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4K video could be far away better...
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vincent.zorzi
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France
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Hi,

I'm very happy with this Phantom 3 Pro !

But, not really with the 4K video. That's enough for Youtube, but not good on a 4K monitor: because of a too low bitrate AND of a bad compression engine, the video is not as fluid as it should be.
Here is a video I've made to explain my investigation. Because of the Youtube to high compression, you should download the original file, better than the youtube one:
http://www.lesyeuxouverts.com/DJI-Phantom-3-Pro-Very-bad-video-compression-quality-HQ.zip And sorry for my approximative english... I'm french

Am I alone to find the video 4K is abnormally bad compressed ? Please tell me your point of view about that!







2015-5-27
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bactrimforte
lvl.3

Italy
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I think is a limit of the codec. Maybe with a firmware update DJI could resolve it!
2015-5-27
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Jimw_61
lvl.2

United States
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Age old wisdom; "you get what you pay for"

Phantom 3 - complete flying camera (4K video @ 24 fps)  $1,260.00 USD
Red Epic Dragon - body kit only (6K video @ 100 fps) $13,500.00 USD
2015-5-27
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samrob52
lvl.3

United Kingdom
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Have you tried making the shutter speed double the frame rate in the manual settings. You may need a ND filter to stop over exposure but I found that this stopped my jerky video in 4K
2015-5-27
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dbeck
Second Officer

United States
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Jimw_61 Posted at 2015-5-27 21:07
Age old wisdom; "you get what you pay for"

Phantom 3 - complete flying camera (4K video @ 24 fps)   ...

So True.  Maybe try a Canon 5dMIii or a Sony a7s if you are looking for the highest quality.  Like he says, its a $1300 TOY for goodness sake!!!!
2015-5-27
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mswall
Second Officer
Flight distance : 39695 ft
United States
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Absolutely 100% why I got the P3A. And the 1080/60 looks marvelous.
2015-5-27
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dmwierz
Second Officer
Flight distance : 61427 ft
United States
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I think Jim is right. This is a case of managing your expectations, Vincent.

I own a LOT of camera gear: 7 DSLR's, 8 Canon "L" lenses, etc, worth tens of thousands of dollars. I say this because the Phantom 3 Pro is a complete FVP 4K 24 fps flying camera that costs less than ANY of my lenses, by far.

We'd all love better compression performance, and it may come via a firmware upgrade, or in the Phantom 4 Pro or the Phantom 5 Pro, or a competitor's product...
2015-5-27
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aaron.ferguson
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1641752 ft
United Kingdom
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If I'm right the Inspire 1  has the same 60Mbps bitrate...
2015-5-27
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vincent.zorzi
lvl.4
France
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Well... thanks for your responses.

I do not ask a better lens without chromatic abberation. I do not ask any of noise in low light. I do not ask for 4:4:4 16 bit picture...I just ask a normal h264 codec! This is a very bad codec here: in some circumstances we see the GOP! A 3-year-old iPhone with an equivalent bitrate encodes better than that !!!

About adding an ND filter: lower speed can create motion blur, so smooths the big movements. There, it is precisely the small changes that are poorly encoded, and gives the unpleasant feeling of jolts.

Well ... I'm the only one not find it normal... it's still close to 400 € the 4K option ... for ... a bad encoder.
DJI sould be happy to read your answers.  



2015-5-27
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vincent.zorzi
lvl.4
France
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An another original sample where the whole luminosity is unstable because of the codec (AE is locked) :
http://www.lesyeuxouverts.com/Extrait4KoriginalP3P.zip

And a last small one...
http://www.lesyeuxouverts.com/P3P-Shadows-step-by-step.mp4

2015-5-27
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vincent.zorzi
lvl.4
France
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No more reaction ? Nobody want better picture ? I'm sure it's possible with optimization, and better bitrate, even in beta stage, or experimental mode !
2015-5-29
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vincent.zorzi
lvl.4
France
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I've found a workaround about repetitive flashes : http://digitalanarchy.com/Flicker/main.html . It works well... in waiting better codec (or higher bitrate).

2015-6-3
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isaache
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Spain
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Mmmm, If you want to store the 4K video in a Micro SD card right away, like the P3 does, I would say that going over 60Mbps would limit a lot the SD card manufacturers that would be able to cope with such bitrates in write mode, that may be one of the reasons why DJI decided not to increase the bitrate? Maybe, I don't know, but I would say that nowadays the fastest you would be able to write in to a Micro SD is 80Mbps so I would not expect to see much improvement because 60Mbps equates to 2 Mb per frame (3840x2160p at 30fps) and 80Mbps equates to 2.66Mb per frame.

Isaac
2015-6-3
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john.lambert4
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Australia
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isaache Posted at 2015-6-4 04:52
Mmmm, If you want to store the 4K video in a Micro SD card right away, like the P3 does, I would say ...

