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Washed-out colors in default mode

pashokk

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Apr 7, 2019
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9
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37
Hello! I'm a newbie here and just had the first flight yesterday. So everything was on default. I went around house roofs, made some photos and landed. But the result wasn't impressive even on my phone screen.

From reviews, I remember that Sparks camera was compared to the old iPhone 5 camera quality. And I remember photos from iPhone 5. They are vivid, juicy, but noisy. But the result I got isn't comparable. Yes, geometry is fine, the resolution is crisp, but omg the colors are washed-out like 256 color GIFs. I tried editor, failed, as it was like not much color information is in the file.

OK, less words, more photos. The same yard from the Spark and my current Meizu phone (aslo 12MP cam).

TMjGHTq0Pvk[1].jpg OznDspZCn7o[1].jpg ze-T7-i_U8k[1].jpg


eyiGh-fuNpk[1].jpg p_f5m6ZfHaU[1].jpg 1mQaV-fpMeI[1].jpg

Dear pilots, help me please what to do.
 

SPark_South_Oz

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Apr 20, 2019
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66
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Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Hello @pashokk and welcome to the forums.

I really like all your photos, I think the first 2 of each set is the Spark, and last in each set your phone, yes ?
The first photo looks good to me as far as colour goes, natural, and very interesting rooflines and architecture.

For interest, I saved that first pic, and ran it through Microsoft Photos, simple photo viewing enhancement programme.
went to filters and clicked the auto adjustment 'enhance' button, cleaned it up quite ok . . .

Original
TMjGHTq0Pvk[1]copy.jpg

Edited
TMjGHTq0Pvk[1]copy_low_res.jpg

Does the edited photo look more to your recollection of colours ?
 

pashokk

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Apr 7, 2019
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@SPark_South_Oz
Thanks! Landscape photos are from Spark. Vertical photos are from mobile. And architecture is great. But you can clearly see how weak and flat the yellow color of the front house. It's not about saturation only but like a variety of colors. As you can see from mobile photos, the walls have rich color shades.

I like your edited file, the sky and roofs are better now! But seems like the original file was shot really wrong to edit it.
 

SPark_South_Oz

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Apr 20, 2019
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Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
I wonder if you try and take photos more around early morning or late afternoon it would make a difference ?
It seems to me these may have been taken between mid morning and mid afternoon ?

Better light will help with colours.
I think the phone pics were just taken in a different place / aspect and lighting etc.

Try taking the same pic with your Spark and phone same time, same composition . . . even just take the Spark pics handheld.
See then how they compare.

Do you do anything with photos after taking them, running through any editors to tidy up ?
Most people do this, I tend to try auto enhancement sometimes, often I just change back to original as I'm not a big fan of dramatising photos to make them look better colour or too much saturation.
Sometimes people go way overboard with blues and greens.

I guess practice in different light, and experiment with settings too.

All the best with getting better photos, please continue to post examples to see improvement.
 

BikeFlagAZ

Active Member
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Oct 27, 2018
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60
The originals seem a bit flat. This often happens with backlit subjects but that’s not the case here. I ran them through Lightroom mobile and just clicked auto adjust and then brought up the saturation a bit.
IMG_5780.jpgIMG_5782.jpgIMG_5783.jpg
 

pashokk

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Apr 7, 2019
Messages
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37
@BikeFlagAZ Thanks, Lightroom result looks better!

@SPark_South_Oz You right it's not fair to compare, however, it's the same yard and houses just another but similar sunny day. I'll try more. Just you may agree that after the first so-so result it's harder to continue with this device. However, the original idea was to show UNEDITED photos just to check if everything OK with my setup. Photos from mobile are also with no filters applied.
 
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Andre Levite

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Jun 18, 2018
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Treasure Coast of Florida
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how-to-spark.com
Hello! I'm a newbie here and just had the first flight yesterday. So everything was on default. I went around house roofs, made some photos and landed. But the result wasn't impressive even on my phone screen.

From reviews, I remember that Sparks camera was compared to the old iPhone 5 camera quality. And I remember photos from iPhone 5. They are vivid, juicy, but noisy. But the result I got isn't comparable. Yes, geometry is fine, the resolution is crisp, but omg the colors are washed-out like 256 color GIFs. I tried editor, failed, as it was like not much color information is in the file.

OK, less words, more photos. The same yard from the Spark and my current Meizu phone (aslo 12MP cam).

View attachment 9682 View attachment 9683 View attachment 9687


View attachment 9684 View attachment 9685 View attachment 9686

Dear pilots, help me please what to do.
Several options to improve your picture quality:

1. Set white balance in Photo settings to match the scene
2. Use a polarizing filter
3. Learn to use manual settings for camera
4. Use exposure bracketing setting
5. Use only high quality photos from the SD card for editing (the ones stored automatically to your phone are lower quality)

Just like any other camera your photos will improve as you get more experience with the settings and options .
 
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Tom Bennett

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Feb 8, 2019
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Gilbert, AZ
Agree with filters, but would suggest that for still pics plain ND is all you may need unless you are photographing water and want to see into it (like a coral reef) or if there are unwanted reflections from window glass in buildings.
 

Andre Levite

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@Tom Bennett Can you please share your results with ND filters on Spark?
ND filters are only beneficial for video and not still photography (the exception being ultra long exposure photography with extremely dark filters).

If you are trying to improve the "pop" of your colors in still photographs you want a polarizing filter. I keep one at at all times for color enhancement and lens protection.

ND filters do nothing for coloration. They are darkening only. Used in video to lower shutter speed to create motion blur.
 

nilanjan118

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Oct 31, 2018
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Japan
@Andre Levite Thanks!
#4 is what I want to try first.
#5 is the only way, no doubts.
I was about to recommend #4 as well. It is ideal for high contrast scenes like the images you shared. I would also like to add one more thing. There is nothing called an UNEDITED photo these days. Since all the cameras we use are digital, there is always some processing on the image before you see it on the screen. Phone cameras are programmed in a way that they saturate the colors and make the images vibrant by default. However, professional photographers don't like that. DSLRs and high-end drones give you the option to shoot in RAW format and that's the most used format in the field of photography as it gives you the option to get the best out of the photo with manual editing.
 

pashokk

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Apr 7, 2019
Messages
9
Age
37
@nilanjan118 Thanks for the explanation, you're absolutely right about photo imaging these days. Just one thing to mention. Spark is a non-professional mass-market device and even price is comparable with other gadgets like smartphones. Thus I expected to have the same consumer-friendly result like vivid colors by default.

I am really proud of this community, Spark Pilots! Thanks for all the suggestions!
 

pmshop

Spark Pilot Guru
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Oct 6, 2017
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Fredericksburg, Texas, USA
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Here is my say:
all photos and videos I ever took with the Spark, and I have two of them, I had to +30% on saturation and +10% contrast in post editing.

AEB is a cool feature combined with Photomatix Pro 6.0.1

I never got the more expensive ND filters as recommended here because the cheaper ones would interfere with the most upward movements of the gimbal - IE, could not take panos. Or worse yet, gimbal overload and the gimbal shuts down until you reboot.
 

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