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Mavic Air - Soft Image?
5773 33 2018-1-26
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VoxUltrasonic
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Is it just me, or does the footage in the YouTube reviews of the Mavic Air seem a little soft? I initially had this thought after seeing Casey Neistat's video, and thought he might have forgotten to focus the picture like he did with his Mavic Pro review.... but then I found out the Air has fixed focus. Even the Tom's Tech Time videos Tom shot in Israel look on the soft/unfocused side (while I admit, the picture has a more cinematic/filmic feel which I'm assuming is due to the higher bitrate).

I'm also wondering if the Mavic Air suffers from the horrible "warm spot" that the Mavic Pro has.
2018-1-26
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Ex Machina
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I haven't watched the other videos, but this one seems pretty sharp to me when you change to HD 1440p, and I'm sure the SOOC version he provides a link to is even better.



BTW, I'm not really noticing the hotspot on my Mavic Pro these days with all the tweaks they've added to various firmware updates. In fact, I had completley forgotten about it until your post.



2018-1-26
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W.T. Foxtrot
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I have been thinking the same thing about the Air footage looking soft.  Hoping that it can be sharpened just a bit with Go4 app?  I had found this video earlier today which it really shows up in. At about 6:12 he does a run with the Mavic Air and then follows it up with the same (almost) shots with Mavic Pro.  There is a lot more detail in the statue, etc on the Mavic Pro.  BUT... the overall color balance, exposure looks better (to my eye) on the Air.  Most of these comparisons are running Auto everything with stock settings.  Room for improvement if you start tinkering with the settings.
2018-1-26
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VoxUltrasonic
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W.T. Foxtrot Posted at 2018-1-26 14:47
I have been thinking the same thing about the Air footage looking soft.  Hoping that it can be sharpened just a bit with Go4 app?  I had found this video earlier today which it really shows up in. At about 6:12 he does a run with the Mavic Air and then follows it up with the same (almost) shots with Mavic Pro.  There is a lot more detail in the statue, etc on the Mavic Pro.  BUT... the overall color balance, exposure looks better (to my eye) on the Air.  Most of these comparisons are running Auto everything with stock settings.  Room for improvement if you start tinkering with the settings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh0XoPag-AI

Yikes, that comparison footage you linked is not making a great case for either drone!
His Air footage looking pretty soft, but with smoother motion and nicer colours.
The Pro footage is super noisy with a lot of compression artifacts, but overall sharper and with less pleasing colour depth. The Pro footage is also SUPER jittery here. I suspect he's not using an ND filter and isn't using ideal shutter speed for his frame rate.
2018-1-26
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Wachtberger
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W.T. Foxtrot Posted at 2018-1-26 14:47
I have been thinking the same thing about the Air footage looking soft.  Hoping that it can be sharpened just a bit with Go4 app?  I had found this video earlier today which it really shows up in. At about 6:12 he does a run with the Mavic Air and then follows it up with the same (almost) shots with Mavic Pro.  There is a lot more detail in the statue, etc on the Mavic Pro.  BUT... the overall color balance, exposure looks better (to my eye) on the Air.  Most of these comparisons are running Auto everything with stock settings.  Room for improvement if you start tinkering with the settings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh0XoPag-AI

Thank you very much for having shared this review. I like it because to me it appears to be a little more objective than some others. For me it comes too late anyway to influence my decision because I have ordered the Air on day one already ;-)
2018-1-26
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M Stuart K
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Ex Machina Posted at 2018-1-26 14:19
I haven't watched the other videos, but this one seems pretty sharp to me when you change to HD 1440p, and I'm sure the SOOC version he provides a link to is even better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlRhcOcZLZs

Thanks Ex Machina but this footage does look a bit soft/out of focus to me.
2018-1-26
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Joshua Carlton
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keep in mind the Tom's Tech Time videos are -2-2-2 so we can download and grade the footage.
2018-1-26
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MarcintheCloud
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When the Mavic Pro first came out, a lot of the YouTubers didn't know how to focus their shots so a lot of the images/videos looked soft. It's possible that auto focus is not on and they're not tapping to focus their shots.

As Joshua mentioned, Tom's Tech Time offers D Log footage you can download and play with and it looks very sharp. It's also great to get some footage to start setting up luts and grading styles.
2018-1-26
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Ex Machina
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MarcintheCloud Posted at 2018-1-26 16:56
When the Mavic Pro first came out, a lot of the YouTubers didn't know how to focus their shots so a lot of the images/videos looked soft. It's possible that auto focus is not on and they're not tapping to focus their shots.

As Joshua mentioned, Tom's Tech Time offers D Log footage you can download and play with and it looks very sharp. It's also great to get some footage to start setting up luts and grading styles.

The Mavic Air's lens is fixed focus, like the Phantom line.
2018-1-26
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Ex Machina
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M Stuart K Posted at 2018-1-26 16:13
Thanks Ex Machina but this footage does look a bit soft/out of focus to me.

As compared to the Mavic?

