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Mavic Air Defective? Very Disappointed
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5956 46 2018-1-31
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ckizer
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My Mavic Air finally got activated and all I can say is I'm terribly disappointed. I hope my mavic air is just defective. Footage is so dark. Even +2 exposure wasn't very good. I'm uploading 10 different videos (but it will take some time). Here is just the first few. Is my mavic air defective? The video is awful compared to my Mavic Pro.
The colors look awful. This is the default DJI profile and settings. It looks like some undersaturated drab movie set.

Terrible Bright blooms




I used the internal storage, and at 23 seconds in there's actually a DIGITAL video glitch!



Even on White balance set to sunny, why is the footage so dark? Exposure is at default.



Is my Mavic Air defective? How do I return it for a full refund. Very, very disappointed.
2018-1-31
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ibuyufo
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It looks alright to me.  If you're pointing towards the sun, then the auto exposure will try to compensate.  What you can do is to do an exposure lock to maintain the same exposure as where you last metered. where you felt it wasn't dark
2018-1-31
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Samuel Bona
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The first two are incredibly subpar- I agree. Are you by chance in Auto mode, or all manual? You are right about it being really dark. What does it look like when you do a still? Even the last one has an unpleasant graininess to it. I would talk to DJI about it.

2018-1-31
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DJI Thor
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Hi there, it is normal to seem dark when the drone is facing towards the sun. I suggest that you can try to switch the camera to Manual Mode and change the ISO settings on the app. Hope it helps.
2018-1-31
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braddahjosh808
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The scene is very contrasting. This is normal for any camera. Try exposing for the ground instead of the sky. Either use AE lock or use manual exposure.
2018-2-1
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Chasing Light & Shadows
Captain
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As a test what you can do is turn your phone camera on and point it in the same direction as your drone camera and see what effect the sun has, it won't be exactly the same but it'll give you an idea what the camera and lens is capable off.
2018-2-1
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A CW
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That doesn’t sound too good!
2018-2-1
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Wachtberger
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Is it better at 1080p or the same?
2018-2-1
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QuadKid
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This doesn't seem defective to me, as with any of the DJI drones (even the P4P) time and experience will improve your Photo & Video quality, If you really like the MA I would just keep tweeking the settings to find your sweet spot on any given day.
2018-2-1
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eYeSkYeYe
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Ok... so first one is weird, other two.... I would say acceptable.
But yeah, first one is not sharp as I would expect from 2.7k, clearly having artifacts on plants patterns... maybe DJI will need to improve their art of pixel binning, skipping, debayering or whatever they are doing right now. Anyways, I believe this is more software and less hardware issue so there is a hope it will get fixed in software at some point.
2018-2-1
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marcel_911
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What is that interference on the first video about 46 seconds in. It's mostly visible on the left, horizontal bars.
2018-2-1
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ckizer
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marcel_911 Posted at 2018-2-1 16:08
What is that interference on the first video about 46 seconds in. It's mostly visible on the left, horizontal bars.

It’s not interference. It’s a camera glitch writing to the internal 8GB memory built in. Another reason I think my Mavic Air is defective.
2018-2-1
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Spark23
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Did you contact DJI yet???  What did they say?
2018-2-1
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nottuppaware
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The first one does look like it has blur or condensation on the inside of the lens ?
2018-2-1
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ckizer
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nottuppaware Posted at 2018-2-1 18:51
The first one does look like it has blur or condensation on the inside of the lens ?

Yeah it's brand new, just opened 5 minutes ago. It totally looks like condensation. It' very hard to tell with compressed youtube videos, but it's almost like the sensor has a slight smudge when it was assembled. It has a very pronounced effect when there is low or bright light.


2018-2-1
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AIister
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ckizer Posted at 2018-2-1 16:15
It’s not interference. It’s a camera glitch writing to the internal 8GB memory built in. Another reason I think my Mavic Air is defective.

omg.  it's the propeller shadow on the screen because the prop is between the lens and the sun.
2018-2-1
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ckizer
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ckizer Posted at 2018-2-1 19:03
Yeah it's brand new, just opened 5 minutes ago. It totally looks like condensation. It' very hard to tell with compressed youtube videos, but it's almost like the sensor has a slight smudge when it was assembled. It has a very pronounced effect when there is low or bright light.

Top photo is Mavic ProBottom Photo is Mavic Air.

These are just some examples. It's really bad if you look at original footage. All shots have the exact sample camera settings and manual white balance

2018-2-1
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ckizer
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AIister Posted at 2018-2-1 19:04
omg.  it's the propeller shadow on the screen because the prop is between the lens and the sun.

There's two different things. You are seeing the props in the photo. There's an actual digital glitch in the video that I'm referring to.
This isn't my first camera drone. Phantom, Mavic Pro, Mavic Air… so forth.
2018-2-1
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59gibson
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Looks like Chromatic Aberration or "purple fringing" as some call it.  It will usually occur in very high contrast scenes and shooting into a bright sunset.  It occurs because of a design flaw in the lens (quite common) but there are ways to avoid it such as re-framing your video/shots and stopping down the lens.  It can also be minimised in post processing.  

