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Quick Tip to Improve Night Imaging With DJI Z30 Zoom Camera

Quick Tip to Improve Night Imaging With DJI Z30 Zoom Camera

The DJI Z30 zoom camera can give you tremendous reach to bring distant objects into view. But in my experience, it has two major issues out of the box.

The first is the slow drift the aircraft and camera have when zoomed in. That’s annoying but can be somewhat overcome with a steady finger on the stick to counteract the drift.

The most glaring issue is the automatic exposure. If you compare the night automatic exposure on the X4S camera and the Z30. The X4S is superior in automatic picture quality but it can’t zoom.

Here is a Z30 image on automatic exposure. Notice how grainy it is.

Here is the X4S image on automatic exposure.

To substantially improve your night Z30 image quality, click on the three lines the red arrow above points to.

Then switch to manual exposure by pressing the M on the top of the menu screen.

You can adjust the sensitivity of the camera by adjusting the gain. I find that setting it to 800 and then adjusting the aperture and shutter can get you a much better image.

If you are covering something that is fast moving, then you will have to use a higher number shutter speed or the image will be blurry.

The higher the number is for the aperture then sharper the image will be.

Here is the resulting Z30 image at 3.9X zoom with manual settings.

There is no one setting that will be perfect for your situation so keep these fundamental rules in mind.

ISO: Higher numbers will make the image more sensitive in low-light but more grainy.

Aperature: The higher the number the sharper your image will be but it will also require more light for a good exposure.

Shutter: The lower the number the more blurry moving images will be. If you are sitting mostly stationary I had good luck as low as 8 and 4. In film terms that is a shutter speed of 1/8 to 1/4 of a second.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve is an experienced and certificated UAS pilot and aircraft instrument rated pilot. He is also the Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy.
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