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DJI P4 Pro and Focus/Camera settings

Hi There,

I am wondering if someone can help and/or offer a solution to the new camera on the P4 Pro? Currently everything is set to auto in Pix4d Capture but I have wasted 2 days work due to out of focus images. 

 

I now realise I have to set the camera to infinity in DJI GO which really isn’t practical at all. In DJI go its common practise to tap the screen to make sure the image remains in focus and we just can’t do that in Pix4D. 

 

A solution If possible would be to either let us assign a C1/C2 to auto focus? Or even a setting in the CTRL Companion add to enable access to camera settings? 

 

Can anyone shed any light on other ways around this issue?

Hi James,

We are sorry to hear about this experience.
It can happen that the auto-focus is unstable.

As you said, set the focus to infinite in DJI GO should solve this issue, even though it is not a straightforward workflow we agree.
Something that worked with Mavic Pro drones, it to assign C1 button to focus, fly the drone manually to the altitude where the flight is supposed to take place, press C1 before starting the mission with Pix4Dcapture.

Rest assured our developers are continuously improving the stability of this feature.

Regards,

Hi James,

Actually our testers would like to further look into it.
Could you please share with us the images of the flight on our Dropbox:
https://www.dropbox.com/request/a0Axe5Wtg7R1EU57oNuG

Thank you.

Regards,

On the subject of focus to infinity, I have an issue about the camera calibration parameters in the P4 that change each time the lens refocuses, which I assume happens with each picture taken. So that affects the measurements of elevations and hence any volume calculation I try to make after. Obviating the need of using GCPs, is there a way to fix the focus of the Phantom 4 to infinity, since we are flying at altitudes >50 m anyways and that way keeping the calibration parameters consistent? Does this make sense at all? Thanks.

Hi Hugo,

Normally the focus is fixed and automatically set by Pix4Dcapture when flying a Phantom 4.
Could you try to set the focus to Infinite and Manual in the DJI GO app before using our app to see if this could help?

Regards,

Hello

i have the same problem with my dji phantom 4. Got it 1 week ago and it has the latest firmware and software (DJI GO app and pix4dcapture)

whenever i set the kamera in manual with say: Shutter - 1200, Aperture 5 and ISO100 and then start the pix4dcapture the settings Stay until the Camera ready checklist is green. Then switch back to the GO app and it is reset to AUTO with say 1/100 shutter. 

This causes problems like blurry and overexposed pics. its impossible to see and correctly place GCPs in the pictures. Camera is pointed 90 degree down (nadir) for mapping. Good 3D mapping models rely on good quality sharp pictures. The pics are not usable even in safemode, where the drone stops and hover while pictures are taken. This also makes the mapping take double the time.

Having real problems with this

 

regards TF

 

Hi,

When flying with Pix4Dcapture, it is recommended to apply the default settings that are automatically set by the app.
For more information: https://support.pix4d.com/hc/en-us/articles/203204339

We also to check at the beginning of the flight if the images are captured correctly by switching from the Map view to the Camera view so that you see the video feed of the camera while the drone is flying. If something looks wrong you can interrupt the mission.

Regards,

Hi Pix4d.   I’ve had some success with Mavic Pro and some failures.   I want to upgrade to the phantom 4 pro and get started with some big sensor flying.   Will ask a few questions so they don’t get tangled in your reply !

Thank you in advance for your reply !!

  1.  re your link above on DJI default settings.  Does pix4d stop down / close the aperture on flights ? (mavic user here w fixed aperture )

  2. re Mavic issues w focus,  will y’all not being able to get Pix4d to focus a phantom 4 pro continue as long as DJI doesnt release better developer software OR might you be able to automate focus sometime in the near future w phantom 4 pro regardless of what DJI does or doesnt do ? 

