The DJI Mini 3 Pro is one of the most incredible mini drones you can own today. DJI took the popular DJI Mini 2 and added more features so the Mini 3 Pro can compete with some professional-grade drones.
One of the features that makes this a great drone to have is the intelligent flight modes.
What are the DJI Mini 3 Pro flight modes?
The DJI Mini 3 Pro comes with FocusTrack, Hyperlapse, MasterShots, and Quickshots, all of which easily create cinematic footage. Each of these modes has even more options to use. For instance, FocusTrack allows you to track the subject in three different ways.
Please keep reading to learn more about what each of the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s modes can do and how to get the most out of them!
DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Modes
To start, let’s look at each of the modes included with the DJI Mini 3 Pro and how you can use it.
FocusTrack is one of my favorite modes. Since I own the DJI Mini 2 and have used the DJI Mini and Mini SE, it has always been a bummer that you couldn’t enjoy Follow Me mode on these drones.
Later, DJI released an SDK update that allowed you to use the Follow Me mode with apps like Litchi, but that experience doesn’t come close to what DJI offers today.
The DJI Mini 2 lacks obstacle avoidance, so your drone could easily crash. Secondly, you could void your warranty if your drone crashes when using these third-party apps and modifications.
Luckily, you don’t have to look for workarounds with the DJI Mini 3 Pro since it now has the FocusTrack feature, which is this drone’s Follow Me mode.
To get started with this feature:
- Ensure there are no obstacles around you. The Mini 3 Pro only has tri-directional obstacle sensing, so it may not detect all obstacles around the drone.
- Next, fly and hover the drone at an ideal height.
- Drag-select your Follow Me path by drawing a box around it and tap the green icon to confirm your selected target.
- You can also use subject screening by going to Settings > Control > Toggle Subject Screening.
FocusTrack has three options:
- Spotlight 2.0
- Point of Interest 3.0
I want to tell you how each of these works in the following sections.
1. Spotlight 2.0
This will be the default option when you select the object of interest. Spotlight 2.0 tells the drone that the object you selected is the “Star” of the show.
As a result, you can adjust the drone’s altitude, distance, or circle around, and the Mini 3 Pro will constantly adjust the camera to face the object you selected.
The Spotlight mode can track stationary objects like towers or people and moving objects like vehicles or boats.
In case of any obstacles, the drone will stop and hover regardless of the obstacle avoidance settings.
ActiveTrack allows you to track any moving object.
To activate it, drag-select the object. Once the FocusTrack options appear, select ActiveTrack and the option you want to use. There are two options; Trace and Parallel.
In Trace mode, the drone will follow the subject at a constant angle depending on the direction of the object and at a constant distance (4 to 20 meters for people and 6 to 100 meters for vehicles and boats) and altitude (2 to 10 meters for people and 10 to 50 meters for vehicles and boats).
When in Parallel mode, the Mini 3 Pro will track the object from the side at a constant distance and angle.
Unlike in Spotlight mode, in ActiveTrack, the drone will bypass the objects it can detect as long as the sensors function as they should.
Once you have selected the option, press the shutter button and press GO on the screen to start the ActiveTrack mode.
Wondering at what speed the drone can track an object?
For Trace, the Mini 3 Pro moves at 10 m/s per second, and while in Parallel, it moves at 13 m/s. That translates to more than 20 miles per hour!
A person wouldn’t move that fast on their own two feet; for vehicles and boats, that speed is more than enough to come up with excellent shots.
3. Point Of Interest 3.0
And lastly, we have the Point Of Interest.
As the name suggests, the drone will be fixated on an object of interest, but this time it will circle the object.
POI works both for stationary and moving objects, and you can adjust the radius of the circle and the drone’s altitude as it flies.
However, unlike in Spotlight and ActiveTrack, obstacle detection and avoidance will not work in POI. To start recording the Point Of Interest, press the Shutter button.
How To Exit FocusTrack
You can exit FocusTrack by pressing Stop on the app’s screen or the pause button (which is also the RTH button) on the remote controller.
Some Precautions To Take When Using FocusTrack
According to DJI’s manual, below are some guidelines to follow when using this flight mode.
- Avoid flying close to people, animals, vehicles, or property.
- Avoid flying in areas with trees with small twigs, power lines, or shrubs since the Mini 3 Pro may not always detect such obstacles.
- Be mindful of your region’s privacy laws, altitude limits, and GEO zones.
- Be extra careful when using FocusTrack in snowy conditions, when the object changes its shape often, when the object goes out of sight, in poor lighting conditions, and when you are tracking an object on a surface that isn’t evenly leveled.
- Object swapping is possible when similar objects are within view, so be mindful of that.
- FocusTrack will not work when using ND filters and wide-angle lenses.
- FocusTrack will not work in high resolutions ranging from 1080p/120 fps to 4k/60 fps.
- ActiveTrack may not work in poor lighting conditions.
- Don’t use ActiveTrack on remotely controlled vehicles or boats.
