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Night Flying

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by abbottts, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. abbottts

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    I've been on this forum for a couple of months now and have gained quite a bit of very useful knowledge and insights. One subject I haven't really come across is experiences with night flying. Is this not that common of a flight. I have seen some great night videos and am wanting some tips on video as well as still photo camera setting. I've seen very grainy night videos and some quite sharp and am wondering if the difference is due to camera settings. I do know that a more lit up sky will render a sharper video/image. Thanks for your inputs.
     
  2. dand.

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    Stills: the same as night photography with one little addition, your camera is up in the air not mounted on tripod. So low shutter speed = blur image, high ISO = a lot of noise.
    Its all about balance, use RAW images, better chance in post processing.
    Search Youtube, night photography.
    Disable any lights on your drone, there is an option in DJI Go app.
    Night flying is awesome, its absolutely awesome, especially if you can fly around large city. I made a few near Seattle, its just beautiful.


    Image1459231709.836017.jpg
    Just keep flying.
     
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  3. With The Birds

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    It's not as often does discussed as it likely occurs as it is against the rules in a lot of jurisdictions.

    Use a clear filter, you need as much light as you can get finding its way into the camera.

    Go for the lowest ISO you can get for a shutter speed up to 3 seconds.

    Use manual settings and have your histogram active. It's often OK to let light sources in frame blow out as light recorded as white doesn't look off, you can get more in the shadows that way with less noise.

    Shoot raw, apply noise reduction in post and avoid in camera HDR (looks like radioactive cat vomit).

    Take plenty of shots, not all will be keepers.
     
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  4. CactusJackSlade

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    FAA frowns on flying at night.... not sure if it's law or not, but they say no... that being said, have fun, flying at night is very cool ;-)
     
  5. Malakai

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    I recently did a night flight here in the UK. You can get some nice sharp images even with the shutter down to 2sec with no wind. The difficult part i found is landing in the dark. Make sure you have a really good torch and something you can use to illuminate where you are landing.
     
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  6. abbottts

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    Thanks for all your input. Will give you an update and a view of my shots when I take that first mission.
     
  7. chapsrlz

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    iso 100 and 2-3 secs per shot, and try at least two or three times every shot.
     
  8. abbottts

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    How about shooting videos? Is this possible? I've seen a few very decent ones.
     
  9. moto_jw

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    The last night flight I did was yesterday. Just make sure you take a bunch of shots. Experiment with the settings. Out of 44 photos, I had 5-6 really good ones. Also, keep track of where you are, especially when the red arm lights are off.
     
  10. chapsrlz

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    for sure :)





    for video iso must be at a very high level and try not to shoot in 4k, or youll get a lot of grain in the clip.
     
    #10 chapsrlz, Mar 30, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  11. chapsrlz

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    dont cover the red leds, since they are at the back of the drone its unnecessary unless you are hiding from someone :)
     
  12. kirk2579

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    handcatch
     
  13. kirk2579

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    my red led are on the front

    the back are green/yellow with status
     
  14. chapsrlz

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    my bad, thats right :)
     
  15. With The Birds

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    You have done this before haven't you......? I would turn them off while I was shooting. They do show up in frame.
     
  16. MasterBlaster

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    @chapsrlz - can you share your camera settings? White balance, contrast, etc? Your night video looks very good and I would like to try the same settings. I just can't seem to get it right and end up with either too dark a shot or too much noise. Again, great night video!!
    Btw, I love flying at night. I feel it is safer as I can see the bird better than in the day. In the day I lose mine in the sky at less than 2000 ft (distance NOT altitude) at 300ft alt. At night I can see it over twice that far. I can also see any other aircraft much easier at night and act accordingly. jmo


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    #16 MasterBlaster, Mar 30, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
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  17. abbottts

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    By the way, is there a way to turn off all the external lights if I wanted too.
     
  18. MasterBlaster

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    You can turn off the front red ones which you will want off taking night photos. In the Go App goto MC settings and then advanced settings. You will see the option to turn off Arms LED Lights


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  19. snowghost

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    I can't legally fly at night anymore due to new law. But before that it was 99% of my flying. You can get some pretty decent captures from video itself. Like the below for instance.

    Petsmart.jpg
     
  20. chapsrlz

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    for video.
    always in manual, very high iso and youll have to manually adjust depending on the light, never shoot on 4k or youll get a lot of grain/noise. i guess thats all.