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Review of CGO3 Still Camera

Discussion in 'Q500 4K Discussion' started by KramerMD, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. KramerMD

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    I have tested the Q500 4K camera for an in depth review of the still photographs. The video is awesome for 4K video. Most likely nothing better in its class. But the stills are not acceptable. Even on a clear blue sky day have so much noise that just shouldn't be there. Use of an ND filter on a sunny day does help remove some of the noise. Overcast days or shade the noise is worse. I've noticed still exposures seem to be 1.5 to 2 stops over exposed out of the camera in Adobe Lightroom. The lower left edge is blurry. I have also noticed on my camera and two others (on Facebook posts by persons I've never met) there appears a white spot or flare in the top right corner of all video and photos against a blue sky or light color. It does not appear against dark subjects. I talked to Yuneec. They said try different white balance settings. Also there appears to be a U shaped banding in the center of the sky images. If only on one camera, I'd say the camera is defective, but the same is on three, with two other 4K quad's owned by the same person. This appears to be a manufacturing defect. True, when shooting at 4K video you can crop to remove the spot and the slight blur. My still image tests of DNG files vs JPEG, and even stills pulled from video show the JPEGS are cleaner than the DNG files. DNG is cropped to 4:3 ratio (12 MP) where JPEGS are 16:9 ratio (8 MP). The DNG doesn't show the white spot but the left lower blur is there. All reviews I read prior to purchase were how awesome the camera was. Of course, I didn't know they were only talking about video. I did see prior to purchase the left side blurry issue. At the time, I emailed Tim Terrones with Yuneec and talked to him. He advised the issue had been corrected. The Quad flies awesome, and there is no issue in that regard. As for the CGO3 4K camera, my recommendation if you are wanting quality still images, go with the Typhoon G and a Go Pro. Yes, there is a trade off in being required to turn on the camera prior to flight, but best quality is this is about. I've seen several pro photographers on Yuneec Facebook pages that have stunning still images created with the G. The 4K is just not remotely in the same league as the GoPro. As for 4K video, the video is stunning and top notch quality. Yuneec is great to get on the telephone and they promptly sent a replacement camera right after purchase due to the first focus being really bad, and also they replaced a defective battery. Yuneec appears to be a good company. But, there are significant quality control issues with the CGO3 on the still camera side. I do not expect it to be in the same league with my Pro DSLR cameras. But equate the CGO3 still camera images of poorer quality than my first ever 2.1 mp Sony digital camera from 1998. Also there is no metadata, at all embedded in the image files, so you don't have any way to know what the exposures were set for the end result.

    If you are looking for the best still camera settings.
    Shoot 4K video res and create JPEG images at 16:9 ratio at 8mp or
    set the camera setting at jpeg which are 4:3 ratio at 12 mp.
    For still images don't shoot in automatic mode as it will select a high than needed iso. This could be resulting in the high noise on a sunny day.
    Set the exposure manually including 100 iso.
    Choose natural or raw settings in still mode and lock down the white balance. If other questions ask.
     
    #1 KramerMD, Mar 8, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
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  2. Skypicswa

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    Hi Kramer, Can you post some images up please DNG and JPEG. I'm looking at Typhoon H to replace P3P as a stills platform but concerned about that CGO3+ camera. Thanks in advance. I hope others can post photos as well.
     
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  3. Wingshooter

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    Both are untouched. First is the JPEG shot during Video Mode. Second is a DNG file.

    Camera Setting for both were
    ISO 200 1/640 WB=Sunny
     

    Attached Files:

  4. KramerMD

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    Give me a couple days. Posted one today with the Polar Pro ND 16. M2C.
     
  5. KramerMD

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    Thanks to Pownalite, I tested the Polar Pro ND 16 today. Wow! These turn the Q500 4K, CGO3 into a quality camera. I've been disheartened with the camera quality. But the Polar Pro makes the whites white, the greens green, the blues blue. Blacks black. Reduces the horrible noise. Created this image this afternoon at the 360 Grill & Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa in Florence, Alabama, with the scenic Tennessee River and TVA Wilson Dam in the background. When selecting a higher shutter speed than the video shutter speed, it causes more vignetting. Not the filter, but the camera. Does it with no filter too. I will add the Polar Pro Filters are a breeze to install and remove. M2C.
     

    Attached Files:

    #5 KramerMD, Mar 17, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
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  6. Skypicswa

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    Thx Kramer and Wings, The Polar Pro does make a difference I have them on the P3P and will get the graduated ones as well.
    The photo looks pretty good, like a Go Pro shot from the 3dr solo, slight horizon curve.
    I've been watching lots of videos about the H and somewhere said the camera sensor is getting an upgrade and to be honest it really needs it. The UAV's are camera platforms to me. Thanks again any more pics please throw them up.
    Some link http://freewellgear.com/48-yuneec-accessories to FREEWELL ND Filters
     
  7. KramerMD

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    I really want to try a CP filter too. Honestly, I can't see using graduated filters on the 4K camera without first using a quality ND filter installed. Because you will go from a graduated filter with great colors to the 4K lens that is all muddled up with colors. I just don't think it would work very well. Unless the glass in the Graduated filter corrected it.
     
  8. Skypicswa

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    This is a late afternoon with ND8/PL on the P3P. AWB- on, VIVID-mode straight JPEG
    If I get the from the H I'm all in.

    pg12.jpg
     
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  9. KramerMD

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    Nice image. Like it!
     
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  10. Skypicswa

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    Thanks Kramer but I must say the Sony Exmor sensor is really the expert here and the Polar Pro filters just make it so sweet.
    This is one that I shoot for Real Estate and you will notice the Polarizer cuts in a bit too much. ND16/PL. All the photos are straight from the drone no post.

    26beckett31.jpg
     
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  11. Magnum_Don

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    Were you shooting the stills in manual mode?
     
  12. Skypicswa

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    No
     
  13. Magnum_Don

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    I seen a video on YouTube and its supposed to be a night and day difference when shooting in manual mode vs auto.

     
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  14. KramerMD

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    Polarizer on Digital just doesn't get it, does it. Not like in the film days.
     
  15. KramerMD

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    Yes I shoot in manual mode. The dark corners, the camera is doing that when shooting in 12mp mode and in 4:3 mode and using a fast shutter speed in manual mode for the still images. In 16:9 mode using the same shutter speed as the video there is almost no vignetting is showing.
     
  16. Wingshooter

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    Kramer,

    When you shot the Dam Picture with the ND16 filter what was your manual settings?

    Thanks
    Wing
     
  17. KramerMD

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    The one yesterday with the POLAR PRO ND 16 with the hotel in the foreground was shot at 1/400 at ISO 200, JPEG I am fairly certain.

    The dam photo from last week was using the Stock UV filter. I don't remember the settings.
     
    #17 KramerMD, Mar 17, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  18. Wingshooter

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    The one with the Filter on is the setting I was looking for.
     
  19. photis

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    May I ask if you have tested the maximum iso that allows you to shoot without noise in the camera?