Thanks to an exciting update to their “Intelligent Flight Modes” feature, the popular DJI Phantom 3 drone now has the ability to fly itself.
The recently released “Follow Me” setting works as an autopilot of sorts. Set your preferences in the accompanying DJI app and the drone will be programmed to follow you from a set distance at a unique angle of your choice.
This subject tracking technology is very exciting for Phantom 3 owners that use their drones to film themselves in action. Below is what you need to know about DJI Phantom 3 subject tracking and the “Follow Me” Intelligent Flight Mode.
What is Subject Tracking?
The name says it all. Subject tracking is simply the ability for a drone to follow a pre-determined subject. In other words, the drone flies itself, following you wherever you go.
The implications for subject tracking are numerous. Among the most excited individuals are those that use their drones to film action sports. Imagine how easy it would be to film yourself skiing, surfing, or biking with a drone that’s pre-programmed to autonomously follow you.Phantom 3 subject tracking doesn’t stop there. Follow Me is perfect for just about any extreme sport as well as more leisurely activities like hiking where hands-free control of your drone is a must.
The feature is also useful for any other activity where a subject must be followed. The options are nearly limitless: weddings, backyard barbecues, sporting events, and more.
“Follow Me” ModeDJI (Da-Jiang Innovations Science and Technology Co, Ltd), the company behind the Phantom 3, recently rolled out 5 new Intelligent Flight Modes.
These include the above-mentioned “Follow Me” as well as “Course Lock,” “Waypoints,” “Home Lock,” and “Point of Interest.”
Each of these new flight modes is extremely useful depending on your needs and preferences, but we’re going to keep our focus on the “Follow Me” mode since we believe it’s the most exciting.
“Follow Me” is the ultimate feature for a one-man film crew. With just a few clicks on the app, you can program the Phantom 3 to follow you wherever you go.
The Phantom 3’s subject tracking technology relies on GLONASS. Short for Global Navigation Satellite System, this Russian equivalent of GPS allows the drone to track you without any human input.
The drone will hover in the air and track you when you begin to move. GLONASS connects to significantly more satellites than GPS, further improving its accuracy.
A 3-axis gimbal makes for the most stable shot possible. Proper framing is never an issue and the subject always remains in the picture. Subject tracking removes camera jerkiness and human error, resulting in the highest quality footage possible.
Even better, “Follow Me” was developed with beginners in mind. It’s easy to learn and intuitive to use. You’ll master the feature in no time at all.
Subject tracking is compatible with all three Phantom 3 models: standard, advanced, and professional.
Phantom 3 Quick Overview
Subject tracking is just one great feature of the Phantom 3. Other highlights of this drone include:
- 12 MP photos, 2.7K video
- Live HD feed
- 3-axis gimbal for stabilization
- 25-minute flight time (one battery)
- Weighs 1216 grams
- 5 meters per second max speed
- 3 meters per second max descend speed
Since its release, the DJI Phantom 3 has been heralded as one of the best value drones available. It’s simple enough for beginners yet robust enough for advanced users. The Follow Me feature makes this great value drone an even better investment.
Check out the Phantom 3’s camera specs for more information on this quality drone.
Phantom 3 Subject Tracking Applications
Almost anything you can use your Phantom 3 for, you can use subject tracking for. A few of the best uses of Follow Me feature include:
- Extreme Sports – This is where subject tracking shines. Enable Follow Me mode and your Phantom 3 will expertly follow you as you carve up fresh pow, bomb dirt tracks in the woods, or shred lines at the skate park.
- Filmmaking – Follow Me makes filmmaking easy. Filming opening, closing, and other memorable scenes with Phantom 3 subject tracking creates unforgettable shots with ease.
- Exploring Nature – Head out into the woods and turn on the Follow Me app on your Phantom 3. Collect stunning footage of your adventure without ever having to pilot the drone yourself.
- Vacations – Remember your vacation forever with subject tracking. Collect great footage while immersing yourself completely in the vacation experience.
- Family Events – Barbeques, weddings, and other family events are prime candidates for video footage. Set your Phantom 3 to Follow Me so you can be completely present in the happenings while your drone does all the work itself.
Benefits of Subject Tracking
The main benefit of subject tracking is that it’s autonomous. Program your Phantom 3 and it will follow you without any user input. This makes the feature perfect for those that want to film themselves without anyone else present.
Subject tracking also improves video quality. The Phantom 3 follows your smartphone GPS signal to ensure you’re in the center of the frame. Movement is less jerky and the footage is always clear.
Another benefit of subject tracking is that it makes filming great quality video even easier for beginners. Piloting a drone, even one as intuitive as the Phantom 3, isn’t exactly a walk in the park, especially if you’re following a fast-moving subject. Enable Follow Me mode and the drone follows this subject itself without any jerky movements.
Is DJI Phantom 3 the Right Subject Tracking Drone for You?
The DJI Phantom 3 is a solid drone through and through. Follow Me mode makes it even more attractive to those interested in subject tracking.
The Follow Me feature takes the Phantom 3 to new levels. The intelligent flight mode makes it even easier to capture high quality action footage.
Yet we consider the Phantom 3 an entry-level subject tracking option. It’s affordable and effective yet far from the best even DJI offers.
Case in point: the Phantom 4 utilizes a variety of machine-learning algorithms to visually track you rather than just rely on your smartphone’s GPS signal.
While the Phantom 4 is undoubtedly the better of the two drones at subject tracking, the Phantom 3 is still a stellar entry-level option for those that want a high-quality drone for around $500 altogether. We highly recommend it.