Table of Contents
The DJI Mini 2 was a significant upgrade over the Mavic Mini. Still, it missed crucial features like obstacle recognition, the ability to fly without a cell phone or DJI Smart Controller, and the Follow Me mode.
In response to customer demand, DJI released the DJI Mini 3 Pro, an improvement over the Mini 2, in May of 2022, but does it include a “Follow Me” function?
**Yes, the DJI Mini 3 Pro has a Follow Me feature. Like the Mavic 3 and Air 2, the Mini 3 Pro’s Focus Track intelligent flight modes can automatically track a moving subject, such as yourself. **
The Mini 3 Pro meets almost every criterion. It has fantastic picture quality, is incredibly compact and light, and can be flown legally in many countries.
This drone has a Follow Me feature that allows it to track a designated subject, such as yourself, as I will detail below.
Focus Track Mode #
The new and improved Focus Track intelligent flight modes on the DJI Mini 3 Pro makes it easy for the drone to follow an assigned subject autonomously.
For beginners, a Follow Me option allows a drone to continuously film whatever it follows, whether you or another item.
» MORE: How Does Follow Me Mode Work in Drones?
The Focus Track mode on DJI Mini 3 Pro is what DJI calls Active Track 4.0, and it works like other Follow Me features in other drones. However, it is much easier to use the tracking function on this drone than on others.
Focus Track on the Mini 3 Pro makes photographing and filming considerably simpler and results in more candid photos. Likewise, it simplifies recording subjects in motion, such as cyclists, bikes, automobiles, athletes, and boats.
Types of Follow Me Modes on Mini 3 Pro #
In the Mini 3 Pro, there are three Follow Me (tracking) modes, namely:
- Active Track
- Point of Interest (POI)
There are two routes you can take when you want to activate any of the above three modes:
- Simply draw or drag a box around the target. This can be a person, bicycle, vehicle, boat, or any other object you want to track.
- Once you’ve drawn the box (green), a small window showing the above Active Track, Spotlight, and POI appear on the screen.
- You can now choose any of the three follow-me modes.
Subject Scanning: #
- Go to the menu option, click control, and toggle the Subject Scanning button to the right to activate this feature.
- The color changes from gray to blue once you activate Subject Scanning.
- When you enable Subject Scanning, the Mini 3 Pro will automatically scan and display subjects in the camera view.
- Click plus (+) on your target, and the three FocusTrack modes appear on the screen.
Now that we know that the Mini 3 Pro’s Follow Me feature may be configured in several ways, we can move on to exploring the three intelligent flight modes.
Active Track #
The Active Track intelligent flight mode is the first and farthest left of the intelligent flight modes. It is equipped with two features:
Trace Mode #
- Simply draw a box around the object you wish to track. This might be you, a vehicle, or whatever you want to follow.
- If Subject Scanning is enabled and the drone is close to the subject, plus signs will appear on the different subjects on the controller’s screen.
- Click +, and then choose “Active Track,” where two features – Trace and Parallel – will show.
- If you don’t want to learn about locking the subject in the frame, skip “How to lock target.”
- Set your height and angle, then press Trace.
The Trace functionality is yellow and is located to the left of the two Active Track functionalities.
Active Track works flawlessly when tracking a slow-moving subject, such as you walking, or a fast-moving subject, such as a truck or boat. Because the drone can detect moving objects, you will still receive a smooth image.
Furthermore, you can track the subject from the front, back, or side (despite not having side sensors).
Even if you start the Trace mode while following a fast-moving subject, such as a speeding car, the drone will quickly reposition itself behind the car. When you’re finished, click the red “Stop” button.
Note: In DJI Mini 3 Pro, 4K only works with 30 fps.
Parallel Mode #
When you want to use the Parallel Follow Me flying mode, follow the same steps you used to select Trace mode. But instead of choosing Trace, select Parallel.
You will still capture some great images like in Trace mode, but they’ll be in a vertical aspect ratio.
Vertical mode, on the other hand, requires you to rotate the camera to capture the greatest photos.
Parallel mode is equally good. However, it can cause your drone to crash because Obstacle Avoidance does not work with the Parallel mode. So, be cautious of obstructions or fly in an open place, such as a field or beach.
The drone can also track a subject from the sides when in Active Track Parallel mode. However, it would help if you exercised caution here to prevent colliding with branches and other obstacles due to the ineffectiveness of Obstacle Avoidance.
Now that you’ve mastered the Trace and Parallel modes, you would like to put the drone through its paces and see if it can follow fast-moving objects in a mode other than Active Track.
