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Upgrading the Vision 2 camera?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by texami, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. texami

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    Has anyone tried to upgrade the Vision 2 camera? When I mean upgrade, I don't mean substituting in a gopro/sony/panasonic etc. I mean substituting a better lens/chip/processor? I want to keep the Vision 2 camera because I like the sweet DJI iPhone app (I assume the Vision 2 camera gimbal is coming soon).

    I took a few photos of my self at 20ft and can't even see my eyebrows. Something is missing in the detail. I realize it is over cast but shouldn't the image be sharper?

    I also notice the wave effect in many of your videos even in good lighting conditions. Some have complained about the edges being soft, but it is soft in the middle as well. The guy who started that thread is a good example. In his first videos when he is panning across the top of the trees all the limbs are blurry. Everything looks interpolated and pixel(ly) even in good lighting. I think the key there is to pan slowly so the chip can keep up the detail.

    So does anyone know of any upgrades to make the image sharper?
     

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  2. Pull_Up

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    Hello.

    When you say you assume the gimbal is coming soon... Nothing at all has been said by DJI. Dronexpert.nl are now shipping their brushless gimbal for the Vision, rotorpixel.com are planning to offer their brushless gimbal for Vision in February. Both have a dedicated thread on this forum.

    The latest firmware brings dng RAW capture for stills. You can process those raw files for sharpening and all other parameters to suit your needs rather than accepting the default sharpening, etc, and aggressive compression of the jpegs.

    There is a company called Ragecams who are providing a service for fitting a new lens of their own: http://ragecams.com/shop/phantom-vision ... p-646.html
     
  3. pault

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    The person/company who could put a better lens and a larger sensor in a Vision camera would make a lot of money very quickly. I just do not see the point of expensive gimbals when the camera is so poor

    Edit: just seen Pull_Up's post . Are there any images taken with this upgraded lens ?
    Edit2: images on the Ragecam website!
     
  4. Pull_Up

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    Saw your photo in the other post, but lets keep it all together here now we've started!

    Don't forget that whilst this things hovers pretty darn well it is still a moving platform, and in a GPS hover in anything other than absolute flat calm it will be constantly making small adjustments to hold station. I have found that setting the camera to capture multiple shots at once gives you the best chance of catching a clean one, where aircraft movement was minimal.
     
  5. streetcreep

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    isnt that what ragecams.com does
     
  6. NoFlyAways

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    Have they started shipping? I've heard nothing yet and I'm supposedly in line. I paid them so I hope I get a gimbal soon!
     
  7. texami

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    I realize that nothing would beat a sky-tripod, but it seems that other cameras around $200-400 can produce good quality images and video.

    DJI has done a great job with the user friendly software to control the camera. Now we need to send the camera off to panasonic, sony, olympus and have it upgraded. Anyone know anyone in that department. I am sure there will be customers.

    And thanks for your reply! I only assume he will make a gimbal for the P2V because he makes one for the go pro camera. Why wouldn't he make one for his own camera?

    (I am photographer who bought a go pro for fun which lead me to DJI products all in the last three months. I bought one of the very first Phantom 2 visions from B&H. It was shipped on Nov 24 2013. I hear the very first ones had issues.)
     
  8. nhoover

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    Yes the quality is astoundingly bad compared to any camera I've ever owned. My first digital was a 3.3 mpixel Casio 14 years ago and it took decent photos. This does not. And the video is just as you say. I am on my seconds FC200 camera and will be getting a third in a week.

    Ragecams is very interesting to me. About a week ago their CEO told me he as done 4 of the upgrades. He also told me that besides fixing the fisheye-ness, the upgrade will fix the problems I have with soft focus on one side. Their sample looks ok to me. That lens plus a gimbal and it might be worth continuing with the P2V. As it is, photography-wise, I feel ripped off. Although it is such as blast to fly, I still enjoy it. Using the lens correction filter on every shot is not my idea of fun.

    Lately I've been looking into the Sony 100M II. The idea of flying a camera around of that quality, with tilt and shutter control and FPV, is very compelling. The droneexport.nl kit is "slightly" expensive though :D http://dronexpert.nl/product/dji-phanto ... converter/
     
  9. Pull_Up

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    Well the Vision was always marketed more at amateurs - people who are not so much into quality per se but into an all-in-one, out-of-the-box solution for a fun way to get aerial stills and videos of reasonable quality.

    For the professional market they have the Phantom 2 with Zenmuse gimbal for GoPro, and you can add First Person View, on-screen display for telemetry and ground station for autonomous flying... at a cost, both in cash terms and in time terms (for fitting it all). What you don't get with that set up is the complete remote operation of the camera as you do with the Vision (shutter, ISO, EV, etc).

    Whether or not the Vision camera as it stands justifies DJI making a gimbal specifically for it...? Our resident pro photographers who've had chance to play with the new dng RAW files seem to be saying they are disappointed.
     
  10. Peter Evans

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    I have to take issue with you on that Pull_Up because DJI claim the camera to be "High End". That, along with the 14 Mp and 'RAW capability' hype they put out implies better than reasonable quality. Let's face it, your average Point 'n' Shooter doesn't give a fig about RAW.

    My experience of the Vision is that the images and video are not reasonable quality. Reasonable quality for me is something I'd expect from a 2013/14, 200 euro, compact camera or a top of the range smartphone. Remember (as I keep saying) the Vision has no zoom lens, no LCD screen, and no variable aperture. It's just a lens and a sensor and some electronics and that link you provided http://ragecams.com/shop/phantom-vision ... p-646.html proves what could have been done if they'd only used a decent piece of glass.
     
