Two weeks ago we were impressed when the new ultra-compact DJI Mavic Pro was announced. As a drone enthusiast of course I had to get my hands on this new tech and compare it to the DJI Phantom 4 and Inspire 1. Here is our DJI Mavic Pro review where we look at image quality in particular. If you are interested in our free DJI Mavic Pro LUTs, you can download those here. DJI Mavic Pro Review – Image Quality Several early Mavic Pro review videos currently circle the web, where testers claim that the Mavic Pro image is much softer than previous drone generations. In light of the already limited 4K quality of drones like the Phantom 4 or Inspire 1, this claim made little sense, so we set out to get our hands on our own early DJI Mavic Pro review sample to check and here is our observation. DJI Mavic Pro Camera It seems like most reviewers out there were not aware that the DJI Mavic has a built-in “tap autofocus” system, like the Zenmuse X5 and Zenmuse X5R cameras for DJI Osmo and DJI Inspire 1. If you forget to autofocus, your image will eventually be out of focus. And if you compare this out of focus image to other drone footage, of course it will be softer. So after a tap autofocus and after aligning the image of the DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Phantom 4 and DJI Inspire 1 (Zenmuse X3) I concluded that the image of all three cameras is very similar in quality. 600% crops of 4K images For HD productions the image quality of the DJI Mavic is acceptable. If you use a LUT, like our free cinema5D instaLUT for Mavic, or any other grading process, it is possible to get a nice image from the DJI Mavic Pro, just like I showed you in my Mastering Drone Footage series. On the other hand, the image of all these drones is far inferior to other cameras or the DJI Inspire 1 RAW for that matter. (Check out our detailed comparison here: LINK) Unfortunately the data rate on the DJI Mavic is still 60 Mbps, just like on the Phantom 4 and Inspire 1 and for anyone who is a bit more serious about filmmaking 60 Mbps is hardly enough. Again, for HD productions the image will be mostly fine, but if you aim higher or would like to crop into an image the quality could be better. Considering the small size and intelligent sensor technology built into the Mavic (read all about Mavic’s high tech here), this drone is still an impressive piece of technology that will be very useful on any smaller documentary style production where weight and size is an issue. DJI Mavic Pro Review – Pro’s & Con’s Here is my summary of pro’s and con’s for the DJI Mavic Pro: PRO’s ultra-compact and lightweight ergonomic and foldable remote 27 minute flight time stability, easy to fly intelligent flight modes and sensors 4K image comparable to Phantom 4 & Inspire 1 65 km / h, fast speed CON’s Same low bitrate as previous drones Low dynamic range as previous drones Vertical angle of camera is limited Tap Autofocus is a source for errors In conclusion this is the best compact drone money can buy right now. If you want higher quality get a DJI Inspire 1 RAW. Otherwise, the DJI Mavic Pro is highly recommended. If you are interested in our free DJI Mavic Pro LUTs, you can download those here. We hope you liked our DJI Mavic Pro Review and comparison to Phantom 4 and Inspire 1. If you have any thoughts on the matter let us know in the comments. Song by: Art-List.ioRead more
The DJI Inspire 1 is an incredible drone. In my tests and comparison of the X3, X5 and X5R cameras on the DJI Inspire 1 Pro I found that especially the Zenmuse X5R RAW camera delivers amazing images in 4K. But what about X5 ND filtration? On sunny days just closing the iris is not enough. So which is the best ND Filter for the DJI Zenmuse X5 and Zenmuse X5R cameras used on the DJI Inspire drone and DJI Osmo handheld gimbal? The Best DJI X5 ND Filter I found 5 6 different ND filters I could test both with the DJI Inspire 1 RAW and with the DJI Osmo RAW and compared them to each other that is both compatible withe the Zenmuse X5 and the Zenmuse X5R camera. First I compared the filters in the field under varying light conditions, then I did another comparison in our test lab. Check out the video to see the results. Here’s an overview of the different filters I tested and their properties explained. In the conclusion I will summarize my findings and recommendations. Polraoid VariND Weight: 