Build complex toys and simple tools
by Tony Karp
Let's talk about the Mavic Pro's camera
 - This is one of those sunsets I was talking about. Here, we're above the trees, but still lower than the mountain. - Tony Karp, design, art, photography, techno-impressionist, techno-impressionism, aerial photography , drone , drones , dji , mavic pro , video , 3D printing - Books -
This is one of those sunsets I was talking about. Here, we're above the trees, but still lower than the mountain.
The Mavic Pro is a flying camera, but what good is it if the camera isn't useable? So the very first thing I'm going to talk about is the Mavic's camera.

 - Here's a close-up of the Mavic's camera and the gimbal that supports it. - Tony Karp, design, art, photography, techno-impressionist, techno-impressionism, aerial photography , drone , drones , dji , mavic pro , video , 3D printing - Books -
Here's a close-up of the Mavic's camera and the gimbal that supports it.

Let's start with the basics. The Mavic's camera is very similar to the camera on most modern smartphones. It has a small sensor, no zoom, no f/stops, and no shutter. So if you've used your phone's camera, you pretty much know what to expect. I have an LG G4 phone and its camera is quite similar to the Mavic's. I'm a happy camper.

The Mavic's camera shoots both stills and video. The stills are 12 megapixel with a 4:3 aspect ratio, but you can change this ratio (don't!). The video is pretty impressive. The Mavic can shoot full 4K video, with settings up to 4092 x 2160 pixels. This is slightly wider than the normal 16:9 ratio used in most online videos, but it can be cropped during editing. The highest settings produce the highest quality images, but the files can become huge. Fortunately, disk storage is cheap. (Keep repeating this every time you think about doing something that would take less disk space but yield lower quality.)

 - Where Black Branch meets Bull Run. Shot with the Mavic's camera in still mode. Note the 4:3 aspect ratio. - Tony Karp, design, art, photography, techno-impressionist, techno-impressionism, aerial photography , drone , drones , dji , mavic pro , video , 3D printing - Books -
Where Black Branch meets Bull Run. Shot with the Mavic's camera in still mode. Note the 4:3 aspect ratio.

Although some of the newer DJI drones have fancier cameras, the Mavic has a few tricks up its sleeve. The most interesting one is that Mavic's camera is the first drone camera that will shoot in both landscape and portrait mode. The camera actually rotates when you change this setting. You can do this remotely while you're flying.

The portrait mode adds new options when shooting stills and it's also important when shooting panoramas.
 - This is what it looks like when the Mavic's camera is set to portrait mode. This mode is also important when shooting panoramas. - Tony Karp, design, art, photography, techno-impressionist, techno-impressionism, aerial photography , drone , drones , dji , mavic pro , video , 3D printing - Books -
This is what it looks like when the Mavic's camera is set to portrait mode. This mode is also important when shooting panoramas.

The complex mechanism that attaches the camera to the drone is called a gimbal. Its job is to hold the camera steady while the Mavic bounces around. It works surprisingly well.

Think of the camera and how to aim it using pan and tilt, the same as you would if the camera were on a tripod. But on a drone, panning and tilting are very different things. You use the gimbal to tilt the camera up and down, while the drone is stationary. Panning is done by moving the drone, while the gimbal is steady.

This is just the beginning. With a drone-mounted camera, you can duplicate all those fancy camera moves you see in the movies. And this is where it becomes interesting. You can dolly, track, flyby, orbit, etc. By combining the gimbal moves with the drone moves, you can do some very interesting things.

But wait, there's more. The Mavic is a programmable camera platform. You can buy third-party software to program all sorts of fancy moves. I like the idea of this programmability and predictability as it makes planning and production easier.

A brief search of YouTube will yield lots of videos that show what sort of cinematography you can produce with a drone. And a few things you should avoid doing as well.

 - You can also take a frame from a video and use it as a still. The quality is very good. - Tony Karp, design, art, photography, techno-impressionist, techno-impressionism, aerial photography , drone , drones , dji , mavic pro , video , 3D printing - Books -
You can also take a frame from a video and use it as a still. The quality is very good.

