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Spark Jerky Footage? Please help
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582 50 2017-8-28 16:25:17
Jose Ramos
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Hi there! Did my first flight today after the lastest Spark firmware update. Everything went apparently well with the flight, but upon reviewing the images on my computer there seems to be some jerky footage on specific moments. It was quite windy, and the drone was struggling on the wind (I got no high wind warning on the app). Still, I wasn't expecting this to happen, and I hope this doesn't correspond to a gimbal problem.

As you can see, most of the times jerky footage happens when I stop the drope or change direction. Still, the opening scene clearly shows jerkyness on the rocks in the midground, while I'm moving forward, as if there was some vibration in the camera.

The last scene shows an under-exposed scene facing the sunset, on the exact same place, with the same amount of wind, where this doesn't seem to happen.

Looking forward for your input!



https://youtu.be/JMfn1jLXD1w





2017-8-28 16:25:17
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Jose Ramos
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Video did not embed properly, perhaps because it was submited on youtube as "unlisted" - made it public, hope it embeds now:
2017-8-28 16:42:20
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Charles Adams
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Spark has a gimbal for the y-axis and the z-axis (I hope I have the axis designations right).  It doesn't have a gimbal for the x-axis (horizontal).  It employs image stabilization to try and minimize movement on that axis.

Recordings will be subject to disturbances that make the spark unstable along the horizontal axis.  It really does quite well in less windy conditions, but it's not as proficient as it's more expensive cousins (p4p, mavic) in bigger winds, as they have three gimbals.
2017-8-28 16:48:26
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Goatherdervt
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I am not at all an expert but the footage looks pretty typical from the spark. My spark tends to jerk when in sport mode or when I move laterally. The movement of the camera up and down can be adjusted in the settings menu. Turn down the sensitivity of the gimbal and it may give you better results. Just my humble opinion.
2017-8-28 16:48:42
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LeeWireless
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Mine acts the same way too...
2017-8-28 16:55:55
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Jose Ramos
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-28 16:48
Spark has a gimbal for the y-axis and the z-axis (I hope I have the axis designations right).  It doesn't have a gimbal for the x-axis (horizontal).  It employs image stabilization to try and minimize movement on that axis.

Recordings will be subject to disturbances that make the spark unstable along the horizontal axis.  It really does quite well in less windy conditions, but it's not as proficient as it's more expensive cousins (p4p, mavic) in bigger winds, as they have three gimbals.

So do you think this is a normal behavior in windy conditions?
2017-8-29 00:06:32
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Jose Ramos
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Goatherdervt Posted at 2017-8-28 16:48
I am not at all an expert but the footage looks pretty typical from the spark. My spark tends to jerk when in sport mode or when I move laterally. The movement of the camera up and down can be adjusted in the settings menu. Turn down the sensitivity of the gimbal and it may give you better results. Just my humble opinion.

During this  filming the jerky movement appears even when I'm not moving the gimbal.
2017-8-29 00:07:37
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Jose Ramos
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LeeWireless Posted at 2017-8-28 16:55
Mine acts the same way too...

In windy conditions? Same exact behaviour?
2017-8-29 00:08:05
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Goatherdervt
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 00:08
In windy conditions? Same exact behaviour?

I would say yes. The spark will fight to maintain position so it often leans into the dorectin it needs to go. The windier it is, the more it leans. It will get to a point where the gimbal cannot compensate for the body roll, resulting in jerky video.

Next time when you get ready to fky, turn on the drone and look at the camera. Tilt the body side to side and you will see how much the camera will compensate. It does a great job keeping the camera level but its travel is limited. So flying in cross winds you can imagine how much tilt the camera can tolerate.
2017-8-29 00:36:44
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Montfrooij
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I do see some jumps in rocks etc. from time to time.
Looks a bit like a previous post some days ago, he removed his video, but you can read the text.
http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=109679
That had to do with the fps being slightly off in his editor settings (only marginal difference) that caused for this very strange effect.

Is this 'straight out of Spark' footage, or edited?
In case of edited, what fps settings did you use?
2017-8-29 00:47:04
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Jose Ramos
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Montfrooij Posted at 2017-8-29 00:47
I do see some jumps in rocks etc. from time to time.
Looks a bit like a previous post some days ago, he removed his video, but you can read the text.
http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=109679

Absolutely straight out of the spark. Watching the original footage on vlc player straight from the sd card also shows this
2017-8-29 00:49:46
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Goatherdervt
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 00:49
Absolutely straight out of the spark. Watching the original footage on vlc player straight from the sd card also shows this

Sorry, i misinterpreted what you were referring to. I looked at the footage again and do notice a slight stutter from time to time. I dont think it has anything to do with the wind. It seems like a recording glitch. I missed it the first time. I recall someone on YouTube discussing this very issue. I will see if i can find it.

