Yesterday I tested the Phantom 2 drone with an old GoPro Hero camera.
Flying above my neighborhood on a snowy winter day. Can you see me?
The lens distortion (fisheye) of the camera is quite apparent and a major disadvantage for serious photography. The advantage however of using the GoPro is that the gimbal on the drone is specifically designed to accept the GoPro camera.
This morning I received the GoPro Hero3 Silver Edition. This is a lighter and more powerful camera, which still has a fisheye effect (sporty types seem to desire this). However, Adobe CS6 and Camera Raw 8.3 can correct most of the distortion as shown below.
Before and after lens correction.
These images were taken on the “Medium” angle setting (5MP). This edition can take 11mp images, but at that setting is limited to wide-angle images unfortunately. (Also it doesn’t come with a micro SD card so I’m using the one from my phone temporarily. I need one with a speed rating of at least 10 if I need to automatically take pics more often than every 2 seconds, which will cost about $13).
Other small cameras and gimbals are possible, but these were the options that gave me the most common combinations and would get me in the air the most readily.
Update: here’s a shot out the window before and after lens and color correction was applied (and some cropping of the image).