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Best configuration for night photography? DJI Mavic Mini
1249 10 2019-12-14
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Drone Taiwan
lvl.4
Flight distance : 234820 ft
Taiwan
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Hi there
Im new in the drone hobbie,
Also on photography and videography
Ive been trying to searh what is the best configuration for the drone, to be able to take very good night pictures
For example to the city skyline all lightup, the moon, roads lights-up, road intersecation.

Ive tried to do some tests, but the images dont look that good, but ive seen people posting very high quality pictures taken with they mavic mini, but they dont share or teach what configuration the used

Hope someone can help on answer this, so many new pilots can lear

Thanks in advance
Wish you a nice day
2019-12-14
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FlyingTurd
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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First put shutter speed and iso level to manual.
You will need to reduce your shutter speed at night, depending on how steady the camera is you can use a shutter speed up to 4 seconds. The longer the shutter is open, the more light gets in. You can experiment with that to start with, but you you will find any moving object to become blurry which can be great for moving traffic on a road.
Remember 1/80 is faster than 1 for example (some struggle with that)

By increasing the ISO you will make the sensor more sensitive to light, this can help you use higher shutter speeds but will add noise to the image, which to some degree can be removed in post production.

With those 2 settings you may find a happy medium between motion blur and noise.

I cant help you with low light videography as i believe there are no real options to adjust for the mini as of now.
(PLEASE DJI GIVE US SOME VIDEO PARAMETERS TO PLAY WITH
2019-12-15
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Drone Taiwan
lvl.4
Flight distance : 234820 ft
Taiwan
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FlyingTurd Posted at 12-15 15:26
First put shutter speed and iso level to manual.
You will need to reduce your shutter speed at night, depending on how steady the camera is you can use a shutter speed up to 4 seconds. The longer the shutter is open, the more light gets in. You can experiment with that to start with, but you you will find any moving object to become blurry which can be great for moving traffic on a road.
Remember 1/80 is faster than 1 for example (some struggle with that)

Hi Flying Turd
Wow, thanks a lot for this detailed explanation, this is what i was looking for.
Very easy to understand the wording,
I will take it into practice in these following nights

About the videography, yea, its true, the options are even more limited, but at least i can try with photos first

Thanks a lot
Wish you a great day.
2019-12-15
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FlyingTurd
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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You are welcome, hope it works out!

You can try a few settings in the house in dim lighting to get an idea of how the exposure turns out. You dont have to fly it, just set it down somewhere and point it where you want. Also dont worry if the preview looks dim when setting the shutter speed as it may not show how it actually looks, ive not done much with mine as of yet although i do a bit of photography as a hobby.
Remember, keep the images in 4x3 format as 19x9 just crops the top and bottom and actually gives you a smaller image!
2019-12-18
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Drone Taiwan
lvl.4
Flight distance : 234820 ft
Taiwan
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FlyingTurd Posted at 12-18 01:02
You are welcome, hope it works out!

You can try a few settings in the house in dim lighting to get an idea of how the exposure turns out. You dont have to fly it, just set it down somewhere and point it where you want. Also dont worry if the preview looks dim when setting the shutter speed as it may not show how it actually looks, ive not done much with mine as of yet although i do a bit of photography as a hobby.

Thanks a lot for these more tips
I will try them this weekend and see the results, i would post some photos here in the forum

Thanks a lot
Wish you a nice day
2019-12-18
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DJI Stephen
Super Moderator

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Hello and good day Drone Taiwan. Thank you for sharing this informative thread you have created. Great work and Happy Holidays. .
2019-12-24
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Drone Taiwan
lvl.4
Flight distance : 234820 ft
Taiwan
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FlyingTurd Posted at 2019-12-15 15:26
First put shutter speed and iso level to manual.
You will need to reduce your shutter speed at night, depending on how steady the camera is you can use a shutter speed up to 4 seconds. The longer the shutter is open, the more light gets in. You can experiment with that to start with, but you you will find any moving object to become blurry which can be great for moving traffic on a road.
Remember 1/80 is faster than 1 for example (some struggle with that)

