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Visual 1080P difference bt/wn Spark & P3S

Lordology

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Hi (First time posting)!

I am deciding whether I should get a DJI Spark or P3S and my thoughts have rested on camera quality.

I understand that the Spark shoots in 1080P, but so does the P3 and there's no point in using the 2.7K as all the displays in my house are either 1080P or my Quad HD phone screen (I'll mostly be using PC monitor to playback footage though) so I'll chiefly be shooting in 1080P if the P3S is used.

My question is: While watching footage back, with both at [email protected], is there a noticeable difference in sharpness, colours or quality between the two?

I understand that the Spark has a slightly quicker lens [f/2.6 vsf/2.8] but does this mean anything in playback?

Any help would be appreciated!

NB: I'd rather avoid replies such as "Oh you should get the Spark" or "Oh you should get the Phantom" if possible. Thanks!
 

Andre Levite

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Hi (First time posting)!

I am deciding whether I should get a DJI Spark or P3S and my thoughts have rested on camera quality.

I understand that the Spark shoots in 1080P, but so does the P3 and there's no point in using the 2.7K as all the displays in my house are either 1080P or my Quad HD phone screen (I'll mostly be using PC monitor to playback footage though) so I'll chiefly be shooting in 1080P if the P3S is used.

My question is: While watching footage back, with both at [email protected], is there a noticeable difference in sharpness, colours or quality between the two?

I understand that the Spark has a slightly quicker lens [f/2.6 vsf/2.8] but does this mean anything in playback?

Any help would be appreciated!

NB: I'd rather avoid replies such as "Oh you should get the Spark" or "Oh you should get the Phantom" if possible. Thanks!

Yes. At factory settings the most frequent comments I see is that many folks prefer the Spark's native color grading but feel its footage is overly sharp. The Spark's video settings are very limited (shutter speed, ISO, white balance; no onboard color profiles).

The "best quality" question is very difficult to answer objectively because each individual viewer has a different opinion on what is pleasing to their eye. Given similar camera settings and specs the assessment of "quality" is very much a matter of personal opinion. Both color and sharpness are easily adjusted during edit so they are less critical factors.

I think the footage is so similar that a purchase decision should be made based on factors other than video "quality" (price, portability, gimbal, etc). They are very different drones but at the settings you describe the footage should be similar --and you'll probably have to edit the footage from either anyway to get it to your own liking.

Good luck with your decision.
 

Lordology

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Yes. At factory settings the most frequent comments I see is that many folks prefer the Spark's native color grading but feel its footage is overly sharp. The Spark's video settings are very limited (shutter speed, ISO, white balance; no onboard color profiles).

The "best quality" question is very difficult to answer objectively because each individual viewer has a different opinion on what is pleasing to their eye. Given similar camera settings and specs the assessment of "quality" is very much a matter of personal opinion. Both color and sharpness are easily adjusted during edit so they are less critical factors.

I think the footage is so similar that a purchase decision should be made based on factors other than video "quality" (price, portability, gimbal, etc). They are very different drones but at the settings you describe the footage should be similar --and you'll probably have to edit the footage from either anyway to get it to your own liking.

Good luck with your decision.
Thanks, this really helped. However, I might invest in a 1440P monitor (for other reasons). If I shot in native 2.7K, does the 2.7K downgrade to 1440 or back down to 1080, at the same level as a Spark?
 

Andre Levite

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Thanks, this really helped. However, I might invest in a 1440P monitor (for other reasons). If I shot in native 2.7K, does the 2.7K downgrade to 1440 or back down to 1080, at the same level as a Spark?
I shoot exclusively in 1080 -- even with my Mavic Pro - so I really can't answer your question about the higher resolutions. Sorry.

The 1080 footage is good enough for my eyes. And my computer appreciates the more manageable file size for storage and editing.
 
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lmel2005

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2,7k footage generally, is better than 1080p footage, even if you see it on a 1080p screen.
 

ExcitingHeadgear

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2.7k footage is generally better because even if your screen is 1080p, you can zoom in a bit more to see small details with no quality loss. At 1080p if you zoom in any you just get pixels for the most part.

I will say color on the Spark is generally better than my P3A though. The P3A has a lot of video/photo options and I always felt it was tricky to get the right settings for each particular situation, and I never found compromise settings that worked well in every situation.

ETA: I just realized the photos on the Spark are 3968x2976. The video is 1920x1080.
 
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Lordology

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2.7k footage is generally better because even if your screen is 1080p, you can zoom in a bit more to see small details with no quality loss. At 1080p if you zoom in any you just get pixels for the most part.

I will say color on the Spark is generally better than my P3A though. The P3A has a lot of video/photo options and I always felt it was tricky to get the right settings for each particular situation, and I never found compromise settings that worked well in every situation.
If I'm not zooming in on my 1440 monitor, will there be a difference @2.7k vs 1080?
 

Lordology

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I shoot exclusively in 1080 -- even with my Mavic Pro - so I really can't answer your question about the higher resolutions. Sorry.

The 1080 footage is good enough for my eyes. And my computer appreciates the more manageable file size for storage and editing.
Sometimes on my (quite large) monitor on YouTube videos of Spark, I feel the quality is lacking. Lots of people say it's YouTube's compression. Is this true?
 

monty.roman

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Sometimes on my (quite large) monitor on YouTube videos of Spark, I feel the quality is lacking. Lots of people say it's YouTube's compression. Is this true?
youtube definitely does some sort of compression on the videos you upload there to reduce their size.
 

