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Still photography
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TFile
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Hi All,

I'm looking at getting a Mavic Air after this thread - https://forum.dji.com/thread-131411-1-1.html convincing me that a standard MA would be a better buy for me than a Spark combo.

My real interest is photography and so the still image quality is very important as I'll hopefully be doing more of this than I will video making.

My question is:

How good is the Mavic camera? I'm not expecting dslr pics and I know it can save in DNG which is great but are the actual pics that good?

Any advice very welcome

Tom
2018-2-14
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hallmark007
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There are so many things that make up great pictures, is MavAir capable , yes it will need a good photographer, but yes MavAir above Spark, although it’s very hard to knock spark.
2018-2-14
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk
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I have a Spark, it's a great little drone for what it is. The images it produces are really sharp although there is some distortion in horizons ( I tend to do top down shots so not a biggie for me). The one big drawback of the Spark for me is JPEG only output. You have to be really careful not to blow out highlights as it ruins the shot, I usually bracket with the middle exposure knocked back a third/2 thirds.

I've seen some RAW files from the Mavic Air on the net and the shots look great, I'm so tempted to get one!

The thing which makes a good shot is content and composition etc, I've had more success with crappy drone cameras than anything with my Canon 5D and £000's worth of lenses.
2018-2-14
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TFile
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk Posted at 2018-2-14 06:05
I have a Spark, it's a great little drone for what it is. The images it produces are really sharp although there is some distortion in horizons ( I tend to do top down shots so not a biggie for me). The one big drawback of the Spark for me is JPEG only output. You have to be really careful not to blow out highlights as it ruins the shot, I usually bracket with the middle exposure knocked back a third/2 thirds.

I've seen some RAW files from the Mavic Air on the net and the shots look great, I'm so tempted to get one!

Thanks.

I'm pretty experienced with a DSLR and comfortable with manual modes and composition etc so just want to be able to take that to the air really! I want to get a different perspective I suppose.
2018-2-14
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TFile
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-2-14 05:26
There are so many things that make up great pictures, is MavAir capable , yes it will need a good photographer, but yes MavAir above Spark, although it’s very hard to knock spark.

Have you got any spark images I could see?
2018-2-14
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hallmark007
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TFile Posted at 2018-2-14 06:30
Have you got any spark images I could see?

Here’s two.
2018-2-14
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TFile
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Nice pics!
2018-2-14
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dji TO88
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These are amazing pictures! Thanks for sharing these Spark has awesome pictures!
2018-2-14
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the0bone
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Please have a lock to this one.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/ ... VJ/view?usp=sharing

Shot today in the morning. Sun was up already
It is the middle expose out of a 3 picture shot.
2018-2-14
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TFile
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the0bone Posted at 2018-2-14 06:42
Please have a lock to this one.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Hnwt880GSR8LjgPk3w0b9CDX1T8CFmVJ/view?usp=sharing

Brilliant, thanks for this!
2018-2-14
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk
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TFile Posted at 2018-2-14 06:30
Have you got any spark images I could see?

Here's some test images you can download

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1X7rlna41kwJR1FGyYEzboNdWEipCv50F

If you go to my Flickr page here https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidhopley/with/37458122541/ look for images taken with DJI FC1102, they're the Spark ones.
2018-2-14
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hallmark007
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dji TO88 Posted at 2018-2-14 06:39
These are amazing pictures! Thanks for sharing these Spark has awesome pictures!

Thank you...
2018-2-14
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TFile
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk Posted at 2018-2-14 06:48
Here's some test images you can download

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1X7rlna41kwJR1FGyYEzboNdWEipCv50F

Great shots, love this.

Can't see any spark ones on flickr though?
2018-2-14
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the0bone
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So if you work with a DSLR and even are firm with manual shots, you should also know about RAW and jpg.
JPG and HD movie were my NoGo for the spark and I'm totally happy to have the air now.

It is the little extra that a RAW picture have. And even if you run them all through a Preset while importing into Lightroom to make the "normal" JPG adjustment. You have the control to change so many things afterwards.

And the DNG that I uploaded there was my 6th picture with the drone Just pulled it out today in the morning. Get it to the air. Took a picture. Land and go to work.
We have sh1tty weather here since weeks. This is the first sunny day. No nice and bright beach. That's the everyday situation and good to judge blown out sky as well dark shadow areas.
2018-2-14
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk
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TFile Posted at 2018-2-14 07:09
Great shots, love this.

Can't see any spark ones on flickr though?

Cheers, These are some of the Spark shots (with red dots on)
2018-2-14
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TFile
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the0bone Posted at 2018-2-14 07:11
So if you work with a DSLR and even are firm with manual shots, you should also know about RAW and jpg.
JPG and HD movie were my NoGo for the spark and I'm totally happy to have the air now.

