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Evo sensor dynamic range - washout

goferfan

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#1
Hey all. Been flying my EVO for a few days now, and one thing I noticed right off the bat is that the photos in sunlight looked a lot more washed out than on my XSP. The XSP photos generally looked pretty good straight off the card, sometimes had to do a little tweaking but generally very impressed with the ability to handle the sun without washing out the sky. The EVO - not so much. I've seen a couple blogs and videos by camera wonks saying how wonderful the dynamic range of the EVO sensor is - better than the Mavics and XSP and comparable to the Phantom 4 Pro - so I've been a bit confused by the results I've had. So I decided to tinker a little..

I'm a Photoshop newbie and a RAW/DNG super-newbie, so bear with my crappy corrections. I mainly wanted to see if the data in the washed-out areas was there, or if it was truly washed out and useless.

I've attached some sets of photos..on the first two sets the first of each is the jpg right off the card, and the second is a jpg created from the RAW/DNG file after toning down the highlights. On the third set, the first is the overexposed jpg right off the card, the second is my attempt to correct the jpg, showing the loss of data in the sky, and the third is corrected using the RAW/DNG file.
MAX_0001.JPG MAX_0001A.jpg

MAX_0015.JPG MAX_0015A.jpg

MAX_0004.JPG MAX_0004jpgcorrect.jpg MAX_0004RAWcorrect.jpg


(Again, forgive the sub-optimal corrections - novice photoshop user and first-time RAW/DNG user.)

Anyway, it looks to me that the data is there in the bright areas, so I'm guessing the sensor isn't the problem - it's the image processing. To me (maybe someone who actually knows something about this process can chime in here) that means this is correctable. I hope that I'm right, and I hope that this is something that the Autel software wonks will look at. Otherwise, I guess I'm going to have to keep practicing farting around with RAW...
 
Last edited:

bjtap

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#2
I believe it would be helpful if we knew what your camera settings were when you took the shots. Was it all on 'auto' or did you change any of the parameters manually?
 

goferfan

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#3
It was all on auto. I figured the sets of photos would still be useful because each set is from the same single photo, one is just the jpg the bird produced and the other is the jpg I produced from the same RAW exposure.

If it helps I can get the exposure settings from the photo metadata, but I'm away from my computer right now.
 

DadCorso80

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#5
Keep us posted on your progress. I am an obvious rookie at all of this, but I am eager to learn a few more tips as well. I was messing around this morning taking photos using Auto with AEB and seemed to work well. I tried manual too with a 3 shot burst and adjusting the shutter exposure range from lighter to darker using the histogram as a guide. Its challenging to say the least, but enjoy learning it all.
 
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#6
The raw images are definitely good. All of the exposure data is there. The jpgs are crap. Try setting the ISO to 100. However auto should still produce a better jpg image than what you're getting.
 
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goferfan

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#7
Keep us posted on your progress. I am an obvious rookie at all of this, but I am eager to learn a few more tips as well. I was messing around this morning taking photos using Auto with AEB and seemed to work well. I tried manual too with a 3 shot burst and adjusting the shutter exposure range from lighter to darker using the histogram as a guide. Its challenging to say the least, but enjoy learning it all.
Thanks. Please keep us updated on your progress as well.
 

goferfan

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#8
The raw images are definitely good. All of the exposure data is there. The jpgs are crap. Try setting the ISO to 100. However auto should still produce a better jpg image than what you're getting.
Yup..I'm heartened that the sensor data is all there. All three sets were shot at ISO 100 already. Toying with the idea of ordering the neutral density filters someone posted on my other thread, in case the dynamic range isn't linear, but as you pointed out, the data is there, the image processor on the bird just isn't using it.
 

inevitab1e

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#9
Yup..I'm heartened that the sensor data is all there. All three sets were shot at ISO 100 already. Toying with the idea of ordering the neutral density filters someone posted on my other thread, in case the dynamic range isn't linear, but as you pointed out, the data is there, the image processor on the bird just isn't using it.
If you want, send an unedited RAW image over and I'll see if I can process it.
 

goferfan

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#10
If you want, send an unedited RAW image over and I'll see if I can process it.
Thanks, I've got a Photoshop setup to process RAW files already...just learning how to use it :p Plus, these weren't photos I really cared about (they're just snapshots by my house) - they were just tests to see how the sensor did in bright light. If I get a photo I care about that needs fixing though, I'll send it your way!! Thanks!
 
Last edited:

goferfan

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#11
OK...I feel a lot better today about the image processing on the EVO. Got these photos in bright bright sunlight today and the jpgs look waaaaay better than my last batch without any tinkering. (Other than the VIVID setting, which overdid things a bit. Lesson learned.) Also threw in a night shot for good measure, so folks can see how the thing works at night. (If anyone cares, the settings for the night shot are ISO 1600, 1/2 second exposure.)

GM1.jpg GM2.jpg GM3.jpg GM5.jpg Two Harbors at night.jpg
 

goferfan

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#15
@goferfan So what did you change exactly to get these nice jpegs?
I wish I could tell you. Both sets were on full automatic. As far as I know, the only difference was that I had the color adjustment on the second group set to VIVID (and I can't imagine that would have fixed the issue). I honestly don't know why that first set turned out so crappy and the second set was decent. Next sunny day I'm going to try to get out and take some shots right where I took that first set and see how they look.
 
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#16
Honestly @goferfan I had the same problem. My pictures were so washed out and oversatured in auto, that I wanted to just send the thing back. Then another, also in Auto, they were great like yours. But I don't know why. I see something happens when you press a zone on the image (a lock or an unlocked lock appears), but I don't know exactly what it means, and how to disable it afterwards and get normal Auto back...
 

goferfan

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#19
Honestly @goferfan I had the same problem. My pictures were so washed out and oversatured in auto, that I wanted to just send the thing back. Then another, also in Auto, they were great like yours. But I don't know why. I see something happens when you press a zone on the image (a lock or an unlocked lock appears), but I don't know exactly what it means, and how to disable it afterwards and get normal Auto back...
Strange...hopefully we can get it figured out. Pressing on the phone screen I believe causes exposure lock - if you want to set the camera to meter to shoot the sky correctly, for example, press on a bright area of the sky and the exposure will adjust accordingly.

I actually think you may be onto something here. Last time I flew, I noticed it was easy to accidentally bring that exposure lock thing up when trying to do other things on the phone screen. Maybe thats what went wrong with our photos - we accidentally touched the screen in the wrong spot and caused the camera to meter a very dark area of the picture? I like to think that I'd have noticed this, but it was only my second time flying the EVO.

On a related note, there's probably better ways to do this, but last time I activated the spot exposure lock, I reset it by switching into MANUAL exposure mode and then immediately back into AUTO. That seemed to reset the whole exposure.
 
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Agustine

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#20
Hmmm, it should work the same as the X-Stars App but I am not sure. On the X-Star you can tap anywhere on the screen to adjust your WB and then just hit the Lock Icon and it locks and hit it again and it unlocks.
 

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