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Another Air 3 70mm spherical panorama test: Night

Thmoore

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Here are the results of another round of spherical panoramas taken by the Air 3.

The 24mm-lens in-aircraft file is 12000 × 6000 and 35.6MB.

The 24mm-lens file produced by Panorama Stitcher ($15) is 18732 × 9366 and 37.7MB.

The 70mm-lens file produced by Panorama Stitcher is 253MB and 50384 × 25192.

Last time I tested this, the file by Panorama Stitcher looked much better; this time, I'm not so sure... The 70mm-lens file it created is terrific.

24mm-panorama-in-aircraft:

r/dji - Another Air 3 70mm spherical panorama test: Night
24mm-panorama:

r/dji - Another Air 3 70mm spherical panorama test: Night
70mm-panorama:

r/dji - Another Air 3 70mm spherical panorama test: Night
Again, if you'd like to pixel-peep the photos yourself, all the files are here; these new ones are in a folder called "night_panos": Air 3 70mm Panos
 
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Using stitched panoramas to compare the sharpness and resolution of two different cameras, from a segment of a scene within the stitches, is a poor way to compare the differences between the two cameras. The stitches are at best only as good as the original images, but the stitching algorithms and the finished size of each stitch can easily degrade the original images.

Shoot a single still shot of each subject on each camera and digitally blow up the 24mm image to match the exact frame size of the 70mm image. That comparison is the only relevant one, and is all you need to see the difference. You don't need to create a full 360 pano on each camera, which can be very misleading. DJI's in camera 24mm stitch is HiRes but is no where near full quality, as the result is only 75MB in size from 26 individual 20MB stills!
 
Using stitched panoramas to compare the sharpness and resolution of two different cameras, from a segment of a scene within the stitches, is a poor way to compare the differences between the two cameras. The stitches are at best only as good as the original images, but the stitching algorithms and the finished size of each stitch can easily degrade the original images.

Shoot a single still shot of each subject on each camera and digitally blow up the 24mm image to match the exact frame size of the 70mm image. That comparison is the only relevant one, and is all you need to see the difference. You don't need to create a full 360 pano on each camera, which can be very misleading. DJI's in camera 24mm stitch is HiRes but is no where near full quality, as the result is only 75MB in size from 26 individual 20MB stills!
I guess I see your point but disagree. The whole point of stitching is to get higher resolution. And with the 70mm being the sharper lens, it will produce better results in most cases. I don’t do 360s but I do do panos and the 70 is better every time assuming I can get far enough away from the subject.
 
I guess I see your point but disagree. The whole point of stitching is to get higher resolution. And with the 70mm being the sharper lens, it will produce better results in most cases. I don’t do 360s but I do do panos and the 70 is better every time assuming I can get far enough away from the subject.
What evidence do you have that the 70mm is sharper lens?
This is exactly the point I am making. You falsely now believe it is.
70mm is merely a narrower field of view on a smaller sensor. Flying closer with the 24mm will produce the same field of view as the 70mm, with a much larger sensor, and even higher resolution. Perspective will be different, but that doesn't seem to matter to you.
 
What evidence do you have that the 70mm is sharper lens?
This is exactly the point I am making. You falsely now believe it is.
70mm is merely a narrower field of view on a smaller sensor. Flying closer with the 24mm will produce the same field of view as the 70mm, with a much larger sensor, and even higher resolution. Perspective will be different, but that doesn't seem to matter to you.

The 24mm and 70mm sensors are identical. Only the lens are different.
 
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I’m not comparing the cameras. I’m comparing the panoramas that you can create using the 70mm lens versus the panorama you can create with other lens.

Because the 70mm lens doesn’t have quite as big an aperture as the other, I thought doing a night test would be worthwhile. It was: The increased magnification turns out to be more significant than the aperture difference, and the 70mm lens still does a better job at night.
 
I’m not comparing the cameras. I’m comparing the panoramas that you can create using the 70mm lens versus the panorama you can create with other lens.

