Fisherman Bay Panorama, Lopez Island, WA (15 June 2015) DJI Phantom 3 1/100s @ F/2.8 iso 118 (4 shot stitched panorama) Altitude: 288ft
I have to admit that this image was a pleasant surprise. I’ve tried a number of different DJI drones trying to find one that produced acceptable, to me, still images. But the standard GoPro or other fisheye lenses and small sensors made capturing quality still images a challenge.
And although I still don’t think that DJI Phantom 3 has a great camera, the lens is rectilinear so it doesn’t have the fisheye distortion found in previous drone cameras and it captures images in RAW. Plus the stabilizing gimbal is quite good. This allows a pretty easy capture of multiple shots that can be stitched together in post.
For this shot I few to an altitude of about 300ft and yawed the aircraft to change the view by about a third. This gave me plenty of overlap for my post processing needs.
One other downside to the small sensor in the camera on the DJI Phantom 3 is its less than stellar dynamic range. I’m quite spoiled by the Sony full frame sensors but capturing any images with the sun in the frame can be quite a challenge. There is bracketing and HDR but for this shot I just waited for the sun to set just below the horizon. In addition to helping out the camera, it softened the light and created a pretty sweet feel over Fisherman Bay.
I’m still getting to know the ins and outs of aerial photography and drones so it’s a nice bonus to capture a sweet shot while the training wheels were still on.