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Is DJI Phantom 4 Drone sensor good enough?

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Well I've just submitted 4 photos and all ticked the QC requirements on the Alamy website.   All four were rejected due to "Digital camera not suitable for Alamy"

Seems I may have wasted my money on a drone that hasn't got a camera suitable for stock photography.  Although it would have been nice for Alamy to provide a little more detail.

Still I've submitted a query to MS, so lets see if a more detailed response comes of it.

 

For anyone who is interested, the camera details are: 

Sensor: Sony EXMOR 1/2.3” Effective pixels: 12.4 M (total pixels: 12.76 M)

Lens: FOV 94° 20 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.8, focus at ∞

Image size:  4000x3000

 

http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-3-pro/info

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I know nothing about drones, so apologies to those who do, but surely it must be possible to fit something like an RX100 to some of the cheaper drone models on the market?

 

Alex

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It should go without saying though that a camera with a sensor the same size as that in a mobile phone will not be adequate.

 

I hate to say it but rather than spending time uploading more and more images, sort out existing keywording and incorrect licensing first, for ALL our sakes.

 

Geoff.

 

This is no longer the case Geoff.  The first 13 images (fall colors) on my collection page are from a Galaxy S6 cellphone with a tiny sensor.  I ran these through REGULAR Alamy upload channels.  Not Stockimo.  I have since added similar images at Getty, AGE, and PhotoEdit all through regular upload channels   I have already had a couple of sales.  The point of this thread is about Drone photography, not keywording, and finding and producing images with a new PERSPECTIVE.  Lord knows that few of us are able to shoot something for stock that has not already been taken.  We must find a way to present ordinary people, places and things in a different manner with a different perspective.  Drone aerial photography is one of those avenues.  After doing more research I find that the camera in the Phantom 4 has 9 elements while my Galaxy S6 has 6.  It is not what I want but it is a fair start.

 

**Betty**  it is for the above reasons that I have purchased the Phantom 4 and have bypassed on the Fuji XT2 for now.  I will trust my Fuji X Pro 1 for now for every day stock.  When and if I get images online at Alamy I will let you all know.

 

 

 

Sorry but this very much is still the case. Many images get through when they shouldn't, as Alamy QC cannot check every image and I'm sure only check a tiny percentage. There is no way that the image from an S6 (I am familiar with that phone and camera) are adequate for stock whether they make it into the database and have sold or not. Many poor images sell, including a few of my own older ones! Also Alamy's database is full of very poor images that wouldn't have passed QC had they been checked.

 

I mentioned keywording as I am one who wrote a very full reply to your recent thread about that, so I thought it was worth mentioning that your time is better spent sorting your keywording out and removing images with an incorrect license. It affects your own sales and rank, and as you have such a large number of images it potentially negatively affects other contributors too. Like you rightly say though, it isn't the subject of this thread so I'll leave that there. I just wanted to explain why I brought it up.

 

Geoff.

 

 

This is the second time you have taken a swipe at me regarding keywording.  If you want to jump my ass on this subject then go to the thread on the other forum.  This thread is about drone photography not keywording.

 

As to the drone photography.  I went ahead and bought the the DJI Phantom 4 and shot some images and submitted them to Alamy, Getty, AGE, & PhotoEdit.  So far they have PASSED QC in three of them.  I am waiting on Getty which will take a month.  I have no doubt they will pass Getty QC as I routinely have Galaxy S6 cell images pass there.  I am trying to pass some legitimate image making suggestions here and you want no part of it judging from your constant negativity.  My suggestion to you is to move away from this thread so we can move forward with some intelligent talk.

 

Regarding the Phantom 4.

 

View the 41 images I submitted to Alamy here.

 

The camera is certainly not an end all.  It's just another tool for us to make some sales.  For me it is all about perspective.  Trying to shoot simple subject matter from a different perspective.  That's it.  Nothing more.  I will let the perspective of the images speak for themselves.

 

Sensor size is a limitation but one that I can live with.  It IS more than adequate.  I did crop one image of the lad tossing the ball in a tennis serve.  Otherwise all images are not cropped.

 

All images were shot in DNG raw and processed with Adobe CS6 DNG RAW.  I thought all came out rather well.

