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Mini 3 Pro images contain less detail than Mini 2 images
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Hogster
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Hi there,

Having recently received my M3P, I was keen to take similar images with both the M2 and M3P to see how they compare.

Unfortunatley, the answer is not favourably ...  
As you can see in the attached image which compares 100% crops from the M2 and M3P of the same scene taken in the same conditions, the M3P image is just 'mushier' in the fine details, particularly in areas of similar texture like trees.

Things don't get any better in 48MP mode, and you just get a massive file (100MB vs. 25MB for the raw files!) where the mushiness is visible everywhere.

Also, the lens is definitely softer in the corners than it is on the M2 which is a shame, as no amount of post-production can fix that.

However, where the M3P really shines is with the video mode – the 10-bit D-Cinelike 4K 50fps footage is just incredible for a drone of this size, and is leagues ahead of the M2.

It's just a shame that photo quality seems to have been sacrificed for video quality ... I'm hoping a firmware update will be able to rectify this slightly ... although obviously that won't improve the out of focus corners of the images ...

Hope this is of interest!

David

Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 2 100% crops

Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 2 100% crops

Mini 3 Pro

Mini 3 Pro

Mini 2

Mini 2
5-24 06:29
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Bigplumbs
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I disagree. But to be more specific I think both images look nice...... Try to look at the content........ Never a Pixel Peeper Be all it leads to is obsession and being dissatisfied
5-24 06:40
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Hogster
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Bigplumbs Posted at 5-24 06:40
I disagree. But to be more specific I think both images look nice...... Try to look at the content........ Never a Pixel Peeper Be all it leads to is obsession and being dissatisfied

I completely agree I'm pixel peeping

Just thought it was worth sharing, as the marketing hype around the Mini 3 Pro's "48 megapixel images" is likely to disappoint, if people are used to the level of detail they get from the Mini 2.

To give some context, I use the MIni 2 for commercial work, primarily infrastructure inspection, and whilst I'm sure none of my clients will notice the slight decrease in image quality, it's a shame that the images from the successor to the Mini 2 actually contain slightly less detail than those from the Mini 2 itself.

Thanks
5-24 07:23
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Bigplumbs Posted at 5-24 06:40
I disagree. But to be more specific I think both images look nice...... Try to look at the content........ Never a Pixel Peeper Be all it leads to is obsession and being dissatisfied

Thats what this thread is all about, the details, aka pixel peeping.

Although, in my opinion, i think the Mini 3 looks a tiny bit sharper with a tiny bit more contrast
5-24 07:28
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Bashy
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Hogster Posted at 5-24 07:23
I completely agree I'm pixel peeping

Just thought it was worth sharing, as the marketing hype around the Mini 3 Pro's "48 megapixel images" is likely to disappoint, if people are used to the level of detail they get from the Mini 2.

From what i have seen, the 12mp is better...
5-24 07:31
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Bigplumbs
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Sad life Pixel peeping me thinks
5-24 07:51
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NewToy
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Hogster Posted at 5-24 07:23
I completely agree I'm pixel peeping

Just thought it was worth sharing, as the marketing hype around the Mini 3 Pro's "48 megapixel images" is likely to disappoint, if people are used to the level of detail they get from the Mini 2.

The 48mp setting on the mini 3 pro is just a sales ploy ,as I have the same thing on my air 2.
And am finding the 48 mp setting ,certainly no better than the TRUE 12mp.
However your photos of  the mini 3 pro compared to the mini 2,on the landscape images
are not even close,as the mini 3 pro has better contrast and sharpness,and why would it not
as it is the latest technology.Just my opinion.
5-24 08:34
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Bigplumbs
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To the OP........ Are you happy with the Pictures it took.........
5-24 08:40
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J04DAN
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I’ve got to be honest these two pictures are so close it’s impossible to tell which is better because there is a very clear lightning change between the two photo’s. If anything I’d say the Mini 3 has more detail and you can see it very clearly on the white vehicle and the windows of the 100% crop. There is no detail on the rear of the vehicle and less detail in the windows on the Mini 2. On the other hand you can make out the lines of the rear bumper on the Mini 3 and more detail in the windows on the house. As I said before though the change in sun angle could be the reason the Mini 3 looks better which is why these two pictures are too close to choose a better picture in my opinion.

