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This is my personal travel, photography, cinematography and adventure related blog. Here I share my visual experiences coupled with interesting articles from my trips and photography outings

Flying DJI Mavic over long Easter weekend

I got myself a drone. DJI Mavic is my very first drone ever. Never owned one before and I have never even flown one. When it comes to drones, I am the total and complete rookie. To be quite honest, I am not that much into a flying drone itself. For me, it is another tool to get a footage from a different perspective. Mavic got my attention because of its portability. This is perfect for travelling. As with camera, the best drone is the one you have with you. I had Phantoms on my radar, but I already carry enough camera bulk. Having an extra drone case is out of the question. And this is where the Mavic fits in.

So far I did 6 batteries worth of flights. I know it is not much but I only got the drone recently. (it's been on preorder for 5 months). For the future, I want to take advantage of automatic modes as much as I can. On the other side, I still want to learn flying it well.

At the moment is still very hard for me to focus on flying as well as acquiring good and well-composed footage. Another area I am still discovering are optimal camera settings. I am trying out what will give me the best image quality possible while maintaining some flexibility for grading in post. For some reason, I have no Art picture profile available on my Mavic even though I am on the latest firmware. I heard it has something to do with DJI GO application on Android. As far as I know iOS user have it available. I have tried D-Log but I realised it is not a good picture profile to record at. 60 Mbits/s is not high enough bit rate to get a good result.

I shot the following footage in D-Cinelike picture profile. My picture style settings were: varying sharpness from -1 to +1, contrast and saturation set to -3. I still feel that I haven't found the ideal settings. Foliage still compresses into a mushy mud with no detail. I definitely have some more testing to do as I can see lots of better-looking footage on YouTube.

Anyway, here is a short footage I shot over the Easter holidays. I made some typical and embarrassing rookie mistakes. To name a few, forgetting to tap to focus, flying too fast or forgetting to record the footage. Yes, that's right. I forgot to hit the record button on many occasions. Silly me. I decided to post this video anyway. Down the track I can compare my future (hopefully better) footage with this and see what progress I have made. As you watch the video, you will clearly see the differences in sharpening setting or which has not been properly focused. Shots with too fast fly overs are also jumping out. Oh well, nobody is perfect aerial videographer out of the box, right?