magisto film | maker

video editing is a matter of privacy. apps like iMovie respect this and allow all video editing procedures offline. that‘s how it should be.

the magisto film maker app is yet another example of an immoral, data hungry app which bluntly disrespects users‘ privacy. it refuses any video editing procedure or effect without being online and seeing what the user is doing. this is a no go, and apos like these should be marked with a big no.

second icon from the left deactivated when offline


nothing works when offline


DJI mavic 2 pro | quickshot modes

here are four quickshots i did on day 4 with the DJI mavic pro drone. all shots are the originals from the drone, not the (probably smaller, but accelerated) ones from the DJI Go 4 app. i used the default video settings with automatic white balance, exposure etc.

the first one is the circle. the drone had a problem locating the target (the tree) because it was looking for details which obviously disappeared when looking at the tree from a different angle. however, it did a perfect job.

circle mode around a tree

with the circle you are relatively safe in terms of close-by trees etc. the default circle keeps the mavic close to the target. the same applies to the next two quickshots, rocket and asteroid. the rocket mode shoots the drone up while still looking at the target. in this case the automatic white balance did unpredictable things (not DJI’s fault), and the tree is slightly out of the center of the video.

rocket mode, without acceleration

the dronie does not make much sense with a tree, but here we go. in the app it’s accelerated and looks certainly cooler.

dronie (= drone selfie) of a tree

i proceed to the asteroid shot, which has that white balance problem again:

the asteroid mode with included 360° stitching

finally the spiral, a very cool quickshot mode with the problem that i have no idea how to keep the spiral close to the target. i chose the smallest circle in the settings, 42 meters or so, which is quite a lot. i had the impression that the drone did fly an ellipse rather than a circle. so, use it with care!

spiral mode

what i don’t demonstrate here is the boomerang shot, because i’m not sure how it works. if the elliptic motion has its widest dimension behind the target rather than in front of the target, this might cause a crash problem. more later…

i finished the session with → this conventional autobahn shot which shows the excellent performance of the drone and the 1 inch sensor.

mavic 2 pro | day 3

for day 1 see → this entry.

drone with master. photo: ms/picture alliance

it’s been my third flight session, with only one battery, so restricted to slightly less than 30 minutes. i was still focussing on flight patterns rather than on the camera. the inflight videos were all of great quality. the shot after having landed safely has a ton of chromatic aberration. see below.

i flew all quickshot modes today, and they all did a great and very precise job. the spiral and boomerang are a bit irritating at first, because you have no control about the extension range of those kind of flight. and i still don’t know how to direct a boomerang ellipse into a special direction. imagine you’re climbing a cliff, you want to make sure the drone does fly away from the rocks rather than into them!

some modes give you extra options when you touch the icon again on the screen, others don’t, or they give you just rudimentary options like flying a pattern clock- or counterclockwise.

it’s nice to see that the drone comes back to it’s starting point once it has finished the quickshot flight. it does not repeat the flight, however. once the circle is finished, it is finished.

the videos are stored internally (on the internal 8 GB flashmemory bank or on the microSD card) in the original resolution, but the more interesting versions (in probably lower resolution) are sitting on your smartphone. example: all quickshots are accelerated in the smartphone version, whereas they playback in realtime when downloaded from the drone itself.

i’ve flown the mavic pro 1 for over a year and sold it to a man who uses it for flight only. he’s been a fan of radio controlled “model” airplanes since he was a kid, and he always wanted to fly a versatile, agile drone. he flew the mavic much more professional than i.

the more i get to know the automated flight modes, the more i know that flying the drone is cool and challenging, but much more interesting for me is taking precise videos and photographs for wikipedia and the german press agency dpa. so, the new automated flight modes plus the 360° obstacle detection come in extremely handy.

hasselblad at f 2.8

as to chromatic aberration: massive. there’s nothing lilac or pink on my bike. this detail is of 100% resolution:

lots of chromatic aberration

mavic 2 pro | first impressions

DJI mavic 2 pro. packshot

for day 3, pls check out → this blog entry.

the first mavic was a masterpiece in many respects: the first affordable, reliable, small drone with a better than decent photo quality. i praised the device → a year ago when i had flown it for a couple of months. in the meantime i’ve flown it 22 hours in total before i sold it to a gilder pilot last week.