Because the 70mm lens doesn’t have quite as big an aperture as the other, I thought doing a night test would be worthwhile. It was: The increased magnification turns out to be more significant than the aperture difference, and the 70mm lens still does a better job at night.
My only point is that the 70mm lens is not sharper, as you seem to have concluded. It is only a higher magnification, which will result in better resolution when shot from the same location. However, if you fly closer with the 24mm, you will get the same level of detail/sharpness as you are seeing with the 70mm from farther away. Then, no digital crop is necessary on the 24mm image, which will always lose resolution when compared to an optical lens of same field of view as the digital crop.
 
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Right, but flying closer to one side of a 360 pano means you are farther away from the other side of it, right? I think the point here is to get the highest resolution 360, which can be done by taking more photos, all of which are on the zoom lens with the same sensor.
 
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Right, but flying closer to one side of a 360 pano means you are farther away from the other side of it, right? I think the point here is to get the highest resolution 360, which can be done by taking more photos, all of which are on the zoom lens with the same sensor.
Fair point. It obviously depends upon the main subject of your 360 pano, which could be equal treatment of the entire 360, or perhaps only a portion of the 360.
 
I think most 360 pianos don’t have a “main subject”; the point is the sphere itself. So more detail is just going to be better.
 
I think most 360 pianos don’t have a “main subject”; the point is the sphere itself. So more detail is just going to be better.
If you truly want more detail, you'll need to upgrade your drone stitches from individual 12MP images to much larger 20MP images, such as the Mavic 3 Pro offers on its 24 mm camera, as do both the Mavic 2 Pro, and the Air 2S when shooting panos. Air 3 can only shoot 12MP stills when shooting automated panos, so it loses lots of detail that a 20MP still camera can capture, when it is shooting automated panos.
 
But if he truly wants more detail with the equipment that he has, he should use the 70mm lens, correct?

Unless I am mistaken, the point of these threads is to show what is possible with the Air 3. It is, after all, the forum that we're in. Of course there are other options that may/can/will do it better.

I for one, will not be buying a Mavic 3 Pro, a 2 Pro, or an Air 2S. The Air 3 is what I have. And while I will probably do one or two panos ever, I really appreciate the information the OP has provided on this subject.
 
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But if he truly wants more detail with the equipment that he has, he should use the 70mm lens, correct?

Unless I am mistaken, the point of these threads is to show what is possible with the Air 3. It is, after all, the forum that we're in. Of course there are other options that may/can/will do it better.

I for one, will not be buying a Mavic 3 Pro, a 2 Pro, or an Air 2S. The Air 3 is what I have. And while I will probably do one or two panos ever, I really appreciate the information the OP has provided on this subject.
Thank you for that. It has been a pleasure to provide it. I’m glad you found it to be as useful and interesting as I did.

Also, I believe Gadget may be mistaken.

This is an incredibly rough approximation, because there’s a gigantic amount of overlap among photos and so forth, but: If you stitch together 33 20-megapixel photos, you are starting with 660 megapixels of information. If you stitch 137 12-megapixel photos, you are processing 1,644 megapixels of information. That seems better
 
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…If you stitch together 33 20-megapixel photos, you are starting with 660 megapixels of information. If you stitch 137 12-megapixel photos, you are processing 1,644 megapixels of information. That seems better
It is better (for many/most purposes).

No Air 3 or Mavic 3 Pro here, but I’ve been working with 360-deg panoramas for decades now.

Lens/sensor combinations make a huge difference for many purposes:
The larger amount of data collected increases the resolution available to the person viewing the end product. That resolution can match the resolution of the viewing device - always good! It can support zoom and deep zoom, in which a viewer zooms in via mouse wheel or pinch-open gesture to see that detail.

This is true whether one is shooting/processing 360 or multi-shot panoramas; you can get dramatic increases in resolution.

On the other hand, that resolution comes at a cost of increased storage and processing time.

I myself would almost always choose the 50384 × 25192px file produced by the 70mm-lens (after stitching) over the 18732 × 9366px file produced by the 24mm. (figures from the first post in this thread)

Because I could usually do more with that resolution, like zoom in for detail, pull out a better conventional (rectilinear) image, or display on a higher resolution device without degradation of the image.

The differences in perspective between wide angle and telephoto source images can also be important. Although any wide angle lens distortions are corrected during stitching; in general wide imagery overstates differences in distance between objects, and telephoto understates distance. It’s a different look and different aesthetic.
 
It is better (for many/most purposes).

