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Shooting Moving Objects and Sharpness
939 28 2017-2-27
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Matt218
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Australia
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Hi All,

Just wondering if anyone else on here shoots stills of moving objects (I shoot railway) and has any tips for sharpness.

On the P4P I set the focus point manually by pressing on the screen where I would like it to focus, it will then beep beep to indicate focus.

What I notice though is even though I focus in this spot (usually where front of train will be) the images are still very soft in this location.

Do I need to try something else for a sharper result? I notice the centre of the images is usually very sharp, just not towards the edges (but not the absolute edge).

Any tips would be great, thanks!
2017-2-27
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s0
Second Officer
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United Kingdom
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Can you post an example?

A wide aperture will give softer focus anywhere that is at a different depth to the focus point.

A narrower aperture will be more likely to show motion blur because it requires slower shutter speed.

A faster ISO (to allow narrower aperture and faster shutter speed) may give more noise.

Using manual settings to juggle these parameters may be the way to get the best results.
2017-2-27
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Labroides
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Focus shouldn't be critical since the lens on the P4pro has lots of depth of field at any aperture as long as you aren't focusing extremely close.
Look at a depth of field calculator to see how it varies.
At f5.6 if you focus at 10 metres, you'll have everything in focus from 2.5 metres to infinity.
2017-2-27
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liningiv
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Hi Matt,
What you need more than anything else is lots of light.  You will then get good contrast in your image and it will appear sharper.  
Good light  then gives you all the options, low ISO 100 is just about essential for detail  and minimisation of noise , fast shutter speed 1/250 minimum if your train is moving, and the sharpest aperture for your lens arguably f5 to f5.6.  Dont go anywhere near f11.
What Labroides says about D of F is correct, but this is based on "acceptable" focus and circles of confusion.  Your lens will be slightly out of focus every metre in front and every metre behind the focus point.  This is one of the advantages of this bigger sensor, it gives a much more photographic result than say a P3 or an iPhone where the size of the sensor renders almost everything in "acceptable" focus.  I believe this sensor size is what led DJI to introduce focus control on P4P.
The fact that everyone can also zoom into more than 100% magnification leads some to think that their images are soft when they are acceptably sharp.  And then take into account the masses and masses of controls on whichever software you chose to use, then take into account the resolution of your screen, the Facebook compression, and especially the 2MB image limitation on this forum and who can tell what is sharp or soft.  Only you can make that judgement.
I think that this is sharp but is from a P3P so if enlarged too big it may appear soft.
DJI_0161-Pano.jpg
2017-2-27
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Matt218
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liningiv Posted at 2017-2-27 07:37
Hi Matt,
What you need more than anything else is lots of light.  You will then get good contrast in your image and it will appear sharper.  
Good light  then gives you all the options, low ISO 100 is just about essential for detail  and minimisation of noise , fast shutter speed 1/250 minimum if your train is moving, and the sharpest aperture for your lens arguably f5 to f5.6.  Dont go anywhere near f11.

Thanks everyone. I guess I'm just super used to a DSLR and choosing my exact focal area and never hacving it fail.

With the P4P, I have been using tap to focus where the front of the train will be (eg. 50-300 metres or so away dependant on the scene). I have been finding that the front of the train is not focused properly and contains blur.

Do you have to use tap to focus? Can you simply compose the scene on the camera and hit the shutter without actually selecting an area to focus....does the drone automatically focus when you hit the shutter?

Sorry for all of the questions!
2017-2-27
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PaulL
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The edges of the frame tend to not be as sharp as in the center. Have you tried any tests with stationary objects? Under what wind speed are you flying? If the drone is having to work hard, that might be part of the problem. Have you tried to shoot from further away and cropping into the image a little, may 10 percent? What is your output size? Sorry for so many questions.

paul
2017-2-27
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Matt218
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Thanks, the wind speed may not have helped too much in this situation as the drone was working kind of hard to stay put.

I have tried stationary subjects and they appear a lot sharper.

The images below show straight from the drone

The locomotive is not at the edge of the frame and in the zoomed in version is considerably less sharp than the carriage behind it, I had tapped to focus on the locomotive too.

