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Mavic Air - Lens distortion (creating awareness!)

Do you have the same lens distortion?

  • Yes I do

    Votes: 35 87.5%
  • No

    Votes: 5 12.5%

  • Total voters
    40

Janjelmer1

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Joined
Jan 29, 2018
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Age
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Hi all,

In another thread, a group of Mavic Air users including me found out that the lens on the Mavic Air has some pretty severe distortion when shooting in JPEG or shooting video's. Some examples:

YouTube - You can clearly see the 'waving'/'warping' distortion during panning on the roof top. If you look at other video's on YouTube, you will find other examples where for example the horizon is not flat (distorted). This can also bee seen on some review video's of the air. It seems like it is not a device specific issue, I think all Mavic Airs have this problem. Note that the visibility of the distortion highly depends on the footage (horizontal lines show the distortion the most clearly).

Test picture - I setup a grid on my TV and made a picture with my Mavic Air. The distortion is clearly visible:
DJI_0011.JPG

As good lenses are expensive (especially as the Mavic Air lens is relatively wide angle), most lenses in cheaper devices do show distortion but they are often compensated for in software. The ISP (Image Signal Processor) then applies the known lens profile/lens distortion data such that the distortion is compensated for. However, it seems like this compensation is not applied in the Mavic Air!

I did another test to compare the JPEG (or video) and the RAW/DNG sensor data. On the right side is the JPEG, on the left site the RAW/DNG. The RAW/DNG looks really good, and this is because lens distortion data is embedded in the file and applied by default by Photoshop. The JPEG file shows the distortion clearly. It seems like the ISP in the Mavic Air should be updated such that it also applies the same lens distortion data to the JPEG and Video files which is also embedded in the RAW file.
jpgvsraw.PNG

I've already contacted DJI, they took a quick note and that's it. If more people will contact DJI concerning this problem, I hope that DJI will take this problem seriously and will add the distortion correction to the ISP in a upcoming firmware update.

I hope more of you will contact DJI. If this problem gets more awareness, I hope DJI will solve it!

- Jelmer -
 
I am trying to post this by email to DJI support.... however, they provide you with a list of their products which your support ticket pertains to..

All their products are there aside from the Mavic Air...??

and its a required field.... how daft is that?
 
Last edited:
I am trying to post this by email to DJI support.... however, they provide you with a list of their products which your support ticket pertains to..

All their products are there aside from the Mavic Air...??

and its a required field.... how daft is that?
That's weird, you could contact them via chat (that's what I did).
 
I remember in Photoshop (and maybe Premiere) there's an option to correct distortion lens by profiles that someone did for every single lens.
Maybe someone who knows how do that (and owns a Mavic Air) can help us.
 
Post this on the dji forum will dji will see it!!! Seriously they need to fix it
 
I'm having the same issue, and my panos are not stitching on board because of it is my guess?? The horizon on my panos is a giant roller coaster, and I can clearly see the warping in videos and photos in review through the app and on the computer/in Lightroom. I shoot in jpeg+raw, and even in lightroom it doesn't fully correct it... still the horizon has a bump/warp in it. :(
 
I have been doing some testing and its more prevalent when turning the craft when the horizon is high in the video.... its less obvious when the horizon is half way or lower than half way in the video...

And I have looked at quite a few video on youtube by Mavic Air testers producing their "first flight" videos... and you can see this in a lot of them, and I think they haven't really noticed it yet.

I have been in touch with DJI support and shown them test videos and its not really good when they come back and say "I have provided all your videos to our R&D team and they checked it for you, according to the R&D team, the videos that you provided are normal, there is no problem of your drone, so please don't worry."

I have asked them if they are producing a firmware fix and to be honest they haven't even acknowledged that I asked that question.
 
I have been doing some testing and its more prevalent when turning the craft when the horizon is high in the video.... its less obvious when the horizon is half way or lower than half way in the video...

And I have looked at quite a few video on youtube by Mavic Air testers producing their "first flight" videos... and you can see this in a lot of them, and I think they haven't really noticed it yet.

I have been in touch with DJI support and shown them test videos and its not really good when they come back and say "I have provided all your videos to our R&D team and they checked it for you, according to the R&D team, the videos that you provided are normal, there is no problem of your drone, so please don't worry."

I have asked them if they are producing a firmware fix and to be honest they haven't even acknowledged that I asked that question.
I'm loosing hope more and more that DJI will ever fix this issue. On this website, they tested the distortion of the Spark, Pro and the Air. The Spark has similar distortion as the Air, and it seems like it never got fixed by an update. I guess chances are low that they will fix it on the Air.
 
