Some of our readers have asked me about bracketing with the DJI Mavic Air 2. So, earlier today, I went out to shoot a few 48MP stills in DNG (RAW) and JPG format for you to play around with in Photoshop, Aurora HDR, or Affinity Photo. Here are the files that were shot around noon today of the Hudson River. Over the next few days, I will add more files of different subjects and lighting conditions to that same folder.
DJI Mavic Air 2 bracketing
Bracketing photos with different EV settings allows you to get the most out of your highlights and shadows. You purposely underexpose and overexpose a number of photos of the same scenery so that you can later combine these in the photo editor of your choice to get the most out of the image. This technique can be very useful in photos where you have very dark and very bright areas. It also allows you to create HDR photos, although if you’re not careful, your stills can easily end up looking very extreme. You can also use bracketing to improve details, sharpness, and reduce noise.
After carefully aligning each photo in Photoshop, you create an HDR photo that allows you much more control over the final image.
Since only very few people currently have access to the DJI Mavic Air 2, I have uploaded a number of these photos to my Google Drive. Feel free to download them for your own personal use so that you can get a feel for what the DJI Mavic Air 2 can do. Bracketing shots with a drone can be tricky as a little wind can make the drone move, which could result in unsharp photos. Eventhough there was little wind over the river today, I suspect that I can create sharper photos is more ideal situations.
Update: the first two sets of photos show movement from shot to shot as it takes a good two seconds for the drone to capture 48MP photos. The third shot was AB at 12MP DNG. In that set, you will notice less movement, but of course no the resolution is limited to ‘only’ 12MP. So, theoretically, you could do 48MP HDR photos with manual bracketing BUT it would have to be under perfect (no wind) flying conditions as each photo will take about 2 seconds.
HDR example in Affinity Photo.
HDR example in Aurora HDR 2018.
I’m curious to hear what you think about the photo quality of the DJI Mavic Air 2 and how much leeway you have when manipulating these RAW files. Let me know what you think in the comments below.