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Video softness blues

Discussion in 'Zenmuse X5' started by gruvpix, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. gruvpix

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    So just updated to the newest FW version (1.3 or whatever it is) and was very excited to try it out as I saw they addressed the flight characteristics making yaw movement smoother with one operator. Woot!
    So I calibrate the lens, get everything ready for a full day shoot for a client and all goes well. I also wanted to try increasing the in-camera sharpness as a test as I saw some good results from that online.
    Anyways I shot the full day, the Inspire is way easier to control now. Still not on the same level as the X3 but definitely improved.
    So what's the problem?
    All the footage looks super soft, like borderline out of focus. So I thought great I must have messed up the lens calibration... Don't think so because my photographs are tack sharp under the exact same settings...
    Is anyone else getting this problem? I've attached two shots for reference, one is a video frame and one is a photograph taken at essentially the exact same time.
    Video settings - 2.7k30, shutter 1/60, F6.3 (was going from F5 to F8 all day and same issues).

    Edit: the embedded photo doesn't really do it justice as it is compressing it down in size, but imagine it scaled up to a 2.7k frame, it is way too soft.

    DJI_0002.JPG Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.24.41 AM.png
     
  2. White Airwolf

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    That's what you get when you jump the gun on the X5 system.
    The X3 is perfect as is. Broadcast clients of mine are very happy.
    Until the the law is made very clear on drone flying, I won't be wasting money on updating the camera, especially the X5 for all its issues.
     
  3. gruvpix

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    Does anyone other than White Airwolf have anything valuable to add to this thread?
     
    #3 gruvpix, Jan 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
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  4. GizaDog

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    The law on drone flying? The law better deal with real issues first. Government drone murder!
     
  5. FlyHighUSA

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    From my experience there is a learning curve to the X5. It requires more setup than the X3. I mean no disrespect to you when saying that, and I am not saying you need to learn. I'm simply saying It took me several times trying to calibrate the X5 lens to finally get the proper focus achieved. Also I am finding that it does much better for me in manual mode rather than auto everything. After much tinkering and playing around with the settings I have finally found the sweet spot and man it is sweet. Sharp as the X3 but with a slightly more cinematic look about it. I would be happy to help you get things sorted out. Just give me a shout, contact@flyhighusa.com

    Respectfully,
    Ralph
    FlyHighUSA
     
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  6. FlyHighUSA

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    Yep its definitely needing some proper calibration!!! give me a shout I will help!!!
     
  7. burlbark

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    Many experienced users are reporting this and it is a problem. Some think that they have intentionally dumbed it down from the first firmware to increase sales of the x5r when its released.
     
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  8. FlyHighUSA

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  9. gruvpix

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    Ok then here is my question: if after I have calibrated the lens and my photos are sharp and in focus and my video is not, what would you point to?
    The video is in focus, it is just overly soft, like overly.
    For a test I cranked the sharpness value to +1, 2 and 3 on all resolutions.
    0, 1 and 2 are the exact same. No difference whatsoever (on my unit latest cam firmware). +3 there is a difference, and footage looked just like 0 used to be on old FW version (average softness).
    So, I am inclined to believe one of the following:

    The FW update is two steps forward, one back and a glitch resulted in sharpness values changing

    Burlbark is right and it's all just an evil plot by the corporation (wouldn't surprise me)

    I am an idiot and somehow doing something wrong.
     
  10. FlyHighUSA

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    The evil plot theory I just can't support and I am not being blind because I am a dealer. I have been frustrated in the past and had those feelings. I can only go by what my experience tells me and that is the following.
    I sell a lot of Inspire Pro's and I have spent a lot of time tinkering if you will with all of the settings and I finally got great video and pics out of the x5. When I look at all of your settings you are changing and the image is not responding by becoming more and less sharp with changing the settings that leads me to believe there is a problem with your lens/camera. Do you have any friends that have the same bird so you can test their x5 to see the results for comparison. That being said if it is a problem with the lens then DJI will need to do some work on it. This is just a slim possibility and I know this sounds crazy but have you tried removing and reinstalling the app on your tablet? Sometimes this has been just the fix I was needing. I have had 1 x5 out of over 75 sold that had an issue kinda like yours and it ended up being fixed with the app remove and reinstall. In no way am I saying it will fix it but it's worth a try. Where are you located? I'm asking because if you are close to me I would be glad to let you try one of my x5, I have several. If you pic is good then your video should be good as well as long as you are getting the focus set during the video recording. I am sure you are very skilled but sometimes I look over the simplest things. feel free to email me directly @ contact@flyhighusa.com if you need any more help. I know my answer has been vague but I am trying to cover all I can think of. let me know how it goes please.
    Respectfully,
    Ralph
    FlyHighUSA
     
  11. FlyHighUSA

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    Btw the last firmware did not lower my resolution at all, quite the opposite. It actually got much better. I will tell you I have much better results with my Olympus 12 and 45 mm lenses, but the DJI should also focus in sharp for you on pic and video. I use my DJI lens sometimes and it does fine. I really hope you get it sorted out. This kinda stuff can drive you mad.
     
