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How to avoid jerky footage with the Zenmuse X5 camera

Discussion in 'Photos and Videos' started by Theblacksmith, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. Theblacksmith

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    Hi guys. Does anyone know of any software for playing back my footage smoothly?
    My filming is always jerky, and I was told that it is due to flying in GPS mode and the aircraft keeps responding to GPS signals which makes it jerky.
    Today I flew in 'atti' mode and it made no difference whatsoever, but I heard that there is software that can be purchased and you can run your footage through the software, which makes it very smooth.
    Any help would be appreciated.
     
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  2. DesertWindAero

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    I thought the 3-axis gimbal would smooth out any jerkiness in the aircraft, no matter what mode it was in, unless it was in wind conditions outside of recommended parameters.
     
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  3. Danny MacGregor

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    what is your shutter speed? If it is high the footage will judder.
     
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  4. Dbrane

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    What are you using to view your footage ? I have an older computer that makes my footage appear jerky. On my newer laptops the footage is silky smooth.
     
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  5. RKDauph

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    What frame rate and shutter speed?
     
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  6. Theblacksmith

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    Hi guys. Many thanks for your responses, and apologies for my slow response, but I have been working away on site for a week.
    Just to let you know, I started flying my Inspire as part of my job to inspect transmission towers, after a bad fall last year broke three ribs and punctured a lung.
    I was laid up for three weeks (not easy to mend fast in your 60's!!) and so now I am doing the work with a drone, which is a literal life-saver.

    To answer your questions, I fly the Inspire 'as is' and have never tinkered with her shutter settings or any other settings, and I view the footage on my laptop, which runs Windows 7.
    Is this not a good operating system for such work? I also have Windows 7 on my desk-top computer, which has been a really reliable machine for the past 5 years, and so I do not want to change anything.
    If I reduce my shutter-speed for improving the video quality, will this then have an adverse impact on my still photographs?
    Sorry to sound a bit 'thick', but I have taken photographs for many years as part of my daily work (corrosion checks on structures) using a normal digital hand-held camera, and have never come across any issues, apart from the occasional white-balance problem.
    In those days, the photos were merely to support any written comments that I put on paper, and the actual photography was nothing special, as long as the shots were clear.

    With aerial photography, it seems to be a whole new ball-game, and I really would like to learn the correct aspects of this art seeing as how I will (hopefully) be using the drone more and more.
    My flight-examiner agreed with me that the flying part of using drones would soon become habitual / almost inconsequential, and that the correct camera-usage becomes everything.
    So your kind support is most valued. Regards. Rick
     
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  7. IrishSights

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    Hi Rick, To view video smoothly, especially 4K you need a really high spec processor PC with a high memory graphics card and lots of main memory to work with the files. It's not the operating system, in fact W7 is still my favourite. I'm almost sure it is a limitation of the device you are using to view it on. You could try borrowing an i7 processor laptop with 8 or more GB of memory and see if that improves the playback.

    So that you don't get jello (looks like waveyness) in the video your shutter speed needs to be twice the frame rate. So if your frame rate is 30fps then the shutter should be at 60th. Hope this helps.

    PFAW Holder
    BNUC-S Qualified
     
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  8. Theblacksmith

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    Hi Irish. Many thanks for the information. It is greatly appreciated, and I will try running the videos through an i7 processor.
    But first I will re-set my shutter speed as you advise, shoot five minutes of video and then run it through my laptop and see how it looks.
    Regards. Rick
     
  9. gruvpix

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    For inspections when you likely want to freeze-frame certain spots, I would recommend a higher shutter speed. like 1/120 or higher. This is so that when you pause the clip, everything is sharp so you can see finer details. I do a fair number of assessment/inspection type projects and this is key.
    Jerkiness? Computer is too slow. Crank down the resolution on the Inspire to 1920x1080 and I bet you'll be smooth as silk on playback.
     
  10. Theblacksmith

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    Hi gruvpix. That is a very interesting point, because I was planning to freeze-frame and take out some nice 'stills' as though they were taken as a photograph.
    And doing inspections yourself, you will know how important the picture sharpness is, especially on small components like bolt-heads.
    This is brilliant news. Many thanks for your support. Highly appreciated.
     
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  11. Area21

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    With my Inspire Pro / x 5 camera I shoot in 1080p 25 fps and usually fly in ATTI mode and have no problems.
     
  12. Donnie Frank

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    I swear by Mercalli 4.0. I made this video using a modified Phantom 1 with a piece of junk DYS gimbal and Hero3. Mercalli 4.0 allowed me to make video I was able to sell to high-end clients, whose profit allowed me to purchase my Inspire 1. Occasionally, I even use it on Inspire 1 video.



    As you can see, the video even stands up to the "hyperlapse test."

    Note: Video was shot in 2.7K "Medium" FOV. Since I always deliver 1080p footage, this gives me a bit of a pallet to work with. Naturally, the Inspire's 4K footage offers an even greater pallet.
     
