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Autel EVO Nano+ - Good start: but a little work needed

Felix the Cat

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Autel EVO Nano +

Post editing suites used:
PhotoNinja (RAW correction - output to 32 bit floating point TIF)
Darktable (primary TIF correction & editing - output to lossless 8 bit JPG)

Sensor aberrations.
* Editing software recognises red/magenta hues as chromatic aberrations
* RAW 'images' badly over-saturated with a green/yellow bias
* Blue (sky blue in particular) presents as metallic and unnatural
* Yellow cast toned-down but still exists in RAW
* Very noticeable lateral drop-off in the outer horizontal thirds of frame - similar to vignetting but with a foggy greyish-blue cast.

Lens distortion characteristics.
Not appreciably bad. Relatively minor pincushion/moustache distortion in RAW. Surprising given that this is a wide-angle lens. Quite impressed by the lens assembly. Autel needs to release the camera firmware LCP to Adobe & Lensfun databases ASAP.

The fact that geofencing is not present in Autel drones (at this time) is a major selling-point and since buying this unit as opposed to the DJI Mini 3 Pro, I can honestly say that I really like this wren of a drone but Autel needs to address the lens and sensor aberrations with urgency. This is not a cheap drone. A consumer can buy 2 DJI Mini 2's for the same price as 1 Nano + with the premium bundle - with the price as it stands: the Nano + camera needs to be THE stand-out reason why this product is priced at this level. The EVO Nano + has the potential to be a great professional level camera drone, but work needs to be done to improve the quality and consistency of the RAW images it captures.

The digital zoom function is a gimmick. At 2x zoom: it is tolerable. Anything past this and the image quality is unusable. The excuse that it is perfect for long-range scouting purposes is very reminiscent of DJI claiming the same for the frankly useless 12mp "hybrid zoom" unit tacked on to the top of the Mavic 3's Hasselblad camera. Autel needs to sacrifice the features that don't work well (and never will work well... digital zoom!) and shoehorn substitute code into the firmware that improves the quality, operation and output from the RYYB sensor.

The RYYB quad-Bayer sensor was a brave move, a radical side-step flying in the face of current norms, reminding me of Sigma's Foveon X3 sensor DSLR experiments (SD1: SD14: SD15 etc.) and it is clear that like the Foveon X3 Sigma cameras - the Nano + camera has the potential to be able to capture astonishing quality images. But Autel needs to act with haste and concentrate on first getting the Nano + camera right: and then perfecting it. By doing this, they will turn this little drone into the imaging sledgehammer that it COULD be and deliver a sledgehammer blow: knocking the DJI Mini 3 Pro straight off the top spot and keeping the DJI brand on the back foot for the forseeable future. Even now: the Nano + camera has demonstrably better low-light capabilities than the DJI Mini 2: Mini 3 Pro and Air 2S, as proven by numerous night-shoot comparisons uploaded to Youtube.

I want to see the drone I am so impressed with already polished and perfected. Autel Robotics have the perfect opportunity to set a much higher benchmark than DJI in the sub-250 gram category - I hope they don't waste the opportunity.
 

OldBlueHeron

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Did you get yours fairly recently? It sounds like it. Autel doesn’t do anything quickly. And while I agree this camera has potential, the rest of this quad leaves a lot to be desired. I still like mine, but I don’t see it taking any significant jumps into greatness. I don’t even care anymore about the promised missing features or the significantly underpowered motors they saddled this thing with. I just wanna see the most potential possible outta this camera at this point. Don’t get me started on the Lite +, that’s another simultaneous mess by Autel.
 

Felix the Cat

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Did you get yours fairly recently? It sounds like it. Autel doesn’t do anything quickly. And while I agree this camera has potential, the rest of this quad leaves a lot to be desired. I still like mine, but I don’t see it taking any significant jumps into greatness. I don’t even care anymore about the promised missing features or the significantly underpowered motors they saddled this thing with. I just wanna see the most potential possible outta this camera at this point. Don’t get me started on the Lite +, that’s another simultaneous mess by Autel.
Only recently finally jumped ship from DJI: who finally drove me up the wall with arbitrary enforced geofencing (amongst other things). I didn't really factor in flight performance with my decision to buy the Nano+ - it was the camera that attracted my attention. I shoot stills exclusively in RAW and I needed a drone that had stand-out low-light capabilities and could deal with shooting in available light (a lot of what I shoot is contained in gloomy nooks & crannies). I think I may have clued-on as to why a lot of promised features are missing from both the Nano and the Mini3 Pro. The latest firmware upgrade for the Mini 3 was released very recently and I've noticed that some people are starting to have serious issues with both app and drone performance after the update. It's as if the hardware inside the Mini 3 hasn't got the capacity to deal with the expanded feature set - the same way that my old computer throws a total wobble if I try to edit 4K footage with Davinci Resolve. If this is the case: I'll bet you a metaphorical dollar that those missing features will stay missing. I can live without the active-track and all the rest of the "floating selfie-stick" autonomous functions, but I really want that impressive little camera to get the full attention it deserves.
 

f13dfx

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Only recently finally jumped ship from DJI: who finally drove me up the wall with arbitrary enforced geofencing (amongst other things). I didn't really factor in flight performance with my decision to buy the Nano+ - it was the camera that attracted my attention. I shoot stills exclusively in RAW and I needed a drone that had stand-out low-light capabilities and could deal with shooting in available light (a lot of what I shoot is contained in gloomy nooks & crannies). I think I may have clued-on as to why a lot of promised features are missing from both the Nano and the Mini3 Pro. The latest firmware upgrade for the Mini 3 was released very recently and I've noticed that some people are starting to have serious issues with both app and drone performance after the update. It's as if the hardware inside the Mini 3 hasn't got the capacity to deal with the expanded feature set - the same way that my old computer throws a total wobble if I try to edit 4K footage with Davinci Resolve. If this is the case: I'll bet you a metaphorical dollar that those missing features will stay missing. I can live without the active-track and all the rest of the "floating selfie-stick" autonomous functions, but I really want that impressive little camera to get the full attention it deserves.
I got my 2nd Nano+ in March 2022 after I crashed my 1st one. Motors seem to be much stronger & I was actually able to fly back home in 33mph wind albeit very slowly. I, like the OP, use my Nano+ exclusively at night where this drone shines! A lot of DJI fanboy reviewers always complain about oversharpening but I really prefer very sharp detail when I’m shooting. I would only buy the Mini 3 Pro if DJI ever puts out a firmware update that allows the RC Pro controller to operate it. Then I’d be able to use my RC Pro for both my Mavic 3 & Mini 3 Pro! Although the Mini 3 Pro’s camera is not quite as good as the Nano+, it is so much quieter than all the drones I’ve owned (M2P, Mavic 3, Nano+) which is a big consideration for me in the country I live in. 17676ED6-6E3E-42FE-B15D-129B4B50B332.png
 
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