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Mavic Video Quality - Is It Me, Or The Mavic?
6615 18 2017-3-22
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DMC_84
lvl.1
United States
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I've had my Mavic for a couple of weeks now. The weather has been crappy, so I've only flown it 5 times, but I'm a little bit concerned about the video quality. I've seen videos shot with the Mavic online that look great, and my footage looks okay for the most part, but it all looks overly sharp to me when viewed full-screen, and when I zoom in closer, there are a lot of artifacts. I want to figure out if the look of the footage is due to 1) something I'm doing wrong in the settings, 2) something wrong with my Mavic's camera, or 3) some general limitation of the camera that I'll just have to deal with.

Here are a couple of cropped sections of the 4K image:

RiverNorth - Crop

RiverNorth - Crop
        

RiverSouth - Crop

RiverSouth - Crop


I've also uploaded some sample footage to Google Drive, along with some screen shots from the raw files and color-corrected files.

Color-Corrected Footage (compressed to reduce file size):
RiverNorth:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4sund3zq12gX3RoQ0JuQUs3ZHc
RiverSouth:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4sund3zq12gRzRHYjM5alpUWUE

Stills from Raw Files:
RiverNorth:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4sund3zq12gcmNiaGVTUWJGVkU
RiverSouth:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4sund3zq12gUE9JZ010OU9CNEk

Stills from Color-Corrected Footage:
RiverNorth:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4sund3zq12gUEVyYnRwOUNqLXc
RiverSouth:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4sund3zq12gU3A3LVczZDZWVVU

These clips were shot at 4K in D-Log. ISO was 100, and shutter speed was probably around 1200, though I'm not sure about that. I'd like to get that shutter speed lower, but the Polar Pro ND filters I ordered for the Mavic are back-ordered. Sharpness was set at +1, contrast and saturation at -3. I have shot some other footage with sharpness at -1, but I didn't particularly like the look of it either. There was not a huge difference in quality, but I think these clips with +1 sharpness actually look better.

The clip I called "RiverNorth" looks better to my eyes than "RiverSouth," but they both have the same artifacts and overall look.

So, any ideas? Am I just doing something wrong? Or does my Mavic have some sort of issue?

2017-3-22
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Jenee 2
Captain
Flight distance : 7852129 ft
Australia
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It is a bit difficult to tell with the video because it looks like it has been compressed too much. A small sample direct from the sd card would be better. I would also suggest doing a camera reset and then taking some pictures and video with no changes made to settings, just use the defaults and auto focus. Then have a look.
2017-3-22
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daivatam
lvl.4
Flight distance : 473389 ft
Romania
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It is just the camera quality...the compression is huge and the codec not so good...you will have degraded image with lots of artifacts in any quick panning horizontal and vertical...also the processing algorithm of the video is bad...exaggerated...on +1 sharpness and even 0 the image is extremely oversharpened and noise very visible...on -1 sharpness already the noise reduction will activate and will obliterate most of the detail the image starting looking like painting...I Really hope that dji will change that in new firmware...
2017-3-23
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MonkeyMavic
lvl.1
Flight distance : 176811 ft
Isle of Man
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I really hope it isn't the camera quality. I'm really disappointed with the quality of my footage after the first couple of days of flying.

Surely it has to be better than this? The water colour effect is appalling. I do get better quality (looking) footage out of my iPhone camera. The detail is non existent. Ive tried 4k, 2.7,1080 different frame rates, different speeds, different custom settings. Nothing seems to make a difference.

Attached are some screenshots from FCPX of a few frames from this morning at 100% and Fit to screen of the same frame. I have zoomed in on the areas that I have just focused by using tap to focus.

Settings of the Video:

Full 4K 24FPS
Sutter Speed 1/2000
D-Log -1,-1,-1
ISO 100

Latest firmware installed, and everything reset.

All of the images are from the unedited D-LOG video, plus one with colour correction, which is even worse. Also a short sample of the footage in its unedited format (D-LOG).

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3llN5jaoLYUUTJua0ptVGR3NFk

I have read so many blogs/articles about the issue, I don't know if this is all we can expect/can be fixed with firmware updates/or some are defective and need to be replaced. DJI seem to be staying very tight lipped on this, it would be good if they could come back with something. What is frustrating I've had d-log footage sent to me which seems a lot better than mine, so I'm hoping its a fixable issue but why won't DJI just say something? I'm afraid she'll be going on eBay if it cant get resolved which is a massive shame, as its a fantastic quad other than this issue.

2017-3-23
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Ex Machina
Captain
Flight distance : 1739816 ft
United States
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In general, don't use -1 sharpening unless flying in strong light. Negative sharpening in poor light will only lead to grief.
2017-3-23
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DMC_84
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United States
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Jenee 2 Posted at 2017-3-22 23:57
It is a bit difficult to tell with the video because it looks like it has been compressed too much. A small sample direct from the sd card would be better. I would also suggest doing a camera reset and then taking some pictures and video with no changes made to settings, just use the defaults and auto focus. Then have a look.