Absolutely, the RAW images are what I'm looking forward to although JPG can still be great if compression isn't too harsh.

Very interested in the dynamic range as well as how bit I would be able to get them printed etc.
2018-2-14
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TFile
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk Posted at 2018-2-14 07:45
Cheers, These are some of the Spark shots (with red dots on) [view_image]

Great shots!

Being a clearly keen photographer yourself how do you find the images for editing and have you had any spark or mavic (not sure if you have one yet) images printed out in a large format?

2018-2-14
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk
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TFile Posted at 2018-2-14 07:59
Great shots!

Being a clearly keen photographer yourself how do you find the images for editing and have you had any spark or mavic (not sure if you have one yet) images printed out in a large format?

Ta. There are some obvious limitations when processing JPEGS but overall it's ok. Not had a Spark image printed large but I have had a Phantom 3 image at about A1 and it looked good (same 12mp sensor IIRC). I've got a Phantom shot in the LPOTY exhibition, it's the tree in the wheat field on the first shot of my blog here

https://www.drawswithlight.co.uk/blog/2018/1/29/landscape-photographer-of-the-year-2017-winners-evening

If I were you I'd get the Mavic Air though, battery life is better and you have RAW
2018-2-14
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TFile
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk Posted at 2018-2-14 08:24
Ta. There are some obvious limitations when processing JPEGS but overall it's ok. Not had a Spark image printed large but I have had a Phantom 3 image at about A1 and it looked good (same 12mp sensor IIRC). I've got a Phantom shot in the LPOTY exhibition, it's the tree in the wheat field on the first shot of my blog here

https://www.drawswithlight.co.uk/blog/2018/1/29/landscape-photographer-of-the-year-2017-winners-evening

Thanks for your help, I want to make sure I can print to a decent scale, nothing worse for me than having all myshots on a hard drive and when they should be printed!

I think I'll summon the courage to place the order soon so keep an eye out for uploads!!
2018-2-14
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk
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TFile Posted at 2018-2-14 08:28
Thanks for your help, I want to make sure I can print to a decent scale, nothing worse for me than having all myshots on a hard drive and when they should be printed!

I think I'll summon the courage to place the order soon so keep an eye out for uploads!!

Depending on what you're shooting you can always stitch panoramas or top down panoramas to create large MP images.
2018-2-14
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Locationscout_Bavaria
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TFile Posted at 2018-2-14 06:44
Brilliant, thanks for this!

more Spark Pics

https://i.imgur.com/JrExZgD.jpg
2018-2-14
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Folkestone
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk Posted at 2018-2-14 08:37
Depending on what you're shooting you can always stitch panoramas or top down panoramas to create large MP images.

I'd never thought of top down panoramas before. Thanks for the idea!
2018-2-14
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FatherXmas
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You might also consider the Phantom 4 Pro, a little more expensive but has an awesome camera. I'd for sure not get the Spark, not having RAW files is a big disadvantage. I'm also a photographer and have Spark, Mavic Air, Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro. The Phantom 4 Pro takes the best quality photos.
2018-2-14
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Stillshot
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Hello everyone;

I've enjoyed reading this thread and viewing your all's great pics.  I have a Mavic Air on order.  Question, for those of you who also have the MA, what are the optimal settings for extracting still shots/frames from video?  To maximize resolution and quality?  I solely plan on using this drone for obtaining still shots either from pictures for frames/video.  Thanks in advance
2018-7-9
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gnirtS
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Mavic camera is probably 2015 cell phone quality to be fair.  Fixed aperture, manual settings and RAW allowed.  Dynamic range is fairly terrible and ISO noise becomes unusable even at 200 or so at times.  That said, its perfectly possible to get useful saleable images with it but you need to shoot being aware of its limitations (low dynamic range and the noise specifically).  Forget the spark - it doesn't shoot RAW so worthless from a still photography perspective if you want to do anything more than facebook with the end results.
2018-7-9
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gnirtS
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Stillshot Posted at 2018-7-9 09:11
Hello everyone;

I've enjoyed reading this thread and viewing your all's great pics.  I have a Mavic Air on order.  Question, for those of you who also have the MA, what are the optimal settings for extracting still shots/frames from video?  To maximize resolution and quality?  I solely plan on using this drone for obtaining still shots either from pictures for frames/video.  Thanks in advance

You've got 2 factors working against each other doing that.

Video you WANT a slow shutter speed and motion blur to appear smooth.  Stills you want a fast shutterspeed and no motion blur to produce a good image.
You can't have both at the same time (unless the drone and subject are fairly stationary).

If you want a photo, put it in photo mode and take an image in RAW.  If you want video, stick an ND filter on and put it in video mode.
Better yet, if you know you want mainly photos this flight, make sure there isn't an ND filter, possibly add a polariser if needed and fly.  If you want video, ditch the polariser and stick an ND on instead.  Separate flights are the best idea for quality.

