DJI makes some damn good drones. Even their tiniest Mavic series model, the Mini 2, is by all regards a very good drone for photo and video applications. However, it does save on size and cost by having a reduced feature set. One option that may be sorely missed by people who are familiar with DJI’s other offerings is Active Track. It’s a brilliant feature that works way too well to take the guesswork out of following a moving subject.
There might be a way to get similar functionality. Per Mattheww Brennan the QuickShots mode might offer a great workaround to getting active tracking even without Active Track.
Active Track is incredibly useful for solo operators. Whether you are trying to shoot yourself or simply need to operate something else in the shot, it is impossible to do any tracking without having your hands on the drone’s controller.
(Note: You should always take extreme safety precautions during any flight and have a way to quickly abort at all times.) The Mini 2 doesn’t have all the fancy obstacle tracking sensors, so don’t do this if you aren’t able to handle this.
In practice, this means you should be operating in very open areas and should be heading in a singular direction. Launch the drone and bring it up to your left or right side. Then, head to QuickShots and choose “Circle.” Select your subject and then make sure the drone is set to circle in the direction you are walking.
Get it started and start moving. You’ll actually see that the drone is effectively doing an Active Track move. The hack here is that the drone wants to try and rotate around you. If you keep moving, it can’t quite get ahead of you and this forces the drone to fly alongside the subject. You may want to start it a little behind the subject to make sure it doesn’t catch up.
Obviously, since it isn’t true Active Track it may not work perfectly. Going too fast, having any objects in the way, or even going too slow can ruin the effect. It also may not look perfect since the drone is trying to do something very specific and there are concerns with the Mini 2’s independent operation that require you to constantly monitor the drone.
In a pinch, though, it is a nice workaround to get some type of tracking out of this tiny drone. Would you try this out?
[source: Mattheww Brennan]