  3. Can you have a once and for all full step by step on what to do ?  i.e. some users actually force quit dji go app, others dont. some set focus to infinity some focus far away…

  4.  w a mavic flight i was able to start one mission on a roof (wanted roof in focus) but then my flight was not wide enough for coverage, conversely when i flew the full coverage of the mission, the focus on the ground made the roof out of focus…

  5.  separately can you long windedly comment on focus issues going forward / near future of next couple of weeks and possibilities of resolving them on your end (( with full understanding it is complicated when DJI doesnt help much on their end))

thank you much !!    


and just say differently. 

this guy does not want any sharpening. but to be able to have a fully focused image, he HAS to add it.  then removes the sharpening in post. 

because again,  noise reduction turns on automatically for video and jpgs and softens parts of the image. WHEN 0 sharpening is selected.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEQvOAsY6ks

Question is, if i had at least a “1” selected for jpg sharpening in DJI go app 4. would Pix4d mapper keep that setting ? i am on iOS iPhone. 


I have found one issue with mavic pro. Im curious if one can adjust these setting manually in DJI go 4 before switching over. 

This is an across the board issue for people who take pictures and video w Mavic Pro, and has nothing to do w pix4d, 

but may have much to do w phantoms.  Not sure.  

FOCUS.  things may actually be in focus on mavic pro.   a raw file will be absolutely, but strangely with a selection of NO sharpening a jpg will have a few all the way to Many blurry parts.   According to the internet, the selection of no sharpening on jpgs turns on some weird noise reduction function which causes jpgs and video to be soft in places.  This has definitely affected pix4d models. 

Question is, if i had at least a “1” selected for jpg sharpening in DJI go app 4. would Pix4d mapper keep that setting ? i am on iOS iPhone. 

(and of course everyone is looking for the questions above in various posts)

cheers !

md


happy to send you a few examples.  if pix4d has no problem keeping sharpening settings from dji go, then disregard. 

if it does, then please note this as important and real problem !  thank you !  excited to see if i should grab a phantom 4 pro or not !!


EDIT from Pix4D Support : To keep the topic readable, we have merged your 4 answers into this one. Thank you for your understanding.

No worries, at the bottom of your comment there is a little gear, which enables the editing of the comment. In the comment we have edited, this looks like that: 

Let us know if something is not clear. 

thanks for the reply.  looking for answers to the 5 questions above.  didn’t realize you only edited the questions but didn’t answer them.  I thought there was a link to the answers !!

have any answers to the 5 questions above ? 

 

Hi Michael,

Here is the latest communication about focus issue.

For all missions, the focus is constant during the flight and defined according the following rules by Pix4Dcapture. There is no need for user intervention. For most of the drones, the focus is automatically set to infinite before starting to shoot on Android and iOS.

However, P4P, MP, and I2 are special cases. On iOS if you are using the latest version (1.7.2), a default predefined focus is applied so that the captured images are as if they were focused on infinity. Actually it is not possible to set the focus to infinity because of some DJI SDK limitations, which is why the two workarounds above were implemented since they give better results. At the moment the SDK of these drones does not allow the flexibility we would like to have, but our developers are continuously improving the way the focus is set.

Blurry images not only happen because of out of focus. The exposure time can also create blur. Since the exposure is supposed to be constant over the flight (automatic DJI settings), changing light conditions can negatively impact the quality of the images. If the light conditions are constant, the exposure time can, in some cases, vary when the automatic adjustment is not correctly handled by the camera. We would then suggest to set the exposure time in DJI GO to minimum 1/200 sec. so that Pix4Dcapture applies this fixed value while the drone is shooting.

As another option to improve the focus, you can try the following: Open DJI GO, set Manual Focus then move the slider in DJI GO to set the focus to Infinity. Force quit DJI GO, it should still not be running in the background so that our app can connect to the drone. Open Pix4Dcapture, start the mission as per normal.

Note that the Mavic Pro camera is a bit trickier than the Phantom 4 Pro’s in terms of focus and the two drones also have very different specs. Our developers are keeping a close eye on these issues and are continuously improving the focus procedure.

As for aperture, we apply the automatic DJI settings. This is not fixed over a flight as it vary with the light conditions. However, this is not main option impacting the sharpness of images. It is very interesting that you mention this Sharpening option in DJI GO 4 as we have little feedback about this. Did you have the chance to make some tests? It seems however, to only affect some parts of the images so when the images is blurry it should not be the reason.

Do you have any references about the sharpening impact on model reconstruction, especially with Pix4D?

Hi folks,  

a few comments on reply.

