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Initial thoughts on X5

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Ok so got the X5 out for some test flights today. Temps were about -15 C and a light haze over the city, making for not the greatest footage but enough to test a few settings and see what this thing could do. After fooling around with a few settings, overall my impressions were mixed. For the forum members these flights were done on the latest FW version (1.1.0.4) and with the Panasonic/Leica 15mm lens.

First thing I did was calibrate the focus. This seemed to work just fine although others have voiced some troubles. Parked my car and walked the Inspire 50 M away, elevated the Inspire about 4 ft. above ground and set the infinity focus using my car against a white background. This worked the first time and I had no real focusing issues at infinity (then again it was so bright outside I was shooting at f8).

Next thing I did was get the thing in the air and fool around with some settings. My go-to setting on the X3 is 1080p60. I seem to get less artifacting and sharpness grain on 1080p60, and it gives me the flexibility to slow down the shot, or simply conform it to 30p or 24p if necessary. It doesn't have the most filmic look obviously but I'd rather have the frames and not need them. Flight characteristics I won't really rehash too much, it flies generally OK, but yaw is near impossible to control smoothly, even on latest FW. I cannot get a smooth yaw even with the wider FOV provided by 60p. This is pretty disappointing and I tried lowering all the yaw gain settings but to no avail. I may order the 12mm lens as this problem doesn't seem to be as bad on that lens.

Upon bringing the footage into the computer (the moment of truth), my reaction was mixed. In all honesty the 1080p60 footage looked barely any different from the X3. It was very slightly better, but certainly not $2500 better, not even close. This to me was disappointing as the same issues with the footage seem to be there. Artifacting, overly sharp and very video-ey looking. So I figured let's try 4k30 and see what we can get.

As many of you know, the FOV closes when shooting at 4k30, or any frame rate below 60. This is very odd to me and I don't really understand why that is. I am assuming it is a bug with the camera but I don't know, I am hoping DJI addresses this in the next firmware update. Anyways, in 4k30, yaw is even more difficult to control. It is twitchy and impossible to get smooth movement. When arcing I just switched the gimbal tilt dial to gimbal pan and this enabled smoother movement, but now there is no way to elevate and arc while tilting the camera, a go-to move for the drone. This is pretty annoying but again something I would envision getting fixed with an update (or so I hope).

at 4k30 the footage really shone for me. It actually looks completely different and much more film-like. It is here where I see the potential of the camera as the image produced is quite nice and relatively clean. The video below was shot in 4k30 and is straight from the camera with no grading.

Random thoughts:
- D-Log is waaaaaay too flat. Almost looks like grayscale actually. D-Cinelike to my eye looks the best and still is grade-able.
- It is surprising the drastic change in image look when changing framerate and resolution settings. To me, the camera should generally look the same regardless of framerate or resolution used. There are clearly some issues to be worked out.
- The -1 sharpness value is nice. I hate hate hate that sharpness grain present on X3 footage. -1 is a nice value on the X5.
- This thing definitely needs another major FW update to address the FOV issue as well as the flight experience. Right now I cannot use it to the same level with one operator - yaw is impossible to get smooth.


Password is x5
Video settings - D-Cinelike, 4k30, sharpness -1, shutter 1/500, aperture f8, iso 100.
 
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Your video looks like it could use some contrast. I am tinkering with the color settings in my office, and when I switch from "None" to "D-Cinelike", the histogram squeezes together and shifts to the right a bit. In other words, it decreases saturation a bit, and increases exposure a bit.

You said that the D-Cinelike footage "still is grade-able". Have you graded this footage? I'd like to see the difference.

Thanks.
 
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Your video looks like it could use some contrast. I am tinkering with the color settings in my office, and when I switch from "None" to "D-Cinelike", the histogram squeezes together and shifts to the right a bit. In other words, it decreases saturation a bit, and increases exposure a bit.

You said that the D-Cinelike footage "still is grade-able". Have you graded this footage? I'd like to see the difference.

Thanks.

Oh for sure it could use some contrast. This is right from the camera so is going to look flat. I haven't really graded it to any specific look I was just fooling around with some LUTs and the basic correction tools in premiere, the shots hold up a lot more to pushing the colour than the X3 without falling apart, I suppose is what I'm getting at.
 
