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Video quality is poor when not tarvelling in a straight line
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Dirjampa
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Hi there everybody,

I could use some guidance/advice. I've just bought a DJI Mini 2. As a photographer, I wanted to get in the air and get those shots that you all have been shooting for some time. However, as per the subject, the quality from my new DJI Mini 2 is not good.

Regardless of the drone speed, if the drone is travelling in a straight line, the image is ok. As soon as the drone begins to yaw, or the camera is tilted, the image quality drops. when the camera is in the fully tilted down position, and the drone is travelling (in all 3 speed modes), the image is so blurred I cant watch it without feeling sick.

No matter what setting I try, whether AUTO or MAN, the quality is very low.

At first I thought it was a play back issue, and tried rerendering through Adobe PR, but as you might expect, that makes no difference.

I am playing back on a 4K screen, with 32Gb of RAM on a Dell Alien, so its not a post processing issue. Using an iPhone 11 PM and a SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card.

If anybody can shed some light, it would be greatly appreciated.  Either my IQ has suddenly dropped, which I can handle, or there is an issue with this new drone.

I've uploaded a quick snippet here:
https://youtu.be/dFSWswf-6gc

Also, for some reason, and its repeatable, the last video from every session, is corrupt. I've got Gigs of footage I cant open..... Is this a thing?

Thanks folks.

D

4-11 14:02
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SuperWinnieperruna
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Use 2'7k 60fps, its what I use, in my experience the quality is pretty better, it wont be 4k, but movements are softer than 30fps When moving horizontal
4-11 14:07
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Dirjampa
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SuperWinnieperruna Posted at 4-11 14:07
Use 2'7k 60fps, its what I use, in my experience the quality is pretty better, it wont be 4k, but movements are softer than 30fps When moving horizontal

Thanks for the feedback, but I've tried all frame rates, and its always the same. The footage is un usable...
4-11 14:14
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CemAygun
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Make sure you stop video recording via the app/controller before turning the aircraft off. If you simply turn the aircraft off while recording, the last file being recorded (which might be as big as 4 gigs as at that is the file size limit) gets corrupted.
4-11 14:51
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Labroides
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Avoid high speed motion so close to your subject.
That's never going to video well.

Also, for some reason, and its repeatable, the last video from every session, is corrupt. I've got Gigs of footage I cant open..... Is this a thing?
Your videos aren't corrupt.
You have to close the video operation before switching off the drone.
If you still have any on the SD cards you might be able to end the video files by putting the card back in the drone and powering it on.
4-11 15:11
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ozoffi
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1.) Use 2k7 50 or 60 FPS
2.) Manually with ISO 100 and a little brighter than the automatic setting would select, so that * can * minimize digital noise
3.) Move much more slowly when panning and pointing the camera at the ground - especially when the drone is so close to the ground.

Otherwise buy another drone with a better camera.

When the recording is finished - switch off the drone a few seconds LATER or simply take a photo - then the video will also be saved correctly.
4-12 02:18
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Dirjampa
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CemAygun Posted at 4-11 14:51
Make sure you stop video recording via the app/controller before turning the aircraft off. If you simply turn the aircraft off while recording, the last file being recorded (which might be as big as 4 gigs as at that is the file size limit) gets corrupted.

Thanks for the advice, but the aircraft is always the last thing that I turn off. I dont think I've ever turned it off while the camera was been recording.
4-12 02:37
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Dirjampa
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Labroides Posted at 4-11 15:11
Avoid high speed motion so close to your subject.
That's never going to video well.

Thanks for the response. What do you consider high speed? The clip is at CINE speed at around 80 foot off the ground....

As for the files, the drone has never been turned off before I stopped recording. I may well have turned off the drone prior to closing the app however, but if that is the cause of unreadable files, then thats a SW bug. The file should be closed at the end of recording, not when the app is closed...

Thanks
4-12 02:44
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Dirjampa
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ozoffi Posted at 4-12 02:18
1.) Use 2k7 50 or 60 FPS
2.) Manually with ISO 100 and a little brighter than the automatic setting would select, so that * can * minimize digital noise
3.) Move much more slowly when panning and pointing the camera at the ground - especially when the drone is so close to the ground.

Thanks for your reply, its much appreciated. There seems to be a common theme running here which is starting to sound like the Mini 2 is glitchy and the Auto camera mode, cant cope with normal operation.

I'll keep testing the drone, at all speeds as you suggest, but if it cant capture crisp images, in CINE mode, unless the camera is pointed straight ahead, then I've utterly misunderstood the reviews and perhaps I bought the wrong drone after all.

Thanks for the thoughts.
4-12 02:51
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Labroides
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Dirjampa Posted at 4-12 02:44
Thanks for the response. What do you consider high speed? The clip is at CINE speed at around 80 foot off the ground....

As for the files, the drone has never been turned off before I stopped recording. I may well have turned off the drone prior to closing the app however, but if that is the cause of unreadable files, then thats a SW bug. The file should be closed at the end of recording, not when the app is closed...

What do you consider high speed?

Any speed that has the image moving so fast in the frame.

As for the files, the drone has never been turned off before I stopped recording. I may well have turned off the drone prior to closing the app however, but if that is the cause of unreadable files, then thats a SW bug.
There's no software bug.
DJI cameras are very reliable and work well.
But every week there are people in forums complaining that their video files are "corrupted".
And it always turns out that they aren't at all.
The problem is switching the drone off without stopping he camera.
Maybe your issue is different (but it probably isn't).

Do some desktop testing with a bunch of 15 second clips and see if you can replicate it.
4-12 03:16
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ozoffi
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In principle, because of the very small CCD chip, the Mini2's camera can only take good (only good, not outstanding) pictures in really good lighting conditions. The higher the details, the darker the objects (even with a lot of light) and the faster the movement, the more digital noise can be seen.
The jerking can only be eliminated by either slow movements or higher frame rates (50/60 instead of 25/30).

Some professionals think you can do all of this with an ND filter (= less light = longer exposure with the same ISO value = motion blur that "covers" both the jerking and the digital noise - but imho, the cause is not eliminated ...) to solve.

If you want recordings that meet the highest requirements, you will also have to use the necessary equipment or adapt to the existing equipment and make compromises.

By the way, CINE mode, normal mode or sport mode mainly influences the speed when turning around its own axis or when moving the camera up / down over the gimbal.
Little to hardly noticeable in flight speed!

The movement of the gimbal can and should also be adjusted via the APP! When shooting with 4k30 in cine mode, I recommend a rotation speed of 6-8 degrees per second.
For 2k7 50/60 FPS 12-20 degrees / second.
4-12 03:54
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Dirjampa
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Labroides Posted at 4-12 03:16
What do you consider high speed?
Any speed that has the image moving so fast in the frame.

Well it seems I need to alter my expectations significantly, although it is interesting to know that the speed that the drone was travelling in my video clip, you consider to be too fast for clear recording.

If youre right, then nothing faster than 2 m/s at a distance of roughly 60 to 80 foot, even in well lit conditions, with a stable camera, will provide decent footage. I'll start recording some speed vs quality tests, to get a more accurate picture. If there is an objective measurement of camera speed vs quality , for different camera settings (given optimum light), it would be good to know.  

As for the files not playing, the error code that MS puts out, suggesting the file may be corrupt is: 0xc00d36c4. I'll run some tests, maybe youre right, we will see.

4-12 07:50
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Dirjampa
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ozoffi Posted at 4-12 03:54
In principle, because of the very small CCD chip, the Mini2's camera can only take good (only good, not outstanding) pictures in really good lighting conditions. The higher the details, the darker the objects (even with a lot of light) and the faster the movement, the more digital noise can be seen.
The jerking can only be eliminated by either slow movements or higher frame rates (50/60 instead of 25/30).

Thanks, I'll start playing with gimbal settings. I hadnt considered changing the defaults with respect to the image size and frame rate.
4-12 07:56
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ozoffi
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You will find a lot of good tips, but in the end you have to try for yourself what brings the best result for you!
4-12 08:41
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SuperWinnieperruna
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did you try a secondary sdcard? it wouldnt be strange about your purchased a false one...you know...chinese tricks
4-12 09:04
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Mats Bohlinsson
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Is the clip straight out of the camera? To me it looks like bad framerate conversion. Check your timeline has the correct fps.

I've also have some problems with the last clip for some reason. Funny enough it plays on my linux, but not windows. :-/
4-12 10:25
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CemAygun
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Dirjampa Posted at 4-12 02:37
Thanks for the advice, but the aircraft is always the last thing that I turn off. I dont think I've ever turned it off while the camera was been recording.

You're welcome. Ah I see, you might have a different problem then. I never had a corrupt video as long as I had stopped recording properly.

By the way drone keeps recording regardless of the controller or app availability.  Even after shutting everything (but the drone) off, you can actually turn the controller back on, re-launch the app and connect to the drone again to stop the recording. I believe this is on purpose, to keep things running in case of a signal loss. But it is also the root cause of the corrupt videos if you power the drone down...

