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Camera Hesitation During Vertical Panning

AirmetTango

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When I originally purchased my XSP back in July 2016, it was shipped with firmware version 1.1.3 (the same firmware that the XSP still ships with). The drone was somewhat new at the time, and many users began noticing an issue where the camera would hesitate while panning vertically right around the 45 degree point. The slower you panned, the more noticeable the hesitation became - a real problem for commercial video, because slow pans are generally more desirable to create a more "cinematic" feel. The problem turned out to be software related affecting the entire fleet, and Autel actually released a firmware update in August 2016 (version 1.2.8) that added some features and addressed several items, including the vertical panning hesitation. Unfortunately, Autel repealed version 1.2.8 by mid-September 2016, reverting to 1.1.3 for all new shipments, and 1.1.3 is still the only version available for download on the Autel website.

I was fortunate to have downloaded 1.2.8 while it was available, and continue to use it largely because this bug was fixed with it, despite some other issues that the firmware seems to have introduced. I was curious to see if current operators using 1.1.3 still have this issue, or did Autel find a way to fix it through one of the Starlink updates at some point (not sure that's possible) since no one seems to be mentioning it?

For those who aren't familiar with the issue, here is a quote from my post on a different forum from July 2016 that not only describes the issue, but offers some YouTube videos that you can search to see examples - I believe all of the videos are still available. Some of the most obvious examples appear in the third video (Liberty Dam), if you don't want to slog through all of them:

Ok, now back to this part, which I highlighted. I'm not so sure now that the vertical panning hitch at the 45 degree point is limited to just a couple XSPs. On this forum, I know you've mentioned it, and onlocation mentioned it in post #462, plus one or two others. I was curious enough about it that I spent the last couple hours wading through YouTube videos with the specific intent to see if I could identify the issue in other cameras. I'm sad to report, that in every single video for the XSP that I found which included a slow vertical pan long enough to pass through 45 degrees either up or down, I perceive varying amounts of "hitch" at the 45 degree point. As onlocation noted in post #462, the amount of "hitch" seems dependent on how slow the operator is performing the pan.

Hopefully I'm not violating some sort of forum protocol, but here is a list of representative YouTube videos with the time location for each "hitch" that I saw. The videos on the list are chosen only because each one was posted by a different person, implying that a different ship is affected in each case. Search YouTube for:

Autel X-star Premium First Flight New Firmware, orbit me, follow me modes, by Gordon Thomas, at 1:03, 1:43, 2:29, and 8:27

Autel X-Star Premium Test Flight - William Bierwas, by William Bierwas, at 3:49 and 6:31

Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Central MD Liberty Dam Flight by George Sauter, at 3:40, 5:42, and 6:09

Autel Xstar Premium Sunset Flight over Anacoco Lake by Aztec5402, at 0:17 and 0:42

Autel X-Star Premium Drone at Adventure Camp 2016, by Kevin Allen, at 5:49

AUTEL X Star Premium First Flight, by Jason Bright, at 1:50

Drone Test Flight by Tim Bartelme, at 1:14 and 1:20

Autel Robotics X-Star Maiden Flight, by William Massey, at 0:42 and 0:59

Autel X-Star Premium 4K Drone First Flight, by bmmland123, at 1:45

My New Autel Xstar Premium First Flight Practice, Tewantin Sports Complex, by ifly, at 3:01

Overall, the video evidence suggests this is a widespread issue, perhaps effecting every XSP and many folks either haven't noticed it, or maybe it just doesn't matter as much to them. Perhaps it is actually an easy firmware issue as onlocation suggested in Post #462, rather than hardware. It would be nice to hear something from Autel, assuming enough people register support tickets to get them to realize this may be a wide issue.
 

AirmetTango

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Just found this video on YouTube that was posted just a couple weeks ago, and the hesitation is clearly visible at the 0:43 second mark, so I guess I may have answered my own question:

New York City Drone Footage - Autel XStar Premium Flight by Williams Kang
 

Agustine

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I could see what you are talking about in the Liberty Dam Flight video but not in the New York one. If it is there in the New York one it is very small that these old eyes did not notice. On my next flight I will have to check my video as I have never noticed it in my videos as of yet.
 

AirmetTango

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Yes, the hesitation is a little less pronounced on the New York one, because his rate of pan is higher - but it's definitely there, and I see it immediately (so did my wife when I asked her to look at it). In the Dam video, it's much more obvious because the vertical pan is noticeably slower.

Admittedly, for the average user, the hesitation is minimal, and many folks either won't even notice, won't care, or they attribute it to something else (a video playback hiccup or air turbulence). But for commercial use, it's just as limiting as the uneven yaw issue. I simply can't deliver a final video to a client with a known flaw, or my reputation suffers - so, I used to have to avoid long vertical pans, just like I currently have to be very selective on which yawing video clips I incorporate into a client's video. The uneven yaw spoils many video shots and limits the type of shots I can effectively plan.

Edit: It's important to note that the vertical panning hesitation is infinitely repeatable - it doesn't just happen once in awhile, it happens every single time the camera is panned through 45 degrees, either up or down. It just becomes more pronounced with slower pans
 
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Agustine

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Today I took mine out and ran off a whole battery. I moved the camera up and down for the whole 20 minute flight very slowly. There was not one hesitation throughout the whole time. I do have the sensitivity in the App set to just below half if that makes any difference. I bought my X-Star in Jan of this year and it came with the revised 1.1.3 firmware to replace the 1.2.8 firmware. Holding that little wheel and keeping it at steady speed from 0-90 degrees is hard on my old hands :)
 

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