First impressions (photography perspective)

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Just got my P4P (no screen) today and took it out for one test run and then a sunset shoot. I got this thing primarily for still photography and had been waiting for improvements in the sensor and optics before buying. The P4P ticked off all boxes on paper so bought it when announced.

As background, I do landscape photography in my town of Marblehead, Massachusetts and have been quite successful even though this is not my full time job. I shoot with a Canon 5D mk III and previously with the Canon 50D which I'll compare this sensor/optics to.

First, this thing is a blast! Lots of new compositional possibilities are now open which is huge.

Second, files hold up surprisingly well to work in Lightroom (shot in RAW) and Photoshop (Nik filters and some other edits).

Did a quick test of the front of my house with various apertures and will definitely be staying at 5.6 or less. f/11 was mushy from diffraction.

Oh and I used this with my iPad Air which handled it well. No bright sun to fight with the screen today and my hands were definitely sore after 15 minutes of flying so may look into an iPad mini when those get refreshed in March vs checking out the dedicated DJI remote with larger screen.

Noise is disappointing - easily seen without edits at 100% down to ISO 400. I would say up to ISO 800 is probably okay for sharing on web and print but wouldn't go higher than that without some aggressive noise correction in post.

Gimbal was a bit off. Need to try that IMU calibration everyone is talking about. I ended up compensating by making sure I composed with a bit of room to spare knowing I would crop a bit later to straighten the horizon.

Today was overcast at sunset so couldn't push dynamic range but got one shot earlier in front of house that seemed pretty good.

Images definitely hold their own when pushed a bit in post. Better than my Canon 50D files which had banding and just fell apart. Can't touch the 5D mk III but I wasn't expecting that.

Pretty sure my SD card is a fake (bought from BH photo). Had three corrupt images and one corrupt movie when pulled from SD card reader using adaptor and when pulled directly from drone via cable. It's a Sandisk Extreme 64GB which I'll open an RMA for tomorrow.

Overall, I'm pleased with the drone and it is shockingly easy to fly for a total newbie. The compositional opportunities are really exciting and I think if I stick to ISO 100-200 and apertures of 5.6 or less, it will do exactly what I had hoped.

Hope that helps...

E
Wednesdays in Marblehead - Photos of Marblehead





 
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Great review...I've been waiting for this - pics look great. I'm in a similar position to you - Landscape photographer, only really interested in stills and no concerns with flying the drone miles away from where I am! I started with the 50D and now shoot Sony A7R so can really relate to your experience. Any chance you would be willing to share some RAW files?
 
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Thanks for the info.

I have a P3P and thinking of upgrading for the better sensor. Also a Canon shooter - 5D3 & 7D2 currently, and hoping to get a 5D4.
 
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Great to see your review especially in light of the shooting you do. I've got a a pair of P3P's and do commercial landscape and environmental shooting. Probably going to get a P4P in the next week or so then a Mavic for the shooting in places where I don't want to have to carry the P4P. Please keep updating with your impressions as you get more flight time and experience with the new camera.
 
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Just got my P4P (no screen) today and took it out for one test run and then a sunset shoot. I got this thing primarily for still photography and had been waiting for improvements in the sensor and optics before buying. The P4P ticked off all boxes on paper so bought it when announced.

As background, I do landscape photography in my town of Marblehead, Massachusetts and have been quite successful even though this is not my full time job. I shoot with a Canon 5D mk III and previously with the Canon 50D which I'll compare this sensor/optics to.

First, this thing is a blast! Lots of new compositional possibilities are now open which is huge.

Second, files hold up surprisingly well to work in Lightroom (shot in RAW) and Photoshop (Nik filters and some other edits).

Did a quick test of the front of my house with various apertures and will definitely be staying at 5.6 or less. f/11 was mushy from diffraction.