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"None" profile is definitely the best I have found so far. I have found that when shooting in D-Log the overall results are very mushy, even with sharpness added in editing. DJI are aware of this and are working on it for a future firmware release.
 
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The only problem being, we all spend time trying and adjusting our settings until we hit on something that we are happy with and can use and hold up(ish) in post.
Then DJI change the firmware and without telling anybody alter the sharpness steps and reference points as well as knee and slope curves so we have to start all over again!!!!
 
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Remember that when the GH4 was first released, it didn't include a log-mode color profile at all. It took Panasonic more than a year to release it.

So I wouldn't be surprised that it is taking DJI a while to get their D-Log mode to work properly. I tried D-Log on a couple of shots, and I wasn't pleased with the post-grading results. So I also shoot in "none" mode, which I feel produces better results, at least for now.
 
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Then DJI change the firmware and without telling anybody alter the sharpness steps and reference points as well as knee and slope curves so we have to start all over again!!!!
Another reminder that DJI is not a camera company. I really wish that they had licensed some camera software from Blackmagic Design, or Panasonic. They both have years of experience, and know how to get the best quality out of a sensor.
 
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Another reminder that DJI is not a camera company. I really wish that they had licensed some camera software from Blackmagic Design, or Panasonic. They both have years of experience, and know how to get the best quality out of a sensor.
As well as understanding codecs, bitrates, GOP structures, sensor binning, knee, gamma, sharpening, horizontal and vertical crispning frequency, matrix settings, iris tracking speed....... Oh the list goes on, :p
 
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Totally off topic but I can't get into the 360 thing. Seems really gimmicky. I don't like that a dp/director isn't guiding your experience, losing some of that film magic.
Agreed - like 3D, Gimmick in the 1960's, made an appearance again in the 80's and again a few years ago. It's all but totally died again.
 
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Hey Gruvpix,

Just read your post.. I still feel that the yaw is not good at all. Do you thing the upgrades from november till now changed anything or am I the only one still feels like the x5 is not controllable.

thanx
 
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The only problem being, we all spend time trying and adjusting our settings until we hit on something that we are happy with and can use and hold up(ish) in post.
Then DJI change the firmware and without telling anybody alter the sharpness steps and reference points as well as knee and slope curves so we have to start all over again!!!!

Couldn't agree more, it is very frustrating!!
 
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Hey Gruvpix,

Just read your post.. I still feel that the yaw is not good at all. Do you thing the upgrades from november till now changed anything or am I the only one still feels like the x5 is not controllable.

thanx

It is not as fluid as the x3, but that would also have an affect on the focal length being 20mm (full frame equivalent) on the x3 as opposed to (24mm) on the olympus 12mm and (30mm) Leica 15mm. Actually maybe slighty more as I believe it maybe nearer 2.4x crop when filming. The wider focal length really does make a big different on how smooth your yawing will be. ON the latest firmware yawing is much smoother than it has been. It was really hard to get a smooth yaw without some kind of jerking on previous firmwares.
 
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Well, I never used the previous firmwares with my X5 and what I have seen so far is getting a smooth yaw is almost impossible even with the current firmware. I can call my self an experienced operator (also an expert on joystick controlled camera platforms). I tried to play with gimbal settings and i think they are not doing anything at all.
 
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Well, I never used the previous firmwares with my X5 and what I have seen so far is getting a smooth yaw is almost impossible even with the current firmware. I can call my self an experienced operator (also an expert on joystick controlled camera platforms). I tried to play with gimbal settings and i think they are not doing anything at all.

That must be frustrating. There is a chap Lynh Phan who has posted some settings for x5 inspires specifically which maybe worth trying out... Drone Owners NetworkDrone Owners Network | Gain and Expo Settings X5
 
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Hey Gruvpix,

Just read your post.. I still feel that the yaw is not good at all. Do you thing the upgrades from november till now changed anything or am I the only one still feels like the x5 is not controllable.

thanx

I find the YAW is definitely out...it tends to "hunt" and keep moving at the end of a turn/movement. Quite frustrating.
 
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