DJI Mini 4 Pro – Active Track 360, NEW Version (Named ACTIVE SHOTS)

The most innovative new feature of the Mini 4 Pro is  Active Track 360, a revolutionary upgrade for dynamic tracking with a drone. A dial with two rings controls the rotation of the aircraft around the target with two sets of values for distance and altitude

After a recent update, this feature has been further updated

In this video, I will show you how to use the new version named Active Shots to follow people, cars, cycles, boats, and so on in a very dynamic way

Other related articles about the Mini 4 Pro:

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

Tracking with a Drone

The Mini 4 Pro has three tools for tracking grouped under the name Focus Track:

Video by Vicvideopic

With previous DJI models, I use Active Track for autonomous tracking, in other words when I cannot use the remote control because I am the target while driving, walking, cycling, on a boat, and so on

When I am tracking other targets and I can freely use the controller, my favorite tool is Spotlight, as it allows all sorts of movements while keeping the target in the middle of the frame

But the new Active Track 360 is so powerful that I will use this function even more

Mini 3 Pro

Video by Vicvideopic

In the Mini 3 Pro, Active Track is implemented in a relatively basic way. There are two modes available:

  • In Trace mode, the drone follows the target from behind or from the front at a constant distance and height. It is also possible to have the drone on top of the target with the camera facing down for top-down tracking
  • Parallel mode is used for tracking the target from a side, although not exactly at 90° for safety reasons, as this model is not supplied with omnidirectional obstacle avoidance

So, when tracking without the use of the remote controller the options are rather limited.

Mavic 3

Video by Vicvideopic

The Mavic 3 has a more advanced implementation of Active Track, as it is possible to select from a circular interface eight different positions compared to the drone’s position

It is certainly an improvement, but the tracking will still be quite static when the remote controller is not used

The Mini 4 Pro introduces a much more dynamic approach to autonomous tracking
Note that Active Track 360 has recently been added to the Air 3, but it is not as yet available on the different versions of the Mavic 3 

Active Shots Settings

In the Safety tab of Settings we set the Obstacle Avoidance Action to Bypass to take advantage of the omnidirectional obstacle detection, another major upgrade of the Mini 4 Pro compared to previous lightweight models

This will ensure added safety, although some caution is still needed in case of obstacles hard to detect, like wiry tree branches and electric lines

DJI Mini 4 Pro Active Track: Resolution, frame rate and color profiles

With Active Shots, we can select the same Resolution and Frame Rates as for regular video

All three Color Profiles are available, Normal, D-Log M, and HLG, and this is great news 

We enter the three modes of Focus Track by drawing a rectangle around a target

An easier way, especially for a target already in motion, is to select Subject Scanning in the Safety tab of the Settings

Now people and vehicles are recognized as potential targets by a plus sign above them. A target is selected by tapping on the plus sign. 

A window will open with the three Focus Track modes. Active Shots is the one on the left. After choosing it and hitting go, we are presented with three choices:

  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Parallel

Manual Mode

Video by Vicvideopic

After choosing myself as a target, selecting Manual, and hitting Go, on the lower left part of the screen, a window appears with a double dial

In the center, there is an icon of a person walking facing the front, it represents the position of the target

Using the Inner Ring

DJI Mini 4 Pro Active Track 360: Selection dial with double ring

Behind the target, in the inner ring, is a small circle with an arrow representing the position from where the drone will be tracking. This means that by default the tracking position is behind the target

If I start walking, the drone computes my position and then moves behind me. If I move to a side or turn completely around, it will pivot and turn around me until it is positioned behind me, as this is the position of the target indicated in the ring

In manual mode, the aircraft tracks relative to the position of the target

Now I walk in a straight line and I don’t find being tracked from behind very exciting, so I prefer to place the drone to my left side, at 9 o’clock

I slide the cursor with a finger to the left until 9 o’clock. After a few seconds, the drone will turn to my left

Once again the position of the aircraft is relative to my direction, so if I change direction, it will adjust its position until it is again to my left

I can choose on the dial any positions for the drone, by moving the little icon, to the front, right, or anywhere in between

Notice that when the drone moves to assume the new position, the ring shows a green line describing the move

Using Both Rings

When following a person it is possible to use a second ring, the outer one

By going to Settings through the three dots at the top right of the Screen, we can select the Control tab where, below Subject Scanning, we can choose SmarthShots Settings

A window will open to customize the use of the two rings.  There are two different modes: one for Person and another one for Vehicle

In Persons mode both rings are available. The inner one is for closer distance and lower altitude, the outer one is for farther away and higher up

Below there is a segment with two cursors to set the distance the drone will keep from the target, the left cursor is for the inner ring, and the right cursor is for the outer one

Let’s start by setting it at the extreme values which are a minimum distance of 4 meters or 12 feet and a maximum of 15 meters

Then we can specify the altitude of the flight, let’s choose the minimum value for the inner and the maximum value for the outer ring

We can set the movement of the camera to Normal or Fast, let’s keep it to Normal

Finally, it is possible to select Near-ground Flight to have the aircraft at less than 2 meters for quite spectacular tracking, although for safety reasons should only be used with even terrain without slopes or tall grass

We can now go back to the Manual tracking to see how the integration between the two rings works

I have set extreme values for distance and height to make the effect more dramatic, even though in real life I prefer a subtle difference between the values 

I set the drone to track me from behind on the inner ring and then I swipe with a finger to place it above and slightly to the right on the outer ring

Now let’s select some more subtle values in the settings and try again

Using Manual mode it is possible to track in a much more dynamic way, opening new ways for vlogging, music clips, and other uses for videography

I wish it would be possible to fine-tune the rotation speed so that the whole transition lasts for 15-20 seconds, which would be ideal for short clips

Parallel Mode

The Mode Parallel works in a much simpler way

Once we set a direction for tracking, let’s say with the aircraft facing East, it will continue to track the subject while always facing the same geographical direction, regardless of the movement of the target

It is a very useful mode when we want to maintain the same background, although the name Parallel in my opinion is not appropriate, it should be rather named fixed or locked direction

Auto Mode

Finally, in Auto mode, the drone performs a series of specified moves similar to QuickShots while tracking the target

Even though we cannot control the movement, useful results can be easily achieved

Vehicle vs Person

When the target is recognized as a vehicle, we only have the inner ring available, I don’t know why, probably for safety issues

I hope it is only temporary, as it would be very effective to have the same functionality as for Person

Possible Improvements

The new Active Track, or Active Shots is a major step forward for prosumer drones

As often is the case for a new feature, it still needs a couple of refinements:

  • Control of the speed of the rotation around the target, with a much slower minimum value
  • Extend the controls for Vehicles to match the ones for Persons
  • There is a tendency to lose the target in Normal mode in medium to strong winds, while Parallel and Auto work much better 

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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