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Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera control?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by monkey-wrench, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. monkey-wrench

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    Howdy folks! My first forum post here - came across this group while trawling through Google trying to optimise camera quality. Ok, here's the thing. I'm using the Phantom Vision 2+ (PV2+) and I've just started a couple of weeks ago. My main use for the drone is for aerial still photography - and I'm hoping to kick start a few projects that I had in mind. While I've been tinkering about with the aircraft for the last couple of days. I can't help but notice significant loss of quality around the edges of a still photo (shot in RAW / NEF, full quality). I've been using the Adobe Lightroom camera RAW plugin to straighten the horizons, and this does pull the image quite a bit - but there is quite a bit of quality drop around the edges.

    I can't help but note that the camera EXIF info shows that the image was shot wide open, at f/2.8. Technically speaking, that isn't the best for optimal depth-of-field. Anybody have any suggestions on how I can increase the aperture, or get some amount of manual control over the camera? Or is there something blissfully simple that I seem to have not found so far?

    Any help or suggestions welcome!

    Cheers
     
  2. monkey-wrench

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    *bump*

    anybody?
     
  3. Tails_Up

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    I've never used the RAW setting, but isn't there a choice to set aperture automatically?

    Also, I have seen on eBay a company that offers several replacement lenses, which might help with this.
     
  4. Mactab

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    There is no way to adjust the aperture on these cameras. 2.8 is what you get. Think low end point and shoot from a number of years ago and basically that is what the FC200 camera is. if you get a good camera/lens it's OK for small prints and web use. the DNG file is useful for pulling out shadows or lessening highlights but I wouldn't use the lens profile. There is no way of adjusting the FOV for stills but you can for videos. When I shoot stills I set the camera on the narrow FOV setting in the knowledge that I will have a lot of image left and right of my shot which I will then crop out. in effect for me the camera is about 8-10mp as opposed to 14mp high end.
    This lack of quality was talked about in depth on the vision board quite a few months ago and since the camera on the vision+ is essentially the same as the vision ( just a different housing) then I'm afraid the issues remain true.
    The aperture of 2.8 is fixed and is focused at infinity (hopefully) and it is a wide angle lens so the depth of focus is probably 1 metre to infinity. The only reason to stop down would be to increase the edge to edge sharpness of the lens ( and aberrations) but it's not the best quality lens anyway.
     
  5. AnselA

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    Technically speaking, if you could increase the aperture, the result would be less depth-of-field.
     
  6. monkey-wrench

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    Ah crap, that is what I was afraid of. Apologies I haven't seen the other thread, but I will now.

    Since I posted this, I've been tinkering around with the files I've been able to get so far. I took the Phantom out for the first "proper" shoot and came back with a bunch of DNGs which I shot just before sunset. I processed them in Adobe Lightroom the way I normally would landscapes, and used the lens profile tool to sort out the horizon. What I noticed what this:

    - The horrid blurry parts are usually in the bottom right corner for some strange reason (easy to explain the top - that's just sky)
    - By tinkering around with the amount of lens correction in Lightroom I was able to fix it slightly
    - The images were generally rather flat and dull - so I had to really go to town on getting the colours rich and saturated the way I like them
    - The images also REALLY need to be sharpened a lot - an unsharp mask in PS or educated sharpening in LR helps here

    After all that, I sent the file to my local printer and blew it up 36 inches x 24 inches - the results honestly are NOT BAD. I can use this for client work - but as you say, cropping out the edges and retaining 80% of the inside area may be the best plan.
     
  7. monkey-wrench

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    Umm - increasing the aperture value - f/8 instead of f/2.8 - but you know what I mean :)
     
  8. J.J.B.

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    In a large sensor camera, which this is not, that's true but you'd also need to be able to adjust the focus to see any meaningful DoF in any case. I think for what it is, it's very good and as usual, you get what you pay for. If you want professional grade shots from hundreds of feet up, you will need to spend a little more... :)
     
  9. Rizzo Media Factory

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr


    Hit this right on the nose. With the sensor being so small and the lens so wide, f/2.8 is a small aperture meaning almost everything in front of the lens is in focus. I only wish there was a filter thread on my P2V+ so I could put some ND on there and get slower shutter speeds in bright day light.
     
  10. Entropy512

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    Yeah. With a wide-FOV fisheye like this on a small-sensor camera, even f/2.8 gives you VERY good depth of field.
     
  11. monkey-wrench

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    Ok - so established so far:
    1. F2.8 is all this can do.
    2. It ain't a bloody DSLR, so be happy with what you get :)

    All good so far. In fact I'm quite happy with what I've been able to achieve so far. Any suggestions on how to fix the corners after they get stretched courtesy the Adobe camera correction tool?
     
  12. WyattEarp

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    Your kinda stuck with either the fish eye effect or the stretched corners from the fish eye correction.
     
  13. locoworks

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    assuming you are doing aeriel shots of buildings could you shoot in raw from further away and therefore have more to crop off the edges to loose the bad areas but still keep the subject intact?? not sure if the quality of what you are left with would be good enough for your needs though once blown up??
     
  14. monkey-wrench

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    Re: Increase aperture while shooting AKA Manual camera contr

    Yeah cropping it does remove a lot of data. I've just had an idea of trying to manoeuvre her and take multiple shots using the Brenizer Method - and try and merge them to a panorama, thereby increasing the amount of data I have, and cropping out the rest. I'm going to give this a shot - if anyone has had this (brilliant!!) idea before, do share :)