No Air 3 or Mavic 3 Pro here, but I’ve been working with 360-deg panoramas for decades now.

Lens/sensor combinations make a huge difference for many purposes:
The larger amount of data collected increases the resolution available to the person viewing the end product. That resolution can match the resolution of the viewing device - always good! It can support zoom and deep zoom, in which a viewer zooms in via mouse wheel or pinch-open gesture to see that detail.

This is true whether one is shooting/processing 360 or multi-shot panoramas; you can get dramatic increases in resolution.

On the other hand, that resolution comes at a cost of increased storage and processing time.

I myself would almost always choose the 50384 × 25192px file produced by the 70mm-lens (after stitching) over the 18732 × 9366px file produced by the 24mm. (figures from the first post in this thread)

Because I could usually do more with that resolution, like zoom in for detail, pull out a better conventional (rectilinear) image, or display on a higher resolution device without degradation of the image.

The differences in perspective between wide angle and telephoto source images can also be important. Although any wide angle lens distortions are corrected during stitching; in general wide imagery overstates differences in distance between objects, and telephoto understates distance. It’s a different look and different aesthetic.
Thank you for this. That is perspective I didn’t have.

I would add one thought to the idea of matching the resolution to the viewing device: I take all kinds of 360s with my Insta360 cameras. Their resolution could be better, but it is far better than the Quest 2 I am viewing them on. I love the fact that as my VR viewing equipment gets better over time, my existing panoramas will look better and better.

If you have the opportunity, I would always go highest resolution, even if it blows way past what you can see right now, because in a short number of years, you will be able to get far more out of that image.
 
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But if he truly wants more detail with the equipment that he has, he should use the 70mm lens, correct?

Unless I am mistaken, the point of these threads is to show what is possible with the Air 3. It is, after all, the forum that we're in. Of course there are other options that may/can/will do it better.

I for one, will not be buying a Mavic 3 Pro, a 2 Pro, or an Air 2S. The Air 3 is what I have. And while I will probably do one or two panos ever, I really appreciate the information the OP has provided on this subject.
The 70mm lens only offers more detail if one cannot, or chooses not to fly closer.
It is in no way sharper than the 24mm. That is a false conclusion that the OP erroneously came to by comparing detail of specific objects the panos taken from the same location.

The detail in the pano is only as good as the individual images, the stitching algorithm used, and the output size of the final stitch, so all stitched results degrade the original images. Most shared social media 360 pano stitched images are smaller than a single image from the same camera! If detail alone is what you are after of a specific subject, fly closer to get larger individual images, and minimize the number of images from which the stitch is created, if one is necessary at all.

Since the OP is after the best detail in a 360 pano stitch from a given location, the size in MP of the original images is relevant. 20MP stills will always have more detail than 12MP images. On that note, manually shooting a 360 pano from 70mm still images at 48MP may produce more detail than the 12MP automated pano shot images, to the extent that the Quad Bayer sensor can deliver a more detailed image in 48MP mode.

Just depends upon how much work you want to do before and after. Manually shooting the pano and manually stitching gives you full control over the original images and the level of detail in the resulting stitch. Accepting the in camera stitched 24mm HiRes 360 pano for most will be the better choice, with no effort and acceptable detail, if shot close enough to the primary subject. It also only takes 75 seconds total to shoot and stitch, ready to post on social media, instead of 4.5 minutes to shoot and hours to stitch, in programs costing hundreds of dollars, and still needing a paid webhost to publish them on the web in full size showing the greater detail! I do both, reserving the latter for the best of the 360 panos that work, based upon how the in camera 24mm stitch turns out. Some panos are just boring. Others are striking, depending upon the location in 360° and the elevation above the ground chosen to shoot from.
 
The 70mm lens only offers more detail if one cannot, or chooses not to fly closer.
It is in no way sharper than the 24mm. That is a false conclusion that the OP erroneously came to by comparing detail of specific objects the panos taken from the same location.

The detail in the pano is only as good as the individual images, the stitching algorithm used, and the output size of the final stitch, so all stitched results degrade the original images. Most shared social media 360 pano stitched images are smaller than a single image from the same camera! If detail alone is what you are after of a specific subject, fly closer to get larger individual images, and minimize the number of images from which the stitch is created, if one is necessary at all.

