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X5 Auto Exposure Flickering

Discussion in 'Zenmuse X5' started by doctordrone, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. doctordrone

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    Just bought the Inspire Pro from Drones Plus Silicon Valley after owning and loving 2-P3P's and a P2V+. Great bird to fly, but I was disappointed with the Auto Exposure mode on the X5. It doesn't have a smooth transition when the exposure changes. It jumps, almost flickers. We did some tests in manual exposure mode, and it did fine. We were hoping DJI had a firmware fix in the works, but when I talked to them yesterday, they told me to send it in so they can test it on the bench. He suggested it could be the ISO chip, or possibly an aperture problem. I understand they need to test it in a controlled environment, but after dropping $6k on the package less than 2-weeks ago (3 batts; gimbal operator remote; 180watt charger and charging hub), I hate to ship off the camera and be without its use for up to a month. Anybody else experience this flickering exposure?

     
    #1 doctordrone, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  2. Marc meno

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    All of the x5 do it. I have 2 x5. I am very disappointed. I have to shot manual
     
  3. Kauaigene

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    After spending that it would suck if that's the best it can do.
     
  4. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Although I never use auto exposure or auto white balance or auto focus on any of my video cameras this is a very good example of poor auto exposure tracking.
    In professional cameras (which the X5 is light years away from) the user can set tracking speed for auto exposure should the user want to - most do not use it.
    Other parameters should also be user configurable such as knee and slope settings, paint/matrix as well as frequency (both horizontal and vertical) for crispning and detail, but I doubt very much whether DJI would have a clue what these are.
    They do know their multirotors but they know slightly less than nothing when it comes to knowing what makes a good video camera!
     
  5. Phatzo

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    maybe this is a really stupid question and please don´t kill me for it. would the X5R be a better investment when looking into shooting movies on sets? my only reason for thinking into it is the ability to record RAW footage. ist there any other difference between the "standard" and the "R" version?

    @doctordrone
    can you tell me what the flight time is?
    I am aware that the pro has a bit different motors, but still, I am interested on the specs.
    thank you
     
  6. Figbar

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    I'm pretty sure the Inspire Pro has the same motors...this was rumored, but they have a different prop/lock system.
     
  7. Figbar

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    I've never used auto iris on any professional camera, including the X5...I shoot with Canon 5D, Sony F55, and Canon C300...expensive, great cameras. I don't think any professional DPs rely on auto iris routinely, at least not that I'm aware of.

    The thing I'm discovering and hearing from folks who are getting great results from this camera, is that you really have to think things out and plan your shots accordingly...this is not a camera where you just point and shoot. More work, yes, but I have had great results. I know what looks good on the monitor in my edit suite...the X5 looks fabulous, but I need to know exactly what ISO, aperture and shutter speed I need to be using...per shot...I'm more than willing to put in the work if I get the great results I've been experiencing.
     
  8. Gregg Smith

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    Sounds like you know your stuff. Do you have an X5 yet? If so do you have recommendations for shooting quality video & photos with things like settings to choose, features to enable/disable, etc... Maybe a nice how-to video would be awesome. Something that I've not found thus far for this new professional camera.
     
  9. Gregg Smith

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    Same question to you as I posed to The Editor.
    Sounds like you know your stuff. Do you have an X5 yet? If so do you have recommendations for shooting quality video & photos with things like settings to choose, features to enable/disable, etc... Maybe a nice how-to video would be awesome. Something that I've not found thus far for this new professional camera.
     
  10. Figbar

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    I have the X5...I'm so busy with my "real job" as an editor/producer, I have not had enough time to fly and shoot. I did get out the first evening I had it, and am basically blown away by the quality. There was another guy who shot a bridge in NYC who posted some night footage...he said he was at iso 800 and that helped guide me. But I am really not up to speed on this camera system.



    4k - 30 fps
    iso - 800
    aperature - around 4 / 4.5
    shutter 1/30
    color - classic
    landscape

    I wish I had time to do a video on this system, but unlike others who are doing initial comparison videos, I really don't feel qualified to give definitive advice on this camera. I can't wait until someone who knows his/her stuff does a good, informative video on the overall do's and don'ts with this camera. My stuff looks in focus to me, but I'm not really sure that I'm doing the lens calibration properly.
     
