On Location | Episode 1 | Frensham

Tonight the weather was beautiful, so I popped out with the Mavic Pro and shot some footage across Frensham and edited it down to a very short 1 minute video

Tue Jun 12 2018

The above video used most if not all of the settings below and compared to some of my recent videos, I am much happier with the way it all looks. So for example using manual settings for the video capture gives you total control over the quality of your output. Auto white balance is best not used because as you fly around, the light levels change radically, the drone will record areas that are lighter and moments later perhaps darker. So you end up with this ugly effect where the camera is forever compensating for a wildly changing white balance and differing colour temperatures. So the best bet is to to set your WB to the setting that closely matches the mood of the weather.

I also don’t shoot everything I film in 4k because unless you have a 4k TV and let’s face it not everybody does, HD 2.7k or even good old 1080p are often still good enough. You will find that most professional film makers may not all use 4k just yet either!

So the above notes are my top tips for getting great looking footage.

What settings do you use to get the best footage?

Youtube is a great resource for drone flying, filming, photography and editing your videos. So over time I have found a lot of useful information there. So here are a few things that you can try out with explanations as to why these make a big difference

Main controller settings

It is possible to adjust the granularity of control that your sticks provide you with which is great because by default they are really quite sensitive. So in order to refine things a little, for super smooth filming, not matter which direction you fly in and the path you pilot your drone. It sure helps to have a finer grade of control over it. So here are some things to try…

Advanced / EXP settings

  • Throttle up: 0.20
  • Rudder right: 0.20
  • Forward/right: 0.20


  • Attitude: 100
  • Brake: 130
  • yaw movement limit: 50


  • All set to 100

Remote Controller Settings

  • C1: Center Auto Focus

  • C2: Toggle map/Live view

  • Upper: Camera Forward/Down

  • Lower: Camera Forward/Down

  • Left: AE Lock

  • Right: Focusing/Metering

Gimbal Settings

  • Gimbal Mode: Follow
  • Advanced Settings

    • Gimbal speed: 3
    • Enable upwards gimbal tilt: Off
    • Gimbal pitch smootheness: 22
    • Enable Synchronized Gimbal Pan Follow: on

Video Settings

Whenever possible film with Manual settings. ISO should be as low as possible and shutter speed close to 1/50th. Use an ND filter outside, it really improves your footage (Polar Pro makes really good ND filters for the Mavic).

Tip 1: when filming on auto exposure: first have the Mavic adjust exposure for a certain scene, lock the AE and only then start filming.

Tip 2: in many cases it is a good idea to correct the exposure with -0,3, the Mavic tends to over expose a little.

Tip 3: don’t use higher framerates or slow motion. It doens’t look good.

Video Size for HD acquisition: use 2.7K (either 24 or 25 fps dependent on NTSC or PAL area) looks best.

Video Size for 4K acquisition: 4K 3840x2160 (either 24 or 25 fps dependent on NTSC or PAL area)

Video Format: MOV

NTSC/PAL: PAL for Europe

White Balance: whenever possible choose a fixed white balance.

Style: Custom +1 -1 -1

Color: D-Cinelike

Histogram: ON

Grid: Grid Lines

Where to get the music from?

There are a few places you can get music from such as YouTube’s own music library, MusicBed and recently I have very much liked Epidemic Sound for what they have on offer. Pricing is very reasonable and caters for everyone from the hobbyist film maker right up to those who make a living from the business. Today’s video uses music from this fabulous library!