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Spherical and 180° panos wildly different
1510 29 2018-3-13
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Speleo-flyer
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[size=14.6667px]As others have reported, the spherical pano mode often (always?) gives wildly over-exposed results. I carried out a number of experiments today, and the result was that I found similarly bad results -- but the other pano modes work as expected.

[size=14.6667px]Further, single frames taken of the same subject in the two pano modes show very similar shutter speeds; both entirely plausible and consistent with the exposures for single-shot photos of the same subject from the same position -- however the results (examples and details below) show that the frame from the spherical pano is seriously overexposed and quite unusable.

[size=14.6667px]What's the best way to report this and have it improved? I want to use spherical panos to ensure I have a record of the drone's position at the start of a flight so I can later confirm the position of single shots, etc. I'm not looking for 'photographic art', simply a record of the environs.

[size=14.6667px]-----
[size=14.6667px]The two photos are attached (both ISO100); the frame from the spherical pano (the lighter one...) reports "1/1026 sec, EV 0.34" and the one from the 180° pano "1/800 sec, EV 0".





spherical frame

spherical frame

180° frame

180° frame
2018-3-13
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DJI Thor
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Hi there, this is because the EV for the Sphere mode is based on the first capture, and usually the first capture could be in a high EV. So when shooting the 360° pano, please try to set the proper EV according to the practical environment.
2018-3-14
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Jos A
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set ev +0.7 into sun, so you can adjust afterwards the dark parts.Also dji go first photo is to the ground, litchi first foto is horizontal. I hope DJI go changed that also .
2018-3-14
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Cameleon
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Jos A Posted at 2018-3-14 02:01
set ev +0.7 into sun, so you can adjust afterwards the dark parts.Also dji go first photo is to the ground, litchi first foto is horizontal. I hope DJI go changed that also .

I can see how photo of the floor will cause this issue. Very often it will be significantly darker than the rest of the shot so setting EV based on that shot is not great. Better take the EV from a horizontal and then point down if they still want first shot to be down.
2018-3-14
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Cameleon
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Jos A Posted at 2018-3-14 02:01
set ev +0.7 into sun, so you can adjust afterwards the dark parts.Also dji go first photo is to the ground, litchi first foto is horizontal. I hope DJI go changed that also .

I can see how photo of the floor will cause this issue. Very often it will be significantly darker than the rest of the shot so setting EV based on that shot is not great. Better take the EV from a horizontal and then point down if they still want first shot to be down.
2018-3-14
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QuadKid
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You are best to use manual mode when taking any type of Pano, set the camera settings to the best settings for the environment. The Histogram is your best friend.
2018-3-14
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Speleo-flyer
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DJI Thor Posted at 2018-3-14 01:37
Hi there, this is because the EV for the Sphere mode is based on the first capture, and usually the first capture could be in a high EV. So when shooting the 360° pano, please try to set the proper EV according to the practical environment.

Thanks.  However, according to the EXIF information in the JPG, the EV was 0.34 .. but as you can see, the scene is considerably more that a third of a stop overexposed.    Further, the first-captured frame (downwards to a well-lit grass field) is also grossly over-exposed.  I can upload it if you like.

But that's probably not relevant .. the JPGs both report essentially the same shutter speed -- but the results are wildly different.
2018-3-14
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Speleo-flyer
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Cameleon Posted at 2018-3-14 02:51
I can see how photo of the floor will cause this issue. Very often it will be significantly darker than the rest of the shot so setting EV based on that shot is not great. Better take the EV from a horizontal and then point down if they still want first shot to be down.

Looking at individual shots I took during the same flight from the same position (within minutes of the panos I tried, the straight-down shot auto-exposure was 1/200 sec, middle horizontal 1/400, and top frame 1/700 approx -- so about 2 stops  range.   This is confirmed by the Horiz and 180 panos I took, which came out fine.

If the Spherical pano exposure was based on the first, straight down, photo then that photo at least should be correctly exposed.  But it's not; it is just as over-exposed as the photo I posted above.
2018-3-14
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DJI Thor
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Speleo-flyer Posted at 2018-3-14 03:20
Thanks.  However, according to the EXIF information in the JPG, the EV was 0.34 .. but as you can see, the scene is considerably more that a third of a stop overexposed.    Further, the first-captured frame (downwards to a well-lit grass field) is also grossly over-exposed.  I can upload it if you like.

But that's probably not relevant .. the JPGs both report essentially the same shutter speed -- but the results are wildly different.

Good, please provide me with the original pictures on the drone, I will help to check.
2018-3-16
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Speleo-flyer
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DJI Thor Posted at 2018-3-16 03:23
Good, please provide me with the original pictures on the drone, I will help to check.

