I have been flying missions (maybe 30 or so) with Mavic Pro with good success but have recently upgraded to a P4P. With Mavic I typically flew at 175 agl, 65% sidelap, 75% frontlap and max speed of 15mph (I had earlier problems with faster speeds). I also used manual focus and exposure keeping ISO at 100 with max shutter speed for the conditions. I also used +3,+3,0 camera setting for best sharpness/contrast in the photos. I was wondering, in general, if I should make any adjustments to these settings for the P4P? One big change I hope to be able to make is faster drone speed, letting the DD use maximum speed of 34mph. Also, I assume it is best to use f-stop (not available on Mavic) to maximize shutter speed up to about 1/1000 beyond which I am thinking higher f-stop would help focus (assumption being that 1/1000 SS is fast enough. Any change to overlap to allow for the P4P’s wider field of view? Any input would be most welcome.
Thanks for swinging by the DroneDeploy Forum. It is great to hear that you upgraded to a Phantom 4 Pro. Usually, the P4P works great with our mobile app so you shouldn’t need to adjust the camera setting to get sharper images. However, I encourage you to test it and see if the image quality meets your expectations.
As for the field of view and the overlap, I recommend you using up to 75% or higher to ensure good side and front overlap. Our flight app adjusts the image ration automatically to capture the images using the overlap that you selected. I hope this makes sense to you.
We hope to see other customers suggestions or inputs that could be useful for you
Have a wonderful day!
I get my best P4P maps with 360’ AGL 90% front overlap, 84% side overlap, 9 mph max speed on an overcast day with low wind conditions. I can cover 20 acres with one battery and have 30% remaining battery energy on landing. Try a few missions with difference settings (75% and up, 9 mph - 15 mph, 200; - 400’ AGL) and check the reported RMSE for the mission. To see the RMSE in DroneDeploy, click on the Title of your mission in the first screen after you select the mission from the Dashboard. My best RMSE has been 5’ with X = 8.1’, Y = 2.7’, Z = 1.7’ for missions flown with long E-W legs.
Do not go for 34 mph speed as this requires a very fast shutter in full sunlight. Full sunlight does not give me the best results. The more uniform illumination of an overcast day yields maps with lower RMSE and fewer holes in the 2D and 3D maps. I have yet to have good results with 15 mph speed. So if you can keep the speed down and complete the mission on one battery I think you are better off.
Hey Terry and Andrea,
Thanks so much for the suggestions on settings for the new Phantom. I just received it today so I am unboxing, charging, updating, registering and doing all of the things necessary for a new bird. The weather is iffy here in Charleston SC for the next few days so I might be delayed in getting started. Already I have noted that all of the control locations are the same as the Mavic (great news as I have really grown accustom to the Mavic remote). I will report back as I learn what works best for the type of work that I do (mostly mapping pre-existing conditions and documenting construction progress/as-built conditions with GCP’s). Being a working engineer, PLS, and a former pilot, drone mapping has been a perfect fit for my skill set and, with growing recognition of the drone’s potential, my workload is increasing almost daily.
Box stock settings and DroneDeploy control working great on our P4P!
We had good mapping conditions this morning (overcast) and I was able to repeat 3 missions (each with different settings) of a nearby site that I have also mapped with the Mavic. Once I have processed and reviewed, I will let everyone know what i learned. I will say that in these good conditions and just from looking at the iPad display, it looked like the fully automatic setting did perform well.
I do have one question for the DD team, on a fourth test flight, I set the speed to the max of 34 mph. Everything else was set to automatic. In spite of the setting, the drone only flew at 6 or 7 mph (the same speed as other missions when I had max speed set to 15 mph 9sam as I used for Mavic). Light was pretty low because of overcast. At ISO 100 and f2.8, shutter speed was about 200 for proper exposure. Does the DD automatically limit speed in response to conditions?
Yes the DroneDeploy App will slow the drone in lower light conditions to try and avoid blur due to drone motion when the shutter is open. This does not always work perfectly and I have lost a couple of missions due to excess blur. Now I limit the speed to 9 mph which works on overcast days in Oregon. No more blurry photos. Obviously in full sunlight you could fly faster but I just keep it at 9 mph because my 20 acres missions all finish on one battery even with 90% front and 84% side overlaps which are achieved by flying at 360’ AGL.
To complement @SolarBarn response, the flight speed in the DroneDeploy app depends on several factors, such as the front and side overlap, the camera sensor and settings, and the altitude. That being said, the flight speed will be automatically adjusted once the drone starts the image capture. I hope this makes sense to you.
75 side x 85 front @ 200 agl = 8mph
Thanks again to all for the continued input. As I stated in the above post on this thread, I was able to repeat (3 times) with the P4P the same mission that I had flown earlier with the Mavic. All three in overcast conditions so consistent light. Flew at same altitude, first with slower shutter speed and higher f stop, second with highest SS for 2.8 f-stop, and third on full auto. Results for all three were very similar but because of the low light I don’t think there was to much possible variation in the settings (ie: aperture and ss had to both be at lower limit for proper exposure). What was surprising was just how much better the P4P results were than the Mavic. Dramatic. I love my Mavic but I think it will be relegated to back-up for all but lightweight travel. Below are some screen shots for comparison.
The Phantom 4 Pro camera sensor is incredibly larger than the Mavic Pro. The Phantom 4 Pro’s 1 inch sensor does make a great impact in low light.
Wow, thanks for sharing Steven! I’m glad I got the P4P…
I get really fabulous results with my P4P. It is able to reliably detect the 1/4" per foot (2% grade) in my 100+ long driveways from missions flown at 360’ at 9 mph on low wind overcast days. Truly astounding. And without GCP (Ground Control Points). The combination of the P4P with DroneDeploy photogrammetry is unbeatable!
I think guys above have answered the issue completely. But still if you have any question, this article’s been incredibly helpful for me over many matters - DJI Mavic Pro vs Phantom 4 Pro