It appears as though the lens in the Mavic Pro is of higher quality.  Bummer for sure.
2018-2-1
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ckizer
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59gibson Posted at 2018-2-1 20:01
Looks like Chromatic Aberration or "purple fringing" as some call it.  It will usually occur in very high contrast scenes and shooting into a bright sunset.  It occurs because of a design flaw in the lens (quite common) but there are ways to avoid it such as re-framing your video/shots and stopping down the lens.  It can also be minimised in post processing.  

It appears as though the lens in the Mavic Pro is of higher quality.  Bummer for sure.

I totally understand what you are referring to. There's actual distortion in the lens of some kind you can see in the 2.7k footage. It's a small effect and hard to demonstrat in the compressed video and photos. Compared to my Mavic Pro at the same time and everyone else's AIR videos it's night and day difference.

I think there is a small smudge or grease inside the camera sensor. I've experienced something like this before. I just want a refund and straight swap before I leave for vacation on the 12th :-(
2018-2-1
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AIister
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"What is that interference on the first video about 46 seconds in. It's mostly visible on the left, horizontal bars."

"It’s not interference. It’s a camera glitch writing to the internal 8GB memory built in. Another reason I think my Mavic Air is defective."

lol
2018-2-1
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59gibson
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ckizer Posted at 2018-2-1 20:29
I totally understand what you are referring to. There's actual distortion in the lens of some kind you can see in the 2.7k footage. It's a small effect and hard to demonstrat in the compressed video and photos. Compared to my Mavic Pro at the same time and everyone else's AIR videos it's night and day difference.

I think there is a small smudge or grease inside the camera sensor. I've experienced something like this before. I just want a refund and straight swap before I leave for vacation on the 12th :-(

Yes, definitely the right thing to do is send it back for refund/exchange.  Best of luck!
2018-2-1
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A CW
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Good luck on your replacement unit
2018-2-2
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Hexacopter
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ckizer Posted at 2018-2-1 19:04
Top photo is Mavic ProBottom Photo is Mavic Air.

These are just some examples. It's really bad if you look at original footage. All shots have the exact sample camera settings and manual white balance

First photo, sun is at 10 o'clock, second photo it's about 12 o'clock (almost pointing straight at it, check out the shadows)!

What do reckon should happen?

A fairer comparison would be with both photos taken within seconds of each other from the same position but for that to happen you require another pilot :-(

* hex *
2018-2-2
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Montfrooij
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Hexacopter Posted at 2018-2-2 00:26
First photo, sun is at 10 o'clock, second photo it's about 12 o'clock (almost pointing straight at it, check out the shadows)!

What do reckon should happen?

Just take the two birds up and hover. There should be enough battery to test it.
2018-2-2
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Montfrooij
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Have you had any chance of doing a re test with different settings?
I know I had some troubles getting decent footage out of my Mavic Pro at fist.
2018-2-2
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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ckizer Posted at 2018-2-1 19:03
Yeah it's brand new, just opened 5 minutes ago. It totally looks like condensation. It' very hard to tell with compressed youtube videos, but it's almost like the sensor has a slight smudge when it was assembled. It has a very pronounced effect when there is low or bright light.

After seeing the photos you've posted, the magenta looks like lens flare to me. I've seen the same with my Mavic Pro in certain conditions out in the sun. Look at the 'air 1sec' & 'air 2sec' images, in the bottom right hand corner you can see the outer edge of the lens flare.
2018-2-2
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hallmark007
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ckizer Posted at 2018-2-1 16:15
It’s not interference. It’s a camera glitch writing to the internal 8GB memory built in. Another reason I think my Mavic Air is defective.


That’s not a camera glitch that’s because you have over exposure turned on, it’s basically showing you where your over exposed it won’t show up on the sd card or in Camera storage , you can just turn off over exposure and this will disappear.
2018-2-2
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ckizer
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-2-2 07:41
That’s not a camera glitch that’s because you have over exposure turned on, it’s basically showing you where your over exposed it won’t show up on the sd card or in Camera storage , you can just turn off over exposure and this will disappear.

I know what you are referring to, but in this instance it wasn't over exposure. I think I uploaded the wrong clip to show the glitch. These are straight from the Internal storage on the Mavic Air  not from my phone cache.

I know I'm not making a strong case, but I assure you something is wrong with the sensor. I've own most DJI drones, Phantoms, Mavic Pro, Mavic Air. I was able to briefly use my friend's Mavic air on launch day as well and he wasn't experiencing the same issues flying in the park with me.

It's subtle, but when my sensor deals with extreme light or dark, it seems to get fuzzy and crap out. I experienced this on a P3P before and a swap of the drone by DJI resolved the issue.

I'm frustrated because it's within the return period. I just want it swapped out. I have DJI Care, DJI Select and I still can't get a single person at DJI support to answer my request in a timely manner.

I leave for vacation in 10 days. I want to take my new drone with me.
2018-2-2
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ckizer
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I finally got a good comparison test. I used the exact same settings, and image profile. The Mavic Air is blurry and yellow. The Mavic Pro is sharp. Most people's air footage is just like the pro. Mine is not. I've also attached links to the full images.





