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Phantom 4 4K video issue (encoding artifacts)
7201 34 2016-6-13
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velascoborja
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Hello everyone!

I bought two days ago a brand new Phantom 4 and I'm experiencing what I think is an issue with my 4K videos.

When recording 4K video and moving vertically the gimbal with the remote control the Phantom 4 drops frames which are not appreciable from the preview but which show up when playing the video form the computer. Tested on an iMac 5K and a 15 inch Retina Macbook. Video is recorded 4K 30 FPS in .MOV file type using NTCS format.

Do you know if this is suposed to be this way or is there something I can make to prevent it.

I attach two pictures, the first one is recording steady (with no image issues) and the second one is at the gimbal movement start. (where the problem can be appreciated)

This is the video: https://goo.gl/Hfi2Br

1 - https://goo.gl/kw9eE3
2 - https://goo.gl/pzqwcN

Thank you very much!




2016-6-13
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DJI-Paladin
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Hello velascoborja, which sd card do you use? Is it coming with every card?
2016-6-13
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velascoborja
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DJI-Paladin Posted at 2016-6-13 18:34
Hello velascoborja, which sd card do you use? Is it coming with every card?

Hello! Thanks for answering so quickly.

I am currently using the SD card that came with my Phantom. Panasonic 16GB.
This afternoon I'm going to try with the MicroSD card I currently use with my Gopro hero 4.
2016-6-13
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huntcool001
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Hola,

Does the frame dropping happens only when you do gimbal movement? Does it happen with 2.7K video?

Also, have you tried a different SD card?  You need a class 10 or higher SD card, or the recorded video might be lagging.

Also, try switching from NTCS mode to PAL mode in DJI GO, and see if helps.

If it still doesn't work, you might have a faulty camera and needs to exchange it.



2016-6-13
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DJI-Paladin
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velascoborja Posted at 2016-6-13 18:37
Hello! Thanks for answering so quickly.

I am currently using the SD card that came with my Phantom ...

OK.Before you use the GoPro's card, don't forget to format it before flight.Also, huntcool001 also gives you some good ideas in #4.
2016-6-13
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velascoborja
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huntcool001@gma Posted at 2016-6-13 18:39
Hola,

Does the frame dropping happens only when you do gimbal movement? Does it happen with 2.7K vi ...

Hello!

As far as I've realised I believe it only happends when moving the gimbal. Making the aircraft rotate quickly doesn's seem to make this happen.

This afternoon I'll make some tests with another SD card, I'm currently using the one that came with my Phantom.

I'll also try to switch from NTCS to PAL and to change file type from MOV to MP4 and see if helps.

Thanks a lot
2016-6-13
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velascoborja
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I've finally was able to make some tests and nothing has changed.

I tested recording in 2.7K and 1080 60 FPS and everything seems to be fine, so the problem seems to only appear in 4K.

I've switched SD cards and it continues to happen.

I've also made some research and I've realised that there are more people with this problem (I attach some links with examples of this "pixelation", "frame drop" or "encoding issue" as people call this issue)

Do you believe I should return my Phantom and request a new one?

Thanks a lot.

This is a link to a person of this forum with the same problem: http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?m ... D368%26typeid%3D368

And these are some videos:





2016-6-13
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Geebax
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OK. Firstly, your Phantom is not dropping frames, it cannot do that, because it is recording a continuous MPEG encoded video streeam. It will introduce coding artifacts, but not drop frames. The P4 encoder is not as good as the P3 encoder for some reason, and it does not deal with lots of details well. You can reduce the effects of macro-blocking that you are seeing by going into the settings and reducing the amount of sharpening being applied, or shoot in log or use an ND filter to reduce the shutter speed and thererfore introduce some motion blur. The object is to avoid sharp transitions in the picture.

It is not a camera fault, all P4 cameras exhibit this to one extent or another. Sending it back won't achieve anything.