4-12 12:19
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Dirjampa
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SuperWinnieperruna Posted at 4-12 09:04
did you try a secondary sdcard? it wouldnt be strange about your purchased a false one...you know...chinese tricks

Not tried a secondary yet. Interesting results yesterday though. I may have to concede that I might have turned off the drone before the camera stopped recording becasue the number of files that wont open has reduced significantly.....but not to zero.

Still experimenting, but its a bugger that I may have lost so much footage becasue I turned the drone off first. I dont see why hitting the off button on the drone cant trigger the same line of code that hitting the stop record button does to close the file.

Thanks for the feedback anyway, much appreciated.

D
4-13 00:03
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Dirjampa
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Mats Bohlinsson Posted at 4-12 10:25
Is the clip straight out of the camera? To me it looks like bad framerate conversion. Check your timeline has the correct fps.

I've also have some problems with the last clip for some reason. Funny enough it plays on my linux, but not windows. :-/

It is, straight out, from file explorer to youtube. Nice idea though, but I can see the blurred footage in the phone while im trying. The clarity only comes back a fraction of a second before the drone stops moving.

As for the file, youre not the first person to suggest linux. I will give it a try if only to cross it off the list.

Thanks
4-13 00:10
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Dirjampa
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CemAygun Posted at 4-12 12:19
You're welcome. Ah I see, you might have a different problem then. I never had a corrupt video as long as I had stopped recording properly.

By the way drone keeps recording regardless of the controller or app availability.  Even after shutting everything (but the drone) off, you can actually turn the controller back on, re-launch the app and connect to the drone again to stop the recording. I believe this is on purpose, to keep things running in case of a signal loss. But it is also the root cause of the corrupt videos if you power the drone down...

Thanks for the heads up. I hadnt appreciated that the camera will keep recording after the controller and app were down, but as the file is stored on the SD card locally to the drone, I'm not getting why the off button on the drone cant close the file.

Surely the app is for telemetry only (when there is an SD card in the drone) and read write access to the card is handled by the drone?

Anyway, thanks again. Much appreciated.

D


4-13 00:15
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CemAygun
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Dirjampa Posted at 4-13 00:15
Thanks for the heads up. I hadnt appreciated that the camera will keep recording after the controller and app were down, but as the file is stored on the SD card locally to the drone, I'm not getting why the off button on the drone cant close the file.

Surely the app is for telemetry only (when there is an SD card in the drone) and read write access to the card is handled by the drone?

You are welcome again The thing with the off button always baffled me. Mavic Air (1) was the same as far as I can remember. And the drone does not seem to shut down immediately, so it is not a hard cut-off switch. Why it cannot stop recording first and close the file is inexplicable...

Although the SD card is fully handled by the aircraft itself, to my knowledge there is no way to start or stop a recording without at least the controller...
4-13 00:31
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Labroides
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Dirjampa Posted at 4-13 00:15
Thanks for the heads up. I hadnt appreciated that the camera will keep recording after the controller and app were down, but as the file is stored on the SD card locally to the drone, I'm not getting why the off button on the drone cant close the file.

Surely the app is for telemetry only (when there is an SD card in the drone) and read write access to the card is handled by the drone?

I'm not getting why the off button on the drone cant close the file.
Because it takes time to write the end of file marker and close the file properly.
Turn off the power, and you stop everything.

You don't need to understand why.
Just understand that you have to stop recording video and a llow a couple of seconds before powering off the drone.
4-13 01:22
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Dirjampa
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Labroides Posted at 4-13 01:22
I'm not getting why the off button on the drone cant close the file.
Because it takes time to write the end of file marker and close the file properly.
Turn off the power, and you stop everything.

"You dont need to understand why?" Thats a dangerous slippery slope.

I'm also not convinced that turning off the power stops everything, most tech has an internal safe close down procedure after key off, and  the 1.5 seconds it takes me to do the double tap on the off button (while checking the lights to see if the first tap worked), is more than enough time to perform a forced file close. But its a moot point, I'll keep experimenting.

Thanks

D  
4-13 02:02
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Tuxtard
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Dirjampa Posted at 4-13 00:10
It is, straight out, from file explorer to youtube. Nice idea though, but I can see the blurred footage in the phone while im trying. The clarity only comes back a fraction of a second before the drone stops moving.