This should give you a brief idea of the Mavic's photographic possibilities. In future posts, I'll be drilling down in greater detail.
< Previous Aug 28, 2017 Next >
Copyright 1958-2017 Tony & Marilyn Karp
Web Site Design
Systems Design
The Future
About
About Tony Karp
Recent Entries
Will the FAA stop regulating hobby drones?
Here's a panorama from my Mavic, and two more
A quadcopter is a totally new kind of aircraft
Taking to the air -- First flights
Let's talk about the Mavic Pro's camera
A different viewpoint
The value of time in the creative process
Variations on a skink
Andy shoots raw. Ann always shoots JPEG
A butterfly in Havana -- From start to finish
Recovering highlight detail in JPEG images
A tribute to Paris on November 14, 2015
Some black and white pictures from long ago
Panasonic DMC-ZS40 pictures - Part 2
Panasonic DMC-ZS40 pictures - Part 1
Art in the 3rd Dimension -- A butterfly takes wing
Shooting for NBC
What's new at the zoo?
On being a photojournalist
Some pictures of Manassas
Finishing a picture
Watching the sunset in Adams Morgan
A night at the circus - 1966
Fortune Qwerkies (tm) -- Fortune cookies for the smartphone user
Art in the 3rd Dimension -- The evolution from flat to solid
Art in the 3rd Dimension -- Showing how the pieces fit together
Getting a grip on the Panasonic DMC-LF1
Some random thoughts about the Panasonic DMC-LF1
The Panasonic DMC-LF1 is a game-changer
Art and the Zen of QR Codes -- Making QaRt
A new process for printing art in the 3rd dimension
Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!
Photographing the Perry Como Show
Hiking at Sky Meadows with my Panasonic DMC-ZS20
Working for the union
A new take on JPEG vs raw - Panasonic DMC-ZS20
Some pictures from my Panasonic DMC-ZS20 - Part 2
Some pictures from my Panasonic DMC-ZS20 - Part 1
My new go-everywhere camera - Panasonic DMC-ZS20
My brief life in the studio
Shooting Shakespeare - The Tempest - NBC, 1960
Impressionist bees
In the studio with Roz Kelly
At the Peppermint Lounge - 1962
An evening with Gene Kelly
A portrait of Donna Mitchell - Variations on a theme
The "Sky Dream Ultimate" plug-in from Wilkington-Smythe
There's a 3D object on this page and why you can't see it
Post-processing: Going from good to great
Winter pictures from my Panasonic DMC-FZ150
Using the Panasonic DMC-FZ150's "Photo Style" Menu
A valentine for the Artist's Muse
The Panasonic DMC-FZ150's controls
Some thoughts on the Panasonic DMC-FZ150 - Part 2
The Panasonic DMC-FZ150 - A cure for DSLR envy?
Some thoughts about my Panasonic DMC-FZ150 - Part 1
The Panasonic DMC-FZ150 -- Best camera ever?
Sunglasses - What can you add to a picture?
Hey, camera makers. If my smartphone can do this…
The Artmuse Variations - a look inside my new book
A tribute to George Washington on Veterans Day
A visit to the White House
The little farmhouse, the tractor, and the interesting tree
Buckminster, the baby buckeye butterfly
Memories of September 11
Happy Corporation Day!
A trip to Monterey and San Francisco
The first battle of the American Civil War -- 150 years ago
The end of an era -- The last American manned mission
Growing an Italian stone pine tree
Random thoughts on art and other stuff - From my new book
Playing with a classic - Sony DSC-R1 - Part 3, Warrenton
Playing with a classic - Sony DSC-R1 - Part 2, In the house
Playing with a classic - Sony DSC-R1 - Part 1, Winter
Some recent pictures
Fixing a Panasonic DMC-FZ18/FZ28/FZ35 problem
Into the world of shadows
Snowbound!
A walk through Warrenton
Partly moony with my Panasonic DMC-FZ35
My new Panasonic DMC-FZ35 - Part 3 - Video
Some pictures from my Panasonic DMC-FZ35 - Part 2
Happy birthday to muse...
Pixels and parking lots -- The Panasonic FZ35
Some pictures from my Panasonic DMC-FZ35
