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What the Mini 3 Pro is Capable of (Photography) Part II
3270 29 2023-8-11
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primeshooter
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I posted a good while ago now some images that I've taken with the Mini 3 Pro. Here is a refresher with new images because I've seen a lot of posts about photography with this drone recently and my tips will help those unsure.
Now I am not going to sit and explain to you about how I am the best ever aerial photographer; but I just wanted to show how capable this drone is if you carefully shoot and process. I see these questions all the time and I am well placed to advise as I am a regular photographer - you can find me on facebook as Steven Robinson Pictures if interested. Part of my values are to shoot the scene as naturally as possible for the most part, and to capture the highest fidelity data possible to use for PP later.

Caveats - Always Shoot in RAW. Always. (Hopefully I can disable jpg mode if they ever allow that). Shoot at Base ISO 100 whenever possible. Try not to deviate from here. This is where the highest dynamic range is, and the lowest noise, the best shadow and colour details exist here. Stay at 100, glue yourself to ISO 100. Use shutter speed to control the exposure only unless in exceptional circumstances. Always shoot in Manual mode, with the histogram activated. In contrasty light, always do at least a 3 shot bracket, ideally 5 and you can bin what you don't require later. Shutter speeds are wind dependant, but you can get away with being fairly cheeky as this is a small sensor. Always shoot in 12MP mode. This has several advantages - firstly a much higher dynamic range than the 48MP mode. If you need more resolution, simply stitch shots - easy to do in any software these days. If you need a wider FOV, stitch shots. The 48MP mode is a faux mode full of false colour and artefacts - master 12MP and you will win here. The great thing about bracketting in 12MP is that when you set a 5 frame bracket, you get x5 RAW files to exposure blend (I often pick two or 3 max) and blend them. Because they are all taken at the same time, there is no drone motion between shots, making blending easier.

Here are some single shots, some panos. All 12MP mode. All using the above advice. NB bare in mind these are not the full size files and will show compression on this website potentially.


Cala House, Loch Assynt

Cala House, Loch Assynt

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle

Frandy River

Frandy River

Loch Eriboll

Loch Eriboll

Loch Turret

Loch Turret

Falls of Moness

Falls of Moness

Loch Buine Moire

Loch Buine Moire

Loch Bad a' Ghaill

Loch Bad a' Ghaill

Loch Tulla

Loch Tulla

Loch Lurguinn and Stac Pollaidh, Coigach

Loch Lurguinn and Stac Pollaidh, Coigach
2023-8-11
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Lieutenant
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Fantastic photos mate.
2023-8-11
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Crio
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Very nice set ! Safe flying!
2023-8-11
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bobmalkh
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simply fantastic, thank you, I really enjoyed it ...
I have a question for you, I understand about the format, but how did you shoot with a filter or without a filter? and what kind of exposure do you set?

2023-8-11
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Yazu
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Really nice locations and well edited/shot photos
2023-8-11
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primeshooter
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bobmalkh Posted at 8-11 06:04
simply fantastic, thank you, I really enjoyed it ...
I have a question for you, I understand about the format, but how did you shoot with a filter or without a filter? and what kind of exposure do you set?

Hi there, thank you - you can do this too, it just requires practice. So I don't use filters for drones for photography, there is no need. They are only needed for video if you want to drop the FPS. For photography is it scene dependant. I would go on youtube and search 'photography histogram' and check that out, then activate the histogram on the remote. This will enable you to expose properly when flying. There are no magic settings, because light is going to be different etc. Any other questions let me know.
2023-8-11
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_SoP_
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I definately need to shoot more pictures again. Initially, I was coming from photographic art, but somehow turned into cinematic mode.

Great and inspiring image series, @primeshooter
2023-8-11
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itzeig
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Please provide a prove that the 12mpix mode has a higher dynamic range than the 48mpix mode. I doubt it.
2023-8-11
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primeshooter
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itzeig Posted at 8-11 12:48
Please provide a prove that the 12mpix mode has a higher dynamic range than the 48mpix mode. I doubt it.

