Best Camera settings for Mapping

Hi, I always fly my drone (DJI PHANTOM 4 PRO V2.0) during the mid-day with my Camera settings on auto. But today, I flew the drone for mapping a site just before sunset. The settings were in auto as usual. when I came home and downloaded the photos, I saw that almost all the photos were blurred. (I mean the photos weren’t readable at all). I think this has to do something with the camera settings (Shutter speed and ISO). Can someone help me on the matter??

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When you say before sunset how dark was it? Can you share an image as an example? The best thing to do would probably be turn on the low light option in advanced settings. This raises the ISO from 100 to 400 but you can still get in situations where it’s just too dark to map. Prime times in Central Texas are 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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It was Just during the sunset. Not too dark. Also not too bright either. It’s like middle.
Sorry I couldn’t attach any photo bcz I deleted all those photos. Guess I should have kept one for example. It was blurry like someone smashed the photos.

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That’s my best guess. It must have been just a little too dark for the camera on auto. If changing to low light mode doesn’t get it you can also slow the drone down in advanced settings.

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Cameras use three settings to capture images. ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor. In the days of film, you would use different films. With digital, the setting can be set to vary. A higher ISO numbers indicates greater sensitivity in low light.

The other two camera settings are aperture and shutter speed. These work together to get the best exposure. In Auto mode, the camera meter determines the best match of these, which can vary from shot to shot. In low light, the camera needs a longer shutter setting, so any motion of the camera will result in blurring of the image.

The solution here is to get more light to the camera sensor. Brighter conditions or different settings. Try setting the shutter speed to relatively fast, then let the camera set the aperture. Also, slow the drone down, or even have it stop to take a picture. Flying too fast results in blurring even for faster shutter speeds.

And finally, make sure the camera is focusing properly.

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Unfortunately DroneDeploy only lets us modify the ISO and that has to be done by a specific toggle. There’s been many discussions of allowing us to configure the camera inside of DroneDeploy but personally I don’t think that’s a good idea because it will most likely cause trouble with people that are unfamiliar with those settings. For people that are familiar with those settings they can be set in DJI and applied to DroneDeploy in the same menu.

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I never touched anything related to the camera settings. Always let DD figure it out.

Also, I never did fly the drone in the dark. This is the first time.

Nwo, If I fly the drone again in this kind of condition? what settings should I use on the DJI app? What’ll be the ISO and shutter speed and the Aperture?

I knew that you hadn’t changed any settings so the next time you fly in anything that could be a low light condition use the low light option in DroneDeploy and it will increase your ISO to 400.

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okay. Thanks. I’ll keep it in mind.

Yesterday, I purchased the P4 RTK and got a 6months of DJI TERRA with it. I’ve used the software to do all the flying and mapping for the P4 RTK but the photos were unfocused. What should I do now? ( I never used the DJI TERRA to fly the drone. I tried it only to process photos which came out as the best soft out there for prosumer level orthomosaics.) Any help would be appreciated.

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