15g ND filtration: 1-8 stops Weight balancing: filter, extension ring and 49mm fotasy lens hood (EU: Link) The Polaroid VariND is the most affordable of all the filters. It performed well, just had a slight orange tint. There are no hard stops, so it is not as convenient to use as the B+W. In order to be ok with gimbal weight you should use an extension ring and 49mm lens hood. The original DJI lens hood can not be used when this filter is on. The filter has no IR cut. US: BUY HERE EU: BUY HERE B+W XS-Pro MRC VariND Weight: 26g ND filtration: 1-5 stops Weight balancing: filter and 49mm fotasy lens hood (EU: Link) The B+W XS-Pro MRC VariND is a lot more expensive than the Polaroid, but build quality is excellent, it has hard stops and it looks quite neutral with a slight orange shift similar to the Polaroid. In order to be ok with gimbal weight you should use 49mm lens hood. The original DJI lens hood can not be used when this filter is on. The filter has no IR cut. US: BUY HERE EU: BUY HERE Heliopan VariND Weight: 49g ND filtration: 1-6 stops Weight balancing: Too heavy. Filter is not recommeneded. The Heliopan VariND feels like a solid product. It has hard stops and accurate markings and the image looks very neutral. Only at the far end I noticed an ND cross, so the ND filtration was not even. Unfortunately this filter is too heavy as an X5 ND or X5R ND. The filter has no IR cut. BUY HERE Tiffen XLE Series Intermediate 3.0 IRND Weight: 13g ND filtration: 10 stops Weight balancing: filter, DJI weight ring, and 46mm fotasy lens hood The Tiffen XLE Intermediate IRND filters 10 stops of light and has an IR cut built in. This was too much even for a sunny day and the IR cut turned my image green to counter magenta shift. The result was not neutral, so this option is not for me. BUY HERE Tiffen XLE Series Premiere IRND 3.0 Hot Mirror Weight: 13g ND filtration: 10 stops Also available in: Weight balancing: filter, DJI weight ring, and 46mm fotasy lens hood Just like the intermediate, this Tiffen XLE Hot Mirror IRND filters 10 stops of light. Too much exposure reduction for my tastes and the IR cut turned my image green. I was not happy with the result. If you need a good IR cut filter this Hot Mirror seems better suited than the intermediate option though. BUY HERE Formatt Hitech Firecrest IRND 1.5 Weight: 8g ND filtration: 5 stops Also available in: 1 stop, 2 stops, 3 stops, 4 stops, 6 stops, 7 stops, 8 stops, 9 stops, 10 stops Weight balancing: filter, DJI weight ring, and 46mm fotasy lens hood Just like the two Tiffen filters, this Formatt Hitech Firecrest filter has no variable ND functionality. It filters 5 stops of light and according to the manufacturer there is also an Infrared filtration built in. The image was very neutral and had a slight blue shift that I liked. It is the lightest of all the filters tested and not too expensive. US: BUY HERE EU: BUY HERE Conclusion For me the Formatt Hitech Firecrest IRND 1.5 was the ideal filter for sunny shoots. The neutral image looks clean, it is light and affordable and even has some IR reduction, though I did not seem to need that when testing the other filters. As a VariND the B+W seemed like the best option. Especially for the DJI Osmo as an X5 ND it would be ideal with hard stops and a clean image. As a budget option the Polraoid would also do the job, but another adapter ring is needed to balance it properly. I hope this review was helpful for you. If it was please consider buying your gear through our recommended retailer’s links. And if you worked with any of the filters or other X5 ND filters please let me know about your experience in the comments.Read more
Do you work with a DJI Inspire 1? Then you probably know that the footage from the Inspire 1 camera is not so nice out of the box. Following the success of the Mastering Drone Footage tutorial series we’re giving away the LUT I used. Many people asked for the LUT I made as a help to grade their drone footage, so here it is. But first here are a few shots where you can see the LUT applied to DJI Inspire 1 footage. These shots have the look applied with a 100% intensity and no other modifications. DJI Inspire 1 LUT (right) applied to ungraded DJI Inspire 1 footage (left). Note that this LUT is optimized to boost green and blue colors and to neutralise clouds and sky magenta/yellow shift. It is not ideal for