One of the challenges of shooting video with a drone is dealing with high dynamic range lighting situations. Fortunately, many of DJI’s drones offer a useful picture profile called D-Log. It’s DJI’s implementation of a Log gamma curve, designed to capture as much tonal information as possible.
DJI’s standard picture profiles can be vivid and punchy, but similar to shooting JPEG format on a stills camera, using them can make it impossible to recover highlights or shadows if clipping occurs in high contrast scenes.
If you don’t need to shoot Log to capture the dynamic range of a scene, it may not be
the best choice
Using D-Log can give you more flexibility in your post-production by retaining a wider tonal range, allowing you more latitude to apply your color and style choices during editing. However, there’s no such thing as a free lunch; shooting in Log can reduce image quality by trying to compress too much tonal information into a limited number of bits in the file. If you’re shooting a high dynamic range scene that tradeoff may result in a net benefit. But if you don’t need to shoot Log to capture the dynamic range of a scene, it may not be the best choice.
In this article, I’ll show you how to set up the D-Log profile, how to expose for it, and provide some examples of what you can achieve by shooting in D-Log and using color lookup tables, or LUTS, to color grade the final footage.
Set up your DJI drone to shoot in D-Log
To set your Mavic Pro, Phantom, or Inspire to shoot in D-Log, make sure you’re in video mode and navigate to your camera settings. You’ll find D-Log under the ‘Color’ settings, along with all the other color profiles. Once → continue…