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Mavic 3 image softness issues?

ddublu

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I’ve had the M3 since launch. Worked through the firmware updates and generally patient as the product improves. I’ve owned DJI aircraft for many years, most recently the M2P and Inspire 2.

My primary source of revenue is image licensing to ad agencies, tourism/travel, etc. so my focus is on still imagery. In good lighting, I try to shoot f/5.6 but the images from the M3 appear to be very soft around the edges and I can’t believe this is normal. Some of these are f/4.0 and I believe there is one that is f/6.3.

I’ve talked briefly with DJI and their response (of course) is to send it in for them to assess. I don’t believe for one second that they're going to do any testing but will likely just replace it. Has anyone had this issue and if so, did you get it replaced, and more importantly did it get resolved?

Here are some of my sample images - Mavic 3 sample images

Curious what you all think.

Thanks.
 
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I looked at your images. It is hard to make a judgement. Some of the images are sharp in the center, but quite soft towards the corner, but not all of them do.
 
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I can't tell when looking at the upper edges but the lower edge and especially the bottom left corner seems to be soft to me in all images.

Very nice work evident in all of your photos.
 
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I have not done this myself, but I have heard more than once someone state that they would buy 2-3 new models, check for edge/corner softness, and return the worst offenders. Or people just continuing to swap them out for new models until they get one that is exceptional. You need to do it as soon as you get it so you can return it within the 100% refund / return period. Make sure there isn't a re-stocking fee wherever you buy.

I think the deal is this:
  • All lenses can be a little softer on the outer edges
  • Decentering (the lens not being perfectly aligned within) can make it much worse, which is generally what is suspected when one edge is much softer than others.
  • Very expensive lenses are produced with this in mind and if you buy them and find them decentered, you should immediately return it for another copy. It doesn't happen often, but the percentage of decentered lenses from the factory is greater than zero.
  • Lower-end lens production, as is the case with these drones, are going to be more frequent offenders
On my M2P, I have a softness on the bottom edge with some CA, but didn't really notice it until I had it for a long time. So I wasn't really looking critically at first. Any new drone I buy will get immediate evaluation of lens quality.

Chris
 
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Two things to consider:
  • Larger sensor with a tiny fixed lens means corners and edges are going to suffer. No amount of trickery will overcome the physics.
  • Larger sensor with a tiny fixed lens has tighter tolerances and there could be variance from one Mavic 3 to the next with respect to manufacturing.
 
Two things to consider:
  • Larger sensor with a tiny fixed lens means corners and edges are going to suffer. No amount of trickery will overcome the physics.
  • Larger sensor with a tiny fixed lens has tighter tolerances and there could be variance from one Mavic 3 to the next with respect to manufacturing.

Yes, but the edges should suffer as close to equally as possible. Large variances along a single edge is unacceptable.

Chris
 
I’ve had the M3 since launch. Worked through the firmware updates and generally patient as the product improves. I’ve owned DJI aircraft for many years, most recently the M2P and Inspire 2.

My primary source of revenue is image licensing to ad agencies, tourism/travel, etc. so my focus is on still imagery. In good lighting, I try to shoot f/5.6 but the images from the M3 appear to be very soft around the edges and I can’t believe this is normal. Some of these are f/4.0 and I believe there is one that is f/6.3.

I’ve talked briefly with DJI and their response (of course) is to send it in for them to assess. I don’t believe for one second that they're going to do any testing but will likely just replace it. Has anyone had this issue and if so, did you get it replaced, and more importantly did it get resolved?

Here are some of my sample images - Mavic 3 sample images

Curious what you all think.

Thanks.
Wow! The picture quality you are achieving is really nice. What RAW converter do you use?

I have been tossing up between the M3 and Lite+ and did a test over on AutelPilots and it showed a definite softening in the corners of the M3 compared to the Lite+. The Autel Lite+ is sharp edge to edge Camera Comparison Mavic 3 vs Autel Lite+

I think like other posters have mentioned most lens have this (not all though) and the 4/3 sensor with the lens size used is possibly a stretch for the M3. This is one of the images from my test showing the top right corner from both drones. From your results below f5.6 are definitely worse.

What I also wonder about is how this would affect stitched mosaics and panoramas.

