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What's up with image quality?

Razor62

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Newbie here. Just getting into drones. Bought a Bebop 2 and I can't get the kind of image quality that I expected from the camera. I've seen some Youtube videos which give the impression that the quality should be much better than what I'm getting.
I have a Samsung Galaxy S8 plus phone. It's got a 13 mp Camera and shoots video at 1080p / 120 frames per second. The BeBop has a 14 MP camera and shoots at 1080p / 30 frames per second.
When comparing the images as well as video from my phone vs the Bebop, there's a huge difference. My phone's videos and photos are superb in comparison. The Bebop's images are fuzzy and the detail is severely lacking. I've tried messing around with the video settings but so far I'm not satisfied. Is there something I'm doing wrong or did I get a bum camera? Any help or explanation would be greatly appreciated.

Bebop 2 Photo:


Samsung S8 Photo:




Thanks in advance
 

Skydreamer

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Hi,there is two problems
1.Bebop camera doesnt work well in temperatures below 10C/50F,quality of pictures or videos is very similar to picture in your post.
2.Since Parrot switched from Freeflight 3 to FreeflightPro app there was a huge drop in video quality,not sure waht happend,maybe introduction of follow me and some other features or maybe FPV,but simce then videos and pictures are grainy and not sharp at all....there was lots of complaints at that time and we hopped with every update that they will fix that problem but they never did.....now with introductions of Anafi i dont think they ever will,i dont think they have anyone working on bebop anymore(i hope i am wrong,i have two)..........on the other note,are you helicopter pilot or do you know somone who is?
 
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Scootscoot

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Hi,there is two problems
1.Bebop camera doesnt work well in temperatures below 10C/50F,quality of pictures or videos is very similar to picture in your post.
2.Since Parrot switched from Freeflight 3 to FreeflightPro app there was a huge drop in video quality,not sure waht happend,maybe introduction of follow me and some other features or maybe FPV,but simce then videos and pictures are grainy and not sharp at all....there was lots of complaints at that time and we hopped with every update that they will fix that problem but they never did.....now with introductions of Anafi i dont think they ever will,i dont think they have anyone working on bebop anymore(i hope i am wrong,i have two)..........on the other note,are you helicopter pilot or do you know somone who is?
Would bebop pro work better than FreeFlight pro concerning video quality?
 

Skydreamer

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Would bebop pro work better than FreeFlight pro concerning video quality?
Bebop Pro or AR.pro3 or auriga bebop(android) are only apps used for a display,changes in bebop are done on firmware level(parrot)
 

Razor62

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Thanks folks. I really appreciate the info. I don't necessarily like what Im hearing but I needed to hear it. so really, Thanks!
Looks like my Bebop 2 is gonna' be a stepping stone toward a better aircraft.

Skydreamer, I believe that the video below will answer your question. I was the passenger and not the pilot. I was fortunate enough to have gone up twice with him last spring and summer. Hoping I'll get another invite when the warm weather returns.

Could I expect video like this from a DJI Mavic Pro with the 4K HD camera or would I have to step all the way up to the Hasselblad?

This was shot on my phone.

This is what I got with the Bebop 2

 

Skydreamer

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Any 4K camera is beyter than bebops camera....i would recommend parrot anafi,it has 4K camera,some very nice features,easy to use and price right now dropped from 700 to 550 $$....check Anafi Photos and Videos forum,
Photos and Videos

.......here is good example
Images with the Anafi
 
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Razor62

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Yeah! That's what I'm talking about. Looks like the Rocky Mountains. Beautiful!
I really appreciate your advice Skydreamer but I'm a little bit leery of parrot products after hearing rumors of their demise in some of the other forums. There's talk that they have pulled out of the United States and I feel that maybe the first step and then shutting down completely. I hate to buy another of their products only to find that I have no support.
 

Skydreamer

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Yeah! That's what I'm talking about. Looks like the Rocky Mountains. Beautiful!
I really appreciate your advice Skydreamer but I'm a little bit leery of parrot products after hearing rumors of their demise in some of the other forums. There's talk that they have pulled out of the United States and I feel that maybe the first step and then shutting down completely. I hate to buy another of their products only to find that I have no support.
Parrot Anafi support is very good,any issues with Anafi and they will send you new one,...about pulling out of USA,its not true,i think parrot products are sold more in USA then anywhere else......parrot changed business aproach,closed their parrot store and simply left “sales” part to middlemen (amazon,ebay,BH...etc),they have developer department thats fully focused on improving Anafi and their Anafi support is top notch.....with bebop they hit the limit of how much it can be improved,dont forget,bebop2 is older than mavic by almost 2 years .....Anafi is very easy to use(just like bebop 2),freeflight 6 app is very good,there is no anoying updates every few days(ask dji pilots) ,it got Zoom In feature and camera can move 180^(up and down) and anafi is extremely quiet....that said i would recommend you check out mavic/anafi videos and go fromthere.......good luck
 
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Razor62

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Thanks again Skydreamer. I looked at a couple of videos on the Anafi. Lots of nice features. I'll be sure to do more research. Glad to hear that Parrot isn't going anywhere.
 
