How to Fix Video Issues on a DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Introduction

In This Guide
You'll Learn About:
  • Video recording best practices for your drone
  • Reduce moire patterns
  • Minimum focus distance
  • Reduce blurring
  • Possible microSD speed issues
Before We Begin:
  • Have your drone available
DJI drone

1 Video Recording Best Practices

  • Do not fly your Phantom in high winds or otherwise dangerous weather conditions. Not only does this cause video issues but it could seriously damage your drone.
  • Attitude or Atti mode is the mode your Phantom will fly in when neither a GPS or the Vision System are available. This mode disables various advanced features and means your drone cannot fly very far from you. The auto braking feature is also disabled meaning braking in Atti mode needs to be done slowly, and safely or you not only will cause jerky video, but may damage your drone.
  • Exposure times over ten minutes will cause blurring. You can also set the camera to M mode to reduce the exposure time, but the image quality will decrease. For example, in A mode, the shutter is 100 and ISO is 100, then you can set the shutter to 200 and ISO to 200 manually.
  • The image will be overexposed or underexposed when the Manual Exposure Mode is enabled. 
    Go to the Image Transmission screen, click Exposure Mode Settings, and enable Auto Exposure Mode.
  • Do not cover the antennae with your hands as it can interrupt the signal.
  • While connected to the remote control the transmission range of the drone is between 500m-2000m. While only connected to the app the altitude distance is 50m and the max distance is 80m.

2 Reduce Moire Patterns

When odd stripes and patterns appear in your images, this is called a moiré effect. This visual perception occurs when a fine pattern on your subject meshes with the pattern on the imaging chip of your camera, and you see a third separate pattern. You'll often see this effect if you take a photo of your computer monitor.

On the left you can see the moire patterning. On the right the patterning has been corrected using third party software.
Moire patterning

  • If you're experiencing moire patterning on your drone video or still images, check if you're in a Sport Mode. This mode can cause moire effects.
  • Lowering your camera's sharpness may reduce, if not get rid of, moire patterning altogether.

3 Minimum Focus Distance

The minimum focus distance is the shortest distance at which a lens can focus.

If you're closer than the minimum focus distance then your image will be blurry.

If the image does not focus correctly, try moving away further until you get the desired result.

Minimum focus distance.

4 Reduce Blurring

Sport Modes can cause blurring or interference with the propeller in the way.

Check the exposure time of your device. Exposure times over ten minutes will cause blurring. Your drone may have an Auto-Exposure setting.

5 microSD Speed Issues

Most drones need higher transfer speeds on the microSD card. You'll be looking for a card with a speed class of U3 or above. U3 gives you a speed of 30Mb/s. A slower speed will result in choppy, lagging, or fragmented videos.

On average you'll be able to record 90 minutes of video on a 16gb sdcard.

The microSD card will have U3 on it. As will the packaging.
A U3 microSD Card

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In This Guide
You'll Learn About:
  • Video recording best practices for your drone
  • Reduce moire patterns
  • Minimum focus distance
  • Reduce blurring
  • Possible microSD speed issues
Before We Begin:
  • Have your drone available
DJI drone
  • Do not fly your Phantom in high winds or otherwise dangerous weather conditions. Not only does this cause video issues but it could seriously damage your drone.
  • Attitude or Atti mode is the mode your Phantom will fly in when neither a GPS or the Vision System are available. This mode disables various advanced features and means your drone cannot fly very far from you. The auto braking feature is also disabled meaning braking in Atti mode needs to be done slowly, and safely or you not only will cause jerky video, but may damage your drone.
  • Exposure times over ten minutes will cause blurring. You can also set the camera to M mode to reduce the exposure time, but the image quality will decrease. For example, in A mode, the shutter is 100 and ISO is 100, then you can set the shutter to 200 and ISO to 200 manually.
  • The image will be overexposed or underexposed when the Manual Exposure Mode is enabled. 
    Go to the Image Transmission screen, click Exposure Mode Settings, and enable Auto Exposure Mode.
  • Do not cover the antennae with your hands as it can interrupt the signal.
  • While connected to the remote control the transmission range of the drone is between 500m-2000m. While only connected to the app the altitude distance is 50m and the max distance is 80m.

When odd stripes and patterns appear in your images, this is called a moiré effect. This visual perception occurs when a fine pattern on your subject meshes with the pattern on the imaging chip of your camera, and you see a third separate pattern. You'll often see this effect if you take a photo of your computer monitor.

On the left you can see the moire patterning. On the right the patterning has been corrected using third party software.
Moire patterning

  • If you're experiencing moire patterning on your drone video or still images, check if you're in a Sport Mode. This mode can cause moire effects.
  • Lowering your camera's sharpness may reduce, if not get rid of, moire patterning altogether.

The minimum focus distance is the shortest distance at which a lens can focus.

If you're closer than the minimum focus distance then your image will be blurry.

If the image does not focus correctly, try moving away further until you get the desired result.

Minimum focus distance.

Sport Modes can cause blurring or interference with the propeller in the way.

Check the exposure time of your device. Exposure times over ten minutes will cause blurring. Your drone may have an Auto-Exposure setting.

Most drones need higher transfer speeds on the microSD card. You'll be looking for a card with a speed class of U3 or above. U3 gives you a speed of 30Mb/s. A slower speed will result in choppy, lagging, or fragmented videos.

On average you'll be able to record 90 minutes of video on a 16gb sdcard.

The microSD card will have U3 on it. As will the packaging.
A U3 microSD Card

If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
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