I think in video you probably wouldn't notice but large images say on the wall, it would become obvious. If I do get the M3 one thing I'm considering doing is using the 7x lens and take a series of grid photos then stitch them to make a super resolution image much higher than the main camera could take. The edges of the 7x appear good.

But having said all that your images are beautiful!

200 right corner.jpg
 
Wow! The picture quality you are achieving is really nice. What RAW converter do you use?

I have been tossing up between the M3 and Lite+ and did a test over on AutelPilots and it showed a definite softening in the corners of the M3 compared to the Lite+. The Autel Lite+ is sharp edge to edge Camera Comparison Mavic 3 vs Autel Lite+

I think like other posters have mentioned most lens have this (not all though) and the 4/3 sensor with the lens size used is possibly a stretch for the M3. This is one of the images from my test showing the top right corner from both drones. From your results below f5.6 are definitely worse.

What I also wonder about is how this would affect stitched mosaics and panoramas.

I think in video you probably wouldn't notice but large images say on the wall, it would become obvious. If I do get the M3 one thing I'm considering doing is using the 7x lens and take a series of grid photos then stitch them to make a super resolution image much higher than the main camera could take. The edges of the 7x appear good.

But having said all that your images are beautiful!

View attachment 145192

Thanks...I just import them into Lightroom and work from there. I do 3-10 shot stitched images quite often and random softness dramatically impacts those.

DJI has responded and said, "please send it back for testing." I asked them what kinds of testing they would perform. Their reply was "the testing will be performed by the relevant team. If you'd like us to double-check in advance please provide mobile device model type, system version, SD card type, app log, and related images.

Since your unit was out of the replacement period (check below information for your reference), the detailed solution will be given by our relevant team upon receiving the unit from you if you would like to send it in for service."
 
Thanks...I just import them into Lightroom and work from there. I do 3-10 shot stitched images quite often and random softness dramatically impacts those.

DJI has responded and said, "please send it back for testing." I asked them what kinds of testing they would perform. Their reply was "the testing will be performed by the relevant team. If you'd like us to double-check in advance please provide mobile device model type, system version, SD card type, app log, and related images.

Since your unit was out of the replacement period (check below information for your reference), the detailed solution will be given by our relevant team upon receiving the unit from you if you would like to send it in for service."
Yes I do a lot of stitched images too and I often wonder it would be really hard if you had unsharp areas in the image, as amazing as PTGUI is I don't think it can handle soft areas well. I'm really interested in how the tele lens would perform when stitching grid images have you tried any using that? Potentially if you had a big enough grid (and a static subject) you could achieve better quality than the main lens? It also gives you strong capabilty in that 2-3x space (based on being able to make a high quality image that would have have the same effective view as 2-3x approx) Good luck with DJI
 
Yes I do a lot of stitched images too and I often wonder it would be really hard if you had unsharp areas in the image, as amazing as PTGUI is I don't think it can handle soft areas well. I'm really interested in how the tele lens would perform when stitching grid images have you tried any using that? Potentially if you had a big enough grid (and a static subject) you could achieve better quality than the main lens? It also gives you strong capabilty in that 2-3x space (based on being able to make a high quality image that would have have the same effective view as 2-3x approx) Good luck with DJI
The solution to any hypothetical unsharp areas on the edges of the individual images is to simply increase the overlap of the individual images during shooting, so that the unsharp edges aren't used for the stitching. In some stitching programs, such as PanoramaStudio 3 Pro, you can also specify the grid shooting order during the stitching setup, so they are all stitched in the correct position.
 
Wow! The picture quality you are achieving is really nice. What RAW converter do you use?

I have been tossing up between the M3 and Lite+ and did a test over on AutelPilots and it showed a definite softening in the corners of the M3 compared to the Lite+. The Autel Lite+ is sharp edge to edge Camera Comparison Mavic 3 vs Autel Lite+

I think like other posters have mentioned most lens have this (not all though) and the 4/3 sensor with the lens size used is possibly a stretch for the M3. This is one of the images from my test showing the top right corner from both drones. From your results below f5.6 are definitely worse.

What I also wonder about is how this would affect stitched mosaics and panoramas.

I think in video you probably wouldn't notice but large images say on the wall, it would become obvious. If I do get the M3 one thing I'm considering doing is using the 7x lens and take a series of grid photos then stitch them to make a super resolution image much higher than the main camera could take. The edges of the 7x appear good.