Beautiful location by the way.
2017-8-29 01:11:40
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Bobesh
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I had similar problems in wind. As someone already mentioned - this is just related to 2-axis gimbal instead of 3-axis. But I suppose it's not a hardware defect - as the 3rd axis is simulated in software.
2017-8-29 01:13:25
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Jose Ramos
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Bobesh Posted at 2017-8-29 01:13
I had similar problems in wind. As someone already mentioned - this is just related to 2-axis gimbal instead of 3-axis. But I suppose it's not a hardware defect - as the 3rd axis is simulated in software.

The problems you got with  high wind were exactly similar to those I showed on my video?
2017-8-29 01:45:47
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Bobesh
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 01:45
The problems you got with  high wind were exactly similar to those I showed on my video?

In my case, the wind was a lot worse and the issues were more significant - even photos were skewed.
2017-8-29 01:51:02
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Bobesh
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Bobesh Posted at 2017-8-29 01:51
In my case, the wind was a lot worse and the issues were more significant - even photos were skewed.

But with lower to no winds, the footage was totally fine.
2017-8-29 01:51:35
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DJI Diana
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Looks like a normal behavior in windy conditions, if you could upload an original video from the SD card to the Dropbox, I'd like to download it and forward it to our engineer for diagnosis.
2017-8-29 02:39:05
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Montfrooij
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 00:49
Absolutely straight out of the spark. Watching the original footage on vlc player straight from the sd card also shows this

Ok, so no simple solution here.
(at least not anything that has to do with editing).
We rule that out.
Did you check with a different SD card and different battery?
2017-8-29 02:54:19
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Charles Adams
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 00:07
During this  filming the jerky movement appears even when I'm not moving the gimbal.

Yes, whether or not you are moving the gimbal, the spark camera will be more susceptible to movement along the x-axis.  Along the y and z axis the gimbals will compensate.  Along the x axis the software will attempt to compensate, but that won't be as effective as the mechanical compensation.

Caveat:  Were you flying in what you would consider to be slight winds, moderate winds, or excessive winds?  The spark should perform excellent video and photography in slight winds.  If you were experiencing this behavior in what you deemed to be slight winds, then I would say this is a defect.  If the winds were heavy, then this is not unexpected (this drone is not as robust as the more expensive drones when compensating for high winds while recording).  "Moderate" becomes more subjective.
2017-8-29 04:48:41
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hallmark007
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1/ is footage directly from SD card?
2/ very smooth footage requires a bit of practice and some delicate finger work, those jerky or stuttering in your film can be sorted at post most software will sort that for you.

Overexposed or underexposed footage can also be sorted post, sometimes like you video shows you can get nice effect from underexposed footage.
But all in all it's pretty good.
2017-8-29 05:01:28
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Jose Ramos
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Goatherdervt Posted at 2017-8-29 01:11
Sorry, i misinterpreted what you were referring to. I looked at the footage again and do notice a slight stutter from time to time. I dont think it has anything to do with the wind. It seems like a recording glitch. I missed it the first time. I recall someone on YouTube discussing this very issue. I will see if i can find it.

Beautiful location by the way.

Could you please give me the link? Right now I'm reducing hypotheses to:

1) Gimbal defect - probably unlikely, as this is a problem in the horizontal axis, and the gimbal doesn't move on that axis

2) High wind - likely. Even though the drone was easily able to fly under the moderate/high wind of that afternoon, it struggled doing it, so I guess the footage was also affected

3) Recording problem - I used a new 128gb Samsung Evo Plus card and there was possibly a recording glitch at some points. The fact that most of the stutter/jitter/shake happened when I changed direction or stopped the drone tells me this is not the problem.
2017-8-29 06:42:30
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Jose Ramos
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Bobesh Posted at 2017-8-29 01:13
I had similar problems in wind. As someone already mentioned - this is just related to 2-axis gimbal instead of 3-axis. But I suppose it's not a hardware defect - as the 3rd axis is simulated in software.

Do you think this is correctable with editing?

Do you have sample footage that shows similar problem?