2018-2-2
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lannes
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I guess you need to take into account the the MP has a lens that can focus  and the MA has a fixed focus, this might be the difference in the stills you have posted.
I'd still get on to DJI or the retailer to get a replacement, I believe after 2 weeks you'll have to use care refresh
2018-2-2
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ckizer
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lannes Posted at 2018-2-2 16:32
I guess you need to take into account the the MP has a lens that can focus  and the MA has a fixed focus, this might be the difference in the stills you have posted.
I'd still get on to DJI or the retailer to get a replacement, I believe after 2 weeks you'll have to use care refresh

It doesn't have fixed focus, it has auto focus. You'll see this when you put it in the grass. It focus on the blades, then adjust and will focus on the trees. It's really fast now like iPhone's autofocus. It's not fixed focus though.

Here's a test with all the exact same settings. Both at 6000k for white balance. Even over the very yellow colors it shows the blurs that seem like defects in the glass or sensors. It's something you really, really see when you look at the original non-youtube 4k videos. I blur like a smuge in the center of every photo.

Mavic Air on the left, Mavic Pro on the right.

2018-2-2
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Spark23
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I think my unit may have similar issues. My shadows are insanely noisey at 4K. Can you watch my video below and see if this is similar to your issue?

https://youtu.be/tQQ4NWumOc4

2018-2-2
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ckizer
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Spark23 Posted at 2018-2-2 17:46
I think my unit may have similar issues. My shadows are insanely noisey at 4K. Can you watch my video below and see if this is similar to your issue?

https://youtu.be/tQQ4NWumOc4

That is very similar to mine. I know what you mean. I think that's the same issue. Switch to d-log and back between normal. This made a big difference but then I flew my mavic professional on the same route and it was fantastic as usual.

I truly believe it's a defect. My friend's mavic air didn't have the same dark bloomed footage at the same park as me.

2018-2-2
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Spark23
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ckizer Posted at 2018-2-2 17:49
That is very similar to mine. I know what you mean. I think that's the same issue. Switch to d-log and back between normal. This made a big difference but then I flew my mavic professional on the same route and it was fantastic as usual.

I truly believe it's a defect. My friend's mavic air didn't have the same dark bloomed footage at the same park as me.

Yeah, definitely a bummer. I really don't want to return it, as it's otherwise perfect - so frustrating!   Here's another video I took earlier.  Watch the shadows in the grass on take off - they are all noisy and the exposure changes randomly, even though I was set to manual exposure:

2018-2-2
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lannes
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ckizer Posted at 2018-2-2 17:28
It doesn't have fixed focus, it has auto focus. You'll see this when you put it in the grass. It focus on the blades, then adjust and will focus on the trees. It's really fast now like iPhone's autofocus. It's not fixed focus though.

Here's a test with all the exact same settings. Both at 6000k for white balance. Even over the very yellow colors it shows the blurs that seem like defects in the glass or sensors. It's something you really, really see when you look at the original non-youtube 4k videos. I blur like a smuge in the center of every photo.

A number of reviews have mentioned fixed focus for the MA, see the camera and focus/apeture  sections

http://www.capetowntours.photogr ... arison-review-2018/
https://www.halfchrome.com/dji-mavic-air-vs-dji-mavic-pro/
https://fstoppers.com/aerial/dji ... -which-drone-215739
2018-2-2
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jh8
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I am having similar issues. Images and video seem blurry and out of focus (even though it is fixed focus) - especially in the distance - when compared with Spark and MP footage taken at the same location last year under somewhat similar conditions.
[size=14.6667px]Unfortunately a Chat with DJI was not very helpful, they only suggested to refresh FW (as they usually do) and told me to them + colleagues the images looked fine, even when I pointed out the differences with Spark.
2018-2-3
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ckizer
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jh8 Posted at 2018-2-3 02:15
I am having similar issues. Images and video seem blurry and out of focus (even though it is fixed focus) - especially in the distance - when compared with Spark and MP footage taken at the same location last year under somewhat similar conditions.
Unfortunately a Chat with DJI was not very helpful, they only suggested to refresh FW (as they usually do) and told me to them + colleagues the images looked fine, even when I pointed out the differences with Spark.

It should look as good as mavic pro. Can you try these settings and see if it fixes? What does d-log look like:

2018-2-3
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KREMi
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I really  think it's a defective unit - otherwise I should not be interested in it any more - no point to kick spark out when those things happen. maybe just sit and wait 1st batch problems
and I see problems in Your vids... I would ask for a replacement unit
2018-2-3
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ckizer
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KREMi Posted at 2018-2-3 14:29
I really  think it's a defective unit - otherwise I should not be interested in it any more - no point to kick spark out when those things happen. maybe just sit and wait 1st batch problems
and I see problems in Your vids... I would ask for a replacement unit

I know the Mavic Air footage is great from many of the other shots I've seen. I'll just assume I was unlucky. I already sent it back today. Please DJI, I leave in 9 days for vacation. Ship me back a new one :-(
2018-2-3
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