This might be you sprinting swiftly or a boat or vehicle.
Spotlight is ideal for fast-moving things like boats because it eliminates the need for limited movement and provides precision when filming, even with the water splashing around the boat.
The remote’s sticks control forward and sideways motion, and the drone handles all panning while the subject remains in the center of the frame.
In Spotlight mode, the drone can effortlessly fly around the subject while focusing. You only need to set the height, move the drone in space, and leave everything to the drone. And you can do all of this while keeping your fingertips off the gimbal wheel.
It is important to understand that Spotlight does not only operate with moving things. This mode can also be used for static objects such as a building.
Highlight an object and move the drone around; the drone will manage the camera movement and aircraft rotation for you.
Spotlight now supports vertical capture with the latest firmware.
Point of Interest #
The POI on the controller’s screen works the same way as other Focus Track flight modes.
- Drag your finger to draw a green box around the object you want to orbit.
- Next, select the direction and speed using the directional arrows positioned above the Focus Track modes on the controller screen.
- Once ready, tap Go (Click POI).
- The drone will start to orbit in the direction you want it to and circle around the object you are tracking without jerky motions.
Regardless of your speed settings, the drone will start orbiting around the subject slowly to analyze the scene and properly determine how to orbit the selected subject.
You can adjust the height, speed, and direction anytime during the flight. The drone will automatically alter the pitch of your gimbal so you can change direction, speed up, slow down, and make any other adjustments.
Like in Active Track and Spotlight, you can use POI in the vertical shooting mode.
Is Follow Me in Mini 3 Pro ideal when the subject is moving down a hill or in a forest? #
We tested the Active Track-Trace mode down and up a hill and discovered that it works flawlessly when the subject’s grade varies.
You can climb a hill or mountain with few trees, and the drone will automatically adjust its altitude and speed to keep up with you. The same thing happens when descending a hill or other high-altitude location.
But, just to be safe, activate Active Tracking and begin moving slowly, just walking. When you accelerate, the drone appears to follow.
The drone will dodge branches and other obstructions if you make things more difficult by traveling under trees. However, make sure to select Bypass under Obstacle Avoidance. If you are close to the drone, it can make sharp turns.
If you want the drone to come to a halt and hover when it comes into contact with an object, you can select Brake under Obstacle Avoidance. It normally comes to a halt 1 meter away from the object.
However, we discovered that the Mini 3 readily overrides this setting by avoiding the obstacle and continuing to follow the subject.
DJI Mini 3 Pro sensors #
I’m aware that a drone’s Follow Me features are most effective when the drone is equipped with numerous sensors strategically placed at various points on the drone to help detect a person and follow them wherever they go.
Sensors are located at the front, bottom, and back of the Mini 3 Pro. This drone, in contrast to the Mavic 3, lacks upward and sideways sensors are also absent.
Even so, the drone may track the target from behind, in front of, to the side of, or even above the target from a birds-eye perspective.
Although it may be missing some sensors, the drone will nonetheless perform correctly by maintaining a fixed distance and altitude from you. Yet again, you must ensure that the drone’s path is clear of potential obstacles.
Obstacle Detection #
Checking a drone’s obstacle avoidance system is another crucial initial step in testing its Follow Me functionality. So, the drone can sometimes see potential roadblocks ahead of time.
If you’re pursuing a target through dense foliage or a built-up region, you should keep your drone safe from the ground. Alternatively, fly the drone in an open area to avoid crashing.
As was previously mentioned, the Mini 3 Pro is equipped with sensors everywhere but the sides and the top. So, extreme caution should be exercised when traveling in a diagonal, lateral, or vertical direction.
The majority of sensors can only detect obstructions within a 90-degree arc. On the other hand, you can use Flight Assistance to steer clear of any potential hazards.
To keep your drone from colliding with any obstacles on the route to your target, you may wish to fly it a great distance away.
However, the good news is that at 200% zoom, the Mini 3 Pro delivers faultless photos and videos even when the drone is far away from the subject.
Wrap Up #
As far as the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s Follow Me flight modes go, I find that Active Track-Trace is the most useful.
That is because it’s simple to program, and the drone will keep up with you without requiring you to constantly keep your eyes on the ground or worry that it may crash if you turn around.
Some people find the POI and Spotlight Follow Me flight modes quite useful. The two do not require a lot of dexterity with the analog sticks to use.
We wish you the best of luck to those embarking on a photo/videography journey!