DJI Phantom 2 with Nikon 1 J1

Here is a video and some pics from the DJI Phantom 2 Vision quadracopter. The main point is that with no gyro stabilized gimbals the video is not very good, the actual quality is much better and there is quite a bit less distortion than the Vision FC200 camera, mainly due to the 140 degree wide angle lens of the Vision camera.

The Phantom 2 flew fairly well, however there was a little shimmying while hovering and climbing, I think the gains may need some fine tuning with the extra load.

Here a re a few pictures using the Nikon 1 J1, note that there is little distortion and that both downtowns are visible, Minneapolis at the far right horizon. They are taken at Battle Creek Park, McKnight and Upper Afton roads intersect near the left of the frame. Also note that there is a world of difference taking a single still image from a video camera stream and a still image from a camera actually designed for still images.

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3M’s main world headquarters is the building on the right._DSC0768

Here is an an example video using the Vision camera which has a single pitch axis gimbal, its overlooking St Paul Minnesota from the Mounds Park Bluffs. Note the video is a little more stable but still not at all acceptable.

And here is an RAW image taken with the Vision camera, note the large amount of distortion that would require a huge amount of manipulation in order to correct. The Adobe lens profile file does not seem to be available on the DJI site any longer, looks as if I’ll have to make my own — this should be no problem. Project for the evening, l can post them here if there is any interest, I’ll be doing both the RAW and standard profiles using Adobe’s Lens Profile Creator.

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Bottom line at least semiprofessional still images can be made with the DJI Phantom 2 using a higher quality camera, unfortunately the only two axis gyro stabilized gimbal that is available is only compatible with the (also) very wide angle GoPro camera. The other annoying characteristic of the Vision camera is that when capturing a RAW still image it takes about TEN seconds per image, this is a huge lag time PER IMAGE with a complete loss of FPV. Disappointing 🙁

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Here are corrected images using Adobe lens profile correction, this one uses the RAW image but the jpeg version works similarly, although some additional adjustments may be necessary in the customs settings menu after being applied. Norte that there is still a pronounced curvature at the horizon and there is a very pronounced blur at the right side of the frame due to the amount of manipulations necessary, very common with fisheye lenses. Also I had a very difficult time shooting a set of images that Adobe Lens Profile Creator could actually use, I have found that this is actually common when profiling very cheap glass.

DJI00002_raw_corr DJI00002_rawIf you wish to use these here is the link to the zip file: phantom_vision_fc200_lens_profiles

In several forums I have seen posts that recommend changing the parameters in the lens profile file to allow the profile to be applied to RAW files. This is a very bad idea in general since many cameras do some distortion correction in-camera so the profiles for the RAW images are very often very different from the JPEG or TIFF profiles. However this does not seem to be the case for the files created by the Vision FC200 camera, in fact the DNG RAW images produced by the Vision camera are also only 8 bits deep so I’m not exactly sure why they chose to use a RAW format in the first place (marketing?) when a lossless TIFF format would have been entirely adequate.