Ok, I'm back from the field trip, and I can share some thoughts on this now.
During the field campaign, I used GSPro, Pix4Dcapture and Altizure on different occasions. Generally speaking, GSPro performed better, but there is room for improvement.
Pix4D failed to complete the mission more than once (the drone completed the flight, but it didn't took all the pictures) because it was 'too far' from the home point (more than 150 meters).
Altizure is a bit weird. Although it has nice setups for the mission planning, it flys the drone 'sideways', so you get the landing gear in almost all images...
GSPro has nice features, but it could benefit from:
- more than one provider of sat imagery in base map - in one area we were working, Bing maps were full of clouds, and only Google had (low-res) cloud-free imagery. Being able to select the imagery provider would be a big plus.
- more clear indicators about drone+camera orientation in mission planning - the 'course angle' option sets not only the flight angle, but also the camera orientation. So if you have flight lines oriented 45º, the camera will always point to 45º, and the drone will fly forward and backward in this direction, instead of flying forward to 45º, making a turn to the next line, and then flying forward to 225º (the opposite of 45º). This is not a deal breaker, although it is not well documented. Maybe adding little arrow symbols in the flight lines (not only at start/end) would help. Also, the angle is using a cartesian notation, where 0 degrees is East, 90º is North and so on. Since we are working with geographically-positioned targets, using an azimuthal notation would be more natural. Anyway, flying in the usual forward-turn-forward would be better.
- better transfer speed when uploading the mission - I noticed the both Pix4D and Altizure send the mission to the drone way faster than GSPro. As a side note, I also noticed that when the tablet gets hot, mission upload gets really slow or doesn’t work at all.
- better control of settings - the sliders are not the best option if one wants to fine-tune any of the settings, such as course angle or overlap (especially on a small tablet as the ipad mini - imagine on a phone). Being able to tap over the numerical field and typing the desired value would help a lot.
- shoot pictures in RAW - in DJI Go 4, I can set the app to take pictures in JPEG and RAW, but not in GSPro. This is a must for professional-level 3D mapping.
- an option to show the footprint of pictures would be great. I guess that the app from mapsmadeeasy.com does this but I couldn’t test it.
- add an option to set the start/end points, regardless of flight orientation (I’d like to have the bird always start the mission at the farthest point and end it closer to the home point)
That’s what I can remember at the moment