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  11. Gregg Smith

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    Thanks for sharing!! Always open to others findings and hoping that DJI hires a professional cinematographer that can dive deep into the camera, the settings and how to shoot great video with it. As folks have stated, this is not the point and shoot. You have to think about what you are shooting and be able to setup appropriately. I've been shooting manual with D-Log format, AWB, Manual focus and no styles. I was told by a friend of mine that shooting with the soft setting will help with aliasing on things like trees. Allows the sensor to not overload when it's put into those situations. Need to try this and see what the effect is.

    He also referred me to this site that has a nice overview of things like aliasing, sensors, shutters, etc... for Red movie cameras. Helped me better understand the X5 versus my Nikon DLSR and what settings I should try. Temporal Aliasing with Cinema

    He's found that shooting in F8 provides nice infinite focus and to definitely do a lens calibration when putting on a new lens or using a different tablet. I found this out myself. I usually use my iPad Air, but I forgot to fully charge it and had to use my iPhone instead on a fun shoot the other day. Since it was my first time using it with the Inspire, I had to set it up and then noticed that the lens wasn't calibrated. I had to calibrate using the App, even though I had calibrated with my iPad. So it's definitely App related. I will be looking at that in the future when they do upgrades to make sure that is correctly set. Especially if after the upgrade it asks me to resetup the connection.

    Here's a video I shot for the floods here in Austin this past weekend. Kept everything on manual and shot using 4.5 - 6.0 depending on the conditions and used a ND-16 or ND-8 filter from Polar Pro. During the initial shot it's soft due to the lens not being calibrated, then I went in and calibrated for the remaining shots. Fortunately I was able to see that it was off on my small iPhone screen. In post I had to tweak the saturation a bit to help de-haze the film. Lots of mist in the air since I was shooting between rain and wanted to filter that out as much as I can. I'll post a link to a Raw unedited snipet that folks can look at if they want as well.

    Dropbox - Unedited Video Snipets - Shot in D-Log format, no styles with ND-8 or ND-16 filter at 4K 24Fps and 1/60 shutter speed.

     
    #11 Gregg Smith, Nov 3, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
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  12. Figbar

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    Nice...what frame rate were you shooting? I'm not seeing the turf/grass turn to mush which is what happened with the X5...I've been shooting for Scotts Miracle Gro (lawn folks) and mushy turf is not a good thing!
     
  13. Gregg Smith

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    I shot using 4K 24Fps using 1/60 shutter, 4.5-6 Aperture, No Style, AWB and D-Log format. Used Final Cut Pro X to edit footage and color correct.
     
  14. Gregg Smith

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    Nice work. You might try using D-Log instead of Classic. That will allow you to grab all the colors and you will be able to bring out the blacks better. I took a class last week and he demonstrated this for us. It was pretty interesting to see how much more detail we could get with D-Log. You have to color correct your footage, but it was worth the extra step. Not hard to do at all with Premiere Pro CC or Final Cut Pro X. Once you find a setting, you can save that setting as a preset and use over and over again.
     
    #14 Gregg Smith, Nov 3, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
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  15. doctordrone

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    Absolutely beautiful video! You should enter it in the Bay Area Drone Film Festival! We are giving away over $10k in drones and drone accessories! Bay Area Drone Film Festival
    BADFF_Banner_SM.jpg
     
  16. doctordrone

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    Sorry, I missed your question over the weekend. Flight time has been up to 21 minutes. I only flew that long one time. I usually bring it down by :15 to :18. I think the prop locks are the only difference other than the mounting plate for the X5, and the stick-on feet risers.
     
  17. Nothingmuch

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    Can't agree more. People should focus on how to use X5 in manual mode properly. Some comparison footages from Youtube are misleading since they did not focus properly on the X5.
     
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  18. Quadpilot

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    Also higher KV motors, as in the Inspire 1 v.2
     
  19. Nothingmuch

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    I haven't heard about the issue of KV motors. What's that if I may ask? Could that problem be fixed by updating the firmware? I just opened my Inspire PRO last Friday and did not update the firmware in neither the aircraft nor the remote.
     
  20. Burlingtonfilms

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    The X5R is the only inspire option if you want to do any Pro work. The current compression/color space on both the X3/X5 is too far below the standards of most productions.
     
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