29 Mar

The jello effect in FPV drone footage can be caused by various factors, including mechanical vibrations, high shutter speeds, and improper camera settings.

Mechanical vibrations can be caused by various sources, such as unbalanced propellers, damaged or worn out motors, and loose screws or bolts in the drone's frame. These vibrations can be transmitted to the camera, resulting in shaky and distorted footage.

High shutter speeds can also contribute to the jello effect, as they can exaggerate the vibrations and movements in the frame. When the shutter speed is too high, the camera sensor does not have enough time to capture the full frame, resulting in a distorted image.

Improper camera settings, such as high ISO values, can also lead to the jello effect. ISO is a digital gain applied to the brightness of an image, and increasing it can make the image noisier. This noise can be amplified by mechanical vibrations, resulting in an even more pronounced jello effect.

Reducing Jello Effect with TPU Camera Mounts

TPU Camera Mounts are an excellent option to minimize the jello effect. TPU is a flexible material that helps dampen vibrations and prevent them from being transferred to the camera sensor. This results in smoother and more stable footage, even when flying at high speeds or in windy conditions. Additionally, TPU camera mounts offer better protection for the camera, reducing the risk of damage in case of a crash.

Shutter Speed and Motion Blur

Shutter speed is a critical factor in achieving smooth footage. In FPV videos, shutter speed controls motion blur. As you decrease the shutter speed, the camera sensor is exposed for longer, resulting in motion blur. Conversely, increasing the shutter speed reduces motion blur. The 180-degree rule is a useful guideline to achieve an optimal amount of motion blur. For instance, if your frame rate is 30 fps, your shutter speed should be set to 1/60 seconds.

ISO and Noise

ISO is another critical factor that affects video quality. It's the level of sensitivity of your camera's sensor to light. However, increasing the ISO can also increase the noise in the footage. Therefore, it's recommended to use ISO sparingly, especially in low-light conditions. Here are some recommended ISO values for different lighting conditions:

  • ISO 100-200: For bright and sunny days.
  • ISO 400-800: For slightly overcast or low-light conditions.
  • ISO 1600-3200: For dark or low-light conditions.

ND Filters for Bright Environments

ND (Neutral Density) filters are essential when shooting in bright environments. They are used to reduce the amount of light entering the camera and avoid over-exposure, in addition to safeguarding the camera lens. The type of ND filter to use depends on the lighting conditions. Here are some recommended ND filters for different lighting conditions:

  • ND2: For slightly overcast days, late afternoons, or early mornings.
  • ND4: For cloudy days or slightly brighter conditions than the above.
  • ND8: For bright and sunny days.
  • ND16: For extremely bright and sunny days.
  • ND32: For very bright conditions like snowy days.

The jello effect can be a frustrating issue when shooting FPV drone footage. However, by understanding its causes and implementing the right techniques and equipment, it is possible to minimize or even eliminate this effect. Proper camera settings such as shutter speed and ISO, as well as the use of ND filters and TPU camera mounts, can all contribute to producing smoother and more stable footage. With the right tools and knowledge, FPV pilots can capture stunning and professional-looking videos without the distracting jello effect.