Public Lab Wiki documentation


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The Public Lab community has been using variants of the Mobius ActionCam for aerial photography purposes for some time, and has also used this as the basis of our Infragram Point and Shoot camera.

The purpose of this page is to provide an overview of operation for these cameras, specifically as an aerial mapping tool.


Model A

From the factory, the Mobius has a couple options, including the Model A, which has an 87-degree field of view. This is the least fisheye option from the sales channels, such as Amazon or Mobius-USA websites. We offer this camera in the PL store, and this is the model we have modified as part of the Infragram Point and Shoot camera (where they remove the IR cut filter at the factory, and replace with our red gel for NDVI photography.

M12 Security Camera Lenses

The Mobius was designed to take a standard "M12" threaded lens, which makes it simple to swap out the kit lens for any of a number of lenses available online. @pcoyle posted some research around finding the best options for aerial mapping, and you can find those notes here.

Based on this research, we decided to offer Mobius cameras pre-fitted with 6mm lenses found here, installed at the factory. We also offer 8mm lenses as an alternate.

Exchanging Lenses

this involves opening the camera, then using the small hex driver (provided) to loosen a set screw. This will allow the original lens to be unthreaded and exchanged.

Photos and tutorial on exchanging lenses to be created soon, but for now, you can find this information readily on youtube, examples here and here.

Camera Operation

The Mobius has three main modes of operation. You can toggle between these modes by pressing the "Mode" button (signified by "M" on the button).

The modes are:

  • Photo mode (Red)
  • 1080p Video (Yellow)
  • 720p Video (Blue)

We modify the firmware and system configuration before selling these cameras to optimize them for aerial mapping purposes. Specifically we:

  • set the default mode to "Photo"
  • set the photo mode to a 5-second intervelometer, at highest resolution
  • allow locking white balance and exposure by pressing and holding "mode" button for 3 seconds
  • setting camera to turn off automatically after 2 minutes of down time.
  • turning off the time/date stamp

Setting balance and exposure

It is ideal to lock both white balance and exposure prior to taking a large series of photos, especially if you plan to later "stitch" these photos together, as inconsistencies in the exposure settings can make the job much more difficult.

You can set custom white balance and exposure for the duration of an entire flight by simply aiming the camera at the grey card provided (or any 18% grey card or equivalent), in lighting conditions as close to your flight as possible. Make sure the camera is turned on, and in standby mode (not taking photos). Top LED should be a solid red. Then hold down the "Mode" button for 3 seconds, until the camera LED light turns off. Release the "mode" button, and your exposure is now set.