OK, thanks.   I've put two PANORAMA folders in a zip and put it on my website, at:~

  Spherical and 180 panoramas

The -0103 set is the spherical pano and the -0112 is the 180 pano.   Both were taken on the same flight from the same hover/position, a few minutes apart.   (Location: Warwick Racecourse.)
2018-3-16
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A CW
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I always set my camera manually before taking any stills - especially pano’s
2018-3-16
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Speleo-flyer
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A CW Posted at 2018-3-16 04:00
I always set my camera manually before taking any stills - especially pano’s

That's not the issue, here.  I'm taking the spherical panos 'for the record' and for context/location, not for taking beautiful pictures.  So perfect results are not required.  But the exposure needs to be roughly right, which is not the case with the current firmware (take a look, again, at the samples in my original post, or the original images linked from my last post).  :-)
2018-3-16
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Speleo-flyer
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DJI Thor Posted at 2018-3-16 03:23
Good, please provide me with the original pictures on the drone, I will help to check.

Hi .. did the original pictures help?
2018-3-22
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IceBox-Murdock
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Hi! It is also my problem with sphere pano. I set it to auto because manual setting would result into either overexposure or underexposure.
2018-3-22
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Speleo-flyer
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IceBox-Murdock Posted at 2018-3-22 10:37
Hi! It is also my problem with sphere pano. I set it to auto because manual setting would result into either overexposure or underexposure.

I did a series of new tests today; confirmed the best results for the spherical pano were with auto exposure and a EV of -2.   For the 180° pano auto with EV=0 came out best.

Manual (fixed shutter speed) didn't give as good results as  it was a sunny contrasty day.
2018-3-26
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Speleo-flyer
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Speleo-flyer Posted at 2018-3-26 07:29
I did a series of new tests today; confirmed the best results for the spherical pano were with auto exposure and a EV of -2.   For the 180° pano auto with EV=0 came out best.

Manual (fixed shutter speed) didn't give as good results as  it was a sunny contrasty day.

And I made lots of errors by forgetting to switch the EV back and forth between -2 and 0 for spherical pano and all other panos/stills respectively.    :-((
2018-3-26
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IceBox-Murdock
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Speleo-flyer Posted at 2018-3-26 07:29
I did a series of new tests today; confirmed the best results for the spherical pano were with auto exposure and a EV of -2.   For the 180° pano auto with EV=0 came out best.

Manual (fixed shutter speed) didn't give as good results as  it was a sunny contrasty day.

Thanks for the tips!
2018-3-26
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DJI Thor
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Speleo-flyer Posted at 2018-3-26 07:29
I did a series of new tests today; confirmed the best results for the spherical pano were with auto exposure and a EV of -2.   For the 180° pano auto with EV=0 came out best.

Manual (fixed shutter speed) didn't give as good results as  it was a sunny contrasty day.

Hi there, sorry for the late reply and thank you for your update. So the issue has been optimized by adjusting the exposure value, right?
2018-3-28
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Speleo-flyer
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DJI Thor Posted at 2018-3-28 22:50
Hi there, sorry for the late reply and thank you for your update. So the issue has been optimized by adjusting the exposure value, right?

I have a work-around, but it means adjusting the EV (by two stops!) every time I take a pano and change between 180 and spherical, or to take a still photo.  And it's really difficult and error-prone to remember to do that every time.

So the issue remains: automatic exposure is 'broken' for spherical panos.   It works very well indeed for the other three types of pano or for stills and videos.

I really would like to have this fixed by May when I shall be travelling and making very heavy use of the Mavic...
2018-3-28
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SanDiegoAir
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Speleo-flyer Posted at 2018-3-28 23:31
I have a work-around, but it means adjusting the EV (by two stops!) every time I take a pano and change between 180 and spherical, or to take a still photo.  And it's really difficult and error-prone to remember to do that every time.

So the issue remains: automatic exposure is 'broken' for spherical panos.   It works very well indeed for the other three types of pano or for stills and videos.

I've also done a lot of testing of this and found that the 360 PANO mode always grossly overexposes every shot by 2 or 3 full stops, making it useless even as a RAW file.  I've posted about this here, but DJI doesn't seem to care.

The best you can do it manually set exposure and do 2 separate 360 runs -- one mildly underexposed, and one greatly underexposed and then mix/match so you get a working set.
2018-4-4
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Speleo-flyer
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SanDiegoAir Posted at 2018-4-4 01:06
I've also done a lot of testing of this and found that the 360 PANO mode always grossly overexposes every shot by 2 or 3 full stops, making it useless even as a RAW file.  I've posted about this here, but DJI doesn't seem to care.

