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5 Most Cinematic Flight Modes for the DJI Mavic Pro

There are always going to be the people who enjoy waving their hands and watching their drone react, or who want to just tap on a screen where the drone should be going. But for the more professionally-minded, many of these flight modes included in the DJI Mavic Pro are extraneous, unnecessary, or unhelpful. What is required of the drone is not just ease of use, but precision and control under pressure. So instead of worrying about Tap to Fly, what you need to focus on are these five flight modes. 

Active Track

Active Track locks onto a moving target. You choose whether it follows, or simply tracks, your subject, no matter where it goes. This mode allows you to focus more of your attention on the orientation of the camera, and less on the position of the drone moment-to-moment. Whether to pivot around the subject, get closer or further from them, pan or tilt - these are your only concerns in Active Track mode. 


Similarly, Waypoints allows you to set a fixed destination and altitude, pre-program your speed, and let the Mavic Pro fly itself there. This again allows you to concentrate on your shot without stressing about the drone. The one strange hiccup is that in DJI’s official app you have to actually fly to the location to drop a marker. For those of us that like to pre-plan our routes, there is an app called Litchi that lets you do exactly that - build a route from GPS coordinates alone.  

Cinematic Mode

Cinematic mode slows the DJI Mavic Pro down in some very specific and deliberately calibrated ways. Every move that you make now ramps up and down in speed, preventing you from making jerky movements and smoothing out the transitions. The pan speed and braking time are also just plain slowed down. All of this places the quality of the shot over handling and maneuverability - so watch out for trees when in Cinematic Mode.

Tripod Mode

Tripod Mode slows your Mavic Pro to almost a snail’s pace. Flight is almost unbearably slow, and pan/ tilt/ roll are all equally sluggish. This mode is often used to add just a touch of motion to a landscape or a very wide shot. Think of the way that you would add a very slow pan to capture the full scale of a large building. Now add the ability to push in and out as well. And the ability to do that from the air. Welcome to Tripod mode.

Sport Mode

The first four modes we listed are “intelligent” flight modes. They are modifying the behavior of the drone in carefully programmed ways to achieve specific results. Sport Mode, on the other hand, is a way to turn all of that intelligence off in favor of raw power and speed. Once you flip the toggle switch on the right grip of the controller, you have direct one-to-one control over the speed, acceleration, and direction of the Mavic Pro. For shots where you need to be faster or more reactive to the actions on the ground, this is your ticket. 

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