Stills from video are (i) going to be a lower resolution than the still image (ii) be a compressed jpg so less detail than a RAW and (iii) have motion blur if the video is smooth or crisp photos but video blur instead.
2018-7-9
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Charissa
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I am doing some photography with a Canon 5diii, landscapes especially. Honestly, the images of the MA does not impress me too much. I do get some images that is ok for me, but the overall image quality, raw included, can not compete with a dslr.
But then again, it was not meant to do so. If u are somewhat nutty about quality, then i would suggest a different drone with more functions.
A ton of noise, even at ISO 100, average dynamic range even in raw. If u just want to shoot some average dynamic range photos from a different angle, yes, it is ok.
If u are out to get the best quality light, time and environment, you could come home with a good shot. Mostly, the images is average at best, compared to DSLR.
2018-7-10
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GDL
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You can’t compare the image quality with tiny sensor MA camera with full frame DSLR. It should be compared with mobile phone camera in the same grade.

Yes, the camera of MA is far away from Cannon. But this camera can fly high. You can also fly to take close photo for object far away. Can the Cannon camera follow you automatically to take video?
2018-7-10
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Stillshot Posted at 2018-7-9 09:11
Hello everyone;

I've enjoyed reading this thread and viewing your all's great pics.  I have a Mavic Air on order.  Question, for those of you who also have the MA, what are the optimal settings for extracting still shots/frames from video?  To maximize resolution and quality?  I solely plan on using this drone for obtaining still shots either from pictures for frames/video.  Thanks in advance

Hello,

as mentioned above, to get best quality pictures, it is adviced to shoot in photo mode not extracting pictures from video file. All the usual procedures of shooting still images apply there (shoot in manual mode, RAW format, use bracketing mode to get widest dynamic range etc.).

However, if you still want to extract pictures from video file, then you have of course few different ways of doing it.

I personally use Photoshop, where I import the given video file, find the exact frame which I want to save and just export the only frame as jpeg. It can be done in few seconds.  
2018-7-10
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A CW
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk Posted at 2018-2-14 07:45
Cheers, These are some of the Spark shots (with red dots on) [view_image]

Fantastic set of stills
2018-7-10
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TheFrenchDrone
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I think that the Mavic Air can take really good pictures but  you had to only shoot in RAW. Here's a bunch of pictures took at very different location and different lights so you can make your own opinion ;) As you can see, the lower is the light level, the higher you get grain
















2018-7-10
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gnirtS
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Unfortunately those just prove a point to an extent - massive amounts of noise, even in relatively good light.  And the images with white are burnt out showing the lack of dynamic range.
You CAN get decent images if you remember the limitations of the camera and operate within those no doubt.  But dont make the mistake of thinking its anything other than a mobile cellphone camera.
2018-7-10
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gnirtS Posted at 2018-7-10 03:22
Unfortunately those just prove a point to an extent - massive amounts of noise, even in relatively good light.  And the images with white are burnt out showing the lack of dynamic range.
You CAN get decent images if you remember the limitations of the camera and operate within those no doubt.  But dont make the mistake of thinking its anything other than a mobile cellphone camera.

Of course but no one says that it has the same quality as an inspire 2 ;)  It's a good camera that you can bring you you everywhere, better than the spark IMO though it depends on your needs. If you want to take good pictures for your social network or share with friends, this drone is great, as the Mavic Pro. If you want to shot for big production or something more professional, the phantom 4 pro is cool and the Inspire 2 a beast ;)
2018-7-10
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gnirtS
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That fair although the MP is capable of money making images but within its limitations.  Ultimately its a poor camera but as 90%+ of people just want a low res jpg snapshot for facebook its fine.
Its portable and easy to take with you.  Provided you are aware of its (big) limitations its fine.  Mine is used daily.
2018-7-10
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GDL
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If you looking for photo quality go for P4P or Inspire 2. MA is not for the big HD photos. It's for easy to carry and cheaper.
2018-7-10
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Stillshot
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gnirtS Posted at 2018-7-9 09:42
Mavic camera is probably 2015 cell phone quality to be fair.  Fixed aperture, manual settings and RAW allowed.  Dynamic range is fairly terrible and ISO noise becomes unusable even at 200 or so at times.  That said, its perfectly possible to get useful saleable images with it but you need to shoot being aware of its limitations (low dynamic range and the noise specifically).  Forget the spark - it doesn't shoot RAW so worthless from a still photography perspective if you want to do anything more than facebook with the end results.

great, thanks a lot gnirtS
2018-7-10
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DrawsWithLight.co.uk
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A CW Posted at 2018-7-10 02:31
Fantastic set of stills

Thank you
2018-7-12
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A CW
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You're welcome     
2018-7-12
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