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Best settings for video quality

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Octoruss, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. Octoruss

    Dec 17, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I have found that although the 4K video from my P3P looks pretty darn good on my computer, it is still not cinematic enough and the colors often look a bit washed out. That is particularly a problem here in Florida, where the sun is so bright and often causes exposure issues in a lot of the videos.

    I've tried playing with the different color options (D-Cinema, Vivid, etc) but they don't seem to do much but artificially color the video. So I'm just curious, what do you do to get the best video quality?
    #1 Octoruss, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  2. BDOG

    Mar 22, 2016
    Likes Received:
    San Jose Ca and Lake Tahoe NV
    ND Filters with manual adjustment to the camera settings.

    ND Filters are like sunglasses for the camera.

    You posted in Phantom 3 Advanced / Professional section but you have a Standard correct?
  3. 4wd


    Mar 31, 2014
    Likes Received:
    North York Moors
    You have more options recording in Log with a flat profile, and doing quite detailed processing on the computer later.
    There are a range of colour grading presets available called LUTS you might want to look into as starting points to speed up editing.

    No matter how bright it is you can still avoid over-exposing without ND filters, although no denying they are nice to have. Try manual settings and if need be go well to the minus on the EV reading.
  4. joe21

    Oct 20, 2015
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    To get best quality, general consensus is to shoot in D-Log color space. This will produce a rather bland, washed out result... but will also give you the most flexibility for post processing. Other settings (i.e. "vivid") essentially post-process in-camera.

    Look up some videos on "color grading" and you will see that there are many "looks" obtainable with color grading your footage.

    The term "cinematic" is generally used to mean a "film" look, which is the opposite of the sharp photographic frames these cameras can produce. When you shoot at a very high shutter speed, each frame is very sharp with plenty of detail. This is great for photography, but considered (by some) bad for video. It produces the "soap opera effect."

    Rule of thumb is to set your shutter speed to double your frame rate. Shooting at 1080p60? Aim for a shutter speed of 1/120sec. Shooting at 1080p30? Aim for 1/60sec. That will produce some "motion blur" on moving objects in the frame. When played back as video, it will look more like film and thus more "cinematic."

    Getting slower shutter speeds is difficult to impossible in bright conditions. That is where ND filters come in. They limit the amount of light coming into the camera, allowing for a slower shutter.

    ND are good, but aren't completely necessary. I would suggest starting off shooting in D-log and learning to color grade your footage. When you have a better handle on that process, then you can work on exposure settings with ND filters.
  5. Noodle

    Oct 29, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Sydney, Australia
    Sounds like the washed out video is shot in D-Log mode, it is supposedly to appear flat and washed out so you have to do some pretty serious post-processing to make it look cinematic like. You cannot get cinematic video with rich colour and deep dynamic range straight out of a Phantom's video. If you are a bit lazy and lack of knowledge in post-processing (like me), sometimes I just shoot in Vivid mode for a straight-out-of-drone video, of course the colour will appear artificially enhanced.

    As for over-exposed video on bright sunny day, you have to swap the stock UV filter with an ND filter and set it in Manual exposure as mentioned above. Otherwise you will have to set your video to Auto exposure with the stock UV filter and forfeit that cinematic motion-blur effect.
  6. DefaultIT

    Jan 23, 2016
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    Good info above

    I'll note that D-log vs other color modes will impact your post time a bit; you will have more flexibility and thereby likely better results, but you'll need to go through and put at least a LUT on all your footage, if not a full grade (not difficult, but time-consuming).

    You may be able to improve in-camera color with a polarizing filter. It can kill some reflection and let the colors behind through a little. Does wonders for blue sky.

    Generally speaking, available light cinematography can be tricky even with awesome cameras