Since the OP is after the best detail in a 360 pano stitch from a given location, the size in MP of the original images is relevant. 20MP stills will always have more detail than 12MP images. On that note, manually shooting a 360 pano from 70mm still images at 48MP may produce more detail than the 12MP automated pano shot images, to the extent that the Quad Bayer sensor can deliver a more detailed image in 48MP mode.

Just depends upon how much work you want to do before and after. Manually shooting the pano and manually stitching gives you full control over the original images and the level of detail in the resulting stitch. Accepting the in camera stitched 24mm HiRes 360 pano for most will be the better choice, with no effort and acceptable detail, if shot close enough to the primary subject. It also only takes 75 seconds total to shoot and stitch, ready to post on social media, instead of 4.5 minutes to shoot and hours to stitch, in programs costing hundreds of dollars, and still needing a paid webhost to publish them on the web in full size showing the greater detail! I do both, reserving the latter for the best of the 360 panos that work, based upon how the in camera 24mm stitch turns out. Some panos are just boring. Others are striking, depending upon the location in 360° and the elevation above the ground chosen to shoot from.
Respectfully, sir, you have an odd way of hijacking threads and starting arguments. I honestly can’t figure out what your point is.

The 70mm camera isn’t any sharper than the 24mm, but it picks up the same amount of detail on things that are roughly three times further away than the 24mm does. And that’s useful for a 360° pano. Are you disputing that?

Also: 133 12MP stills contain more data than 33 20MP stills. Are you disputing that?

For the record: My $15 program does a perfectly good job stitching the 70mm 360° panos in about 10 minutes.
 
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With few exceptions on my Mavic 3 Pro, I do all my panos with the 70mm lens. For me, the quality of the Hassy gets outweighed by the extra detail you get by having more photos with a narrower FOV stitched together.

One thing I've wondered is how much of each wide angle shot gets cut from a pano vs how much of the 3x shot gets cut. At least with my M3P, there's a fair amount of distortion in the wide-angle lens that probably has to get cut or warped more to make a 360 pano, but the 3x lens has less distortion and so I wonder if more of a 3x shot gets used in the final stitch. If I had to guess, I would say that each 70mm image undergoes less warping/cropping to make a 360 pano than with the wide-angle lens and therefore a 70mm pano is typically better just because of that?
 
The 70mm lens only offers more detail if one cannot, or chooses not to fly closer.
It is in no way sharper than the 24mm. That is a false conclusion that the OP erroneously came to by comparing detail of specific objects the panos taken from the same location.

The detail in the pano is only as good as the individual images, the stitching algorithm used, and the output size of the final stitch, so all stitched results degrade the original images. Most shared social media 360 pano stitched images are smaller than a single image from the same camera! If detail alone is what you are after of a specific subject, fly closer to get larger individual images, and minimize the number of images from which the stitch is created, if one is necessary at all…
It seems you’re mixing and matching functions of conventional rectilinear imagery with imagery for panoramas. This thread is about 360 panoramas, but there is repetitive mention of comparisons of the 24 and 70mm cameras that are relevant for conventional stills, but not panoramas.

On topic - for panoramas:
More resolution is good, generally. It provides options to distribute at higher resolution or to reduce resolution for specific distributions like many social media. Options in post production processes.

Less resolution is bad, generally. It locks your imagery in to a specific lower quality level, regardless of various current and future resolutions for distribution and display.

Increases in lens focal length and/or sensor resolution are how you can get best resolutions in multi-image and 360 panoramas.
The 70mm lens only offers more detail if one cannot, or chooses not to fly closer.…
Nonsense. In the context of panorama work or telephoto work of any kind a longer focal length lens provides greater magnification. In 360 panorama work (the subject of this thread) the choice has been made to image an environment. This is different than a single subject.

Off topic - for conventional single-image stills:
In the case of a single subject and single image there are still multiple reasons that one may choose a wide-angle lens perspective or a telephoto lens perspective. The same subject at the same magnification looks different when shot with a closer wide-angle or a further telephoto. One may choose on the basis of wanting a camera position that is relatively closer or further away, or the decision might be made on the desired composition of the photo; what of the subject and environment will be included or excluded, what the desired lens perspective is, etc.
 
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