Pilot Era Documentation

——— v4.4.0

Pilot Era DocumentationGetting StartHardware IntroductionPilot CameraPilot BaseBasic operationCameraCamera SettingsGalleryLiveSettingsMobile ControlMobile control Pilot shootingMobile management photos in PilotShare to social platformConnect NetworkWiFiLTEEthernetHotspotConnecting to a computerWindows PCMacProfessional ModeHDRExposureTime (S)ISOEVWhiteBalance (WB)Improve stitching effectIn-camera stitching photos/videosStitching PhotosStitching VideosTaking Google Street ViewTake a photo of Street ViewUpload photo to Street ViewTake a Video of Street ViewUpload Video to Street ViewChange Bottom LogoHow to save electricityUpgrade Pilot OSSerial numberReset

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Getting Start

The Pilot Era is a portable professional-grade panoramic camera. 8K real-time stitching of pictures and videos, no computer required. With a touch screen, what you see is what you get, a simple experience like a mobile phone.

Hardware Introduction

Pilot Camera

The various components and buttons on the camera body are as follows:

hardware-camera

 

Pilot Base

The Base is a camera accessory that includes Ethernet and LTE modules. If the Pilot camera needs to be connected to a Ethernet or LTE, it needs to be plugged into the Base.

The various components of the base are shown below:

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The USB Type-C port on Base can be used for power supply, can not access in-camera storage.

 

Basic operation

Press and hold the Home button for 3 seconds to power on.

Tap each app icon to open the app;

In the application,press the Home button to return to Launcher;

Press and hold the Home button for 1 second to turn off the screen.

Press and hold the Home button for 3 seconds to power off.

 

After entering each settings interface in the app, single-finger right to slide back to the previous interface.

 

Camera

The Camera is used to take panoramic photos and videos.

The camera preview is automatically turned on when enter Camera app. Touch the icon in the upper right corner or double-click the screen to change the preview mode. Preview modes are: Asteroid, Immerse, Fisheye, Plane.

There are several shooting modes in the lower operating area: Photo, Unstitched video, Stitched video, Google Street View Video.

Slide or tap the mode icon to change the shooting mode. In the lower left corner of the album icon, you can jump to the album to view photos/videos. The lower right corner is the setting button for the current mode.

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In the Photo mode, The HDR button above the preview allows you to turn on the HDR function to improve the exposure quality of your photos.

 

Camera Settings

Tap the Settings camera_settings button in the lower right corner of the camera to enter the photo/video settings UI. If it is in the photo mode, it is displayed as the photo setting; if it is currently in the video mode, it is displayed as the video setting.

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Photo settings include common photo sizes, timed shooting, and Auto Level.

Unstitched Video settings include common video sizes, timed shooting. Recording produces unstitched video with a high fps. Can be stitched in the gallery.

Stitched Video settings include common video sizes, timed shooting, and picture Auto Level. Recording produces real-time stitched video.

Gallery

Gallery is used to view and manage photos and videos within the camera.

After entering the Gallery, double-finger zoom in the photo list to switch between the large image and the small image mode. Tapmenu_select to select multiple photos and delete them in batches. The photos are arranged in reverse order of shooting time.

 

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Tap a photo/video to enter the playback view. In the playback view, double-click the screen or tap the icon in the upper right corner to switch the view mode. View modes include: Asteroids, Immersion, FishEye and Plane.

Tap the round arrows on the middle of the playback view to switch to the previous/next photo. The menu bar below has delete and view details. 8K photos can also be uploaded to Google Street View.

 

Live

Pilot Era's built-in Live app allows for panoramic live streaming on multiple platforms. Including: Facebook, YouTube, Weibo, Pi Live, and self-built RTMP server.

In the Live, tap the LIVE button to enter the live broadcast platform selection. Tap the icon to select the platform, or swipe the icon to select the platform.

After each platform is authorized to sign in, set the title, definition, and privacy. The definition can be set up to 4K.

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Tap to Start Live and enter the live broadcast status. The live time, current platform, and current definition are displayed in the UI.

Pilot supports multiple networks, including Ethernet, WiFi, and LTE. Choose the definition of the right live broadcast based on your network.

Settings

Setting the networks of Pilot, system options, software information, etc.

Pilot supports multiple networks, including Ethernet, WiFi, and LTE. The Ethernet and LTE need to be connected to the Base, and the network cable and SIM card are inserted into the Base.

In AboutDevice Name The name of the Pilot can be modified. You will see this name when the Mobile app connects to the Pilot or creates a hotspot.

