Surprised by video settings

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So I just got my Phantom 4 and started experimenting with video settings to see what worked best. I started by watching a ton of user videos and hearing what settings different people preferred. Not surprisingly, dlog was recommended often. However, I came across a couple of people, Philip Bloom being one, that didn't recommend dlog. Another guy actually recommended "art". They claimed that dlog made the image mushy.

Well I shot several clips using different settings. I used dlog, dlogcine (or whatever it's called), the standard profile, and art. For each of these color profiles, I shot different clips changing the contrast and sharpness settings each time.

Interestingly, it seems that dlog does kind of mush the image a bit compared to the other profiles. I actually really liked the art profile. The other thing that surprised me was the sharpness setting. Typically, I will always turn sharpness down in cameras and apply sharpness in post with unsharp mask. That usually gives the best results. However, the phantom 4 camera seems to be different. I could not bring back as much detail when sharpness was at -1, or -2 compared to when sharpness was at 0. The o sharpness setting looked better than -1/-2 with post sharpening.

Would be interested to hear some other opinions on this.

Here are some screen grabs from when I was using the art profile and changing the sharpness settings. The "w/unsharp means that I applied 125 unsharp mask to the images. So the -1 and -2 have sharpness applied. You can download the separate still grabs here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/m8rfigk2wrvwwtv/AAA4OMsyecYRnn1tivn6Viwka?dl=1
P4 Sharpness.jpg
 
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Here is a comparison between DLOG and ART. Settings were 0 across the board on both.
Dlog vs Art.jpg
 
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I think a lot depends on how much post work you want to do.
I am not talking about color grading here, but the actual detail available in the image. This isn't something that can be fixed in post. I do quite a bit of color correction/grading in my work. There is detail present when using 0 sharpening in camera that isn't there when using -1 or lower. Unsharp mask is the best sharpening tool on the adobe platform and no matter what, I can't get the two images to match. It's particularly noticeable when zoomed at 400%. There is detail clearly missing. You can't sharpen what isn't there. It's kind of odd.

There is also a clear difference between DLOG and other profiles. There is definitely missing detail compared to other profiles even when sharpness is at 0.
 
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If you look at the area on the brick building where the downspout is, with the garden hose hanging, there is much more detail and inherent sharpness in the non-dlog.

Thanks
 
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If you look at the area on the brick building where the downspout is, with the garden hose hanging, there is much more detail and inherent sharpness in the non-dlog.

Thanks
Exactly. Hell, just look at the tree. It looks like someone put a pastel art filter on it or something. It's absolute mush. Turning down sharpness also seems to eliminate detail, as opposed to just softening it. As far as I can tell anyways. I am thinking that if you want a flat picture style, then "ART" with contrast turned down may be the best bet. So something like 0,-2,-1 with ART. I just got my polarpro cinema series ND/PL filters and will be taking my P4 back out this afternoon. I am going to test a couple of things and see what it looks like.
 
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The same can be said for Stills shooting Raw in your DSLR or Drone. Dlog and Raw will require significantly more post processing than a format that does the processing in the camera. and image directly from the is flat and un sharp. The Flexibility is there because there is no one format for all shooting environments. There are tons of solid tutorials related to post processing of all types of video output. Many either use Davinci Resolve or an Adobe product such as Speedgrade, After effects or Premier. If a person does not have the need or desire to learn the ins and outs of Video post processing than one of the other formats would be a better choice. I believe Phil Bloom remarked that Dlog was not robust given the phantom 4 Bitrate however I do not have his review in front of me. Almost all of the serious photographers question whether the Phantom has a significant bitrate sufficient to support 4K. I tend to agree. I exclusively shoot 2.7K D-Log and do the majority of my grading using an appropriate LUT and additional grading in Premier. If I am down rezing to 1080 I will use Resolve since I like the nodes. Dlog is wonderful for getting shadow detail. Casey Feris has a lot of great Drone Grading Videos. If your style is a vibrant video with the Blacks and Whites effectively crushed than Dlog would be a waste of time. I enjoy having complete control. I shoot he majotity of my stills using the AEB function in Litchi (-/+2stops) DJI go only allows up to .7 stops. Also if you want to shoot AEB on litchi use the shutter button on your device, the RC shutter only does singe shot.
 
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Thanks, but I don't think people are reading my post. I am not trying to discuss color grading. I fully understand RAW workflow and use DaVinci Resolve frequently. What I am talking about is resolution and detail. The only thing I am doing to the images above is adding sharpening, nothing else.

As you said, the bitrate for this camera is not enough for log 4K footage to begin with. This can produce nasty compression artifacts. However, what I am seeing in my footage isn't necessarily compression artifacts, its just not resolving the detail at all. Just look at the tree in the above ART vs DLOG comparison. DLOG looks like it was painted on by a kid. It looks a lot like video with too much noise reduction applied.