I have well over a decade experience working with a multitude of different cameras and sensors but you don't need my proof. Simply turn on your mini 3 Pro and fly. Point into a contra light scene. Select view histogram in settings. Then cycle between 12mp then 48mp. 48mp blows the highlights and clips the shadows sooner. Thus it has less dynamic range. It is not even up for debate.
2023-8-11
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primeshooter
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_SoP_ Posted at 8-11 07:01
I definately need to shoot more pictures again. Initially, I was coming from photographic art, but somehow turned into cinematic mode.

Great and inspiring image series, @primeshooter

Thanks buddy appreciate it!
2023-8-11
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itzeig
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primeshooter Posted at 8-11 13:55
I have well over a decade experience working with a multitude of different cameras and sensors but you don't need my proof. Simply turn on your mini 3 Pro and fly. Point into a contra light scene. Select view histogram in settings. Then cycle between 12mp then 48mp. 48mp blows the highlights and clips the shadows sooner. Thus it has less dynamic range. It is not even up for debate.

Sorry, but this is not how it works. You cant judge the dynamic range by the output of the in camera Image prograssion. I use the 48mpix and rarely the 12mpix mode. If you edit the raw files there is no difference in dynamic range. Only slightly more details in the 48mpix file.
2023-8-12
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DAFlys
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Phenomenal images. Although I suspect some of those are panos too.
2023-8-12
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primeshooter
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itzeig Posted at 8-12 01:04
Sorry, but this is not how it works. You cant judge the dynamic range by the output of the in camera Image prograssion. I use the 48mpix and rarely the 12mpix mode. If you edit the raw files there is no difference in dynamic range. Only slightly more details in the 48mpix file.

Incorrect. I've put them both through raw digger. The 48mp mode has less dynamic range.
2023-8-12
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primeshooter
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DAFlys Posted at 8-12 01:08
Phenomenal images. Although I suspect some of those are panos too.

Thanks two here are.
2023-8-12
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Luka_BiH_
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It is ridiculous how much better dynamic range 12 mpx has compared to 48. That's the first thing I have noticed when I bought this drone. Also in low light 12 has better results.
Like primeshooter said, you can see it in app when switching between cameras how dark area are much darker in 48mpx. Though I try to use 48mpx whenever there is no high contras or big shadow/light differences.

Few times on this forum I've read that this camera has native ISO so that there is no much noise on some high ISO setting, but can't remember what, maybe 800iso, but not sure if it's true, couldn't really prove it with my test shooting
2023-8-12
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itzeig
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Luka_BiH_ Posted at 8-12 22:12
It is ridiculous how much better dynamic range 12 mpx has compared to 48. That's the first thing I have noticed when I bought this drone. Also in low light 12 has better results.
Like primeshooter said, you can see it in app when switching between cameras how dark area are much darker in 48mpx. Though I try to use 48mpx whenever there is no high contras or big shadow/light differences.

"you can see it in app"
no. you cant't see "it". When you switch modes in the app, no progressing/stitching of the raw data has happened. The only valid comparison is when you try to max out dngs in a raw editor.

This is when I can't produce a real difference in blown out highlights/darks between a 12 and a 48mpix dng. (I use the latest release of LR).

please provide a proof of your claims.
2023-8-12
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itzeig
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primeshooter Posted at 8-12 02:49
Incorrect. I've put them both through raw digger. The 48mp mode has less dynamic range.

How did you "put them through raw digger"?
2023-8-12
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DJI_MINI3PRO_Ash
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Really one of the media posts using m3p. Thanks for the advice, Amazing !!!!
2023-8-12
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primeshooter
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DJI_MINI3PRO_Ash Posted at 8-12 23:44
Really one of the media posts using m3p. Thanks for the advice, Amazing !!!!

Thank you.
2023-8-13
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Blériot53
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Lovely images.  I've taken the liberty of copying and pasting your hints to a WORD document for future reference.  Thanks.
2023-8-13
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Mini-G
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These are amazing
2023-8-13
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Ross14
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Beautiful photos, good job!
2023-8-13
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Blackbuckone
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Good tips and I've never done muti-shot bracket before, but after doing a five image test it certainly gives you a nice choice to play with when editing.

You say you don't need a filter, but sometimes I use an ND4 filter as it brings the clouds out slightly more and gives them a bit more texture, as well as enhancing a nice blue sky.