during the last months DJI released a platinum and an air model which did not really interest me. but the new mavic 2, just released two weeks ago, did. i flew it only once, this morning. here are my first impressions:

the drone is significantly heavier (about 100 grams, which is more than 10%) and feels slightly more bulky, although it’s not really bigger in size. i still have to get used to holding it, because it’s covered with sensors which i don’t want to put my fingerprints on.

connecting everything and calling up the DJI Go 4 app which i had used with my previous mavic, worked, but registration of the new drone failed. i uninstalled and reinstalled the app, then registration worked fine. however, the drone wanted a firmware update, which failed. it would have flown with the current firmware, but it wanted to be updated. many customers have that problem. we never had it with the mavic 1.

my workaround was this: i uninstalled the DJI assistant software from my PC and reinstalled it, in version 2. i connected the drone via USB and could get the new firmware loaded into the device. it took about 15 minutes.

having set up everything for flight again, the controller moaned. it wanted a new firmware, too. after one error message it worked. 5 minutes or so, then the drone was ready to go.

it starts up differently from the predecessor, with much less power, quite sweet actually. when taking off it was obviously more quiet than the mavic 1. i flew it in P-mode and had the impression that if flew somehow more precisely, although i never had a problem with flight precision of the mavic 1. very nice to fly. and very fast.

i tried out two quickshot modes, the “dronie” (which basically is an animated selfie where the drone shoots away and keeps me in focus all the time) and the “circle”. the object recognition is so super precise, the UI of the app is elegant. not comparable to the previous model, excellent.

i did not have much time to check things out and flew the drone home after 20 minutes or so. the battery indicator still was in the middle, so i could have flown quite a bit longer.

the camera? later, folks. no time for that today.

macro lens for | smartphone

lots of photos in short time. ms/dpa

this is a series of photos i took within 5 (!) minutes. details of a legacy video editing card for macintosh PCs. i used the → moment macro lens for this, attached to my google pixel 2 XL phone. i initially had problems with the lens because it has an extremely shallow focus distance, and the smartphone camera constantly tries to override this by searching for sharpness and not finding it. so all you can do is put the lens close, actually very close to your object and look around. moment is a startup company which currently ships another amazing lens which would cost 20.000 € on a canon EOS 5D Mk V. it costs about 100 € for my smartphone. haven’t received it yet and will keep you posted. oh, what lens? anamorphic…

the real thing looks exactly as advertised.

smart | phone macro

these images were my first ones with a macro lens on my smartphone. the lens comes from → moment in the US, the → smartphone from google. the lens does a great job but lacks the option to focus properly.

let’s start with an original resolution:

100% resolution of the image below

the word “Zeil” (actually from the town of → zeil in germany) is a detail of the image below:

detail of a german train map of ca. 1900

the next images were taken in the cologne wikipedia “lokal k” with the assistance of raimond.

soldered connection, now in → wiki commons

japanese capacitor 

capacitor from the top

drohnendoku | stadtarchiv

little planet-version des 360°-fotos


das historische archiv der stadt köln bekommt zusammen mit dem rheinischen bildarchiv eine neue bleibe, gerade in der zweiten bauphase. die stadt köln hat wie wir wikipedianer ein interesse, das bauvorhaben von oben zu dokumentieren. das taten raimond, elya und ich am heutigen sonntag ausführlich in zwei schichten. das material ist ➡️ hier zu finden.

renderman | test

i’ve known pixar renderman since ca. 2005 when it first came out as a plug-in for (then) alias|wavefront maya. at that time it was the king for soft lighting, less technical than mental ray, with often unrealistic but beautiful results.

over the years i lost contact, and in recent months the → arnold renderer by the spanish programmers from solid angle served all my needs. it is just an amazing tool for lighting, texturing and rendering.

renderman is a direct competitor, and this is my first attempt to use it for a maya scene about → NURBS modeling. i’m quite impressed. the scene has a global and three local light sources. the NURBS fillets are depicted as highly reflective. nice, and not hard to set up.

maya scene with NURBS fillets, rendered using renderman