The same goes for lowering the sharpness. Normally you would want to avoid in camera sharpening and apply it in post so that you have more control. The problem here is that the lower sharpening settings seem to have the same problem as DLOG. It loses a lot of detail, like someone put heavy noise reduction on the video. Adding sharpening in post doesn't help at all because the detail is smudged. It's weird. So this camera, unlike many other cameras, produces better images with it's in camera sharpening put to 0. In my opinion that is. :)
 
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Interesting thread. Please share more of your test footage. I noticed the same thing. More than that, in D log, i noticed that sometimes i have a rather correct shot, then the next shot 1 min later with same settings would be all blury, lacking details... For tje exact same landscape. I could not believe my eyes having the 2 shots next to one another. One is correct, the other is blurred. Shot in the exact same conditions 1 min later.
I will try with ART profile this week, as i only shot in dlog till now and i started to see that something was wrong with the dlog profile. ( i too am used to Davinci, i shoot a lot with blackmagic cameras and work a lot on LOG footage)
 
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After mucking about with most - if not all - of the P4's still-image mode settings, I have found that the best still images my P4 can produce - with the highest resolution and detail - are achieved by taking short clips in 4K video mode and then doing a frame capture in Post. I had read that suggestion here awhile back in another thread where the P4's camera was being critiqued, and after trying this and comparing, I have found it to be the best advice yet.

It does bring up an interesting question though. If the P4 camera is capable of capturing the level of detail that it does in 4K video mode, where does this capability go when you toggle the switch over to stills?
 
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Testing differents profiles... I find the DLOG better for color manipulation in post, tho it get more red tint (IR pollution) in shadows than other profiles. But the level of details has a blurry problem. Trees are just not right. Too blurry.
 

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Can someone educate this noob photog / videographer on what these profiles are?? I like to think i'm an excellent pilot but I need to beef up on the video / photography skills
 
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They are the way the video is encoded into H264 8 bit. Each profile contains differents parameters (colour, constrat, sharpness, curves, etc) that will be encoded in the final video. It's like a post-processing that is done inside the drone. The P4 applies these parameters on the "raw" video that comes out of the sensor, and gives you a final compressed video that is already post processed. They do that, because changing the image right out of the sensor is the best way to apply any modification, before the 8 bit compression.
I did a little video today to test out these profiles, i will post it.
 
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I am not talking about color grading here, but the actual detail available in the image.
You are totally right. I've seen many posts where they recommend D-LOG. The grass, the trees get totally mushed, no way to recover detail. At the end, I think the best is NONE. I know how to color correct, I know in DLOG you may get more range, but, the details are totally lost. I would like to understand why people use DLOG.
 
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This is a great thread and I totally agree. Most everything I read said DLog..DLog..DLog. I was never happy with it because of the lack of sharpness. I read Philip Blooms recommendation and man was he ever right. Shooting in ART or none now.
 
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This morning I did a comparison of D-Log, D-CineLike and None. I also checked 0,0,0 vs -1,-1,0.. I did these test in 2.7K 30fps. I also checked if there were any difference between Litchi and DJI Go. The main difference between how I performed this test and previous test was that I performed these tests non flying on a snack table on my driveway pointing at adjacent trees, buses and lawn. I emininated variations in lighting and influence of movement. Camera Parameters were ISO 100 SS 1/60 I also used a Polar pro Vivid ND8.

I did the tests @ -1 and 0 because I also found that -2 was destructive. However I did not find D-Log, when exposed properly to cause image damage. D-Log will provide more shadow detail, however if overexposed, this may cause a lack of detail and washouts.
 
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I haven't had much of a chance to go fly since the weather here has been crap the last couple of weeks. However, things are clearing up and I'll get back out to do some more tests. I think this is all a good reminder that it's best to do your own tests when working with a new camera and get familiar with all its quirks. There are tons of people on the internet giving horrible advice because they go with assumptions rather than spend the time to test their gear. Almost every place I have been online has suggested using D-Log, but every bit of footage I have shot in D-Log has been absolute mush. However, even if it didn't destroy detail the way it does, I probably wouldn't use it anyways. Going too flat on such compressed footage is generally a bad idea. You squish your video into the midrange values and then it just falls apart when you stretch it back out.

I think it's best to find a profile that is maybe slightly flatter then what you ultimately want it to be. I am going to try building a lut using an xrite chart and resolve. See if I can find a profile and lut combo to get the phantom footage to the most balanced neutral look I can.

I'll share my lut and results if it all works out. :)
 
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This morning I did a comparison of D-Log, D-CineLike and None. I also checked 0,0,0 vs -1,-1,0.. I did these test in 2.7K 30fps. I also checked if there were any difference between Litchi and DJI Go. The main difference between how I performed this test and previous test was that I performed these tests non flying on a snack table on my driveway pointing at adjacent trees, buses and lawn. I emininated variations in lighting and influence of movement. Camera Parameters were ISO 100 SS 1/60 I also used a Polar pro Vivid ND8.

I did the tests @ -1 and 0 because I also found that -2 was destructive. However I did not find D-Log, when exposed properly to cause image damage. D-Log will provide more shadow detail, however if overexposed, this may cause a lack of detail and washouts.

Interesting. When I did my test I shot short 20 second clips with the different profiles and sharpness settings. Exposure was dead center. The comparison stills above between ART and DLOG were 0,0,0 and shot maybe a couple of minutes apart from the same location in the sky. Obviously, there was a huge difference in detail between the two profiles.

That's interesting that you didn't see as big of a difference. However, I do remember someone saying earlier in this thread that when shooting DLOG their footage would go back and forth being sharp and mushy. Perhaps there is an inconsistency in how DLog is being processed? Sometimes it's on and sometimes it's off? It's all kind of weird. Regardless, at best it's inconsistent, which isn't good. Also, I think DLog strains the highly compressed footage too much. Something a little less flat is probably going to give better results. I think ART may be the best flat profile. Still going to do some testing though. So we'll see. :)
 

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