Printing photos from P4P

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Hello all,

Is anyone printing photos that were taken from the P4P? I have a few jobs coming up taking aerial photos of houses, farms, business, etc. and the client wants the photo printed and framed. I personally have not printed a photo yet. I'm looking to print something close to a 16x20 or 11x14. Has anyone printed something of this size before? Just wondering if the photo looks good or if I should tell them a 8x10 would be better. Also if you have printed a photo, I am assuming your shooting in 3:2 aspect ratio? I've read that its the best resolution possible out of the camera.

Any help would be appreciated. And if I put this in the wrong spot, can you guide me where to post it at?

Thanks
 
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The spatial resolution and gamut of the camera on my P4A are great, and you will get high quality 8x10. I think you can also get acceptable 16x20, so if a client really wants that I would be inclined to offer it.

If you are uncertain whether the quality meets your standards, how about promising a 8x10 or whatever you are comfortable with, and then print up the size the client really wanted. If it looks good enough to you, you could just give it to them and ask for their opinion. They will be giving you market feedback, and will probably send more business your way.

Years ago, we took 35mm shots flying up and down the lakes, with the right side door off a Cessna 182. I liked a slow film which was ASA (ISO now) 25, and my partner in this liked 200 speed film. If the air was good, and the handheld technique was good, it would work with the Kodakchrome 25, and they would make acceptable but not super crisp 16x20 prints. My guess is that the DJI is more stable than the 182 was me flying slow over the lake, and I know the DJI camera on the P4A and P4P is pretty good.

To help assure success, I would suggest that you use a lower ISO setting, certainly below 400. Try to take the shot with the sun behind you. If you want plan your jobs, you can use a celestial calculator, and if you don't want to go through the trouble, look for a website called Photographer's Ephemeris. You can see where the sun will be during the day, and overlay it on a "satellite" map. While you are usually taking a shot to just show the house, the farm or the immense acreage owned, try taking a couple of shots which tell more of a story. Like the house at the end of the twisty country road. It's cheap to show them a proof shot, and it may get you some more finished pictures sold.

Back to the shooting. I like to set the camera manually, but especially if it is bumpy, use a faster shutter speed. Be certain your focus is dead on. If you are trying to defocus the house behind it or something like that, you will want to try some ND filters to shave a couple of f-stops off your exposure, but with the wide angle lens on the P4A you will not be able to control the depth of field as much as in a dSLR or some other camera with a longer lens. While I mention the ND filters, your best friend is lots of light, high color saturation (especially of that red barn) and a fast shutter speed (1/1000 or better).

Also, while your thing is prints, consider giving the customer a short clip, of what it might look like to arrive at their place (by air, by car by horse or whatever). It's a short clip, and you can give it as a gift. I have found that people have used these clips as lead-ins to websites or whatever. The guy who rents my land shows his nice new JD Combines harvesting beans on my place, complete with the trailer transfer happening while they are combining. Took me 20 minutes to take, on a whim, and I betcha he watches it at least once a month. It kind of wraps up all he did for one season and shows his crew working well.

Good luck, and have fun. It's a lot safer doing with a drone than a Cessna 182 with the side door off and the warm summer blast blowing papers in the plane.

ps: For some customers, it is the size of the final print, not the fine detail, which is what they are after. Some will want a very clear print. You will have to learn to recognize what the interests of the customer are. Or, like we did...we had someone's little sister sell the shots wearing her Daisy Dukes.
 
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The output is 20mp. At that resolution you can easily print 16x10 and larger. With software like Topaz Gigapixel AI you can easily get to 20 x30 on a single image.

I shoot most of the shots I want to print in 4 to 6 stitches. Using AEB 5 shot for each series.
Modern pano software can do great work on this type of shooting.

Paul C
 
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I wrote a response earlier to this question, and this augments that response.

From a simplistic quantitative analysis standpoint, one can look at the spatial resolution of a print, and of the image as captured by the sensor.

With a 16x20 print, it would be safe to assume that the printer is 300 pixels per inch, on a photographic paper. Many printing processes are higher resolution, and one can apply this crude analysis to different resolution printing processes. So at 300 pixels per inch, the 16x20 is:

16inch * 300 pixels/inch = 4800 pixels
20 inch * 300 pixels/inch = 6000 pixels

The approximate MP is 4800pixels * 6000 pixels = 28,800,000 pixel**2 or 28.8 MP

Let's look at the sensor:

DJI P4P 3:2 is spec'd at 5472x3648 pixels. That is below a 16x20. If it were me, I would just put a border (white?) around the print, and buffer in additional pixels to make the image. 6000 (full size) - 5472 (actual pixels in image) = 528 border pixels. 528 / 2 = 264 pixels per side.

Similarly 4800 (full size) - 3648 (actual image) = 1152 (total border)
1152 / 2 = 576 pixels per side.

In this 3:2 example, with a 300 dpi printer, the rendering of the original image would be:
5472 pixels / 300 pixels/inch = 18.24 inch
3648 pixels / 300 pixels/inch = 12.16 inch.

When one prints an image so that the image has to be scaled, there is an interpolation process to find the new value of a pixel, and this is (usually) an arithmetic average of the percentage of the pixels which effectively map to the rendered image. For example there could be 9 pixels which are mapped in some relationship to one pixel. This tends to change the perception of how "sharp" the image is.

So if I were considering marketing a print taken with a DJI drone with the 3:2 aspect, I would consider offering the print as a nominal 12x18 print, assuming it was printed on a 300 pixel per inch printer, or some integer multiple thereof.

From an aesthetic standpoint, I might consider a product with a 16:9 format, which on the DJI P4P is 5472 x 3078, which corresponds to a rendered image of about 10x18. Sure you are not using the full 16x20 sheet, but you get a more crisp rendering. If you have a customer who has an eye for detail (hint: myopic customers (nearsighted)) I would go with a crisp rendering, rather than the biggest piece of paper. Of the other hand, if your customer wants it to fit a certain space, or frame, without a mask, then you have to deliver what they want. I suppose if you are concerned about the waste of the border, you could print merge a strip of wallet sized photos on to your final printed image, and cut those off during your framing process, and give them away, or keep them for examples of your work.

So, in summary, generally, you want to have an integer alignment of imaged pixels to rendered pixels for maximal quality. In my earlier answer, I suggested that you try different sizes. Here I have laid out the quantitative work to fit the captured image to the rendered print to (easily) maximize quality.

Stated differently, avoid resampling images.

Perhaps this helps a bit.

Final note: All this assumes that you have a stable platform and good shutter speed to counter motion blur. You will need an ISO setting to minimize noise from the sensor, and you will need an aperture exploit the sweet spot in your lens (don't know what it is for the P4P, and I should because I have a P3A) but I would guess somewhere around 5.6 or 8 f-stop. Again, you would probably want the sun behind you.

Just one technical note: Higher color gamut can create the impression of greater spatial resolution. Part of this is physics and part of it is human visual system (HVS). Beyond discussion here, however it means that a higher resolution image can provide a deeper color experience for the observer. Similarly, a wider color gamut (think 14 bit dSLR image vs an early 8 bit point and shoot) can create the impression of a higher spatial resolution image. We focus on spatial resolution, but using our sensors in a region where we can exploit the greatest color gamut (or utilizing adaptive mechanisms for gamut extension) will create more unique viewing experiences.
 
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