Cheers
2023-8-15
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Labroides
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Blackbuckone Posted at 8-15 10:43
Good tips and I've never done muti-shot bracket before, but after doing a five image test it certainly gives you a nice choice to play with when editing.

You say you don't need a filter, but sometimes I use an ND4 filter as it brings the clouds out slightly more and gives them a bit more texture, as well as enhancing a nice blue sky.

You say you don't need a filter, but sometimes I use an ND4 filter as it brings the clouds out slightly more and gives them a bit more texture, as well as enhancing a nice blue sky.
An ND filter just reduces the light that gets through to the sensor, forcing you to use a slower shutter speed or higher ISO to get correct exposure.
It doesn't selectively affect parts of the scene differently and doesn't change colours.
There's no reason to use one when shooting drone stills, unless you desire to force a slower shutter speed.
2023-8-15
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primeshooter
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Labroides Posted at 8-15 13:44
You say you don't need a filter, but sometimes I use an ND4 filter as it brings the clouds out slightly more and gives them a bit more texture, as well as enhancing a nice blue sky.
An ND filter just reduces the light that gets through to the sensor, forcing you to use a slower shutter speed or higher ISO to get correct exposure.
It doesn't selectively affect parts of the scene differently and doesn't change colours.

Absolutely correct. Many don't understand this, an nd isn't a grad nd that selectively darkens the sky (id argue those are old hat now anyway - there are better ways to capture and do this in post). It's an nd. So it globally blocks light. So there is zero use using one for photography with a drone.
2023-8-15
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Montfrooij
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Great images and good tips.
I find that the AEB-5 is really slow on the Mini 3 Pro. Especially with RAW.
2023-10-7
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Rej
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itzeig Posted at 8-11 12:48
Please provide a prove that the 12mpix mode has a higher dynamic range than the 48mpix mode. I doubt it.

Dynamic range between both modes don't know but on the mini 3 pro the 12 Mp setting has more bit depth than the 48 Mp mode.  The following screen grab that I took awhile back is from DJI on a forum, might have been here just can't recall but I did save it.
2023-10-8
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Rej
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Excellent shots/scenery primeshooter; thanks for sharing your skill set with the ones of us, myself included, that aren't photographers; much appreciated.

When I read your comment on maintaining ISO 100, this video came to mind were this photographer was saying that it is a misconception that noise was directly related to higher ISO settings..........I posted the link below.

I do shoot in RAW because of the extra pride in attempting to colour correct/edit towards generating my own JPEG rendition vs being generated by the drone.  Aside from sometimes locking the AE, I keep everything else in auto.  I have to learn on how to readily interpret a photo histogram.

2023-10-8
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primeshooter
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Rej Posted at 10-8 13:07
Excellent shots/scenery primeshooter; thanks for sharing your skill set with the ones of us, myself included, that aren't photographers; much appreciated.

When I read your comment on maintaining ISO 100, this video came to mind were this photographer was saying that it is a misconception that noise was directly related to higher ISO settings..........I posted the link below.

Thanks. Whilst he makes some points (very basic, simplistic principles of photography I might add), I'd say that video is a distraction when it comes to drone photography. E.g. telling you that the leaves will be blurry if moving in a LE. Well, of course. But most dont want the water frozen...
Re drone photography. You aint photographing anything that moves. You do not need high shutter speeds. Thus you do not need to change iso. Just keep it at iso 100 for best colour, best DR and least noise. If your shutter speed remains reasonable; there is no need to deviate from it. Believe me this is sound advice, anyone that understands the principles of exposure will tell you the same.


2023-10-8
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PacmanPilot
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itzeig Posted at 2023-8-11 12:48
Please provide a prove that the 12mpix mode has a higher dynamic range than the 48mpix mode. I doubt it.

The 48MP mode digitally reduces the size of the 12MP sensor by electronically dividing it in fourths. You might obtain slightly more dynamic range however, the tradeoff is crap photos in low light. It's not true a true 48MP sensor.  I've had this drone for less than a year and found the 4:3 at 12MP pro mode best. But for crystal-clear imagery, one still needs to launch a D810 into the skies.
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