Phantom 4 Pro – lens flare issues
Some more tests with the Phantom 4 Pro: one major “issue” with this system for stills / photography is imo clearly the flare sensitivity of the lens/sensor combination. The into the sun shots just capture a lot of flare and the sun star is very much Samyang 14mm like. This is an issue and it reduces the image acuity for 3D point cloud modeling for object measurements as well as for the landscape panorama approach.
The against the light shots look very much like the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm lens character. The sunstar has light rays that increase in size from the center and these rays cover the full frame of the 1inch sensor when the illumination comes from one of the outer edges. It clearly degrades the full image when the lens is stopped down to f.e. f8 but gets better when the lens is driven wide open. There seem to be some diffraction effects at work that are clearly not so great. You can drive the camera to generate sharp sun stars, but as usual here the characteristics of this star make a difference to some of us. The Samyang like star is not so well received. The linked flare issue is much more a problem because it is hard to avoid when you have the sun in your frame. For some scenarios a lens hood may be useful but its only functional for those shooting scenarios where the sun is not within your FoV.
To be honest I am bit puzzled … this is the first affordable 1inch sensor platform with nice resolution and better DR, but – the flare issue is likely killing some of the potential ideas that you might develop with this machine.
@f4 things get a bit better, but with this image below also the light levels have changed:
Comparison shot done with the Phantom 3A, clearly shows that the lens/sensor combi wont give the same amount of flare here (again different light level and different sun illumination angle):