Pilot OS can be downloaded and updated via the network. When a new version is found, the settings icon in Launcher displays the notification badge. To ensure safety and Auto Level, please update the Pilot OS in time.

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Mobile Control

Pilot Era can remotely control the camera via the mobile app or view and manage Gallery.

Download the official mobile app:Pilot Go

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After installing Pilot Go, make sure the phone and Pilot are in the same wireless network.

In the same WiFi, Pilot Go also supports scanning QP Code in Pilot Settings-About-Device Name , directly connected to the Pilot.

After the Pilot Go is connected to the Pilot, you can control Pilot.

 

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Tap Gallery in Pilot Go to view and manage the Gallery of Pilot. You can download photos from your Pilot to your phone and share to social platforms.

Mobile control Pilot shooting

After the Pilot Go is connected to the Pilot, the screen of the Pilot picture on the main interface will light up and there will be a prompt sound. Tap Enter Pilot in Pilot Go to control Pilot Era. When the Pilot is controlled, the screen will display “Mobile Control...”.

Control camera photos and videos in Pilot Go, the interface and operation are exactly the same as Pilot. You can even control Pilot to record Google Street View Video while viewing Pilot's latitude and longitude information.

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Mobile management photos in Pilot

Tap the gallery icon of Pilot Go to view and manage the Pilot Era Gallery. You can select and delete photos/videos, or you can download photos/videos to your phone locally.

The top left corner of the photo/video cover has a badge to indicate the current state:

mobile: Already downloaded to the phone. After disconnecting from Pilot, you can still view, delete, and share.

badge_loading: Downloading. Blue is the download progress.

nopreview: The phone cannot be viewed. This is usually because the video size is too large or unstitched.

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Share to social platform

Pilot Go can share panoramic photos/videos to various social platforms.

Open a photo/video in the Gallery and tap the Share share button below. After choosing a social platform, you can share it.

Currently supported platforms are:

Photo: Facebook, Weibo, WeChat, mobile photo album.

Video: Facebook, YouTube, WeChat, mobile photo album.

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Connect Network

Pilot Era supports a variety of networks, including: WiFi, LTE, Ethernet. When three types of networks exist at the same time, the Ethernet is preferred, then WiFi, and finally LTE.

When connected to the network, the current network type is displayed in the upper left corner of the system top bar.

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WiFi

The process of connecting the WiFi is the same as that of the mobile phone. Open Settings - WiFi, enable WiFi, and select a WiFi to connect.

LTE

The Pilot Base is required to connect the LTE network. Insert the LTE SIM card into the slot of the Base and connect the Base to the Pilot camera. Wait a moment, then you can use the LTE network.

Open the Settings app. If you have connected to LTE, the LTE option in the menu will be displayed as Connected, otherwise it will be displayed as No SIM Card. If the No SIM Card is displayed all the time, please check if the SIM card in the Base is plugged in.

 

Ethernet

The Pilot Base is required to connect to a Ethernet. Plug the cable into the Base and connect the Base to the Pilot camera. Wait a moment, you can use the Ethernet.

Open the Settings app. If you are connected to a Ethernet, the Ethernet option in the menu will appear as Connected, otherwise it will appear as Unconnected. If the Unconnected is displayed all the time, please check if the network cable in the Base is plugged in.

 

Hotspot

Pilot can build its own hotspot. Go to the Settings - Hotspot, and open the hotspot. The system will create a hotspot, the default password is: 12345678. You can change your password in the Hotspot Settings.

WiFi will be automatically disabled when the Hotspot is turned on. When there is a LTE or Ethernet, Pilot will create hotspot based on LTE or Ethernet. This way the Pilot and the devices connected to the Pilot hotspot can access the Internet. When connecting LTE and Ethernet at the same time, Pilot will use the Ethernet to create hotspot.

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Connecting to a computer

The Pilot can be connected to a computer to copy files. Pilot supports Windows PC and Mac.

Windows PC

Connect the Pilot to your Windows computer using the included Type-C cable. An external hard drive called “Pilot Era” will appear in My Computer. This hard drive is the internal file of Pilot.

The storage path for photos and videos is DCIM, and there are two folders Stitched and Unstitched in the photo and video folders. Stitched stores stitched files; Unstitched stores unstitched fisheye files, and fisheye files can be post-processed with tools on the PC.

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Mac

Connecting a Mac to Pilot requires a third-party tool: Android File Transfer

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It's a free, lightweight transfer tool that quickly helps Mac access Pilot internal files.

Android File Transfer requires a version of macOS 10.7 or higher.