As for the softer edges this is most definitely a byproduct of the wider 1.7 aperture on the Mini 3. I’ll gladly take the increase in low light performance over the slightly soft edges which can be fixed pretty easily in post.
5-24 08:44
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Lobster
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Everything with photography is a compromise to begin with, the exposure triangle is a prime example of that. Drones then throw a whole load of other compromises into the mix. I'm amazed at the quality available if I'm honest but would I prefer to have the same quality files as I get out of my main camera set up?  Yes of course, but to do so would have me hanging out of a helicopter with the doors off   With the cost of fuel right now I'll make peace with a little softness in the corners
It's a small relatively cheap lens and fixed f1.7 aperture, I'm not surprised there's some variations in sharpness across the frame.

For what it's worth, I'm not seeing the Mini 2 images as better either.


5-24 11:05
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Bussty
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Pixel peeping is to be encouraged if you sell work and make it big it's not cool taking $ off a client and them coming back and saying the image is degraded.  Also you might just want the best quality possible, nothing wrong with that just means you have high standards :-)

Those images are only 2000 x 1500 when you download are you able to upload a Google Drive or Dropbox link to the DNG's are you also able to include a 48 MP DNG?

Would be great to have a look...

Many thanks

5-24 12:53
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Hogster
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Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Lobster – yes you're absolutely right and I do have to keep reminding myself how amazing the quality is coming from such a small sensor on such a small drone!

I do wonder why they went for 48 megapixels with the quad-bayer filter (so each pixel is just a quarter of the size!) instead of having a standard pixel layout, which would allow each pixel to capture 4 times as much light ... from what I understand the quad-bayer approach allows you effectively take two exposures at the same time and this might help with lower noise in dark environments, or increase the dynamic range – it certainly doesn't give you any appreciable extra detail ...

As J04DAN pointed out, the two images I was comparing were taken at slightly different times of day, so I've now re-taken two images as close together as I could, time-wise and uploaded the results here:

http://horizonimagingportal.co.u ... -3-vs-mini-2_v2.jpg
Here are the two full-size JPGs:

http://horizonimagingportal.co.u ... troom_processed.jpg
http://horizonimagingportal.co.u ... troom_processed.jpg

The two original raw files:

http://horizonimagingportal.co.uk/misc/m3p_m2/DJI_0561_M2.DNG
http://horizonimagingportal.co.uk/misc/m3p_m2/DJI_0097_M3P.DNG

And for reference, this is what the drone produces in JPG format ... shows how much it's worth shooting in raw and post-processing yourself!

http://horizonimagingportal.co.u ... M2_in_drone_jpg.JPG
http://horizonimagingportal.co.u ... 3P_in_drone_jpg.JPG

As you can see I've got them to look almost completely identical ... I still find the M3P very slightly mushier, and wouldn't be surprised if this could be changed with a firmware update, although it might be something to do with having such tiny pixels ...

Anyway, no-one but me will notice this difference now, but I hope the above samples are still of interest to someone

Cheers!

David
5-24 12:57
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Hogster
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Bussty Posted at 5-24 12:53
Pixel peeping is to be encouraged if you sell work and make it big it's not cool taking $ off a client and them coming back and saying the image is degraded.  Also you might just want the best quality possible, nothing wrong with that just means you have high standards :-)

Those images are only 2000 x 1500 when you download are you able to upload a Google Drive or Dropbox link to the DNG's are you also able to include a 48 MP DNG?