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bbehrendt

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You have to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. The bebop camera is a 180-degree camera, which means the 1080 pixels are much more spread out than the rectangle photo that you get from your Phone. This means any time you see a rectangle photo or video taken from the Bb2 it is like looking at a cropped (zoomed in) 1080p photo. This is how the bb2 is able to see both straight ahead and below itself, and how it gets such good digital stabilization from a non-gimbaled camera. I have seen this same issue with a Fly 360 camera I also once had.

If you want to compare apples to apples, then you need to look at the .dng file (or the jpg that is also fisheye shaped). Then use a tool/app like Bebop DeFisheye, to straighten the image back.
 

ufosaboveus

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hey razor, I just bought one of the Anafi drones and have to say the camera quality is really nice. I think it is going to be hard to find anything that touches the bang for the buck when you factor in you can buy the Anafi for $499 now. You should really check it out. Now on another subject... what is that bird you are flying in? Fellow pilot here and just curious?
 

Razor62

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Thanks guys. bbehrendt, what about video? Does the Bebop video use the "unwrapping" method in order to display video in the proper perspective?
Ufosaboveus, that's not my plane. I was fortunate enough to have been invited up with her owner a couple of times. I Don't recall the make but it's a light sport aicraft with a Rotek engine. Buzzes around at 40 - 50 mph . Absolutely priceless experience!!! Hoping I get another invite once the weather warms up.
The more I look at the Anafi, the more I'm leaning toward it. I just wish it wasn't wifi.

 
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Hawkeye Alaska

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Could I expect video like this from a DJI Mavic Pro with the 4K HD camera or would I have to step all the way up to the Hasselblad?
Ask anyone who owns a DJI, customer service is non existent. I will admit they have longer range but who needs to fly 4/7K.
 

Air Raid

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Hi,there is two problems
1.Bebop camera doesnt work well in temperatures below 10C/50F,quality of pictures or videos is very similar to picture in your post.
2.Since Parrot switched from Freeflight 3 to FreeflightPro app there was a huge drop in video quality,not sure waht happend,maybe introduction of follow me and some other features or maybe FPV,but simce then videos and pictures are grainy and not sharp at all....there was lots of complaints at that time and we hopped with every update that they will fix that problem but they never did.....now with introductions of Anafi i dont think they ever will,i dont think they have anyone working on bebop anymore(i hope i am wrong,i have two)..........on the other note,are you helicopter pilot or do you know somone who is?
Skydreamer, this is all very upsetting news. I'm struggling with video quality and trying to get to the bottom of this. My previous Bebop 1 drones never had issues. so when I sprung for a BB2, I naturally assumed that it would perform at least as well. The truth is, the video quality I'm getting lately, renders the video virtually useless. One issue is obvious: significant digital noise in the video.
But I'm trying to get to the bottom of the temperature issue. Is there an electro-mechanical iris (aperture) in the camera? Is it possible that it is lubed with a grease that is temperature-sensitive? I'm hypothesizing that the iris gets stuck wide open, where it is parked when there is no power, but where it is never supposed to be during normal operation.
 

speagles2

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Razor62 - the photo you included in your first post certainly looks unusually poor. As others have said above, the Bebop 2 camera certainly has its limitations compared to more expensive drones with a mechanical gimbal, but I've found it's capable of producing very nice 1080p video and acceptable still images in the right conditions - i.e. plenty of light and not much wind. Here's a still from mine, straight out of the camera, just on the default JPG mode:

1444

To understand the limitations of the camera compared to your smartphone, the Bebop 2 has a smartphone-sized (i.e. small) sensor with a native resolution of 3320x4096 pixels, or 13.5MP. This sits behind a fixed aperture, fixed focus fisheye lens. The image the Bebop2 actually sees looks like this:

1445

To produce the 1080p video image, the Bebop picks out a 1920x1080 section of the image (which I've drawn on as a white rectangle above). This is how the electronic gimbal works - as you tilt up and down you're just moving this frame up and down in the image. The electronic image stabilisation is also continually shifting the frame and rotating it to compensate for the drone's movement and keep the horizon level. This is why if the drone is battling high winds, in particular if the 'gimbal' is already tilted a long way up or down, you see black arcs appearing from time to time at the edges of the video, as the motion compensation moves the frame 'off the edge' of the image circle.