That's probably correct in what you're saying - as I have a 4K semi-pro video camera that shoots at 60fps at 150Mbps.  I can't use any SD cards in this camera, must use Sony's XQD cards which are VERY expensive to handle the high bitrates.
2015-6-3
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vincent.zorzi
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France
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Lexar is selling 150MB/s micro SD card. Perhaps, DJI could add a "experimental" mode at 100MB/s ?

But they also can fix the flashing bug : the codec shouldn't do that. Even low bitrate codec don't change light each GOP.
EDIT: Oh! I made mistake about MBps and Mbps !

Phantom 3 Pro 4K bitrate is 60Mbps, or 7.5MBps.
GH4 higest bitrate is 200Mbps, or 25MBps.

Original Lexar with Phantom write speed is 25MB/s (link)


So, a expreriment mode at 100Mbps, or 12.5MBps should work well on this micro sd card !


DJI ???
2015-6-3
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isaache
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Spain
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Hi Vincent,

I'm sorry but I will have to disagree on Lexar's MicroSD card transfer, this is the footnote on their transfer statement "1Up to 150MB/s read transfer, write speeds lower. Speeds based on internal testing. Actual performance may vary. x=150KB/s"
Regarding the Codec, to be honest I'm no expert so I don't really have an opinion.

Isaac
2015-6-3
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john.lambert4
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Australia
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vincent.zorzi Posted at 2015-6-4 05:03
Lexar is selling 150MB/s micro SD card. Perhaps, DJI could add a "experimental" mode at 100MB/s ?

B ...

Are these Lexar cards expensive though?  I know my Blackvue dash cam suffers from the compression artifacts quite badly especially when there's a lot of detail in view (trees, etc.), even after they released a firmware update to increase the bitrate - although it did improve it somewhat.  

I too would like to see DJI release a firmware update to at least allow us to have the option of a higher bitrate, even if it means requiring a faster memory card.
2015-6-3
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vincent.zorzi
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France
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Oh! Good news! I made mistake about MBps and Mbps !

Phantom 3 Pro 4K bitrate is 60Mbps, or 7.5MBps.
GH4 higest bitrate is 200Mbps, or 25MBps.

Original Lexar with Phantom write speed is 25MB/s (link of and older 600x lexar test)


So, a experiment mode at 100Mbps, or 12.5MBps should work well on this micro sd card !


DJI ???
2015-6-3
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robcrain
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United States
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vincent.zorzi Posted at 2015-6-4 05:19
Oh! Good news! I made mistake about MBps and Mbps !

Phantom 3 Pro 4K bitrate is 60Mbps, or 7.5MBps. ...

I would love an experimental mode like Vincent suggested!
2015-6-3
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suqsid.bobmail
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United States
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vincent.zorzi Posted at 2015-6-4 05:19
Oh! Good news! I made mistake about MBps and Mbps !

Phantom 3 Pro 4K bitrate is 60Mbps, or 7.5MBps. ...

The encoder chip they are using is the TI DM386.

They already have it maxed out.
2015-6-3
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john.lambert4
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Australia
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suqsid.bobmail Posted at 2015-6-4 08:28
The encoder chip they are using is the TI DM386.

They already have it maxed out.

Well that does suck then!  

Nevertheless I'm personally still very happy with the video quality, given what it is and what it's designed for.  It's not exactly a $13k professional video camera is it!  And when you think about it, 4K video is still quite in it's infancy really.  Cameras will always get better and better as time goes on.
2015-6-3
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vincent.zorzi
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France
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suqsid.bobmail Posted at 2015-6-4 08:28
The encoder chip they are using is the TI DM386.

They already have it maxed out.

How do you know they already have it maxed out ?

But If you're right, ok, the only solution is a experimental mode at 100Mbps.

And, as I said before, I don't ask for a 13k$ camera......... Yes it is a sensor with lilt noise even at 100 ISO. Yes there is chromatic aberration. Yes it's not 4:4:4 12bits. I know........ The problem is only about compression, ans it should be at this range of price (P3 and Inspire).

Where/who to ask for a 100Mbps experimental mode?
2015-6-3
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jon.godfrey
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United Kingdom
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Customer expectation is a funny thing…. 2 years ago, flying wings and $15k… 12 months ago Inspire and $4k … 12 weeks ago P3P and $1.3k….
…and we are upset with DJI???

maxing out the TI DM386 is not a bad thing.  It's giving us the most power for the least dollar.  You have to design to a price.
2015-6-3
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MacNimation
lvl.2

France
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Comparing a 4K Phantom 3 sensor to a Red 4k sensor is chalk and cheese. Bottom line is pixel count does not mean better quality.