2016-6-13
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velascoborja
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Geebax Posted at 2016-6-14 07:47
OK. Firstly, your Phantom is not dropping frames, it cannot do that, because it is recording a conti ...

Hello Geebax,

Thank you very much for your info I appreciate it. I didn't know exactly how to call what was happening that's why I said "Frame Drop" because I didn't know how to name the issue.

I'll try and reduce sharpening and see what happens!

Thanks a lot!
2016-6-13
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DJI-Paladin
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velascoborja Posted at 2016-6-14 15:20
Hello Geebax,

Thank you very much for your info I appreciate it. I didn't know exactly how to cal ...

Give it a try to lower the ISO when recording.
2016-6-14
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velascoborja
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DJI-Paladin Posted at 2016-6-15 10:18
Give it a try to lower the ISO when recording.

Hi everyone!

Yesterday I made some tests trying all the stuff that I've read so far. I've tried disabling 3D noise reduction and it doesn't seem to make any difference. I've also tried with different shutter speeds (while I'm waiting for some ND filters to arrive) and it seems to work better the lower speed you set. I also tried to set Anti-Flicker to 60Hz manually.

Finally, what really made a difference was to adjust Gimball wheel speed to 80% as well as Gimbal Tilt EXP to 20 and Gimbal Tilt SmoothTrack to 18. This helps me to mantain a smooth Gimbal tilt and prevent artifacts form appearing.

What I think for sure is that it's not my particular Phantom 4 which is damaged but this seems to be an extended issue which I hope will be fixed with a firmware update.
2016-6-14
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Aardvark
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velascoborja Posted at 2016-6-15 07:49
Hi everyone!

Yesterday I made some tests trying all the stuff that I've read so far. I've tried d ...

Which firmware are you using. It's difficult to judge the P4 based on youtube footage.
2016-6-15
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velascoborja
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Aardvark Posted at 2016-6-15 21:28
Which firmware are you using. It's difficult to judge the P4 based on youtube footage.

Hi Aardvark. I'm using latest Firmware (01.01.411). Those are videos which I've came across with. My original footage is here, you can check it out, but it is the same issue lots os users ar reporting.

This is the video: https://goo.gl/Hfi2Br

1 - https://goo.gl/kw9eE3
2 - https://goo.gl/

These are some of the users who have reported this issue:
- http://forum.dji.com/thread-46789-1-1.html
- http://forum.dji.com/thread-15526-1-1.html
- http://forum.dji.com/thread-46447-1-1.html
2016-6-15
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Aardvark
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OK, thanks for the info', it's something I've not really noticed as yet. I did some video the other day over grass and heather and it looks fine, but I did not do any faster gimbal tilts. Something I'll have to try next time out.

I'm using a San Disc Ultra 64GB card, and have applied similar settings to those you've used to smooth out the gimbal tilts and pans.
2016-6-15
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jwt873
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Just for info..  You are not alone velascoborja.   I get artifacts when raising or lowering the gimbal at 3840x2190 30 frames...   Like you, this doesn't happen when yawing.   I'm using 01.01.411 firmware.




2016-6-15
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userb6a525bfad
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Hello guys! I'm new to the DJI forum. But I've most definitely come across this issue more than once. I'm on my 4th P4! First one had amazing footage and didn't have this issue. But it had a camera tilt issue and the horizon was way off. Tried everything and couldn't get it fixed. Saw quite a few threads with the same issue. But the P4s I've had after up to the one I have now all have this issue. Mostly when tilting the camera or even when I move quickly. The weird thing is that all 3 have had different quality video with the same exact settings and similar lighting. I'm at a loss... The footage on the one I have now doesn't seem AS grainy as the last 2. But the terrible artifact problem when tilting or moving is horrible. It's mostly in 2.7, and UHD. I've got some ND filters on the way to give that a try. Did those settings help quite a bit? I haven't tried that yet. I'm really hoping the filters will work! I'd also like to know why only some people are having this issue. Pretty bummed about it.
2016-6-15
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Geebax
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userb6a525bfad Posted at 2016-6-16 09:40
Hello guys! I'm new to the DJI forum. But I've most definitely come across this issue more than once ...