Here is what i wrote on the DJI forum and worth noting here

Here is the final response from DJI support after supplying yet more test videos...

"Dear Roger,

Good news to you, according to our R&D team, there is no problem with your drone, the video that you provided is normal. Please be noted.

Thank you and have a nice day!"

.... apparently its good news that this drone has warping and bubbling as standard and that its quite "normal"

Frankly Im appalled at the attitude and its seems that I will get this even if they replace it.... so I have wasted my money on the drone.
 
Here is what i wrote on the DJI forum and worth noting here

Here is the final response from DJI support after supplying yet more test videos...

"Dear Roger,

Good news to you, according to our R&D team, there is no problem with your drone, the video that you provided is normal. Please be noted.

Thank you and have a nice day!"

.... apparently its good news that this drone has warping and bubbling as standard and that its quite "normal"

Frankly Im appalled at the attitude and its seems that I will get this even if they replace it.... so I have wasted my money on the drone.
Take it back then if u are not happy ....only thing i can suggest right now
 
Easier said than done when you live in Botswana and had it shipped from the US.... if I bought it round the corner then I would take it back

Its the incredulity I am suffering from to hear from the Mavic engineers that they have good news for me and the warping is normal... so if I take it back and get another, it will be the same .... they are selling a drone for USD800 where warping is "normal"... that is the point!
 
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That is just how the camera is.....its part of the camera system because of the field of view, the spark does this to some degree, even the mavic pro but they both have digital compensation hopefully the mavic air will get some of this in a fw update.... but for now you can't really do nothing about it so either fly and have fun or take it back
 
I have asked them repeatedly if there will be some sort of fix, be it software or Firmware... they have point blank refused to even acknowledge the question.

If I did this in my business... i would not have a business. its extremely unprofessional as a simple, yes/no or "we will get back to you" would be fine
 
I have asked them repeatedly if there will be some sort of fix, be it software or Firmware... they have point blank refused to even acknowledge the question.

If I did this in my business... i would not have a business. its extremely unprofessional as a simple, yes/no or "we will get back to you" would be fine
I understand I would be frustrated too but this is the way DJI is even when getting a aircraft fixed you ask DJI " what was wrong with it?" Nobody ever gets an answer I have never heard of anyone getting an answer whenever they send in their aircraft to get fixed for any sort of problem this is just the way DJI is .....so I'm sure they understand and are probably working on a fix they're just not going to tell you when u ask because that person on the phone probably has no clue! Also it's most likely that the rep or person you are talking to has absolutely no clue what r&d software department is doing. Remember that they do not speak the same language we do so they are most likely reading off of a teleprompter or something of the sort .....trust me I bet you some sort of firmware fix will fix it soon enough.
 
Got the same issue with my brand new Mavic Air.
Doing shot 3d tracking is nearly impossible with that sort of distortions,

so i made myself a bootleg After Effects template to correct Lens Distortion for MA's 4k footages.

Will share here if this is useful.

sample_.gif
 

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It's not really an issue, it's a property of the fairly crappy plastic lenses they use. Nothing is defective. My $3,000 DSLR lenses have worse distortion than the Mavic Air. Just need to correct it in post. The processor may not be powerful enough to correct it in real-time, as is also the case with the Mavic 2 Pro in 10bit D-Log, so you need to do it manually for best results. It vignettes pretty bad too but that is also easily corrected.
 
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Got the same issue with my brand new Mavic Air.
Doing shot 3d tracking is nearly impossible with that sort of distortions,

so i made myself a bootleg After Effects template to correct Lens Distortion for MA's 4k footages.

Will share here if this is useful.

View attachment 55118

Could you send me the template please? That would be really handy to have, thanks! My address: [email protected]
 
Got the same issue with my brand new Mavic Air.
Doing shot 3d tracking is nearly impossible with that sort of distortions,

so i made myself a bootleg After Effects template to correct Lens Distortion for MA's 4k footages.

Will share here if this is useful.

View attachment 55118
Are you able to send me the template aswell ? I think that DJI must feel embarassed that one of us made a lens fix, that they couldn't do. Even a cheaper smartphone has less distortions than the mavic air.
Thank you very much: [email protected] !
 
I found the free version of Davinci Resolve 15 (or 16 beta) works fine for this correction as well. In the Fusion tab, add a Lens Distort node (under Effects Library > Tools > Warp), and change these 2 values:
Distortion: -0.062
Quartic Distortion: 0.088

Leave the other values as-is.

You may also want to crop the video slightly to hide the blank canvas areas created at the edges. I added the Transform node and set the Size to 1.01.

Resolve is a really nice editor, especially for a free program that works on Windows, Mac, & Linux.
 

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