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Observations and Issues First Flight

On the Air 3 there is no zoom in photo mode. Just video.
Are you getting any Stitching issues on the Right hand bottom corner of the Panos ?
I have a second Air 3 coming and think it might just be my camera.

Its over lapping quite a bit .


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Gear to fly in the Rain. Land on the Water.
 
On the Air 3 there is no zoom in photo mode. Just video.
Thanks for clarifying, but isn't the so called zoom in photo mode, actually really due to the missing Explore mode, from which photos or continuous video are both possible with digital zoom? On the Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Pro without being in Explore mode, were you able to zoom in Normal mode on any camera to take a photograph? For myself, I never used Normal mode except for Panos, and always stayed in Explore mode for both video and stills.
 
Really the thing for them to do is design some kind of lightweight zoom lens and get rid of this two-sensor approach, which they seem to copy from phones.

Now phones are heading towards periscope lenses instead. We will see what Apple does next month. Maybe they get rid of multiple cameras and with a periscope lens, they can have one camera with a usable optical zoom of some kind.
 
Really the thing for them to do is design some kind of lightweight zoom lens and get rid of this two-sensor approach, which they seem to copy from phones.

Now phones are heading towards periscope lenses instead. We will see what Apple does next month. Maybe they get rid of multiple cameras and with a periscope lens, they can have one camera with a usable optical zoom of some kind.
The only other DJI consumer drone with a true zoom was the Mavic 2 Zoom which was a mere 1x-2x. It started at f/2.8 at 24mm and slowly morphed into f/3.8 as it reached 48mm at 2x. The variable aperture with the zoom meant zooming at night cut your exposure in half, once you maxed out the ISO. Not good!

I much prefer the current 3 camera approach on the Mavic 3 Pro! Fixed aperture optical zoom lenses are very big and heavy, and not well suited for drone use.
 
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Flew two batteries today on the new Air 3. Overall love the drone...couple of things on my mind though.

1. Shot a panorama. I had to try it 4 times before success. The 3 failures consisted of a message showing up late in the sequence saying the drone move can't shoot. Odd because the drone is moving the whole time during a Pano. No winds or any conditions that would be abnormal.

2. Why is the top speed in Normal only 26 mph when the Air 2S was 33mph? Sport mode is 46mph???

3. Further to my question in number 2, during RTH the speed is 22mph yet I can push the stick up and get 33mph in RTH with sensors on. SO if it will do 33 mph in RTH why not in Normal Mode?

View attachment 166440
The new Firmware update just gave us the 33 mph but you need to set it in settings.
 
The only other DJI consumer drone with a true zoom was the Mavic 2 Zoom which was a mere 1x-2x. It started at f/2.8 at 24mm and slowly morphed into f/3.8 as it reached 48mm at 2x. The variable aperture with the zoom meant zooming at night cut your exposure in half, once you maxed out the ISO. Not good!

I much prefer the current 3 camera approach on the Mavic 3 Pro! Fixed aperture optical zoom lenses are very big and heavy, and not well suited for drone use.
The user controlled graduated optical zoom from 24mm to 48mm with the mav 2 zoom was, and still is seriously impressive. Sure, it artificially stops the lens down (which is the signature mark of a poor quality telephoto lens), but with the DNG output, it also cuts down the frankly horrible lens distortion aberration at 24mm to almost negligible at 48mm. I am really surprised that the camera boffins at DJI didn't evolve this concept to include a better version in later consumer class drones. Missed a serious trick there DJI.
 
The user controlled graduated optical zoom from 24mm to 48mm with the mav 2 zoom was, and still is seriously impressive. Sure, it artificially stops the lens down (which is the signature mark of a poor quality telephoto lens), but with the DNG output, it also cuts down the frankly horrible lens distortion aberration at 24mm to almost negligible at 48mm. I am really surprised that the camera boffins at DJI didn't evolve this concept to include a better version in later consumer class drones. Missed a serious trick there DJI.
How is it artificially stopping the lens down? It is a very real reduction in light gathering. Most zoom lenses are variable aperture. If you want a fixed aperture zoom lens the weight and cost go way up by a factor of two to four times because of the extra glass required! That extra weight is impractical on a drone camera. The variable aperture is a problem in low light. You cannot zoom without halving the exposure. All zooms have the least lens distortion at their extreme focal length. By using multiple telephoto cameras of different focal lengths with digital zoom in between their focal lengths, the aperture can be kept the same, with a significant weight savings over a fixed aperture optical zoom lens. The Explore Mode on the Mavic 3 Pro accomplishes the range of 1x to 7x remarkably well, with the 3x telephoto now in the middle, that was missing on the Mavic 3.
 
How is it artificially stopping the lens down? It is a very real reduction in light gathering. Most zoom lenses are variable aperture. If you want a fixed aperture zoom lens the weight and cost go way up by a factor of two to four times because of the extra glass required! That extra weight is impractical on a drone camera. The variable aperture is a problem in low light. You cannot zoom without halving the exposure. All zooms have the least lens distortion at their extreme focal length. By using multiple telephoto cameras of different focal lengths with digital zoom in between their focal lengths, the aperture can be kept the same, with a significant weight savings over a fixed aperture optical zoom lens. The Explore Mode on the Mavic 3 Pro accomplishes the range of 1x to 7x remarkably well, with the 3x telephoto now in the middle, that was missing on the Mavic 3.
Because the mavic 2 zoom has a FIXED aperture at f/2.8. The aperture cannot be stopped down - so the 'stopping down to f/3.8' is artificial. A lot of people reckoned that an optical 2x zoom was impractical before DJI released the zoom and proved 'em wrong. I'm well aware as to how a lens works without exclamation marks!!! 😉.
The double and triple camera solution is fantastic and the Air3 and Mav 3 Pro are definitely on my upgrade list, but for video in particular, you can't beat the look of a natural graduated optical zoom from 24mm to 48mm (even though it is only 2x.... it is a joy to behold).
 
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