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Videos too dark!!!

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Jeff watson, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. Jeff watson

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    New to Drone flying. Made my first video 2 days after I got it, it came out beautiful! Today I wanted to make another video and when I play the movie back, it's way too dark. Did I change a setting in the movie set up?
    Please advise.
    Thanks for your ideas


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  2. RedHotPoker

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    You can put the camera settings on Auto, then make a mental note of where the settings are. So, when in full Manual, try out various settings and see what actually transpires. Find those settings which most appeal to your eyes.
    Trial and error is the only way you will learn the basic controls of your new drone camera platform.
    Besides, it's always much easier learning something new, when you already enjoy the task at hand.
    Buy extra flight batteries...

    RedHotPoker
     
  3. MikeyOnline

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    Exposure can be tricky shooting from a drone where the top half of the video is often very bright (sky) and the bottom half is much darker (ground). If you aim the camera down more and you get more ground, the video becomes brighter so you an see the ground. If it's level and the picture is half sky, it can be darker. Maybe you aimed it more at the ground the first 2 days? Anyway, you can tap the screen in various areas to change the exposure. For example, if it looks dark on your device, you can tap on the ground and the ground lights up nicely. Just be aware it's a balance: doing that might blow out cloud detail in the sky.

    You can set a manual exposure but for me, the easiest thing when flying is to tilt the camera down a little so you get about 1/3 sky and 2/3 ground. That seems to give a good balance. If shooting raw photos, I typically tap on the sky so I can get good cloud detail because with raw photos, you can brighten the ground without ruining the sky and get the best of both. That's more difficult to do in an 8 bit/channel video so you need to find a better balance when videoing.

    Mike
     
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  4. alokbhargava

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    The very first indication of darkness you will have on your tablet video. Also look at the histogram on DJI go app, you will notice it peaks on the left for dark videos and on to right for over exposed videos. Keep a balance.
     
  5. Jeff watson

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    Thank you everyone, for your good advice.


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  6. Wibble

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    That is EXACTLY what I do.
    Funny thing is I can't remember having to do this with my V2+ - either the metering was better or I was so terrfified the thing was going to crash I didn't notice!
     
  7. matti

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    I have switched to manual exposure. I aim the camera at the desired direction and adjust the exposure by looking at the histogram and zebra stripes and usually set the zebra stripes so that the whitest object of interest just barely loses its stripes (i.e. isn't over-exposed). Usually on a sunny day I let some unimportant objects (whitest sky, for example) remain slightly over-exposed so objects on the ground aren't under-exposed.

    I still have my ND filters in the mail so I can't yet shoot videos with slower shutter speeds: The general rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed that is the inverse double of the frame rate. For instance, if the frame rate is 25fps, use a shutter of 1/50s. Without ND filters I'm now forced to use shutter speeds as fast as 1/1000s which might produce jerky movements and some artifacts to the video.

    I also use LOG color profile which first looks dull but it allows me to fine-tune the exposure in the video editor.
     
    #7 matti, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  8. Jeff watson

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    Curious to know, are you guys using the DJI app to fly and film? And what is your favorite editing program? I have used iMovie once, so far.


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  9. matti

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    Even if I plan to use Litchi I still start with DJI, fly to the waypoint #1, set camera's exposure (AFAIR the newest Litchi does not have histogram and zebra stripes). Then close DJI and start Litchi.

    There are many threads about editing programs, like a very recent here:

    Best editing software for Mac ?
     
  10. Jeff watson

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    Matti...
    Sounds like a good setup you have there. Are you using the CJI go app that's free, or did you buy a CJI app? I don't see zebra stripes or histogram in my iPhone. Read your threads. Good info. Going to fly and make a few iMovies to begin and determine my needs from there. I just remembered, you use manual exposure. Going out to try that, maybe I'll see the gist grams there.


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  11. matti

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    I use the free DJI GO app (is there a paid one?). Histogram and zebra stripes can be set to display in the DJI GO app camera settings. I also use Litchi for automated pre-planned missions.

    I try to set ISO to 100 but sometimes it must be set higher. Some of my other P3P defaults:

    Manual white balance 5000K (auto makes color balance fluctuate making editing difficult)

    LOG color profile (looks dull but allows more headroom for color correction in the video editor)

    Sharpness -2
    Contrast -3
    Saturation -2





     
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  12. Great_Lakes

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    As a general rule, The sky in your video should take up less than 1/4 of the screen in any case. The exception would be if you're shooting something taller that you want in the photo.

    I actually have my camera exposure bound to one of the control wheels on the controller so I can adjust on the fly if I need to. Also flying towards the sun will always make your video darker, which you can somewhat compensate for by taking out even more sky.
     
  13. Jeff watson

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    Taking in all of your advise here. Went to a soccer field to practice flying. Set my camera settings per your great suggestions. What a big difference. You guys a great! Thanks!


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  14. MikeyOnline

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    I continue to be impressed by the amount of control you have over the P3P camera. It has nearly as much control as my Sony A7 full frame camera. Not comparing quality of course, but as far as control, it's like flying a dSLR.

    Mike