Manual Camera Settings

Hello all,

New DroneDeploy user for a little over a month. I am working to improve map quality/consistency and am studying manual camera settings. Flying Mavic Pro with iPad Mini 4. I have searched forum for information and have found useful tips on setting high shutter speed. low ISO, and manual white balance. I am hoping for answers to a couple of specific questions.

First, I am interested in manual focus. In addition to establishing other manual camera settings during DJI GO4 controlled test flight, I would like to set manual focus then have it hold that setting during DD mission. Many of my missions have trees/forested areas within the cleared areas that I am interested in mapping and I am concerned that they are affecting autofocus. Is manual focus a better solution and, if so, will a manual focus setting be held as are other camera settings when switching to the DD app?

Second, I would like to know more specifics about switching from the DJI Go4 app to the DD app after camera setup. Can I shut down the DJI app in mid-flight (preferably at mission altitude and near mission start point) and start the DD app and fly the mission from there or do I need to land first to re-set RTH point? If I do need to land, are there any specific procedures for switching apps. I assume it is just force closing the DJI app and then opening the DD app (or do I leave DJI app running in the background?). Are there any other specifics? Do I need to cold boot any devices (remote, drone or iPad), etc.

Finally, what is the procedure if I have a long mission and need to switch batteries? Will the camera setting be held or do I need to re-fly a test mission with DJI app to re-set everything? If I close the DD app to re-open the DJI app will my half completed mission status in DD be lost?

I think that’s it. I know this is a lot of questions but I haven’t seen these specifics asked before and hopefully, in addition to me, this thread will prove useful to others for future reference.

Thanks in advance,


Bumping to top of que.

No help, I’m afraid on number 1.
After adjusting the camera settings in the DJI GO4 app for the DD mission, we have done it both ways with success. Only thing I would say is always force close the app you’re not using. Example, after doing camera settings in DJI, force close it before you start DD, and Vice Versa. We have had to restart apps and hardware when it is too hot for the iPhone. If it heats up, things just don’t work correctly.
Number 3 the camera settings will hold. no need for a test mission. The drone will return to the point where you hit RTH. One thing we have discovered is that it is best to hit RTH at the turn at the end of a flight line. If you do it mid flight line, the app sends it back to the begining of the that interrupted flight line - wasting battery. Afterchanging batteries, the mission will say ‘continue’ rather than ‘start’. It doesn’t always work exactly but most times it does.

Thanks for the information jalaw3. I will incorporate you advice into my procedures. FYI, I started on the Mavic with an iPhone 6 plus that’s a little over 2 years old with lots of other apps, etc. I had some “buggy” issues with both the Go4 app and DD. After initial testing and seeing the potential for DD, I bit the bullet and bought an iPad mini 4 with cellular. I have kept it clean only adding drone specific apps (DD, Go4, Kittyhawk, AirMap). Much better both in performance and viewing. Very stable, maybe I’ve been lucky but I think the clean and up to date setup is definitely a plus. Also, I have learned boot up order is always remote, Go4 app, drone. Links up every time if done in that order.

Also, my short mini-USB to iPhone cord integrated into the remote was junk. Replaced it with a short USB to iPhone cord and a couple other accessories from Amazon and the whole setup is light years better than original iPhone setup (see below) . If you are committed to DD and think it worthwhile to invest the capital I think its worth it.

Thanks again


I have a Mavic Pro and a Phantom 4 Pro and have used DD on both. There is a known issue with DD regarding the focus on the Mavic Pro that the pictures are not so clear as using the DJI Go4 app manually taking pictures from the same altitude. I have tried both letting the application control the focus and setting the focus manually on infinity and using DD not controlling the camera with the same results, somewhat blurry pictures. I have shot simply pictures from the same altitude using the DJIGo4 app and the pictures are sharp… Support only had to say stay tuned for updates to address the issue…that is as of 2 days ago… and YES I am very disappointed… PP4 works great!

Thanks for info Larry. I think Mavic focus is kinda buggy even with the Go4 app. Seems like even on manual focus it somehow finds a way to creep back to autofocus , or at least refocus for reasons I don’t fully understand.


I just recently noticed my images from a mission are captured blurry and out of focus. I have everything in Go app and DD on Auto. I am noticing 1 image is being captured on the ground prior to takeoff. This image is in fact in focus. It is focused on the ground horizontally however and I’m wondering if DD app is keeping this the focal range. FWIW, I have no problems capturing clear focused pictures only using the Go app.
Nothing in my gear has changed since before this issue.
Shield K1, X5 camera.

Hello all,

Tested new methodology for running DD yesterday and am very happy with it. After confirming everything is set to go with DD (mission already defined, iPad rebooted for clean start, etc.) I launch with Go4 app and climb to altitude of planned DD mission. I then pan gimbal straight down while drone is hovering and tap screen to autofocus on ground (not tree tops , unless I want to map treetops). As soon as autofocus is complete, I switch to manual focus (do not refocus, it will hold the set autofocus setting). Then I force close Go4 app and and open DD app while drone is hovering. Select mission and tap fly button. After checklist runs, I push final check button. Drone will immediate head to fisr waypoint and fly mission. Focus will hold at ground setting thru whole mission. For missions that take more than one battery, I broke them up into multiple missions so that I can re-run the focus procedure before each mission; however, I think that the manual focus setting will hold without re-running the Go4 focus procedure. Another poster indicated as much and during my testing yesterday, the behavior of the drone led me to believe this is accurate. I will test further as soon as I can to confirm.