Thank you Bussty, and yes I'm a commercial photographer, so pixel peeping, although sad to some, means I'm able to deliver the highest quality work to my clients possible ... although I'll admit in this case I might have gone a bit OTT

Still, my motto is it's always worth having a bar for satisfaction that's way above that of your client, so even if something doesn't quite match up to my standards, my clients will still think it's amazing!
5-24 13:00
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Hogster Posted at 5-24 12:57
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Lobster – yes you're absolutely right and I do have to keep reminding myself how amazing the quality is coming from such a small sensor on such a small drone!

Thanks for posting! I am still weighing up whether I need a Mini 3, so appreciate this type of real world information. I also understand your quest for the best possible image! First look, the M3 images do appear somewhat mushy, but one closer inspection (as other posters have commented) they have better contrast and detail sharpness. Enjoy your M3!
5-24 14:41
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Bussty
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Hogster Posted at 5-24 13:00
Thank you Bussty, and yes I'm a commercial photographer, so pixel peeping, although sad to some, means I'm able to deliver the highest quality work to my clients possible ... although I'll admit in this case I might have gone a bit OTT

Still, my motto is it's always worth having a bar for satisfaction that's way above that of your client, so even if something doesn't quite match up to my standards, my clients will still think it's amazing!

Hey David

Thanks for posting! Really interesting!

Have you seen this thread on Mavic Pilots?

https://mavicpilots.com/threads/ ... 26093/#post-1428142

My experience from supplied images has been at 100 ISO you can actually get more detail out of the 48MP images. A sample attached   (left 48MP right 12Mp) same for attached

There are some more comparisons here...

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HTrXD3vl-Pul0CuA_SBpVNmki661irwq?usp=sharing

Be really interested to hear your thoughts?  P.S. The Pilot Institute comparison video (linked in that thread is a good watch. I have an email from them saying will be redoing though as following a firmware change DJI are claiming the quality is even better, so keen to see that...)

Cheers

Andrew


5-24 17:55
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Bigplumbs Posted at 5-24 07:51
Sad life Pixel peeping me thinks

Sad life Pixel peeping me thinks
Even more so when some are claiming to be searching for the best possible image quality, but seriously considering an economy-priced mini drone, with a dinky little sensor and fixed aperture lens.
5-24 18:25
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Hogster Posted at 5-24 12:57
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Lobster – yes you're absolutely right and I do have to keep reminding myself how amazing the quality is coming from such a small sensor on such a small drone!

Thanks for uploading these David. Nice one for sharing! Where in the UK are these taken, if you don't mind me asking?
-M
5-24 21:28
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Hogster
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Sorry for the long delay in replying, been so busy with work!

This morning I had a chance to do more thorough testing between the Mini 3 Pro, Mini 2 and Mavic Pro 2 and you can see the results below. These are all images shot in RAW and processed in Adobe Lightroom and then saved as JPEGs at 100% quality. The camera was auto-focused on the conservatory in the distance for those cameras with auto-focus capability.

Please bear in mind that the only reason I'm doing this level of pixel peeping is I'm a full-time commercial photographer, and I wanted to know for sure which platform delivers the absolute highest quality imagery for the given weight category of drone. Obviously if weight / size wasn't an issue I would use my Inspire 2 / X7, but more often than not the environment would restrict me to using a sub-250g drone (without enduring an enormous risk assessment headache of making sure there are no people within 50m of the drone, which woudl be very hard in a built-up environment).


Mini 3 Pro
48MP full resolution mode
48MP full resolution mode, downscaled in Lightroom to 4000px
Normal mode (12MP)
– In 48MP mode image has very strong discolouration in high areas of contrast which is very hard to remove. Pushing the 'Color' noise reduction up to 100 in Lightroom gets rid of most of it (but not the worst of it), but with the downside of dulling subtle colour detail in the image which isn't ideal.– Chromatic aberration is also pretty bad (purple fringing in high contrast areas) and is hard to remove without degrading coloured areas elsewhere in the image (pushing up the 'Defringe' slider in Lightroom for blue/purple fringing will do strange things to any other blue/purple objects in the image by desaturating their edges, which can look very strange).
– Detail in complex low-contrast areas like trees has a strange overly-processed feel to it ... hard to describe!
– In Normal mode the image evidently has quite strong noise reduction applied to it (to get rid of the discolouration in high contrast areas presumably), as it contains less detail than the 48MP image when downscaled to the same resolution.– Strangely, in Normal mode no vignetting correction is applied in camera, so the corners of the image are a full stop darker than the centre when compared to the 48MP images.– On balance, for maximum detail from the Mini 3 Pro, use the 48MP mode but be prepared to have some strange coloured artefacts in very high contrast areas.


