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Mixed results on 166mm
498 23 2-14 12:49
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Andrew Bland SF
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Hi Everyone,
I'm new here.
Is anyone else having mixed results using the 166mm lens on the Mavic 3 Pro Cine? Some shots I've taken with it are really nice, others are total garbage - noisy, soft, grainy. The real bummer is that I can't tell on the RC screen; it's only when I get home and review shots that I can see them in any detail. I usually use manual focus, using the red peaking to dial it in.

Here are some raw, ungraded samples of good shots using the 166mm. Clean lines, low noise, good detail:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i-swZj5SsM

And here are a few less satisfactory ones. You can see some noise and grain, license plate on the car is blurry, poor detail:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTOiAGVPv7o

It seems that this lens performs better with not only lots of light, but subjects that are lighter in color. I've tried different ND filters and have had the same mixed results.
Any thoughts on how to get consistently better results?
Thanks very much!
-Andrew
2-14 12:49
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Dogpilot
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I totally had the same results. I found the M3Pro to be kind of compromised on the tele lenses in general. I found the images to be soft and lacking contrast. I ended up selling the drone this month. Kind of disappointing. On the humurous side, the buyer let his neighbor try flying it the first day he got it and the neighbor totally destroyed it. Sad ending, but I didn't like that drone. I am far happier with the 3 Cine and my two enterprise drones .
2-14 14:27
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Andrew Bland SF
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Dogpilot Posted at 2-14 14:27
I totally had the same results. I found the M3Pro to be kind of compromised on the tele lenses in general. I found the images to be soft and lacking contrast. I ended up selling the drone this month. Kind of disappointing. On the humurous side, the buyer let his neighbor try flying it the first day he got it and the neighbor totally destroyed it. Sad ending, but I didn't like that drone. I am far happier with the 3 Cine and my two enterprise drones .

Sorry, I should haver been more specific. I have the Mavic 3 Pro Cine. I didn't specify because it's my understanding that the lenses are all exactly the same.

Are you saying you now have the Cine and it has better image quality than the standard Mavic 3 Pro?
2-14 14:37
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Dogpilot
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Yes, I had a regular M3Pro, it is what I found soft and low contrast. I sold that one a week ago. I have had a M3Cine, not Pro Cine. I am very happy with its footage. It does not do ProRes with the 166 mm lens though, only the 24mm. It is rockingly cheaper as well. Yes, the Cine Pro and the 3 Pro have the same lenses/ camera. the 3's Camera and zoom camera have different construction. Claim the same specs, but they are not the same cameras.
2-14 14:53
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Gizmo6
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I have the Mavic 3 Pro and found the 24mm and 70mm cameras, both usable for commercial work... the 166mm Tele lens, not so much.  I only use the 166mm when I absolutely need the shot, regardless of image quality.

The M3P and MP3 Cine have exactly the same camera specs.  The Cine of course has the additional Video CODEC's and 1TB SSD Card, but that's it as far as I know.

The smaller 1/2" CMOS sensor and fixed aperture on the 166mm camera does not give us allot of options to try to improve the images other that what you have already observed.  Using the native ISO, good light and the right gimbal angle are really the only tricks that I can think of  that can be used to improve the results.

Good luck and fly safe.
2-14 15:21
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Andrew Bland SF
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Gizmo6 Posted at 2-14 15:21
I have the Mavic 3 Pro and found the 24mm and 70mm cameras, both usable for commercial work... the 166mm Tele lens, not so much.  I only use the 166mm when I absolutely need the shot, regardless of image quality.

The M3P and MP3 Cine have exactly the same camera specs.  The Cine of course has the additional Video CODEC's and 1TB SSD Card, but that's it as far as I know.

Thanks. I guess so far I'm overall satisfied with the 166mm, but I don't like not being able tell on the RC screen what exactly I'm getting. I appreciate the reply.
2-14 15:27
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Dogpilot
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The lens on the 166mm on the M3 is a different design than the M3Pro. I have not taken apart that one, due to the camera serial number issues with the M3 series. On the 2's I could modify the cameras for multispectral. So I became quite adept at dismantling them. Have not bothered with these, as you have to sacrifice the origional camera and then get it re-calibrated with the replacement when you are done. Nothing is ever perfect. The M3M Enterprise does not do the bands I need for my work. Not exactly a large number of people would need that anyhow.

I could get the 166mm to look ok (not great) post processing. For my work, I need to not process the images, I loose too much data. I use these for geology. Ergo why I could not use pretty much any images from the M3Pro. I came onto a M3 Cine quite cheaply and have had some fun using it for video work, not something I normally use the drones for.
2-14 15:51
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jmb63
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The 166mm is not a very good (optically and sensor performance-wise). Just think of what size the glass lens would have to be to give quality results. That being said, it IS noticeably better than it was on the Mavic 3 (non-pro)... The 2 examples you posted show EXACTLY the limitations of the compact lens/sensor assy. The clip you posted that was "good" had much better light so the camera did work better. The second one that was "less satisfactory" is lacking that same light and looks like it was either overcast or you had an ND filter installed? There are ND filter sets that have a different "tint/darkening" level for each of the 3 cameras which speaks to the 166's less light gathering ability. If you are using an ND filter, you might have to re-think using it on the 166mm if less than ideal light conditions.
2-14 18:54
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jmb63
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I, personally, think that DJI purposely makes the zoom not as clear as it could be to not have it used as a long-distance "spy" tool.
They have all kinds of other protections in place to "protect" themselves from legal issues if used improperly/illegally so reducing the clarity/sharpness of a zoom lens would go along with that.
2-14 19:03
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Labroides
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jmb63 Posted at 2-14 19:03
I, personally, think that DJI purposely makes the zoom not as clear as it could be to not have it used as a long-distance "spy" tool.
They have all kinds of other protections in place to "protect" themselves from legal issues if used improperly/illegally so reducing the clarity/sharpness of a zoom lens would go along with that.

You obviously know nothing about photography and lenses.
Nothing you wrote makes any sense at all.

The Mavic 3 pro doesn't have any zoom lens.
The idea that DJI made a lens "not as clear" is just stupid.
And the suggestion that they did that to "protect" themselves from legal issues if used improperly/illegally" is doubly stupid.
No camera/lens maker has ever or would ever do anything like that.


2-14 22:10
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jmb63
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Labroides Posted at 2-14 22:10
You obviously know nothing about photography and lenses.
Nothing you wrote makes any sense at all.

Geez, I see now why you get offensive responses and PMs...

Have a Good Day!!
2-15 03:58
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Labroides
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jmb63 Posted at 2-15 03:58
Geez, I see now why you get offensive responses and PMs...

Have a Good Day!!

Someone has to tell you that your reply was nonsense.
Have you ever heard of a camera maker making their telephoto lenses faulty in case someone was to misuse them?
That's possibly the most stupid thing I've seen in this forum.
If it was true, you wouldn't be able to buy a good pair of binoculars.
2-15 06:07
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jmb63
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Labroides Posted at 2-15 06:07
Someone has to tell you that your reply was nonsense.
Have you ever heard of a camera maker making their telephoto lenses faulty in case someone was to misuse them?
That's possibly the most stupid thing I've seen in this forum.

Yes, I agree and hope that my thought is nonsense...
But my speculation is based on the fact that DJI is very active with their "protections" on the drones ... no-fly zones, logging into an account, etc... Since the whole "problem" that many in the public have is a privacy concern, a high-quality zoom camera on a consumer drone can be perceived by the privacy-protective masses as a problem..I have experienced those paranoid types firsthand...
Your analogy of the Binoculars is nowhere near the same since Binoculars can't fly over different properties...which is the main concern that those people have with drones...
2-15 06:46
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Crio
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I'm surprised because my copy (actually over 6 that I had) were very good at 166mm. Not only do I use them during the day, but also for night photos.
The previous Mavic 3 (the one that only had wide-angle and 7x telephoto options) was virtually unusable unless conditions were perfect.
2-15 11:39
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Labroides
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jmb63 Posted at 2-15 06:46
Yes, I agree and hope that my thought is nonsense...
But my speculation is based on the fact that DJI is very active with their "protections" on the drones ... no-fly zones, logging into an account, etc... Since the whole "problem" that many in the public have is a privacy concern, a high-quality zoom camera on a consumer drone can be perceived by the privacy-protective masses as a problem..I have experienced those paranoid types firsthand...
Your analogy of the Binoculars is nowhere near the same since Binoculars can't fly over different properties...which is the main concern that those people have with drones...

None of that would be a concern to DJI.
Their main interest is in providing their customers with a product that suits their needs.
If their products are good enough, customers will buy them.

I've made extensive use of all three cameras of the Mavic 3 pro and can assure you that the telephoto camera (the drone has no zoom lenses) is not hobbled out of privacy concerns.
There are serious technical issues making a medium tele camera small and light enough to fit the drone, but DJI have done a good job of it.

