DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS with the DJI MAVIC 3 Photo Genius Photography Tutorials, Tips & Tricks
Welcome to the photogenius channel Music hi paul here from photogenius welcome to my channel, where i post regular photography. Tutorials. All designed to help you get more for your digital camera, so you can take better photos if you are new to the channel. Please consider subscribing now in this video. I want to share with you some of the tips and tricks that i use when taking photos with my drone, which is a dji mavic 3.. This is a drone ive had for some time. I use it to create video content for this channel. Sometimes social media sometimes im flying it just for fun and of course i like to use it to take photos as well. So lets begin by taking a look at the camera, or, should i say, cameras because with the mavic 3, its actually got two cameras on board. The main camera is built by hasselblad and features a four thirds 20 megapixel sensor, a variable aperture of f 2.8 through to f 11 and a 24 millimeter focal length above that is the dji telephoto camera, with a smaller half inch 12 megapixel sensor and a focal Length of 162 millimeters now, with both of the cameras you can choose to shoot, either full auto semi automatic or full manual. The choice is yours more on that in just a moment now, before we get into camera settings a quick tip that relates to the remote device, where youll often find either custom buttons or sometimes function buttons, as is the case with this remote.
Now what you can do is assign these to do certain tasks. For example, ive set up this function button so that one press quickly switches between the main camera and the telephoto camera, but two presses resets the gimbal. Now, when setting up your drone, you need to decide what image format youre going to use. Now the standard format is jpeg, but you should also have the option to shoot raw images, and sometimes you may have the option to shoot raw and jpeg simultaneously. Now, if youre not into editing your images, i would go with jpeg its a standard format. The image size isnt too big. You can view the images on any device and easily share to social media. But if, like me, you want to get more from your drone images, i would consider shooting raw now. I have to say even this unedited jpeg image straight out of camera looks pretty amazing thanks to hasselblads natural color solution, and this is the edited raw image. Just slightly tweaked using adobe lightroom now, because composition plays such a big part of photography. The next thing i recommend is setting up your grid lines or guides in the camera settings. You will find grid lines now i like to use both the three by three grid and the center cross marker. The grid can be particularly useful if you like to use the rule of thirds when composing your images the center cross marker is really useful.
Prior to switching to the telephoto camera, as it clearly shows the point to which the camera will zoom into this, makes it easier to frame and find your subject. So now i want to talk about exposure settings now by default. The camera will be set to auto exposure, but if you want to have more control, you can also use the pro mode now. This means you have the ability to individually control the aperture shutter and iso. If you wish. This is the same as shooting manual on a traditional camera. It is good to know that you can also select auto control individually for either the iso shutter speed or aperture. If you wish, if you want to give pro mode a go heres my recommended settings for shooting in good light now, as i often say in my videos, iso keep it low, so keep the iso to between 100 and 200 as a starting point. Next up is aperture and ive been using f8 with great results. Then all you need to do is select a shutter speed. That gives you a balanced exposure, and this is where the cameras light meter can really help. Now, when taking photos with a traditional camera, we use the light evaluation meter to help us get a balanced exposure too far to the left and the image will be underexposed but of course, too far to the right will result in an overexposed image. Now the mavic 3 is no different.
If i select the pro mode, you can clearly see the cameras meter showing under exposure so im going to simply adjust the shutter speed and im selecting a slower, shutter speed to let more light into the camera and give me a balanced exposure. Now it has to be said, the image quality out of the main camera is very, very impressive, and this is because dji are tapping into hasselblads, long history and many years of camera and lens innovation. Now, of course, with the mavic 3, there is in fact two cameras. So now lets take a look at the second camera, which is the telephoto sitting above the main hasselblad camera. You will find the smaller, but still very capable, telephoto camera. Now until recently, this camera didnt get a lot of attention due to its limited functionality, but with a recent firmware upgrade that has all changed when using the telephoto camry. You can now take full advantage of the pro mode and enjoy features, including full manual, control of the shutter speed and iso, with the exception of the aperture, which is fixed, you can also choose to shoot raw images and now also take advantage of photo modes, including Single shot explore mode, auto exposure bracket in burst mode and time shot now. Auto exposure bracketing is absolutely one of my favorite modes more on that coming up to put the telephoto lens to the test, i started by taking an image using the main camera looking across the bayside suburbs, with brisbane city in the distance and for my second shot.
I switched to the telephoto camera and, as you can see, this gives me a much closer view of the city now considering these buildings are approximately 16 kilometers away. I was really impressed with the quality of the image, so lets take another look at the first image taken with the main camera with the arrow indicating the city on the horizon, and here is the second image captured with the telephoto camera in the pro mode. Okay, so now lets talk about focusing now there is an option to manually focus the lens on the mavic, 3 and youll find the same with most drones. But if im totally honest with you, i found the autofocus to be so good that ive never needed to use it, but i will say never leave it to chance. So, even though youre using autofocus, my top tip, is to make sure you tap on the screen that way, youre telling the camera where and on what you want it to focus on. My next tip and recommendation is to use a feature called bracketing or to give its full title auto exposure bracketing. Now this is a technique that photographers have been using for many many years, its really useful when youre shooting high contrast, scenes or taking photos under tricky light and simply involves taking multiple photos, but at different exposure levels. Typically, three to five images for this demonstration. Ive set the camera to bracket for three shots. The first image has a balanced exposure.
The second image is overexposed and the third is under exposed. I can then choose my favorite image from the three or i could use software to merge all three images together to create a single hdr image. Now i used exactly the same technique to capture an image of this unmanned and sadly unloved boat on the bay just prior to sundown. First, moving the drone into position to get the composition i want, then, with auto exposure bracketing selected, i set the focus and the camera takes three images. This one being my favorite edited in lightroom bracketing is a really great feature and i do highly recommend you using it. It works in either the auto as well as the pro modes and, of course, if youve updated the firmware on your mavic 3 drone, it now works with both the main camera and the telephoto camera. My next tip is to have a go at creating amazing panoramas. This is absolutely one of my favorite features found in drones. Like the mavic 3.. A few days ago, i was on the gold coast hosting a photography workshop on the beach. Now, whilst i was there, i had the opportunity to fly the drone and get some great video and some cool photos off the surf, plus this panorama of surfers paradise, which was definitely my favorite image of the day. This panorama is made up of 21 individual images that were captured by the drone and were then automatically stitched together by the dji software.
So you get a ready made panorama. My main tip for great panos is to use the pro mode and also set the cameras white balance manually. This will help ensure consistency between shots. So when the images are stitched together, you cant see the joins. Now before i wrap up this weeks. Video, i just want to spend a few moments talking about light and also composition, because these are factors that can make a massive difference to your drone photography when taking photos of my drone or creating video content im, always considering the quality of light. I like getting up early to capture the first light of day. Equally shooting around sunset often called the golden hour. These are great times to shoot, so my suggestion is to try shooting at different times of the day and under different light conditions. You can have fun with shadows on a sunny day, but equally, a cloudy overcast day can be the ideal time to shoot. Soft diffused light and dramatic clouds can make for great images and when it comes to composition, a drone of course gives you the ability to capture a viewpoint, unlike no other so take advantage and show the world from a different perspective, for example pointing the drone camera Down gives an unusual way of seeing things and can be used to turn everyday views and landscapes into engaging photos and even abstract images. So i really hope youve enjoyed this weeks, video youve picked up some cool drone tips.
I want to say a big thank you to dji for kindly giving me early access to the firmware update, so i could test out some of the new features on the mavic 3.. If youve enjoyed the video, please consider giving it a thumbs up, helps the videos get noticed that helps the channel grow.