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Here's how to shoot night video...

BigManJapan

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So everyone has been asking for some night video settings I thought I'd post my approach to help all.

Try these (updated 5/19/2017):

If you're NOT doing your own color grading in Premiere or Final Cut:
4K/24fps
ISO: 800
Shutter: 25
Color: Auto
Color Profile: None
Softness: +1
Contrast: 0
Saturation: 0

If you ARE doing your own color grading in Premiere or Final Cut:
4K/24fps
ISO: 800
Shutter: 25
Color: Incandescent
Color Profile: dlog
Softness: +1
Contrast: -3
Saturation: -3
(also buy yourself the Neat Noise plugin for Premiere or Final Cut)


Then with either of the above:
Fly up to 60ft above something very brightly kit with good detail.
Point the camera straight down.
Click to focus AF.
Switch to MF and do not adjust for the entire flight.

Aim the camera back up and fly.

Try it. You'll like the results. You get good blacks in the dark areas, the lit areas are not blown out or blurry, and you get a true representation of most colors in the lights.

Tweak from here to taste, but this set up will get most of you much better night footage than before.
 
Last edited:

Atomicbear

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So everyone has been asking for some night video settings I thought I'd post my approach to help all.

Try these:
4K/30fps
ISO: 800
Shutter: 30
Color: Incandescent
Color Profile: None
Softness: 0
Contrast: 0
Saturation: 0

Fly up to 60ft above something very brightly kit with good detail.
Point the camera straight down.
Click to focus AF.
Switch to MF and do not adjust for the entire flight.

Aim the camera back up and fly.

Try it. You'll like the results. You get good blacks in the dark areas, the lit areas are not blown out or blurry, and you get a true representation of most colors in the lights.

Tweak from here to taste, but this set up will get most of you much better night footage than before.


I haven't flown at night yet, but your post makes me want to try it! Thanks for sharing. Love this forum!
-Atomicbear
 
Last edited:
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madman4049

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Awesome thanks, I saved this for use once I get my drone back. Can't wait to try it out.
 

Timbooo

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Have you compared 24 fps together with 24 in shutter speed? That should give a (tiny) bit more light, or will that render to much motion blur?
 

BigManJapan

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In regards to the last post above, I HAVE tried 24fps and missed posting that.

Yes, do update the recommended settings for night to 4K/24 with 1/25 shutter speed! Little more light to work with and looks nicely film-like.
 
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ElGuapo

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Awesome, I am going to give this a try with the Mavic, not sure the about the other drones in my fleet. But it is a good starting point.

If I get the results I want, I am putting you on my Xmas list.
 

Pathogen

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Thanks I look forward to trying these settings! I am wondering, however, why would the saturation be lowered so much using DLOG, when DLOG already looks very bland and desaturated by default?
 

Ruthless0ne

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So I have a couple questions... I will be filming a Christmas light show with about 20k lights going on and off constantly. The AUTO setting SUCKED! So I want to try these settings tonight. What I want to know is if there are alternate settings for this flashing and big bursts of darkness and light. Kinda like fireworks.

Thanks in advance for helping out a total Noob. :)
 

Brojon

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Thanks I look forward to trying these settings! I am wondering, however, why would the saturation be lowered so much using DLOG, when DLOG already looks very bland and desaturated by default?
Theory being that it helps with shadows which can get blocked.
The incandescent light temperature is a nice touch - most city street lighting is yellow sodium vapor and most buildings use fluorescent (green). Incandescent is a warm - compensates for yellow lighting.
Daylight or even cloudy day which is biased to blue would tend to exacerbate those two problem light sources.
 
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MR2DSP

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Awesome. I flew my Mavic for the second time at night at my ISO was 3200. It was a lot of grain. Lol. Thanks I’ll try that setting.
 
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