Compromises are necessary in drone cameras and balancing image quality with weight can be complicated.
DJI had to use a small sensor for their tele camera.
If it was larger, the lens and camera body would also be larger and heavier, and probably the drone as well.
But DJI has done it well, created a product that suits the needs of many buyers and the Mavic 3 pro is selling well.
2-15 14:34
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DJI Gamora
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Hello, there. Please allow us to check this situation with our relevant team for further confirmation. Rest assured that the latest feedback will be cascaded here.
2-15 23:13
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Andrew Bland SF
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DJI Gamora Posted at 2-15 23:13
Hello, there. Please allow us to check this situation with our relevant team for further confirmation. Rest assured that the latest feedback will be cascaded here.

Getting this convo back on track...
I shot some footage yesterday with the long lens and was quite happy with it. I think the main thing is to just have plenty of light, and dial in that focus.

The 166mm is the 2nd to last shot, the 3rd to last is the 70mm, and the rest are the wide:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Myljrl2VyQA

And in this sequence, the 166mm is at :34:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdXNZQeV9EU
2-16 12:47
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Labroides
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Andrew Bland SF Posted at 2-16 12:47
Getting this convo back on track...
I shot some footage yesterday with the long lens and was quite happy with it. I think the main thing is to just have plenty of light, and dial in that focus.

The tele camera has a tiny sensor, so it's not going to perform well inn low light, but it can deliver surprisingly good images when the light is good.
Focus isn't critical and autofocus should work just fine.
2-16 14:03
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CloudVisual
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Andrew Bland SF Posted at 2-16 12:47
Getting this convo back on track...
I shot some footage yesterday with the long lens and was quite happy with it. I think the main thing is to just have plenty of light, and dial in that focus.

No one has said it yet, but your shutter speed is too fast. Jerky footage on the long lens will give you bad footage given how susceptible the camera is to wobbling.

I looked at your original post footage and the clips look like they're shot with a really high shutter speed, really jerky. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I use the 7x camera a lot and I just don't see this sort of stuttering.
2-16 15:58
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Andrew Bland SF
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CloudVisual Posted at 2-16 15:58
No one has said it yet, but your shutter speed is too fast. Jerky footage on the long lens will give you bad footage given how susceptible the camera is to wobbling.

I looked at your original post footage and the clips look like they're shot with a really high shutter speed, really jerky. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I use the 7x camera a lot and I just don't see this sort of stuttering.

Hmm, I typically use the double-the-frame-rate technique; 1/50 for 24p, 1/120 for 60p, etc.
Sometimes I'll bump the shutter speed to knock the light down, but not by a lot.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll keep an eye on that in the future.
2-16 16:15
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Freetime
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jmb63 Posted at 2-15 06:46
Yes, I agree and hope that my thought is nonsense...
But my speculation is based on the fact that DJI is very active with their "protections" on the drones ... no-fly zones, logging into an account, etc... Since the whole "problem" that many in the public have is a privacy concern, a high-quality zoom camera on a consumer drone can be perceived by the privacy-protective masses as a problem..I have experienced those paranoid types firsthand...
Your analogy of the Binoculars is nowhere near the same since Binoculars can't fly over different properties...which is the main concern that those people have with drones...

There is no ZOOM camera on the drone.
2-17 09:38
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Rosewell Flyer
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My experience with the Mavic 3 Pro is identical.  It is hard to get nice shots out of the 7x and even harder to tell on the screen if it is working well.
I get home and dispose of most of the 7x attempts, but sometimes they're decent.

As you said, lots of light is good.  Also, when I use the 7x I try to really slow down the drone movement.

I am fairly pleased with still photos from the 7x.
2-17 21:23
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Freetime
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jmb63 Posted at 2-14 19:03
I, personally, think that DJI purposely makes the zoom not as clear as it could be to not have it used as a long-distance "spy" tool.
They have all kinds of other protections in place to "protect" themselves from legal issues if used improperly/illegally so reducing the clarity/sharpness of a zoom lens would go along with that.

#1 its not a zoom lens
#2 DJI purposely makes the lens not as clear.is probably the strangest thing I have heard on here.
     So I give you the award for that comment.
I would maybe read up on photography first,before posting utter nonsense.
2-19 09:00
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Andrew Bland SF Posted at 2-16 12:47
Getting this convo back on track...
I shot some footage yesterday with the long lens and was quite happy with it. I think the main thing is to just have plenty of light, and dial in that focus.

Thank you for your update regarding this matter. We're glad to know that you're satisfied with the latest result regarding this phenomenon. Moreover, please know that I've sent you a direct message for further confirmation.
2-22 23:36
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