The Trimble software is free. Worth every penny...
Lee has a point. Many services require 20mp minimum (among other specs). 12mp sounds like a P3. Still a good bird but it is more limited.
Your suggestion of "white plastic bucket lids to mark control points/panels" do not work well. Difficult to find the center and too much reflective surface in bright sun light.
These 24" aerial targets work great and last for many flights.
Interesting projects... I'm curious when all is said and done if using the drone actually saves any time/money/effort as opposed to just surveying the mile long gravel road.
A 1 mile long drone project is actually quite sizeable when flying at the low heights and way more then i would recommend for a first project. You will have a significant amount of data to process. You haven't mentioned how you plan to tie the ground control points. The 13mp camera may not produce the required project accuracies. We use the 20 and are always cross checking our data with on-the-ground checks, some good....some bad.
What platform is the end product going to reside in? You will need to work out the kinks in the workflow as well. I would recommend a smaller open square site or two first before you jump into a 1 mile roadway topo.
Leaning towards painting the targets with a yellow and blue buttery fly.
I can get a 30 day trial of the TBC photogrammetry module from Trimble . I can also use Drone deploy the next time my associate buys a month of Drone Deploy.
So that should dip my feet in the pond.
Thanks for all the advice here!