
So I wonder what camera/optic is the best?    Preferably  something not too big  and bulky.

I guess it should be something with big enough/high iso matrix  for getting sharp pictures of  not so bright subjects  under ambient/ no direct sunlight conditions for getting nice texture without direct shadows.   ( outdoor scanning)

And sharp  not too wide optic, well performing in low light and not wide open aperture, probably no zoom one.

Quick enough for long series without saving pauses.

Should it be  preferably DSLR or maybe M4/3 or  one of those   APS-C  mirrorless cameras.    A kind of price/performance optimum for a specific photometry task?     Is there something on the market currently that could beat all that bulky DSLR for that?

I get very poor and noisy geometry from smartphone pictures and much cleaner from other person  full frame  expensive camera pictures under the  same not so perfect lighting   so I wonder where the true optimum is?   
« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 06:09:22 PM by kirk »

pjenness

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2015, 02:49:39 AM »

Technically it can use anything from goPro, iphone, compact, full dslr

It really depends on your purpose.

A top quality DSLR will give best results, but if your computer/gpu isnt strong enough to process the large images then you dont benefit. So in this situation if you want the best you can get its Camera+system sombination.

For a lower level than a top range camera, Im using the new sony rx100M3. Its small, light, makes a good picture, and easy to put on extension poles or copters. I can recommend it UNLESS you want to use photoscan pro and use GPS info, as this camera doesnt store GPS data :(

I have a canon D1100 also which is a fairly entry level dslr, but takes a nice photo also..and it came with 2 useful lens if you need to do some zoom photography (I do environments, so the ability to zoom a bit is useful)
Together with the rx100M3 its a nice combination of detail, clarity and portability.

I have 2 9xx series GPU cards and 32GB ram to crunch the info. My last photo recon of a cliff had a result of 1700 photo. Im aligning now (takes over night each attempt)
I also threw in a Canon s100 as that one has GPS and can hopefully lock the whole set to a world space since the other 2 cameras dont have GPS

-P




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nadar

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2015, 12:09:51 PM »
avoid cameras using an electronic shutter because it generates geometric artefacts ("rolling shutter effect") that will interfere with photogrammetry process.
Ideally, a camera with GPS, remote trigger and intervallometer would be preferred, but you can bypass some of these requirements using external accessories.
- use a GPS data logger synchronised to camera clock
- you can also find external remote control systems, but their use on light UAVs is more problematic
- customisation of Canon Camera throug h CHDK scripting seems a good solution, but I didn't experiment myself.

I'm currently using a Lumix m4/3 camera (has short range remote control via android cell phone and build-in intervallometer. I'm also using a I-gotU 120 gps logger.

kirk

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2015, 03:38:15 PM »
Looks like my main problem with Photoscan is not enough light for  f6- f8 usually and at least 1\200 shuttler speed for having crisp images under cloudy/ambient light i need for good shadeless  textures .
  So I wonder if I really need a big camera and optic.  What I get of general point-and-shot cameras is somehow  too noisy geometry.       
So I am curiouce  if sony  rx100M3  or even Lumix micro  are the same good  and make the same more or less clean surface as I saw from  DSLR examples?    Is that geometry noise depend on general crispness or maybe some optic parameters? 

BTW, why I need GPS and intervalometer . Does it help matching images?      I try to scan not so big objects,   around 10 meters maximum  so if GPS would really help ?   

nadar

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2015, 11:31:24 AM »
1) As a rule of thumb,  if all parameters are equal (ISO, lens qualiy, etc.) image quality will be better with larger camera sensor.
2) GPS actual positional accuracy is about 5-10 m in xy and 10-20m in Z: useless for your application. If you don't have GPS position, camera orientation will be slower, but the final result will have the same quality.

David Cockey

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2015, 06:37:09 AM »
What type of subjects will you be photographing?  Aerial photography has different needs than photos of static objects with a stationary camera. Indoor or outdoor? How large are the subjects? Stationary or moving camera? Stationary or moving subjects?

Rolling shutter is not an issue with photos of static objects with a stationary camera.

FoodMan

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2015, 10:44:36 AM »
actually this Leica would be the best bet... best pixel quality.. chroma abb to a min...

http://en.leica-camera.com/Photography/Leica-S/About-the-S-System

Marcel

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2015, 11:58:52 PM »
actually this Leica would be the best bet... best pixel quality.. chroma abb to a min...

http://en.leica-camera.com/Photography/Leica-S/About-the-S-System

Are you sure you do not want to recommend the Hubble Space telescope?

Recommending a camera system that costs well over 30.000$ (body and lenses) is not useful in any way. You will not see any difference in quality of the scans compared to a full frame Canon/Nikon camera (which costs a fraction).

