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DJI Intelligent Flight Modes (Including Quickshots & Mastershots)

The competition is getting more ferocious every year in each sector of the drone market, and even though the Chinese manufacturer keeps leading in every single one of them, the others have improved their technology enormously, so much so that they have already surpassed them in several aspects. 

When you are an undisputed leader, one of the traits that might keep you at the top is innovation. This is why DJI keeps investing in improving its drones with new technologies like they did when they invented autonomous flights.

The so-called Intelligent Flight Modes allow users to create easy videos by selecting a template that has several options that you can tweak to give it a personal touch. For some others, it is just a simple tool to effortlessly record the perfect shot in predefined ways. 

Thanks to the new DJI Fly app, supported drones can now make use of artificial intelligence to recognize the scene and plan the perfect flight route. Then you can share these videos with music, and all of this faster than ever before. 

In this article, we are going to take a look at all 12 DJI Intelligent flight modes, the 6 amazing Quickshots, and the new Mastershots. I’m going to help you learn how to use them and show you why people love them, among other things. 

12 Intelligent Flight Modes (DJI Go)

Flying a drone is no easy task. Even those of us who have been playing video games with a controller for decades struggle to control the aircraft at the beginning of our piloting journey. Getting onboard a quadcopter and maintaining awareness of the orientation at all times is something that requires some practice to get used to.

Now, thanks to DJI’s Intelligent Flight Modes, you can get the perfect shot without breaking a sweat. The drone will automatically control the speed, yaw, or gimbal, so all you have to do is choose what you want to capture, and press a button. Simple, right? 

Here is a guide on how to use them:

  1. Connect your device to the controller. 
  2. Turn the device on.
  3. Turn the controller on.
  4. Turn on the aircraft.
  5. Choose your drone and enter camera view.
  6. In the camera view, tap on the controller located on the right side of the screen (the intelligent flight mode screen will pop up).
  7. Tap on the intelligent flight mode that you like.
  8. Follow the onscreen instructions. 

Keep in mind that all these intelligent flight modes are only available to drones that use DJI Go as their flying app.

Drones that use the DJI GO app include the following:

  • Spark
  • Mavic Pro
  • Mavic Pro Platinum
  • Mavic Air
  • Mavic 2 Zoom
  • Mavic 2 Pro
  • Phantom 4
  • Phantom 4 Advanced
  • Phantom 4 Pro
  • Phantom 4 Pro Plus
  • Phantom 4 Pro V2
  • Phantom 4 Pro Plus V2

To help you become a master of these modes, let us have a look at every single one of them. 

1. Normal

This is not considered an intelligent flight mode, but it is also on the list. This mode is useful to go back to controlling your drone manually when you have finished using some of the other options.  

2. Draw

If you want the aircraft to simply follow a path, this is exactly what you can do in Draw mode. It is important to note that it will not work when the camera is looking straight ahead, so you will need to adjust the angle a bit to activate it. 

Once the path is ready, all that is left for you to do is choose the heading mode, which can be forward or free (manual), and the speed. When the path has been completed, you will see a notification and the drone will hover in place.

Warning: Obstacle avoidance is disabled when the Draw mode is activated. Make sure that the path is clear of trees or any other object that may cause an accident. 

3. Gesture

In this mode, you will have to wave your arms to get the drone’s attention. After it has detected you, it will create a rectangle on the screen, making you the tracking subject. To take a picture of yourself, you need to form a square with your hands, but unfortunately, this causes some problems as it does not seem to be a great method.

In short, it is a useful mode to take selfies with your drone without the remote controller. 

4. ActiveTrack

This is one of the most popular intelligent flight modes, and proof of this evidence is that it is also included in newer drones. In Active Track, you can select an object or a person on the screen and the drone will follow it automatically. This mode is great, for example, to record yourself if you are walking in the mountains, biking, etc.

There are three important options to choose from in this mode: trace, profile, and spotlight.