 

I noted that it is best to shoot early to late morning and the same in the evening for contrast reasons.

 

I am limited to shooting in horizontal format....... 2 different widths.

 

The drone was extremely easy to learn to fly and to control while shooting.

 

I am not a video guy but it does shoot 4k video and I did spend a fair amount of time playing with it.  If you are into video then this might be the machine for you.  All agents will take the footage as one can achieve some spectacular results.

 

That's it for now................ except to let the keyword police know that AGE rejected 8 of my images due to too few keywords on those images (10 is minimum).  I have since added enough keywords to have them pass there.

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Really like the perspective. So it was easy to learn to fly? What fun. What is battery life, and did you buy a spare battery? How long to recharge?

If I ever reach a point of getting one, I have an experienced flier in the family to show me the ropes.

That is....if I can pry it out of his hands. :)

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This is the second time you have taken a swipe at me regarding keywording.  If you want to jump my ass on this subject then go to the thread on the other forum.  This thread is about drone photography not keywording.

 

 

Plus 1 Focalpoint.

 
There is more to photography than keywording, lets discuss something else that might interest the forum, like photography from drones.
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Focal point:

 
Great shots with the Phantom 4 Drone. 
 
Last year I had an extensive email exchange with a professional assignment aerial photographer who was trying to decide wether to buy either an expensive drone, or a part interest in a conventional aircraft. He went with the conventional aircraft because he could better control his shooting position at the higher than drone altitude, he normally shoots at.
 
One thing we have to keep in mind is that the drone investment is worthwhile, even if the present technology is not of the very highest quality. Worthwhile because you will be experimenting on how to take images from a drone. You will always be ahead of the crowd, because you got in early. Latecomers will still be trying to get their drones into the air, you will be producing images.
 
As far as cameras on cell phones, they are already there for some uses like this use of an iphone:
 
 
I am a Zeiss lens on a 50 megapixel camera guy, but I would not hesitate to use a high end cell phone camera for some uses.
 
The technology is changing so fast, that we all have to keep an open mind on what can do what.
 
Thanks for sharing the phone camera info. I agree with you. I am going to start watching phone technology. Maybe replace my Sony RX100 with a phone camera.
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Really like the perspective. So it was easy to learn to fly? What fun. What is battery life, and did you buy a spare battery? How long to recharge?

If I ever reach a point of getting one, I have an experienced flier in the family to show me the ropes.

That is....if I can pry it out of his hands. :)

 

Yes, the perspective can give new life to old subjects in all sorts of ways and yes it is very easy to fly.  It virtually cannot get away from you as there are redundant computer controled come to home features.  There are a few sensors that keep you from crashing into things.  If you look on youtube you will find all sorts of examples and help.  They advertise battery life @ 28 minutes but I have been bringing it back home after about 23 minutes with 20% left in the tank.  It takes about 1.5 hour to recharge and I picked up a car battery charger for when I am on the go.  I did get get two batteries.  I think this is a must.  The price has already come $200 I think since I bought mine 3 weeks ago.  I did save about $125  + sales tax by buying it off of ebay.  

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Focal point:

 
Great shots with the Phantom 4 Drone. 
 
Last year I had an extensive email exchange with a professional assignment aerial photographer who was trying to decide wether to buy either an expensive drone, or a part interest in a conventional aircraft. He went with the conventional aircraft because he could better control his shooting position at the higher than drone altitude, he normally shoots at.
 
One thing we have to keep in mind is that the drone investment is worthwhile, even if the present technology is not of the very highest quality. Worthwhile because you will be experimenting on how to take images from a drone. You will always be ahead of the crowd, because you got in early. Latecomers will still be trying to get their drones into the air, you will be producing images.
 
As far as cameras on cell phones, they are already there for some uses like this use of an iphone:
 
 
I am a Zeiss lens on a 50 megapixel camera guy, but I would not hesitate to use a high end cell phone camera for some uses.
 
The technology is changing so fast, that we all have to keep an open mind on what can do what.
 
Thanks for sharing the phone camera info. I agree with you. I am going to start watching phone technology. Maybe replace my Sony RX100 with a phone camera.