Mini 2
Normal mode
– Contains no nasty coloured artefacts in high contrast area so no defringing or colour noise reduction is required.
– Detail is generally much more consistent throughout the image, particularly in highly complex areas like trees, and has no 'overly-processed feel' to the detail either.
– Less crisp detail than 48MP Mini 3 Pro images, but in low-contrast areas (areas without strong edges), more faithfully captures the detail in my opinion (compare the leaves on the trees from this image and the Mini 3 Pro images).
– One big advantage is that the lens is fixed focus, so there's no risk of missing focus like there is with the Mini 3 Pro. Downside is the lens is 1.5 stops slower than the Mini 3 Pro ... fixed focus is important for me when doing roof inspection work when I might take 500 images in a shoot at varying distances from the roof of a building and I have to guarantee that every image is perfectly in focus – hence I will continue using the Mini 2 for roof inspections.

Mavic 2 Pro
Normal mode
Normal mode, downscaled in Lightroom to 4000px
– Only really included in this test as a baseline to compare against as obviously the drone is in a different weight category. Not a different price category compared to the Mini 3 Pro though out of interest!
– Noticeably better image quality throughout, no nasty discolouration in high contrast areas, faithfully recorded detail in low and high contrast areas, less noise, no chromatic aberrations


The upshot is that when images from any of these drones are downsized / viewed at 4000px across it's quite hard to tell the difference between them. Add in normal compression for use on the web and it's virtually impossible. Compress them to 1500px across for use on a website and you won't be able to tell ...
But if you're a commercial photographer and need as much detail as possible for cropping or enlarging, then this sort of detail does matter.

I hope this testing is of interest and helps people to understand the differing image quality of these drones!

David

PS. Video quality is a completely different subject, and the Mini 3 Pro blows both the Mini 2 and the Mavic 2 Pro out of the water with its 10 bit video format and its ability to take two exposures simultaneously from each 'pixel' to reduce noise in shadow areas, so the Mini 3 Pro is definitely my platform of choice for video work.




6-27 03:24
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Bussty
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I have been experimenting with taking minimum three 48MP stills and stacking these in Affinity using Median Mode, so far it appears to remove the colour artifacts and provide greater detail. Have only tried inside so far but when it stops raining will try outside.

6-27 03:32
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Hogster
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Bussty Posted at 6-27 03:32
I have been experimenting with taking minimum three 48MP stills and stacking these in Affinity using Median Mode, so far it appears to remove the colour artifacts and provide greater detail. Have only tried inside so far but when it stops raining will try outside.

Hi Bussty,

Oh that does sound interesting – would you be able to share your results?

Thanks!

David
6-27 03:33
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Bussty
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Hogster Posted at 6-27 03:33
Hi Bussty,

Oh that does sound interesting – would you be able to share your results?

Sure thing, posted this last night...

Forum link
6-27 03:35
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itzeig
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12mp at 200% vs. 48mp at 100%

https://imgur.com/gp3Rk6q

There are way more details at the 48mp image. And the sensor is way better than the sensor of the mini 2 (details and dynamic range).


6-27 04:25
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Bussty
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Hogster Posted at 6-27 03:33
Hi Bussty,

Oh that does sound interesting – would you be able to share your results?

Hi David

Also take a look at this...



