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
Filmconvert has just announced their latest camera profile, this time for the DJI Osmo X3 camera. As it is the same piece of hardware internally, the Phantom 4 and Inspire 1 are also included in this free update. Get the Filmconvert Treatment for the Osmo X3 Not so long ago, a log gamma curve for in-camera aquisition was something you could only find in really high end cinema cameras. As time goes by, nearly every decent camera in the market is capable of capturing footage with a higher dynamic range than plain Rec709. At that point, a handy piece of software called Filmconvert comes into play. It not only converts log footage back into good looking imagery, but also adds film grain and certain looks of actual film stocks. Now, even the tiny DJI Osmo X3 camera gets its own Filmconvert profile. For such a small sensor as the Sony 1/2.3″ model, it’s even more important to treat the resulting footage in a way that takes away the digital harshness which is typical for sensors of this type. Oftentimes it comes with a strong video-esque look due to the very deep DOF and other things like ugly moiré patterns. The Osmo X3, just as the Phantom 4 on-board camera, is capable of shooting in D-Log, which is a custom gamma curve created by the engineers at DJI. With it you’ll get a flat looking image, but it has a much higher dynamic range in return. In order to revert that washed out footage back to normal in post, Filmconvert is here to help with its now released profile for that very camera. How to Filmconvert Your Footage Step one: You need to apply the Filmconvert effect from within your favorite NLE such as Premiere Pro CC or, if you’ve already finished editing your piece, it’s available for DaVinci Resolve, too. There’s even a standalone version, but for me it’s much easier to stay in my application of choice and work from there. (Tip: add an adjustment layer on top of your footage and drag the filmConvert effect there to avoid individual FilmConvert clip corrections. Then do minor needed changed on the video clip itself). Step two: Choose the correct profile, in this example the DJI Osmo X3 profile. This will transform the log footage back into the realm of Rec709. Step three: Now you can choose your favorite film stock, such as Kodak 5207 Vision 3, and tweak the settings to your likings. Usually, the amount of film grain is a bit too high, at least to my liking. There you go: after that, your footage will suffer less from that harsh video look. These steps are valid for every available camera profile, of course. Conclusion I really appreciate the progress in which Filmconvert develops new profiles for different cameras. The DJI Osmo X3 is certainly not the best camera in the world, but with the help of its D-Log profile and the Filmconvert treatment it actually looks kind of nice! One more thing to have in mind: you should get a variable ND filter for that camera! Since it lacks a variable aperture, the X3 has to increase the shutter rate like crazy, which results in ugly jittering. It’s a good idea to tackle the problem in the first place by setting the camera to manual (1/50 shutter and ISO 100 for example) and controlling the exposure with the variND only. Filmconvert is $149 for one host application or $219 for the complete bundle, check out their site for more information. Download the new profile on the Filmconvert.com websiteRead more
Yesterday DJI released the new Phantom 4 drone that marks a significant upgrade in terms of a consumer drone’s artificial intelligence. Here’s how DJI’s new “toy” uses depth maps & machine learning to understand its surroundings. Besides numerous general upgrades like new materials, greater speeds, reach, battery life and a better lens among other things, the new DJI Phantom 4 features 4 additional cameras that can detect and map the environment in order to intelligently avoid objects and fly around them, as well as track people intelligently. At the release event of the DJI Phantom 4, here in New York, we had a chance to talk to DJI’s Paul Pan who gave us his insights into the science behind the new technology. Take a look at our video, above, describing how it works. Here’s another product video by DJI showing off the different sensor technologies on the new DJI Phantom 4 in a visually appealing way: During the event, we could also find out that the new Phantom 4 does not have a new camera. Some users were hoping for an upgraded sensor in order to get quality closer to the one found on the GoPro systems for example. Unfortunately, DJI has decided only to upgrade the lens and focus on improving the intelligent flight abilities as mentioned above. The guys from tested.com already had a chance to play with the new Phantom 4 in collaboration with DJI. Check out their hands-on video below: Thanks to an exclusive sales partnership with Apple, the Phantom 4 is only available via the DJI website and Apple until April 1st, when it will begin to ship through other retailers. [UPDATE: The Phantom 4 is now also available at other retailers.] The new DJI Phantom 4 costs $1,399 and is available for pre-order now. See the DJI website for more information.Read more
DJI has released the DJI Phantom 4, a drone that marks the next step in aerial technology. The new drone is equipped with intelligent sensors that provide collision detection for safer flight and upgrades that make it faster and better. DJI also announced an exclusive sales partnership with Apple. cinema5D is here in New York at the launch event of the new DJI Phantom 4 drone. DJI has been pushing the boundaries of drone development in the last years and today they have upgraded their consumer Phantom line yet again and it’s exciting to see how this technology evolves. Many drone enthusiasts have been looking forward to this event, but also video and cinema people like us are keen to find out what’s new in aerial cinematography as we know from our own tests that these flying machines have a huge potential for filmmakers. The New DJI Phantom 4 So here’s all you need to know about the new drone feature by feature: Anti-Collision Sensors The most intriguing feature about the new DJI Phantom 4 is certainly that DJI have now incorporated their obstacle avoidance alogrorhythms that they have been developing over the last years. We know it isn’t easy to fly a drone, it needs practice and things can sometimes go horribly wrong. The new technology allows the Phantom 4 to detect obstacles with visual anti-collision sensors and evade them, much like anti crash systems of newer cars, certainly making the new Phantom 4 a safer drone. Faster, Better Battery Life The drone has been improved from top to bottom. With a more aerodynamic design, up to 25% faster speeds and a better battery life that lets you fly up to 28 minutes on a single charge. This of course is very nice to see as it makes the whole experience more convenient and ergonomic. More Stability and Precision The body is now made of magnesium, reducing vibrations that the previously used plastic materials have caused. The propellers are moved higher, so they are not visible in the picture anymore (which has sometimes been a problem on other models). And the gimbal now holds the camera with two arms instead of one for more image stability and precision. Improved Vision Positioning Like the Phantom 3, the new drone has two cameras on the bottom for “vision position”, that let it fly steadily even without a GPS connection and improve overall flight precision. The Phantom 4 vision positioning system has been improved. 120fps Slow Motion The camera used on the new Phantom 4 drone is still a 4K camera, but now features a slow motion mode in 1080p HD with 120fps. For certain action shots this is certainly a great new feature that sports enthusiasts will welcome. Sports Mode The new controller also offers a “sports mode” that gives you the fasts speeds and maneuverability for those interested in fast flying. New Intelligent Flight Modes DJI has also been working on improving the intelligence of their flight processors. The new Phantom 4 can now detect objects and detect people. With a simple tap on your smartphone screen the drone will track and follow a person around without the need for any additional physical trackers. The system is solely visual. There are several other movement features like circling and following an object at the same time, making movements possible that couldn’t easily be achieved manually. Last but not least DJI also announced an exclusive sales partnership with tech giant Apple. Right now the new Phantom 4 is available only through the DJI website and through Apple exclusively (shipping starts on March 15th) and become part of Apple’s store inventory. From April 1st the Phantom 4 will be available everywhere else. [UPDATE: The Phantom 4 is now also available at other retailers.] More intelligent sensors, better processing and less reliability on GPS signals make this drone safer, more ergonomic and easier to fly. While many had hoped for a better image quality, the new features seem like a powerful upgrade for better flying and filming with this new generation of drones. For more information see the DJI website.Read more
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