As near as I can tell, all P4s have this issue. For some reason the encoding in the P4 is different to the P3, which was able to handle this much better. It is related to the amount of fine detail in the image. The best you can do is dial down the sharpening in the camera settings, then put it back later in post-production.

And I would not hold out on getting a firmware fix for it either, as the H.264 encoding is done in a large proprietary chip in the aircraft, and I am not sure if it can be re-flashed with different firmware.
2016-6-15
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Gosling_Dkc
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Also, just figured out how to change my profile name lol. But anyway, on all of the different threads I've been on about the video quality issue, I haven't actually come across one with either a fix, or an answer. I would think with all of the P4 owners experiencing this issue, DJI Wild at least have some sort of answer. I'm sure plenty of owners have sent theirs in for repair for this problem. And if it's just the compression from the P4 being a terrible then that is s huge bummer. I also own a P3 standard and shoot in 2.7 constantly with NONE of these video quality issues. So what's up DJI? I love your products usually. But are we just stuck with a 1500$ piece of equipment that has a bad video compression problem?
2016-6-15
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Gosling_Dkc
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Geebax Posted at 2016-6-16 07:47
As near as I can tell, all P4s have this issue. For some reason the encoding in the P4 is different ...

Wow. Well that's most definitely a bummer. The night that I first bought the P4 I originally was going to buy the pro. Now I'm not so rut what to do. Besides I guess be stuck with it and work with what I've got. Hopefully something will get figured out for everyone. I won't hold my breath or anything. But you never know. Thanks for the quick response! So how well are these gimbal settings working? And has anyone got any word on using an ND filter?
2016-6-15
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Geebax
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Gosling_Dkc Posted at 2016-6-16 10:02
Wow. Well that's most definitely a bummer. The night that I first bought the P4 I originally was g ...

The best thing to do is switch off 3D noise reduction, edit the camera style settings and dial down the sharpness setting to about -1 and if the scene is bright enough, fit an ND filter and reduce your shutter setting to around 1/50. Those measures should help reduce the coding artefacts.
2016-6-15
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Gosling_Dkc
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Geebax Posted at 2016-6-15 20:20
The best thing to do is switch off 3D noise reduction, edit the camera style settings and dial dow ...

I'm definitely going to give that a try. I have noticed a difference when I use manual shutter speeds and ISO. I can't help but feel terrible for exchanging my first one in with the horizon issue for the ones with the compression issue. I traded 1 problem for what seems to be a bigger one. But then again, I've also seen some other threads with people not finding a fix for the gimbal tilt problem and having to send it in or exchange anyway. But I think fixing the horizon tilt in post is a little easier than fixing bad recorded footage. Thanks for the advice. Im going to try all of this out!
2016-6-15
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DJI-Paladin
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velascoborja Posted at 2016-6-15 14:49
Hi everyone!

Yesterday I made some tests trying all the stuff that I've read so far. I've tried d ...

Thanks for your response.I'd suggest you to get in touch with our EU support and send the drone to our service center for diagnosis. Thank you for your understanding: 联系欧洲.JPG
2016-6-15
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velascoborja
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DJI-Paladin Posted at 2016-6-16 15:03
Thanks for your response.I'd suggest you to get in touch with our EU support and send the drone to ...

Hi everyone again!

I've been doing some testing and I finally came out with a conclusion about this issue.

I'm now completely sure that this is not a particular issue with a couple of Phantom out there. It's something that all Phantom 4 do, regardless some users do in fact realise or not. I've tested a firend of mine's Phantom 4 and it does exactly the same (as well as all the videos I've come across with in the Internet)

This is caused by the low bitrate our Phantom 4 has (60mb/s) and the large amount of information it has to store at a very high shutter speed while recording 4K videos and tilting the gimbal fastly (due to the intense light condition). That's why an ND filter solves the situation as it reduces the amount of light that gets inside the camera and allows it to set a lower shutter speed.

