Tips To Improve Your Aerial Capture

If you make aerial video, it is important to know how to use and adjust your camera. Whether you are a beginner or not, it is also important to understand some basic principles and settings to ensure a good end result. You will tell me yes but most of the built-in cameras offer auto modes that look pretty good … My answer here is that it's good to know how your camera works and some basic principles of the world of photography. photography.Through this guide, I introduce some concepts and explains how to adjust your camera as best as possible to improve the rendering of your photos / videos in drone.Understand what are your needsHere, it is crucial to know in advance your needs and to project you in your realization / final assembly as well as its mode of diffusion! Ask yourself here the good questions: Will you see them on the screen of your computer, your tablet or Smartphone or your television? Would you like to share them on the Web and social networks? On your blog? On YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion? Depending on the destination and the support of your videos, you determine the ideal definition of The image, the field of vision and the frame rate. Only then will you make more advanced exposure-type settings, etc. Image definition Image definition is a central notion when we talk about image in the numerical sense of the term, it is always good to make some clarifications.What is the definition?

"The definition is characterized by the total number of pixels in the image. It is defined by the number of pixels on the height of the image multiplied by the number of pixels over the width of the image "source: Pixelvalley

Here the terms 4K, Ultra-HD (Ultra-High Definition, or UHD) and HD are used to characterize this total number of pixels. An HD image contains 2,073,600 pixels, which is the number of pixels per line (1920) multiplied by the number of lines (1060). Resolution of the imageBy pity, do not confuse the definition and the image resolution, as I often see, especially on the internet. When the definition is related to the size of your screen (or the capabilities of your printer), it is called resolution.

"The resolution is characterized by the number of pixels per unit length, which is actually the pixel density of the image. This one has nothing to do with the number of pixels. »Source: Pixelvalley

This is determined by the number of pixels per unit length, that is, the density or number of pixels that can be placed within a unit of a given length.

Comparative HD resolutions for TVs
Warning: On a native HD screen, a video with 4K definition will not have a better rendering than a video with HD definition! You will have to equip yourself accordingly …
Better definition to adopt to film with his multicopter?

Many drones offer a lot of advanced settings for their camera, here the 3DR Solo

I'm going to rely on the market's number one action camera Gopro here on a more professional segment via this article more aimed at novices. The built-in cameras unfortunately do not offer many options and settings for the photo / video (which tends to change lately with the arrival of much more complete cameras on the market, see Phantom 4 pro for example).
The GoPro 4 Black (the last I've used) has about 8 different definitions, 8 speeds / rates and 4 different fields of view … This can sometimes be a puzzle for beginners to be sure that the used mode is the most suitable for filming, the combinations being so many.Reassure you here, I am here to help you!

If you're really equipped and up to date and already have a 4K TV, a computer that can play native UHD files and a UHD-compatible video editing software, do not hesitate and choose the 4K definitions ( 3,840 × 2,160 pixels) at 30 frames / sec or 2,7K (2,704 × 1,520) at 60 or 50 frames / s to enjoy your aerial videos.

The other advantage of filming in very high definitions is to give you more "margin" to improve and correct your videos in postproduction. Some professionals advocate the systematic use of this type of definition. Admittedly, it is a good solution to adopt, but it assumes to spend a lot of time at the time of editing.

Photoshop remains the must when it comes to photo or video editing.

See you here! But do not forget that to make the most of these video files, you will need a powerful PC (a racehorse with a lot of Ram and a good graphics card). You will then have the possibility to correct among other things:
the distortion of the lens, especially if you shoot with a Gopro … jolts to obtain a stable image and perfectly fluid.The colors …

If you're not yet equipped with 4K, choose the HD resolution (1,920 × 1,080 pixels) at 60 or 50 fps that will give you complete satisfaction no matter what medium you use. This remains the standard in 2016, and for a few more years!

Apart from the 720p at 120 or 240 fps to make great slow motion, the other definitions have in my eyes that little interest for filming with a drone. Nothing forbids you to test them! The Field of VisionYou will mainly have the choice between three modes FOV (Field Of Vision) on the camera GoPro: Wide (ultra-wide), Medium (medium) and Narrow (narrow), which respectively correspond at fields of view of about 170 °, 127 ° and 90 °.