  11. Pull_Up

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    It's definitely true that perception is reality... If you look at all the promo videos they put out it was groups of tanned beautiful young things in swimwear popping the Vision up in the air to take some sun-kissed glorified selfies. The whole emphasis on the marketing was for ease of use, getting a unique perspective, share straight to social media, etc.

    I certainly didn't buy it due to the potential for a high end photographic experience and, for my purposes, I'm happy with the quality of the video and stills I'm getting - but I'll emphasise again for my purposes (apart from now having some gimbal envy, it has to be said).

    I absolutely understand how pro/prosumer photographers who perceived that they were getting a "high end" camera are disappointed with what they have ended up with, but I also suspect there are many people who are delighted with taking "snaps" of their neighbourhood from the air, or videos of their kids learning to ride a bike from above, local landmarks, etc. Is the high price for the Ragecam lens just profiteering, or is it that quality optics would have pushed the price up by another couple of hundred, say?

    I really suspect there was a mismatch between what the technical people have put together and what the marketing people have put together about the camera (details of which take up about 10% of the main Vision "features" page on the DJI website). The package is $1200 retail and that's got to cover development of the camera, wifi down/uplink, 5.8GHz control, smart battery, app control - and the other stuff that was brand new in this model. They clearly shouldn't have marketed it as "high end", but to be fair I personally didn't see much promotional material emphasising the quality of the camera.
     
  12. texami

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    "
    I understand after reading post-after-post that one can use a gopro in combination with the part modifications you suggested.

    I agree with the Frenchman. DJI claims RAW, 14Mp but the clarity is marginal for a $1200 unit.
    I wonder if a below $400 quadcopter with camera would give the same quality image. It couldn't be much worse.
    ((Aside: In photography world $1200 is a lot of money. Canon sells their professional quality "L series" lens in this price range and you get exactly what you pay for "perfection."))

    The Vision camera resembles one found on a computer peripheral for video conferencing or possibly one found in a home surveillance system. All of which are cheap products and are not made to perform well while being flown around on a quadcopter. If I paid $400 for a home surveillance camera which moved in one direction, I would receive a very high quality image. I wonder if a home surveillance manufacture would be able to provide a better camera?

    DJI grade report on the Phantom 2Vision?
    Quadcopter- A - above average or excellent (GPS, receiver, transmitter, etc)
    FPV(first person view)- B/C -average (only because of the short wifi range) (Other post show how antennas and amplifiers extend range at little cost)
    Camera (video/stills)- D-/F -well below average (for the price)
    Battery- A -above average (easy to change and charge)
    Software- A+ -excellent (nice job with mac/pc/iphone/android/upgradability)
    Customer Service- F- -(because I have never heard from anyone that DJI has answered the phone or returned an email.)
     
  13. jimre

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    It's "high end" for a web cam. Which is what this camera chip set was designed for.

    Having said that - the camera does meet my expectations, at least now that there is finally RAW support to enable real post-processing. But it was clear from the beginning that this was a tiny-sensor camera so my expectations were low, at least compared to my *real* cameras. But of course those cameras don't fly - well, at least not without another $7K for an S1000 octocopter and Z15 gimbal :)

    I was surprised to learn just how huge a difference a 2D gimbal makes in video footage, though - and I'm pretty sure that will be my next purchase.
     
  14. Shrimpfarmer

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    Interesting discussion. I have been longing for a gimbal as the vision footage is too jumpy for me. However I have to consider is it worth paying for a gimbal when the camera performance is so poor. The new gimbals are one step forward now we need to drag the camera another step forward and we might be getting somewhere.
     
  15. texami

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    I am sure that DJI will soon make a nice gimbal for the P2V which can be controlled by the DJI iPhone software. They wouldn't have spent so much time making a wifi extender, and a well done app of the iPhone, if they weren't planning on making a gimbal. (Meaning, if they didn't care about the P2V, they would have made the wifi extender and software work exclusively for the gopro 3+ black edition(which is an above average camera/video)

    I am sure it is in the pipeline.

    However P2V really needs an upgraded camera. $1200 is too much for a flying $90 web cam so how can we upgrade the Camera while still working with the DJI iPhone software? any ideas?
     
  16. Pull_Up

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    Yes, the link I put in my first post to the third party lens is one...
     
  17. jimre

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    Not sure I would consider that an "upgrade". It's mostly just a narrower field-of-view lens, 80° vs 140°. If the wide-angle look doesn't suit you, or If it's worth $489 to you to avoid doing lens correction in Photoshop - then go for it!

    And just to be clear - lenses this wide always have fisheye distortion, this is NOT an image quality issue. I can understand not liking the "fisheye" look, but that is not a sign of poor image quality - it's simply a sign of a very wide-angle lens. I perform the same type of lens-correction on images from expensive Canon wide-angle lenses on my DSLR. And they are among the highest-quality, sharpest lenses I've owned.
     
  18. Nvr2fst

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    That may be putting VERY expensive lipstick on a pig.....
     
  19. Pull_Up

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    Ok, thought it would provide an improved result going on the quote from Peter the pro photographer:

    Given the price quoted just to replace the lens I'm not sure there's going to be any cost-effective way to "upgrade" the camera as it wasn't designed as a modular system...
     
  20. nhoover

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    If anyone has a Ragecams upgraded P2V (they've only done a handful of them so far), please post a full-res still. I asked their CEO several times to provide one but he couldn't or wouldn't. The one he sent and the ones on their site are not useful. They do however have a full res video clip they published. You can download it here:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/nit6j8waqp5ef ... s-Wide.rar

    This comes from their page: http://ragecams.com/shop/phantom-vision ... p-646.html

    It's quite good. And it makes me think that DJI screwed up most on the lens and not so much on the sensor. But I'm no expert - what do you guys think?