Best Video Settings Phantom 3, 4 & Inspire X3 Drones

I’ve created a tutorial that guides you through the Best Video Settings Phantom 3 Inspire X3 Drones. I’ve also explained a little about the importance of ND filters and how you should aim for the correct exposure. You can watch it below:

Light Sensitivity : ISO

It’s important to understand the impact of shutter speed and how it effects the overall look and feel of what you shoot. Take a look at this post here over at Vimeo it’s aimed more for mechanical DSLR’s but the principal is the same for the drones : All about Shutter Speed

ISO should be fixed at 100. The sensor on the Phantom and Inspire X3 drones are only so good, we want to keep noise at a minimum. If you want to shoot a cityscape at night then you could probably increase it here but I personally wouldn’t want to go higher than ISO 400. It’s not going to look professional. For night filming I would be looking at something like the Inspire X5 or X5 Raw and better.

Use ND Filters

Best Video Settings Phantom 3 Inspire X3 Drones

Use ND filters. Not only will they help your exposure but they will help with the jello effect. If you shoot on dark cloudy days you may find they won’t be required to achieve a nice exposure and the shutter speed of double your frame-rate. This may also be the case for early morning shots. It’s all dependent on the natural light. Good filters are available from DJI themselves, Polar Pro and SRP. For the Phantom Standard there is no removable lens cover option. Therefore we must use a slip-on ND filter such as the one’s from Ditzco (No Affiliation).

Shutter Speed

Aim for a shutter speed of double your FPS so let’s say you shoot at 1080 @ 60fps then your shutter speed setting should be fixed at 120 in conjunction with the use of an appropriate ND filter. If you shoot at 4k @ 30fps for example, then a shutter speed of 60 would be the number you are looking for.. Follow?  For the “Cinematic Look” you can still shoot in 30 or 60fps. but we must change this to 24fps (23.976) later with our editing software. YouTube and Vimeo both support this frame rate.

Colour Profile

D-Log. Why? It’s quite a flat profile which is good for post production. There are now a couple of plug-ins too from 3rd party companies that have written specific colour grading profiles for use with this D-Log mode. The ‘Standard Profile’ is also a good one for starting out so don’t worry about leaving it in that mode. For the Phantom 3 Standard it varies slightly, so I can recommend the ‘Video Mode’ profile here, seems to produce some nice results.

Choose Your Moments

Choose Your Flying Moments

Try to avoid shooting in the afternoon on ultra bright sunny days. The best windows for shooting are generally found in the mornings during and after sunrise, early evenings and sunsets. I’m not saying to totally rule out any afternoon day that has blue sky and sun, obviously the right ND filter can produce some nice results here. You have to think and act like a professional if you want professional footage. As a semi-pro landscape photographer you’ll never see me shooting midday with a high sun for the “money shots”, we are always looking to shoot in those magical morning and evening windows. All these details will add up to your overall creation.

Man and Drone Best Video Settings Cheat Sheet for DJI Phantom 3 and Inspire X3 Drones

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