DJI Mini 3 Vertical Hyperlapse, only for social media?

Hyperlapse is one of the most spectacular techniques between photography and videography. The DJI mini 3 Pro has introduced the possibility to make them in a vertical format

For users involved in social media platforms, vertical hyperlapses are a way to post highly engaging content. They can also be used in traditional movies, mixed with the landscape format to add interest for unexpected results. In some situations, vertical hyperlapses work particularly well, as we will see later on

If you are interested in this technique, I suggest watching my specific article Timelapse vs Hyperlapse tutorial

I have done a Step by step tutorial for beginners on how to shoot a drone time lapse, and another Step by step guide on drone hyperlapses, I suggest them as a starting point for beginners

If You Prefer To Watch This As a Video

Vertical Hyperlapse Modes in the Mini 3 Pro

After entering the Hyperlapse mode we are presented with the same four modes. More details and info can be found in my article about Hyperlapses with the Mini 3 Pro

Free Mode

The mode Free allows the use of the two sticks of the controller for movements in all directions, but I do not recommend using it this way. In Hyperlapses the moves must be perfectly smooth and it is not easy to achieve them manually. The result can be jumpy, with abrupt changes in direction

Free mode

I only use Free mode for time lapses, where the point of view is static, in other words, the aircraft hovers in a static position. Static time-lapses are very interesting when the scene already contains a good amount of movement

Circle Mode

The mode Circle performs perfect rotations around a target. For all other moves, I tend to use the excellent Waypoints mode, but orbiting is not easy to replicate. In Circle mode, we select a target by drawing a box around it and then choose the speed and the direction, clockwise or anticlockwise

Circle mode

It is possible to use the two sticks of the remote controller to get closer or further away from the target or modify the elevation, but I suggest keeping the moves as smooth as possible and avoiding abrupt changes in direction

Course Lock Mode

In the mode Course Lock a direction of flight and a target can be selected. The camera will remain locked on the target while the aircraft flies in the specified direction. I never use it, as it is possible to perform the same moves in a much more powerful and flexible way using the outstanding Waypoints mode

Waypoint Mode

Waypoint is the king of hyperlapse modes, the one I use most of the time. It works by creating a mission with different points. We fly to the point where we want our hyperlapse to start and after framing the scene, we tap on the first icon on the left to set the first point. The position of the drone and the orientation of the camera are stored

Waypoint mode

We then fly to the next point, frame the shot, and tap on the second icon. In most cases, I prefer to set only two points for very smooth results. After hitting the shutter, the aircraft and the gimbal will handle the smooth transition from one point to the next

Every waypoint mission is stored in memory and can be retrieved to perform the same hyperlapse in different light conditions, different times of the day, or different seasons. This is extremely handy.
Please refer to my article Waypoint hyperlapses for more details

Settings for Vertical Hyperlapses with the Mini 3 Pro

The settings are practically the same as for traditional hyperlapses, the only difference is that we rotate the lens to vertical orientation by tapping on the icon next to the shutter. More details about settings in my article Drone hyperlapses and time lapses for beginners

There are two crucial values to specify in all the different modes: the interval between each photo and the length in seconds of the hypelapse

Interval Between Photos in Vertical Hyperlapses

The minimum interval is one photo every two seconds, but the camera needs some time to buffer each shot, therefore with this interval, we cannot use a shutter speed longer than ⅕ of a second, which is not ideal

Interval between photos

An interval of 3 seconds is the one I use the most; it works very well when the movement comes from cars, people walking, and boats. An interval of 4 seconds works better when the movement comes mostly from clouds

An interval of 5 seconds would be useful in transitions from day to night, but it requires a shooting time too long for the regular battery. This is where the special battery with over 40 minutes of life available for the Mini 3 comes in very handy

The speed increases with longer intervals

As you can see, the longer the interval between shots, the faster the movement in the hyperlapse will be

Length of a Vertical Hyperlapse

In most hyperlapses I like to aim for a length of around 12 seconds, which is obtained by shooting 300 photos using a frame rate of 24 fps. This length makes it easy to compute the shooting time needed, as by taking one photo every second, 300 seconds divided by 60 seconds per minute equals 5 minutes

IntervalShooting Time
2 seconds10 minutes
3 seconds15 minutes
4 seconds20 minutes
5 seconds25 minutes
Shooting time for 300 photos

How to Expose in Vertical Hyperlapses

Before hitting the shutter, the settings for exposure must be entered. It is crucial to use manual exposure and white balance. The most important factor to master for time lapses and hyperlapses is motion blur

To keep things simple, I prefer to use a shutter speed value of 1 second whenever possible to optimize motion blur. With longer intervals between each photo, a slower shutter speed would be ideal, but a drone flying is not as stable as a camera on a sturdy tripod, so a longer shutter speed will introduce unwanted blur. I find that a shutter speed of one second is a good compromise

Since the mini 3 has a fixed aperture, the only other setting is ISO. It is better to keep it at the base 100 value, but if we should need to increase the exposure we can raise it to 200 or 400 without major losses in quality

ND Filters and Motion Blur in Vertical Hyperlapses

Obviously, to get such a long shutter speed we must use ND filters to reduce the amount of light entering the sensor and avoid overexposure. For more detail refer to my specific article about How to use ND filters on the Mini 3

Correct motion blur versus wrong one

To show you the importance of motion blur, let’s compare a hyperlapse taken with the correct shutter speed using ND filters, to another shot without ND filter and a much faster speed. The second one doesn’t have any motion blur and the result is frankly painful to watch

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

After taking all the photos needed, an hyperlapse is automatically created by the app. The quality of the auto-generated movie is actually quite good with the Mini 3 Pro

Obviously much better results can be obtained by post-processing the photo saved in RAW format, but since many users want to post the resulting movie on social media, in many cases without the use of a computer, I have decided to show here only hyperlapses generated automatically by the app

Examples of Vertical Hyperlapses

Wave movement is not very interesting in hyperlapses

Let’s see how vertical hyperlapse performs in different scenes. Hyperlapses by the sea where the main movement comes from the waves are not particularly interesting. Regular footage works better, even better if in slow motion. Also in this one, the sun reflected by the waves doesn’t help

More examples

Better results are obtained in this case as a mix of movement comes from boats and cars. In the following one, the vertical format works well, as I could frame the highway with cars and this town revealing Mount Etna

In a similar scene, the vertical format shows the steep stairway, the highway, and Mount Etna. In both cases, I would have preferred some nice clouds, but no luck. In this nice fishing village, I was hoping for a bit of action from boats, cars, and people walking around the harbor, but there was not enough movement. Disappointing

The next scene is more interesting with a streak of cars leading toward the other village on the bay gradually revealed. In the last one, the vertical format works very well revealing the bay at the top of the town with the cars forming a circle and a leading line

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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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