I extracted a short section of one of the raw .mov files and uploaded that to Drive.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4sund3zq12gTklaZXh2MXVjWEk

By the way, I did switch the camera from NTSC to PAL and back again before shooting these particular clips. I had read about that trick on this forum. It doesn't look like it did anything.
2017-3-23
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Ackdoh
First Officer
Flight distance : 6014 ft
United States
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I recently shot in -2 sharpness and on the new d-log when I went to my San Francisco trip.  Man, it looked super bad, definitely lots of blurred detail, and some details like trees from above looks like just blobs.  I thought it was the -2 sharpening, which some websites recommended, but I think it could also be in combination with the new D-Log.  I shot just Normal during my Big Bear trips and it was perfectly fine, not that bad in sharpness, and it was at -1 sharpness. I might go back to that.  Color correcting with pretty compressed footage is leading to artifacts. Just exposing it well from the get go I think will work best and doing minor color corrections after.
2017-3-23
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Jenee 2
Captain
Flight distance : 7852129 ft
Australia
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DMC_84 Posted at 2017-3-23 10:31
I extracted a short section of one of the raw .mov files and uploaded that to Drive.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4sund3zq12gTklaZXh2MXVjWEk

It should not make any difference whether it is pal or ntsc except the frame rates will be different.
The video will not be in raw as that is only for photos.
This video does look a lot better. Has it been done with all standard video settings?  Not dlog as we need to see the original colours.
2017-3-23
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DMC_84
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Jenee 2 Posted at 2017-3-23 16:45
It should not make any difference whether it is pal or ntsc except the frame rates will be different.
The video will not be in raw as that is only for photos.
This video does look a lot better. Has it been done with all standard video settings?  Not dlog as we need to see the original colours.

Sorry, I meant "raw"as in straight off the SD card with no color-correction, processing, etc. not "Raw" as in the still photo mode. I had read somewhere (this forum, maybe...possibly another) that switching to PAL, then back to NTSC would reset the camera and possibly clear some image issues, so that's the only reason I tried that. I've shot everything in NTSC.

I shot a few more test clips this afternoon with camera settings all at 0 and normal color. I decided to try shooting in 2.7K instead of 4K to see how that looked. I think it looks better than the 4K footage. I was going to try 1080p also but my battery was getting low.

Here's a 2.7K test clip with normal colors and sharpness, contrast, saturation all at 0:https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4sund3zq12gWVItWkZ6VGFocGs

2017-3-23
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Jenee 2
Captain
Flight distance : 7852129 ft
Australia
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DMC_84 Posted at 2017-3-23 17:32
Sorry, I meant "raw"as in straight off the SD card with no color-correction, processing, etc. not "Raw" as in the still photo mode. I had read somewhere (this forum, maybe...possibly another) that switching to PAL, then back to NTSC would reset the camera and possibly clear some image issues, so that's the only reason I tried that. I've shot everything in NTSC.

I shot a few more test clips this afternoon with camera settings all at 0 and normal color. I decided to try shooting in 2.7K instead of 4K to see how that looked. I think it looks better than the 4K footage. I was going to try 1080p also but my battery was getting low.

Changing from NTSC to Pal or vice versa does not reset the camera, just restarts it. In the camera settings there is a button to rest the camera and that puts everything back to factory default.
The 2.7k video was not as good as it should be. You may have to contact support and let them take a look at the video.
2017-3-23
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fans4addea89
New
Flight distance : 2575 ft
United States
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Your footage looks exactly like mine.....GARBAGE!  I have also been very frustrated with this as well and also cannot get a straight answer from DJI.  They suggested I send it in to get "looked at".  They won't tell me how long it will take.  Will it take a couple weeks or months......I don't know.  I wish they would say.....yes we can fix this or no that is how the camera films.
2017-4-13
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fansd17af852
lvl.2
Flight distance : 518373 ft
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United States
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Sending mine back for the second time.  It's strange sometimes if you do a factory camera reset it goes away.  And then once you start playing with log and d-cinelike, etc.  the problem suddenly comes back.  I seem to alternate between nice video and garbage and just don't know why.
2017-5-30
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j.rushin
lvl.1
Flight distance : 6680 ft
United States
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I read that D-log might be the reason for the blobs/watercolor effect. My footage looks terrible, but planning to change to D-Cinelike for next session.
2017-11-14
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mstrauss7140
Second Officer
Flight distance : 62129 ft
United States
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I'm having similar issues. I need a new drone I think. I should have purchased the P4P with the better camera. I have no interest in taking this drone and it's crappy camera anywhere, so the portability lost with the P4P is a nonissue. Sure wish I could get footage even close to the Mavic footage others post on youtube.
2017-11-18
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fans79a9d393
lvl.2
United States
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This is a recurring theme. The Mavic camera is a QC lottery of sorts.
2017-11-18
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nottuppaware
First Officer
Flight distance : 70745 ft
Australia
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I think we are all a bit spoilt by post-processing on smart phones.

You only have to look at the video coming out of the spark (which is the same sensor as the mavic) to see that the footage requires a little tweaking and isn't a direct upload to youtube type of drone.

A bit of post shooting adjustment in brightness/contrast and saturation helps.
Of course poo-in poo-out as they say. You just got to know the limits of the drone.
(btw the spark footage is amazing)
2017-11-19
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djiuser_mtbCQSZ
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United States
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To view 4K video you need a 4K monitor  or 4K tv is the way I understand it.
2017-12-30
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djiuser_mtbCQSZ
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United States
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I’m thinking Standard definition Non-Hd looks like crap on a HD television, and it may be just the opposite when I play a 4K video on a HD television or that’s what I’m seeing with my brothers Mavic 4K videos..
2017-12-30
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lifedownunder
lvl.2
Australia
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D-Log seems to be fine for me. Fine for this guy editing in this video too...

Best EASY scene setting for CINEMATIC drone footage | DJI Mavic, Phantom, Spark https://youtu.be/OZS7RLhggP4
2018-1-12
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