Best drones for photogrammetry surveying - WingtraOne vs. other drones
WingtraOne vs. multicopter and fixed-wing drones
Since the introduction of the first drones for photogrammetry, the number of manufacturers has increased, and drone technology has been constantly improving.
Each manufacturer claims different data and achievements regarding their drones, mostly focusing on cameras specifications, coverage and flight time. But how do they perform in real life? And how do they compare to each other based on features most important to the user? Read our in-depth reviews of the best drones for photogrammetry in land surveying including image quality tests, coverage results, usability and detailed specifications:
Table of Contents
At Wingtra, we aim at achieving excellence in photogrammetry drone technology. To do so, we constantly compare our own drone to the best ones in the world. As we are collecting this data anyway, we compiled it for you in the form of in-depth, figure-based comparisons.
We admire the achievements of all drone companies and believe that there are many great drones available today. We therefore aim to be as objective and impartial as possible in our reports, knowing that these comparisons will ultimately lead to more innovation among leading companies.
Multicopters vs. fixed-wings for photogrammetry
5 to 14x faster surveying operations with fixed-wings
Multicopters like the DJI Phantom 4 RTK are an obvious choice for entry-level drone surveying because of their lower price tag and ease of use. They do a great job surveying small areas, and they excel at vertical mapping and monitoring small construction sites.
However, when projects scale up, multicopters fall short in their performance. Indeed with a low flight efficiency, they require between 5 and 14x more time than fixed-wing drones to map the same area. The savings made when the drone was purchased are eventually overridden by the costs and time needed for a crew to map such large areas.
All tests performed with coverage at 1.2 cm (0.4in)/px
Stockpile survey with VTOL fixed-wing vs. DJI Phantom 4
The Idaho Forest Group has so far acquired six WingtraOne hybrid VTOL/fixed-wing drones for the survey of its six massive timber yards. The WingtraOne fleet gathers accurate data in a fraction of the time it took with their multicopter fleet:
Road construction survey with fixed-wing vs. DJI Phantom 4
Engineers at the Norwegian Road Administration have started flying professional drones for road construction surveying. Prior to WingtraOne, the administration briefly used a Phantom 4 to collect drone data and prove its value. After seeing the benefit in terms of quality and accuracy of data and budget, they started to use a WingtraOne:
DJI Phantom 4 RTK vs. WingtraOne
So in which case is a multicopter like the Phantom 4 RTK the most appropriate, and at what point should you switch to a professional-level fixed-wing drone?
In this in-depth comparison we explore the usability, coverage, camera specifications and image quality of both mapping drones. We give recommendations about when a Phantom 4 RTK is suitable for your application and when you would be better off with a more professional drone.
Best fixed-wing drones for aerial mapping
WingtraOne vs. fixed-wing drones
Fixed-wings drones by far outrank multicopters in terms of coverage, but they do feature some striking differences among themselves, too.
Depending on your application, you should carefully assess the drones and think about what level of data quality is necessary for your mapping projects. How large is the area? What are the flying conditions? Is the terrain appropriate for belly landings?
Recommended drone photogrammetry software
To turn the collected images from drones into point clouds, orthomosaics and 3D models you will need a photogrammetry software. We recommend 3DR Sitescan, Pix4D, DroneDeploy, delair.ai, Autodesk, Simactive or Agisoft. Each of these platforms have been tested, and we can vouch for their strong data processing and analytics functionality.
Drone photogrammetry vs. drone LIDAR
Coverage and labor costs calculator for drone surveying
See how much time and labor costs you’d save when switching to drone surveying with WingtraOne compared to other drones and to terrestrial surveying methods.
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Suggest drone comparisons
Do you suggest a drone against which we should benchmark or want to take test images with your own drone? Write your suggestion to email@example.com. Or, let us know if you’d like to take a test image with your drone and share it, and we might be able to send you a test poster free of charge.