As well as this, there are many other settings we can adjust in order to prevent artifacts from appearing:

  • Turning off 3D Noise Reduction disabling this setting improves largely the image quality, however it doesn't fix the artifacts completely.
  • Adjusting sticks and gimbal's EXP so that movement is slower and smoother while recording, helping the camera to encode with better results. I've got stick's EXP set to 0,3 and Gimbal's to 20
  • Setting Gimbal's SmoothTrack to 17-19 which makes it fade when stopping and helps getting a better image
  • Reducing Gimbal's speed by default it's set to a very high value which is not necessary for recording, I've got it setup to 70 and the result is great.
  • Lowering ISO and Sharpness this reduces the amount of information that's stored while recording and improves quality. Sharpness -2 and ISO 100 should be fine
  • Recording in D-Log mode which allows to get the maximum dynamic range and helps reducing artifacts.
  • Adjusting shutter speed to the double of the frames per second. If recording at 30fps, set shutter speed to 1/60 to obtain smoother results. To achieve this it's mandatory to have ND filters in order to reduce the amount of light.
  • Recording 2.7K or 1080 60FPS

I yesterday made some vídeos with this settings and the image looked much much better.

I've found a very interesting list of tips for recoring video using Phantom 3 and 4 where you can check all these settings and much more (I strongly recommend people having this issue to read it): http://phantomfilters.bigcartel.com/videography-tips-for-dji-phantom-3-professional

Responding to DJI-Paladin  I've been to my local DJI Authorized Technical Support store to explain my issue and the technician working there confirmed me that this is normal and that he had had more people reporting it.

Adding up, all these artifacts are normal when recording with all stock settings and with no smoothness, at high resolutions. I've made a lot of research and gather all this information which has made my videos much better while recording 4K. However, it's important to keep in mind that no matter how many Phantom you return that recoring near to the grass with high light conditions and tilting the gimbal fastly up and down will cause this distortion/artifacts/pixelation untill DJI decides to increase Bitrate or to solve it via a firmware upgrade. (which is very unlikely to happen)
2016-6-16
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Gosling_Dkc
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Well alright then. Thanks a lot for the info! It's good to know that it's an all around issue. But can most definitely be worked with. Aside from dealing with the artifact issue, I LOVE the P4! It's a lot of fun to fly! And besides my first one having the tilting gimbal problem I have had no other issues with it at all.
2016-6-16
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dpcam1
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velascoborja Posted at 2016-6-16 17:59
Hi everyone again!

I've been doing some testing and I finally came out with a conclusion about thi ...

Thank god someone has else acknowledged this issue.ive been saying for a long time there's something wrong with the way the p4 encodes the video..
The compression seems to be all over the place. I've been able to try two p4s and they both had encoding issues. The frustrating thing is that often the pictures are sharp and then they turn to rubbish...its so random...I'm returning mine and getting a p3
2016-6-16
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Geebax
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dpcam1 Posted at 2016-6-17 15:16
Thank god someone has else acknowledged this issue.ive been saying for a long time there's somethi ...

Depends what you are mostly doing. The P4 will be better at still shots than the P3, but the P3 is better at encoding than the P4. Take your choice.
2016-6-16
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dpcam1
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Geebax Posted at 2016-6-17 13:23
Depends what you are mostly doing. The P4 will be better at still shots than the P3, but the P3 is ...

I really need mine for video.
2016-6-16
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martin.gros
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velascoborja Posted at 2016-6-16 13:59
Hi everyone again!

I've been doing some testing and I finally came out with a conclusion about thi ...

Hi, how to you on/off 3d noise reduction ? Thanks
2016-6-27
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huntcool001
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martin.gros@yma Posted at 2016-6-28 14:16
Hi, how to you on/off 3d noise reduction ? Thanks

You should update your DJI Go to the latest version, and you can find it in video editing part.
2016-6-27
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martin.gros
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huntcool001@gma Posted at 2016-6-28 11:25
You should update your DJI Go to the latest version, and you can find it in video editing part.

