Camera drone have made it possible for nearly anyone to capture stunning aerial footage. Manufacturers are continuously pushing the boundaries of what these camera drone are capable of, and have come out with a slew of cool features. In this article we focus on the features that let the camera drone follow you in intuitive and creative ways.
Examples of intelligent drone features include TapFly, Point of Interest and Follow Me. TapFly allows you to just tap a point on your screen to command your drone to fly smoothly in that direction. Point of Interest allows you to select a subject for the drone to circle automatically as you record stunning photos and videos. With Follow Me, the aircraft will automatically follow and shoot you.
All of these features give you the freedom to be as present with your activities as possible, as your drone gets the tricky filming aspects out of the way and enables you to record smooth aerial footage. So even if you or your subject is skiing, surfing, skating or cycling – you still have the potential to focus on creative recording elements while your drone follows you or your subject in unique and versatile ways.
That being said, there are enough drones out there that shoot low quality footage and are difficult to control. Also, they may not have the capability to avoid obstacles while in environments with trees or power lines.
Hence it is absolutely necessary to understand the complexity and spectrum of features available in your drone before investing in one.
For example, the first generation of the Follow Me mode is quite basic. Found in DJI’s Phantom 3 Series, it uses a Ground Station Controller with Follow Me GPS transmitter technology. This is not as stable or precise as in the newer generation of drones, and you best use these drones in wide open spaces.
The newest generation of DJI drones offers a more intelligent Follow Me mode, that is better known as ActiveTrack. An advanced image recognition algorithm allows the drone to recognize and track an object, ranging from people to vehicles to pets, while keeping it in the frame. The drone even adjusts its flight dynamics based on the scenario to ensure smoother shots.
In fact, within ActiveTrack you can choose from Trace, Profile and Spotlight modes for even more control over your final shot. In Trace mode your drone will follow behind or ahead of your subject, or circle it as it moves. Chose Profile to fly alongside your subject and Spotlight to keep the camera facing your subject when flying mostly anywhere.
The DJI Mavic Pro, Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2 are all equipped with this feature.
Let’s take a look at the key specs of some DJI camera drones that follow you automatically:
- Light, small and foldable design
- Up to 27 minutes of flight time
- Capable of 4K video and 12MP photos
- 3-axis stabilized gimbal
- 7km control range
- Forward and downward obstacle detection
- ActiveTrack, TapFly, Terrain Follow, Gesture Mode and more
Suitable for: enthusiasts, beginners and travelers
Learn more about DJI Mavic Pro
- Up to 30 minutes of flight time
- 24mm lens, 1-inch sensor camera, 20MP Raw and JPG images and 60fps 4K video
- 5-direction of obstacle sensing and 4-direction of obstacle avoidance
- 7km control range
- Draw, ActiveTrack, Tapfly, Return to Home, Gesture Mode and more
Suitable for: enthusiasts and professional photographers
Learn more about DJI Phantom 4 Pro
- Up to 25-27 minutes of flight time
- Compatible with multiple cameras
- An all new image processing system that records at up to 5.2K in CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes and more
- An upgraded video transmission system capable of dual signal frequency and dual channel transmission
- 7km control range
- Dual battery system and self-heating technology
- 2 directions of obstacle avoidance
- QuickSpin, Tapfly, ActiveTrack modes, Smart Return to Home and more
Suitable for: Professional cinematographers and filmmakers
Learn more about DJI Inspire 2