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Suggestions/ Advice for DJI Mavic Pro Night Camera Settings
4550 3 2017-2-6
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Allistair R 3
lvl.3
Flight distance : 282283 ft
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United Kingdom
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I wasn't entirely happy with the first night flight I did. I used the Auto settings as I have used for all my previous Drones and compared to my last DJI Phantom 4, Mavic turned out to be a bit grainy with the night shots. It was out of focus too at every point I turned even though I used AF.  It could probably be the wind and I'll also put in that it was a bit foggy that evening. If any of you have suggestions or advice on the Night mode I'd really apreciate it.
Thank you

2017-2-6
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Stewie Griffin
lvl.3
Canada
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There are two factors really, and only 2 that affect getting sharp night pictures.  The first is the focus, and second is exposure time.  For focus, unless you have a very bright object, like lets say a well lit up soccer field, you simply wont be able to autofocus.  What I have been doing is when flying at dusk, so the light is still good, I autofocus on something far away, couple of hundred meters, and then put it into manual focus.  Note that when you do this, the slider on the M focus setting is really only half way between macro and infinity.  This is why the slider for manual focus is useless.  Infinity focus is nowhere close to what it should be.  If you manually dial it to infinity focus, you are way past this point so the pictures will be blurry.  There is really no way to set focus via the manual setting, but what its good for is now locking the focus down.  It even stays locked if you shut it down and restart again.  So you could be flying during the day, put the foucs into manual, and when you come back at night, the focus will still be good.

The second point is now exposure time.  If you have absolutely no movement in the drone, and you are far enough away from what you're shooting, you could get away with a 2 second exposure.  But this is rare.  1 second exposures are more likely, but still tough sometimes.  1/2 is about where most seem to turn out good, and if this means going to ISO 200 or 400, so be it.  If you use the burst mode, and select 3, you've got a better chance of getting in focus shots, but its doesn't matter as much as I thought it would.  If the drone is drifting slightly, or the gimbal is rotating slightly, its not like you will get 1 good shot and the other 2 bad.  All of them will have this same blur.  If the first shot is good because it was rock steady, then all are more than likely good now.  I notice that on different nights, the winds are a huge factor, and this is something you cant control.  So some nights its easy to get sharp pictures since there winds are almost none, other nights, you fighting it all the way.

Also, when you move, or even just pan, the drone needs a few seconds to settle, even maybe 20 or 30.  What's nice is that even at night, the live preview sreen is pretty accurate and fast so that you can see any wobble or drift in the camera and just wait until it looks rock steady and then fire off your shots.
2017-2-6
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Allistair R 3
lvl.3
Flight distance : 282283 ft
  • >>>
United Kingdom
Offline

Stewie Griffin Posted at 2017-2-6 11:51
There are two factors really, and only 2 that affect getting sharp night pictures.  The first is the focus, and second is exposure time.  For focus, unless you have a very bright object, like lets say a well lit up soccer field, you simply wont be able to autofocus.  What I have been doing is when flying at dusk, so the light is still good, I autofocus on something far away, couple of hundred meters, and then put it into manual focus.  Note that when you do this, the slider on the M focus setting is really only half way between macro and infinity.  This is why the slider for manual focus is useless.  Infinity focus is nowhere close to what it should be.  If you manually dial it to infinity focus, you are way past this point so the pictures will be blurry.  There is really no way to set focus via the manual setting, but what its good for is now locking the focus down.  It even stays locked if you shut it down and restart again.  So you could be flying during the day, put the foucs into manual, and when you come back at night, the focus will still be good.

The second point is now exposure time.  If you have absolutely no movement in the drone, and you are far enough away from what you're shooting, you could get away with a 2 second exposure.  But this is rare.  1 second exposures are more likely, but still tough sometimes.  1/2 is about where most seem to turn out good, and if this means going to ISO 200 or 400, so be it.  If you use the burst mode, and select 3, you've got a better chance of getting in focus shots, but its doesn't matter as much as I thought it would.  If the drone is drifting slightly, or the gimbal is rotating slightly, its not like you will get 1 good shot and the other 2 bad.  All of them will have this same blur.  If the first shot is good because it was rock steady, then all are more than likely good now.  I notice that on different nights, the winds are a huge factor, and this is something you cant control.  So some nights its easy to get sharp pictures since there winds are almost none, other nights, you fighting it all the way.

Thank you for taking time to write in detail. I will follow your suggestion and give it another go. This time probably when the winds are a bit stable.
2017-2-6
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fans454f0d4f
lvl.1

United States
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i have the Mavic Pro and the phantom 3 standard.  For some reason i get better night views with my phantom.  Not sure if its something with the setting on the Mavic.
2017-2-7
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