How to get smoothest flying and video shots

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I suspect the answer to my question, "How do you get the smoothest flying and video shots?" is "Practice, Practice, Practice," but I'd appreciate any advice on your flying and joystick techniques that result in smooth motion paths and video shots.

For example, I've practiced flying straight up vertically with the camera down and inevitably as I push the left stick up, it moves some to the left or right resulting in shots that spin with the drone's rotation. Same with trying to fly straight forward or backward and getting drift to the left or right.

How do you achieve smooth flight paths?
 
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There are ways that you can program the sticks on the remote control to not be as sensitive, ie: for example...by changing the response "slope". By moving the stick 1/4 distance of any general direction, but only giving maybe 10 % .........then the other 3/4 left its gives the remaining 90 % of X

I'm not sure I'm the best at explaining this, but I've gone in and made some changes and along with the "practice practice practice" part, I now have very smooth moves and turns and so forth.

So get your manual out and check out the changes that can be made in the joystick response, t really will help !
 
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1. Change the EXPOs to 10 to slow down the response of the first 25% of the stick travel.
2. Set the gimbal setting to NOT FOLLOW craft yaw
3. Adjust gimbal pitch smoothing to 20, or whatever you feel comfortable with.
4. Slow down the Yaw rate
5. Practice keeping an object in the middle of the screen as you fly sideways while yawing the craft the opposite direction, resulting in circling the object. You can never be too good at that with a Phantom, takes practice. Use a big field. Do it 50' from the object, then 30', then 10'. It gets harder as you get closer.
 
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There are ways that you can program the sticks on the remote control to not be as sensitive, ie: for example...by changing the response "slope". By moving the stick 1/4 distance of any general direction, but only giving maybe 10 % .........then the other 3/4 left its gives the remaining 90 % of X

I'm not sure I'm the best at explaining this, but I've gone in and made some changes and along with the "practice practice practice" part, I now have very smooth moves and turns and so forth.

So get your manual out and check out the changes that can be made in the joystick response, t really will help !
I saw in the software that you can adjust the sticks but haven't tried it out yet. I wish the manual went into more detail and examples about this...I'll check it out again. Thanks, Elbert.
 
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5. Practice keeping an object in the middle of the screen as you fly sideways while yawing the craft the opposite direction, resulting in circling the object. You can never be too good at that with a Phantom, takes practice. Use a big field. Do it 50' from the object, then 30', then 10'. It gets harder as you get closer.
Thanks, John. I've used the intelligent flight mode that allows you to orbit but haven't practiced it manually. Good idea! ~ John
 
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There's no simple solution. You need to learn how to actually fly if you want smooth shots. That means buying a $50 rate mode quad and actually investing the large amount of time it requires to become proficient and skilled. Then when you go back to a DJI or other stabilized product, flying with maximum smoothness is a piece of cake.
 
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Waypoint flights with either fixed heading (which can produce very smooth pans if done slowly or over a long enough distance) or manual heading, and manual gimbal control, definitely using gimbal smoothing.

As OP and others have stated, practice practice practice.

Personally, if it's a shot I really want to get right, I'll do one flight manually, just scouting around, then build a couple of waypoint missions to get my final footage. Then maybe one additional flight for establishing shots or photos.

Whole idea of waypoints for filming is that the autopilot takes over all of the "flying" aspects, so you can focus on the filming aspects. Of course, you need to really be careful building flight plans, as even with OA enabled, it's quite easy to fly into trees, power lines, etc... that might be higher than the ground elevation profile in your waypoint planning tool of choice.

But yea, computer flies smoother than I'll ever be able to, even with adjusted expo/gain.
 
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For me, even after hours and hours of practice I can not fly and take smooth video at the same time. So I fly for fun and simple recon and when I want great video, I use Litchi with pre programmed missions using the mission hub.
 
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Waypoint flights with either fixed heading (which can produce very smooth pans if done slowly or over a long enough distance) or manual heading, and manual gimbal control, definitely using gimbal smoothing.

As OP and others have stated, practice practice practice.

Personally, if it's a shot I really want to get right, I'll do one flight manually, just scouting around, then build a couple of waypoint missions to get my final footage. Then maybe one additional flight for establishing shots or photos.

Whole idea of waypoints for filming is that the autopilot takes over all of the "flying" aspects, so you can focus on the filming aspects. Of course, you need to really be careful building flight plans, as even with OA enabled, it's quite easy to fly into trees, power lines, etc... that might be higher than the ground elevation profile in your waypoint planning tool of choice.

But yea, computer flies smoother than I'll ever be able to, even with adjusted expo/gain.
Thanks, Shammyh - that's very helpful advice. I've done some waypoint flying but haven't utilized it yet for shooting video. Will put that on my flight plan for this weekend! ~ John
 
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For me, even after hours and hours of practice I can not fly and take smooth video at the same time. So I fly for fun and simple recon and when I want great video, I use Litchi with pre programmed missions using the mission hub.
Samuraiz, do you use Litchi for all of your flying or just programmed missions? And have you used DJI's GS Pro for shooting videography? ~ John
 
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Samuraiz, do you use Litchi for all of your flying or just programmed missions? And have you used DJI's GS Pro for shooting videography? ~ John
I use Litchi for 99.9% of my flying/videoing I do use GO4 for critical DJI settings ( Expo etc) and performing IMU / Gimbal Calibrations. I use Litchi for FPV and mission flying. After DJI ditched google maps for the inferior HERE maps DJI GO was no longer useful to me. I do all my mission programming using the On line Mission hub. Litchi for DJI Mavic/Phantom/Inspire
 
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An update: I bought a small "house drone" to fly and practice inside. I live close to an airport and in an apartment so flying outside my home is not really an option. But...I've also been out just getting more stick time and practicing all moves as smoothly as possible. I tried some of the suggestions here and through all efforts am getting better at smooth video. Thanks for everyone's help! ~ John
 

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