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The thing no DJI drone can do
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3588 47 2016-12-22
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brettt
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A Follow Me mode that actually works well at a reasonable speed:





I know what you'll say; we have "Follow Me" and "Active Track". Try them. They work great for reviewers with a free drone who follow themselves around a field for 20 seconds, but fail for any real-life use. "Follow Me" doesn't even work on Android right now.

These videos were done on the 3DR Solo; the company that made it is now out of business, probably in large part due to DJI's insurmountable market share.

So, DJI- some of us would love to have a real, functioning "Follow" mode. Please? You're our only option now. And the Mavic is actually really great otherwise. (Except of course the focusing).
2016-12-22
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trance728-
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Don't use Follow Me, it's useless. Active track works well for me, have done it following a vehicle and didn't have issues but I guess it depends how far away the drone is from the object you're trying to track.

What do you consider following at a reasonable speed?
2016-12-22
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brettt
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trance728- Posted at 2016-12-22 10:13
Don't use Follow Me, it's useless. Active track works well for me, have done it following a vehicle and didn't have issues but I guess it depends how far away the drone is from the object you're trying to track.

What do you consider following at a reasonable speed?

The 3DR Solo did 40 mph. Follow Me on DJI drones does 12 mph with an iPhone or 0 mph with an Android.

I've tried Active Track, maybe it works if you're really close and moving slowly, but I could never have done the above shots with it. Share a video if you can.
2016-12-22
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lildevilx
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I hate to say it dude, put a good pilot in any multi-rotor and you can get amazing footages like that...
and i'm not saying the DJI pilots (hate to say it but those things are so limiting it doesn't allow certain footage you can get with a DIY multi-rotor. But stuff like the video you showed, Put a pilot there, it can be done even with a DJI Mavic.
2016-12-22
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brettt
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lildevilx Posted at 2016-12-22 11:08
I hate to say it dude, put a good pilot in any multi-rotor and you can get amazing footages like that...
and i'm not saying the DJI pilots (hate to say it but those things are so limiting it doesn't allow certain footage you can get with a DIY multi-rotor. But stuff like the video you showed, Put a pilot there, it can be done even with a DJI Mavic.

That's kind of avoiding the point though, I want a working Follow mode... I can't pilot while on the bike, and having to carry around an expert drone pilot with me makes the Mavic significantly less portable.
2016-12-22
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stealle
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brettt Posted at 2016-12-22 11:58
That's kind of avoiding the point though, I want a working Follow mode... I can't pilot while on the bike, and having to carry around an expert drone pilot with me makes the Mavic significantly less portable.

lol ^^^^ good come back...
2016-12-22
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BuzzCut
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Are we saying definitively that Active Track can't do it?  It sounds like we're saying we're concerned that it may not be able to do it?

As soon as I have a desire for a drone to capture footage of me on a bike while I'm riding along the coast I'll probably be more concerned with this option, but it's not a use case for me at all.  I'm sure there's a chunk of people that would like the option, though.
2016-12-22
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czkidd
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to bad dji doesnt buy the rights to these defunct co.'s and incorporate some of their technology into the dji go app.  May see that soon, eh?
2016-12-22
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czkidd
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to bad dji doesnt buy the rights to these defunct co.'s and incorporate some of their technology into the dji go app.  May see that soon, eh?
2016-12-22
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trance728-
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BuzzCut Posted at 2016-12-22 13:12
Are we saying definitively that Active Track can't do it?  It sounds like we're saying we're concerned that it may not be able to do it?

As soon as I have a desire for a drone to capture footage of me on a bike while I'm riding along the coast I'll probably be more concerned with this option, but it's not a use case for me at all.  I'm sure there's a chunk of people that would like the option, though.

Active track could do it, but not at 40mph. The Mavic can't go that fast in active track, I think it's limited to like 22mph
2016-12-22
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BuzzCut
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I'll try to recreate the same footage on a golf cart in Cleveland then.  May not look quite so sexy...
2016-12-22
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brettt
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trance728- Posted at 2016-12-22 13:17
Active track could do it, but not at 40mph. The Mavic can't go that fast in active track, I think it's limited to like 22mph

Active Track couldn't do it at that distance either. I've actually tried it on the bike, it requires a VERY close follow distance, maybe 10 feet max (I'll have to grab the video later), and other vehicles and mountains would pose a significant problem. The 3DR Solo I could set up at a safe distance with a nice view and count on it to keep the same position relative to mine.

So... yeah, Active Track might work in a flat, empty environment if I'm going 22 mph. Not very exciting.
2016-12-22
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stealle
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Keep active track which follows by using image recognition, but give us another mode that can follow a device with GPS so the Mavic always "knows" where you are even if you are momentarily hidden.
2016-12-22
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brettt
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BuzzCut Posted at 2016-12-22 13:12
Are we saying definitively that Active Track can't do it?  It sounds like we're saying we're concerned that it may not be able to do it?

As soon as I have a desire for a drone to capture footage of me on a bike while I'm riding along the coast I'll probably be more concerned with this option, but it's not a use case for me at all.  I'm sure there's a chunk of people that would like the option, though.

Definitely can't do it. Tried Mavic with the bike, requires very close follow distance and slow speed, and it would inevitably crash into something.
2016-12-22
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gburns53
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trance728- Posted at 2016-12-22 14:17
Active track could do it, but not at 40mph. The Mavic can't go that fast in active track, I think it's limited to like 22mph

Panning in tripod mode at 100 ft in the air puts your cross-hair site line at several hundred miles per hour.

Is the mavic capable of panning for the fixed object using active track?
2016-12-22
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James L.
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Why don't you get the 3DR Solo?  It's still available in the market and it's so much cheaper.
2016-12-22
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brettt
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James L. Posted at 2016-12-22 13:45
Why don't you get the 3DR Solo?  It's still available in the market and it's so much cheaper.

