DJI Mini 3 Pro How to Use Waypoint Hyperlapse

In the Mini 3 Pro Waypoint hyperlapses mode works by creating several points forming a mission. For each point, the position of the drone and the orientation of the camera are stored. The program controls the smooth transition from one point to the next. Each mission can be stored in memory

There is often some confusion about the term Waypoints (or Waypoint)

The Mavic 3 and Air 3 have a very popular feature for video named Waypoints. More details in my specific article about Waypoints with the Mavic 3

I will not analyze in-depth the general settings for hyperlapses with the Mini 3 Pro, as I have made a specific post about them

To know more about this technique, I suggest watching my in-depth article Timelapse vs Hyperlapse tutorial which applies not only to drones but also to ground-based cameras and contains some very interesting examples

Other related articles:

If you prefer to watch it as a video, you will find my YouTube version at the end of this article

How to Set up Waypoints with the Mini 3 Pro

Video by Vicvideopic

Setting the Points

After entering Hyperlapse mode in the Photo/video menu above the shutter, we are presented with the four modes available, Waypoints is the one at the bottom

Hyperlapse menu in the Mini 3 Pro
Hyperlapse menu in the Mini 3 Pro

With the Mini 3 Pro, in Waypoints mode the first point is set up by flying to where the hyperlapse will start and framing the shot

On the window Set Waypoint, tapping on the first icon to the left stores in memory the position, altitude, and direction of the camera. The same operation is repeated for all other points

Icon to store points for Waypoint Hyperlapse
Icon to store points for Waypoint Hyperlapse

After entering the points, tap on the three dots to the right to enter the other options. To the left, there is a button Normal Sequence

The drone will start the hyperlapse from the first point. Tapping on it toggles to Reverse, in which case the hyperlapse will start from the last point, which might save battery time

The options for Waypoint Hyperlapse in the Mini 3 Pro
The options for Waypoint Hyperlapse in the Mini 3 Pro

Interval and Lenght

Choose Interval to specify the frequency of shots. One shot every three seconds is fine for an HL where the movement comes mainly from cars or people

The next choice is the length of the resulting short movie. In most cases, I prefer to choose 12 seconds, which results in about 300 photos, since I encode at 24 frames per second

Shooting 300 photos at an interval of one second would take 5 minutes (300 seconds divided by 60), since we have an interval of 3 seconds, the shooting time will be 15 minutes 

The Mini 3 Pro has a good battery life of about 30 minutes and can easily handle it, but we should not waste too much time setting it up and return home as fast as possible once the HL is done

There is the possibility to purchase a special battery with a flying time of over 40 minutes. It makes the Mini 3 Pro a perfect tool for HL, but sadly this battery is not available at the moment in Europe.

How Many Points

In this case, I have set the first point looking down at this little village from a high altitude, for the second and final point I moved to the left of the village, slightly closer to it at a lower altitude and I moved the camera to frame Mount Etna

In most cases, for a Waypoints hyperlapse the best results are obtained by setting only two or three points. Using more than three points might introduce abrupt changes in direction

Let’s see what happens with more than two points. In this case, I start from the same position as before, but this time I set a second point more or less in the middle of the sequence, I descend, move to the left, and keep the camera pointing to the center of the village

Then I set the last point by moving to the left and pointing the camera toward Mount Etna

The movement of the camera is too wide and this makes for a very abrupt result. It is preferable to use subtle changes in the direction of the camera

In this other case I am using again three points, but taking care to avoid abrupt moves. I am sliding to the left maintaining the camera on Mount Etna in the same position on the frame

I am starting at 60 meters of altitude, raising to 100 at the second point, and then down again to 40 meters

Since in this scene the movement comes mostly from the clouds, this variation of altitude works in my opinion quite well: it is relatively smooth and adds interest to the clip

In the final example, I used 4 points to get a sort of ellipse movement around this monastery. The changes of direction are relatively smooth and it works quite well

How to Save Missions

Video by Vicvideopic

Every Waypoints hyperlapse mission is automatically saved in memory and this is an extremely useful feature

Tapping on the tiny icon at the top left corner of the Save Waypoint window opens the list of missions. The last one will be at the top of the list. A mission can be renamed or deleted

The icon to access saved Waypoint hyperlapse missions
The icon to access saved Waypoint hyperlapse missions