Thanks
2017-8-29 06:43:06
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Jose Ramos
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Montfrooij Posted at 2017-8-29 02:54
Ok, so no simple solution here.
(at least not anything that has to do with editing).
We rule that out.

I used three different batteries, and with all of them I got the same issues on footage
2017-8-29 06:43:52
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Jose Ramos
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-29 04:48
Yes, whether or not you are moving the gimbal, the spark camera will be more susceptible to movement along the x-axis.  Along the y and z axis the gimbals will compensate.  Along the x axis the software will attempt to compensate, but that won't be as effective as the mechanical compensation.

Caveat:  Were you flying in what you would consider to be slight winds, moderate winds, or excessive winds?  The spark should perform excellent video and photography in slight winds.  If you were experiencing this behavior in what you deemed to be slight winds, then I would say this is a defect.  If the winds were heavy, then this is not unexpected (this drone is not as robust as the more expensive drones when compensating for high winds while recording).  "Moderate" becomes more subjective.

Hi Charles,

Well, I don't know the exact wind speed at that time, but that area is well know for strong winds, being chosen by windsurfers for practicing. There were not very strong gusts of wind, but it was moderately windy. Perhaps around 20km/h - 5 meters/second. To give you an idea, with the Spark in normal mode, moving it forward with the RC stick all the way forward it was moving slowly and sometimes it drifted quite a bit to the side.

What do you think?
2017-8-29 06:54:02
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Jose Ramos
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-8-29 05:01
1/ is footage directly from SD card?
2/ very smooth footage requires a bit of practice and some delicate finger work, those jerky or stuttering in your film can be sorted at post most software will sort that for you.

How would you correct this in post?
2017-8-29 06:54:25
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Charles Adams
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 06:54
Hi Charles,

Well, I don't know the exact wind speed at that time, but that area is well know for strong winds, being chosen by windsurfers for practicing. There were not very strong gusts of wind, but it was moderately windy. Perhaps around 20km/h - 5 meters/second. To give you an idea, with the Spark in normal mode, moving it forward with the RC stick all the way forward it was moving slowly and sometimes it drifted quite a bit to the side.

I think that will cause problems in recorded video.  It's the side to side that's not going to be as stable.  To be sure, this doesn't sound like a defect in the software or hardware.  This sounds an expected limitation of spark capabilities.

Keep in mind my opinions are only that, opinions.  You should factor my opinions in with the opinions of others, and I don't claim that this is a professional area of expertise.  I did a lot of analysis on trying to maximize the video capabilities of the spark, and my research included a lot of youtube watching.  There's a number of youtube videos that describe the spark compared to other craft, and this very issue that you raise is the "weakness" of the spark compared to the more expensive craft.
2017-8-29 07:19:30
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Jose Ramos
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-29 07:19
I think that will cause problems in recorded video.  It's the side to side that's not going to be as stable.  To be sure, this doesn't sound like a defect in the software or hardware.  This sounds an expected limitation of spark capabilities.

Keep in mind my opinions are only that, opinions.  You should factor my opinions in with the opinions of others, and I don't claim that this is a professional area of expertise.  I did a lot of analysis on trying to maximize the video capabilities of the spark, and my research included a lot of youtube watching.  There's a number of youtube videos that describe the spark compared to other craft, and this very issue that you raise is the "weakness" of the spark compared to the more expensive craft.

Thanks for your help Charles!

I don't mind if this is a limitation of the Spark, my main goal is to try to identify if this is a hardware problem.
2017-8-29 07:29:11
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Charles Adams
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 07:29
Thanks for your help Charles!

I don't mind if this is a limitation of the Spark, my main goal is to try to identify if this is a hardware problem.

If this occurs in very light winds (or no winds), then you have a defective spark.  If this is occurring in stronger winds, this is an expected design limitation of the spark.

Based on your use case and location (high winds), it sounds like a known and expected design limitation, and it sounds like your spark is a healthy spark.
2017-8-29 07:27:27
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Jose Ramos
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-29 07:27
If this occurs in very light winds (or no winds), then you have a defective spark.  If this is occurring in stronger winds, this is an expected design limitation of the spark.

Based on your use case and location (high winds), it sounds like a known and expected design limitation, and it sounds like your spark is a healthy spark.

Do you have any idea if this can be corrected in post?
2017-8-29 07:39:56
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Charles Adams
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 07:39
Do you have any idea if this can be corrected in post?