The sensor on a 14 MP compact camera is about half the size of the nail or your little finger. A 14 MP sensor on a DSLR is about 20 times bigger, which would you prefer?

Packing that many pixels into a tiny sensor means noise, and lots of it, so compression is required to"fake" it.
I have compared the 4K footage to a Red 4K Clip of the same scene and they are nothing alike.

The best thing is to shoot in 4k and convert to 1080p for clean footage.
2015-6-4
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MacNimation
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France
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john.lambert4@o Posted at 2015-6-4 11:22
Well that does suck then!  

Nevertheless I'm personally still very happy with the video qu ...

4K Cameras have been around a while now, 8K cameras are now coming in......
2015-6-4
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kenmasters
lvl.2

Canada
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I find the 4K to be acceptable.  I'm no video guru but the stuff I've seen the P3P can do is actually amazing.   To the original poster:  perhaps your camera is faulty?    The lexar card that was included seems to be OK on write speeds as the saved file appears stream at 50-55Mbps on average -- which is higher than what the card is rated for.    I am getting some Sandisk Extreme Plus cards soon, which are rated even higher than the Lexars.   I'll probably run some tests to see if there are any differences between the two cards.    There are not many consumer grade 4K cameras on the market to compare it with.  
2015-6-4
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Oliver
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United Kingdom
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Hi Vincent,

It seems like you and I are the only ones to complain about this issue (remember me from my thread on the same subject http://forum.dji.com/thread-17170-1-1.html)
The funny thing is that I don't see the demo footage by DJI show this effect:
Then again, they're not shooting grass and trees like we are

I have done some more experiments since last time we spoke. Here's what I've discovered:
- Shooting in 1080p completely eliminates the flickering. That would explain why we don't see the effect more often, because lots of people work with 1080p (and of course Advanced users are stuck with it). I only had the chance to test 1080P @ 50FPS so this doesn't rule out the possibility that 24FPS is the cause of the issue.
- The effect is noticeable when very bright colors are in the shot. Like in my video in the thread I linked above, your video (Extrait4KoriginalP3P.zip) has a lot of grass/trees in the shot, and we both see the same problem.
- Shooting grass and trees seems to be a big problem. I noticed that shooting concrete etc. seems to be a bit more stable.
- I cannot replicate the problem by simply holding the Phantom 3 and shooting with it.  I haven't looked in to this one very much, but it seems that the problem only happens when the Phantom is flying. Are you able to confirm this with your very nice weather over there? We only have cloud here in the UK now so I can't check! Maybe try shooting some footage by holding it off the ground and see if the same problem happens.
- If the Phantom is moving while shooting, then the problem is reduced but not eliminated. This does indeed point to a codec issue.

Still, I wonder if this is a problem that only a few of us have, or if it is a problem inherent with ALL Phantom 3 cameras?

Thanks, good luck!
2015-6-10
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bvinisky
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United States
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Oliver Posted at 2015-6-11 04:13
Hi Vincent,

It seems like you and I are the only ones to complain about this issue  (remember me  ...

There have been a lot of conversations about the compression issue in the Inspire 1 forum:

http://forum.dji.com/thread-7365-1-1.html
http://forum.dji.com/thread-17102-1-1.html
http://forum.dji.com/thread-9122-1-1.html
http://forum.dji.com/thread-19603-1-1.html
2015-6-10
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Oliver
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bvinisky@gmail. Posted at 2015-6-11 09:41
There have been a lot of conversations about the compression issue in the Inspire 1 forum:

http:/ ...

Thanks for these, looks like we're not alone!
So you're suggesting that the flicker/pulsing effect is a compression issue?
2015-6-10
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vincent.zorzi
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France
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When you see the time DJI takes to fix the bug that affects Android tablets since the 1.1.9 firmware... DJI will never improve this problem CODEC.

DJI does not listen to its user. It's a fact. And it has to be said.

My solution is to use this plugin: http://www.digitalanarchy.com/Flicker/main.html

2015-6-11
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bvinisky
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Oliver Posted at 2015-6-11 10:19
Thanks for these, looks like we're not alone!
So you're suggesting that the flicker/pulsing effect  ...

Yes, mainly wanted to point out that you're definitely not alone. I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that one of the potential causes of the flicker is the cyclic movement between the poorly compressed frames that are heavy with artifacts and the cleaner key frame, which creates a visual snap or jump over and over. This affect is more obvious when the subject is heavy on detail, such as trees or grass. There's a great post in here that explains the affect:
http://forum.dji.com/thread-15537-1-1.html
2015-6-12
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hundleton1
Captain
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i was looking at this my self last night regarding the noise in 4k footage, i filmed on the beach and cropped the 4k to 1080 in FCPX in a 1080p timeline and i have a lot of artifices and noise especially on the sand and water, i was expecting more tbh but i could be expecting to much of 4K,

below is the clip uploaded to youtube, i have doubled each clip, the first is 4k placed in a 1080 timeline with spacial confirm set to fit, the second is the 4K clip with spacial conform set to non and just framed so its cropped to 1080p directly.