FoodMan

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 11:27:43 AM »
well the title said Best Camera for Pscan... not Best cheapest Camera for Pscan... this is why I posted..

btw, are you sure of your statements ..? have you done any tests yet..? what about a Hasselblad H4D ?

best
f/

jtuhtan

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 06:02:03 PM »
I've processed a couple hundred models now, and would have to say that the images themselves are more important than any particular choice of camera. All things considered, first learn how to get the most from your existing camera until buying something more expensive. For the first two years, I did all my models using an old Pentax Optio because I needed a tough and small outdoor camera. This forced me to learn how to make good models using the software and maximizing the quality of how I took the imagery. Most of the problems in SfM come from bad imagery, not from having a cheap camera.

Recently we have switched over to Sony NEX-6 and I also use a Sony A5000. If I had to make a recommendation, then I would say go for the Sony A6000 since the optical viewfinder makes it easier to preview your images on bright days.

Why the Sony?

1) Fast autofocus means you can take more quality images faster.
2) Lightweight frame, interchangable lenses. Prime lenses typically give you sharper images. I recommend using the Sigma lenses, as they are less expensive and good quality.
3) Downloadable apps to add features like time-lapse and image processing. Not a must, but is a useful tool if you plan on using the camera for aerial photography.

Jeff

bigben

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 12:58:21 AM »
well the title said Best Camera for Pscan... not Best cheapest Camera for Pscan... this is why I posted..

btw, are you sure of your statements ..? have you done any tests yet..? what about a Hasselblad H4D ?

best
f/

Hoping for some time to test our H5D and what subjects it will be best suited to.

But in more genral terms I tend to think along the lines of image pixels per degree of fov, desired working distance and the final resolution required. This gives you a better idea of what type of camera/lens combination you need, and once you have that you get the best your budget will stretch to.

Reshot a test project last week with a Canon 5D2 but brought the wrong lens. (50mm instead of 24mm) went ahead anyway and while the dense cloud is freaking awesome, I'll have to scale the images back from 21MP to 12MP so that I can create a mesh. Could have got a similar result with a Canon S120.

pjenness

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 03:11:39 AM »
well the title said Best Camera for Pscan... not Best cheapest Camera for Pscan... this is why I posted..

btw, are you sure of your statements ..? have you done any tests yet..? what about a Hasselblad H4D ?

best
f/

Hoping for some time to test our H5D and what subjects it will be best suited to.

But in more genral terms I tend to think along the lines of image pixels per degree of fov, desired working distance and the final resolution required. This gives you a better idea of what type of camera/lens combination you need, and once you have that you get the best your budget will stretch to.

Reshot a test project last week with a Canon 5D2 but brought the wrong lens. (50mm instead of 24mm) went ahead anyway and while the dense cloud is freaking awesome, I'll have to scale the images back from 21MP to 12MP so that I can create a mesh. Could have got a similar result with a Canon S120.

You can leave the images scaled up hi, and jsut use a different dense cloud seeting. I believe each lower setting sub samples the photos.
Ultra all pixels sampled
High evernn 2nd pixel sampled
Medium every 4 pixels

ETC (at least that is what Ive read and under stood)

The good thing about keeping high images is at texture time, you can get a much sharper texture projection.

-P
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Marcel

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 11:17:56 AM »
well the title said Best Camera for Pscan... not Best cheapest Camera for Pscan... this is why I posted..

btw, are you sure of your statements ..? have you done any tests yet..? what about a Hasselblad H4D ?

best
f/

We have done hudnreds of  scans with both a Canon 5D MKIII and a Nikon D800. We haven't done any tests with a Leica or Hasselblad, but the scans from the Canon and Nikon are literally perfect. There is simply nothing to improve (when done right, there is zero noise and enough detail).  The D800 has a resolution advantage, but when your point clouds are over 1 billion points already, it doesn't really matter much anyway.

Regarding 'best camera', I would rather buy the latest model high end Canon / Nikon every 2 years for the next 15 years, than owning a single Leica / Hasselblad system. Overall this will give me superior quality.

HyperFox

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2015, 08:23:53 PM »
Looks like my main problem with Photoscan is not enough light for  f6- f8 usually and at least 1\200 shuttler speed for having crisp images under cloudy/ambient light i need for good shadeless  textures .
  So I wonder if I really need a big camera and optic.  What I get of general point-and-shot cameras is somehow  too noisy geometry.       

Since 5 years I've been using Sigma compact cameras with a foveon chip.
You will never find any better MTF for about 500 Euros.
I tested a Phase One iQ180 and a Sigma DP1 Merrill.
Copare the attached meshes...

Of course there are some disadvantages working with the Merrill: To store the RAW data, it takes 15 seconds and the noise is terrible at ISO ratings bigger than 200.

However, I would always take the Merrill for UAV-missions, the Phase One for terrestrial Photogrammetry.


FoodMan

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Re: Best camera for Photoscan?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2015, 10:54:39 AM »
Marcel, I also have a Canon and very satisfied with the results it produces in Pscan... one important factor is also the lens. I have a fixed 35 mm and it works like a charm..



btw, one can always rent an Hasselblad or any medium format for a project... no need to buy it  :)

f/