Best Camera Settings – DJI Mavic Pro

Drones are incredible tools for taking breathtaking photos and videos from entirely new angles. They are light, portable, and easy to fly. Most of them even shoot in 4K for ultra-sharp video footage. But shooting in 4K isn’t the only setting that helps make your drone footage look great. Color, style, and exposure settings are equally important, and putting careful consideration into these settings can greatly improve your video quality. Check out the following video where we go over the absolute BEST camera settings for both casual fliers and professional filmmakers.

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Best Camera Settings for Casual Fliers

Want to just fly your drone around and have the footage coming off the Micro-SD card look great with no editing? Perfect. These settings are for you:

  • Video Size – 4K, 30fps
  • Format – .MP4
  • Video System Standard – NTSC
  • White Balance – Auto
  • Style – Normal
  • Color – None or TrueColor

What makes these settings great? The footage coming off the drone looks bright, vibrant, and beautiful. There’s no editing or post production required; you can save the files directly from the drone and even share them with your favorite social media sites. Photos will look perfect for Instagram. Videos will be sharp and crisp for YouTube. And even if you’re simply viewing your footage at home on your computer or TV, everything will look great right off the bat.

If you’d like to get a little more advanced with your filming and try and get slightly better looking results, then we suggest setting a manual white balance and locking your exposure. Setting a manual white balance based on your flight conditions helps produce more accurate and consistent video footage. The white balance won’t change between shots (as it sometimes will with auto white balance), and the colors will look the same across all of your footage. Locking the exposure has a similar effect. Like auto white balance, auto exposure will adjust while the drone is recording, resulting in constant brightness shifts and changes. Tapping on the subject you wish to film and locking the exposure prevents these constant adjustments, providing more consistent and professional-looking footage.

Best Camera Settings for Professional Filmmakers

Want a super flat image with preserved detail in shadows and highlights ideal for editing and post production? Perfect. These settings are for you:

  • Video Size – 4K, 30fps
  • Format – .MP4
  • Video System Standard – NTSC
  • White Balance – Manual
  • Style – Custom, 0, -1, -1
  • Color – D-Log

These settings result in a super flat image profile perfect for color correction and grading during the post production workflow. Details in shadows and highlights are maintained, and the higher bitrate of 4K video allows for more editing without diminishing quality.

An important setting we’d like to touch on is the Style setting. Matt Harris from the Film Poets found when shooting with a sharpness of 0 in high-contrast environments, the Mavic Pro was actually applying in-camera noise reduction, resulting in very soft images. This softness is particularly noticeable in shadows–it’s as if the light parts of the image are in focus and the dark parts of the image are out of focus. To fix this problem, Matt suggests shooting with a sharpness of +1 in high contrast environments. Setting the sharpness to +1 turns off the in-camera noise-reduction, resulting in much sharper images better for post-production.

Let us know which settings you use in the comment section below!

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