Airplane GEEK

Aviation News from around the world

Sony a6100 or RX1R II: which payload do you need now?

One of the key benefits of WingtraOne GEN II’s VTOL design is that it can fly with heavier payloads. Specifically, by removing the risk of shock and damage via belly landing, engineers were free to select higher quality cameras. They aimed for the best results in terms of flight time, resolution and accuracy. Wingtra’s two Sony RGB nadir payload options—the entry-level a6100 24 MP APS-C, and the higher-resolution RX1R II 42 MP full-frame—demonstrate these results.

So what’s the difference between these two payloads, and how do you choose between them given your drone needs right now? We’ve run test flights and will now share these as well as key insights to help you choose the best option. 

Sony a6100: good coverage, lighter on the data, high accuracy and versatile

For several reasons, the a6100 is considered an entry-level option. Among these are its lower price tag and lighter data capture load for a given area. These factors alone make it a dependable payload to start working with on a wide range of projects. In fact, flying it at 120 m (394 ft) above ground level (AGL), your average accuracy will be about 2.4 cm (0.9 in), a resolution that satisfies applications where a good amount of detail is required. A few examples include: site planningmine restorationoil spill monitoring, landfill projects, natural disaster damage assessment and more.*

a6100 single image construction map at 120m
A single image from a 120 m (394 ft) AGL flight with the Sony a6100 demonstrates the wide field of view and crisp details captured. To explore details and zoom in, see the orthomosaic comparison module below.

Additionally, its 20 mm lens provides a wide angle for image capture that results in the broadest coverage possible at a limited altitude—240 ha (600 ac) at 120 m AGL. The data is rich enough to examine key features in an area, yet still lightweight for processing.

*The a6100 is a step forward in terms of resolution (up to 24 MP from 20 MP) from Wingtra’s previous entry-level RGB solution, the QX1 payload, which has already demonstrated success on project use cases (linked and catalogued by type and payload on our use case page).

a6100 vs. RX1R II outputs Esri ArcGIS comparison panel

Explore the datasets yourself

Zoom anywhere on the orthomosaic, and slide the slider to explore the resolution difference between the a6100 and the RX1R II at 120 m (393 ft). Or download the raw data.Open Raw data 

Sony RX1R II: highest resolution and accuracy, and exacting details for precise analysis

Although a bit more expensive, the Sony RX1R II is a best seller for several key reasons. You can fly at a GSD down to 0.7 cm (0.3 in), and at a standard mapping height of 120 m (394 ft) AGL, you can capture at an average GSD of 1.6 cm (0.6 in). The resolution difference is most noticeable when zooming in and out of orthomosaics. You can explore this in the orthomosaic module above. Coverage with the full-frame 35 mm lens setup is still robust at this flight altitude—210 ha (520 ac).

RX1R II single image from 120m AGL over construction site.
A single image from a 120 m (394 ft) AGL flight with the Sony RX1R II the wide field of view. To explore details and zoom in, see the orthomosaic comparison module above.

As for what applications it serves best, it helps to consider that the accuracy available with the RX1R II will make a marked difference in volume measurements, since cubed cms/ins add up fast. This will be especially important when measuring assets on a mine, earthworks, and generally comparing contractor details with mapped evidence. Beyond this, any application benefiting from the ability to view fine details on demand will surely benefit.

sony a6100 or rx1r ii which payload do you need now 1 Airplane GEEK Sony a6100 or RX1R II: which payload do you need now?
sony a6100 or rx1r ii which payload do you need now 2 Airplane GEEK Sony a6100 or RX1R II: which payload do you need now?

A close-up view of a construction site offers a glimpse of the resolution difference between the Sony RX1R II and a6100.

At a glance: differences between the RX1R II and a6100

Sony a6100 Sony RX1R II
20 mm wide-angle lens means larger coverage for flight time at 120 m 35 mm lens plus full frame, means only slightly less coverage than the a6100 at 120m (393 ft) and the highest coverage and efficiency for this resolution*
Economical Best seller, slightly higher cost
Good resolution Exacting resolution
Less data More data
Applications
Solar field construction
Landfill projects
Oil spill monitoring
Mine restoration
Applications
Exact volumes (i.e., mining, contract reconciliation)
Fine details
Road surveys

*With the RX1R II, you can fly at 180 m (590 ft) AGL to get the same resolution as the a6100 and cover a larger area, 330 ha (815 ac) specifically.

So which one should you go for?

Both the a6100 and the RX1R II provide leading quality for your photogrammetry needs. However, if you are on a budget and still ramping up your program to process big datasets, starting out with the a6100 will still get your jobs done right. As you get skilled with this payload—in terms of data capture, processing and analytics—an upgrade to the RX1R II will bring you more sophisticated results and a more robust basis for calculations, comparisons and monitoring of fine details.

Specs

Sony a6100 Sony RX1R II
Lens 20 mm lens 35 mm lens
Technical specifications APS-C sensor, 24 MP, RGB Full-frame sensor, 42 MP, RGB
Camera weight
(incl. mount)
550 g (1.2 lb) 590 g (1.3 lb)
Lowest possible GSD 1.2 cm at 61 m
0.4 in at 170 ft
0.7 cm at 52 m
0.3 in at 186 ft
Maximum coverage at 120 m (400 ft)
at 60% side overlap
Up to 240 ha (600 ac) at 2.4 cm (0.9 in) GSD Up to 210 ha (520 ac) at 1.6 cm (0.6 in) GSD
Maximum coverage at 3 cm (1.2 in) GSD
at 60% side overlap
Up to 300 ha (741 ac) at 153m (502 ft) Up to 400 ha (990 ac) at 224 m (734 ft)
Best horizontal absolute accuracy (RMS)
with PPK (w/o GCPs)
Down to 2 cm (0.8 in) Down to 1 cm (0.4 in)
Best vertical absolute accuracy (RMS)
with PPK (w/o GCPs)
Down to 4 cm (1.6 in) Down to 3 cm (1.2 in)
Max flight time 54 min 54 min

Source

Contrail Bags

Contrail Bag FL390P
A past customer put it best, " Contrail builds flight bags, the rest are just totes".

Compare a Contrail flight bag to the competition and you’ll quickly see, they start where the others leave off. Get the perfect flight bag today at aviationBay.com and airplaneTees.com