 

Connect the Pilot to your Mac using the included Type-C cable. Open Android File Transfer and it will automatically connect to and open the files inside Pilot.

he storage path for photos and videos is DCIM, and there are two folders Stitched and Unstitched in the photo and video folders. Stitched stores stitched files; Unstitched stores unstitched fisheye files, and fisheye files can be post-processed with tools on the Mac.

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Professional Mode

For professional photographers, Pilot offers a professional mode. You can adjust more parameters when taking photos and videos.

There is a Pro button btn_pro_fade in the upper left corner of the control area to turn the professional photo mode on and off. When the professional photo mode is turned on, ExposureTime/ISO/EV/WB/StitchingFocus can be adjusted in the preview.

Photo mode support : ExposureTime, ISO, EV, WB, StitchingFocus.

Video mode support : ISO, EV, StitchingFocus.

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After version 4.2.0, each shooting mode can be set its own professional parameters, without affecting each other.

HDR

The HDR switch is directly above the preview. Tap HDR to turn HDR on and off. HDR generated photos with lighter and darker details.

When shooting in HDR, 3 shutter sounds will sound. During this time, try to keep the picture stable and do not move objects, otherwise the image will be blurred. The time to generate a photo after turning on HDR is longer than the normal mode.

 

ExposureTime (S)

ExposureTime can be set to: Auto, 1/3200, 1/1000, 1/500, 1/100, 1/50, 1/15.

When the ExposureTime is set to Auto, the icon has the word "Auto";

When the ExposureTime is set to non-Auto, the icon does not have the word "Auto". The ISO adjustment range is now larger and HDR and EV are not available.

ISO

When ExposureTime is Auto, the ISO can be set to: Auto, 100, 200, 300, 400, 600, 800.

When ExposureTime is manually, the ISO can be set to: 100, 200, 600, 800, 1600, 3200.

EV

EV is used to adjust the exposure brightness of the picture. It can be set between -4 and 4.

When ExposureTime is manually, the EV is invalid and cannot be adjusted.

 

WhiteBalance (WB)

WhiteBalance is used to adjust the hue of the picture. Pilot supports settings: Auto, Sunlight, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent.

 

Improve stitching effect

In an indoor environment, objects in the scene are closer to the camera lens; In an outdoor environment, objects in the scene are farther away from the camera. The difference in scenes requires setting the stitching parameters to achieve the best stitching effect.

In order to adapt to different scenes, Pilot can adjust the Stitching Focus. Open the Camera-btn_pro_fade-stitch_ref_off to adjust the stitching focus and see the changes in the stitching effect in real time.

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In-camera stitching photos/videos

Pilot can stitch photos and videos in the machine, which can save the complicated stitching operation on the computer and directly obtain the stitched files.

Stitching Photos

Pilot supports two photo stitching algorithms: Real-Time stitching and Optical-Flow stitching. The Real-Time stitching speed is fast, and the Optical-Flow stitching speed is slow but the effect is better. The photos generated after taking a photo use the Real-Time stitching algorithm by default.

The photos in Gallery have a badge to express the stitching algorithm of the current photo: stitch_realtimeit means Real-Time stitching;stitch_opticalflow it means Optical-Flow stitching . Gallery supports changing the stitching algorithm of the photo.

After selecting multiple photos, tap on the transfer_stitch top left corner of the menu to select a stitching algorithm, and the Gallery will change the stitching algorithm for those photos. Process one by one according to the shooting time. There will be a badge to show the current state: converting or waiting.

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If OpticalFlow Stitching is turned on in the Camera-Photo Settings, the Gallery will automatically re-stitching the captured photos using the Optical-Flow algorithm. This process is done automatically and the user does not need to do anything.

Because the stitching process is performed automatically when the camera is idle, if the Pilot enters the working state, include open Camera, Live broadcast, Gallery play video, etc., the photo stitching will be paused.

Stitching Videos

The original fisheye video recorded by Pilot can be stitched directly in the Gallery. The original fisheye video has a badge_unstitchbadge in the upper right corner of the cover.

In the original fisheye video playback interface, tap thegostitch button to start stitching. The stitching time is generally twice the length of the original video.

The original fisheye video playback interface in the stitching will show the progress, and there is also a progress prompt on the cover of the photo list. The video in the stitching cannot be deleted. Pause the stitching or stitching is completed, it can be deleted.

 

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Stitching is more cost-effective, so when the Pilot enters the Camera, Live, Gallery play video, etc., the video stitching will pause. It is recommended to stitching the fisheye videos when idle.

Note that when the video stitching is started, the photo stitching will be paused. After the video stitching or video stitching is paused, the photo stitching will continue automatically.

