Will Tap Focus Make the P4P a Bad Purchase For Me?

rmb

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I have not yet flown my P4P and am anxious to do so. (the weather has been crappy here)
That said I now have a very large concern about the “Tap Focus” feature. As an aerial cinematographer I very much understand and look forward to using selective focus to get shallow depth of field, but is there a way around it when the director calls for it? Here is a video clip where I pulled a handful of shots from my current reel that I don’t know how I would accomplish as a single operator trying to fly, select and maintain focus. In these clips the focal point is continually changing, getting closer or farther away. Not to mention my concern about being able to fly, maintain focus and truly know if I were focused properly. I suppose choosing a very small f-stop would help, but I don’t know if it would be enough in some of these more extreme cases.

Sure would appreciate input.

thx, r


 
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Robert,
Nice footage, but you may be worrying too much. The P4P has an 8.8 mm focal length lens, and it is not likely to give you shallow depth of field. Depending upon how the footage will be used (and hence what circle of confusion to use) even wide open at f/2.8 the hyper focal distance for that lens is around 4.4 feet.
But, for the type of footage you show have you considered the Inspire line? The X5S camera allows interchangeable lenses and apertures as wide as f/1.7 and a longer lens will give you a shallower depth of field. Then, you can add a second controller and a DJI focus device. You will use someone to fly the craft while you choose the shots and adjust focus on a dial. The cinematographer (you) might be able to use an FPV display to choose the shots. Yes, you will need a second crew member, but your shots seem ready to go to that level, and you can raise your price because your output will be high quality.
The Inspire gimbal gives you the advantage of being able to yaw the camera independent of the flight path. So, for example, the shot of the couple could be captured by the cinematographer even if the Inspire was pointing 90º off the shot. You also get a benefit that the props move up out of the way of the camera, allowing more vertical camera pitch. The Phantom gimbal only supplies pitch and roll, and must yaw the UAV to get side shots.
 
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I was worried too, as the mavic was good but not perfect. When I got my p4p I was constantly tapping to focus until someone told me to just tap to focus at infinity and leave it alone. Now, I focus at infinity and I don't touch it the rest of the flight. Works great. Here is a small video I put together for testing purposes. Keep in mind this was before i changed my profile settings so it wasn't the best quality during this video. Was mainly for infinity focus testing.

 
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I was worried too, as the mavic was good but not perfect. When I got my p4p I was constantly tapping to focus until someone told me to just tap to focus at infinity and leave it alone. Now, I focus at infinity and I don't touch it the rest of the flight. Works great. Here is a small video I put together for testing purposes. Keep in mind this was before i changed my profile settings so it wasn't the best quality during this video. Was mainly for infinity focus testing.

Focus looks good throughout your video!
Did you have everything else set to auto?
What part of Texas are you in?
I'm south of Houston.
Safe flying in all those trees!
 
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Focus looks good throughout your video!
Did you have everything else set to auto?
What part of Texas are you in?
I'm south of Houston.
Safe flying in all those trees!
I had everything set to auto, as next time I will manually adjust the camera. Thanks.

I'm up here by Dallas.
 
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I had everything set to auto, as next time I will manually adjust the camera. Thanks.

I'm up here by Dallas.
Cool, sounds good!
Too cold for me to fly this weekend, plus the winds are pretty brisk down my way!
I'm still learning all the info/settings on this new quad! Not new to quad flying but new to DJI platform.
Safe flying!
 
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I was worried too, as the mavic was good but not perfect. When I got my p4p I was constantly tapping to focus until someone told me to just tap to focus at infinity and leave it alone. Now, I focus at infinity and I don't touch it the rest of the flight. Works great. Here is a small video I put together for testing purposes. Keep in mind this was before i changed my profile settings so it wasn't the best quality during this video. Was mainly for infinity focus testing.

When you say focused at infinity, how do you know you're there? I don't see any indicators in the app but maybe I'm missing something. I think out of focus is likely to be difficult to do with this focal length lens anyway, at least if you are a few feet away.
 
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When you say focused at infinity, how do you know you're there? I don't see any indicators in the app but maybe I'm missing something. I think out of focus is likely to be difficult to do with this focal length lens anyway, at least if you are a few feet away.
Fly up in the air, and focus on the farthest thing you can. I just climb above the trees, as soon as I take off, and tap to focus on the horizon. Then I don't touch it again.
 
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I was worried too, as the mavic was good but not perfect. When I got my p4p I was constantly tapping to focus until someone told me to just tap to focus at infinity and leave it alone. Now, I focus at infinity and I don't touch it the rest of the flight. Works great. Here is a small video I put together for testing purposes. Keep in mind this was before i changed my profile settings so it wasn't the best quality during this video. Was mainly for infinity focus testing.


"until someone told me to just tap to focus at infinity and leave it alone."

can you elaborate on this? do you mean you go to manual focus and take the slider to infinity? thank you.
 
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"until someone told me to just tap to focus at infinity and leave it alone."

can you elaborate on this? do you mean you go to manual focus and take the slider to infinity? thank you.
I guess you could do that, but I didnt. I flew above the trees, then tapped the horizon as far away as I could see. I made it focus on that, then didn't focus again throughout the flight.
 

rmb

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Robert,
for the type of footage you show have you considered the Inspire line?
Thank you Barking Dear for your very helpful and thoughtful response. I do own an inpire 1 with 2 controllers and love it. And you're right about everything you said about it. Unfortunately she is only carrying the x3 camera that it came with and I have heard mixed response on adding the x5 on later. I'd like to sell it, but they don't have much value anymore. I guess that's stupid since everyday that goes buy it is worth less. Also (and perhaps you don't know). I already have the second controller, 2 iPads and 8 batteries. Would all that be Compatible with a new Inspire 1 pre-riged. Also I am also thinking too much about rigging my current bird vs buying a new one pre-configured?
 

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