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x5 as a camera

Discussion in 'Zenmuse X5' started by Michael91, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. Michael91

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    Just wonder what has been people's experience with the x5 when using it for still photography?

    Im in the market for a drone at the moment, and I cant really say I'm sure what I'm going to get. my initial reaction was the x5 was for me. Pro-sumer. you've got a great drone, and what should be a great camera underneath. but having seen a lotof videos, and read a lot about it, I cant say its convinced me, at least from the point of videography. as for stills, I haven't seen so many people discussing it. As far as I'm concerned, it is a good stills camera just from the chit chat ive heard about it.


    But is it worth as much as they're asking, in your opinion, to buy a "good" stills camera and an "alrite" video camera (lets be honest, I've seen nothing from it that makes me say "WOW" video-wise)


    In my own opinion, I've come to the conclusion that there are two ways to go about this (correct me if im wrong),

    1. buy a phantom 4 and have fairly good stills, and fairly good video, but at a much much lower price. plus its a brand new drone in no danger of being replaced soon.

    2. go all out and buy the inspire 1 with the x5r and drop a boatload of money, simply because I don't want to end up with half of a great camera that I feel I would with the x5.


    Maybe someone who's had hands on experience with the x5 could tell me otherwise, but that's just from what I've seen. I guess it's kind of boiling down to whether I want to get a drone now, with a good camera and be happy with it. The other option would be to hold out for the canon 5d mark IV (maybe they'll call it the 5X) later in the year and get a cheaper drone that just kind of works for the moment. its just when your spending so much money on an x5, would you be annoyed that you didn't spend a relatively small amount extra and just buy the x5r and have the ability to do proper video work as you need as well as your normal still photography?

    I should say that I have flown drones a before, not professionally but I know my way around them.
     
  2. PortCanaveralFlorida

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    In some fashion your post sound like this...... Should I buy a Mac or PC, Canon or Nikon?
    I'm in the market that fits me, my style, and my budget.

    PC/Nikon/i1 :) x3:rolleyes:
     
  3. ringolong

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    Everyone will have different opinions as @PortCanaveralFlorida stated.

    @SanCap may share some stills that he has taken with the x5. (He has some awesome photos)

    The p4 is a capable machine, and as long as you do not long for something with replaceable lenses, and do not fly in low light then you should be happy with it.

    Here is a decent video from the x5.(Youtube does compress so the original will look better)
     
  4. Michael91

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    My worry is more along the lines of is it really worth buying anything but an X5r or a phantom 4?
    One your guaranteed quality by the looks of things, the other is pretty good and its cheap.

    where do the x5 and x3 sit in here? and does the pro-sumer option really give pro-sumer performance?

    Trying to figure out if the numbers add up really, if you know what I mean!
     
  5. seanmclean

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    Don't take this the wrong way, but unless you know how to do 'proper video work', you really shouldn't even consider the X5R. Not only is it more expensive, you need serious equipment to handle the video with any reasonable amount of ease, and you really need to know how to work with it to get the best results. The X5 produces great results, and I'm excited to be able to eventually use it with the Osmo so I can get even more use out of it.
     
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  6. seanmclean

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    The X3 sits right next to the P4, in terms of image quality. The X5 is a significant step up, and the X5R is another step up from there for video. Stills will be the same.
     
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  7. Michael91

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    @seanmclean don't worry, I understand what your saying.

    my primary focus is stills. I should have said that first off. I'm fairly well rehearsed in the process' involved in shooting them and editing them (I often prefer stuff
    thats more moody/underexposed, I guess you'd call it my style).

    While im not a fulltime professional at photography, I hold down a dayjob and then take photography jobs as they come along. So generally I deal in pro-sumer gear, 7d m ii's and the like with lens' as i can afford them. So thats where my first question about the Stills it is capable of comes from.

    The second part of that same question as regards video work. it's not something i do now, but there's a massive opportunity where i live to go out and make something of it. id be confident to sit in front of a computer and get used to the software (I know bits about grading etc. and ive no fear that the PC would be able
    to handle it as i build them myself).