  1. setting Mavic to infinity actually makes everything out of focus. nothing in focus. thats in dji go app. and i imagine follows to pix4d. One must set focus to something more than say 15feet away or greater, and all should be in focus.  but not using manual slider to infinity.  that doesnt work. 

1a.  I am super clear on blurry for focus vs blurry for shutter speed. too many years as a photographer…

but my next question if you can please answer will help so much. 

  1. P4P actually gets soft images after 5.6 aperture.  (i.e. photography principle of blades being too thick)

I may be using a P4P  (buying or renting) tomorrow.   on a job.  

can you tell me if i do NOT set anything in the DJI GO APP w a phantom 4 pro, 

what would be the settings on a sunny day ?      would the camera aperture go all the way up to F11 ? 

or would the shutter speed get nice and fast ? 

are y’all aware of the loss of sharpness in the P4P after F 5.6 ? 

I would be SO grateful for your replay asap !

please !!!

Thank you for the feedback and sorry for the late reply.

Apart from the default settings applied by the app (more info), we take into account the automatic DJI settings for the aperture. This is not fixed over a flight as it vary with the light conditions. However, this is not the main option impacting the sharpness of images. Same applies to the exposure time, automatically set by DJI and varying during the flight. This one has more impact on blur that can appear in some cases.

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Hi

This is what I found out about the Phantom 4 Pro:

Start the mission in pix4d capture -> open DJI GO app, and adjust the settings as you want -> force quit DJI GO app before pix4d starts taking pictures.

This worked out for me.

Attn Pix4 folks: I’ve been a long time user and am left extremely disappointed in your inability to fix this issue. I spent several hours today flying with the double grip trying fast /safe mode, 5 different altitudes, setting focus to info it’s etc. all under bright daylight. Viewing the live feed shows fuzzy focus.

Same scene flown manually with NO focus issues at all. Level roadway no elevation change etc.

This threads been going since the beginning of 2017. I think it’s time the developers get to it and fix this.

Hi Brad,

Please use the request form to contact the support team so we can investigate further.
You can attach a .zip file with a subset of images having the problem and the app log files (how to extract).

Its very clear whats happening during the process as a mission starts.  The drone turns around and repositions itself at the start point. During the phase it applies a one time focus normally when the drone is facing away from the subject that then puts everything out of focus when it starts. 

I really don’t understand why its so difficult to change the coding in the app to remove the command to autofocus during this phase & make the autofocus happen at the last stage before the mission begins?  Basically it goes through exactly the same process as it does now but after it does it thing & has positioned itself on the first point it applies autofocus and then off it goes.  You could even add a second mission start button allowing us the check that everything is in order before commencing the mission.  That would save a lot of wasted time with messing about with force quitting apps, landing etc.

I’m on the trail version at the moment and was pretty impressed by my first attempt at modelling a castle but since then I’ve had about 8 failed attempts with blurry images.  I’ve tried all the work arounds mentioned but it always overrides anything I’ve done prior to opening the pix4d app and applies that autofocus on some random point facing away from my subject.

Pretty crazy that you sell this as a working product (for a lot of cash I might add) yet it seems to me that its still in beta phase with problems you can’t or won’t solve.  I was looking at using the modelling application in my business but I won’t be subscribing until this issue is resolved. I will most likely look at using another program and hopefully have a bit more luck with that.

Admin edit: I have edited some words of your message. Please remain polite on this community. Thanks.

Hey Scott - Have you tried using different data capture apps? Altizure has worked well for me in dealing with the autofocus issue. 

It’s pretty clear that Pix4D’s data capture app is not one of their priorities, but their processing engine is pretty solid. 

After reading all these comments, I am not sure on the suggested workflow for using the x4s camera. Can Pix4d confirm the best practices when using the M200 with x4s camera. Thanks.

 

Hi Scot, 

We expect that using the default settings which are automatically applied for all missions will provide good results with the x4s camera.

In case that you notice blurry images, we recommend flying slower by adjusting the speed in the map view of the app (Android, iOS). Depending on the operating system you use also other settings can be adjusted in case you, for example, notice issues with white balance correction or under/overexposed image. More here: (Android and iOS) Camera settings in Pix4Dcapture.

Best,