What is the Best Resolution for a Drone Camera?

Requirements for video processing with drone cameras are essential to achieve accurate results. For videos at lower heights (up to 100 m), images can have a resolution of 2K (2560 x 1440) or FULL HD (1920 x 1080) for flights of about 50 m. These settings will help you get started with your drone, and for most drone videographers, this doesn't change much. It's not until you enter the professional range of drones (where digital SLRs hang below the propellers) that you'll have to worry about precisely adjusting manual settings to get the perfect photos.

The name of a codec is a combination of two words: code and decode (co-dec). In general terms, it is a computer program that uses a form of compression to reduce a large movie file (as captured by a drone) and then the codec decompresses the video from its compressed state for playback or editing. Ultimately, every codec that a drone uses aims to achieve one thing: to store its data in as small a file as possible without loss of quality (in reality, it's the least possible loss of quality). It's a common feature cited by video enthusiasts, but what does video resolution really mean? You've probably seen drones with cameras with 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p and 4K resolutions and you'd be right to think that the higher the number, the better.

Most people make the mistake that the “p” in the numbers above represents pixels, but that's not the case. The “p” stands for progressive scan and the number refers to the number of horizontal lines each video frame has. By answering this question for yourself, you must decide what you want to do with the images. There is no universal “best frame rate”, but it depends on the purpose of the recording.

Because high frame rates are so demanding for drone cameras, you almost always have to sacrifice image resolution to achieve high frame rates. For example, my DJI drone will only record high frame rates at 1080p HD recording settings. In a nutshell, white balance is the color temperature of your drone images. It's basically how warm (yellow) or cool (blue) your images look.

You can adjust the white balance of a drone while recording images, or you can also adjust it in post-production. Almost every editor has the ability to correct the color balance of videos. Many drone cameras have the ability to automatically adjust white balance while shooting. Pay attention to whether the conditions are cloudy or sunny and adjust the settings accordingly.

These are fixed values and will not change during the flight, unlike the “AUTOMATIC” setting. For most drone videographers, this will be more than enough to ensure that most of the images are well balanced and then be able to sort them in post-production. If we have to be very pedantic with the shot, we need to manually configure the white balance so that there are no changes during the recording. In basic terms, “ISO” means how bright or dark a video is.

It does this by changing the sensor's sensitivity to light. As with everything in photography, there is a trade-off. You can't just increase the ISO to brighten an image, but you'll be adding unnecessary noise. Rather, you should balance the ISO settings with the exposure settings to achieve the brightest, low-noise image you can.

ISO stands for “International Organization for Standardization” and is a historical term that was used to qualify the sensitivity of the film. Nowadays, it is used to describe the sensitivity of digital camera sensors. Standard ISO values will vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer, but all will have what they call a “base” ISO. This is the lowest sensitivity setting on the camera and will provide you with the best image.

If the image is too dark (such as in low light), you can increase the ISO, but if you do it too dark, the image will become very blurry. Whenever possible, stick to the base ISO as much as possible. The aperture is called “f-stop” in cameras and, in this case, you probably want to stick with a value between 5 and 8.The shutter speed is something that tells the camera how long it should allow light to reach the camera's sensor. In photography, we can use shutter speed to add a little blur to our subjects or use short shutter speeds to freeze fast-moving subjects in place.

In drone video, our goal is to make the video look natural and, therefore, to emulate the natural motion blur that our eyes experience. Okay, this works great in theory, but very often this rule results in a very bright image. The trick to avoid this is to place a filter called a “neutral density filter” on the front of the camera lens. These filters are like sunglasses for your camera and will allow you to capture images with perfect exposure at longer shutter speeds.

Neutral density filters reduce the amount of light that enters the camera without affecting color tones. In addition, thanks to reduction in exposure value, you can take full advantage of slow shutter speeds which brings natural feel into your drone videos. Start with an ND16 filter when you record while flying your drone during day time until you take that perfect recording then try again replicate it only not succeed quite some time here are some tips that can help ensure your settings show your video best way.

Jamal Perce
Jamal Perce

Lifelong web nerd. Passionate pop culture maven. Total food practitioner. Avid burrito fan. Friendly beer nerd.

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