I general, I think this tap to focus then switch to manual focus procedure might be a key for holding stable focus on all fights (DD or Go4 app). Focus was razor sharp on all of my photos and video, both from DD and Go4.


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I tried this method to no avail. Flew to mission altitude in Go app, focused, took picture. Closed app, started DD, began mission. Mission pictures are still blurry.

After my first two Mavic Pro missions, both with blurred results, I researched online and indeed found the manual setting alternative as a possible solution. Just as StevenB has stated, I did all of the above and the results were amazing. The only difference I have to Steven is that being on Android, I am forced to remove the USB cable after coming out of the Go4 app and remove the default from Android’s app settings. It’s the only way DD will then connect to the drone once opening after shutting Go4.

I have subsequently carried out two further missions of the same area of land. After the first (with a 45 minute flight time), I got back home only to find all of the pictures out of focus again. Sh*t! Over the past 24 hours I’ve been racking my brains trying to work out what I might have done (or not done) to cause it but to no avail. This morning I tried again. Step by step, auto focus, click centre of screen away from trees, switch to manual focus, pull the USB and force close Go4, clear defaults in settings, open DD and start mission. 45 minutes and a journey home, SD card in the PC and…blurred pictures!

I was in the process of contacting DD for help and whilst confirming I had carried out all of the relevant steps I had a light bulb moment. Anybody else suffering from blurred pictures despite having manually set the camera up in Go4, please do remember to untick the ‘Automatic Camera Settings’ under Advanced settings of the DD mission.

Currently waiting for batteries to recharge and will hopefully be back out this afternoon to test and make sure my neglect to untick the box was indeed the cause of my blurred pictures. Needless to say, the pictures really ought to be focused using automatic settings in any event.

No, still blurred!!! Just don’t understand. Flying at 3m/s snail pace.

Manual images through Go4 are perfect, through DD are not…

Which version of DD are you using? We have made some improvements to Mavic focus in the 2.56 release (2.56.0 for iOS, 2.56.1 for Android).

I have had the exact same blurry issue for months on my Inspire Pro. If you look at your logs, you will see that even if you set the camera to auto, it will switch to manual focus mid-flight. Manual settings and infinite focus works well on other auto apps such as Pix4d Capture but not on DD. Even turning ‘auto camera settings’ to off does not resolve the problem, no matter the settings are in DJI go. The employees on this site will wonder what version/app/drone you are using but it seems to make no difference, just look through the dozens of posts about this, DD has a problem and they just won’t admit it.

As Sean said, please verify with version 2.56.0 as this should have fixes for Mavic Pro focus.

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Hi @dronexsolutions,

I understand that you are frustrated, but we are a team and community focused on helping, growing, and learning. My team and I (@seanwalsh and @chasemgray) are genuinely trying to assist you with the issues you are experiencing.

Let’s try and work together to see what’s going on here. As Sean and Chase mentioned above, we recently released app version 2.56.0, which should resolve issues with the Mavic Pro.


Hello Lidar and JamesC,

Sorry to hear your still having focus problems. Just wanted to confirm that I am currently running version 2.56; however, I have updated DD software in the last week or so. Therefore, I can’t say with certainty what version I was using when I made my original post a few weeks ago. Can anyone tell me DD’s procedure for updating their version numbers?

I will be flying another mission tomorrow and will report if my procedure continues to work for me.




We started rolling out 2.56.0 on Tuesday. For your original post, it’s likely that you were on 2.0.54. Please let us know if you have any issues on 2.56.0.

Just wanted to report back that I ran a mission today with version 2.56 (along with latest DJI Go4 update and everything was flawless. My compliments to the DD team. The flight app worked perfectly on the Mavic with no drop outs and the focus was razor sharp. Held exposure and focus throughout including a battery change. I followed the same procedure for setup and starting the mission that I reported on earlier in this thread. Looking forward to seeing the finished map.

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Hi @StevenB,

I’m glad the update resolved your issue! If you run into any other issues, you know where to find us. :wink:


Hi Drone Deploy staff and thanks for your suggestion Sean.

As of Thursday when you first suggested the ‘56’ update, my version was on 2.53.0 with no update available to download in Play Store. I tried but was travelling to the hills for a funeral. I’ve not had any mobile service or wifi available to me until last night but this morning however, I can see that there are both a ton of messages to read above and possibly more importantly, a DD update (2.56.0) ready for me to install from Play Store that came through overnight. Please God!! I am certain it automatically updated to ‘53’ within the past week so a little frustrating I’ve wasted so much time messing with an older version not knowing Play Store should have been pushing ‘56’ to me sooner.

Thank you staff and Steve and everybody else that’s helped. Whereas I am a hobbyist really, I’m experimenting on behalf of my employer with a view to purchase at least a Commercial licence and to date I’m struggling to promote it. Fingers crossed this works. I still have other options to try but DD was the first to be recommended to me by another Commercial user. Just one thing, and it’s possibly said above that I haven’t read yet (I will), but with the new ‘fixed’ version, should ‘56’ now be able to work in ‘Automatic settings’ or is best to continue to work through manual settings? Trouble with manual settings is that you lose a good 10% of a relatively tight battery capacity in configuring the manual settings and switching apps in the phone. Thanks. J.