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Automatically focus at infinity
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StevenFL
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Flight distance : 1009301 ft
United States
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Hey all - please excuse if this has already been addressed.

I just got back from a sunrise flight (luckily very close to my house with only a 5/10 quality sunrise) and everything was blurry.  I had the autofucs square in the middle, so assumed that everything was fine.  That said, the footage didn't look awesome on my screen, but I assumed this was a feed issue since it was only my third or fourth Mavic flight.

Anyhow, my question:
Is there any way to put Mavic in a mode where it is always focused at infinity on start-up and doesn't try to focus elsewhere?  And then, if that is the case, can I override and set focus during flight?

Thanks!
2016-10-30
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rick39
lvl.4
Flight distance : 164354 ft
United Kingdom
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I still don't know if it has continuous auto focus, but did you tap the screen when your camera was pointing at a subject at your preferred distance ? If there is a setting for full auto focus then there will also be one to switch to manual focus, although that is deceiving in that the use of the word "manual" means semi automatic. You tap the screen and the auto focus locks on and sticks to the distance measurement of the object you've focused on. There are numerous posts here about the focusing set up of the Mavic, but I haven't seen one post yet that confirms the existence of continuous auto focus.
2016-10-30
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method007
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rick39 Posted at 2016-10-30 07:52
I still don't know if it has continuous auto focus, but did you tap the screen when your camera was  ...

It definitely does not have continuous auto focus.
2016-10-30
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rick39
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method007 Posted at 2016-10-30 14:22
It definitely does not have continuous auto focus.

Where have you heard that? I'm intrigued as I've been posing the question and looking out on the net for the answer.
2016-10-30
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Tahoe Ed
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It does not have continuous Autofocus.  It has tap to focus, or you can set the C1 to do focus at the center of the frame or you can use manual focus.  If you want to focus to infinity then select an object about 50 m out and tap to focus on that or use manual focus.
2016-10-30
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rick39
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Tahoe Ed Posted at 2016-10-30 15:58
It does not have continuous Autofocus.  It has tap to focus, or you can set the C1 to do focus at th ...


Hi Ed,
Thanks to yourself and method007 for clearing that up for me. I noticed on one of the many youtube videos out there how smooth the transition appeared to be when altering focus at different relatively close distances. In a reverse take off from a close up focused object a couple of feet away, like a sign or plaque etc , to a distance of say 300 feet away, is there a method of altering focus in a linear way to present a smooth transition in focus, while maintaining safe flight and presentable image results. I'm guessing the only way would be a couple of pre programmed way point settings and let the Mavic do the flying autonomously. In such a scenario, is focus adjustment still available (I presume it is), and all the operator would have to do would be to continually tap focus on the subject as it becomes further away. Have I got that right?
If anyone who has a Mavic and would be willing to try this I would be very interested in the published video. I know you all like a challenge!
2016-10-30
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Flybee
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2203983 ft
Sweden
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rick39 Posted at 2016-10-30 13:52
I still don't know if it has continuous auto focus, but did you tap the screen when your camera was  ...

The problem with continuous auto focus is that the camera "constantly" changes focus which would be a "disaster" on these machines I guess. == Focus hunting is not something we would like to have.  
2016-10-30
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FlashGJ
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Flight distance : 293379 ft
United States
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People keep asking how to keep the Mavic focused on infinity. Actually if you focus on infinity, you most likely will get poor results from the Mavic camera. For those that understand photography, you all ready know that every lens at a given aperature has what they call a hyperfocal distance. In landscape photography, where you want as much as possible in focus, you will focus at the hyperfocal distance and then everything at some distance in front of that distance all the way to infinity will be in focus. An example of this would be on a certain 28mm lens with the aperture set to f/11, the hyperfocal distance is about 4 yds (3.7 meters). So you would focus the camera at that distance, and then everything from about 2 yds to infinity would be in focus. If you were to actually set the focus to infinity, a lot of the scene at distances getting closer to the camera would be out of focus.

I do not know what the hyperfocal distance of the Mavic camera is, (but the depth of field is rather large) but it is very safe to say that you would want to actually focus on something more in the neighborhood of  20-30 yards out and then everything from say 15 yards to infinity would be in focus. When I get my Mavic, I plan on experimenting to try and figure out what the actually hyperfocal distance is, with how small it is, and considering that it has a rather large depth of field, it will be very forgiving. But for best results, don't try to focus on infinity, set your focus on something much closer. Experiment and find out what works best.
2016-10-30
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rick39
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FlashGJ Posted at 2016-10-30 20:24
People keep asking how to keep the Mavic focused on infinity. Actually if you focus on infinity, you ...

Wise words Flash. Look forward to your published test flights as and when you get your Mavic and are able.
2016-10-30
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stealle
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Flight distance : 21827 ft
United States
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Flybee Posted at 2016-10-30 12:51
The problem with continuous auto focus is that the camera "constantly" changes focus which would b ...

consumer grade handheld camcorders have been doing a fine job of this for years on fast moving objects
2016-10-30
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GswOne
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Flight distance : 66969 ft
Italy
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DJI has just done a poor job.

It is NOT possible that if you approach something in the air you are an out of focus to scream.

