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Auto exposure is a nightmare...

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by nowwatch, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. nowwatch

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    I'm not sure why this topic isn't discussed more, but the auto exposure function on the Vision 2 renders most shots useless, especially when the camera is oriented toward the sun within 90 degrees and receives prop shadow.We've shot in many locations, attempting to record professional images, and we continually experience poor results with prop shadow flicker, instant auto exposure shifts or image pixelation. These shifts and flickers do not show up on the monitor, so we are not able to determine there's a problem on location unless we stop and watch every shot, which is just not possible when doing work on the move.

    I understand this is not considered a professional camera system, but for the $3k we spent on a complete package, we expect better camera control. Does anyone have the skills and know-how to hack the firmware and turn off this setting? We will pay for it. Will DJI offer this option soon???

    Here are a few raw sample clips at 30fps that show the flicker, pixelation and exposure shifts. All three of these shots contain great sequences that are unusable... :(

    *We remove the drone shadows in post.

    [vimeo]103040367[/vimeo]

    [vimeo]103040366[/vimeo]

    [vimeo]103040365[/vimeo]
     
  2. sidebox

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    What did you spend 3k on? You really shouldn't set your expectations based on price alone. The features you are looking for simply are not provided on this model. You are going to need to spend closer to $10k (and frankly it would probably be about $15k) for a system that provides the results that you are looking for. You'll need something like the s800 with a zenmuse gimbal and a canon underslung. Short of this, you simply will not get professional results and control.

    Have you looked at the exposure compensating settings and the anti-flicker settings in the meantime? You will also want to put some sort of a lens hood on the camera, to prevent shadows and flair. Several people sell 3d printed hoods.
     
  3. nowwatch

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    $3k goes fast when you purchase the kit, 6 batteries, extra props, 3 chargers, case, media cards etc.

    Although this is not a professional tool, I cannot imagine anybody wanting auto exposure to destroy a shot. It should be set manually, or auto expose at record time then remain fixed for the shot.

    DJI needs a pre-sales disclaimer that reads "Warning! Footage will be unusable should you shoot in direct sunlight or against any environment where brightness is inconsistent (meaning every shot)".

    :shock:
     
  4. cahutch

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    You have manual camera control.
    You can manually set ISO value, white balance, metering and exposure.
    That being said, there's only so much you can do with this camera.
    Definitely look into a lens hood for prop shadow and lens flair.
     
  5. nowwatch

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    All of these options are not all available on the Android version, that I am aware of.
     
  6. sidebox

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    You certainly can fix some of these issues. You will want to look into a polarized filter if you require shots into the sun and the lens hood should eliminate the prop shadows. Other than those issues, your videos really do look great. I hope you can make it work. Look at page 34-35 of the manual for all of the camera settings.
     
  7. cahutch

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    That's news to me. I'd certainly be very surprised if there was any functional difference between the Android app and the iOS app.
    According to the manual they should function the same.

    Tap on the gear looking icon below the video start/stop button on the right side of the app screen.
    That opens up the camera controls which will appear on the left side.
    Scroll those icons up or down to see additional settings.
     
  8. nowwatch

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    There is no "disable auto exposure" function in the Phantom vision 2.
     
  9. FalconPix

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    I shoot in sun and never had these issues.
    I also shoot in 720/60fps.

    Flying through wheat and chopping it up with the blades and hitting your camera can't be a good thing either
     
  10. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Given the limitations of the Phantom camera the obvious thing to do is plan your shots so you don't shoot into the sun.
    And that's a good idea whatever camera gear you're using.
    Shoot with the sun, not against it.
    Plan your time of day so the sun is not against you or shoot on an overcast day.
    With the Phantom you have a lot of freedom with camera position and camera angles.
    That's the beauty of it.
     
  11. cahutch

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    But you can change the metering method and you can add from +2 to -2 to the exposure.
     
  12. juangelb

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    Hi Cahutch,
    I improvised a lens hood using a 41 mm thermoretract tube weighting less than 1 grama.
    Best Regards : Juan
     

    Attached Files:

  13. flyNfrank

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    I'll agree, I'm somewhat shocked more on this subject hasn't been discussed. It seems since the last update something software wise has been changed. And overall, it sucks! Up until the most recent update I have been satisfied with default settings on the camera at 1080p 30fps. I now have to set the Exposure Metering on the Spot setting, The Exposure Compensation on -0.3. All the Whites are majorly saturated. If the upper Half of the shot is the sky, and the lower Half is the ground/horizon, the lower Half is so dark you can not see anything until you tilt the camera down.

    I also feel as though the lens is somewhat blurry. On the P2V it was discovered how to open the camera and manually adjust the focus. Some cameras were in need of adjustment where others were ok.

    I realize we have several settings to work with, but what is available, is not enough to tweak the camera. Or at least not enough for my camera. All my references are about the Video function. It would be nice if we were given access to such settings in a app.