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A low attitude photogrammetric system is developed in Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, since the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) has advantages over traditional photogrammetric craft, such as small size, low weight, slow flight speed and extended range. This paper discusses calibrating method of an inexpensive 3 K by 2 K non-metric CCD camera used in this system. First,with 3D testified the self-calibrating bundle adjustment is adopted to determine the principal distance , the location of the principal point and distortion parameters of the camera. Secondly, a further distortion test was performed, this time with a planar 2D test field to create a digital distortion model. Moreover, the residual distortion error detection method is proposed by transforming and comparing the distortions obtained from the two calibration steps .