Three Drone (DJI Mavic Air) Timelapse Tips

I recently bought a DJI Mavic Air.  I was excited about the small size for travel and camera settings with 4K capability + RAW files for editing photos.  I had some trial and error shooting timelapses but now have an idea of how to get some good quality (and smooth) timelapses.  See three tips below!

If you have any other tips add them to the comments!

Tip # 1 – Get High

My first timelapse with the DJI Mavic Air was shot at about 120 feet in the air.  The drone flies really stable but the video was pretty shaky even with editing.  Think about it: the drone isn’t on a timelapse and moves with the wind.  If you are farther away from a subject movement looks less impactful compared if you were really close to a subject.  I recommend shooting between 300 – 400 ft in the air for a timelapse.  There will still be some minor warp stabilizing required but overall its much less of an issue.  See a comparison below of a higher and lower shot.

Low Shot – Belmar, NJ

High Shot – Clinton, NJ


Tip #2 – Shoot Straight Down

The DJI Mavic Air seems to move and wobble laterally more than vertically.  Shooting straight down eliminates any type of warping effect of the video. This is also a very cool perspective!  You will have a much easier time using Warp Stabilizer shooting straight down with the gimbal.

Tip #3 – Use the Tap Fly Feature

I love hyperlapses and moving videos.  The DJI Mavic Air has a feature called “Tap Fly” which allows you to fly to a specific spot on the screen.  This provides really smooth movement since the drone’s speed can be controlled on the screen.  My recommendation is to move as slowly as possible (2.2 mph) with a target pretty far way in the horizon (a half mile at minimum).  This will provide a lot of shots or video time for smoothing editing.

Thanks for reading!! let me know if you have any questions!

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