    Which is why im wondering would it be foolish to spend so much on a camera that will probably cause me alot of headaches in video work if the quality isnt up to scratch, when first day for a relatively small amount extra you get a camera that wont let you down in either field.

    the reason i ask about the phantom 4 is if your not going to spend the money to buy the X5r, the steps between the x5 and the phantom, barr low light, dont look that huge considering the price difference.

    also, @ringolong , thanks for that video, its a fairly good demonstration of the fields of view of the cameras, tho the youtube seems to take the good out of the x5.
     
  8. gruvpix

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    I wouldn't get the P4 simply because the camera is not upgradeable. That's the whole point of the Inspire: it is a flying platform with the ability to mount different cameras to it. Also, for still photography, the X5 stills are of much better quality than the P4.
    For stills X5 >>>>> P4
    for video X5 > P4

    Video is pretty good. Not great, but definitely better than the P4. I'll attach two images, one shot with a Phantom 3 (similar cam to P4), and one with the X5. Let me know what difference you see.
     

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  9. Michael91

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    That second image is quite something!

    they're completely different shots. you've obviously done a lot more work on the sunset than the mid-day picture.

    as for differences, there's a lot more in the shadows to be saved in the second file, along with a pile more detail, and a hell of a lot less chromatic aberration (the tents in the first photo are still annoying me).
    also, there's a very high level of distortion in the first image, I don't think you are ever going to get those buildings straight and horizen level! I did a little bit of messing with it just to see what kind of stuff you
    can do with it, and I know it's only a low-quality file, id be very interested to see the raw version.

    That being said, there's a lot you can do with that photo still. It's very useable. If that was in low light I'd imagine it would be a different story.


    On the point of upgrading the camera, I guess that's half the point, is the x5 worth buying when the x5r isn't that far away from it?
    the interchangeable lens' would be a bigger reason to buy for me than the ability to change the camera. At the present rate I'd imagine
    that there'll be a new inspire out long before there's a new camera to mount on the existing one.
     

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  10. seanmclean

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    Bottom line, the X5 is significantly better than the X3 (or P4). I disagree with you whole-heartedly about the X5 not being that much better. Although the X5R isn't that much more expensive, it's wasted money unless video is your bread and butter. (In my opinion).
     
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  11. gruvpix

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    This guy is a better comparison of lighting... Also shot on Phantom 3.
    The X5 is a huge step up, an underrated feature is that you can use different lenses as well, which opens up a whole new arena for aerial photography. I've got beautiful images from my 45mm lens that would be simply impossible with the Phantom
     

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  12. Michael91

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    sorry @seanmclean, i think we crossed wires there.

    yes, x5 photos are better. i agree.
    there doesnt seem to be a whole pile of difference in the video that ive seen.

    im trying to figure out if the photos are "better enough" to spend 3k extra.

    and if they are (im quite happy with how that looks from the x5, its really nice) is it worth doing the job properly and getting the x5r?
    i guess the osmo adapter is a big plus as well, so i think thats the way im leaning after seeing those shots from @gruvpix.

    and yes, that second file is probably a fairer comparison. its something you could put on the next all day but id imagine if you wanted
    to print that on a large size youd find you have problems!
     
  13. evenstarstudios

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    If your priority is stills there is no reason to go x5r over x5. The x5 already shoots RAW stills. Same sensor, absolutely zero upgrade (for stills). The only improvement you'll see is in the x5r's raw video vs the x5's compressed and while it is going to be 'better' (it keeps more data) unless you're doing high end color correction for film/tv (or money is not an issue) there's really no benefit to the x5r over x5. As someone else mentioned, raw video data is huge, a pain the butt to edit/process, it's definitely not a mainstream thing...
     
  14. Michael91

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    Your right, 100%.

    my biggest issue watching anything from the x5 is the way it samples anything green into blocks of color.
    especially trees. and there are alot of trees around here.

    and yes, money is an issue, it doesnt come easy.

    i think ill sleep on it for a while. been looking since november, and the decision still isnt easy!
     