My new Panasonic DMC-FZ35 - Part 2
My new Panasonic DMC-FZ35 - Part 1
On our way to Warrenton
Evolution of an Iris
A new feature in Adobe Camera Raw 5.4
A tribute to the Apollo 11 astronauts
The pole dancer - Variations on a theme
Restoring lost highlight detail in JPEG images
A short course in photography in ten easy lessons
Kodachrome memories
A walk in the woods on my birthday
Mythbusters - More raw vs JPEG myths
Restoring lost shadow detail in JPEG images
Action!!
Expose for the highlights, develop for the shadows
Something new -- Interchangeable cameras
Honey, I shrunk the newspaper - The "Nano" NY Times
Mistaking evolution for revolution
Some pictures from the artist's muse
Photography becomes art -- Daibutsu Buddha at Kamakura
Happy House-i-versary
25 random things about the artist's muse
It happened at the Met
Some pictures and some settings - Part 4 - DMC-FZ28
Some pictures and some settings - Part 3 - DMC-FZ28
Some pictures and some settings - Part 2 - DMC-FZ28
Some pictures and some settings - Panasonic DMC-FZ28
Noiseography -- A new photographic technique
Shooting infrared with the Panasonic DMC-FZ28
You're never too young
One month with the Panasonic DMC-FZ28
A trip to Berryville - Panasonic DMC-FZ28
It's the Hobbitt's birthday
On September 11th
Shooting Tri-X with the Panasonic DMC-FZ28
A shot in the dark - Panasonic DMC-FZ28
Sunset and the far-up lens -- Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Further musings on the Panasonic DMC-FZ28
Customizing your camera for high-ISO photography
Panasonic DMC-FZ28 vs DMC-FZ18 at high ISO
Some musings about the Panasonic DMC-FZ28
Hummers, SUVs, DSLRs, and my DMC-FZ28
Panasonic DMC-FZ28 -- At the Flying Circus
Panasonic DMC-FZ28 -- The journey begins
Farewell, my Panasonic DMC-FZ18
More about the settings for the DMC-FZ18
Dealing with the modes and settings of the DMC-FZ18
Photography becomes art - Bird on a wire
The artist's muse at sunset -- DMC-FZ18
Do you need fancy equipment?
Now here's my plan
Good cookie, bad cookie
But seriously, folks...
Post-processing Mr. Squirrel
A museum of one's own
We need new words to describe what's happening
Going over to the dark side
Shooting the moon
Happy Anniversary, Hobbitt
The view from my window - DMC-FZ18
My favorite museum
A toast to the artist's muse
The DMC-FZ18, a sunset, and a glass of beer
Remembering Herbert Keppler
Shooting abstracts with the Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Fixing a Panasonic DMC-FZ18 problem
More pictures from my Panasonic DMC-FZ18
The journey of a thousand Melvins
Stairway to the stars -- Extreme post processing
DMC-FZ18 - Raw vs JPEG - The JPEG Manifesto
Chromatic aberration and the DMC-FZ18
Raw vs JPEG, the DMC-FZ18, and a mystery
Some pictures from my Kodak P880 - Part 2
Some pictures from my Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Some pictures from my Kodak P880 - Part 1
DMC-FZ18 - Don't be afraid of the dark
Shooting in "Medium" - DMC-FZ18 - The right exposure
Shooting in "Medium" and the Panasonic DMC-FZ18
In-use review -- Panasonic DMC-FZ18 - Part 2
In-use review -- Panasonic DMC-FZ18 - Part 1
Photography becomes art - Fantasy at Ida Lee
Photography becomes art - The chefs at Little Washington
My new old camera - the Kodak Easyshare P880
Photography becomes art - Variations on a theme
Doing the impossible - Part 4 - The final result
Doing the impossible - Part 3 - The solutions
Doing the impossible - Part 2 - The challenges
Doing the impossible - Part 1 - The Godfather
All the (art) news that's fit to print
The museum becomes art - #1
Photography becomes art - Making an angel
How to test a camera
Hitting the wall
Extreme post-processing - Working with infrared
Blogging 2.0 - A new interface
A funny thing happened on my way to the blog
In the beginning...