As for the file, youre not the first person to suggest linux. I will give it a try if only to cross it off the list.

I use Linux and Untrunc to fix corrupted MP4s:

https://github.com/ponchio/untrunc

EDIT:
There seems to be a fork with support for Windows, but I never used it. You can get Windows builds here:

https://github.com/anthwlock/untrunc/releases


4-13 02:30
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ozoffi
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There is nothing to experiment with - it is exactly as described. Nobody denies that it is possibly a bug in the firmware ... It is questionable whether this will ever be fixed.
4-13 02:31
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jmb63
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I have noticed that same issue with the Mini 2 video. I will call it more of a "shimmering" of highly contrasted details. I am sure it is a limitation of the sensor/processor in the camera of this model. 2.7k @60fps will help but it is not perfect. Under the conditions like you have in that clip, ( fast "fly-by" with a large amount of contrasting details), the issue is amplified,  I have also discovered that different video players will display that shimmering to a lesser degree.
4-13 05:21
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Labroides
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Dirjampa Posted at 4-13 02:02
"You dont need to understand why?" Thats a dangerous slippery slope.

I'm also not convinced that turning off the power stops everything, most tech has an internal safe close down procedure after key off, and  the 1.5 seconds it takes me to do the double tap on the off button (while checking the lights to see if the first tap worked), is more than enough time to perform a forced file close. But its a moot point, I'll keep experimenting.

I'm also not convinced that turning off the power stops everything
You seem to know it all, so why are you even asking questions.
I was joking. ... you don't need to stop the camera at all.
Go ahead and just turn the drone off first every time..
4-13 05:59
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Mobilehomer
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A couple of things that I have learned in the last few days that might help. Regardless of switch position, the drone is in NORMAL mode at startup which is too fast for most videography. Put the switch in NORMAL mode then switch to CINE while hovering. Are you downloading the video from the Micro SD card or using the phone files? The phone file stores a cache file that is not the greatest. Then play with the gimbal and yaw settings to slow and smooth things more to your liking. There are many good videos to help.
4-13 12:29
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itsdavesdrone
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Are you using an ND filter? Looks like motion blur to me caused by ND filters...
4-13 14:11
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Dirjampa
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Tuxtard Posted at 4-13 02:30
I use Linux and Untrunc to fix corrupted MP4s:

https://github.com/ponchio/untrunc

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.
4-18 14:34
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Dirjampa
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ozoffi Posted at 4-13 02:31
There is nothing to experiment with - it is exactly as described. Nobody denies that it is possibly a bug in the firmware ... It is questionable whether this will ever be fixed.

Understood. Thanks for the feedback.
4-18 14:35
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Dirjampa
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jmb63 Posted at 4-13 05:21
I have noticed that same issue with the Mini 2 video. I will call it more of a "shimmering" of highly contrasted details. I am sure it is a limitation of the sensor/processor in the camera of this model. 2.7k @60fps will help but it is not perfect. Under the conditions like you have in that clip, ( fast "fly-by" with a large amount of contrasting details), the issue is amplified,  I have also discovered that different video players will display that shimmering to a lesser degree.

Thanks for the insight. I have also seen different results with different players. Not sure how that works, but its interesting. Thanks.
4-18 14:37
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Dirjampa
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Mobilehomer Posted at 4-13 12:29
A couple of things that I have learned in the last few days that might help. Regardless of switch position, the drone is in NORMAL mode at startup which is too fast for most videography. Put the switch in NORMAL mode then switch to CINE while hovering. Are you downloading the video from the Micro SD card or using the phone files? The phone file stores a cache file that is not the greatest. Then play with the gimbal and yaw settings to slow and smooth things more to your liking. There are many good videos to help.

Thanks for the thoughts. I hadnt considered that the drone would be in any mode other than CINE, when switched to CINE on start up. I'll have to give that one a look over. Thanks.

As for the files, straight from the SD card, but I've spen the last few days working with the gimbal settings. So far, I can only get a clear image when travelling at less than 2m/s. Im going therough the videos, but what Im after is a video from the Mini travelling faster than 2m/s with a clear image, at 60 ft, so that I can work out whether its possible and its just me, or whether that is too much for the mini.

Thanks

D
4-18 14:42
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Dirjampa
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itsdavesdrone Posted at 4-13 14:11
Are you using an ND filter? Looks like motion blur to me caused by ND filters...

Funnily enough, I've been advised to get the filters, but I havent yet. Im thinking less light and longer shutter times will only increase the blur, although I've seen some reviews that suggest that ND is the only way to fly.