That video W.T. Foxtrot showed was pretty interesting, even if it was for some reason available only at 1080p, and did show a softer rendition in the Air. I've always felt the Mavic at sharpness 0 could be a little oversharp to my eyes in some lighting conditions and I keep thinking I should ratchet it down in really bright conditions, but haven't yet done so.
2018-1-26
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W.T. Foxtrot
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VoxUltrasonic Posted at 2018-1-26 15:12
Yikes, that comparison footage you linked is not making a great case for either drone!
His Air footage looking pretty soft, but with smoother motion and nicer colours.
The Pro footage is super noisy with a lot of compression artifacts, but overall sharper and with less pleasing colour depth. The Pro footage is also SUPER jittery here. I suspect he's not using an ND filter and isn't using ideal shutter speed for his frame rate.

Which is why I am hoping the Air's issues can be overcome with the right settings, etc.  My MPP footage on all the auto settings looks pretty dismal, but, with the right filter and settings, it looks great -- and I don't use what the rest of the world likes.  I think the reviews that have everything set to auto are great for keeping the playing field level vs. everybody tweaking and trying to convince us they know the perfect settings to use after an hour of flying.  Just wish I knew more about how much tweaking can be done in the software.  I heard on one of the reviews that they dropped the DLOG mode on the Air --  much fewer choices on the styles available?  Do they also throttle back Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation on the smaller drones?

I also like the footage that has not been tweaked in post.  I have the software and the ability -- I just don't have the time!  I want something I can set to look good enough straight off the card.  If it's for something special, then I take the time to shoot in D-Log, apply LUTs, etc.  But for everyday fun, it needs to be simple.



2018-1-27
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Ex Machina
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W.T. Foxtrot Posted at 2018-1-27 06:41
Which is why I am hoping the Air's issues can be overcome with the right settings, etc.  My MPP footage on all the auto settings looks pretty dismal, but, with the right filter and settings, it looks great -- and I don't use what the rest of the world likes.  I think the reviews that have everything set to auto are great for keeping the playing field level vs. everybody tweaking and trying to convince us they know the perfect settings to use after an hour of flying.  Just wish I knew more about how much tweaking can be done in the software.  I heard on one of the reviews that they dropped the DLOG mode on the Air --  much fewer choices on the styles available?  Do they also throttle back Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation on the smaller drones?

I also like the footage that has not been tweaked in post.  I have the software and the ability -- I just don't have the time!  I want something I can set to look good enough straight off the card.  If it's for something special, then I take the time to shoot in D-Log, apply LUTs, etc.  But for everyday fun, it needs to be simple.

Seems to me the original Mavic also didn't initially come with DLOG as an option. It may be possible that increasing sharpness on the Air doesn't burn the image like it does on the old Mavic. Too early to tell, I guess.
2018-1-27
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djiuser_bzl2IZp
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Thank you OP. I’m not crazy! Has anyone with the skills taken the time yet to compare Tom’s footage?  Even the Spark  looks better to my eye on Casey’s video.
2018-1-28
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RGMGFitness
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Honestly, its hard to know the quality of the footage until your looking at the actual 'original' footage shot and pulled off the Mavic Air.  They're are so many variables that could influence the footage.  Things like the editing software and post-production file settings.  So many 'tweaks' a person can make and if all your settings aren't exactly right the footage could be impacted (i.e. framerates, bitrates, etc.)

2018-1-28
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W.T. Foxtrot
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Ex Machina Posted at 2018-1-27 11:38
Seems to me the original Mavic also didn't initially come with DLOG as an option. It may be possible that increasing sharpness on the Air doesn't burn the image like it does on the old Mavic. Too early to tell, I guess.

So bought an Air today... we have D-Cine and one other "choice" for now...  Both have their merit.  As most of the gripes I have come up with are all easily fixed by software, we will see.  Still happy with purchase.  Love my MPP but *sometimes* it is JUST TOO BIG to carry on the plane!  DJI Rep laughed and said "One Year ago,  I would have never imagined anyone saying that about our Mavic Pro series."  And yet, here we are a year and change later, and we are insisting on more -- and getting it!
2018-1-28
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Montfrooij
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-1-26 15:34
Thank you very much for having shared this review. I like it because to me it appears to be a little more objective than some others. For me it comes too late anyway to influence my decision because I have ordered the Air on day one already ;-)

Don't worry. I have seen very sharp images already
2018-1-29
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Wachtberger
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-1-29 13:00
Don't worry. I have seen very sharp images already

Thank you, but I am not worried at all to be honest. :-)
2018-1-29
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Stormer
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Here is my raw video directly from Mavic Air - D-Cinelike - 0,0,0

https://drive.google.com/open?id ... PFR-RgWKKfqK9VaODey
2018-1-29
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Wachtberger
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Stormer Posted at 2018-1-29 14:03
Here is my raw video directly from Mavic Air - D-Cinelike - 0,0,0

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TsZ7Xg3QFgkFfPFR-RgWKKfqK9VaODey

To me this looks pretty good at 1080p, or am I wrong?
2018-1-29
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Montfrooij
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-1-29 13:11
Thank you, but I am not worried at all to be honest. :-)


I am super curious how you like it!
2018-1-30
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Montfrooij
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Stormer Posted at 2018-1-29 14:03
Here is my raw video directly from Mavic Air - D-Cinelike - 0,0,0

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TsZ7Xg3QFgkFfPFR-RgWKKfqK9VaODey

Thanks a lot. Downloading now
2018-1-30
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Montfrooij
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-1-29 14:54
To me this looks pretty good at 1080p, or am I wrong?