Hi
How are you? Hope all fine

I took some photos following your recommendations
It helped me a lot,
Im not a profesional photographer, but i think the pictures look awesome, all thanks for you easy to understand tutorial


















1-10 23:20
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Figuitolacasito
lvl.1
Flight distance : 1132 ft
Spain
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Hello. As you can see in your pictures you lost some details in a few parts of the photography (this parts have too much light and look burned).
My recommendation is less seconds to get better details and edit the picture later for example in lightroom. Sorry my english, im from Spain.
Have a nice day.
1-14 23:06
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Drone Taiwan
lvl.4
Flight distance : 234820 ft
Taiwan
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Figuitolacasito Posted at 1-14 23:06
Hello. As you can see in your pictures you lost some details in a few parts of the photography (this parts have too much light and look burned).
My recommendation is less seconds to get better details and edit the picture later for example in lightroom. Sorry my english, im from Spain.
Have a nice day.

Hola
Mil gracias por tus recomendaciones

Nunca he tomado fotos de forma profesional, y quiero aprender,
Voy a seguir tus consejos la próxima vez que salga con el dron de noche, y a ver que tal salen las fotos jeje

Que pases buen dia
1-15 00:35
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AlansDronePics
Captain
Flight distance : 814751 ft
Guernsey
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I have found 2 key factors that are important and haven't been mentioned, for stills.
The most important is minimal wind. The drone is remarkably stable in a steady breeze but not so good in gusts, even gentle ones if you need a long exposure of more than 0.5 second.
As my pics below, to improve your image sharpness in less than optimum wind, consider a more distant shot. The logic being, the small movement of the drone becomes miniscule in the image at greater distance. Of course, you chose a closeer scene and there is nothing wrong with that, if the drone is rock steady. I thought you did well with many of your shots.
The other big issue is, how much light is there in the scene? In your shots, there is a lot of large, intense lighting. In mine, the lights are just pinpricks, generally. Because of this intensity, no camera can cope with it. There are some options open to you.  May I suggest a trial shot in auto mode just to get a feel for the settings you need.
1/ Bracketing would be viable, if you have little wind and are able to use an image editor. For users who don't know, in this mode, several still images are automatically taken in succession, each with a different degree of exposure. You can adjust the difference between the exposure before you shoot. Try with the default setting, typically 0.3 and increase this if you need to. The idea is to expose correctly for those large, bright areas, the rest of the image will be under exposed. The last image will be correctly exposed for the darkest areas and the lit areas will be totaly white or 'burned out'. The editor will combine all these different images, there may be 3 to 5 of them, so the image has a uniform exposure with everything just right.
2/ try using HDR, because this also works on a similar basis and is done in drone. You might try this first, in auto mode just to get a feel for the settings you need and also be able to review the result, whilst you are in the air. Option 1 is the more pro solution in this sort of photography.
If the drone is capable, do image editing with the RAW file, because there are tools in the editor that can transform underexposed images. A JPG image has been processed and compressed, so it looks great from the camera, but there is little you can adjust later.
Night shots are prone to clumpy detail and looks like blurred grain. It is referred to as image noise. Everything is against you when taking night shots, more so with a drone, because it moves when hovering so a fast shutter speed becomes necessary. The ISO needs to be higher than desireable for the same reason. A land based camera has the luxury of a tripod to solve the problem.
I hope this helps you.


1-18 07:40
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Drone Taiwan
lvl.4
Flight distance : 234820 ft
Taiwan
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AlansDronePics Posted at 1-18 07:40
I have found 2 key factors that are important and haven't been mentioned, for stills.
The most important is minimal wind. The drone is remarkably stable in a steady breeze but not so good in gusts, even gentle ones if you need a long exposure of more than 0.5 second.
As my pics below, to improve your image sharpness in less than optimum wind, consider a more distant shot. The logic being, the small movement of the drone becomes miniscule in the image at greater distance. Of course, you chose a closeer scene and there is nothing wrong with that, if the drone is rock steady. I thought you did well with many of your shots.

Hi
How are you? Hope all fine

Thanks a lot for the recommendations, i will follow them asap for my next night drone shooting,
Btw, your photos are amazing

Thanks again and wish you a nice day
1-18 18:08
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