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P3 Professional - Current Bitrate for 4K Video Encoding Not Adequate
8044 9 2015-10-25
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pilalitos
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I decided to start a new thread on the issue of P3pro's problematic videoencoding quality as i am totaly surprised there isn't one already!
My background is film and video production so the view i will express here is of someone who decided to purchase the Phantom 3 Pro for professional work and not for hobby. This drone is an excellent piece of equipment. I believe that after 3-4 hours of flying, most owners will be able to shoot what they need for work. But let's talk about the video now.


We used the drone for a project that required many days of shooting aerials in the countryside. During that project we realised that the 60 Mbit/s budget for 4K/25fps footage is just not enough. When shooting scenery with high frequecy details (plants/sea/sand) the endcoder was braking down and outputing a blury pixelated mesh (in some areas of the frame). This is  unacceptable for professional work! After realizing we had this issue, we changed the footage acquisition to 1080p thinking that the 60 Mbit/s would do more justice to 1/4 of the resolution. To our surprise, we found out that the bitrate for 1080p/25fps video was just 25 Mbit/s!!!


Although this was not what we hoped for, since 25 Mbit/s for 1080p is more than 60 Mbit/s for 4K we shot the rest of the project in 1080p. We didn't notice any encoding failures in 1080p but even in that resolution we could see that the footage was in desperate need for more bitrate budget. The macroblocking motion vectors especialy, could use some more precision.


So, 4K resolution video for the Phantom 3 Professional is totaly dependent on the subject in front of the camera lens. It might work or it might NOT work. It should work ALL the time.


I don't know if there is a hardware limitation that prevents higher bitrate encoding for 4K video (100Mbit/s would be excellent) but i hope that DJI would at least increase the 1080p bitrate via a new firmware upgrade. This is IMPORTANT!

I also just found out that there is a petition on-line for that same subject for those interested.
https://www.change.org/p/dji-100mbp-s-bit-rate-for-the-phantom-3-professional

I really hope someone from DJI will reply to this. An improvement is required. This is an amazing product that is somehow unfairly crippled at the moment.

Miltos


2015-10-25
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Westside Osprey
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For real Pro work get the Inspire with the X5. The P3P is a prosumer kit. or better yet a Matrice and add an FS5.

That said, it does a very nice job, but you have to accept some scenes don't work well. If you fly slow and avoid fast pans I find the footage works very well. I like shooting in 4K (UHD actually) and then delivering in HD. This does produce very nice results.

How ever some shots will fall apart, like leaden water, a field with wind in the grass. This happens with most "ProSumer" cams.

I think it may have to do with the micro SD cards. More Pro cameras with higher bit rates use SDXC or QXD or SxS cards. You can't expect a $300.00 camera including lens to give you UHD Pro footage. But used correctly it can be intercut with pro camera footage and look great because of the dynamic quality of the shots you can get.

Just my nickel.
2015-10-25
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Rebel
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Tip: the author has been banned or deleted automatically shield
2015-10-25
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GQ.
Second Officer

Canada
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If you realy think that P3P is a professional camera so you are a dreamer. This is just a brand name to make a difference between the P3A and P3P, nothing else.
I dont know any video camera at a $1500.00 price range on the market that is professional according to the SMPTE industry standards. The Phantom 3 is not a professional camera. The Inspire Pro with the X5R is having a 1.8G bit rate in 4K is a real professional camera and SMPTE standard accepted. But again this is not a 4.2.2. standard camera. It is still a 4.2.0. with is not acceptable for some broadcasters or cinema producers. The standard is 4.2.2. and minimum 1.8 G bit rate minimum in 4k.
2015-10-25
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pilalitos
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I apreciate your replies but it looks like you are too hasty to defend the product and you are missing what the real issue is.
I know you can't expect miracles from P3P's camera. I own 2 RED cameras. If i want something to look good i will shoot it with my EPIC. However the problem IS NOT the camera. The problem is the encoding bitrate.

I can live with the camera's shortcomings. There are ways in postpropduction to deal with them and improve the footage. I can remove the noise and color grade it to look really good. Unfortunately, when the encoding falls apart there is nothing anyone can do. The footage is just useless.

If DJI could at least increase the bitrate to 60Mbit/s for 1080p with the next firmware it would make a huge difference. Are you saying you are not interested in this because the truth is that it is a "prosumer" product?

Also, If the guy who started the petition is correct with the hardware specs he presented then it means DJI could increase the P3P's 4K encoding to 100Mbit/s. This means the footage will not fall part when there is a lot going on. It will work as it should.

Miltos

2015-10-25
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Westside Osprey
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pilalitos Posted at 2015-10-25 12:17
I apreciate your replies but it looks like you are too hasty to defend the product and you are missi ...

I think the issue is the Micro SD cards are not dependable at 100mb/s. Some may be OK but others are not so by keeping the bitrate low DJI will not have complaints about dropped frames and corrupt files.

I would love to be wrong about this, but I think that is the reason.

This is an action cam that flies that is all. Treat it as such and it is fantastic for the price.

This is the reason the X5R actually uses a SSD not SD card. Higher quality encoding also needs more power and produces more heat.

I also would not blame DJI if they are just like most camera manufactures protecting their higher end products by crippling the low end products, it is an industry wide practice.
2015-10-25
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Westside Osprey
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The Amberella chip is the same as in the GoPro H4 and they use the same bit rate and mini SD cards:
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 12.42.32.jpg
2015-10-25
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pilalitos
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Westside Osprey Posted at 2015-10-25 18:31
I think the issue is the Micro SD cards are not dependable at 100mb/s. Some may be OK but others a ...

Class 10 micro SDs have a minimum write speed of 10MB/s. That is 80Mbit/s.

In my opinion, DJI should give the option to the user to select between DJI's 'standard' of 60Mbit/s and an optional 80Mbit/s. Maybe even 100Mbit/s with a disclaimer that some cards might not be up to the task and it is up to the user's responsibility.

If they want to stay with the ridiculous 60Mbit/s  they should at least make it selectable for 1080p as well.

2015-10-25
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Petr
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pilalitos Posted at 2015-10-26 00:53
Class 10 micro SDs have a minimum write speed of 10MB/s. That is 80Mbit/s.

In my opinion, DJI sho ...

I wonder why DJI staff ignore topics like this?..
It would be nice to get some feedback like "it's possible, we'll consider this" or "it's not possible because ...", etc.
2015-10-28
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Cetaman
Captain
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Aloha Petr,

    Hold on there!  This is a great discussion.  For DJI to get involved, the discussion would be altered and some of the benefits lost.  Patience.  The information zipping out of our screens is a serious benefit for the community.  Not everyone is an expert, but there are a hell of a lot of us learning plenty here.

     Continue on Gentlemen - damn, now I have to sharpen my pencil!

Aloha and Drone On!
2015-10-29
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