Oh and I used this with my iPad Air which handled it well. No bright sun to fight with the screen today and my hands were definitely sore after 15 minutes of flying so may look into an iPad mini when those get refreshed in March vs checking out the dedicated DJI remote with larger screen.

Noise is disappointing - easily seen without edits at 100% down to ISO 400. I would say up to ISO 800 is probably okay for sharing on web and print but wouldn't go higher than that without some aggressive noise correction in post.

Gimbal was a bit off. Need to try that IMU calibration everyone is talking about. I ended up compensating by making sure I composed with a bit of room to spare knowing I would crop a bit later to straighten the horizon.

Today was overcast at sunset so couldn't push dynamic range but got one shot earlier in front of house that seemed pretty good.

Images definitely hold their own when pushed a bit in post. Better than my Canon 50D files which had banding and just fell apart. Can't touch the 5D mk III but I wasn't expecting that.

Pretty sure my SD card is a fake (bought from BH photo). Had three corrupt images and one corrupt movie when pulled from SD card reader using adaptor and when pulled directly from drone via cable. It's a Sandisk Extreme 64GB which I'll open an RMA for tomorrow.

Overall, I'm pleased with the drone and it is shockingly easy to fly for a total newbie. The compositional opportunities are really exciting and I think if I stick to ISO 100-200 and apertures of 5.6 or less, it will do exactly what I had hoped.

Hope that helps...

E
Wednesdays in Marblehead - Photos of Marblehead





Also a pro portrait photog for over 30 years now. Just picked up the 5D4. What a camera btw! But I think your stills from P4P look awesome here. So are you saying your seeing noise at 400 ISO?
 
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Thanks for your comments! As amateur photographer with a Canon 6D and P3A, this P4P is what I need to improve aerial photography. And because I like vídeo too, the ability of take photos while recording video is very useful.

Enviado desde mi Nexus 6P mediante Tapatalk
 
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Nice to hear from a photographer. I've got a Phantom 3 Pro that I have been using for sunrises/sunsets and so noise has been a real problem up to now. I was hopeful the P4P would help solve that problem. It isn't up to Nikon D800 standards, but sounds like an improvement over the P3P.
 
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Seems this is where the stills guys are all at.
I shoot a Nikon on the ground and have had to work to get good results with the P3 but just did two batteries of test flights with the new machine and it's really good.
In another league altogether.
It's going to be so good to have a real camera up there now.
You can see this unmolested test shot full screen at: Phantom 4 pro - Above & Beyond Photography
 
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I'll do some more controlled tests tomorrow and share ISO and aperture examples. Today may have been a bit unfair given the drab light.

Here's the one shot I was talking about with a bit of a dynamic range test. I was able to pull back on the highlights and upped the shadows a bit. View from above my house - 'you can see Boston from here' ;-) Camera did really well with this scene.

This is literally 5 minutes from batteries being charged up and at 400 feet. Still trying to figure out the 'rules' as far as going higher. Got my commercial registration but haven't looked into the test yet.

Different watermark/logo as I just dumped this on my lesser used photography site.

 
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Photography spokes-models (;)) Chelsea & Tony have a YouTube review where they recommended f/4. Pretty close to @eoren1's f/5.6. With the wide FOV (wide for a camera, not not a typical UAV camera) DOF won't be an issue. I also got this as a P3 upgrade mostly for the camera, but the other (UAV) features are pretty cool, as I have also started to do video with it and the intelligent modes are really helpful in setting up the video segments. Still have my Mavic on order for the portability of it - not hauling the P4P around when a hike is involved.

Q: has anyone seen or developed an Adobe lens profile for the P4P camera yet? I have the software to do that, but each time I have done it (P2 Vision and P3) they came out with an official one within weeks!

Thanks for posting - still waiting for better weather (e.g. less wind) to do any extensive testing with my P4P.
 
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Just got my P4P (no screen) today and took it out for one test run and then a sunset shoot. I got this thing primarily for still photography and had been waiting for improvements in the sensor and optics before buying. The P4P ticked off all boxes on paper so bought it when announced.

