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
Zacuto just has introduced a new baseplate, called the VCT Pro, which replaces their existing universal baseplate. They’ve managed to reduce the weight even more and have added some interesting features also. Zacuto VCT Pro Baseplate Let’s start with a quote here. With the introduction of their universal VCT basplate a few years ago, Steve Weiss claimed: This will be the last baseplate you’ll ever need. Well, here we are at IBC 2016 with a new baseplate, probably the last one you’ll ever need! There are some nice upgrades, though, so let’s have a close look. new Zacuto VCT Pro baseplate with the top plate in red Features of the VCT Pro Zacuto have managed to reduce the weight of this baseplate by getting rid of every ounce possible. The soft gel pad is still in place, it just has been moved a little bit to one side in order to achieve perfect balance of the whole rig. The real improvement is the now detachable top plate which can be slid back and forth for about 12″. The idea is to get one of these top plates for every camera you’ll be using on a given shoot. With these attached you can be really at lightning speed when it come to switch camera from tripod to shoulder operation. The one feature that made the original universal VCT baseplate special, namely the expanded space on the rods for mounting things like follow focuses and other things is still in place, as well. And they’ve added the ability of fastening and unfastening both, the rods in the front and the ones in the back with just one thumb screw respectively. No more screw-in rods in the back, which is a nice upgrade, I think. the gel pad of the VCT Pro So in the end this is really an evolution rather a revolution but it’s nice to see that Zacuto is improving and polishing existing products until they are perfect for what they were made for. What do you think? Is this something worth upgrading to? The price is set to $650.Read more
Cineroid has just announced a new LED panel to their lineup. The FL400S is not only flexible but also waterproof, bi-color and dimmable as well. Plus, you can fold it in your bag, so it won’t get in the way when you’re on the go. The Cineroid FL400S LED Cineroid’s Soongi Jang made some time to show us their latest addition to their LED lineup. The FL400S is quite an interesting LED lighting solution. It’s literally super flexible, as you can roll it up completely while maintaining a very bright output. And in case you might need it, it’s also waterproof. It’s not designed for underwater work, but you can operate the panel itself underwater or in the rain as long as the control box and the power source are kept safe and dry. flexible and leightweight – the Cineroid FL400S It’s easy to mount anywhere since it is very lightweight (160 g / 0.35 lbs), has a reasonable size of 250mm x 250mm (10″ x 10″) and, most importantly, it’s equipped with velcro mounts on the back so you can stick it to anything you’ve prepared with some strips of velcro beforehand. Although very compact in size and weight, it’s still very powerful with an output of 2100 lux. With the attached control box you are able to control the brightness and the color temprature (2700° K – 6500° K range) as well as being able to lock the control box. That way you can prevent yourself from accidentally changing any values. As an extra option, you can buy a DMX box in order to control the FL400S via an DMX connection. Specifications, Pricing and Availability As a recap here are all the specifications of the FL400S LED seize: 250mm x 250mm (10″ x 10″) weight of the LED: 160g (0.35 lbs) weight of the control box: 165g (0.5 lbs) light output: 2100 lux @ 94 CRI power consumption: 65W Everything from the LED panel itself, the control box, a soft box, X-bracket for mounting, an AC power adapter and also a bag are all included out of the box. It’s price is $539 and is available as of now. There’s also a kit of three lights too, which is $1,598.Read more
Litepanels has announced the latest panel in the Astra family. The Astra 1X1 Bi-Color Soft takes the portable, high intensity, mixed-temperature goodness of the original panel and adds a diffusion face to allow a much softer light cast. The Litepanels Astra is fast becoming an industry standard when considering a 1X1 panel. It provides an accurate high intensity bi-color light that can be both battery and AC powered. It’s just got better with inclusion of a diffused new face creating a fantastic soft portable key light solution. I’ve owned and used the original Litepanel 1X1 Bi-Color for close to a year now, it’s become my number 1 go-to key light due to its no fuss AC/batt powering options, high power output and fantastic color accuracy that is well maintained throughout the zoom and kelvin temperature range. When I’m using the Astra 1X1 as a key light, 90% of the time it’s through a 1 or 2 stop silk flag. The remaining 10% of the time it’s used on its own as I don’t have the time/space/free hands to carry a silk modifier. The new Astra 1X1 Bi-Color Soft gives you soft-light results right out of the bag; there is now less of a requirement to take a flag kit with you to soften you key light. Of course, a silk flag setup gives you much more control over the quality of the light. You can alter the distance of the flag to subject and light source to get different results; a flag is generally bigger in surface area than a 1X1 panel also so at face value the flag setup will be softer. However having a soft face built in is a fantastic solution for where you require a quick and/or compact setup, one that leaves you no time or space to add additional modifiers. Of course heavy diffusion comes with reduced light output. I’ll update this article with information on whether the Astra 1X1 Bi-Color Soft has an increase in power compared to the original Astra to compensate for the extra diffusion. Either way, you can take comfort in the fact that the Astra is four times the power of the original Litepanels 1X1. EDIT: I caught up with Litepanels today at BVE and the Astra Bi-Color Soft is the same power as the original. When powered via AC it really packs a punch. It does a great job on batteries too (power output on batteries less than AC); make sure you’re equipped with high draw V-locks (look for 110W+ max discharge figures) to ensure the light doesn’t cut out at high brightness. The Astra 1X1 Bi-Color Soft will make a great key light for corporate talking heads as well as news & events filmmakers and even documentary and narrative. Anywhere that requires soft, accurate light with the ability to alter brightness and temperature, the Litepanels Astra B-Colour Soft would be a good consideration.Read more
Fotodiox is famous for their practical lens mounting adapters like the Sony to EOS with built-in vari-ND. This year at Photokina they present one of the most intriguing lighting solutions I’ve seen so far: A circular, flat, lightweight LED with a smooth surface. These lights looked really impressive. While their output was not as strong as many other LED’s that are currently on the market, they had some unique attributes: They are surprisingly thin (less than half a centimeter in thickness), they are lightweight and they provide a smooth lighting surface (no annoying LED dots causing multi-shadows or harsh texture) and they provide a light clarity with a CRI value over 90. Slowly but surely it seems LED lighting is finally heading into the right direction and these lights seem like a hint on what the future lighting may soon become. The Fotodiox FlapJack Edgelight should be available early next year and will cost between $300 for the smaller lights and around $600 for the large one. The smaller lights are called C-200R and C-300R. They are now available on the Fotodiox WebsiteRead more
The respected lighting & accessories company F&V just updated their LED panel line-up. Additionally to their good quality affordable large and compact LED’s they’ve added ultra-high CRI (color rendition) panels to the mix. Nice! We’ve been following the development of F&V lights very closely over the past years and this has several reasons: – Even their affordable LED lights the F&V K4000 had very good CRI values (85). The 3 light kit for example – Their lights have very strong light outputs. – Their lights are very affordable. The 3-light kit for example goes for $1000 (LINK) – The lights might not look supercool, but their built quality is solid and lightweight.Read more
We only send updates about our most relevant articles. No spam, guaranteed! And if you don't like our newsletter, you can unsubscribe with a single click. Read our full opt-out policy here.