All about DJI's Point of Interest intelligent drone flight mode

Updated: Jan 3

In this new series of posts, we will be looking into DJI's intelligent flight modes to learn why they its exist and how or when to use them. This article contains some affiliate links which helps Dronemade keep free and power ever more drone resources to you.


Point of Interest was a real success and is until today a really good reason for buying drones made by DJI. Have you ever tried to film somebody or something in a perfect circle? It can be tricky to fly consistently at the same speed while circling.


Summary:

What is Point of Interest by DJI?

How do I set it up?

How to use it?

Be mindful

Which drones feature it?


DJI Point of Interest in action

What is DJI Point of Interest mode?


The DJI Point of Interest flight mode started with the Mavic and Phantom 4. In this intelligent flight mode, you select a target and your drone will orbit around it while focussing on it. Your desired radius from the target and aircraft altitude can also be controlled manually during your flight along speed and direction of your drone in the flight and pause the function if required.


What makes Point of Interest so powerful is it puts your DJI drone on an automated flight path, allowing you to focus on capturing cinematic footage and breath-taking drone shots. It became a staple of the DJI App and equipped a few drones to date - find out which ones


How does DJI Active Track mode work?


Before starting the Point of Interest intelligent flight mode, its best to know how it works. First, you will need to use your drone to define your point of interest by:

  1. flying above your desired subject when you activate the intelligent flight mode.

  2. setting a radius for your flight by backing away from the subject.

  3. configuring the altitude of the drone and the title of the camera.



Fly above your desired subject


DJI uses the GPS built into the drone to define the point of interest. When you activate point of interest, the current location of your drone becomes the centre of the circle it flies around. Take your time for this important step as it your drone's reference.


💡 Its best to keep the camera pointed straight down. This will help ensure you are directly above your subject and not off to the side because the camera was at an angle. Use a centre point indicator to align your drone above the centre of your subject.


Activate the point of interest intelligent flight mode


Tap on the intelligent flight modes button (the controller icon) and select Point of Interest. It is the icon that an arrow flying around a mountain.

DJI Point of Interest Controller Settings

You have already flown above your desired subject, so tap “Record POI” at the bottom right of the screen. Back your drone away from your subject to create a radius. The minimum radius is 5m. Once you have your altitude and radius set, you can tap “apply” in the bottom right of the screen


💡 Bring your camera up while you are setting your radius so you can get an idea of what the shot will look like. Also good to know, lower-altitude shots are great for showcasing a subject from the ground, such as for buildings, while higher-altitude shots are best for landscapes. .

Configure your drone's flight direction and speed


After you tap apply, your drone will automatically begin to fly counter clockwise around your filming subject at 3 km per hour. You can drag the slider to the right to fly faster in the counter clockwise direction, or you can drag the slider to the left to fly in a clockwise direction at your defined speed. You can pause your drone at any time while it is on its flightpath by tapping the pause button. This can be helpful if you need a moment to reframe your shot, or to prevent your drone from automatically colliding with a building or obstacle.


Point of Interest Speed Adjustment (credit: toms)

How to use DJI Point of Interest mode?


Here are 4 techniques to make your circling flight a little more cinematic and the effect you're trying to get out of your movie.


Pull Back and Up

Start low to the ground and close to your subject, then gradually pull back and up. Your drone will appear to spiral up and away from your subject, creating an awesome reveal. When creating your video, you can play this sequence in reverse appearing as if your drone is landing perfectly circling your subject.


Fly Up and Tilt Down

Flying up while tilting down will make it appear as though your drone is spiralling up and above your subject. Go as smooth as possible for the best results.


Tilt-Up

Simply tilting your camera up while in Point of Interest mode can create a cool reveal of your subject. Try this simple move from a variety of heights and see how it looks!


The Sweeping Motion

Set a large radius for your point of interest and make your altitude reasonably high. Then adjust your speed as you see fit. Perfect for showing the surroundings of a building for e.g.


See below one of our POI flights made in Cambodia (see full movie here)


What to be aware of when using DJI Point of Interest?


Drone Speed


The default speed for this mode is 3 km per hour. Now that seems slow but and you will be tempted to go faster but keep in mind that you can always fast forward while editing your video. We highly recommend keeping it slow while filming while keeping an eye on your battery level.


Sensors


If your drone isn't equipped with side sensors, then its your job to be aware of what around it while circling. Always keep your drone in sight and try to stay clear from any high obstacles such as electric poles or roofs for e.g.


Which drones have DJI Point of Interest mode?


The following drones all feature DJI's Point of Interest intelligent flight mode:


We hope this little intro helped you understand a more about this intelligent flight mode. If you want to learn more, check out all our tutorials and become an expert. If you're considering buying your first drone or upgrading your current one online, then feel free to click on our Affiliate links below before you do so. We will get a small commission and will be able to keep on powering more free content to you.


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