  1. With trace selected, the drone will follow the subject from behind, or in front of it.
  2. Choosing profile will make the drone follow the subject (from any side).
  3. Finally, in the spotlight, the camera will keep the subject centered from any place it wants. 

Once the sub-mode is chosen, tap on Go for the drone to start following the subject. 

5. TapFly

The name of this mode is self-explanatory. We can tap the buttons on the screen of our device to make the aircraft fly forward, backward, and free. Once the flight has been initiated, a slider will appear, allowing us to control the speed at which the drone flies. While in flight, we can choose to ascend or descend while the aircraft continues on its path. 

6. Tripod

Another fan favorite, Tripod mode is the perfect tool for recording cinematic footage. The main characteristic of this mode is that the aircraft will fly at a maximum speed of 4 miles per hour (in any direction), which means that you will get super-stabilized footage. 

For instance, Tripod is really useful to orbit subjects like houses, helping you achieve the results you are looking for when recording real estate videos. 

7. Terrain Follow

This is a pretty particular mode, which allows the drone to automatically adjust its altitude based on the terrain underneath it while you fly it forward. To use it, you will first need to adjust the desired altitude, keeping in mind that if the drone flies too high, this mode will be automatically disabled. 

8. Point of Interest

One of the most recognizable intelligent flight modes, in Point of Interest (POI), you choose a point, and the aircraft will automatically orbit around it continuously. This kind of footage can be obtained manually, but this is a great way to do it fast and easily.

While in POI mode, we need to set the altitude first, then choose whether we want the aircraft to perform the flight fully autonomously, or to orbit around the subject while we control the heading, speed, and radius. The Point of Interest screen will display how long it will take the aircraft to complete a circle around the POI based on the settings.

9. Follow Me

The drone follows the controller automatically (replaced by Active Track). On the screen, we will see a radar icon that shows the position of the aircraft concerning the subject, together with the altitude. 

10. Waypoints

Without a doubt, the most requested intelligent flight mode in drones. With Waypoints, the aircraft flies from one of the previously configured points to the next, allowing the pilot to decide if he/she wants it to fly autonomously or take control of the camera.

Waypoints is a fantastic tool for creating audiovisual works. With it, you can record videos, or take pictures in a specific way repeatedly (extremely useful to periodically monitor construction works, for example).

As we have seen in other modes, we can control the speed with a slider. Selecting the heading mode and what the drone will do after the mission has been completed is chosen by tapping on the respective buttons.

Warning: Be careful when planning your automated mission. Make sure to avoid any obstacles in the drone’s path. 

11. Home Lock

This mode is a great tool for novice pilots to safely return home ‘manually’, as it makes the drone return to the home point in whatever direction you select on the controller’s right sticker. 

12. Course Lock

The drone will then fly in the selected direction. Choose Course Lock mode in the DJI Go app, decide the way you want your course line to be, then click Apply. A red line on the map (left side of the screen) will appear. Now, you can start flying in that direction while controlling where the camera will point. The aircraft will follow the path. 

All 6 Quickshots (DJI Fly)

In the drone world, just as in life, we have to adapt or die. This seems to be what DJI might have been thinking regarding their Fly app. The latest drones from the company are flown with the new DJI Fly app, even though many pilots (including myself) liked the old DJI Go app better. 

However, no matter what app you use to fly your drone, perfecting even the most basic moves to take some standard shots can take time and patience. This is why in certain scenarios, using Quickshots could be the best way to get what you are looking for. 

To access Quickshots, follow this quick step-by-step guide:

  1. Connect your device to the controller. 
  2. Turn the device on.
  3. Turn the controller on.
  4. Turn on the aircraft.
  5. Tap on “Go Fly”.
  6. In the camera view, on your device, tap on the video reel icon on the right side of the screen.
  7. Tap on Quickshots.
  8. Tap on your preferred Quickshot mode to begin. 
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions for that particular Quickshot mode, like choosing the altitude or selecting the subject. 