I'm wondering if I need to use the tap to focus setting at all, or maybe just let the drone focus the entire image itself when I press the shutter?
DJI_0175smlld.jpg
DJI_0175smll.jpg
2017-2-28
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ProQuad
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Matt218,
Nice pics.  Love trains too.  In your post you said "...I set the focus point manually by pressing on the screen..."  

I don't think that is "manually" focusing the camera.  There is a setting in the 2nd line down upper right corner were your focus/AE is.  Press this and it will bring up a manual slide bar just below it.  From there you can slide up or down to manually focus.

I would agree with what everyone else is saying about the camera settings.  I have had the same issues with moving and non moving objects but seem to correct them with the "manual focus"

Try this and let us know if it works for you
2017-2-28
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liningiv
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ProQuad Posted at 2017-2-28 04:59
Matt218,
Nice pics.  Love trains too.  In your post you said "...I set the focus point manually by pressing on the screen..."  

Without you showing where the focus point was it is not possible to judge.  For sure the carriage behind the loco is sharper than the loco.  If you for example pre-focussed on a part of the bridge by tap to focus, then panned a small amount when the train approached, when you pressed the shutter it will focus again on your focus area, signified by the green square, before taking the picture.
Could you please let us know where the focus point was?
Also what aperture was used?  It shows classic wide open aperture characteristics, of shallow depth of field.  I think that you have inadvertently focussed on the carriage and the front of the loco is going steadily out of focus.If you use fully manual focus on the part of the bridge you want sharp, it will not re-focus, when you take the image.

Good luck.
2017-2-28
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Labroides
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Matt218 Posted at 2017-2-28 01:38
Thanks, the wind speed may not have helped too much in this situation as the drone was working kind of hard to stay put.

I have tried stationary subjects and they appear a lot sharper.

Go up below the battery % on your screen and tap there until you get the green focusing square to show.
Tap on the track where your next train will be in the shot you imagine.
As the train approaches the green square, give the trigger a half squeeze and it beeps when it's focused, then push harder when you want to shoot the pic.
2017-2-28
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Matt218
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liningiv Posted at 2017-2-28 05:25
Without you showing where the focus point was it is not possible to judge.  For sure the carriage behind the loco is sharper than the loco.  If you for example pre-focussed on a part of the bridge by tap to focus, then panned a small amount when the train approached, when you pressed the shutter it will focus again on your focus area, signified by the green square, before taking the picture.
Could you please let us know where the focus point was?
Also what aperture was used?  It shows classic wide open aperture characteristics, of shallow depth of field.  I think that you have inadvertently focussed on the carriage and the front of the loco is going steadily out of focus.If you use fully manual focus on the part of the bridge you want sharp, it will not re-focus, when you take the image.

Thanks for your reply. The focus was set underneath the locomotive on the track
2017-2-28
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RedHotPoker
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Sometimes just observing a moving object from a still drone perspective, is awesome too. ;-)


RedHotPoker
2017-2-28
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piee
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You can also use peak focus threshold in general settings and shows red lines where scene is more outa focus, less red lines=more focus, but it is only available in camera not video settings, but could check scene and then switch to video, I would try manual shutter speed and auto ISO/Aperture.
2017-2-28
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RedHotPoker
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piee Posted at 2017-2-28 17:42
You can also use peak focus threshold in general settings and shows red lines where scene is more outa focus, less red lines=more focus, but it is only available in camera not video settings, but could check scene and then switch to video, I would try manual shutter speed and auto ISO/Aperture.

Yes, some experimental shots can be very revealing.

Digital photography is great, where you can delete any bad shots we don't prefer. ;-)



RedHotPoker
2017-2-28
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Matt218
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PaulL Posted at 2017-2-27 21:27
The edges of the frame tend to not be as sharp as in the center. Have you tried any tests with stationary objects? Under what wind speed are you flying? If the drone is having to work hard, that might be part of the problem. Have you tried to shoot from further away and cropping into the image a little, may 10 percent? What is your output size? Sorry for so many questions.

paul

Hi Paul

Thanks for your reply. I'm shooting 3:2 and my output after photoshop is 1800 x 1200




2017-2-28
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Matt218
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Labroides Posted at 2017-2-28 05:39
Go up below the battery % on your screen and tap there until you get the green focusing square to show.
Tap on the track where your next train will be in the shot you imagine.
As the train approaches the green square, give the trigger a half squeeze and it beeps when it's focused, then push harder when you want to shoot the pic.

