Skydio X10 introduces autofocus cameras with three different focus modes, allowing you to fine-tune your settings to capture the best possible photos. The cameras on X10 sensor packages have large, fixed apertures which enable faster shutter speeds, lower gains, and help collect more light in poorly lit environments.

Understanding Focus Distance and Depth of Field

Depth of Field is affected by camera aperture, focal length, pixel size and distance to subject, and refers to the parts of your photo that are in focus. It is the distance between the closest point and furthest point in focus.

Depth of field will increase as you move further away from the object. For a set distance from the scene, depth of field will be greater if your photo resolution is set to ΒΌ in the photo settings. Read more about photo resolution here.

The minimum focus distance, or the minimum distance from the camera that an object will be in focus, are:

  • Wide camera: 3 ft (1 m)
  • Telephoto camera: 16 ft (5 m)
  • Narrow camera: 3 ft (1 m)

Focus Modes

AutoFocus (AF)
By default, your camera will be set to automatically adjust focus and exposure.

In this focus mode, the camera will automatically maintain focus, with a bias to objects that are centered on the screen.


Manual Focus (MF)
Allows you to manually set the focus in small increments.

After selecting the Manual Focus icon, two more button options will appear.

  • Use the image of the mountain to focus on objects further away
  • Use the image of the flower to focus on objects that are closer

Tap to Focus
Touch anywhere on the screen to focus on an area of interest, or select the icon to center. The camera will also adjust for optimal exposure (brightness).

The Focus Indicator will turn green once the image is sharp and clear.

The lock icon allows you to lock the focus at that distance. If you fly away or point toward something else, the focus will be locked until you either unlock, tap elsewhere, or change focus modes.


[note] To exit Tap to Focus and dismiss the lock icon, select AF to return to AutoFocus. [/note]

Best Practices


Recommended Focus Mode

When the object of interest is centered on the screen AutoFocus

When the object of interest is off-center

Tap to Focus
  • Place the green focus box anywhere on-screen, then ensure your object of interest is within the box and focused before capturing a photo

Capturing thin objects nearby other objects

Tap to Focus

  • Lock the focus using the lock icon
  • If necessary, switch to Manual Focus

Focusing two objects that are at different distances
(Example: a close-up of a transformer and a utility pole further away)

Consider your depth of field and adjust the distance of the drone from the objects

  • Depth of field increases as the overall scene gets further away
  • If you are not able to fly further away, but you can reduce the resolution from Full to 1/4, that will also increase the depth of field

Explore More

Explore related articles for additional information

Understanding Skydio X10 camera and video settings
Comparing Skydio X10 sensor packages for 3D Scan
Flying Skydio X10

Skydio, Inc. A0512

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