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The Mavic 3 is a drone that comes with a wide array of well-known features as well as a few new ones. One of the things that makes this machine such an upgrade is all the new modes a pilot can use.
Does the DJI Mavic 3 have waypoints?
Yes! DJI Mavic 3 has a flight mode using waypoints. However, there is a catch…
Every few months since the release of the Mavic 3, there have been firmware updates to add more flight modes and options to change the flight.
Each mode helps complete a task to capture specific photos/videos or help create a better image.
From 360 photos to active track, this drone comes with a plethora of options. One of these additions is an option to fly using waypoints.
What are Waypoints? #
Waypoints are stopping places or checkpoints on a journey or path which are typically generated by computer systems.
When used by a drone, they are points placed on a map where a drone will stop (or pass) during flight; together, these points make up a path the drone will follow to create a video or map.
Waypoints can be used for a variety of tasks. They can be used to create a grid for surveying, a path for inspections, or a pre-determined route to capture photos or videos.
DroneDeploy and Pix4D are a couple of the apps you may be familiar with that use waypoints using a third-party application to capture photos used for surveys and data analysis.
Although these apps make the process much easier, they are not the only way to use this tool.
The Mavic 3 is one of the first consumer drones to introduce waypoints directly into the system. DJI has done this by combining the use of the drone’s location and the camera angle to create points along a route.
How do I use Waypoints with my Mavic 3? #
Although waypoints can be used for a variety of purposes, there is only one way to use them on this model of drone.
The only way to access waypoints using the Mavic 3 is to be in the hyperlapse flight mode.
A hyperlapse, similar to a timelapse, is a series of frames taken of a slow-moving scene stitched together to create a video sped up to show drastic changes in an environment quickly.
The only difference between a hyperlapse and a timelapse is that a hyperlapse is done when the camera is physically moving, while the timelapse uses a stationary camera.
Hyperlapses are great for introducing a particular setting or showing that time is passing.
This method is effective when shooting cars moving through an intersection, boats entering and exiting a port, clouds moving across the sky, or a variety of other things.
Step-by-Step Instructions #
Accessing this mode and creating a hyperlapse with your drone is simple once you understand how to do it.
Below are instructions detailing the process with photos included:
- Once your drone is in the air, press the icon on the right side of the screen to open the photo options.
- Scroll down slightly and press the hyperlapse mode.
- Re-enter the menu and select the waypoint option from the four options next to the original menu.
- Use the menu that appears on the bottom of the screen to determine photo intervals, video length, and maximum flight speed.
- Fly to the spot you want to begin the hyperlapse and press the plus icon on the bottom of the screen to create your first waypoint.
- Move to the next spot and repeat step 5.
- Once all waypoints are set, press the record option to begin the recording.
When you press the record button, the drone will move to the first waypoint created and will begin to take a picture at the intervals determined before starting.
The entire process takes between ten and thirty minutes, depending on the length of the desired video, but be sure to start with a full battery!
Once you have flown hyperlapse videos for a while and know how long it takes for you, adjustments can be made, but I recommend starting with a full battery to start.
When creating a hyperlapse and changing the settings of the waypoint mode, the display will show a real-time estimate of how long the video will take, and during the process, you will be able to watch how many pictures the drone has taken and how many it has remaining.
Waypoints are an incredible addition to this drone and allow remarkable videos to be made. Even though the only way to use this option is through hyperlapse videos, there are still fun things you can do with the feature.
A hyperlapse feature has been available in numerous drone models because of the unique perspectives that come with a moving camera, but with waypoints, the process is easier and allows for better, smoother videos to be made.
What should I know about hyperlapse videos? #
As hyperlapses are the only way to use waypoints, it is important to know a little more about them.
Drones are one of the best tools to use when creating a hyperlapse video because the camera comes prepared to move around at high speeds.
The Mavic 3 allows you to create hyperlapse videos in 4 different ways:
- Course lock
Each of these options allows the creation of a hyperlapse with slightly different outcomes.
Free Mode #
In free mode, the pilot is given full freedom at the controls to create the video. This allows for a lot of creativity in a hyperlapse video, but also requires precise and exact movements.
Any quick movement of the drone or the camera will appear later on in the final product and reduce the quality of the overall outcome.
While in free mode, however, there are a few things that are controlled automatically.
Before starting, you will be given the option to change the duration of the final video, the interval of time between photos, and the maximum speed that the drone will be restricted to.
All of these options are important in order to focus all of your attention on moving the drone and the camera to create the best movements you want.
Circle Mode #
Circle mode is straightforward, or circular, depending on how you want to think about it.
When creating the hyperlapse, most of the settings will be similar to the other modes, except you will need to highlight a subject by tapping it on the screen and inputting which direction the drone will go.
The biggest thing to remember about this mode is that the app will not indicate how long it will take to circle an object, so be sure to add extra time or plan on doing a few trial runs to lock down the time it will take to make it all the way around or as far as you would like it to.
Course Lock Mode #
The third option for creating hyperlapse videos is the courselock mode. This mode is the most confusing to understand solely from the name, but it is just as simple when using it.
In this mode, the added setting is unlocking and locking the direction the drone is facing.
When the direction is unlocked, you can move the drone in any way to prepare for the beginning of the hyperlapse.
When the direction is locked, the drone prepares to go in one singular direction for the duration of the flight.
This mode can be great for a simple hyperlapse with minimal movements when attempting to capture a skyline or reveal a particular area.
Waypoints Mode #
The last option is, of course, the waypoints. Waypoints allow for almost as much freedom as free mode, but that creativity must be locked in before starting the hyperlapse.
Each waypoint is flown and recorded by the pilot before the hyperlapse starts but cannot be changed once it begins. This a unique option because of the technology and software necessary to create a waypoint using the DJI fly app.
Sadly waypoints cannot be used for any other video mode, but the opportunities available even in hyperlapse mode are impressive.
Hyperlapses are a great way to create unique videos with the capabilities of a flying machine. Each of the 4 modes provides different methods to create beautiful timelapse videos.
It is important to always remember that these kinds of videos need to be seen as experimental. Trial and error is key, but once you know how they work, it becomes much easier to produce a good video.
Although each pilot must learn on their own, there are a few tips to remember when making a hyperlapse.
- First, when the drone is taking pictures, there is always a .5-1 second lag because of the speed at which the drone needs to capture the images. When this happens, there is no need to worry as it is normal.
- Second, when shooting in hyperlapse mode, there is no flexibility with the camera settings except the option to use RAW or JPEG images. JPEG format is the best for this mode because it takes considerably less space and does not require editing to use.
- Lastly, the DJI Fly app will always show the time left on the video and the pictures that have been taken. It is always nice to have a live update on the progress of your shots.
Using waypoints for a hyperlapse video is just one of the flight modes which allow pilots to create videos with more automatic and smooth movements rather than manual ones, which are subject to error.
Other new features have also been added or updated to make a wide variety of shots possible and easy to create.
There is a plethora of things to do with this drone for commercial or recreational purposes. Creating a hyperlapse, panorama, 360-degree photo, etc. has never been easier and never looked so good.
Although waypoints can only be used for a hyperlapse video, they are an incredible addition to this already great drone.
Waypoints allow you to create a smooth hyperlapse without worrying about your own flying to do the trick. Positioning the drone and camera before every waypoint is a doorway to beautiful shots with every video.
With these new additions and the information in this article, you are now ready to go try it yourself and show the world what you can do with this incredible machine.