Why is My Drone Footage Choppy?

Are you wondering why is my drone footage choppy? If so, you’re not alone. Many drone operators have experienced this issue and have been left scratching their heads trying to figure out what could be causing it. In this blog post, we will look into some of the most common causes for choppy drone footage and provide tips and tricks for avoiding the issue in the future. Have you ever been out flying your drone and noticed that your footage was choppy and not very smooth?

If so, then you’re likely asking yourself why is My Drone Footage Choppy? Choppy drone footage can be a major letdown after capturing something amazing from the sky. Luckily, there are several ways to help smooth out your drone footage. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the potential causes for choppy drone footage and how to correct them. With the right knowledge and technique, you can produce beautiful, smooth footage with your drone. Let’s dive in and find out why is my drone footage choppy!

One of the most common reasons for choppy footage is inadequate video storage on your SD card. When shooting at high resolutions like 4K, it’s important to make sure that your SD card has enough free space to store the files. Additionally, if you’re using an older card with slow read/write speeds, it might struggle to keep up with recording data. This could cause choppy footage due to frames being dropped. The solution here would be to buy an SD card with larger capacity or faster speeds.

Check your video format

One of the primary reasons why your drone footage might be choppy is because of the video format. The file type and resolution you are shooting in can drastically affect the quality of your footage. If you’re shooting in a low-resolution format, the video will appear to be choppy or pixelated. Additionally, if your video format is not compatible with your editing software, you may experience difficulty editing your footage. To avoid these issues, make sure you’re shooting in a higher-resolution format that is compatible with the editing software you’re using.

That way, when you’re asking yourself “why is my drone footage choppy?” you’ll know that you have a strong foundation from which to work. Next, check the speed of your drone: Another potential cause for choppy footage could be an issue with the speed of your drone. If your drone is moving too quickly, it may cause jittery shots and artifacts in the final output. To ensure smooth, clear footage, make sure you’re flying at an appropriate speed for what you’re recording.

You should also consider adjusting the frame rate settings on your camera. Higher frame rates like 60fps or 120fps can help reduce any jerky movements in your recordings, making them look smoother overall. Furthermore, try tweaking other camera settings such as shutter speed and ISO to see if this makes any difference in your recordings. Lastly, inspect your drone’s propellers for any damage as well as its battery life; both of these can contribute to choppy recordings if they are not functioning correctly. 

Check your frame rate

One of the main reasons why is my drone footage choppy is due to an inadequate frame rate. Frame rate refers to the number of individual frames per second in a video. If the frame rate is too low, then the footage can appear choppy, with jagged edges and blurred movement. To ensure smooth, clear drone footage, you should shoot at a frame rate of at least 24fps (frames per second). If you need to capture fast-moving objects, such as cars or athletes, then you should use a higher frame rate of 30fps or more.

This will create smoother motion and enable your drone to track and record the action accurately. You should also check if your camera settings are appropriate for capturing drones; some cameras require settings like ISO and shutter speed to be optimized for shooting aerial footage. Another factor that could be causing your footage to be choppy is poor weather conditions; wind gusts, rain, snow, and dust particles can all affect how your drone records images and videos.

You should always try to fly your drone when the weather conditions are calm, so that your footage doesn’t become distorted or blurry. Lastly, if you’re shooting for long periods of time, make sure your battery has enough power to last the duration; otherwise your video may become distorted from power loss. With these tips in mind, your drone footage will no longer be choppy!

Use a lower ISO setting

One of the most common reasons why your drone footage might be choppy is due to the ISO setting. The ISO setting on a camera determines how sensitive the camera is to light. A higher ISO setting will make your footage brighter, but it can also introduce more noise and grain, which can make your video look choppy. To reduce the amount of noise and grain in your footage, you should try to keep the ISO setting as low as possible. It’s important to remember that if you reduce the ISO too much, you may need to compensate by increasing the shutter speed or f-stop so that you still get enough light.