Even at 4K it looks great!
2018-1-30
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Wachtberger
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-1-30 00:13
I am super curious how you like it!

I'll let you know as soon as I get it :-)
2018-1-30
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M2Wair
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-1-30 03:01
I'll let you know as soon as I get it :-)

lol mine arrives tomorrow and I'm getting frustrated waiting, god help the courier if he doesn't turn up til late, he might get a rude reception from a snarling madman at the door.
2018-1-30
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Montfrooij
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-1-30 03:01
I'll let you know as soon as I get it :-)

Even I am looking forward to you receiving
2018-1-30
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Zatx
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Stormer Posted at 2018-1-29 14:03
Here is my raw video directly from Mavic Air - D-Cinelike - 0,0,0

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TsZ7Xg3QFgkFfPFR-RgWKKfqK9VaODey

Thanks for providing this.

To me, this clip has exceptionally soft focus; the distant tree line is a blur. However, when you turned to the left, the picture looked sharper. Still not sharp per se, but at least more sharp than when recording first started.

As others have mentioned, the Mavic started out this way when first shipped as well, but software tweaks have fixed most of the issues. Here's hoping that trend continues for the Air, but at a faster pace since Dji should have learned from the Mavic Pro series.
2018-1-30
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Neroangelo
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I said that last week...but...also think that they were prototypes/b testing models.  
2018-1-30
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flaxos
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Sormer: Thank you for sharing original shooting with us. It is very useful for me before I buy it. I got your video and make some corrections to it, like shadows and highlights corrections, optical flow conversion to 60FPS and some sharpening. I think that result is awesome.

Please can you share with us video file example of 2.7K / 60 FPS mode? I think that 60FPS is only acceptable mode for quality video on youtube. Thank you.

2018-2-4
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flaxos
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So I buy Mavic and here is my first video comparison mode. Hope it will help someone...


2018-2-7
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kubais_ex_mach
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Stormer Posted at 2018-1-29 14:03
Here is my raw video directly from Mavic Air - D-Cinelike - 0,0,0

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TsZ7Xg3QFgkFfPFR-RgWKKfqK9VaODey

This video looks miles better than MP can deliver. I would give a kidney if all my videos from MP would suddenly turned to be of such quality.

I have just spent 3 weeks of daily editing hundreds of video clips from my MP and believe me the difference in video quality is just incomparable.

There are zero artifacts and noise and a little bit softer image is exactly what you need for post processing.
2018-2-13
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Cameleon
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I saw a clip on YouTube suggesting that if you have sharpening at 0 or below, it does selective noise reduction and horribly so at that. The reviewer (I forget who it was now) suggested setting sharpness to +1 to stop it doing this. In their videos/images at least it seemed to solve the problem. No idea when sharpness is at 0 or below they apply noise reduction, that should be done separately. With everything at 0, to my mind, it should be as it comes off the sensor or as near as possible, rather than applying post processing like noise reduction.
2018-2-13
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kubais_ex_mach
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Cameleon Posted at 2018-2-13 01:48
I saw a clip on YouTube suggesting that if you have sharpening at 0 or below, it does selective noise reduction and horribly so at that. The reviewer (I forget who it was now) suggested setting sharpness to +1 to stop it doing this. In their videos/images at least it seemed to solve the problem. No idea when sharpness is at 0 or below they apply noise reduction, that should be done separately. With everything at 0, to my mind, it should be as it comes off the sensor or as near as possible, rather than applying post processing like noise reduction.

In almost all lighting scenarios +1 sharpness is total necessity for MP to avoid water color effect in shadows. As we can see MA is different story and image at 0 sharpness looks exactly as it should. I always hoped MP´s denoise processing at 0 and -1 sharpness will get sorted out in firmware update but unfortunately I lost all the hope
2018-2-13
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miketmtpro
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I've seen many videos on YT and other clips and often find the MA blurrier in things like trees, wires, fine focus. The soft image, not sure about that.
To me the cameras are close to even, but the MP was better for me in many ways. Not too concerned about the 4K things yet as my site needs are not as pressing. I prefer simpler bandwidth control, and not having to use YT to host clips if I don't have to.  Some videos show MA somewhat better, some show the MP sharper and warmer looking.

I think this comparison is very good.


2018-5-21
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TroutboyNZ
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My Air is definitely softer than my Pro, but it's a nicer image regardless, less noise and watercolour in leaves etc, foreground is sharp but distance is softish.
2018-5-21
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