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I noticed this persistent image stutter with some of the footage recorded by my brand new DJI MAVIC Air 2. Especially the long first shot of the video shows the issue when you look at the faster moving lower edges. E.g. look at the bottom right corner from 9s onwards. I wonder why this appears and how to avoid it.

Recording settings: 4K, 30fps, HDR mode, mp4, H265. Writing to a fast Sandisk Extreme 128GB microSD.

The footage was recorded in the evening. So i can imagine the low light situation in combination with HDR footage leads to this stutter. But i don't understand why it kind of pulsates - is not fluid. If capturing the HDR takes too long, it should be continuously washed out or even prevent me from recording with 30fps.

This issue seems to be less severe in better lighting situations, but it is still there. I will test further recording modes to describe and isolate the issue further.

Does this happen to anyone else? What is the reason?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I see what you're talking about in the footage you link to. I think I might see something a little off, but could you try to clarify where we can find the distortion you're asking about? $\endgroup$
    – ifconfig
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 2:08
  • $\begingroup$ I added it to the description: look at the bottom right corner from 9s onwards. $\endgroup$
    – youngpilot
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 10:57
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I see. (on the moving left edge of the blue road sign) Not a definitive diagnosis, but I think this could be due to either the 30p framerate of the DJI camera setting or some nasty compression artifacts. The former seems more likely to me, because the drone's forward speed not matching up with the framerate of the footage seems possible. $\endgroup$
    – ifconfig
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ I'm no expert on this stuff, but it appears to only happen in "fast" moving parts of the frame. I'd be guessing it's some sort of compression algorithm. I know the DJI FPV goggles blur the outer edges of the frame when they start to lose signal to maintain the quality in the middle, it might be the same sort of thing. Have you get another SD card you could try? $\endgroup$
    – Ben Wilson
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 11:39

1 Answer 1

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It's possible that the stuttering in your footage is due to a combination of factors, including low light conditions and the use of HDR mode. HDR mode requires the camera to capture multiple exposures of the same scene and combine them to produce a single image with more detail in both the highlights and shadows. This process can take a bit longer and may result in stuttering if the camera is trying to capture fast-moving subjects or scenes with a lot of motion.

Additionally, H.265 encoding is known to be more demanding on the hardware than H.264, so if your computer or playback device is not powerful enough, it may struggle to play back the footage smoothly.

To avoid this stuttering issue, you could try the following:

  1. Use a higher frame rate: Shooting at 60fps or higher can help capture fast-moving subjects more smoothly.
  2. Disable HDR mode: Try recording without HDR mode and see if that improves the smoothness of your footage.
  3. Use a faster memory card: While the Sandisk Extreme 128GB microSD is a fast card, it may not be fast enough for your particular use case. You could try using a faster card, such as the Sandisk Extreme Pro, which has higher write speeds.
  4. Use a different video codec: H.264 encoding is less demanding on hardware than H.265, so you could try recording in H.264 to see if that improves the smoothness of your footage.
  5. Avoid shooting in low-light conditions: If possible, try to shoot in well-lit environments to avoid issues with low light.

It's worth noting that some degree of stuttering may be unavoidable, especially in challenging shooting conditions. However, by trying the above steps, you should be able to improve the smoothness of your footage.

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