  15. evenstarstudios

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    Yea, I've seen that too. It's not pretty. I do hope they improve their processing of the video data in the x5, I see no reason the x5 can't be as good as a Panasonic gh4 (also a m4/3 16mp sensor, heck, might even be the same sensor, we know DJI/Pana got together on the DJI 15mm f/1.7 lens)
     
  16. Michael91

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    its a bit of a headbanger.

    your eyes are most sensitive to the color green, so anything in that color space that is wrong, your going to see it.
    id have assumed there was something could be done about that on DJI's side, but as far as ive seen, it hasnt happened yet.
    thats probably most of the appeal of the x5r.

    when you do anything with landscape in Ireland, green is the color your going to have to plan for. probably half the reason im being so picky about this.


    also, @gruvpix, i hope you dont mind but ive been messing around with that phantom 3 dusk photo you put up just to see what the breaking point is on it,
    i hope you dont mind, if you do, say so and ill get rid of it. admittedly its not very good, but just to try pull out the highlights and see if theres anything to be done about the shadows
     

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    #16 Michael91, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
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  17. sideman7

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    I am primarily using the Inspire Pro for stills, and came from a Phantom 3. The difference and flexibility is pretty dramatic. It's a bigger sensor, and there is more meat to the photos. If you are shooting RAW, you can push them a lot harder. Are they as good as a full frame? No, but I am not anxious to fly around a 5D mark iii either... I am finding when I do ground and aerial shoots together, the difference between my Canon photos and the X5 don't bother me as much as I was seeing from the Phantom.

    This is from the X5:
     

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  18. ringolong

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  19. Richard-Inspire

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    For what it's worth, my view on this is that I took a P3P to Australia where I shot aerial photos and video, and my wife was shooting stills with regular photographic gear - Nikon D750 full frame DSLR, grads, pro lenses etc. I shot some pretty dramatic footage from the air of the same things as her. We were both thrilled with our photos.

    When I got home, we started working on our photos in Lightroom, and whereas my wife's images had massive post production potential (crop, depth of field, recovering highlights and shadows by many many stops), my photos were pretty two dimensional - ie, as soon as I pushed up any shadows it got incredibly noisy, and there was a real noticeable noise problem to get them to where I wanted them. I couldn't crop too far either before resolution was an issue.

    I came away from that realising that I had to get an X5 if I wanted to enjoy the stills process properly. The changeable lenses should not be overlooked either - having a fixed ultra wide is very limiting for stills - I look forward to experimenting with the primes, and also have the 14-42 to test out to see which focal lengths I work with the most.

    As for the X5R, I really think there is not much justification for it unless you are working on high end drama or film. Believe me, I can convince myself of most technology purchases (hence why I'm hobby shooting with £1000s worth of photo gear), but having 2gb/s video is just not needed for the majority of uses. I work in TV and Film post production, (sound actually), but throughout the process I see footage used in shows from all kinds of sources (in its 'offline' state, ie unprocessed, and then also once it's finished for delivery). I recently worked on a high end British TV drama which cut in shots filmed on a P3. If the material is given to a decent colourist they will be able to bed it in with the other (raw) video footage, and 99% of people will not notice any difference in quality. RAW video is a pain in the ass to work with unless you have a pro workflow sorted (and you might yet convince yourself to but all that as well) BUT I maintain that there is so little point unless you are producing stuff for BBC1/HBO etc or for cinema. And if that's the case, then you wouldn't be worrying about dropping an extra £1,500 on the RAW capability as you'd get that back in one day on a shoot.

    Go for the X5 for stills, and stop worrying about the video bitrate unless you really can't live without knowing you've got the best available. The difference between the X3 and the X5 for video is not about the bitrate, it's about the lenses (from a flexibility point of view) and sensor/lens quality.
     
    #19 Richard-Inspire, Apr 15, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
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  20. PortCanaveralFlorida

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    Nice sunset! I would love to have the x5, or x6, x10. or whatever for my bird! :D