    #12 Donnie Frank, Aug 20, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  13. David H

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    I also get jerky footage. If I shot a similar video to above the cars only would have a stuttered motion even though the rest of the scene was still. It almost appears I have shot the scene using time lapse at 1/4, 1/2 second interval. If I pan any video it also has a stuttered jerky appearance as the camera moves. Any ideas, I have a bags of memory, really fast PC, fast memory card etc. I have tried a shutter of 60 which is close to double 24 FPS but to no avail.
     
  14. Donnie Frank

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    Try shooting a shutter speed of 50 to adhere to the "180° Shutter rule." In theory, this induces more motion blur, which, in theory, minimizes the jerkyness. This won't eliminate the problem, but should minimize it. That said....

    Not only do I experience the same issues on an equally powerful setup, but I have seen this anomaly in films and Discovery Channel footage. If they can't sort this out in the film industry, suffice to say it's a digital anomaly we're stuck with.

    I saw a lynda.com tutorial on this subject.



    The video hosts show the anomaly, talk about the anomaly, recommend a cure for the anomaly, but never go back to the same shot to show the "cured version." I experimented with 180° shutter rule by panning my Inspire, and I was *never* able to eliminate the "jitter" anomaly regardless of what I did. I have the X3 camera.

    I have noticed that I don't experience this anomaly in night footage. It would behoove me to experiment with night footage. It's on my plate. So methinks there may be hope.

    I just purchased a SIX stop ND filter. Hopefully this will "fool" the camera into thinking it's night time, and maybe I can find a cure for this anomaly.

    D
     
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  15. David H

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    Shot some 4K 30fps on a GoPro and the footage was perfect so now wondering if I have a faulty x5 camera or its associated hardware/processing. The GoPro shutter speed was around 1000th or more as it was a sunny day and the GoPro aperture is fixed at f2.8.
    Appreciate the x5 shoots at 4K @ 24 but would not have thought the slightly slower frame rate would create such obvious jerkiness of just moving subjects or when panning. The copter can be on the ground and it still does it.
     
  16. Theblacksmith

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    Hi guys. Thanks for your comments. I did try the advice kindly given by some of our brother pilots out there, but to no avail.
    Then I read about some various free-trial editors that are available to 'try before you buy'.
    I down-loaded the 'Final Cut Pro' program and dragged a couple of my moves into them. Perfect!! As smooth as any good movie in the cinema.
    And after all these months that I was thinking it was the resolution or shutter speed or some other problem.

    Then I though to myself that if DJI sold a junk camera, they would have had thousands of complaints by now, and a bad name.
    If the camera was designed to run at 4K and at 30 FPS, I could not see why I would have to change anything.
    And then I though that my laptop is around fie years old and still works fine, but is maybe lacking some of the refinements of newer PC's.
    So I reckoned the right piece of software may provide a bit of 'oomph' for the 'ole Windows 7 operating system (some days I swear it runs on steam).
    And hey presto. Perfect video!! I tried four different movies just in case I got lucky on the first one or two, but no. They all ran as smooth as a dream.
    But I would like to thank all of those who offered me their kind assistance and their valued opinions.
    Without fellows like you, this world would be a pretty dull and frustrating place!!
     
  17. Donnie Frank

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    My field computer is an HP Envy with performance Nvidia GPU and i7 8 core processor. I can't tell you how many times I've been on set and the DP's laptop wouldn't play the 4K footage (usually Apple offerings). Of course, they immediately blame the footage. Once I show them the smooth playback on my Envy, they settle down.
     
  18. Dave Armbrust

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    The higher the resolution the faster the bits need to move around. This is why slower computers sacrifice detail to keep the resolution, it is basically dropping frames to keep up with the resolution and the action.

    The other area bits need to move fast is from the camera to the micro SD card. Always get the fastest cards you can find if you are filming in 4K. This is something many ignore and not an area you should try and save costs.

    If your video is great on some computers but play poorly on others then the problem is your computer. If they play poorly even on very fast computers then the problem is probably your SD card. If neither of these solve your issue then it is probably shutter speed or your technique.

    If the problem is when you upload it and play it back over the internet then the problem is probably your internet connect or your network is too slow.

    Compression can make a huge difference in reducing the amount of bits that need to move around and can greatly improve your playback quality. There is probably no better product out there than Apple's Compressor and it is only 50 bucks.

    The final thought is do you really need 4K? At this resolution you are far exceeding most of the devices you will be playing back on. A lower resolution will probably solve all these issues regardless which issue it is. If you drop your record resolution to 1080P you will have lots of resolution and your problems will probably go away.

    With fast micro-SD card, fast computers and lots and lots of storage space for your archives, and much more money spend on computers, storage and internet than you spent on your Inspire you will most likely have silky smooth video at 4K, but this may be far more than what you really need.

    My 2 cents.
     
  19. Theblacksmith

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    Thanks for this info, Dave. I found it very educational and of great interest. Rick