But having said all that your images are beautiful!

View attachment 145192
That is not a valid camera comparison. Your shutter speed on the Autel Lite+ is 1/1000 while you only used 1/250 on the Mavic 3 which increases motion blur. Also the Mavic 3 image is only 84MB vs. 104MB on the Autel Lite+ so there is 25% more information in the Autel Lite+ image! At least compare apple to apples!
 
That is not a valid camera comparison. Your shutter speed on the Autel Lite+ is 1/1000 while you only used 1/250 on the Mavic 3 which increases motion blur. Also the Mavic 3 image is only 84MB vs. 104MB on the Autel Lite+ so there is 25% more information in the Autel Lite+ image! At least compare apple to apples!
Remember in this test M3 shutter speed is faster 1250 vs 1000 so if anything should be sharper also Lite+ file will always be larger as Mavic file is 16:9 whereas Lite+ is 3:2 so more square and bigger surface area. The fact that the corner is further away from the centre on the Lite+ is actually even more impressive as it's still sharp.
 
The solution to any hypothetical unsharp areas on the edges of the individual images is to simply increase the overlap of the individual images during shooting, so that the unsharp edges aren't used for the stitching. In some stitching programs, such as PanoramaStudio 3 Pro, you can also specify the grid shooting order during the stitching setup, so they are all stitched in the correct position.
Yes PTGUI will allow this too
 
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Remember in this test M3 shutter speed is faster 1250 vs 1000 so if anything should be sharper also Lite+ file will always be larger as Mavic file is 16:9 whereas Lite+ is 3:2 so more square and bigger surface area. The fact that the corner is further away from the centre on the Lite+ is actually even more impressive as it's still sharp.
My bad! I missed the 1 in front of the 250 in the denominator of the M3 shutter speed! The shutter speeds are comparable, but why is the Mavic 3 still image not also being shot in 3:2? All mine are! Please change the Mavic 3 still photo setting to 3:2 and reshoot both in 3:2 and then compare!
 
My bad! I missed the 1 in front of the 250 in the denominator of the M3 shutter speed! The shutter speeds are comparable, but why is the Mavic 3 still image not also being shot in 3:2? All mine are! Please change the Mavic 3 still photo setting to 3:2 and reshoot both in 3:2 and then compare!
Hi there, all good you had me worried there as I thought the person that took these may have used a ND filter which would have invalidated the results.

I didn't take these, some one on the forum did as I own neither drone yet as I'm trying to test then both first. The RAW files I received were 16:9 format so assumed that's what the camera produces. I'm pretty sure on my MFT Olympus if you change the Ratio you still get the 4:3 format regardless in the RAW but maybe not on a M3?

I'm pretty sure if you extend out that ratio it's only going to get worse?

I don't want to put Suren to anymore trouble but if you have any top down RAWs taken at f5.6 of streets etc on a sunny day with the M3 using 4:3 ratio that you could post would be great and we could check the corners. The fall off was pretty obvious in those tests so should be easily able to see if is systemic or not.

I checked some other images tonight I had been given also at 16:9 and they have the same corner issue.

I don't think this is a bad reflection of the M3 as most lenses do this. I just think the Lite+ does that edge to edge clarity thing really well but it has a whole heap of other issues.
 
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Having looked at the photos, something is clearly off with them. The M3C is definitely soft in the corners but not that much. My biggest gripe is the barrel distortion near the corners. It's pretty extreme.

Here is a shot out of my M3C.
 

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I see what you mean. Definitely feels softer at the top than base. Was the top of that building on the left square or does it flare out like that?. Even straightening it up with perspective (just to see) it still seems to flare. I think that can be solved with a profile update. I see that's taken at f7.1 so probably isn't the sharpest the lens can do (f5.6)

That visible softness wouldn't be an issue in video and if you had a big print and it was an issue I think it would easily clean up with local sharpness adjustment?

Still... a heap of detail in that image. Thanks for posting.


View attachment DJI_0030e.jpg
 
Wow. I was born and raised east of LA, but haven't been back in more than a decade since my mom passed away. Nice to see some of the old buildings are still visible by drone among all the new skyscrapers. Is the Bendix building/tower still visible? That was how I always knew we were close to my grandfather's typesetting shop...
Here is a shot out of my M3C.
 
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