There are countless applications of this feature, especially for surveys or mapping

But even in videography, it is possible to shoot the same location at different times of the day, or in different seasons, a bit like Monet’s cathedrals

Task library with saved Waypoint hyperlapse missions
Task library with saved Waypoint hyperlapse missions

Longer Interval Between Photos

Let’s go back to a previous hyperlapse of Mount Etna shown in the video above. The movement is mostly in the clouds and I had chosen an interval of 3 seconds, which is good for cars or people walking

But in the case of clouds, we often get better results with an interval of 4 or 5 seconds

Let’s try with one shot every four seconds. All I have to do is go to the hyperlapse/Waypoints menu, click on the icon on the top left of the window, select our previous hyperlapse, choose a frequency of a shot every 4 seconds, and simply press on the shutter

The result is a bit more interesting with the clouds moving slightly faster


After completing a Hyperlapse a short movie is automatically generated by the app

In the past, I never took seriously the auto-generated movie, but in recent models, it has improved and in the Mini 3 Pro the quality is not bad and can be used for posting on social media, especially for hyperlapses taken in vertical format

Much better results are obtained by saving the individual photos as RAW or JPEG, color grading them, and then putting them together into an Hyperlapse

In the past, I would dismiss the JPEG files and concentrate only on the RAW ones for much better final quality. But the JPEG files in the Mini 3 are good and they can be used for less demanding post-processing

For editing and color grading all the images I have used the excellent Luminar Neo, the tool I use for editing and managing all my photos

Click on the button below for info about the price and a 10% discount coupon code entering “vicvideopic”

How to Control the Speed

Video by Vicvideopic

In Waypoint mode with the Mini 3 Pro there is no option to control the speed of the drone during the hyperlapse

The speed of the flight depends on the number of shots taken, the frequency of shots, and the distance traveled during the mission

In Waypoints hyperlapse mode there is no option for speed
In Waypoints hyperlapse mode there is no option for speed

Let me explain with some examples. I set the first point with the drone pointing down on a road in a village and then move backward raising the camera to frame Mount Etna in the distance

I set the second point at a distance of about 45 meters. Then I set an interval of 3 seconds and I try to set the length of the video at 12 seconds, as usual

But I can’t select a length over 6 seconds, as the drone cannot go at a speed slow enough to take 300 shots in the specified distance

After hitting the shutter, the app takes indeed 150 shots, half of the 300 that I wanted

I noticed that the speed during the mission was about 0.1 meters per second, and that makes sense because 150 photos at a frequency of one shot every 3 seconds equal 450 seconds, which at a speed of 0.1 meters per second, corresponds to 45 meters

Therefore to be able to shoot 300 photos I need to travel 90 meters. This time I set the second point at a distance of 90 seconds and I do get a hyper-lapse with 300 photos

But what happens if the distance traveled is longer? This time I set the distance to 180 meters, double the previous one. This time the drone moves much faster, at 0.2 meters per second, double the previous one

How to Control Motion Blur

Motion blur is the most important factor for good-quality hyperlapses

The secret is to use the correct relation between shutter speed and frequency of shots

When using drones there are some limitations compared to traditional cameras. To keep things simple it is better to always use a shutter speed of 1 second

More details about Motion blur, the crucial element of time lapses, in my dedicated article

To use such a slow shutter speed it is extremely important to use an appropriate set of ND filters. You will find here all you need to know about ND filters for the Mini 3 Pro

If You Prefer to Watch This as a Video


I am Vittorio Caramazza, aka Vicvideopic, the founder of this website and author of all the posts. I am a videographer and photographer contributing to several stock agencies. I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Lightroom. I have 10 years of experience with dron videography and photography. I was struck by drone syndrome in 2013. I have owned and tested in depth the following drones: Phantom 3, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Mini, Mini 2, Air 2, Air 2s, Autel Evo Nano Plus, Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro, Mini 3. My home has turned into a breeding ground for drones. I am the owner of two YouTube channels specializing in Videography and Photography, with a focus on drones My main channel is VicVideopic (in English): My other channel is Drone Mitico, the Italian version.: I am currently based in Sicily (Southern Italy), but I tend to move quite often. After all, this is one of the main benefits of being a digital nomad…

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