By reducing the ISO setting and finding the optimal balance between shutter speed and f-stop, you should be able to capture smooth and stable footage with your drone. Another factor that can contribute to choppy footage is the rate at which your drone moves. If your drone moves too quickly, you may find that there are jerky movements in your footage caused by your drone’s rapid acceleration and deceleration.

To solve this problem, you should ensure that you fly your drone at an appropriate speed while recording. Additionally, you should also consider using features such as automated flight modes like orbit mode and follow mode which help keep your footage steady. Finally, check for any hardware issues that may be causing the choppiness in your footage – such as faulty motors or propellers – and replace them immediately if necessary.

Use a faster shutter speed

Shutter speed is an important factor when it comes to capturing smooth footage with a drone. When your shutter speed is too slow, the footage appears choppy and blurry. Why is this? When the shutter is open for too long, it captures multiple frames of the same image which creates a double-exposure effect and makes the footage choppy. To avoid this, you should increase your shutter speed. Faster shutter speeds will capture fewer frames per second which will make the footage look smoother and less choppy.

This is especially important when capturing fast moving objects or panning shots. If you’re still having issues with choppy footage, try experimenting with different shutter speeds until you find one that produces the best results. If you’re not sure what the best shutter speed is for your drone footage, experiment by taking sample videos with different settings and compare the results. With practice, you can easily find the right shutter speed to ensure your footage looks smooth and professional.

It may also be helpful to use a tripod mount for more stability, as this helps reduce shake and blur from unexpected movements. Additionally, you may need to adjust other camera settings such as ISO and white balance in order to get the optimal balance between quality and performance. Lastly, if all else fails, consider upgrading your drone equipment as higher end models are typically able to handle faster shutter speeds more efficiently than entry level models. Ultimately, if you want smooth, clear footage with no jitters or blurring, 

Use a higher f-stop

When it comes to creating smooth drone footage, f-stop can have a significant impact. When shooting aerial video with a drone, it’s best to set your f-stop to a higher value than what you would typically use when shooting from the ground. This will help create better contrast and reduce jittery footage. Higher f-stop values also reduce the amount of light entering the lens, so if you’re filming in bright conditions or in direct sunlight, it’s especially important to use a higher f-stop setting to prevent overexposure.

Increasing your f-stop can help you achieve smoother, less choppy footage, and help you capture the perfect aerial shot. But why is my drone footage choppy in the first place? One possible reason is that your shutter speed is too fast. If the shutter speed is too high, this could cause the image captured by the camera sensor to be ‘frozen’, which may lead to an increase in camera shake and an overall choppier feel for your footage. The good news is that most drones allow you to manually adjust the shutter speed for more control over the final look of your videos.

It’s recommended that you experiment with different shutter speeds to find one that works best for your particular scenario. In addition to adjusting the shutter speed, it’s also helpful to keep an eye on the ISO setting as well. A higher ISO creates brighter images, but at the expense of increased noise, which could contribute to choppy footage. It’s worth noting that some newer drones come equipped with advanced stabilization features such as gimbal technology and electronic image stabilization, both of which can help reduce vibrations and make your footage much smoother.


The choppiness of your drone footage could be due to several factors. From your video format to the settings you’re using, many things could be causing the issue. By taking the time to double check your settings, you can help to ensure smoother footage in the future. Ultimately, why is my drone footage choppy? It could be caused by a variety of issues, but with a few tweaks, you can get your footage looking smooth again. One common cause for choppiness is having an incorrect video resolution or frame rate.

Higher resolution and faster frame rates will give you sharper images and smoother motion. If you’re filming at a high resolution and frame rate, make sure your device has enough memory to store all the data from the footage. A lack of storage space could lead to choppiness. Additionally, check that your camera has adequate light levels so that it isn’t straining too much to focus on objects that are too dark. Improperly calibrated image stabilization systems could also cause choppiness as they try to correct for unnecessary movement.

Finally, make sure your card reader is compatible with the type of card you’re recording on so that data isn’t lost as it’s transferred from the card to your computer. All these potential causes show why is my drone footage choppy? Taking steps such as changing settings, ensuring proper light levels, and checking compatibility of devices can help to keep your videos looking great.