Colour artifacts are completely random in these 4 48MP images so that's why using stacking and Median blend is removing it. It doesn't seem to exist in exactly the same place. That's a bit of a win in my book. I wonder if this would work for Moire images, must try that though I fear that may be more uniform.
6-27 04:49
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enricorc_cz
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I "love" these comparisons... You will never be able to ensure same conditions to take a shot from two drones one after one. Same place, same light..... Why somebody dont take a drone, put it to the table - before a pot of flower (for example if you want something colorful) and take a shot? This way you should be able to ensure same conditions, exactly same angle and view and make a detail comparison of enlarged cut of picture.... If i would have more drones, then I would do it, but have only MIni3 only - and this is the reason why pictures from Mini3 are the best for me
6-27 04:56
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Mavic57pro2
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I think on mine the 48mp raw is vastly better than the 12 mp, much more detail after a mild tweak in photoshop on my tablet.
20220627_184331.jpg
6-27 12:11
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Mavic57pro2 Posted at 6-27 12:11
I think on mine the 48mp raw is vastly better than the 12 mp, much more detail after a mild tweak in photoshop on my tablet.

That's quite a difference. It almost looks like the 12 mp is out of focus.
6-27 14:02
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Bussty
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Mavic57pro2 Posted at 6-27 12:11
I think on mine the 48mp raw is vastly better than the 12 mp, much more detail after a mild tweak in photoshop on my tablet.

I concur with this result, there is a some small colour artifacting on the top right chair but if you took say three 48MP shots and stacked on median mode that would disappear.
6-27 14:42
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Bigplumbs
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You are being far too particular. Most people would be very happy with those images. Also most people don’t have 4K eyes
6-27 21:04
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SgtMercy Posted at 6-27 14:02
That's quite a difference. It almost looks like the 12 mp is out of focus.
Screenshot_20220628-085858_Gallery.jpg
6-28 00:00
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Mavic57pro2
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SgtMercy Posted at 6-27 14:02
That's quite a difference. It almost looks like the 12 mp is out of focus.

Its zoomed in, this is the before zoomed in. This is a screenshot of the original.
Screenshot_20220628-085858_Gallery.jpg
6-28 00:01
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Bigplumbs Posted at 6-27 21:04
You are being far too particular. Most people would be very happy with those images. Also most people don’t have 4K eyes

Some people have seen better camera than DJI
So...some people will have higher aspirations than you
6-28 00:38
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Bussty
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Mavic57pro2 Posted at 6-28 00:01
Its zoomed in, this is the before zoomed in. This is a screenshot of the original.

Have to conclude then that little sensor is doing a great job!
6-28 03:35
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Hi there.

A simple question, with a little bit of explanation before it

I'm a surveyor, and I use (for now) Mavic Mini, the 1st one. I don't use for mapping, photogrammetry and so, but for basic ''presentations'' and as a proof of what I did / measured on the site.
So, I take more or less orthographic pictures of the site (like from 50m, 75m or so), and few from other angles - mostly like 45 degrees from 4 sides (N,S,E,W).

Presentations means that I have a picture of the site, taken from above, like a base under my surveyed data, so I can show my clients how the site looks, what can be done (forming new plots, where to make a road...) or what parts have to be cleaned from vegetation so I can do my job.

Proof means that I have pictures of the site at the time when I did my surveying, so no one can state that something was, or wasn't on the site at that time... oh, but the pool was there, you haven't measured it. No, it wasn't. Yes, it was. No, it wasn't. Yes, it was... ok, here's the picture, show me the f... pool?

Now, to get to the question... will mini 3 improve my ''pictures'' in terms of quality - more detail from the same altitude, or bigger area covered if I can fly higher and get the same details as with my current Mini?

I hope You understand what I do, for what purpose I need drone pictures, and what is my question. I don't take romantic pictures of moon at midnight, I don't record videos of weddings...

And yes, I can go and buy some more ''serious'' drone, but here the regulations are quite annoying for drones over 250g.  
7-2 22:59
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