- Avoid tracking children or any other objects not mentioned in the manual.
- FocusTrack will not work when the drone is on the ground.
Other Intelligent Flight Modes
Below are more flight modes included with the Mini 3 Pro that grant you the ability to take awesome and fast cinematic shots.
MasterShots allows you to select an object of interest, and the drone will film this object while conducting a wide range of maneuvers, as I’ll discuss below.
To activate MasterShots, launch your drone, hover at your ideal height, and tap shooting mode on the right side of the screen.
The Mini 3 Pro has three routes it can take while in MasterShots; Portrait, Proximity, and Landscape. You can select any of the three options depending on the surroundings.
While in MasterShots, drag a box around the subject you want to track or press the Plus sign on the screen. Doing this will initiate Portrait mode, and a map will appear at the bottom left.
When in Portrait mode, the drone will accomplish the following maneuvers while keeping the subject in the frame.
- Dronie – Also known as a “drone selfie,” the Mini 3 Pro will pitch back and ascend while keeping the object of interest in the frame.
- Zooming in and out
- Circle medium
- Circle far
- Circle close
- Pitch up and fly forward
- Camera straight and descent
- Camera down and descent
In Proximity mode, the drone will perform the above-mentioned maneuvers except for Zoom in and out and the camera facing down while flying forward.
When in Landscape mode, in addition to the same maneuvers in Portrait, except for circle far, pitch and flying forward, and camera down and descent, the drone will also perform:
- Roll and fly forward
- Camera straight and circle
DJI also provides a way to edit videos from these intelligent flight modes on the app.
Once you stop MasterShots, a floating window will appear at the bottom section of the screen. Click on it.
Press the Play button to view your video, or press the editor icon on the bottom right to edit and add effects to the video. Once done, you can share your video on social media while still on the app.
How To Exit MasterShots
To Exit MasterShots, press the “X” on the right side of the screen or press the RTH button.
Precautions To Take When Using MasterShots
To safely and effectively make the most of MasterShots, keep the following in mind:
- Make sure you have a strong GPS signal before using this mode.
- MasterShots will not work in geo-zones or restricted altitudes.
- Avoid using MasterShots on airborne objects.
- If the objects are moving, make sure they are moving at a speed that matches or is slower than the drone’s speed.
- Avoid using this mode in areas with too many obstacles. In case it senses an obstacle, the drone will hover. And as mentioned earlier, the Mini 3 Pro doesn’t sense obstacles in all directions.
- MasterShots will stop working if you move the control sticks.
Hyperlapse gives you four preset ways to shoot cinematic footage. They include the following:
- Free – In Free mode, the drone will generate a time-lapse from the photos it takes. Before takeoff, you can set the photo interval, video length, and speed.
Once the drone takes off, you can use the RC to control the speed, height, orientation, and gimbal angle. Tap the Shutter button to start shooting.
- Circle – In Circle mode, the drone will circle the object of interest and develop a time-lapse. To initiate it, tap on the button above the Shutter button (you do this for all other Hyperlapse options), and select Hyperlapse.
Then select the flight speed, photo interval, video length, and circle direction. After that, select the object of interest and tap the Shutter button to start recording.
- Course lock – In Course Lock mode, you set the drone to fly in a fixed course. You can select the object of interest or fly in one direction and control the gimbal and orientation.
Ensure you set the appropriate parameters like flight speed and intervals like in the other modes.
- Waypoints – Waypoint mode allows you to set a route for the drone to follow while taking shots to develop a time-lapse.
When setting the route, also make sure you add different gimbal angles to take different types of shots. Then set the parameters, fly to the desired location, and start filming.
And lastly, we have QuickShots. This mode allows you to automatically film the object of interest using the following maneuvers.
- Dronie – The drone will pitch back and ascend while facing the object.
- Circle – The drone will circle the object of interest.
- Rocket – The drone will ascend with the camera pointing downwards towards the target.
- Helix – The drone will ascend as it spirals around the target.
- Boomerang – Like a boomerang device, the drone will fly away from the target as it ascends, then fly back as it descends to the starting point, forming an oval shape. This maneuver requires a good amount of space, so make sure there are no obstacles.
- Asteroid – Here, the drone will pitch back and ascend, descend to the starting point, generate a panorama of the photos taken from the highest point, and a sequence of the photos it takes as it descends.
You can access QuickShots the same way you did with the other flight modes through the shooting mode option on the right side menu.
Each mode will have its own parameters like height, distance, and orientation. Avoid touching the control sticks during QuickShots since that will stop it.
To exit QuickShots, press the Stop button on the screen or use the RTH button.
The Intelligent Flight Modes make the DJI Mini 3 Pro an even better drone for beginners since you can create cinematic shots with only a few clicks and start posting them on social media.
Do make sure you pay attention to the limitations and precautions in each mode to prevent crashing or even losing your drone.
To get even better photos with the above flight modes, check out these 17 Settings for the DJI Mini 3 Pro.