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

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 elevation changes. POI has some tracking capabilities and can be used in the vertical orientation

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: Active Track, Spotlight, and Point of Interest

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

I have done several related articles you may find interesting:

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

How to Use Point of Interest


Video by Vicvideopic

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

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 possible to speed things up in post-processing, but if the scene contains elements in motion, like people, cars, or waves, it will not look natural

Obstacle Detection

Video by Vicvideopic

When using Point Of Interest 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 a lateral obstacle while rotating

In the video above you can see the result of the test. I suggest staying away from lateral obstacles when using Point Of Interest

Tips and Tricks

Basic Move

Circling a landmark is a useful way to reveal a scene. It is particularly 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

Video by Vicvideopic

By combining several moves with Point of Interest things get more exciting

A basic way to show this village on the East coast of Sicily on the Mediterranean Sea is to advance towards it at regular speed. But this way we don’t know much about the context and the surroundings

We can change the angle of view and advance towards it, 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 by simply rotating counterclockwise with the castle as the target to gradually reveal the whole scene. Things get more interesting, as we add an element of surprise

Then I add some other movements with the two sticks of the remote controller to reveal the width of the bay pushing the right stick to the right to get further away from the target and widen the view during the rotation. I also very slowly descend to better position the other villages on the frame

Using the Zoom Functionality

Video by Vicvideopic

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

I start with a 200% zoom over the Norman castle, and then use Point Of Interest with the same movement of the sticks as before, but this time slowly zooming out back to 100%

Then I do the opposite: I 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. This is not a concern when the footage will be filmed in 4k and encoded in 1080p

The same 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 vs Spotlight

Video by Vicvideopic

When combining 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

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

Using Point of Interest the result is similar, but with a different flavor. You might prefer one or the other according to the situation

Using Point of Interest to Mimic Waypoints

The Mavic 3, the Air 3, and the Mini 4 Pro have a mode called Waypoints. 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 can produce a similar move

In the following 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 

You can check my specific article about Waypoints with the Mavic 3


Video by Vicvideopic

Point of Interest has some basic tracking capabilities. But in the vast majority of situations, the best tools for tracking are Spotlight and Active Track

It can be interesting for circling at close range around someone walking at a slow pace, maybe for a music clip, or 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

Vertical Format

The vertical video 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

If You Prefer To Watch This As a Video

Video by 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): 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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