As background, I do landscape photography in my town of Marblehead, Massachusetts and have been quite successful even though this is not my full time job.
Wow :) After seeing those pics we will be stopping by next year as we travel the East coast for a month or 2 in the Spring. Looks like a nice little spot to add to the bucket list :) I bought mine just to add extra to the movies that I make as we travel around the US. I'm not a pro at all but it pays the phone bills, lol. Sony A6000 with a Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Compact Super Telephoto Zoom Lens for my standard pics and movies. After using Photosuite and Power Director for many years, my wife needed the full Adobe Premier system for her art work, so now after seeing your shots, I'm gunna hafta install it as long as it's paying for itself every month anyway on her art page and try some real editing :)
Whimsical Art & Happy Adult Coloring Books by KarenLukensArtist

 
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Great post, thanks for the feedback, not sure if you are aware but you can quickly correct the horizon by holding the C2 button and scrolling the camera wheel.
 
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Semi Pro here. I was a wedding photographer for 25 years and had enough of weddings. Had a P3p when they came out and was very surprised at the images. I took a night shot of a new car dealership with a 4 second exposure and I was truly astonished with the outcome. The dealer bought a 100" print which I was dubious of but it turned out proper good, even the dark areas had little noise.

I could not resist getting the P4p when I found out the camera specs but sadly its -25C here in Canada so will have to wait to try it all out. I envy you chaps that live in warm climates but the snow can look pretty on a sunny day :)
Toyota.jpg
 
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Semi Pro here. I was a wedding photographer for 25 years and had enough of weddings. Had a P3p when they came out and was very surprised at the images. I took a night shot of a new car dealership with a 4 second exposure and I was truly astonished with the outcome. The dealer bought a 100" print which I was dubious of but it turned out proper good, even the dark areas had little noise.

I could not resist getting the P4p when I found out the camera specs but sadly its -25C here in Canada so will have to wait to try it all out. I envy you chaps that live in warm climates but the snow can look pretty on a sunny day :)View attachment 70291
Looks pretty dang good to me for sure! What ISO and aperture did you use here?
 
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Semi Pro here. I was a wedding photographer for 25 years and had enough of weddings. Had a P3p when they came out and was very surprised at the images. I took a night shot of a new car dealership with a 4 second exposure and I was truly astonished with the outcome. The dealer bought a 100" print which I was dubious of but it turned out proper good, even the dark areas had little noise.

I could not resist getting the P4p when I found out the camera specs but sadly its -25C here in Canada so will have to wait to try it all out. I envy you chaps that live in warm climates but the snow can look pretty on a sunny day :)View attachment 70291
nice pic, i have flown 3x 10 min flights with mine including today at -21 with no issues just keep the battery warm before you fly.
 
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Nice to hear from a photographer. I've got a Phantom 3 Pro that I have been using for sunrises/sunsets and so noise has been a real problem up to now. I was hopeful the P4P would help solve that problem. It isn't up to Nikon D800 standards, but sounds like an improvement over the P3P.
I shoot with a D810 on the ground, and the p4p does impress me. Especially the dynamic range is vastly improved compared to p4 (and by extension I assume p3). One thing to make a note of, is that even if luminence-noise is not too bad on low iso, color-noise shows up already at base iso (100). You can ofcourse correct for this (mostly) in either lightroom or ps.
 
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I shoot with a D810 on the ground, and the p4p does impress me. Especially the dynamic range is vastly improved compared to p4 (and by extension I assume p3). One thing to make a note of, is that even if luminence-noise is not too bad on low iso, color-noise shows up already at base iso (100). You can ofcourse correct for this (mostly) in either lightroom or ps.
Good point Tomas. What I was seeing at 400 and up was definitely color noise.

Wonder if it is from the sensor getting warm? Though it is pretty far removed from the motors and battery...
 
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