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Trying to make the Mavic Pro look decent

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Unfortunately such a small sensor is not enough for serious results. I detest all these drone and action cams. I am looking to Phantom 4 Pro for that reason, but I am guessing that we are going to have a Mavic with the Phantom 4 Pro camera soon (with soon I mean when I am going to buy my Phantom 4 Pro, a month after that!).

I do not have the money or skills to find a different drone solution, but instead of GoPro's (where is possible) I use a small mirrorless camera with a real APS-C 3.5f fish eye lens. Much better results.

Neat Video is a great, and cheap, app that we all should have in our arsenal, it really works, and it is really easy (and cheap!).

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13 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Unfortunately such a small sensor is not enough for serious results. I detest all these drone and action cams. I am looking to Phantom 4 Pro for that reason, but I am guessing that we are going to have a Mavic with the Phantom 4 Pro camera soon (with soon I mean when I am going to buy my Phantom 4 Pro, a month after that!).

I do not have the money or skills to find a different drone solution, but instead of GoPro's (where is possible) I use a small mirrorless camera with a real APS-C 3.5f fish eye lens. Much better results.

Neat Video is a great, and cheap, app that we all should have in our arsenal, it really works, and it is really easy (and cheap!).

The Phantom 4 pro is still a 'drone and action cam' so don't pin your hopes on it delivering 'serious results' ( whatever they are......)

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@Shirozina I know, but 1" sensor is a huge upgrade from a 1/2.3" one and I found it acceptable for low budget jobs, with smaller sensors, even for "low budget" corporate videos you may have issues.

In the last corporate video we did the client didn't like the drone footage, done by our usual drone pilot but used the Phantom 4 because we didn't have the budget for a better one (he charges a lot less). The rest of the footage was Canon C100markII.

Having a 1" sensor on such a low price drone, that is a revolution in image quality, similar to the Mavic's revolution in size and weight, if they mix the 2 revolutions together, then we have evolution (homo dronalis/Neadrontal/Dronopithicus or something!)!

"Serious results": the absolutely minimum for paid work.

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I wish someone would hack the Mavic to push bitrate on the thing to about 100 mbps, IF not more. That would effectively improve the whole artefacts and curious noise. The 1/2.3 sensor is actually a pretty capable one. It just need more data. Especially for someone that recording landscape videos, with moving leaves and grass and water, the bitrate has to be a lot hight higher than 60 mbps for 4k. 

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18 hours ago, Kubrickian said:

Check out this guy's settings / workflow: 

 

Some nice looking shots in there, but there are some really awful artifacts going on. The shot at 1:20, going under the crane. Look at the letters on "Cape Town Cruise Terminal," look at the wires on the crane, look at the water, look at the ships - pretty much everything has this crazy dancing artifcating going on. The shots are beautiful enough to distract you, but once you start to look at pretty much any part of the image and the flaws become pretty obvious.

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30 minutes ago, Nick Hughes said:

Some nice looking shots in there, but there are some really awful artifacts going on. The shot at 1:20, going under the crane. Look at the letters on "Cape Town Cruise Terminal," look at the wires on the crane, look at the water, look at the ships - pretty much everything has this crazy dancing artifcating going on. The shots are beautiful enough to distract you, but once you start to look at pretty much any part of the image and the flaws become pretty obvious.

I agree, the artifacts, wether NR, sharpnening and aliasing etc. are way too much for my taste.
It looks like shot with a smartphone on a drone.

If you want something really decent, actually spectacular, go with the Inspire 2 with X5s camera, extremely cinematic and organic! (a bit expensive though)

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4 hours ago, Kisaha said:

I detest all these drone and action cams. I am looking to Phantom 4 Pro for that reason, but I am guessing that we are going to have a Mavic with the Phantom 4 Pro camera soon (with soon I mean when I am going to buy my Phantom 4 Pro, a month after that!).

The Mavic has its merits. It's a tiny drone that fits at the bottom of your bag. Similar thing for the GoPro camera. Sometime you can not carry a big camera around.

1 hour ago, sanveer said:

I wish someone would hack the Mavic to push bitrate on the thing to about 100 mbps, IF not more. . 

Yeah, that's the main issue with the Mavic/P3P and GoPro. The bitrate max out at 60mbps which is way too low for the 4K. It's not related to the sensor. Despite its m43 sensor, the X5 Inspire 1 also had a 60mbps bitrate which generates the same issue.

41 minutes ago, deezid said:

If you want something really decent, actually spectacular, go with the Inspire 2 with X5s camera, extremely cinematic and organic! (a bit expensive though)

Yeah, the Inspire 2 ProRes or Raw is great but the drone is 8x time the price and is a massive pain to carry arround. It's like trying to compare a FS7 and a GoPro. Doesn't make much sense.

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I've been waiting for DJI to slate the Mavic for a student discount (I've still got an EDU account so it's always nice to save a few bucks on new products) but more and more I'm leaning toward the P4P instead. It's a fine line of always having the Mavic ready to go in my bag whenever I want it on a shoot (I primarily shoot weddings, so very run-and-gun) which still might be better, even with its inferior quality, vs. having to bring along a bulky phantom, separate backpack, etc., and probably end up using it a lot less. Decisions, decisions. I'm sure, knowing my luck, whatever I decided to go with, DJI will release a newer Mavic with the better sensor and IQ right after I've made my purchase. Seems to always happen to me. Oh well! 

