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Mavic Air - Color Eater
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4598 69 2018-5-20
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Crio
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Hello everyone...
I was looking for information about missing color in video for some time but couldnt find anything related.

Did anyone noticed that Mavic have some issues with color information in the video footage ?
When adjusting the saturation to bring some color back there is nothing to bring back ( grayness only )
In the mountains you can clearly see where color information ends and grey starts.
On the bottom image in the shadows and trees in the distance there is only grey too.


Im attaching two frames in different conditions with saturation increased to show there is no information about the color.

I've already try to shoot in several saturation settings from -2 to +3 with no luck.
Am I expecting to much from this sensor ? Or Im doing something wrong ?

Thank you for all ideas !



Color01.jpg
color2.jpg
2018-5-20
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Rawsome
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are you shooting in D-Cinelike? If not you should because you get a lot more color information to work with in post. As to your settings dial down the saturation too. your image will look gray and faded but once you edit the video you have a lot of control over the colors . have a look at this.
2018-5-20
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Crio
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Rawsome Posted at 2018-5-20 13:51
are you shooting in D-Cinelike? If not you should because you get a lot more color information to work with in post. As to your settings dial down the saturation too. your image will look gray and faded but once you edit the video you have a lot of control over the colors . have a look at this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a3PSHnpISw

Thank you Rawsome, tried D-cinelike ( trees image ) still missing some information there
2018-5-20
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Scoobywrx05
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Crio Posted at 2018-5-20 13:54
Thank you Rawsome, tried D-cinelike ( trees image ) still missing some information there

It’s missing some. You are not the only person that has noticed and it’s something that DJI is gonna have to correct or should correct. I’m not sure yet if it is caused by the firmware or if it is because of the permanently attached uv filter they have on it that’s causing the problems.
2018-5-20
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Crio
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It looks like the image processing chip is not gathering the color data in those darker regions or its removed through some color noise reduction.
Would love to get some more info what's the cause and how to recover this data if possible.
2018-5-20
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Crio
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No color info in the shadows in d-cinelike too...
2018-5-21
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Montfrooij
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I think this is common with these low dynamic range small sensors when you apply some post processing to it.
Now the 'Air' should do a bit better with the higher bitrate, but still it is far from a true 'RAW' pipeline you get from a large sensor videocamera.
I hope DJI will find a way to fix this.
2018-5-22
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Crio
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Yeah, it looks like its not recording the full spectrum of colors. almost like a selective desaturation in shadows.
I think that the sensor itself is capable of recording these, as this is only in video and stills are perfect.
Probably image processing chip or denoising algorithm is responsible, can't blame the codec as its used widely without this issue.
I would love to know if this is something that can be retrieved or is there's a method to shoot in a way to prevent this.
2018-5-22
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GDL
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I can see MA has rich color when photo back to sunlight. However, when face to sunlight or in low-light it loose color.
See the video I took and compare the color when face to different direction.

https://youtu.be/LDFuGMVj4j0
2018-5-22
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andy10
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If you shoot at 4K res. play it on 4K monitor. At 2K you definitely lose some info.
And if you want a perfect quality video then do it with P4P... LOL
2018-5-22
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totalitarian
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Scoobywrx05 Posted at 2018-5-20 14:28
It’s missing some. You are not the only person that has noticed and it’s something that DJI is gonna have to correct or should correct. I’m not sure yet if it is caused by the firmware or if it is because of the permanently attached uv filter they have on it that’s causing the problems.

What UV filter? Mine just has a bezel with no glass.
2018-5-22
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Crio
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andy10 Posted at 2018-5-22 06:35
If you shoot at 4K res. play it on 4K monitor. At 2K you definitely loose some info.
And if you want a perfect quality video then do it with P4P... LOL

Resolution is not what is discussed in this topic and has nothing to do with color.
2018-5-22
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Scoobywrx05
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-5-22 00:28
I think this is common with these low dynamic range small sensors when you apply some post processing to it.
Now the 'Air' should do a bit better with the higher bitrate, but still it is far from a true 'RAW' pipeline you get from a large sensor videocamera.
I hope DJI will find a way to fix this.

My i1 with the x3 or the z3 never had this problem and has the same sensor so they tell us.
2018-5-22
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Scoobywrx05
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totalitarian Posted at 2018-5-22 06:41
What UV filter? Mine just has a bezel with no glass.

The filter is built into the camera and isn’t removable which sucks because it can cause problems when using certain Nd filters I’ve found.
2018-5-22
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Scoobywrx05
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Crio Posted at 2018-5-20 15:45
It looks like the image processing chip is not gathering the color data in those darker regions or its removed through some color noise reduction.
Would love to get some more info what's the cause and how to recover this data if possible.

