Exposure and Focus in DD

In Advanced settings of DD mission planning I see two toggles for either determining exposure and focus first in DJI Go app, or allowing DD to do that. When going for second option (toggles OFF), how exactly DD does that?

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but DD on is auto settings and off is whatever settings that are present in DJI. This allows you to have custom manual settings in DJI and whether or not to use them while using the DD app.

You are correct, @MichaelL!

That was my guess: auto mode. One thing, however, remains a puzzle: how DD is focusing? Not a problem with DJI Phantom 3 camera, but all Phantom cameras above this level of sophistication need to be focused somehow. How about Zenmuse X class camera?

I’m not sure about the Zenmuse, but I assume it is like every other camera that it has its own presets. Auto is auto and whatever has been defined by the manufacturer is what it shoots.

Michael, some cameras in Auto mode will keep focusing on whatever object will show up in the center of the frame, while other will require some sort of human intervention to perform focusing, i.e. half-pushing the shutter button. With exception for Phantom 3 Pro camera (which has fixed focus from few meters to infinity), all newer DJI cameras require tapping on desired spot inside displayed frame to execute auto focusing. Not long time ago DJI introduced optional Auto Focus Continuous feature for Phantom 4 Pro camera, which - as the name suggests - will attempt to focus continuously. However, this is not the case of older Zenmuse X5 camera for Inspire 1 Pro drone, which must be focused by tapping on the screen or manually. That’s why I would like to know how DD app is addressing focus issue when the option to perform this inside DJI Go app is toggled OFF.

I don’t know how DD sets the focus either and I have never let it try. Since it takes a high contrast area representative of the over-all mission to properly set focus, I don’t trust the algorithm to get it done. I’m not sure that DD even claims they have ever gotten the cameras that need focusing to focus properly all the time.

That’s what default is. DroneDeploy uses box stock settings regardless of how DJI Go is set. If you reset DJI Go to defaults, that’s what you get. Even though they don’t say it, the camera is basically infinity focus and the only point to tapping is to bring closer objects into focus. Do your own test with two objects in front of the camera. It will not focus on the close object unless you tap. Otherwise the further object is always in focus. This has no bearing for mapping purposes beyond 100’ from the subject. There are far too many questions about manual focus issues in mapping. Leave it alone.

When I am at say 250’ agl and set the focus by tapping in auto focus, I then change it to manual focus in order to not have the focus changed by mistake. After I change to manual, the focus is never quite at infinity; even when focusing from 250’. On my p4p anyway.

Are you setting your focus in DJI and then switching to DroneDeploy in mid-air? I don’t understand why people are having issues with the defaults. I have flown every Mission imaginable from Heights of 30 ft to 300 feet and have never had any issues with image sharpness.

Michael, we don’t have issues with DD defaults. These perhaps delivers bang-on results with staple Phantom or Mavic drone, no question here. Said that, why they introduced the option to adjust the camera settings outside DD environment? What’s the reason for that?

@MichaelL Good to know DD nails the focus on the p4p every time. I’ll give it a try one of these days.

The only way I can focus with the Mavic is to manually set it after each battery change in Go4 and then hop to DD. Works consistently.

Leaving DD to its own devices gives out of focus results 9 times out of 10. On the P4 it may well be different but disappointed an official fix has yet to be released for the Mavic.

With the exposure, if direct sun is intermittent, I find it better to let DD or Go4 go automatic otherwise it’s set manually on a cloudy or sunny day.

Wow. Another reason I’m glad I got us the P4P…

Yeah, I initially bought the drone for fun and portability but later discovered its potential when hiring another surveyor to deal with a boundary dispute. I was blown away.

I keep asking myself if I had my time again what would I buy if I could only have one? I’m desperate for the higher resolution and wider FOV in my DD maps but really need can’t lose the portability.

For fun the Mavic no question but for work the P4P. Maybe Santa will be kind to me this year.