So from the gist of this thread though, everyone really considers the Mavic footage to be bad enough to make it unusable for paying jobs? That's disappointing. It looks so portable and easy to fly. Pity it doesn't have the IQ to match. 

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Last post!

The problem ain't the Mavic, Mavic so small and capable is just amazing, the "problem" (not for DJI!) is product placement and net profit.

If Mavic had the Phantom 4 Pro camera, it would be 98% of their sales. Now they have the Mavic Pro, the Phantom Advance, the Phantom Pro and the series of their Inspire's and more advanced cameras. Mavic here is in back order since Xmas(around there, maybe before?), there was a bunch sold before then and no more Mavic's.

Also, who is competing with DJI? They are very kind to give as Mavic and a 1" camera to their Phantom series (again, with the same camera, no one would buy Phantom!).

@Parker For weddings Mavic is just great, one of my business partners has ordered one since November (for that reason), and I consider buying the Phantom 4 Pro because it is possible to buy one in this country (!) and is more appropriate for my line of work (corporation, low budget short films, documentary series etc).

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If the paying job is a wedding, I think the Mavic will be more than fine. If the paying job is a Netflix show, well maybe not. Although I see plenty of last-gen 2/3" sensor drone footage on reality TV. It looks fine. The Blue House guy's mavic footage looks a million times better. 

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2 hours ago, Parker said:

 It's a fine line of always having the Mavic ready to go in my bag whenever I want it on a shoot (I primarily shoot weddings, so very run-and-gun) which still might be better, even with its inferior quality, vs. having to bring along a bulky phantom, separate backpack, etc., and probably end up using it a lot less. Decisions, decisions. I'm sure, knowing my luck, whatever I decided to go with, DJI will release a newer Mavic with the better sensor and IQ right after I've made my purchase. Seems to always happen to me. Oh well! 

So from the gist of this thread though, everyone really considers the Mavic footage to be bad enough to make it unusable for paying jobs? That's disappointing. It looks so portable and easy to fly. Pity it doesn't have the IQ to match. 

Exactly, size matters here. Also, the spare batteries are cheaper on the Mavic ($100 Vs $150 for the P4).

As for decision, DJI is growing like crazy, there was not even 10 months between the P4 and P4Pro announcement... They are also going to release the Spark in a few days (some kind of mini mavic, more for selfie).
The Mavic is totally usable for pro job as long as you are careful with the expo and white balance. Highly compressed 8bit video is not very forgiving...

1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

Also, who is competing with DJI? They are very kind to give as Mavic and a 1" camera to their Phantom series (again, with the same camera, no one would buy Phantom!).

The P4 handles better in windy conditions. A 1" sensor means larger optic, thus larger gimbal motors, more clearance for the ground and prop (not) in view etc, thus more weight, less flight time. It also has an impact on balance and vibration/jello. At this level every change is going to impact the whole system.

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It frustrates me generally that the Phantom & Mavic series are kinda-sorta marketed as a cheap, professional option to something like an Inspire Pro. Certainly, they have many great features, but overall the image quality is sub-par and barely usable except in very specific circumstances.

Some of the stuff online looks okay, but only at first glance. Spend more than 5 seconds looking at it and you'll start to notice all the imperfections in the image. 

Certainly to get something really usable you have to be very prepared, with NDs and settings that you've tried and tested and know are the best for your workflow. Even then, the wrong subject (i.e. too many trees for example) will still end up looking quite average.

Whether you want to use it for client work is up to you - and depends on your clients. Personally, I think I would assume I wouldn't use any of the footage, and let myself be pleasantly surprised should there be any useable stuff in there, rather than assuming you're going to use it all and be disappointed when it all looks mediocre.

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1 hour ago, jax_rox said:

Some of the stuff online looks okay, but only at first glance. Spend more than 5 seconds looking at it and you'll start to notice all the imperfections in the image. 

What viewer, besides people like us, re-analyze a video moment for more than 5 seconds?

Yes, DJI video isn't perfect, but take it from a guy that actually was brave (stupid?) enough to use Phantom 3 footage in a paid production...Pixel peeping doesn't happen much in the real world. 

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The Mavic is a recreational UAV with a smartphone camera attached to it - why are people expecting it to deliver flawless footage in a commercial situation? 90% of cameras that people discuss at length on these forums are the same in that they can deliver nice enough looking footage in the right situation but they are not capable of being relied upon in a paid production. Some perspective is needed I think.........

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2 minutes ago, Ki Rin said:

So, it seems to have been suggested that 2.7k on the mavic may produce better results than 4k due to the low bitrate. Is that correct?
 

4k at 60mbs vs 2.7k at 45mbs  

(still not enough to shoot a major Hollywood feature film with let alone satisfy expert pixel peepers on vimeo.............) 

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