I do not believe that the on-board chip does not realize when there is the need to manual focus.

And I do not even believe that if the picture is in focus the goal is to make the micro movement that ruined the shot.

2016-11-5
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yoengel
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GswOne Posted at 2016-11-5 22:38
DJI has just done a poor job.

It is NOT possible that if you approach something in the air you are  ...

As a photographer, I shoot mostly in manual mode and I"m really excited about the depth of field and manual focusing features found in the mavic.

It is called the Mavic "PRO" for a reason.  It does not make sense to buy a Canon 5D mk4 and shoot in auto mode all the time because you don't know how to use the manual mode and think that they've done a "poor job".  Learn how to shoot manual and elevate your game.  Otherwise, buy a point and shoot drone.

To respond to the original poster, even high-end DSLRs have trouble auto focusing into bright light sources or dark situations, which is around sunrise/sunset and at night.  What was in the center of your frame that you were trying to focus at?

DJI-Ken, for this reason, the autofocus in the center is not always a viable option.  There needs to be an option to set the camera to infinity.  
2016-11-5
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yoengel
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stealle Posted at 2016-10-31 09:56
consumer grade handheld camcorders have been doing a fine job of this for years on fast moving obj ...

still cameras and video cameras have different focusing systems and sensors.  camcorders are bad at taking still photos.

Even high-end DSLRs have behave badly with focus hunting while shooting video and we do not want this.  The mavic camera is great if you know what you're doing.  Please read my post above.
2016-11-5
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KerryG
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The focus system on the Mavic is a blessing and a curse. For people that know what they are doing, it gives you control of what you are shooting. For people that just want fly and get video without having to "work the camera", they may be a bit disappointed in the results. For the people that just want a point-and-shoot camera on a drone, the P4 is a better choice.
2016-11-8
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Jamesmac
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United Kingdom
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yoengel Posted at 2016-11-5 08:20
still cameras and video cameras have different focusing systems and sensors.  camcorders are bad at taking still photos.

Even high-end DSLRs have behave badly with focus hunting while shooting video and we do not want this.  The mavic camera is great if you know what you're doing.  Please read my post above.

Totally agree Yoengel, I'm having difficulties getting the results I want in low light situations but I've only really flown it a couple of times and each time the results get better and better... I think if you're willing to play with the settings (and know what to try) then this is a great wee flying camera... people just have to realise it's NOT a flying dSLR and never will be!!
2017-2-10
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Ex Machina
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1806362 ft
United States
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There are full manual focus and autofocus modes, with autofocus sometimes hunting, even when orbiting around a stationary POI -- for this reason it's a good idea to switch to manual mode after your POI is set up, or in any other situation where a focus change would be disruptive. Most of the time autofocus works pretty well, and you can always override it by tapping on the subject you want focused.

If you are on iOS, it might be helpful to turn on focus-peaking so you have some feedback on what is and isn't currently in focus, which can be hard to discern on your phone's video feed.

Note: Manual focus is off by default, you have to first enable it in the general settings. Once you've done that you have full control over focus via an on-screen slider, and you can toggle between modes at will.

2017-2-10
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M Stuart K
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KerryG Posted at 2016-11-8 07:41
The focus system on the Mavic is a blessing and a curse. For people that know what they are doing, it gives you control of what you are shooting. For people that just want fly and get video without having to "work the camera", they may be a bit disappointed in the results. For the people that just want a point-and-shoot camera on a drone, the P4 is a better choice.

This is the very best explanation on the issues of the Mavic Pro that I have read from KerryG!  He is absolutely correct and I know this because I have a P4 and the Mavic is causing me to learn how to use manual mode if I want to keep it.  If you want a good shot with the Mavic you have to start reading a book like I have begun or find another drone.  It does not appear to be the drone for the point and shoot shot like my P4. Thanks for posting this response and explanation KerryG!  
2017-2-11
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vinnyhofx
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Canada
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FlashGJ Posted at 2016-10-30 12:24
People keep asking how to keep the Mavic focused on infinity. Actually if you focus on infinity, you most likely will get poor results from the Mavic camera. For those that understand photography, you all ready know that every lens at a given aperature has what they call a hyperfocal distance. In landscape photography, where you want as much as possible in focus, you will focus at the hyperfocal distance and then everything at some distance in front of that distance all the way to infinity will be in focus. An example of this would be on a certain 28mm lens with the aperture set to f/11, the hyperfocal distance is about 4 yds (3.7 meters). So you would focus the camera at that distance, and then everything from about 2 yds to infinity would be in focus. If you were to actually set the focus to infinity, a lot of the scene at distances getting closer to the camera would be out of focus.

I do not know what the hyperfocal distance of the Mavic camera is, (but the depth of field is rather large) but it is very safe to say that you would want to actually focus on something more in the neighborhood of  20-30 yards out and then everything from say 15 yards to infinity would be in focus. When I get my Mavic, I plan on experimenting to try and figure out what the actually hyperfocal distance is, with how small it is, and considering that it has a rather large depth of field, it will be very forgiving. But for best results, don't try to focus on infinity, set your focus on something much closer. Experiment and find out what works best.

Pretty detailed response. Have you experienced and came up with some conclusions?
2017-6-15
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