8 Top Tips for Cinematic DJI Spark drone Footage
8 Top Tips for Cinematic DJI Spark drone footage. Before you run out spending money on replacing the DJI Spark drone because the footage isn’t hitting the mark. Make sure you are not skipping these simple tips.
#1 Get out of Auto
The stabilised video camera gimbal on the DJI Spark is an amazing setup on a drone this compact and price point. But it can have a mind of is own.
Like all modern digital camera systems, they are designed to shoot great looking images out of the box, leave the consumer with nothing more to do than just push a button or tap a screen.
But the Spark doesn’t know what cinematic look you want, and technology can’t factor for the “not perfect artistic look”.
To eliminate exposure roll, wrong shutter speed and over blue whites, switch off the AUTO.
Getting out of auto will allow you to keep a fixed exposure level, fix your shutter speed to the golden 1/60th of a second to match the DJI Spark 30fps video shooting speed.
#2 Slow Camera Shutter Speed
The secret to that cinematic look is down to mathematics. The moving image we watches a series of still images presented in rapid succession.
However, the human brain has a limit to how much visual information it can absorb before shutting down.
The 180-degree rule is a standard in the film industry. It explains the relationship between shutter speed and frame rate when recording motion in video.
To mimic motion the same way the human eye experiences it in real life, the 180-degree rule states that shutter speed should be set to double your frame rate.
To adhere to the 180-degree rule on the DJI Spark shooting at the fixed 30 frames per second the shutter speed needs to be set at 1/60th of a second.
Not always possible in bright sunshine. The solution is to fit a ND Filter. This will restrict the light hitting the sensor, allowing you to nail the lower shutter speed, giving that cinematic motion blur you are looking for.
#3 Set your White-Balance.
The DJI Spark drone normally does a good job of selecting a passable white-balance when point/shoot on the run video action is required.
But for truer Cinematic footage, take control of the white balance. Tell the DJI Spark what you want to be white.
To select the correct white-balance for the scene you are shooting, go to camera settings/white balance.
Fill your camera frame with something white. Ideally use a white balance chart, but if you don’t have one, use a sheet of paper or something else white.
Scroll through the options to what fits. Use Custom setting to nail the perfect white-balance.
#4 Camera info Heads-up
Simple one, but a lot of Spark flyers miss this one. Make your camera setting visible.
Making your camera settings will do two things. Subconsciously seeing the shutter speed, iSO, frame-rate & storage will make you more aware of what you are shooting.
It will also stop those silly mistakes that happen with camera set up on location, that are near on impossible to correct in post production edit.
#5 Gridview & Framing
The reason we shoot drone footage is to tell a story. It may be to show friends what you did & saw that day on a hike. It could be a full cinema production.
Framing your shot can effect the story you tell. It can invoke suspense, humour or just emphasis the object in question. But there are natural rules that can make or break that shot.
The rule of thirds proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.
Diagonal lines will aid with adding cinematic perspective to your framing.
#6 Gimbal Speed- Slow It Down
Slow and smooth is the secret to nailing those sweeping cinematic shots. However to the novice drone flyer, the DJI gimbal pitch wheel can be on the fast side, producing a jilted image.
You can slow the gimbal pitch speed down and it does need to slow. Although shots may be similar, they won’t be the same, so check the gimbal pitch speed before every planned shot.
I find setting the gimbal pitch speed somewhere between 5-10% seems to give the desired cinematic effect.
#7 Tripod Mode
Some critics how stated that some of the DJI flight modes on the DJI Spark are gimmicks that serve no real photographic purpose.
Out of the range available, it’s not hard to disagree, however, there is one that will help to improve your cinematic endeavours.
Tripod mode slows down the overall flight speed of the DJI spark, giving you creating control and reducing the chance of jumpy movements that could ruin a great shot.
Make Tripod mode your new best friend when flying the DJI Spark.
#8 Stick Control
Final 8 Top Tips for Cinematic DJI Spark drone Footage is about YOU as a pilot/camera operator.
Most flyers operate their drone with thumbs firmly planted on the top of the control stick. But for those killer cinematic shots, you need more control. Even the slightest thumb quiver, shake or shiver could ruin that shot.
Instead, use you thumb and forefinger at the bottom of stick for better, smoother movements.
This will give you less stick amplification, and greater speed control of the DJI Spark.
What are your top tips?
What are you doing to make your drone footage out of the world? Let us know in the comments below, along with a link to your stunning footage.
For more top tips read more HERE.