 

 

 

Taking Google Street View

Pilot supports taking Google Street View photos/videos and uploading them directly.

Take a photo of Street View

In the photo mode, there is a GPS icongps_on in the upper left corner of the preview. The icon lights up to indicate that there is a GPS signal, and the icon is off indicating that there is no GPS signal currently.

Google Street View photos require 8K resolution with GPS information. So first set the photo size to 8K, camera_settings- Photo Size -8K (8192*4096), and then confirm that there is currently a GPS signal. The photos taken in this way can be used for Google Street View.

Upload photo to Street View

First you need to have a Google account, and make sure Pilot is connected to the internet.

Then enter the Gallery app and open a stitched 8K size photo. Tap theupload button below the interface to enter the process of uploading to Google Street View. If you don't sign in to your Google account, Pilot will ask you to sign in first. After you sign in, it will start uploading photo.

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Pilot supports batch uploading photos to Google Street View. In the photo list UI, tap the share button share at the bottom, share to Google Street View. Tap Select Photos, Pilot will filter out the photos that can be uploaded, and the uploaded photos will have a Street View icon in the upper right corner. Select the photos you want to upload, and tap Upload.

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Take a Video of Street View

Google Street View Video is an 8K 7fps Real-Time stitching video with GPS tracks.

Turn on the Camera and turn to the recording of Google Street View Video mode, the icon gsvps_selected lights up.

In Street View Video mode, there is a Google Street View icon directly above the preview. There is a GPS location icon gps_on in the upper left corner of the preview. The icon lights up to indicate that there is a GPS signal, and the icon is off indicating that there is no GPS signal currently. Tap the GPS icon to pop up the latitude and longitude information. When there is a GPS signal, you can record Street View Video. The recording process is the same as normal video recording.

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After the recording is complete, upload Video to Google Street View in the Gallery.

 

Upload Video to Street View

First you need to have a Google account to make sure the Pilot is connected to the internet.

Go to the Gallery and open a Street View Video. There is a current status icon at the top of the interface. If it is not uploaded, touch the upload button upload below the interface to enter the process of uploading to Google Street View. If you are not logged , Pilot will ask you to log in to your Google account first. You can set whether to blur the faces or license plates before uploading.

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Support for resumes when uploading Street View Video. If the upload process is interrupted , the progress will be saved automatically, and the next time you start uploading from the saved progress.

After the Street View Video upload is complete, Google Street View takes a while to analyze the processed files. After the processing is completed, open the Street View Video again, and the result of the file will be displayed at the top of the interface. Since Google Street View Video cannot be modified, there is no need to upload it again, regardless of success or failure.

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After processing is complete, you can choose to delete it from the Street View server when deleting local Street View Video.

 

Change Bottom Logo

There is a dead corner at the bottom of the panorama photo/video, which is usually covered with a blend transition or with a logo image.

Pilot can choose whether to use the Logo image to cover the bottom dead corner, you can use your own Logo image to cover the bottom.

First, connect the Pilot to your computer. Copy your Logo images to the Pilot Era/Watermarks/ directory. Then open Pilot, Settings - Bottom Logo, the logo image will be displayed in the UI. Select one, then shoot/record/live, The resulting image will use the new bottom logo.

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The bottom logo image requirements: 512 * 512 pixels, png format, the size does not exceed 1M. Images that do not meet the requirements are not available.

 

How to save electricity

The Pilot Era uses a 7200mAh high-capacity battery that can continuously record for more than 3.5 hours. Standby time can be more than 30 hours.

When the Pilot is in working, it consumes more power. According to the power consumption, the order from the largest to the smallest is:

If you want to save power, make sure the Pilot is not in working.

The battery can last longer with the following settings:

When the battery charge is less than 20%, it will indicate that the battery is low. When the battery is less than 1%, Pilot will automatically shut down.

 

Upgrade Pilot OS

Pilot's built-in operating system is based on Android, users can upgrade Pilot OS over the network.

When a new version of the Pilot OS is released, the Settings icon of the launcher will have a red badge. Go to Settings - System Update, which will display the new version number, size, update content and more. Tap the Download button to download. After the download is completed, tap the Install button and the system will automatically install the upgrade.

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We will update Pilot OS frequently to improve the functionality and experience of the Pilot, please keep it up to date.

Serial number

Each Pilot has a unique serial number. The serial number can be used for troubleshooting and support services.

You can view the serial number in the Settings app, open the Settings - About, the serial number will be displayed below.

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Reset

The Pilot can be restored to factory settings in Settings-Reset. You can only reset the settings, or you can erase settings and data. After the reset, the Pilot will restart. Then enter the Setup Wizard.

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