Camera mounts serve for attaching one or more cameras or other sensors to a platform and operating them. The most basic function is triggering the camera, usually with remote-controlled microservos or electronic shutter release cables, and additional functions may include pan and tilt orientation, remote image capture, and control of ancillary devices such as GPS, altimeter, or video eye.

Small-format aerial photography (SFAP) mounting systems may be rigidly fixed or separate, detachable mounts, where the camera is not directly fixed to the platform but in some way suspended or quick-connected. Suspended rigs are used for slow-moving or stationary platforms such as kites, balloons, or blimps; they are usually attached after launching and thus decrease the crash risk for the camera. Detachable modular mounts are a convenient solution for slow-moving platforms carrying a rigid framework (e.g., hot-air blimps or balloons) to which they may be quickly connected before takeoff. Fixed mounts, on the other hand, are necessary for fast-moving aerodynamic platforms (all types of drones) that must not be burdened with swinging, suspended payloads.

Most mounts feature some sort of self-balancing mechanism, keeping the camera orientation vertical or at another intended angle. This can be accomplished with self-balancing pendulums, Picavet suspensions, gimbal mounts, or cardan joints. Dual- or even multiple-camera mounts allow the simultaneous capture of two or more images either in various spectral ranges, with different focal lengths/ image scales, or from different vantage points for stereo imagery.

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