Cinematic Custom Settings for DJI Drones
In this post I will reveal the settings I use when shooting cinematic quality film using DJI drones, while these settings are specific to the DJI Mavic Pro, they can be applied right across the DJI range with equally good success.
Ready to go out and start filming, lets get you set up first.
Here are the settings that not only work for the DJI Mavic pro but pretty much all the DJI drones since the Phantom 4, open up your controller and dial in these settings. These will help you gain control over the drone in a slow and purposeful way.
- EXP Settings:
- Throttle Up: 0,20
- Rudder Right: 0,20
- Forward/Right: 0,20
- Attitude: 100
- Brake: 130
- Yaw Movement Limit: 50
- All at 100
These can be activated and applied in your advanced settings section
Gimbal Mode: Follow
- Gimbal Speed: 3
- Upwards Gimbal Tilt: off
- Gimbal Pitch Smoothness: 22
- Synchronized Gimbal Pan Follow: on
- (not all settings abalible on Mavic Air)
Button layout is super personal, however this is my layout for the DJI Mavic Pro
- C1: Center Auto Focus
- C2: Toggle Map/Live View
- Upper: Camera Forward/Down
- Lower: Camera Forward/Down
- Left: AE Lock
- Right: Focusing/Metering
These settings are very personal, give them a try and see if you like them.
A couple of DO’s and DONT’s – firstly DON’T fly in AWB (Auto White Balance) not only will all your film parts look different you are asking for trouble in post production, especially when trying to grade your footage.
DO use ND filters where possible, not only does this slow down your shutter speed but it makes your drone much more versatile to shoot in more conditions, especially when the outside is bright and avoids over exposure of the whites.
DO keep your ISO as low as you can, higher ISO means less quality, check your histogram for every change you make, same with over all exposure.
DON’T over expose your scene, try and keep your exposure to a 1/3 of a stop under or around 1/2 a stop.
DON’T over sharpen your custom settings, DJI does a decent job of sharpening, anything over +1 will destroy any in camera changes.
DO use AE or exposure lock before you start filming, keeps the scene consistent.
HD acquisition: use 2.7K (either 24 or 25 fps dependent on NTSC or PAL area) looks best.
4K acquisition: 4K 3840×2160 (either 24 or 25 fps dependent on NTSC or PAL area)
Video Format: MOV (personal preerance, MP4 is fine also)
NTSC/PAL: PAL for Europe – NTSC for North America
White Balance: whenever possible choose a fixed white balance.
Style: Custom +1 -1 -1
Grid: Grid Lines