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.
What is DJI Tap Fly mode?
Tap Fly is one of the first and most simple modes to fly your DJI drone. With TapFly Mode, you simply have to press a spot on the real-time video feed of your drone to command the drone to automatically move towards the destination. While the camera is moving (as integrated to your drone), you have full control of the gimbal, allowing you to compose shots or focus on any subject.
Interestingly, the same intelligent flight mode doesn't operate in the same way for each drone wo we will look into them individually.
How does DJI Tap Fly mode work?
TapFly can only be activated once your drone has been launched and is operating in standard Positioning Mode (this is your default flight mode). To activate TapFly, you need to enter the Intelligent Flight Modes menu by clicking the remote control-shaped button on the left-hand of the DJI GO app screen. Once you have entered the menu, simply click on the TapFly option.
The effect is similar to having a drone moving along a dolly. Using TapFly, you can focus on composing shots while not having to worry about flying your drone. This Intelligent Flight Mode is not as common as some other intelligent flight modes, such as ActiveTrack and Point of Interest flight modes. DJI App and equipped a few drones to date - find out which ones
With the Spark
On your Spark drone, TapFly is available in two sub modes, Coordinate Mode and Direction.
In Coordinate Mode, you can tap a specific location on the screen and the Spark will fly to this location at the set altitude. The altitude can then be controlled using the on-screen slider or, if using a mobile device alone, by tilting the screen. New areas can be set by tapping the screen at any time. Once the location is reached, your Spark will hover until a new instruction is given.
In Direction Mode, simply tap the screen in a direction and your Spark will fly this way. The direction can be changed by tapping the screen again, using the slide on your smart device or with the remote controller.
The speed can also be controlled in either sub mode in the screen of the mobile device. Your Spark will only have forward facing Obstacle Avoidance so make sure you’re aware of your surroundings in the mode.
With the Mavic(s)
On the Mavic Pro, the only available option for TapFly is the Direction Mode. Tap a specific direction and your aircraft will fly this way. The speed and altitude can be controlled during flight.
With the Phantom(s)
With the Phantom 4 Series, simply tap the screen to fly your drone in a specified direction. You will have the option of flying Forward, Backward and Free Modes.
Forward is the same as the Direction Mode on the Spark and Mavic with the same functionality.
Backward Mode is the same as the Direction Mode but with the aircraft flying backwards.
Free Mode allows you to fly the drone in any direction but face the camera in any direction during flight.
How to use DJI Tap Fly mode?
At the slowest speed setting, flight in Tap Fly is so smooth and steady that you can even shoot time-lapse videos. Even though the length of video you can capture is still limited by how long your drone can fly in a single battery charge, even a 20-minute time-lapse video shot from your drone can be a very interesting and unique piece of footage.
Look at time-lapse videos shot from drones showing clouds drifting across the sky or even cars moving through a busy highway. By playing around the settings of Tap Fly and being creative with how you move your drone and gimbal, you can certainly come up with unique shots that maximize the capabilities of Tap Fly.
What to be aware of when using DJI Tap Fly mode?
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.
As you're setting your drone to fly in a straight line, ensure yourself that there are no obstacles on the way so you an fly safely towards your destination. Best is to avoid using this mode around animals and other people.
If you've set your drone to fly a little upwards then you will be fine. If you're moving forward whilst descending then keep an eye on your altitude as you might come very close to the ground and not all drones will sense it early enough. To avoid any troubles, stay at least 5m above ground at all times.
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 Tap Fly mode?
The following drones all feature DJI's tap fly intelligent flight mode:
Phantom 4 Advanced
Mavic Pro Alpine White
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.