Just like with the previous modes included in the DJI Go app, Quickshots are only supported in certain DJI Drones. These newer intelligent flights were created specifically to help you achieve the results you want in a fast and simple way, so let us have a look at all of them. 

1. Dronie

In this mode, you have to select a subject. To do so, fly the drone close to you, and it will automatically detect the controller as a trackable object. Tapping on the ‘plus’ sign will create a green rectangle around you, making you the tracking subject. If you move around, the drone will ‘Active-Track’ you. Alternatively, you can tap on the screen and drag your finger while long-pressing to select the subject yourself.

Once the subject is selected, tap on the ‘start’ button to initiate the Dronie Quickshot (here’s how to do it on DJI Avata)

 . You will notice that the drone flies away from you, accelerating a bit more while getting farther away. On the right side of the screen, a red circle with a white X and a percentage helps you see how long it will take for the Quickshot to be done. When that happens, the drone will automatically fly back to its initial position. 

2. Rocket

In the same way as before, in Rocket, you need to draw the subject on the screen or tap on the ‘plus’ sign to select it. When tapping on the start button, a countdown will start. Then, the aircraft will automatically perform the Quickshot by itself, which consists of rising like a space rocket would do when they lift off from the platform, all while keeping the subject centered on the screen.

Rocket is a fantastic Quickshot for revealing the surrounding area of the subject, so keep it in your list of mandatory shots. As previously, the drone will autonomously return to its initial position when it has finished performing the intelligent flight. 

3. Circle

In Circle, the only setting available is selecting the side to which we want the aircraft to start circling the subject. Again, identify or draw the subject, make sure there are no obstacles in the path of the aircraft, then press the start button to begin the Quickshot. A countdown will pop, then Circle will commence. 

4. Helix

The next Quickshot is an interesting one. Once we have selected the subject, the right altitude, and the direction in which the drone will perform the intelligent flight, we will only need to tap on start to begin.

In Helix, the drone combines two moves; it circles the subject and also flies away from it. Then, it finishes the shot, revealing the area further. These combinations of shots make it one of the fan favorites. 

5. Boomerang

At this point, you should know the drill already, right? Select the subject, choose the direction, make sure that the path is clear of obstacles, and then tap on the start button. 

In Boomerang, the aircraft will start flying around the subject slowly just like it did in Circle. However, in this mode, it also moves away and closer to the subject, creating a boomerang-like kind of effect, hence the name. 

6. Asteroid

Lastly, my favorite Quickshot, which sadly is not available in the Mini 2. In Asteroid, the aircraft will fly to a maximum height and then shoot a spherical panorama image. To do that, once again, you have to choose a subject and then tap on the start button.

Just like in the two previous Quickshot modes, Asteroid is also a combination of various shots. In this mode, the aircraft flies away from the subject like in Dronie, then lifts itself off like in Rocket, and lastly, it takes the 360° panorama image. 

Note: It is worth noting that, if we take control of the aircraft while it is performing any Quickshot, the automated flight will be instantly aborted. This is a good thing, as we can quickly avoid a crash if we have miscalculated the altitude of any obstacles, but it also limits the creative possibilities that we may have if we could tweak some parameters in-flight. 

How to edit and share Quickshots in DJI Fly

Today, editing and sharing your Quickshots is easier than ever before. Thanks to DJI Fly you don’t need to use a computer to wow your friends with your new shots. Follow these steps to edit and share them:

  1. Once the aircraft has finished performing the Quickshot, tap the playback icon on the right side of the screen, underneath the start button.  
  2. Tap on the scissors icon to enter edit mode.
  3. Clip the clip, change the tone, adjust the volume, speed, add text, and other options in the editor.
  4. Once you are finished editing, tap the Switch icon in the lower right corner to switch between the original and the generated video.
  5. Tap the download button in the lower-left to save the original clip or the processed video on your device. 
  6. Tap on the Share button in the upper right corner and a few options will be displayed, such as TikTok. For more information, tap the three white dots on the right side. 


