Why can't I take photos faster than every 3 seconds?

Been doing some testing and discovered that DroneDeploy adjusts the drone speed instead of the shutter delay when you change frontlap settings. It appears the app is coded to always use a fixed 3 second delay (approximate) so you can’t take photos faster than once every 3 seconds. I can easily take photos every second on my Phantom 4 Pro with other apps (as long as I’m not using HDR.) My best guess is that for whatever reason DroneDeploy has selected fixed parameters for their app’s equations that are EXTREMELY conservative. The big question is WHY? Is there a known problem with the reliability of the photo cache on the Phantom models to where DroneDeploy doesn’t trust that the drone can reliably take photos faster than once every 3 seconds?

Hi @consultant,

Thanks so much for swinging by the DroneDeploy Forum. Your question is very interesting. We are collecting some more information from our Flight team in regards your questions and we’ll reach back out to you as soon as possible.


DJI’s SDK recommends a max speed of once every 2 seconds. This is so they can guarantee a certain level of reliability. We’ve seen that 2 seconds has worse reliability than 2.5 seconds, so we use 2.5 seconds right now. We have seen that the X5S, X7, etc. can capture much faster, but for phantoms once every 2 seconds is DJI’s recommendation.
Docs: https://developer.dji.com/api-reference/ios-api/Components/Camera/DJICamera.html#djicamera_djicameraphotointervalparam_inline

This seems like you are going for the “lowest common denominator” because obviously things like the spec of the memory card can affect the reliability. So I would guess 2-2.5 sec is good for the vast majority of cards. However I would suggest in your planning software that in addition to being able to specify a max flight speed, you can also alter the minimum shutter delay from the default of 2.5 seconds all the way down to 1 sec and give the user the flexibility to decide what’s reliable and what isn’t for their particular setup and application.

+1 for this.

I find with my usual flight parameters the P4P ends up with a max speed of 7m/s. I would love the ability to tweak the shutter delay to increase my flight speed (noted there may be some decrease in reliability)

I don’t want to continue this thread going sideways, but why would you want anything faster than 2.5-3 seconds. Picture quality would diminish and no matter how high of an ISO you are running you will loose image features and accuracy. If you’re not worried about accuracy then have at it! 50mph an camera in continual multi-shot… Personally we get some of the best RMSE’s of anyone that I have heard on this platform and I would take image quality over any other factor.


I don’t seem the harm in letting the user control the shutter delay setting. It can default to the recommended “reliable” setting but I think it’s best to leave the option for the user to tweak as desired.

Point is that you can’t expect a software developer to cater to every want and need. The software is designed for a purpose and I like them keeping their costs affordable. Giving a user that kind of control opens up a whole world of “Why didn’t my map come out like I wanted?”

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Umm, that’s why things like say, digital cameras, have an “Auto” mode (I’m not sure what I’m doing, please think for me) and a “Manual” mode (I know what’s best better than you do.)

There’s absolutely no reason you can’ t give the user the choice, especially when your company is being fed lots of money for development.

Ok, and now you are the lead support engineer for “Why are my photos blurry?”, “Why are half of my photos missing?” and “Why does my map look bad?” Thanks for the extra $5/month cost.

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