Andre Levite

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Sometimes on my (quite large) monitor on YouTube videos of Spark, I feel the quality is lacking. Lots of people say it's YouTube's compression. Is this true?
When I play files directly from the Spark's SD card or computer hard drive they are higher quality than YouTube. There is some degradation during the upload and subsequent download with YouTube (aka compression).
 
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nilanjan118

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If I'm not zooming in on my 1440 monitor, will there be a difference @2.7k vs 1080?
Even if you do not zoom in, there will be difference in image quality between 1080p or 1440p or 2160p.
Play this video on a big screen (doesn't have to be a 4k or 2.7k screen) and see the difference.
You can select the different resolutions from settings.
 

monty.roman

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Even if you do not zoom in, there will be difference in image quality between 1080p or 1440p or 2160p.
Play this video on a big screen (doesn't have to be a 4k or 2.7k screen) and see the difference.
You can select the different resolutions from settings.
true story. downscaling from 2160p to 1080p preserves significantly more details than native 1080p video despite the same resolution.
 

ExcitingHeadgear

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If I'm not zooming in on my 1440 monitor, will there be a difference @2.7k vs 1080?
On video I think you'd see a difference. 1080 would have to be upscaled 1.3 times to be displayed as 1440. The only way to do that is for the computer to interpolate/multiply pixels, which won't look nearly as sharp as native 1440.

Here is a short 100 megabyte clip straight out of the Spark, don't use the online viewer because Google compresses that, download the MP4 file and play it from your computer: DJI_0340.MP4

As I discovered today, the photos on the Spark are 3968x2976, which is a decent resolution. The color is good IMO. They are maybe a little sharp, but better than too blurry to me. You should be able to find plenty of examples of Spark photos on the Internet.
 

Lordology

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On video I think you'd see a difference. 1080 would have to be upscaled 1.3 times to be displayed as 1440. The only way to do that is for the computer to interpolate/multiply pixels, which won't look nearly as sharp as native 1440.

Here is a short 100 megabyte clip straight out of the Spark, don't use the online viewer because Google compresses that, download the MP4 file and play it from your computer: DJI_0340.MP4

As I discovered today, the photos on the Spark are 3968x2976, which is a decent resolution. The color is good IMO. They are maybe a little sharp, but better than too blurry to me. You should be able to find plenty of examples of Spark photos on the Internet.
Can you find/provide a lifted 2.7k video from a P3 SD card?
 

ExcitingHeadgear

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I actually found that I did 99% of my P3A video recording at 1080p. Probably due to file size. Here is a clip from a 2704x1520 video, as before download the MP4 for full quality: pond.mp4

If video quality is important to you I'd go with a P3, more pixels means more possibilities. A P3 also gives you more settings to play with if you're a photographer.

The Spark does have the advantage of being a lot more portable and can fly in tighter spaces if that's important. I find myself flying the Spark more because it's so easy to pack up in a lunchbox-sized case and bring with me.
 

Lordology

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I actually found that I did 99% of my P3A video recording at 1080p. Probably due to file size. Here is a clip from a 2704x1520 video, as before download the MP4 for full quality: pond.mp4

If video quality is important to you I'd go with a P3, more pixels means more possibilities. A P3 also gives you more settings to play with if you're a photographer.

The Spark does have the advantage of being a lot more portable and can fly in tighter spaces if that's important. I find myself flying the Spark more because it's so easy to pack up in a lunchbox-sized case and bring with me.
Thanks for that. I can't tell a difference in quality. What are the troubles of 2.7K, though?
 

ExcitingHeadgear

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Thanks for that. I can't tell a difference in quality. What are the troubles of 2.7K, though?
If I recall correctly, mostly a much larger file size and can't run 60FPS (at least on a P3A). Someone else can chime in if they have more info.
 

Chrislaf

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Hi (First time posting)!

I am deciding whether I should get a DJI Spark or P3S and my thoughts have rested on camera quality.

I understand that the Spark shoots in 1080P, but so does the P3 and there's no point in using the 2.7K as all the displays in my house are either 1080P or my Quad HD phone screen (I'll mostly be using PC monitor to playback footage though) so I'll chiefly be shooting in 1080P if the P3S is used.

My question is: While watching footage back, with both at [email protected], is there a noticeable difference in sharpness, colours or quality between the two?

I understand that the Spark has a slightly quicker lens [f/2.6 vsf/2.8] but does this mean anything in playback?

Any help would be appreciated!

NB: I'd rather avoid replies such as "Oh you should get the Spark" or "Oh you should get the Phantom" if possible. Thanks!
I have both a Spark and a P3S. In terms of picture/video quality, I prefer the Spark. I find the colours and sharpness better. I usually do not record video at 1080p on my P3S because when I did try it, I found the sharpness too soft for my liking. Also, when recording at 1080p on a P3S you are basically throwing away video info.

One thing that I really noticed when I got my Spark is how the 2-axis gimbal, compared the 3-axis gimbal affects footage. The footage from the P3S is buttery smooth in all flying conditions whereas with the Spark there can be some occasional jerkiness depending on the wind conditions and how you fly it. Since I take mostly photos with my drones it was not much of a concern to me.

As others have mentioned the Spark is much more portable and easier to take anywhere with you and being able to hand launch and hand land is so liberating making the saying 'The best camera is the one you have with you' ring so true.

Chris
 
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