Little Planet Image Above The Cocoa Beach Pier
On May 16th, I updated my phantom 4 advanced with a new firmware sent by the DJI engineers and set out for some test flights. The update was to add panoramic photography capabilities to the drone via the DJI Go 4 app. This means no more switching to a 3rd party app when I want to shoot a 360-degree panoramic or little planet image. To test the new feature, I went to the Cocoa Beach Pier at before sunset and flew at the beginning of the golden hour.
One thing I noticed when I was trying to set up my photo settings was, that the pano mode only allows for shooting in jpg mode. You can not switch to RAW or RAW+jpg even though I have a high-speed card that I use in a camera that can shoot 5.7k video. I would assume the lack of support for shooting RAW in panoramic mode would be to shoot the full spherical panorama quickly to reduce drift during flight. It would be great to see the DJI team add support for RAW shooting in the future.
The app is able to quickly capture the 34 images needed to capture the full spherical panoramic. Note the drone only captures 30-degrees up so there is a black hole in the zenith you’ll need to photoshop out or add in a sky another way.
After capturing the images, I ran them through the various software I use and below you can see the resulting little planet image. This version is 1500 x 1500 pixels and was resized to a web-friendly resolution. The original full resolution image is 626 megapixels or 25020 x 25020 pixels in size, meaning it can be printed to 6.9 ft x 6.9 ft at 300 dpi.
If you have any questions about the process, please leave a comment below. Also, take a moment the check out my little planet or tiny planet gallery where you can purchase prints.