Honestly I’m not impressed at all by the colors and the lack of data in certain areas . I think dji needs to go back to the drawing board with the image processing on the ma. My few year old i1 with the x3 on it will shoot a better balanced video than this will any day of the week. If they do not do something soon you’ll see my ma up for sale.
2018-5-22
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Crio
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I didn't want this post to be a rant about overall video quality in MA.
It is what it is and I can accept that, I got my other quads for better quality jobs, just noticed missing information about the color and was wondering if this is normal and if so how can this be corrected ( avoided ).
2018-5-23
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Montfrooij
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Scoobywrx05 Posted at 2018-5-22 18:55
My i1 with the x3 or the z3 never had this problem and has the same sensor so they tell us.

So DJI should know how to do that.
2018-5-23
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Scoobywrx05
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Crio Posted at 2018-5-23 00:17
I didn't want this post to be a rant about overall video quality in MA.
It is what it is and I can accept that, I got my other quads for better quality jobs, just noticed missing information about the color and was wondering if this is normal and if so how can this be corrected ( avoided ).

No ranting on my part,just being blunt to dji cause I know they can do better. Yes it seems to be the normal from what I have seen between my ma and two others I’ve tested. I haven’t found a way around it yet and do not know if there is without them changing something on their end. The best videos I’ve seen out of it so far where late afternoon,no Nd filter and it set on auto as funny as that sounds.
2018-5-23
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parallax.
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+1 on this issue. I noticed it the moment I got the air and it hasn't improved with successive updates. I think it's to do with the codec, and yes you can blame DJI because this I the first time I've seen this kind of problem from an DJI product.

Weird loss of color info in greens (trees) and blues (sky) especially. Even the *wow he increased the saturation and contrast* 'graded' video shows clearly the loss of color in the shrubbery.

Unfortunately my bet is this problem is baked in and may not be fixable with firmware upgrades. Here's to them not screwing the mavic pro 2 or whatever they release next in that class, so bad as they screwed up the MA (gimbal tilt issues, poor stability, and this terrible color bug)!
2018-6-10
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Crio
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There is a solution ( well, kind off ). I've done some tests and changing the WB ( to slightly warmer Kelvin number ) brings the color back into the shadows. A bit of a hit and miss but better than nothing. Its really a weird thing to see...
2018-6-10
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parallax.
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This isn't just shadows. This is on D.cine with custom profile, zero saturation, minus three contrast, zero sharpening.

Unless I woke up and half the trees in my neighborhood got a terrible disease and all died (hint: they didn't, they're all green), what the hell is all that brown? I've seen a bunch of quality issues from DJI over the years but this is one of the worst.

2018-6-18
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Crio
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I was flying my MA few days ago and even my small fix didnt helped me there.
Dont get me wrong, I like Air and love the form factor but I have few other machines from dji and none of them have this annoying desaturation issue.
This are not even a heavy lighting conditions, it was during sunset when the sun was still up and the footage is unusable.
Shot in D-Cinelike ( +1,0, 0 ) and all blues and some green spectrum is desaturated.
My live feed has the right color though.

Original footage


I will upload the live feed later on.
2018-6-21
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A CW
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Rawsome Posted at 2018-5-20 13:51
are you shooting in D-Cinelike? If not you should because you get a lot more color information to work with in post. As to your settings dial down the saturation too. your image will look gray and faded but once you edit the video you have a lot of control over the colors . have a look at this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a3PSHnpISw

Great tutorial
2018-6-21
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A CW
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Crio Posted at 2018-5-21 05:40
No color info in the shadows in d-cinelike too...
https://youtu.be/HN-BJ4G1ixI

That's not bad footage for a 1/2.3" sensor - for improved dynamic range you'd need a 1" sensor found on the P4P.
2018-6-21
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Crio
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A CW Posted at 2018-6-21 00:22
That's not bad footage for a 1/2.3" sensor - for improved dynamic range you'd need a 1" sensor found on the P4P.

Its not a sensor and its size. This cell was used before in other products and only MA is suffering from this.
I don't need more dynamic range, and this is not something that is discussed here.
I need color information

I have my Inspire and phantom series for more advanced work.
2018-6-21
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A CW
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Crio Posted at 2018-6-21 01:08
Its not a sensor and its size. This cell was used before in other products and only MA is suffering from this.
I don't need more dynamic range, and this is not something that is discussed here.
I need color information

I found the image quality far worse on my MPP than my MA buth neither as good as my P4P or my friends Inspire 2 X5S. Perhaps you have a lemon...
2018-6-21
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gnirtS
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Shadows tinting to blue and loss of detail isnt a surprise.  Its a low spec sensor equivalent to a cell phone a few years old - it lacks dynamic range severely so you'll get these effects.  The grown up Mavic is the same (same sensor but worse due to the lower bitrate video to compound any attempts to resurrect detail from the file).

The camera is by far the weakest point of the mavic series, and the main weak point of that is the sensor.
2018-6-21
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Crio
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A CW Posted at 2018-6-21 01:18
I found the image quality far worse on my MPP than my MA buth neither as good as my P4P or my friends Inspire 2 X5S. Perhaps you have a lemon...

