Night Drone Photography – Mavic Air 2 Quality 48MP Fail?

So I had wanted to do this test for a while, I had setup a Mavic Air 2 on a garbage bin (so its not hovering and this could add vibration and loss of sharpness) and took some photos at 12 megapixels and 48 megapixels to see if the “high resolution” mode affects the low light capabilities of this drone.

What we do know about resolution and iso is that the “grain” noise will be made worse at a higher ISO as the “GAIN” is increased. Which adds distortion (if you ever turned up the amp really high, but didnt play any music, you would hear the “hum” of static). So would 48 megapixels vs 12 make the photo more noisy.

The answer is much more complex, but I will make it short and direct.

Observation 1:

12 megapixel image zoomed in appears to have better contrast than 48 megapixel image in areas of shadow

48 megapixel image retains more detail and contrast in areas of light.

example, a sign below a light post will look better at 48 megapixel

example, a tree in the shadow or lit by indirect minimal light will have more defined branches and leaves at 12 megapixels.

check out the sample raw photos and video below.

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video is here

Links to all the DNG sample photos are here: