Earlier I did a review of the DJI Mavic Pro UAV. You can check it out here: DJI Mavic Pro VS DJI Inspire I
Since then I've noticed something odd with the footage. I've been pretty much confined to my house for the past week so I had plenty of time to go through various footage that I recorded, and compared the different settings. Short, I made a big mistake and here is how to fix it and why.
First let me say this, I think we are expecting way too much from the tiny camera sensors in these drones. They don't have anywhere near the acuity or dynamic range of your average DSLR or even Micro Four Thirds camera. Most people, like me are using the D-LOG setting in order to get as much latitude for editing as possible. Unfortunately the low bitrate etc. guarantees that you won't be able to push the footage very far without making a mess. I set my Mavic up along the lines of -1 sharpness, -1, contrast and -1 saturation. Almost everyone who uses a Mavic recommends this...
FIRST: The default setting out of the box...sucks. Don't use it if you care about absolute quality.
The above image was shot in D-LOG with the color profile at normal. As you can see it's pretty bad. It's flat enough BUT the sharpness adds so much artifacting.
This shot with the red circle on the trees (upper left) shows what happens when you use the typically recommended settings by post-processing pros... -1,-1,-1. I found out that if you set sharpness to ZERO (0) or below, foliage turns to mush and it's difficult if not impossible to bring back the detail in processing.
When I set sharpness to +1 all that detail came right back. Yes, there is a little noise but that's easier to deal with in editing than trying to bring back detail that was dumbed down by the Mavic's internal processing. The noise isn't so bad to my eyes...
If your really sensitive about it, get yourself a copy of the Neat Video plug-in. It will fix you right up and give you nice crispy video without sacrificing sharpness.
I tested out my findings by shooting some footage late in the day (sunset) with the settings I shared with you (+1 SHARPNESS, -1 CONTRAST, -1 SATURATION) and even though it really wasn't noisy to my eyes I applied the Neat Video plug-in.