The Best Settings for Uploading DJI FPV Footage to Youtube

Youtube compression is the worst nightmare for FPV pilots, it often makes videos look pixelated and blurry after uploading. I will try to find the best resolution and bitrate settings for uploading videos from the DJI FPV system to Youtube.

Footage tested here was recorded in the DJI FPV Goggles, with settings “High quality”, focus mode auto and 25Mbps. Flown with GEPRC Rocket Lite.

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Frame by Frame Comparison

Here is the screenshot comparison between the different export resolutions, bitrates and playback resolutions on Youtube.

This image you see below is compressed due to the large size, download the uncompressed version here (15Mb), you can open it in two separate windows, zoom in and compare each shot side by side.

Conclusion

According to YouTube, video playback bitrate is related to video resolution and frame rate.

Although the DVR recording from the goggles is only 720p (1080p from the Air Unit), but these footage normally has around 30Mbps to 40Mbps bitrate, uploading in 1080p, Youtube will reduce it down to 15Mbps maximum.

Therefore I think it’s better to render (export) your DJI footage in 2.7K with a bitrate of 30Mbps (or simply match that of your original footage). This should generally be enough for most people.

If file size and rendering time isn’t a problem for you, you can even upscale it to 4K with 66-85Mbps bitrate. This will give you the best result.

Resolutions:

4K = 3840 x 2160
2.7K = 2704 x 1520
2K = 1440p = 2560 x 1440
1080p = 1920 × 1080

You can use even higher bitrate if you want, but it will result in massive file size, and you might not notice any difference due to Youtube compression.

Avoid uploading your footage directly to Youtube, it will look absolutely terrible. Upscaling it to 2K or even 4K, will improve playback quality significantly!

To make video looks nicer, try dynamically stretching the image to 16:9 to mimic GoPro Superview.

Interesting findings:

  • Youtube reserves higher bitrate for higher resolution videos, e.g. 2K and 4K
  • There is an cap on playback bitrate on Youtube, e.g. 30Mbps for 2K, and even if your 2K video is uploaded in 100Mbps bitrate, it will look the same when played back on Youtube
  • Higher playback resolution delivers higher bitrate as well – if a 2.7K video is played in 1080p, it will look almost the same as a video uploaded in 1080p (that’s why I recommend uploading in 2.7K)
  • Bitrate has diminishing return, e.g. 10Mbps looks almost as good as 30Mbps, but if you zoom in, you can still see slightly more detail in 30Mbps

Sample Videos

Here are the videos I uploaded for this test:

2.7K 100Mbps

2.7K 30Mbps

2.7K 10Mbps

1080p 30Mbps

1080p 10Mbps

720p (raw footage direct upload)

4K 60Mbps

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