The new camera gopro hero 5

On the Hero3 + and Hero4 cameras, GoPro also offers a SuperView (S) mode with 4K, 2.7K, 1080p and 720p resolution, but limited to just a few frame rates. This mode covers a field of 170 ° like Wide mode, the difference here being that the image undergoes a software processing at the recording giving it a slightly more immersive effect. The sensor of the GoPro is in 4: 3 format, when you shoot in 16: 9 mode, the Gopro will tend to crop up / down the image to give you the right ratio. Only the FOV Wide uses a greater height than Medium or Narrow, and the entire width of the sensor. This explains the fact that the arms and propellers of the drone are less visible in Medium mode and totally non-existent in Narrow mode.
Why is the sensor and processor important?

The final rendering of your digital videos will depend mainly on the quality of your sensor (optical quality, size, algorithms of its processors). The processor is of course determining in this method of processing data from the sensor.

By choosing a particular field of view in your settings, you ask your GoPro camera (or other) to read a certain part ("capture window") of all the data and information received by your sensor.

The wider this area, depending on your settings, the more the processor will be solicited. Your capture window is a 16: 9 area at the center of the 4: 3 sensor. When the output format is 4K, there is no need to resize the initial capture. This capture window remains the same until the 1080p Wide mode. In this definition HD Wide, there will be a shrinkage of half of the image (3840 × 2160 pixels) to reach the final definition of 1080p (1920 × 1080 pixels). The imageNotion rate super important for whom makes aerial video and often misunderstood by novices.

The frame rate defines the maximum shutter speed. At 50 fps, it is at most 1/50 s, and at 100 fps, it is 1/100 s without possibility of modification, as is the case with a camcorder or a SLR that allows you to choose a speed between 1/50 and 1/100 s when shooting at a rate of 50 fps.

The lower the frame rate, the more the shutter speed varies depending on the brightness.What is the best frame rate for shooting with a multirotor? If you want to get the most out of
the power of the sensor / processor pair of your integrated camera or GoPro, it will also have to play on the frame rate. With the same capture window, you can shoot in 4K from 24 to 30 fps, 2.7K up to 60 ips, and in 1080p up to 120 ips. The cameras of the market, they are of GoPro brand or simply integrated, like at Yuneec, DJI or Parrot, always propose a menu as well as many options to select your frame rate . This is even improving with the arrival of integrated cameras more and more intelligent!

To obtain this impression of fluidity in the movements, it is necessary to lower the shutter speed as much as possible, but not too much either, at the risk of blur appearing.

On the contrary, a shutter speed that is too high creates an impression of an unpleasant stroboscopic effect. The difficulty here is to find the right compromise, knowing that in video mode, the camera generally does not allow to select a speed rather than another. It is she who decides the rate according to the brightness that floods or not the sensor and sensitivity available. The more the camera has a quality sensor, the better the result will be. The available light depending on the frame rate will determine the required shutter speed. In order to achieve better video quality, the camera will try to keep the ISOs as low as possible and adjust the shutter speed accordingly. By decreasing the brightness thanks to an ND filter (neutral gray for example), the shutter speed will be slowed down as much as possible to maintain the best possible exposure before passing the hand to the ISO. This is why the filter has become an essential accessory for filming with a drone.Learn more about ND Filters for multirotors!

After and before using a filter

To get the best result with your quadcopter, do not go below 50 fps because the higher the frame rate, the smoother the video – the time between each image capture being less important – and the better the rendering.

Moreover, a high rate limits the recording of the distortions induced by the vibrations and / or the movement of the drone.

Increasing the frame rate is not always enough to suppress the effects of vibration, jello and jerkiness, especially in bright weather. The parry is then to add a neutral gray filter that forces the camera to lower the shutter speed to the maximum before possibly increasing the ISO.Note that the filters are unavoidable accessories in the shooting with a drone.

While viewing your first rushes and after their analysis, you may realize that the camera could have been better in some circumstances, but it did not manage the problems of exposure or white balance. is where you will intervene by choosing the right exposure settings to get the most out of your camera. If you are new to it, do not worry, the integrated cameras know how to do their job in automated mode. Thus, you will be able to film without complicating the life before passing, when you will be more seasoned, to the manual settings and to the numerous parameters of exposure. Hoping to have helped you in the understanding of these some basic notions to improve your videos in flight !

Sources: – – Filming and photographing with a drone – Eric de Keyser – Gopro

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