Same as a DSLR.... thanks I'll try this!!
2017-2-28
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Matt218
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ProQuad Posted at 2017-2-28 04:59
Matt218,
Nice pics.  Love trains too.  In your post you said "...I set the focus point manually by pressing on the screen..."  

Hi, thanks! What I meant was I was manually selecting where the focal point was going to be. I will try the manual focus, is it easy to work out?

I used an aperture if
2017-2-28
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michandr
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Russia
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It might be just usual motion blur. if so, reduce exposure time to 1/1000 or less (+wider Aperture/higher ISO if needed) to fix it.
Or move your bird to the same direction as a train or other moving object as the other option.
2017-2-28
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Matt218
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michandr Posted at 2017-2-28 21:48
It might be just usual motion blur. if so, reduce exposure time to 1/1000 or less (+wider Aperture/higher ISO if needed) to fix it.
Or move your bird to the same direction as a train or other moving object as the other option.

Thanks for that, I thought motion blur too but it was just that the loco was not focused and the carriage wasn that was throwing me off a bit.

Going to try new things next time.
2017-2-28
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Helimage
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It looks pretty sharp already, but if the train is moving fast, you should bump up the shutter speed to over 1/1000. That should freeze the motion pretty well.
2017-3-1
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ProQuad
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Matt218 Posted at 2017-2-28 21:27
Hi, thanks! What I meant was I was manually selecting where the focal point was going to be. I will try the manual focus, is it easy to work out?

I used an aperture if

Yes, Its easy to work out.  I use is often.
2017-3-2
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liningiv
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piee Posted at 2017-2-28 17:42
You can also use peak focus threshold in general settings and shows red lines where scene is more outa focus, less red lines=more focus, but it is only available in camera not video settings, but could check scene and then switch to video, I would try manual shutter speed and auto ISO/Aperture.

I think you have this the wrong way around.
The in focus area will have the red lines, the out of focus will have progressively fewer.
2017-3-2
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Cobra44Magnum
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liningiv Posted at 2017-3-2 09:27
I think you have this the wrong way around.
The in focus area will have the red lines, the out of focus will have progressively fewer.

You are correct - red area is in-focus. However, keep in mind that this feature needs flat areas or edges of some type to reference. Some wide open scenery shots have very little red due to the lack of something to reference.
2017-3-2
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Cobra44Magnum
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Plenty of light and a mid-range (5ish) F-Stop ended up being the magic bullet for me. I kept getting videos with only a small swath in focus and the rest not-so-much. Then I accidentally got some footage with the camera in Aperture Priority mode and set at 5.6 (I had been playing around with settings and forgot to put it back to auto). Those videos looked amazing in comparison to previous shots. I know that a large moving object, like a train, in the foreground changes things but I would experiment with Aperture Priority mode and see how much that helps.
2017-3-2
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eliot may
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liningiv Posted at 2017-2-27 07:37
Hi Matt,
What you need more than anything else is lots of light.  You will then get good contrast in your image and it will appear sharper.  
Good light  then gives you all the options, low ISO 100 is just about essential for detail  and minimisation of noise , fast shutter speed 1/250 minimum if your train is moving, and the sharpest aperture for your lens arguably f5 to f5.6.  Dont go anywhere near f11.

w.o.w that picture is amazing liningiv
2017-3-3
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liningiv
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eliot may Posted at 2017-3-3 02:36
w.o.w that picture is amazing liningiv

Thanks Eliot.
I had a week there and took some lovely scenes.
Lucky with the weather too.
2017-3-3
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ProQuad
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liningiv Posted at 2017-3-2 09:27
I think you have this the wrong way around.
The in focus area will have the red lines, the out of focus will have progressively fewer.

Liningiv, yes.  Your correct, my bad.
2017-3-3
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Matt218
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eliot may Posted at 2017-3-3 02:36
w.o.w that picture is amazing liningiv

Thanks
2017-3-3
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Matt218
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Thanks everyone for your assistance, I used the manual focus this morning although not in proper sunlight (damn clouds) and the image is sharper!
2017-3-3
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