Ok I found the answer...My app is in french and the translation is totally awful and make non sense...
3d noise reduction = historique de commutation de redo... (can't read everything the menu is too small..)
Impossible for me to find any relation with 3d noise reduction with this title...

solved !!!
2016-6-28
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ArtistFirst
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huntcool001@gma Posted at 2016-6-13 18:39
Hola,

Does the frame dropping happens only when you do gimbal movement? Does it happen with 2.7K vi ...

People really don't seem to get NTSC and PAL.

You are not in one mode or the other and then get to also be in HD.  If you are outside of 480i (NTSC, National Television Standards Committee) 29.97 / 30fps or PAL (Phase Alternating Lines) 650i 25fps THEN YOU ARE NOT IN PAL OR NTSC.

From Wiki:

"High-definition television (HDTV) resolution is 1,080 or 720 lines (and now every other format). In contrast, regular digital television (DTV) is 480 lines (upon which NTSC is based, 480 visible scanlines out of 525) or 576 lines (upon which PAL/SECAM are based, 576 visible scanlines out of 625)."

2016-6-28
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James4388
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I having the same issue. It was fine as long as you didnt move gimbal. But video get pixellization when you move gimbal (look up, look down)
2016-9-25
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Sebb
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Just for note: the issue with frame drops or stuttering or similar has been discussed before. same conclusion was reached, compression algorythm shortcomings, especially at 4K which has 40% less data to work with than 2.7K.

http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?m ... &fromuid=250580
2016-9-27
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fansa9803815
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velascoborja Posted at 2016-6-16 01:59
Hi everyone again!

I've been doing some testing and I finally came out with a conclusion about this issue.

I fly a P4P and have the exact same issue. Very frustrating. I was called out by a client this week about pixelation [embarrasing]. Mostly happens at intermediate distances (30-50 feet) and shooting subjects with very subtle color shifts (swimming pool water; roofs on houses). Seems to happen when P4P is moving slowly (similar to gimbal roll). Wide angle landscapes seem to be ok. I'm optimistic that using these settings will improve my content. DJI owners should not have to jump through these hoops to get acceptable video. I'll also try 30FPS (instead of 60FPS)  with the idea that it will reduce the burden on the SD card write speed (writing half the amount of frames). **FYI - there is no 3D Noise Reduction setting in the P4P**.

2017-12-20
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LongGopper
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fansa9803815 Posted at 2017-12-20 06:03
I fly a P4P and have the exact same issue. Very frustrating. I was called out by a client this week about pixelation [embarrasing]. Mostly happens at intermediate distances (30-50 feet) and shooting subjects with very subtle color shifts (swimming pool water; roofs on houses). Seems to happen when P4P is moving slowly (similar to gimbal roll). Wide angle landscapes seem to be ok. I'm optimistic that using these settings will improve my content. DJI owners should not have to jump through these hoops to get acceptable video. I'll also try 30FPS (instead of 60FPS)  with the idea that it will reduce the burden on the SD card write speed (writing half the amount of frames). **FYI - there is no 3D Noise Reduction setting in the P4P**.

[view_image]

Hi, I know it's been a while, which is why I'm interested to see if you've ever found a solution to your issues (whether it's a new drone with better codecs or whatever).

I've been working with DJI material from their various products for 3 years now (delivering broadcast shows all over the world). There is NO QUESTION the DJI compression is horrid and I've only been able to remedy it by using temporal noise reduction, cranked to the max.

The apologists will tell you they don't see anything, but I'm not interested in their ignorance.

I also spoke to the DJI guys directly at NAB two years ago and they were not one bit interested. Their attitude was "hey, look at all our shiny toys!!"

Interested to know if you have found any usable drone solution for those who want pristine video and not upscaled, poorly encoded garbage. TIA!
2018-3-17
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