2015-6-12
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Oliver
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bvinisky@gmail. Posted at 2015-6-12 22:28
Yes, mainly wanted to point out that you're definitely not alone. I'm not an expert, but my unders ...

Thanks so much - that post was extremely insightful. I shoot mostly grass and trees at an altitude which permits lots of detail, which would explain why I see it in most of my footage and not footage from other people.

I experimented by shooting 4K looking at something boring, like a car park, and noticed that the flickering stopped. Panning up to trees and grass, the flickering started again.

I'll simply have to learn to live with it I suppose, but that's a lot easier to do when I know I don't have a faulty unit.

Thanks again for putting my mind at ease.
2015-6-12
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Daninho
Second Officer

Germany
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i dont think its possible to give 100mbit data rate, i think the hardware is just to slow, the image processor. They are using the same sensor and image Processor from gopro cameras and gopro4 has the same 60mbit datarate at 4K. But what they could do is offer a 2.7K mode with 60mbit datarate for the pro models. I think for most ppl 2.7K is enough for converting into 1080P, it gives enough extra "flesh" for cutting, stabilizing etc..  in your video editing software. So a 2.7K mode must be possible with this hardware and 2.7K 60mbit will look pretty good.
2015-6-12
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pianist
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Flight distance : 37956 ft
Denmark
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Try to decrease contrast, saturation and especially sharpness. It seems the codec won't struggle so much when the image is softer. Then bring back contrast, and sharpness in post. I almost never see any 4K artifacts since I went with this workflow.
2015-6-12
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Rinus
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Hi vincent.zorzi ,

I have made a little video to see if my Phantom 3 has the same problem. I have shot in 4K. And downsample the video to 1080P in edius 7.5. The problem that i see in your video is not in mine video. If i scroll on the timeline frame by frame i can not see the problem. The video is clean, clear en sharp.

If have a link to a short clip so you can see yourself.
Click here for the short video clip

It was my first flight with this Phantom, nothing special, but want to make sure the video is ok. Maybe its your Phantom...

2015-6-14
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martin.tvmedia
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Flight distance : 148986 ft
New Zealand
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Rinus Posted at 2015-6-15 02:57
Hi vincent.zorzi ,

I have made a little video to see if my Phantom 3 has the same problem. I have s ...

Rinus, I really don't see how you think that your example is clean imagery. At the start, which is the only time the aircraft is moving, the compression artifacts that we are all talking about are very visible. Even when your drone is hovering, just look at the corrugated iron roof. It sparkles !
At the end of the day, I believe that most of us who have noticed these problems will probably have to live with them. Like someone said "It ain't a $15K camera" and "you get what you pay for". The best fix right now, is to shoot in manual mode, set it to LOG and have the sharpness down to -1 or -2. The H.264 codec that DJI have opted to use can not cope with fine detail, thats for sure. But you know  on somedays the footage looks better than on others. Don't forget to keep that shutter speed tamed by using some good ND filters.
2015-6-14
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vincent.zorzi
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France
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@Rinus : I've watched your video. The problem is visible in this part of the image. Ok, a small part... even if the reste is a little bit touch by the bug too.

Sometimes, it's almost the whole image !

I can see also small jello, and strange horizontal bug in the gimbal a the end ?

2015-6-15
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Oliver
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United Kingdom
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Rinus Posted at 2015-6-15 02:57
Hi vincent.zorzi ,

I have made a little video to see if my Phantom 3 has the same problem. I have s ...

Looks better than the one Vincent posted but I think that is because the lighting conditions are dimmer in your video and so it's not as noticeable.
But, the "flickering"/"pulsing" is definitely there in yours too.
2015-6-15
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vincent.zorzi
lvl.4
France
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Here is the image processor of the P3 : Ambarella A9 simplified data sheet : http://www.ambarella.com/uploads/docs/A9%20Product%20Brief.pdf. Lot of possibility! But where to found the whole data sheet with bitrates possibility etc ?...
We only learn that :

Video Encoding
° H.264 codec BP/MP/HP Level 5.1 and MJPEG° Ultra HD 4K encode performance
° 1080p120, 720p240 modes
° Low bitrate/high quality encoding
° On-the-fly change of multiple encoding parameters° Flexible GOP configuration
° Multiple CBR and VBR rate control modes

You can see it in the opened P3 camera : http://www.toptoyspace.com/2015/05/14/disassembling-the-dji-phantom-3-video-camera/


2015-6-16
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