No.  I edit video as a hobby.  I use to use "Microsoft Movie Maker", and now I use VideoPad Video Editor.  Nothing I have used is sophisticated enough to remove those "jitters".

However if I were editing it and if I wanted to keep as much of the "scene" as possible, I would consider taking out five seconds around the "disrupted/stuttering" video and using a fade transition in between the cut scenes to soften up the transition.
2017-8-29 08:59:45
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Montfrooij
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 07:39
Do you have any idea if this can be corrected in post?

Same thoughts here. I have been editing video's for about 15 years now (hobby, not pro) but I think it will be lots of hard work to correct this and no sure outcome.
Only parts of the image seem to move, (probably caused by the el stabilization as stated before) that is very hard to correct as you can move the pixels back, but you will still have a 'gap' to fill.
2017-8-29 10:38:50
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Maxi3D
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Montfrooij Posted at 2017-8-29 00:47
I do see some jumps in rocks etc. from time to time.
Looks a bit like a previous post some days ago, he removed his video, but you can read the text.
http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=109679

This also applies to video conversion software as well. One needs to know the native frame rate to set in the software.
2017-8-29 10:50:16
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Montfrooij
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Maxi3D Posted at 2017-8-29 10:50
This also applies to video conversion software as well. One needs to know the native frame rate to set in the software.

That is of course very true.
Luckily Sony Vegas does a great job in telling me what framerate I have to use based upon the source material.
And since the OP did not use editing software it was not the cause in this case.
2017-8-29 11:14:57
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hallmark007
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 06:54
How would you correct this in post?

First off you can cut bad bits out, secondly most software will give you options of stabilising footage.
2017-8-29 14:06:55
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Jose Ramos
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DJI Diana Posted at 2017-8-29 02:39
Looks like a normal behavior in windy conditions, if you could upload an original video from the SD card to the Dropbox, I'd like to download it and forward it to our engineer for diagnosis.

Dear "DJI Diana" - here's the link to download the original footage. Looking forward to hear from you!

Download here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0By0XHzSAT15uQW9kMmgtcnN1VFE

Thanks!
2017-8-29 14:47:32
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Jose Ramos
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-29 14:47
Dear "DJI Diana" - here's the link to download the original footage. Looking forward to hear from you!

Download here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0By0XHzSAT15uQW9kMmgtcnN1VFE

Update: I flew on the exact same place yesterday, trying a different 32 and 64gb card (both Samsung Evo). It was windy at the beginning and very windy one hour after, with several high wind warnings on the Dji go app. Even though the Spark is awesome handling strong winds, it looks like the gimbal just can't keep up with them, specially for horizontal shakes, which the electronic stabilization can only compensate to a certain level.

Still, since this is the only Spark I've ever used, I'm still wondering if this is normal and expected behavior?

Anyone else would like to chime in?

2017-8-30 03:40:27
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El Diablo
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-28 16:42
Video did not embed properly, perhaps because it was submited on youtube as "unlisted" - made it public, hope it embeds now:


Same thing here, just returned from my summer holidays in Madeira Island. With moderate wind, my Spark's footage looked exactly like yours but in my case it only happened on the descent. I also have a Polarpro ND filter on it so I don't know if it contributed to the problem as it adds some (minimal) weight.
2017-8-30 04:39:47
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Jose Ramos
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El Diablo Posted at 2017-8-30 04:39
Same thing here, just returned from my summer holidays in Madeira Island. With moderate wind, my Spark's footage looked exactly like yours but in my case it only happened on the descent. I also have a Polarpro ND filter on it so I don't know if it contributed to the problem as it adds some (minimal) weight.

The gorgeous Madeira Island! Would love to do some filming there!

I don't think an ND filter would aggravate this, as this seems to be mostly caused by electronic stabilization on the horizontal axis.
2017-8-30 05:13:08
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Montfrooij
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-8-29 14:06
First off you can cut bad bits out, secondly most software will give you options of stabilising footage.

The first seems sensible to to. The last (stabilizing in post) will very doubtfully give any good results on this footage, since it is already distorted by the onboard digital stabilization (or some other flaw in the image processing part of the Spark)
2017-8-30 05:25:50
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El Diablo
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Jose Ramos Posted at 2017-8-30 05:13
The gorgeous Madeira Island! Would love to do some filming there!

I don't think an ND filter would aggravate this, as this seems to be mostly caused by electronic stabilization on the horizontal axis.

Could be... never happened to me before though... and why only on the way down and not ascending?
2017-8-30 05:32:50
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