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P3P image quality

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by timd14, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. timd14

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    Hello,

    As a new owner of a P3P and am now just getting into shooting photos with it, I've found the image quality, particularly the amount of noise and lack of sharpness in the images. I was horrified in the amount of noise in images shot at ISO's 200 and 400. I shoot RAW and process in Adobe camera Raw. I did contact DJI about this and they want me to send the drone back for evaluation. Since I do not have anything to base my results on I really don't have a benchmark as to whether my camera is defective or these are simply expected results.

    I'm really not sure how I can actually share an unprocessed Raw file here.

    I would appreciate any help.
     
  2. 4wd

    4wd

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    You need to use a site like dropbox or google drive and use the public folder to get a link to post here.
    The RAW files do look pretty bad viewed before processing, it sounds like you are familiar with dealing with RAW though.
    It's not a brilliant camera but in good light the results are usually more than acceptable - see flickr group in my sig.
     
  3. timd14

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    Dropbox - Public
    Link to several raw files. The 2 dusk shots, 1 is ISO 200 and the other ISO 400. IS that common for that much noise at those ISO's?

    Please advise if you do take some time looking at these images.
     
  4. 4wd

    4wd

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    I can't see a problem considering they are all in quite low light.
    Without trying to turn dusk into daylight I did a quick conversion on the first one and it looks quite decent.
    There are some pink noise spots when viewed full size.
    There's a tool on DJI download page would remove them.
    Phantom 3 Professional - Specs, FAQ, Tutorials, Downloads and DJI GO | DJI - left side.


    [​IMG]
     
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  5. timd14

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    I guess when I'm looking at them at 100%, I see the noise in the image. What did you process this with? Can I see this at 100%?
     
  6. MikeyOnline

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    I used your ISO 400 shot and even without any noise filtering, I think it's pretty good particularly considering how much I brightened the ground. With just a touch of noise filtering and after-sharpening, I get the attached.

    Processed with my own Qimage Ultimate.

    I will say that you can't expect silky smooth images out of ISO 400 shots from a camera with such a small sensor. That said, I continue to be impressed with the P3A/P3P cameras.

    Regards,
    Mike
     

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  7. 4wd

    4wd

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    Adobe Lightroom, if you use the Phantom preset it applies noise reduction but it needs a bit more.
    I ran it through the DJI DNG cleaner and most of the noise vanished at the cost of a rather plastic look perhaps.
    If it was mine and I wanted make the best of it, it would look like this - click for larger:

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. MikeyOnline

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    One more example, focusing more on cloud detail...
     

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  9. timd14

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    Thanks for the advice guys!
     
  10. WetDog

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    You have a couple of things working against you. First, the camera is 'OK' at best. Think cell phone camera from 3-4 years ago. It takes better video than stills.

    Second, you are shooting in low light. The camera has only two options, boost the ISO or increase the shutter time. On a drone the latter can be problematic. The gimbals are pretty good, but hardly perfect.

    You are also way under exposed (unless that is the 'look' you are trying to achieve). That means a noisy image.

    A couple of options. Try to 'expose to the right'(ETTR) (look it up). The easiest way to do this is to crank the EV value up. Make sure you use the histogram function so you don't blow out anything (you are exposing 'to the right' of the histogram but you want to stop at full white). What ETTR does is to push the pixels into the highest energy 'bins' in the camera sensors which gives you more information and less noise. Unfortunately, you're limited by the options the camera has (boost ISO, boost noise, increase exposure time,decrease sharpness). However, you can usually get 1 or 2 stops of a boost without compromising the picture which can help in many situations.

    Shooting RAW (DNG) also gives you more exposure latitude.

    Or you can spend another $5000 on an Inspire XR RAW. That would be my preferred solution however my wife just does not see it that way.

    In summary, the camera is nothing to get all excited about but it really is about as good as you can expect for the size and price. You do not have the post processing latitude that you have with a modern DSLR so you have to hit your marks correctly. If you get the exposure right, you will save yourself a lot of frustration.
     
    #10 WetDog, Jun 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
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  11. AdamDomenico

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    Just my two cents. I agree with the above post. You can't really expect much with a 12 megapixel camera and small sensor. That being said you can get some great shots. I recommend trying to shoot as low as possible on the iso even at night and go for a longer shutter speed. This only works on days without wind, but you can get some great pics. Here's a pic. You will always have noise, but honestly most people won't see it. Especially when you take into consideration your pictures are mostly viewed on the web and not at 100% zoom. I always find, I'm much more picky than other people. Here's a pic I took in Kazakhstan, iso 100, shutter-2.5.
     

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  12. timd14

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    Thanks for this info! I was considering doing some testing in which I would "over expose" the look I was going for and then bring it back down a bit in post.
     
  13. WetDog

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    Nice shot and your comment about noise is quite true. The vast majority of images are viewed on the web at fairly small sizes. You can actually have a lot of noise in this sort of picture before it becomes visually intrusive. MOST people don't stare at individual pixels. They LOOK at the picture. Subtle defects that drive photographers nuts are typically completely ignored by the viewing public.

    As a photographer, you always want to be as technically adept as possible, but don't let that stop you from actually taking a picture.
     
    #13 WetDog, Jun 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
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  14. tytlyf

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    As others have mentioned in this situation. You'll lose sharpness with a longer exposure due to the drone moving. I've heard people say that it's better to boost ISO and almost over expose the image for less noise, then reduce the exposure in post. Ideally you want the lowest ISO possible, but then you get the longer shutter speeds which could soften the image from shake/movement/vibrations. I tried using LR to process 2 of the photos, the 200 ISO and the car lot. Additionally, play with the color/noise reduction settings in LR to help clean up the noise
    DJI_0009.jpg DJI_0057.jpg
     
  15. Dacon Productions

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    Gave it a shot also with LR 5.

    River side-2.jpg
     
  16. Lutonroy

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    I think they look good, maybe I'm not as picky.