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P3A camera out of focus?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by College geezer, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. College geezer

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    Hi everyone.

    I just picked up a p3a not too long ago and I was out taking some stills and video up here in Canada where it's right around the freezing mark.

    It wasn't until I got home and was looking at my footage, most noticeably my photos, that I noticed that they appeared to be quite out of focus. I read through a bunch of forum posts and looked at all kinds of possible culprits including: camera settings and shooting in cold weather.

    This morning, I followed a post from a professional photographer who gets beautiful results and followed his settings. Most of the changes were colour and white balance which he prefers to mute and adjust in post. The only difference that I thought could change things was shooting in raw as opposed to jpg. So I set it to raw as per his advice. I also shot some photos indoors so operating temp could be taken from the equation. I have read that perhaps the Phantom 3 A camera would have difficulty shooting indoors or at close range, however when I inspected the results, they appear to be the same as my outdoor shots from yesterday. Also worth noting, the temperature yesterday was about 3 degrees above freezing. Not ideal, but certainly within the recommended operating temp from DJI.

    Anyway take a look at my photos and please chime in. I am by no means a professional or really even an experienced photographer, but even to my untrained eye, I'm not happy with what I'm seeing. I'm hoping you will tell me it looks fine and it's a settings adjustment, rather than my camera is toast.....

    *Note, photobucket wouldn't upload a dng file so I had to convert in photoshop to png. the image is appears exactly the same as the original.

    Also my bird is one week old P3A new motor and body style.....if it makes a difference....

    The pic of my ugly mug was taken obviously outdoors yesterday to see the comparison...Video looks the same as well, I have attached an unedited clip shot yesterday....


    Very interested to hear your thoughts....

    Thanks all.

    See samples in reply below

    Unedited footage shot yesterday (same time as photo was taken in 1080 60fps
    http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z130/CanadianMoto/phantom stuff/DJI_0001_zps6f6isyfh.jpg
     
    #1 College geezer, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  2. Lonewolf

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    Hmm...That's odd. Sorry, but I cannot view the pics. My computer security software prohibits my going to your suggested links for the site has major security breeches of malware and other security issues??
     
  3. Ralph M

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    You need to remember that the Phantom 3 camera has a fixed focus and a fixed (2.8) aperture. This means that stuff within 10-15 feet is unlikely to be in hard focus.

    I am having a hard time viewing your shots - the Photobucket page comes up, as do the thumbnails, but not the photos. But just looking at the thumbnails it is easy to see that the images (except for the one of the baby) are VERY poorly exposed. That is a camera setting issue (that, and dark and cloudy days are not usually very photogenic).

    I can't see the images well enough to tell if there is a focus or sharpness issue (focus and sharpness are NOT the same). It sounds like you messed with the manual settings; make sure sharpness is set at -1 or -2.
     
  4. College geezer

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    Strange re: the security issue..I just uploaded to photobucket...

    Ralph: The photo of me was taken on yesterday, partly cloudy, 3 degrees above freezing camera settings auto capture as jpg

    The baby was taken this morning after I "updated" the manual settings. captured to raw, (saved as jpg for this post with NO visible reduction in sharpness or quality from original) My sharpness is currently -2

    Granted the stuff within 10'-15' may be out of focus, in both pictures, there are items outside of the 15' range that are still out of focus....

    Here is a link to one of my first videos (from last week. I did edit in Premiere, however did not adjust anything, just added music. Was filmed on auto at 1080 24fps




    indoor test.jpg DJI_0005.JPG
     
  5. Saturnine

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    I'm viewing on an iPhone screen but they don't look out of focus to me.

    The waterfall video is amazing. Fantastic location. Quite jerky though, even for 24fps. ND filters perhaps?
     
  6. m0j0

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    Video is awesome.. My question is.. What was your shutter speed? Video was a little jerky and blown out. Were you using a ND filter.


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  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Actually the depth of field for the lens means that items 3 feet away and closer are in focus.
    I don't see any sign of focus problems in the stills or video.
    Those photobucket shots won't display big enough to see much though.
    I see a lot of soft subjects and poor light.
    You'll always have a problem if you are looking at something like grass or the leaves of trees or carpet and especially in poor light.

    In the baby shot though, look at the thing with dots under the couch or the jack-in-the-box ... they're sharp.
    If you want to check sharpness and focus you need to have a sharp and well-lit subject ... like that sign behind you in the self portrait.
    Go back and try shooting the sign at about full frame and see what that looks like.
     
  8. College geezer

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    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for taking the time to help me out, I appreciate it.

    Shot another video this afternoon, nothing special, but conditions were similar to when I did the waterfall video above. As mentioned, for the waterfall video, I used 1080 24fps, all other settings on auto. No ND Filter

    For the video below,
    2.7 24fps
    White balance: custom 5100K (should have adjusted a little for cloudy)
    Style: custom
    sharpness -2
    contrast -3
    saturation -2
    iso 100
    shutter 50 (histogram showed "balanced" at around 120, I need to spend some time learning these functions assuming shutter is roughly 2x fps)
    No ND Filter ( I don't own any)

    I should add, the person who suggested these settings kept things muted and the idea is they would be adjusted in post, which I am fine with....

    Would love your thoughts...

     
  9. TonG

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    Your photo's looks good. This is what you can expect from a camera like this.
    But with boring outdoor light you wil get boring and flat pictures.
    I have corrected your outdoor photo in Lightroom. It was severely underexposed.

    Beware: all your photo's contains all the location data.
    DJI_0005.jpg
     
  10. College geezer

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    Thanks for that. It's good to see that it's my ability and not my equipment! I'll keep working on getting better.

    What do you mean about my photos containing location data?

    That said. What do you all think of the second video? Am I on the right track? Keep in mind it's my second time using premiere and I've only been using the phantom for a week. What can I do to make it better?

    Thanks again!


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  11. TonG

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    I'm a photographer not a videographer. Having said that; your second video is a little bit under-exposed while the waterfall video is over-exposed which results in blown-out highlights in the bridge and waterfall.
    You can only partly correct these overexposed parts in Premiere. Better underexpose your footage because later on in post you can correct it as I did with your photo.

    Your location-data (coordinates) are contained in the metadata. That means that in Lightroom I can see exactly where you have made your photo's.
    Nice neighborhood by the way.
     
  12. College geezer

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    Thanks for the info.

    Not to worried about folks knowing where I live. Feel free to stop by, beers always cold! Lol


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  13. marzipana

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    I think I know which photographer's video you're talking about on YouTube...for the record, I tried his settings and wasn't really able to improve my video in post processing. The original video I shot with contrast and colour in the minus settings really doesn't look good at all. But my P3 doesn't seem to have the problems he mentions, like moiré and oversharpening with the standard settings.

    I might give it another try at some stage and see if there is any difference.





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  14. marzipana

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    Btw, how high did you get over those falls towards the end of the clip? I think my heart would be in my mouth at that height, LOL.


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  15. College geezer

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    Wasn't too high. Maybe 300' I was more worried about birds than anything else.


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