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Grainy camera

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by Scottrod, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Scottrod

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    My camera worked fine on previous flights now I'm noticing at night the camera has a grainy quality to the video and pictures. There are pixels that essentially light up that shouldn't. Any thoughts? Maybe a loose connection?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jimre

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    Are you taking pictures at night? If so, you should expect grainy images with noise on a small-sensor camera like this. Sorry, this is not a $3000 DSLR that takes good low-light pictures :-(

    EDIT: when the DNG/RAW update is eventually released, shooting in RAW format will at least give you more noise-reduction options, depending on your image-editing software. May help a bit with low-light images, but don't expect miracles.
     
  3. iDrone

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    MOS sensors (imagers) are typically noisy in low-light and so I don't think you have a bad camera. If you have night images that look less grainy from before the upgrade I'd be interested to compare them. Tell us more about the photo... What resolution & settings used (if you recall) would be helpful.

    iDrone
     
  4. Scottrod

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    I haven't changed the settings since the video started to become crappy. I really don't get it. I know it's not a DSLR but it wasn't doing this previously. Really strange. I will say as I the camera faces some lights certain pixels will light up in the video frame and others won't. Never seen anything like it. I'll try to post a video example...
     
  5. jimre

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    If you were previously getting good night shots, then a before/after example would help. The picture in your initial post doesn't help much - just looks like a really dark, blurry photo of a dimly-lit street or something.
     
  6. Scottrod

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    The best way to describe it would be static. Not grains. It makes pixels light up where there is no light source. I'm going to try disconnecting and reconnecting the camera and taking some more videos and see if it still happens.
     
  7. Scottrod

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    See if this video helps. If you notice there are pixels lit up where there is no light and these pixels get brighter and darker depending on how bright the objects are it is filming at night.

    HD so hopefully you can look closely and see them

    http://youtu.be/qijcMjrXUE0
     
  8. jimre

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    Sorry, but that looks exactly like what I'd expect when shooting video of a dimly-lit street on a dark night. Not sure what to tell you. Were you expecting something different?

    EDIT: just watched again, largest size. Yes, there's something weird going on. At first it looks like normal low-light sensor noise evenly spread across the screen. Then as brighter-objects pass by - it's almost like they "erase" the noise, and leave a clear trail behind them. I'd expect noise with this sensor, but I've never seen behavior quite like this before.
     
  9. urgno

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    would really love to visit the factory where these crappy cam was made :evil:
    at least first batches ...
     
  10. jengo

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    This is digital noise that is the result of high ISO. Even though the lens is f/2.8 which is good for lower light, the sensor is tiny. Very small sensors are poor in low light.
     
  11. jimre

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    In the original post you said the camera was working fine before, but now is showing this symptom. Do you have some night footage from when it was working properly?

    As I said previously, to me it looks like normal low-light digital noise that you get with almost every small-sensor camera. But it behaves a little different from most such noise I've seen - in that it goes away (at least temporarily) after a bright object passes by those pixels. Could be the combination of low-light sensor noise and the aggressive MP4 compression (11 Mbps) this camera uses for video.
     
  12. Scottrod

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    I'm thinking maybe it had to do with a crash I had which caused the camera to come loose. It didn't have that kind of noise previously by far. It wasn't a night vision camera but didn't have random pixels lit up at night which is really weird.
     
  13. Scottrod

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    Not a mark on my machine and looks new but maybe something came loose?
     
  14. iDrone

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    Thanks for posting the video, now I see what you're talking about. Does that static pattern appear when you play back the original .MP4 file on your iPhone & computer? If so, I'd say your camera is definitely the problem because the brightness level of the noise is much higher than typical MOS imager noise, the size & shape of the noise pattern is atypical, and the fact that it dissipates when exposed to light suggests that something has happened to the sensor or its circuits.

    Write it up and include the photo and a link to the YouTube video and send it to your dealer. At the same time file a report with DJI here: http://www.dji.com/tech-support/report-problem/

    Please update us with your progress & results, we're all watching the "new" DJI and keenly monitoring their customer support of Phantom Vision customers.

    iDrone
     
  15. Scottrod

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    Thank you iDrone! I'm glad you guys could see the issue. I made sure to load the video on YouTube in HD for that reason. Yeah the original definitely has the same issue. I'm hoping DJI will fix it so I don't have to send back to B&H photo. I will keep all posted.
     
  16. iDrone

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    B&H are camera guys and many are familiar with MOS sensor noise. Send them the photo & esp the link to the video and I'm sure they'll respond favorably. They'll probably want to do a product exchange, so gather all the papers, accessories, tools, etc and be ready to ship it back.

    iDrone
     
  17. Scottrod

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    Sent back to B&H. These guys rock. Excellent customer service. Expect the new one some time next week. Will keep you posted if it has anything different like a USB on outside of the TX.
     
  18. iDrone

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    Yay! Glad that's taken care of, and yes... Let us know when you're flying & taking pictures again.

    iDrone (the Very)
     
  19. Mactab

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    The camera has a fixed aperture of 2.8 so that's not an option. the maximum ISO setting is 400 so yes that will help. however noise will increase. I haven't done any tests on quality in relation to the various ISO settings and how it effects video but I would have thought some smoothing would be possible in software like Final Cut Pro.
     
  20. Scottrod

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    Admittedly it didn't have an issue until I crashed it so it was probably my fault but B&H accepted the exchange. Honestly it didn't have a scratch on it but that **** camera must have had something loose inside that started to cause the noise in low light conditions...