Cal Mitchener, a successful real estate shooter in Charlotte, NC that we've featured several times here on the PFRE blog, has been providing elevated real estate shots for many years. Cal started with a WonderPole, then in 2011 he moved up to a Gitzo giant tripod. Last week he described his planned move up to a DJI S1000:
UAV photography & videography is getting big in my area, but most vendors are flying GoPro’s or DJI Inspire 1’s. I find the still images from both of these to be lacking, and am researching stepping up to a heavy lift octocopter. I am leaning towards a DJI S1000 with a ZenMuse Gimbal.
As the gimbals are set up for specific camera/lens combinations, I am trying to determine which will give the best results. I am going to purchase the body and lens specifically for this use, so I am not tied to a given manufacturer.
I want to know which lens is the best, as I place highest priority on the glass. I can use a Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f/2.0, or a Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T.
If I could use Canon “L” glass, I would go that route, but that isn’t an option. I would prefer a full frame sensor, so I am leaning towards the Sony or Canon setup. The Oly lens is for a 4/3 sensor body.
Sounds like you are going to jump way beyond Pole Aerial Photography with this great rig that you have planned. Others have pointed out that quality is the best when you are flying with something better than a GoPro or the camera that comes with the quadcopter DJIs.
As to which lens is best, the authority for that is dxomark.com. Here is their comparison. As this shows, the Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA lens is clearly the best. There is another advantage when using the Sony lens and a Sony A7R on a UAV and that is the Sony A7R (1.03lbs) is about half the weight of either the 5DMKII (1.8lbs) or 5DMKIII (2.09 lbs).
Does anyone else have more ideas for Cal?