Drone aerial imagery to QGIS

Yes you need to Georeference the images. The Exif data explains where the photo was taken, so it describes where your drone/camera was at that time and often many other values (heigth, bearing etc). QGIS and mapping packages work off a different method of locating the image and usually require a location of the center of the upper left pixel, knowledge of the pixel size in the x and y space, offset and rotation values.

The good news is there are quite few products out there do do the georeferencing and a number of them (if not all) offer fully functional trial periods.

We use a P3 and use PhotoScan by Agisoft to get georeferenced images into QGIS. Its expensive but has a generous trial period.

We also tried these product below and they also offer trials for you to see how it works:

  1. Pix4D which can get expensive but can be rented per month. (We didnt buy because it was too expensive for us)
  2. DroneDeploy was a hosted solution and reasonably priced I thought. (We didn't buy because we wanted to process locally)
  3. Maps Made Easy was also a hosted solution and reasonably priced. (We didn't buy because we wanted to process locally)

I have heard good things about Open Drone Map that @Luke mentioned in a comment but I have not personally used it.

I have also seen on forums that some people are using a free product called Microsoft Image Composite Editor to mosaic their images and then georefence them with GDAL with or QGIS. This forum discussion starts off with someone who mosaics 20,000 Hectares with Microsoft ICE and a guy further down shares how he georeference a Microsoft ICE image using GDAL_Translate.

Give RAPID for DJI a try. It will geo-reference and process up to 100 images from any DJI sensor or drone for free. The results are WGS84 Lat/Lon GeoTIFF format digital elevation models, point clouds and orthomosaic maps.

Disclaimer: I wrote the software and dronemapper.com SaaS service. Thanks!

You will probably have to georeference them!

The metadata you're describing is really useful to let you know where the photo was taken, and it's usually a good first step that helps you understand where the area is that the image needs to be georeferenced against.

See if your drone provides other information like image orientation (North, South, West, etc..)? That's usually helpful too. I've never used that drone before so can only inquire if it's available, sorry.

But the QGIS georeference plugin is describer here, and there is a tutorial outlining the steps needed to georeference an ortho photo in QGIS. Those should be more than enough to get you started, good luck.