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Focus Issue on Phantom Pro 3

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by olivia_sb, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. olivia_sb

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    I brought a phantom pro 3 a few weeks ago and have been quite disappointed by the quality of the camera. It seems to not be in focus. I'm wondering if this is normal...or if something is wrong with it?? My main use for the drone is still photography.

    I've attached three images that were the DNG files opened in Photoshop and saved as JPEGS (no edited applied) that I've taken from it, plus a screen shot of each image zoomed into 100%.

    I'm interested to know what people think of the quality and whether something is wrong with the focus on my camera.

    Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas from New Zealand!
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 olivia_sb, Dec 25, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  2. AAPhoto

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    The pictures of the building look fine to me. Just run them through Lightroom to add some sharpening and they'll be fine.

    The family pictures do seem off, either because the camera was focusing on something else, or too slow of a low shutter speed was used (the drone isn't exactly as steady as a tripod). Out of curiosity, what was your shutter speed? Were you using any filters that could have slowed it down?
     
  3. Jean

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    It doesn't look like anything is wrong with your photos (the family is taken at too slow a speed I reckon - not a focus issue) but I have noticed that the DNG files take A LOT of sharpening to look good. Take a look at the JPGs that the camera produces and you'll see how much sharpening is applied in camera. So to get reasonably good result you'll have to tread a fine line between a lot of sharpening and sufficient noise reduction.
     
  4. AAPhoto

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    Oh, and since I've seen this happen before, did you peel off the protective sticker from the lens? ;)
     
  5. olivia_sb

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    I don't believe it's a movement issue with a slow shutter speed. You can't see any blur/movement. It's definitely an out of focus/soft issue.

    The family photo was shot at 100th/s at ISO 100. The family photo had an ND4 filter on.

    The building photos were shot at 320th/s at IS) 100 with UV Filter on.

    Yip got the plastic cover off! :D
     
  6. manazuma

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    The camera on the Phantom has a tiny sensor so photos should probably be equivalent to a cell phone from last year. I think like Apple they kept a lower quality camera in this model so they can sell you the Phantom 4 plus with a better camera.
     
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  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The P3 lens is fixed focus.
    It doesn't have the ability to focus on anything.
    Was there any particular reason to use an NS filter for stills?
     
  8. olivia_sb

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    I've been playing with the drone to get to know how it works best for when I use it on commercial jobs. so was just testing/trying the ND filter. But the out of focus issue affects the building also which just had the uv filter on.
     
  9. AAPhoto

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    I would remove all "extras" from the equation and get some baseline results - no filters and camera settings on "auto", raw and jpg. Do the results look the same?
     
    #9 AAPhoto, Dec 25, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  10. 4wd

    4wd

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    If you know how to deal with RAW the results are worth the bit of extra time spent - agree the buildings look OK and put through lightroom would only need moderate sharpening.
     
  11. AAPhoto

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    I just did some tests of my own and the results are similar to yours. Yes, they are somewhat soft, but more than acceptable from this size sensor, in my opinion. So, I don't think there's anything wrong with your camera. :) I think we've become spoiled by the quality we can get from our DSLRs and good glass and now we want that same level of quality in these smaller cameras. I'm sure we'll get there someday! Until then, a bit of added sharpness in post should bring the photos to a more acceptable level.

    Merry Christmas!
     
  12. rskardon

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    I would say mine looks about the same, as AAPhoto suggests it's not even close to a DSLR so if that's what you're used to the images will seem soft. Using RAW is definitely better for the flexibility it gives post production, I don't reckon yours is faulty.
     
  13. fire41fighter

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    when you move fromRAW to JBG, you are compressing the file...also depending on what resolution your compression is set at, you will lose detail and the pic may soften. Try converting to TIF or PNG. If you do save to JPG try the following resolutions - 300DPI if it will be printed, 150 DPI if you are only posting on the web. Anything less than 240 DPI and you will lose detail. Your issue is more than likely not the camera, but the compression when going to JPG from RAW. Think of RAW as a digital negative. It is exactly what the camera sees. Think of your JPG compression ratio as the quality of paper the negative is being printed on. JPG files van vary in quality depending on the compression. Does that make sense? Hope that helps some.
     
  14. fire41fighter

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    BTW...always shoot anything i RAW or DNG, no matter what camera you have...drone or DSLR. The RAW and DNG format give you the best quality and the greatest latitude for editing and post production.
     
  15. olivia_sb

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    Hi everyone, thanks for your tidbits of help. I'm a professional photographer here in NZ, so always shoot RAW and know all about that and JPEG compression etc! Maybe I was just expecting a lot more from the camera with all the hype written about it and examples I had seen on the internet. I did some more shots this morning...took off the filters ramped up the shutter speed, put all the settings to 0 (although they don't affect the DNG file) and still getting soft images. In post production ramping up the sharpening doesn't fix an image that is soft, even when it's RAW.

    Here are the shots from this morning. Is this just the quality I should expect from this camera? If so, I'm a bit gutted about it to be honest based on all the hype that surrounded the Phantom Pro 3.
    These are SOOC. The Screenshot is from Adobe Camera Raw with NO editing and zoomed into 100%. The JPG is what opened in PS and I saved as a JPG at quality 8.

    Camera details: ISO 100; Shutter 1600/s

    Thanks everyone.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Jean

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    I am a professional photographer as well. The small sensor of the Phantom 3P cannot compete with a full frame camera. Your next step up is an Inspire with Zenmuse X5R but that's a big step up in price.
    I disagree that sharpening your RAW will not improve your images. Play with it...but it's a fine line before you get too much noise and there is no way that you can get the latitude of a large sensor.
     
  17. AAPhoto

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    Unfortunately, that's it. I had only seen video related hype for the P3P. For DSLR quality photos, you should be looking at the Inspire Pro/RAW series. The difference in price though is quite significant, but similar to the likes of moving from a Canon kit lens to an L lens.

    Alternatively, you can purchase larger drones that will carry your DSLR. From what I've seen though, those are even more expensive than the Inspire Pro.
     
  18. FCPhantom

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    olivia_sb likes this.