The image then has to be processed to correct for the distortion in the 180 degree fisheye view. The further your gimbal is from the centre the more distorted the original image and hence the more processing required, so you'd expect image quality to be slightly better when the camera is close to the centre (although that said I've shot plenty of straight-down footage and I must say I've not noticed any particular loss in quality).

Finally noise compensation is applied, which can reduce detail in poor light. I suspect there's a fair bit of sharpening applied also, as I've noticed that scenes with lots of well-defined edges tend to look nice and sharp, whereas foliage can look a bit blurry.

Given the tiny sensor and the amount of processing that's being applied to every frame I'm actually blown away by how good the end result is. In good sunlight and low winds it's possible to get some excellent quality HD footage, as evidenced by some of the videos you can find on youtube. But it's never going to be as good as something with a 4k camera on a mechanical gimbal, which has to do far less processing and has much higher resolution to start with.

Hope that's of help,

Speagles2
 

speagles2

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Razor62, coming back to your image and video, the still certainly looks extremely soft and noisy. As others have mentioned above, some people have found that the fixed lens goes out of focus in very low temperatures, so that could be part of it. It's also possible your camera is just faulty, i.e. the lens is out of focus or de-centered. Try picking a bright sunny day and hovering in a sheltered spot in front of something like a building with plenty of detail and see if the image looks sharp then. Also look up videos by a guy called ANTHONYVLOG on youtube - he's posted some excellent stuff on the Bebop2, including dismantling and adjusting an out-of-focus lens.

Your video footage also looks over-exposed to me - have you accidentally set exposure compensation? As the dynamic range of the sensor isn't great it's best to under-expose a bit to get the most detail, otherwise the highlights just blow out. For best video I'd go for 1080p and video quality HIGH in settings, and then set -0.5EV exposure. Fixing the white balance can also be a good idea.

Good luck!
 

Aerostorm

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Razor62 - the photo you included in your first post certainly looks unusually poor. As others have said above, the Bebop 2 camera certainly has its limitations compared to more expensive drones with a mechanical gimbal, but I've found it's capable of producing very nice 1080p video and acceptable still images in the right conditions - i.e. plenty of light and not much wind. Here's a still from mine, straight out of the camera, just on the default JPG mode:

View attachment 1444

To understand the limitations of the camera compared to your smartphone, the Bebop 2 has a smartphone-sized (i.e. small) sensor with a native resolution of 3320x4096 pixels, or 13.5MP. This sits behind a fixed aperture, fixed focus fisheye lens. The image the Bebop2 actually sees looks like this:

View attachment 1445

To produce the 1080p video image, the Bebop picks out a 1920x1080 section of the image (which I've drawn on as a white rectangle above). This is how the electronic gimbal works - as you tilt up and down you're just moving this frame up and down in the image. The electronic image stabilisation is also continually shifting the frame and rotating it to compensate for the drone's movement and keep the horizon level. This is why if the drone is battling high winds, in particular if the 'gimbal' is already tilted a long way up or down, you see black arcs appearing from time to time at the edges of the video, as the motion compensation moves the frame 'off the edge' of the image circle.

The image then has to be processed to correct for the distortion in the 180 degree fisheye view. The further your gimbal is from the centre the more distorted the original image and hence the more processing required, so you'd expect image quality to be slightly better when the camera is close to the centre (although that said I've shot plenty of straight-down footage and I must say I've not noticed any particular loss in quality).

Finally noise compensation is applied, which can reduce detail in poor light. I suspect there's a fair bit of sharpening applied also, as I've noticed that scenes with lots of well-defined edges tend to look nice and sharp, whereas foliage can look a bit blurry.

Given the tiny sensor and the amount of processing that's being applied to every frame I'm actually blown away by how good the end result is. In good sunlight and low winds it's possible to get some excellent quality HD footage, as evidenced by some of the videos you can find on youtube. But it's never going to be as good as something with a 4k camera on a mechanical gimbal, which has to do far less processing and has much higher resolution to start with.

Hope that's of help,

Speagles2
I got these images
The last two picture are screenshots of one video of my drone
 

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