Hope not
But its definitely not a sensor size or dynamic range as this sensor size was used for example in P4... no issues like this whatsoever.
I very much appreciate dynamic range on Mavic Air, but would prefer to have some color rather than black and white video as this is very hard to grade.
I think its processing inside the bird that is trying to remove noise and its removing the color too.

I don't want to moan for a sake of it, I need a solution or at least guidance how to force Air to record with color information.
I've already tried several settings and nothing helped except setting incorrect White Balance.

Live feed has the color so the sensor see this information, its just removed on the main footage.

2018-6-21
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Crio
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gnirtS Posted at 2018-6-21 01:38
Shadows tinting to blue and loss of detail isnt a surprise.  Its a low spec sensor equivalent to a cell phone a few years old - it lacks dynamic range severely so you'll get these effects.  The grown up Mavic is the same (same sensor but worse due to the lower bitrate video to compound any attempts to resurrect detail from the file).

The camera is by far the weakest point of the mavic series, and the main weak point of that is the sensor.

Thanks gnirtS I found it too...

But again... Im not talking about shadow tinting or loss of detail.
There is plenty of detail on the footage as well as decent DR but no color at all.

Cheers
2018-6-21
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gnirtS
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Well lack of dynamic range means there is less colour information recorded, especially at the limits of the sensor.  Those example photos to me look like classic situations where DR is tested - bright sky and mountains and relatively deep shadows.
Lack of DR means lack of colour details particularly towards the shadows (in most sensors, more detail is recorded towards the brighter parts, hence the ETTR technique with DSLRs).

Have you tried setting the image to over expose (whilst not burning out highlights).  That MIGHT pull some colour back although if it is a DR problem you may not be able to do it.
2018-6-21
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Crio
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gnirtS Posted at 2018-6-21 01:54
Well lack of dynamic range means there is less colour information recorded, especially at the limits of the sensor.  Those example photos to me look like classic situations where DR is tested - bright sky and mountains and relatively deep shadows.
Lack of DR means lack of colour details particularly towards the shadows (in most sensors, more detail is recorded towards the brighter parts, hence the ETTR technique with DSLRs).

This is not the case here, unfortunately.
See my latest video I've posted (
Its not dynamic range or detail issue at all.
Overexposing or underexposing doesn't affect this no matter what.
The only way you can have the color in those scenarios is to use wrong white balance.

I've done some tests few days back that gave me some hope but I cant use them all the time.
I have a scene shot with Auto WB and color is gone in some parts, and I was increasing temperature to 7300K and there it was, color is back again.
But as I say... it varies and cant use this ''fix'' all the time, was hoping someone will have some other suggestions
2018-6-21
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A CW
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Crio Posted at 2018-6-21 01:41
Hope not  
But its definitely not a sensor size or dynamic range as this sensor size was used for example in P4... no issues like this whatsoever.
I very much appreciate dynamic range on Mavic Air, but would prefer to have some color rather than black and white video as this is very hard to grade.

I do miss D-log on the MA for sure
2018-6-21
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CuaC
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D-Cinelike is one of the worst profiles you can use at the moment. It greys out your image and doesn't get proper information. The normal profile is also broken. Vivid is the closer thing to the former "Normal" for quick videos that you don't want to edit. Other than that, you have to go D-Log.

Now your problem is also that Mavic's compression / noise filter doesn't work fine with super detailed areas such as forests where there's a ton of detail from the leaves.
2018-6-21
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Crio
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A CW Posted at 2018-6-21 02:46
I do miss D-log on the MA for sure

I do miss color as I cant grade properly from black and white videos
D-log is a luxury in this case

I usually use CinemaDNG from my I2, but I was using D-log in my phantoms a lot...
2018-6-21
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A CW
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Crio Posted at 2018-6-21 02:52
I do miss color as I cant grade properly from black and white videos  
D-log is a luxury in this case

I used D-log expensively with my P4P - sold it though but do miss the camera. Lets see what next month brings to the table
2018-6-21
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Crio
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A CW Posted at 2018-6-21 02:53
I used D-log expensively with my P4P - sold it though but do miss the camera. Lets see what next month brings to the table

A whole pallet of issues lol

But seriously.
Yeah... I'm excited too...
2018-6-21
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A CW
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Crio Posted at 2018-6-21 02:55
A whole pallet of issues  lol

But seriously.

For sure - but that is all part of the fun
Exciting times ahead.
2018-6-21
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Crio
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A CW Posted at 2018-6-21 02:56
For sure - but that is all part of the fun
Exciting times ahead.

Indeed
2018-6-21
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A CW
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2018-6-21
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Oh come on. I just decided that I want Mavic Air for the better quality of the videoshots and prolongated flight time (compared to Spark). I almost decided to go to the shop tomorrow!
And here I find this thread!
Is this problem constantly reproducible? Even on sunny days?
2018-6-21
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