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Aerial Videography & Flight Modes

Aerial Videography & Flight Modes

What’s the best flight mode to use when doing videography/photography?
This answer might be different for every pilot out there. Your choices are GPS Assist, also called “Smart mode,” and Angle/Attitude or “Pilot mode.” In Smart mode, the multirotor syncs with GPS satellites and uses the transmitter location as a point of reference for directional control. In this mode, it does not make a difference which way the drone is facing; right and left will always be that direction. In Pilot mode, however, when the pilot pushes the stick forward, the multirotor moves in that direction relative to the front/nose of the aircraft. This means that when the aircraft is flying toward the pilot, most of the flight controls will be backward. When I shoot and fly by myself, I prefer to fly in Pilot mode; that’s because my camera will generally be facing forward, so the nose of my aircraft is the direction that my camera is facing. I find it much easier to follow my subject this way as all I have to do is keep the front of the multirotor facing toward my
subject and it will be in the frame most of the time. Flying in this mode, however, does require you to be a confident flier. It is easy to get confused when the drone is farther away, and if that happens to you, there are a few things that you can do to regain your orientation. One option is to let go of the sticks and let the aircraft hover in place, then give a slight forward bump on the stick to see in which direction the aircraft flies. In most
cases, this will give you the answer you need to figure out which direction the aircraft is
facing. A second option is to hit the flight mode switch back to Smart mode, then pull
back on the stick; the multirotor will head back in your direction. A third option is that
you can hit the return-to-home switch and let the drone fly back to you. When I am flying with a designated cameraman who is controlling the camera gimbals, I like to fly in Smart mode. Because when you’re working with another person who will be looking through the camera, his movement might be in a separate direction than the one in which your drone is traveling. Most of the commands from the cameraman will be something like “go left” or “move forward.” It is much easier to do this when you’re in Smart mode because left will always be left and right will always be right, regardless of the position of the multirotor. The bottom line? Try out the different modes on your multirotor, and choose the one that suits your flying style.

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