  12. Richard Hurst

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    It is a subject that has been discussed loads of times on various forums and social media and it is something DJI are aware of and apparently working on. The X5 performs flawlessly for photo's but video it is having issues and like you said it is very soft.

    I have tried lots of different things and the only way to currently improve it i have found is to shoot in "None" colour mode and leave the style settings as 0 0 0. The video is still not as good as the X3 but it is a very definite improvement over the current offerings. Shooting in D-Log or Cine is a no go currently. Believe me your doing nothing wrong and as long as when you calibrated your lens and when it says "OK" you have switched it to manual to make sure the focus has set itself to the infinity marker then you are good to go. You can also depending on the lens you are using manually focus the lens yourself via the actual lens and not the Go App.

    Also just as a point of interest personally I find the DJI lens a bit sharper than the 12mm Olympus at this time.
     
  13. Lux44

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    gruvpix, your experience with blurry/mushy video is currently the norm, unfortunately. There is a 230+ page thread in another forum, where members have discussed and troubleshooted problems for many months now. Regarding video the summary of current affairs:
    We can speculate that DJI was busy finishing the SDK 3.0 (released couple of days ago, very big update: 821 files changed in Android SDK, 1812 files changed in IOS SDK) and hope that now more time is invested in making the X5 work as advertised.
     
  14. Richard Hurst

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    is there any speculation as to when a new firmware will be released that addresses these issues?
     
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  15. Lux44

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    I have no inside information, but given DJI's current track record I don't have my hopes up that the video problems are fixed overly shortly. They've made couple of firmware updates to X5 with little actual benefit so far but I'm sure they continue to try. Apart from X5R there is no successor announced, therefore there's some time to obsolence. Unless X5R is the successor.

    Another example: Inspire 1 was released in 2014.11, firmware to support Waypoints/POI (in quite a clumsy form) was released only in 2015.08.
     
  16. gruvpix

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    Thanks for the responses guys. I appreciate you taking the time. Ralph I will attempt to reinstall the app when I have a chance that's not a bad idea and may work. I strongly believe it is a problem with the latest FW version but I have not seen any video as bad as mine coming from the camera on these settings. Anything less than +3 sharpness is completely unusable, whereas before I would get good results from 0 sharpness.
    Hopefully a new FW version will be released soon that addresses this.
     
  17. AeroSky Productions

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    I use the X5 with stock lens and also M Zuiko lenses (17, 25 and 45mm) and have the settings as follow:
    Sharpness -1
    Contrast -1
    Saturation -2
    4K 25p & 1/50s, while keeping the ISO as low as possible (with Polar ND filters) in LOG. Downscale to 1080p and applying sharpening in post. Even the DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 is very sharp. Very important is setting the focus on manual and applying the Hyperfocal Distance according to your lens focal length and f stop.
    See this for more information:
    Understanding Your Camera’s Hyperfocal Distance

    Works good for me, hope that help. I have all latest FW.

    Two sharpness tests shot with 15mm:


    The footage on YouTube is softer than original in 4K or 1080p, but that's YT compression...
     
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  18. Casey Preston

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    Were the photos taken at 1/60, F6.3 using the same color profile? Is the photo a DNG? 1/60 will create motion blur if you have a consistent vibration in the gimbal.

    It doesn't look like a calibration issue as that appears as a different kind of mushy. If the image looks best at sharpness +3, use sharpness +3. Shooting at 4K might also be useful since it isn't using pixel binning and therefore might not be as affected by DJI's odd software implementation. I personally just wish that DJI would finalize the general settings between firmware revisions so that we could have consistent results. Each firmware update seems to require new camera tests. I generally test my cameras using a resolution chart indoors instead of using test flights so that I can get a baseline for the image.
     
  19. gruvpix

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    Yes the photos were taken with those settings and are perfect. No abnormal gimbal vibration or movement to speak of as far as I can tell. If after reinstalling, reverting FW then updating again i see the same issues I'll just have to stick with +3. It's just super weird since other people's footage looks really nice on this new FW

    Regarding 4K, the bitrate is so crippling that I refuse to use the setting, but from tests on it the same issues are present.
     
  20. apsussex

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    Yes it is frustrating with each firmware being so different. I have found it very similar to you. I found the first firmware to be the best for this and I also use the Olympus 12mm. The second firmware was a bit too sharp on 0 but the high noise was a disaster, but the latest firmware does seem like you have to up the sharpness to +3 to get the best results. Yaw has definitely improved a lot on the latest firmware. I was finding any single operator shots I was getting I needed to use the yaw from the camera rather than the craft to get the oily smooth pan, but sharpness is a bit all over the place with the firmware upgrades. I am sure they just fiddle a few sliders and then default it into the firmware without really testing it.

    Despite this I am still getting noticeably better results with the x5 than I did with the x3. Grading the x5 is so much more enjoyable as well.