skin tones. I recommend grading in Adobe Premiere Pro CC if you are familiar with it. Import the LUT directly in the Lumetri Color Panel (Creative –> Look) and then adjust your settings for each shot as needed. For my film I usually applied the LUT with an intensity of about 50% and did the rest directly in the Lumetri Panel’s basic settings. This way you can get nice variants of intensity as desired. It will look great and filmic when saturation is lowered. To get my DJI Inspire 1 LUT we ask only that you subscribe to our newsletter and in turn you will get the download link sent to your e-mail. This is a double opt-in and will not work with fake e-mails. Your e-mail address stays with us. No spam or third parties and you can of course unsubscribe if you don’t like the weekly newsletter whenever you receive one. Please provide your name and email address for your free download.Read more
This is big news for anyone interested in aerial photography. The DJI Inspire 1 is one of the most advanced drones on the market and with the newly announced Zenmuse X5R camera it can now shoot 4K RAW! The Inspire 1 is a great drone, packed with lots of technology for a great aerial shooting experience, but had a built-in 4K camera that left a lot to be desired, in terms of image quality and dynamic range, which is a big problem when you intend to shoot high contrast scenes. Today DJI gives us a camera upgrade that replaces the Inspire 1 built-in camera and turns it into a 4K RAW drone. It features a Micro-Four-Thirds Sensor and mount turning the Inspire 1 into one of the best affordable drones on the market. There are two versions of the new camera, the X5 and X5R, the latter being the RAW version that works with an SSD module to produce cinemaDNG RAW files with 4K resolution. The Camera optionally ships with a Panasonic Lumix 15mm. Each lens has to be perfectly balanced inside the gimbal construction, which they achieve with weight rings on the front. At the moment only 3 lenses are available ranging from a 24mm to a 30mm equivalent. Launch Videos: Specs for the X5 at a glance: 4K video at up to 30fps Record at 4096×2160 (24fps) or 3840×2160 (30/25fps) 16MP photographs 12.8 stops of dynamic range Cost: PRE-ORDER HERE $2200 (including the lens) Specs for the X5R (RAW) at a glance: Lossless cinema 4K RAW video Record at 4096×2160 (24fps) or 3840×2160 (30/25fps) Average 1.7 Gbps bitrate (2.4Gbps maximum) Removable 512GB SSD 16MP photographs 12.8 stops of dynamic range Cost: PRE ORDER HERE for $5499 (including the lens) More info on pricing and availability in the video above!Read more
Drone manufacturer DJI the maker of the popular Phantom family, unveiled the new DJI Inspire 1, featuring a dedicated camera with 4K video recording capability. The camera supports both DCI “Full” 4K (4096 x 2160) in 24 and 25p, as well as UltraHD 4K (3840 x 2160) in 24, 25, and 30p—making the Inspire camera the first dedicated flight camera with 4K capability. The camera also takes 12-megapixel stills in compressed JPEG and RAW DNG, and can record 1080p and 720p video at up to 60 fps. Besides of having a 4K camera on board, here are some more highlights of the new product: -NEW GIMBAL SYSTEM -FULL-FEATURED APP -LIVE HD VIEW (A real-time feed from your Inspire 1’s camera is displayed in 720p HD on your mobile device giving you a view of what the camera sees to frame your shots). This is made possible by an all new and improved version of DJI’s Lightbridge technology which can transmit video from up to 2km away. -OPTIONAL DUAL-OPERATOR CONTROL -VISION POSITIONING SYSTEM (This technology allows the Inspire to hold its position, stop when the controls are released, and respond to your commands even when GPS is unavailable). -INTELLIGENT POWER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (Advanced algorithms calculate the distance of your aircraft and estimated time to return home, letting you know when it’s time to fly back). -THREE-AXIS SYSTEMWITH FULL 360-DEGREE PAN RANGE An interview with one of the drone developers (taken from http://www.theverge.com/) skynamic.net from Germany took the DJI inspire 1 for a “test drive” and shared their footage: As always, we advice checking the low in your country before attempting flying one of those devices. For more information, head to DJI’s siteRead more
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