Mini 3 Pro, How to Use Point of Interest Intelligent Flight Mode

One of the main upgrades of the Mini 3 Pro compared to the Mini 2 is the availability of the three intelligent flight modes grouped under the name Focus Track

These modes are very powerful and by combining them all sorts of cinematic movements are possible

When using Point of Interest with the Mini 3 Pro, the drone orbits around a target maintained in the same position in the frame. The sticks of the controller can be used to get closer or farther away and for changes in elevation. POI has some tracking capabilities and can be used in the vertical orientation

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How to Use Point of Interest

Settings for Point of Interest

To access Point of Interest with the Mini 3 Pro, we simply draw a box around our intended target. A small window will appear with the three modes of Focus Track. When choosing Point of Interest a yellow flag appears to choose the direction of flight and set the speed

The interface for Point Of Interest in the Mini 3 Pro
The interface for Point Of Interest in the Mini 3 Pro

After tapping on Go the aircraft will start rotating around the target in the chosen direction. For a few seconds, the software will be evaluating the target and the scene

Then the box around the target will turn into a much smaller one. At this point, we can use the two sticks of the remote controller to ascend or descend and to get closer or further away from the target, which adds a lot of power to this mode

The procedure is extremely fast. The technology has improved a lot, I still remember only a few years ago with some DJI drones to select a target we had to fly over it, point the camera down, and then came back for filming. Ancient history!

Speed of the Movement

The orbiting movement is much slower than in any other DJI model, even when set at maximum speed and this is a bit disappointing. It is obviously possible to speed things up in post-processing, but if there are elements in motion, like people, cars, or waves, it will look unnatural. I expect this will soon be fixed by a firmware update

Obstacle Detection

When using POI a lot of care is needed as the Mini 3 Pro doesn’t have lateral obstacle sensors. I decided to test how it behaves in case of an obstacle while rotating. This is the result. This time I was lucky and the young boy only got a few bruises. So, don’t try this at home, and stay well away from obstacles when using POI

Tips and Tricks for Point of Interest

Basic Move

Circling around a landmark is a very useful way to reveal a scene. It is especially interesting when there are several elements in different planes, thus creating a sort of parallax effect where the different layers move slower or faster according to their distance

Combining Several Moves

By combining several moves with Point of Interest things get more exciting. As an example, let’s have a look at this lovely village on the East coast of Sicily on the Mediterranean Sea. A very simple way to show it is to simply advance towards it at regular speed. There is nothing wrong with it, but this way we don’t know much about the context and the surroundings

We can change the angle of view and once again advance towards the village, but this time showing two other villages further away with two very nice bays and some tiny volcanic islands, better!

Now we use Point of Interest in the simplest way: by simply rotating counterclockwise with the castle as the target to gradually reveal the whole scene and things get much more interesting, as we add an element of surprise

Things get more dynamic by adding some other movements with the two sticks of the remote controller to reveal the width of the bay. In this case, I am pushing the right stick to the right to get further away from the target and widen the view during the rotation. I am also very slowly lowering the altitude to better position the other villages on the frame

Using the Zoom Functionality

With the Mini 3, it is possible to use the left wheel of the remote controller to apply a smooth zoom of up to 200% while using Point of Interest, for very interesting effects. This time we start with a 200% zoom over the Norman castle in the village, we then use POI with the same movement of the sticks as before, but this time slowly zoom out back to 100% for an even more dramatic revealing of the scene

Now the opposite: this time we start at 100% and then gradually zoom into the villages in the distance up to 200%. The parallax effect is even more interesting, as by zooming in we are compressing the distance between the villages that now seem much closer to each other

The zoom of the Mini 3 is digital, so there will be a severe loss of resolution. But this is not a concern when the footage will be filmed in 4k and encoded in 1080p. The same exact effect can be performed in a more flexible way by adding the zoom while post-processing, but the use of the wheel is useful for users who do not rely on computer editing

More cinematic examples of the use of Point of Interest are in my article 9 drone moves for stunning cinematic video

Point of Interest or Spotlight?

When we use the stick of the remote controller with POI in certain cases we can pull out some moves that can be done in a similar way with Spotlight

This is a scene with excellent parallax with a monastery in the foreground, several villages, some slopes, and the sea at different distances. By using Spotlight, after setting the top of the monastery as a target, I move diagonally to maintain the camera on the target while lowering the altitude, thus revealing the different layers on the background for a really interesting effect

The same using Point of Interest. The two moves are similar, but they have different flavors. You might prefer one or the other according to the situation, for extra creativity

Using Point of Interest to Mimic Waypoints

The Mavic 3 and the Air 3 have a mode called Waypoints that is the favorite of many users. It allows setting two or more points to perform complex cinematic moves. By using Point of Interest or Spotlight in combination with the two sticks of the remote controller we are now able to replicate similar moves

In this other example using Point of Interest while pointing the camera down, with the drone almost on top of the target, I lower the elevation with the left stick of the remote controller to combine two famous Hollywood moves: the screwdriver and the crane for a very interesting revealing result  

Please check my specific article about Waypoints with the Mavic 3

Tracking with Point of Interest

Like the other two modes of Focus Track, Point of Interest is able to track a subject. But in the vast majority of situations, the best tools for tracking are Spotlight and Active Track

It is at times interesting for circling at close range around someone walking at a slow pace, maybe for a music clip, with someone talking, or for an interview. POI can now be used at very close range and at only a couple of feet of elevation, which is perfect for these occasions

Point of Interest in Vertical Format

The ability to shoot footage and photos in vertical format is one of the biggest selling points of the Mini 3 Pro. The portrait format can be used with Point of Interest and this is great news for users who are involved in social media platforms. All that is needed is to turn the camera into the vertical format before selecting the target

VicVideoPic

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): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgaBlrFDONJ4BSEUHa2cLKg My other channel is Drone Mitico, the Italian version.: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkeoY8rPPj-fypUKHckTtwQ 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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