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Improve still picture quality

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Arvidj, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Arvidj

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    Hey!

    I took my Phantom 3 Advanced for my first flight today. Took a few pics and the image quality wasn't great. I wanted to post here and ask for which settings you would recommend to get the best quality picture I can?

    I know there's ND filters to purchase, and I think those could be good when shooting videos and its sunny. But I guess that for photos they won't do much?

    So yeah, which settings should I go for in the DJI app to get good quality pics, and could filters be useful to improve quality?

    General tips would be appreciated as well! :)
     
  2. SouthernPhantom

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    I've never had a bad picture with the P3P. And most of the time, I use the default settings, except I that use the DNG (raw) format and then do mild adjustments with Photoshop. But those adjustments don't change the overall look of the photo. I merely crop them and fix the contrast a bit.

    However, even when I've used all standard settings, including JPG, I've always gotten great pictures.

    You should post a few, and tell us what you think is lacking.
     
  3. SouthernPhantom

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    I should add, that will all the talk about firmware, calibrations, batteries, and everything else, these units are as much action-cameras as they are quadcopters. It's like having a good GoPro camera with wings, with lots of settings and options. You need to know a lot about digital photography!
     
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  4. Arvidj

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    Cool.

    Maybe I felt that my pics were a bit poor because of the weather today, it was a cloudy and grey day. I'm gonna fly some more and take more pictures tomorrow, and I will post some in this thread then. :) I probably should play around with the settings too.

    What do you think about filters for the lense? Any use of that and when could they be used?

    And how do you edit it in photoshop? I have access to it but have never used it to edit anything.
     
  5. SouthernPhantom

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    You'll need to learn how to use Photoshop. The best way is to take some photos with a regular camera, or your phone, and edit them.

    There are several versions, some for beginners, and the big one for professionals. It's not something that's teachable here. But there are lots of good books and online tutorials.

    I don't think you'll need any new filters for your first few weeks of flying. There's already a neutral density filter that came with it.

    Good luck! :)
     
  6. Arvidj

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    thanks! im gonna look up more about photoshop. :) gonna get more time in the air too, more pics.
     
  7. Chris P Duck

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    What did the scene look like in real life?

    If it was grey and dull and the photo came out grey and dull that's an accurate photo! What do photo's come out like that you take with your regular camera? If they come out similar then it's the operator that needs tweaking not the camera (no offence meant by that, I'm far from a pro myself)
     
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  8. SouthernPhantom

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    All are very excellent points! The Phantom's camera is a camera (redundancy intended). It will take the same quality photos as you would with any other camera under similar conditions. And it doesn't zoom, so you need to compensate for that without endangering anyone or anything!
     
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  9. NorthwestDrone

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    The p3s camera for stills is mediocre at best. Fixed focal point being a big issue. I saw a post and the best settings for raw are auto, fixed white balance, log color and settings at -3, -2, -3. In post you can bring all color, saturation and sharpness out as much as possible. I shoot real estate photography and have found a limit with sharpness sadly. Sunny days are crucial to a nice shot with stills but still the fixed focal can be frustrating when trying to get crisp solid images. Try lightroom or Photomatix for post. Happy shooting!
     
  10. Chris P Duck

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    Thumbs up to those settings... IF you're going to spend some time manipulating the image after. If you don't want to, don't know how to or simply don't have the time to these will make it look worse.


    In terms of what the camera is capable of. I guess it completely depends on what you usually use, your experience and your expectations. If you're used to just using your phone for photo's (which I'd guess over half of phantom users are) the P3's camera is much better than that. If you're used to an SLR then indeed the P3's camera is much less capable. However bearing in mind all the other tech crammed in and the requirement to be as light as possible it's none too shabby for the money!
     
  11. Arvidj

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    yeah it was grey and just not very nice. but what i felt was that the pic didn't look quite as sharp as i would have wanted it.

    yes its true, i didnt really position the camera or anything so i will need to tweak my operating to get better pics looking forward to learn to handle the phantom better too




    Cool. I wanna try to photo some buildings l and get it look good, sun will help a lot i can imagine. i have only been flying in boring cloudy weather so im really looking forward to sun.

    and ofc i gotta fly more and get confident flying it before i can expect really nice photos.

    thanks :)


    thanks for all the replies so far guys!
     
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  12. Vanjo Grale

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    I've found the HDR setting helpful, and using a free editor, infranview, to crank up the color saturation.
     
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  13. ATPhoto

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    I was initially disappointed with the P3P's images...however I have spent a lot of time working on the files and now I am really happy with what I can get out of this camera. I am landscape photographer with some high-end gear and whilst the P3P will never match that, once you get the hang of it you will be very happy. However, I must say that you need to be very proficient in working on your files in photoshop or similar programs. Nice light will usually get you great images, however I have been finding even in low light I am getting some great results. Attached is an image from a week ago, I have had images printed up to A3 size (420mm x 297mm) with excellent results. Practice, practice, practice.....! BLBeetWest0558v.jpg
     
  14. Wibble

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    Wow pretty impressive!!!
    Did you use HDR for that?
     
  15. witold

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    My 3 tips to get good photos out of Phantom 3:

    1) shoot during Golden Hour. The light is the best, allowing even weaker camera to take some quality photos.

    2) RAW. Forget about Jpeg. Raw captures a lot more information so that you get a lot more latitude in how you edit the photos later.

    3.) Adobe Lightroom. Don't bother with Photoshop. Lightroom has 95% of the functionality for photography, a much better workflow, easier interface. And you won't use the remaining 5% anyway, especially for aerial photography. Tons of professional photographers only use Lightroom.
     
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  16. ATPhoto

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    No, just a single dng file processed in photoshop
     
  17. 4wd

    4wd

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    Adobe Lightroom is cheaper and easier to use.
    I have both and 90% of Phantom shots only need a little work in Lightroom.
    It works vastly better if you use RAW mode.
    Using JPG gives similar results to taking a screenshot - which is OK but you don't get the same level of detail

    [​IMG]
     
  18. SouthernPhantom

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    DJI_0384Web.jpg

    I agree with all the comments here. As with anything in photography, it ultimately boils down to personal preferences and what you're familiar with. I use Bridge and Photoshop for RAW mode simply because I've always used them for everything. I agree that Lightroom is great, too.

    And I just realized that I misspoke something above. The Phantom comes with a UV, not ND, filter attached.
     
    #18 SouthernPhantom, Oct 26, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
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  19. Vanjo Grale

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    surfcheck.jpg

    I'm still learning the tricks, but I was happy with my surf check shot pre dawn yesterday.
     
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  20. Btktwood

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    The difference in seeing great pictures online that someone else took and are disappointed with what you are producing is ones ability to manipulate the image in post. P3 cameras are mediocre compared to a DSLR.... But can be made to look pretty good.

    My suggestion.... Use the search feature (this question gets asked daily) and read, read, read. Also, YouTube has tons and tons of videos on the P3, settings, different programs for working in post, workflow recommendations and so on.

    Most of all, have fun... Good luck!