It had been a while since DJI launched a new feature, and both its newest drones, the Mavic Air 2S and the Mavic 3 enjoy Mastershots, the latest innovation by the drone market leader. 

Thanks to advanced artificial intelligence, the drone can identify a particular scene and plan a flight route to capture it stunningly. In DJI’s own words: Mastershots will produce professional-level results. 

To use Mastershots, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your device to the controller. 
  2. Turn the device on.
  3. Turn the controller on.
  4. Turn on the aircraft.
  5. Tap on Go Fly.
  6. In the camera view, on your device, tap on the video reel icon on the right side of the screen.
  7. Tap on “Mastershots”. 
  8. Select the subject by drawing a rectangle around it. 
  9. Determine flight route parameters. 
  • Width: Choose between small, medium, or large.
  • Length: Small, medium, large. 
  • Height: Small, medium, large.
  • Start Point: Current location or custom. 
  1. Tap on the start button. A percentage will be displayed on the right side of the screen, indicating when the Mastershots will be completed. 

While the aircraft performs the Mastershots, at the bottom of the screen, we will see some information that tells us what the drone is doing at that moment. For example, it will display ‘Circle’ when it is doing a circle Quickshot, and it even specifies the distance at which it is being performed.

To put it simply, we could say that Mastershots is an automated combination of Quickshots that include some new ones. I was surprised to see that it creates a shot called “Pitch Up + Fly Forward”, which is the typical forward reveal shot. 

Another one that I liked was “Camera Down + Circle”, in which the drone records while the camera is facing down and spinning to any side. 

Once the drone has finished doing its Mastershots magic, we can go to the DJI Fly app album to check the results. Impressively, the resulting almost 2-minute video can be edited with a few templates to choose from. 

When you are finished deciding what the best mood for your video is, you can now download it to share it at its highest resolution. 

Mastershots seems to be a fantastic new addition to the book of tricks of those sky magicians called drone pilots. However, we would love to see more options to create these amazing automated shots. Hopefully, in the future!


  • When capturing a person, set the starting point right in front or just behind the subject to obtain the best results possible. 
  • When capturing landmarks, the starting point should be around 100 meters from the target and keep an appropriate altitude. This will force the drone to choose Proximity as the flight route, resulting in a wide range of maneuvers. 
  • When capturing landscapes, get a panoramic view of the whole scene, making sure the aircraft is not too far or too high above the subject. As a result, the drone will perform some sweeping movements that will leave you breathless.  
  • Practice using different distances and settings to get an understanding of which options are best for what you want to achieve with Mastershots.

Mastershots Notes

  • At the moment, Mastershots does not support D-log mode (a flat color profile) or manual focus. 
  • Sometimes, when it is too windy, or the subject is at a high altitude, if we choose “obstacle avoidance” as the shooting priority, the propellers of the drone may come into the camera’s view. To resolve this issue, select ‘Composition’ as the shooting priority. In this way, the gimbal will not rotate when performing circular maneuvers. 
  • Both iOS and Android devices are capable of shooting Mastershots at 4K/30 FPS, 2.7K/30 FPS, and 1080p/30 FPS. 
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, avoiding obstacles even if you are planning on using the obstacle avoidance system. 


DJI’s intelligent flight modes are a great tool that you should be taking advantage of. For experienced pilots, these modes can save them some time in certain situations, while for beginners, they will keep them from getting some headaches trying to manually achieve the perfect shots. 

These modes are particularly useful for the casual flyers, especially for the travel addicts that do not have the time to learn to practice the shots, they just need to capture that very unique moment perfectly.

It seems unfair and very saddening that only a few drones can perform certain intelligent flight modes, and to me, this is something that DJI should reconsider. Despite that, we have all taken advantage of these innovative modes, and probably will again at some point soon.

Cover Photo by Matthew LeJune