 

 

Thanks Bill,

 

Agree that all of this is part of the total "tool" package.....phone, drone, dslr, etc.  FWIW....the fall color shots that follow the drone images on my link were shot with the Samsung S6 cell.   They are all (agencies) taking images from any device if it will pass the muster.  I am in Port Huron, just across from Sarnia, Ont so you can imagine the type of shipping and industrial images that are at my front door.

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Yes Focal Point it is the people who apply the technology first, that get the edge.

 
I recall retouchers with $150,000 Barco retouching systems in 1992 telling me that my $40,000 Apple computer running Photoshop 2 couldn’t match their quality. Even though my results said otherwise.
 
Barco Creator later went out of business.
 
 
I used to do a lot of assignment industrial photography in the refineries at Sarnia for Imperial Oil (Exxon), so I know the Canadian side well.
 
Be careful with your drone over the refineries with their explosive atmospheres. You also have to be aware of the international border. Don’t want homeland security shooting you down.
 
Here is an image I did originally for Imperial Oil in Sarnia.
 
construction-of-low-density-polyethylene

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Focal point:

 

Great shots with the Phantom 4 Drone.

 

Last year I had an extensive email exchange with a professional assignment aerial photographer who was trying to decide wether to buy either an expensive drone, or a part interest in a conventional aircraft. He went with the conventional aircraft because he could better control his shooting position at the higher than drone altitude, he normally shoots at.

 

One thing we have to keep in mind is that the drone investment is worthwhile, even if the present technology is not of the very highest quality. Worthwhile because you will be experimenting on how to take images from a drone. You will always be ahead of the crowd, because you got in early. Latecomers will still be trying to get their drones into the air, you will be producing images.

 

As far as cameras on cell phones, they are already there for some uses like this use of an iphone:

 

https://fstoppers.com/aerial/aerial-film-flying-dusk-proves-iphone-capable-professional-quality-video-142302

 

I am a Zeiss lens on a 50 megapixel camera guy, but I would not hesitate to use a high end cell phone camera for some uses.

 

The technology is changing so fast, that we all have to keep an open mind on what can do what.

 

Thanks for sharing the phone camera info. I agree with you. I am going to start watching phone technology. Maybe replace my Sony RX100 with a phone camera.

Like the way you think, Bill. I always have an open mind and tend to be an early adopter of all things. Even fashion. When fashion hits the west and east coasts first in the US, it usually takes a couple of years before women begin wearing the "new thing" in Oklahoma, dead middle of the country.

I've gotten many an odd look when I bought and wore some things, like wide pants, skinny jeans. Women in my family and Oklahoma in general usually adopt it when it's about to go out of fashion.

The stock business is ever changing, we must be open to trying new things or get left in the dust.

Edited by Betty LaRue

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Interesting.

What do you use as your monitor ?

Did you consider the 'Inspire 1' model ? More expensive but wasn't sure if the camera was any better.

 

thanks

Geoff

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I've researched camera drones extensively and can't seem to find much of anything on rating the cameras. It all seems to be about the drones. And when the cameras are mentioned, it's all about the video along with examples. The stills are barely mentioned.

 

If anyone can search "best camera on drones" better than I, post a link. I did see a couple of drones without cameras where it mentioned using GoPros, but I don't even know how those cameras stack up against the models that come with cameras.

Edited to add, I just found this.

http://epfilms.tv/best-multirotor-drones-top-quadcopters-aerial-filming/

Edited by Betty LaRue

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Speaking of cameras in cellphones. Sony RX100 or new cellphone? If you use the RX100 for it's light weight, or it's ability to go unnoticed, or even it's image quality, you might want to check out a new cellphone.

 

It seems the Photography Hall of Fame has. This recognition of Steve Jobs is a pointer to the future. Get on the train before it leaves the station.

 

http://petapixel.com/2016/08/19/steve-jobs-now-photography-hall-fame/

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Interesting.

What do you use as your monitor ?

Did you consider the 'Inspire 1' model ? More expensive but wasn't sure if the camera was any better.