The best you can do it manually set exposure and do 2 separate 360 runs -- one mildly underexposed, and one greatly underexposed and then mix/match so you get a working set.

Yes, it's 'take pictures and hope', because it's only after landing and uploading from the SD card can one find out if you have a usable result :-(.
2018-4-4
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mlamb
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I have found its best it use manual mode for panos anyway.  Just point the camera at your main subject, use the histogram to get the exposure right, then recompose and take the pano.  If you allow the exposure to vary between shots, you may see the seams more when you stitch it together.  I had a weird shadow area in one of my panos once, and I'm like where did that come from?  I checked the individual photos and saw that it was caused by the exposure changing from shot to shot.
  Its not a bad ideal in general either to use manual focus either for panos, that way it stays locked in and you are assurred your subject will be sharp.

2018-4-4
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Speleo-flyer
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mlamb Posted at 2018-4-4 05:08
I have found its best it use manual mode for panos anyway.  Just point the camera at your main subject, use the histogram to get the exposure right, then recompose and take the pano.  If you allow the exposure to vary between shots, you may see the seams more when you stitch it together.  I had a weird shadow area in one of my panos once, and I'm like where did that come from?  I checked the individual photos and saw that it was caused by the exposure changing from shot to shot.
  Its not a bad ideal in general either to use manual focus either for panos, that way it stays locked in and you are assurred your subject will be sharp.

Thanks, but that's not a very useful suggestion -- yes, of course that's best for a 'photographic' pano, but as I explained earlier, this is for establishing the environs of the flight -- I simply want a 360 look-around and I want to take that as fast as possible at the start of each flight (and after moving to a new position during the flight).  Any time spent fiddling with manual controls is reducing flight time.

And given that the first shot of the pano is directly downwards, that is indeed the 'main subject' for establishing the drone's position, so auto-exposure should be fine.   But it's overexposed by 2-3 stops.  Unfortunately you cannot tell that until downloading the SD card after the flight -- which is a bit too late.   
2018-4-4
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mlamb
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Good luck!
2018-4-4
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Tadango
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Just lock the exposure on the part you want to look the best. I have it on a button. Spheres are great
2018-4-4
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maurom82
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Tadango Posted at 2018-4-4 12:49
Just lock the exposure on the part you want to look the best. I have it on a button. Spheres are great

can you please explain me better how to do that? I'm very interested on it..
2018-4-4
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Tadango
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maurom82 Posted at 2018-4-4 13:43
can you please explain me better how to do that? I'm very interested on it..

I have configured the user button on the back of the remote to lock the exposure. When I want to take a panorama I look around look for an average lighted item, or something I want to look the best in the pano. Then I press the button and the exposure locks. I can now point the camera at the "center" of the image and start the capture. The exposure is now correct for the item / part of the image I find the most important and is not based on the first image. This works great with panorama's that start facing the sun ect.

I lock the exposure often when taken a shot to have consistent exposure. Auto still does all the work for me
2018-4-5
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maurom82
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Tadango Posted at 2018-4-5 06:02
I have configured the user button on the back of the remote to lock the exposure. When I want to take a panorama I look around look for an average lighted item, or something I want to look the best in the pano. Then I press the button and the exposure locks. I can now point the camera at the "center" of the image and start the capture. The exposure is now correct for the item / part of the image I find the most important and is not based on the first image. This works great with panorama's that start facing the sun ect.

I lock the exposure often when taken a shot to have consistent exposure. Auto still does all the work for me

thanks a lot for your explanation, very kind. I will try this trick. thanks again!!!
2018-4-5
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Speleo-flyer
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maurom82 Posted at 2018-4-5 13:59
thanks a lot for your explanation, very kind. I will try this trick. thanks again!!!

I have recently discovered that most of the problem can be avoided by pointing the camera straight down (using the 5D 'up' button) before starting the panorama.  This seems to help stop the Mavic over-compensating for that first photo.
2018-9-18
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Speleo-flyer
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Speleo-flyer Posted at 2018-9-18 05:03
I have recently discovered that most of the problem can be avoided by pointing the camera straight down (using the 5D 'up' button) before starting the panorama.  This seems to help stop the Mavic over-compensating for that first photo.

Sadly, this has still not been fixed in the latest firmware update (.0500).     Anyone know if a fix is planned?

It is becoming more and more of an issue:  manually setting exposure compensation before every panorama shot and then resetting before stills or videos really eats into flight times -- and is extremely error-prone ....
2018-10-10
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