Thanks

D
4-18 14:44
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Dirjampa
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Labroides Posted at 4-13 05:59
I'm also not convinced that turning off the power stops everything
You seem to know it all, so why are you even asking questions.
I was joking. ... you don't need to stop the camera at all.

I wish I did know it all, life would be so much easier.

Although I've designed and written the flight control software for 3 still in service helicopters, and a couple of fixed wings during my time, I still cant seem to get a clear image from a mini.

However I will trouble you no longer.

Peace

D
4-18 14:50
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Labroides
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Dirjampa Posted at 4-18 14:44
Funnily enough, I've been advised to get the filters, but I havent yet. Im thinking less light and longer shutter times will only increase the blur, although I've seen some reviews that suggest that ND is the only way to fly.

Thanks

Drone forums are full of people that know little about photography but think ND filters are important.
They are mostly quite wrong.
4-18 14:56
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Dirjampa
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Labroides Posted at 4-18 14:56
Drone forums are full of people that know little about photography but think ND filters are important.
They are mostly quite wrong.

Im sure.

Thanks

D
4-18 15:01
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Labroides
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Dirjampa Posted at 4-18 14:50
I wish I did know it all, life would be so much easier.

Although I've designed and written the flight control software for 3 still in service helicopters, and a couple of fixed wings during my time, I still cant seem to get a clear image from a mini.

I still cant seem to get a clear image from a mini.
Here are a couple of ideas to work through to identify the cause of your problem.
Is the camera capable of producing clear images of static subjects?
Is the problem due to subject movement and a too long shutter speed?
4-18 15:08
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Dirjampa
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Labroides Posted at 4-18 15:08
I still cant seem to get a clear image from a mini.
Here are a couple of ideas to work through to identify the cause of your problem.
Is the camera capable of producing clear images of static subjects?

Is the camera capable of producing clear images of static subjects?

Yes. Provided the subject is well lit, the image is not bad at all. It doesnt take much light reduction to give my shots grain, but its good when its good.

Is the problem due to subject movement and too long shutter speed?

Its definitely not subject movement, I havent got that far yet as all my subjects and terrain have been static.
As for shutter speed, I first noticed the problem in Auto so have been trying out as many Manual settings combinations as I can. Im still working on it but whether Im shooting at 1080 60fps or 4k at 24, no matter what the ISO and Shutter speed combination, as soon as my little bird yaws or pitches, my image blurs and jumps (tiny jumps), if im travelling around or above 2m/s.

I would happily keep this chat going but I am resigning myself to the fact that to get the clarity I want, I need to start looking at the bigger drones and a more regulated lifestyle which, like everybody, Im trying to avoid.

However what would be helpfull, for curiousity and the sake of conversation, if nothing else, would be to be able to compare the clarity of my footage, if I shot at a particular height and speed, with a particular set of gimbal settings, in a circular pattern of a paticular yaw rate, on a clear blue day, with a camera angle of 90 degrees, straight down, and a paticular set of camera settings, with somebody else's Mini2 doing the exact same thing.

Perhaps DJI has some test data that I could attempt to reconstruct. Not an exact science I know, but worth a shot.

Anyway, I've gone off on one. Thanks L, its much appreciated.

Cheers.

D




4-18 16:02
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DVDB66
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Labroides Posted at 4-18 14:56
Drone forums are full of people that know little about photography but think ND filters are important.
They are mostly quite wrong.

Sorry, no, I don't agree. ND filters are GREY filters and bring the exposure down 1, 2 ore more stops. They do not alter colors or act like UV filters. They are absolutely necessary in case of a gimbal camera like the one in the Mini 2.  
ND filters in fact do nothing else than to keep the so-called 180 degree rule (google helps), aka that recording in 30fps should be done in 1/60 of shutter speed (25fps = 1/50). Without NDs, your image of course is way too light. This is one of the oldest rules of cinematography, NOT of photography though, the distinction here is super important. ND filters ensure that motion blur actually happens.

Motion blur is not something bad, on the contrary, it is what we are used to from the movies since movies came into existence. The "crisp" images instead where everything is in focus even during movements (super neat and sharp while flying over landscape) is the typical video look. Video as in… YouTube and the like. So, there is no "rule" against doing this, and you might actually like that style, but your videos will always look un-cinematic.

PS: same goes for "automatic white balance". In dayilght, use manual 5600K. Do not trust the sensor to do it by itself - if you do, you WILL see color and image changes in your clips while recording.
4-18 17:11
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