 

thanks

Geoff

 

Using the Samsung Tab A and while there are a few compatibility issues at times it does a commendable job.  Most are using Apple tablets.  Many use cellphones and my Samsung Galaxy s6 is also compatible.  I did consider the other models but figured I needed to find out if I could find enough saleable subjects along with getting a handle on this whole drone concept first.  If this goes well then I wouldn't hesitate to go for a more expensive model.  For now I shall crawl a bit.......then perhaps walk, then run.  The big surprise with the Phantom 4 for me was how really easy it is to fly.  It is easy to concentrate more on photography and less on flying.  The 3 gimbal camera system is extremely steady and some photographers are reporting exposures as long a 3 seconds without any shake.

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Well I am now confused.....from reading the posts it seems that 'Droning On' has a Phantom 3 and has had his images rejected by QC and that 'Focal Point' has the Phantom 4 and has had his images passed by QC. And yet as far as I can tell the camera is the same on both (12mp, Exmor 1/2.3 sensor).   

Does that imply that it might be that Focal Point has maybe done a better job in the post-processing, so that they simply appear better ?

 

So far I have gleaned the following :

Phantom 12mp generic sensor 1/2.3

Inspire     12mp sony sensor 1/2.3

It's only when you get to the Inspire 1 pro that the camera really takes a great leap forward  (16mp micro four thirds)

 

Do you concur ? 

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Well I am now confused.....from reading the posts it seems that 'Droning On' has a Phantom 3 and has had his images rejected by QC and that 'Focal Point' has the Phantom 4 and has had his images passed by QC. And yet as far as I can tell the camera is the same on both (12mp, Exmor 1/2.3 sensor).   

Does that imply that it might be that Focal Point has maybe done a better job in the post-processing, so that they simply appear better ?

 

So far I have gleaned the following :

Phantom 12mp generic sensor 1/2.3

Inspire     12mp sony sensor 1/2.3

It's only when you get to the Inspire 1 pro that the camera really takes a great leap forward  (16mp micro four thirds)

 

Do you concur ? 

 

Phantom 4 camera is better than the 3.................quote from a review below.

 

Also more information here.

 

 

It’s Sharper: Superior Camera Quality and Ultra-Smooth Gimbal

The Phantom 4 camera and gimbal is similar to that on the Phantom 3 Professional, but with a few tweaks. The Phantom 4 gimbal has a support link mounted into the drone, thus providing sturdier camera-work. Tweaked software gives quicker feedback between pilot and camera, as well as in auto-focus. Like the Phantom 3 Pro, the Phantom 4 camera puts out 12 MP and 4K video; unlike the Phantom 3 Pro, the Phantom 4 can film at a rate of 120fps in 1080p res. Lastly, an eight-element lens and some nifty sensor mods produce a more dynamic range of colors and saturation than either the Phantom 3 or the pricier Inspire 1.

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Well I am now confused.....from reading the posts it seems that 'Droning On' has a Phantom 3 and has had his images rejected by QC and that 'Focal Point' has the Phantom 4 and has had his images passed by QC. 

 

I am not sure of the specifics of the above rejection.  I will say that Alamy along with all other major agencies have changed their attitude in what they will accept and what they will accept images from in terms of devices (cameras).  Last fall I sent images shot from my Samsung Galaxy S6 phone to Alamy through regular submission channels (not Stockimo) and they passed.  To be sure it wasn't a fluke I sent more and they were also accepted.  It could be that Droning On might well get images passed if he were to send them in today.  He would have to speak to this.

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Here are Alamy specifications regarding image size.

 
“Photos from a camera that has a minimum of 6 megapixels
Cameras with less than this won’t be able to produce a good enough quality for us to sell”
 
If images on a 12 megapixel cellphone or a 16 megapixel drone camera look “soft and lacking definition” at 100% then reduce to 6 megapixels.
 
The resulting 6 megapixel images should look sharp at 100%, and will be big enough for a lot of uses.
 
I did this with high rez scans I made from film and it worked great. All you have to do is reduce the hi rez image, keeping it at 6 megapixels or above, until it meets the sharpness standard when viewed at 100%.
 
Here is an acid rain film image scanned at 8,000 pixels on the long side reduced to 3,400 pixels to boost sharpness at 100%. Sold before Alamy, and continues to sell today on Alamy.
 
effects-of-acid-rain-from-smelter-in-sud

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