There is nothing quite like getting out there with the lightest backpack of gear yet still have all the power to capture pin sharp images and 4K stabilised video. I packed the DJI Mavic Air, a couple of batteries and my Fujifilm X100F while out for a walk in the vast forests of County Down.
When it comes to shooting in dark forests the tones of ‘Classic Chrome’ are perfect for capturing the natural feel to deep forests around the base of the Mourne Mountains.
It was a gentle walk through the forest. We would trek for a mile or two and the rest breaks were an opportunity to get the Mavic Air into the sky, as long as there was no one else around to annoy.
X100F JPG Mode
I have started to keep my Fujifilm X100F set to JPG only mainly so that I can employ the digital zoom option along with the array of film simulations. It’s hard to beat shooting RAW but the JPGs from the X100F never cease to amaze.
DJI Mavic Air Learning Points
When it comes down to flying the DJI Mavic Air I am loving the learning experience. I am now confident with the flight controls although I have a strict, self-imposed set of safety rules that I follow and sport mode remains unchartered territory. The drone is not a toy and not everyone appreciates the high pitched whirl when out for a walk in the mountains.
Shooting stills with the Drone gives a whole new perspective and it is amazing how level it manages to sit in the air. The next challenge is going to be some drone long exposure photography images maybe even of the night sky.
I have also learned a few things about capturing video. I removed the PolarPro ND/PL filter and went back to shooting straight through the lens, this wass a mistake and in hindsight I shouldn’t have gone for a polariser lens but the ND4 is almost essential.
Secondly, although the drone can bank left and right any recorded footage during this movement is next to useless. I have left a 4-5 second example in the video above where the drone moves from the trees to the road. It should also be noted that there are no sensors on the side of the drone so banking left/right is really only for fine tuning a shot.
Going forward video shots will be planned out a bit more in advance to avoid pinging back and forward between shooting 4K video and shooting stills. When shooting stills I am still shooting RAW and JPG. Oddly the DNG files required a fair bit of work compared to the last flight when I had the ND4 attached.
The Forest of Mourne Gallery
Click on any of the images to view full screen.
I was going to suggest visitors guessed which photos were captured with the Fujifilm X100F and which were captured with the Mavic Air but I suspect the elevation may offer a bit of a clue! I have to say coming home with a collection of stills and 4K video can fill an afternoon of processing joy, hopefully there will be less rejected content in the months to come.
If you are looking to travel light yet retain all the power to capture stunning stills and 4K video then the DJI Mavic Air and X100F make for a brilliant travel partnership. I have already asked the question “Is the X100F the best travel camera?” and I could be asking the same question about the Mavic Air in the coming months.