I have it (and used it for the videos above). But it won't last forever and now we'll never get an update to it.

The Mavic would be much easier to travel with, and I'll probably be stuck with DJI drones in the future. I'm also sick of DJI and their reviewers advertising these "intelligent" modes when they suck compared to older drones they put out of business.
2016-12-22
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BuzzCut
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I'm not sure they 'suck' - they're just different, with different use cases.  3DR solo didn't have an equivalent to Active Track, or gesture mode, both of which I'd have (limited) uses for.

Sure, it looks like you found one thing that you love about the 3DR that current DJI products can't do.  That's completely valid, but that doesn't mean everything else sucks, like the range, the battery life, the foldability, obstacle avoidance, the ability to stream 1080, its own dedicated non-fisheye camera... etc.  If it did then 3DR would be the dominant player vs. DJI; and I would have bought a 3DR instead of a Mavic for a fraction of the cost.
2016-12-22
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hallmark007
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brettt Posted at 2016-12-22 19:54
I have it (and used it for the videos above). But it won't last forever and now we'll never get an update to it.

The Mavic would be much easier to travel with, and I'll probably be stuck with DJI drones in the future. I'm also sick of DJI and their reviewers advertising these "intelligent" modes when they suck compared to older drones they put out of business.

Really don't know what your gripe is, if you want fast follow me you have the solo, don't keep going on about it. If you don't like what the Mavic has to offer, don't buy it, if solo was so great company wouldn't have gone bust, it's not dji fault that solo is gone it's the people who ran the company into the ground.
Dji make the best drones in the world, and that's why people invest in them, and love flying them, I think you will find solo had many problems when it was released, the most notable was nobody wanted it because it was not as good as anything dji had to offer.
(No advertising anywhere said Mavic could track at 40mph)
2016-12-22
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brettt
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I'll agree many things are great- the size and foldability foremost, as well as the range and battery life. Though I do feel like I get grander shots with the wide-angle and can fix the fisheye later, and since the obstacle sensors only cover 2 of 6 directions you can crash in it's more of a false sense of security.

Anyway, I'll clarify- "Follow Me" on DJI drones definitely sucks. Active Track is very limited. I think a good Follow mode like the Solo had would have a large market, especially action sports and the like.
2016-12-22
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hallmark007
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Those videos along with been boring, are just sped up in post, that camera has serious shake and amazing blur running all over it, not to mention most of it is over exposed.
2016-12-22
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brettt
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hallmark007 Posted at 2016-12-22 14:24
Those videos along with been boring, are just sped up in post, that camera has serious shake and amazing blur running all over it, not to mention most of it is over exposed.

Note to self: Better not feed the trolls...
2016-12-22
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brettt
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Actually, I should add that DJI did tell me Follow would work at 30+ mph with obstacle avoidance off. So the 12 mph on iPhone and 0 mph on Android is quite disappointing.
2016-12-22
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hallmark007
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brettt Posted at 2016-12-22 20:28
Note to self: Better not feed the trolls...

If you can't take your videos being critiqued, don't post them, they really have nothing to do with the point your trying to make.
2016-12-22
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brettt
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hallmark007 Posted at 2016-12-22 14:34
If you can't take your videos being critiqued, don't post them, they really have nothing to do with the point your trying to make.

My video of a Follow mode on another drone had nothing to do with my point that Follow modes on DJI drones is poor compared to this other drone? Makes sense... ugh, great, I didn't follow my note to self...
2016-12-22
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hallmark007
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brettt Posted at 2016-12-22 20:38
My video of a Follow mode on another drone had nothing to do with my point that Follow modes on DJI drones is poor compared to this other drone? Makes sense... ugh, great, I didn't follow my note to self...

Your total video lasts 16 minutes that's not getting to the point.
2016-12-22
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trance728-
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brettt Posted at 2016-12-22 13:54
I have it (and used it for the videos above). But it won't last forever and now we'll never get an update to it.

The Mavic would be much easier to travel with, and I'll probably be stuck with DJI drones in the future. I'm also sick of DJI and their reviewers advertising these "intelligent" modes when they suck compared to older drones they put out of business.

There's a good chance that GoPro worked somewhat with 3dr to develop the Karma by the looks of it. Maybe once they figure it out and re-release it it'll be what you are hoping for.
2016-12-22
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brettt
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trance728- Posted at 2016-12-22 14:51
There's a good chance that GoPro worked somewhat with 3dr to develop the Karma by the looks of it. Maybe once they figure it out and re-release it it'll be what you are hoping for.

Well, I heard they got some of 3DR's staff, but it didn't even ship with a Follow mode and I've read generally bad reviews. Maybe a future version...
2016-12-22
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JasonMBryant
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What speed can an Inspire or Inspire 2 go in Follow Me mode?
2016-12-22
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invisible21
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From everything I've seen, the reason the Solo failed is because it was plagued with delays and production problems, and major design problems (poor GPS implementation, poor wireless leading to reduced range, problems landing without flipping over, etc, etc, etc).  So yeah great, they got one feature that is superior for some users some of the time.  There's also the issue of being forced to use GoPro cameras, which is only good if you love really wide angle shots.  I do not, and the focal length of the lense was one of the big knocks against the Karma before it got recalled in comparison to DJI drones.

Also, afaik, 3DR did not go out of business.  They just realized they were really terrible at consumer hardware and pivoted their business to now doing commercial surveying work.  Apparently GoPro didn't get the message because it seems like whichever engineers they poached for the Karma had the same issues producing that suck-fest.

Helps to do a little reading...
2016-12-22
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StanKC
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Follow Me with Phantom 3 was a bit of hit and miss.  I have to tried it with Mavic yet but optimistic from this review.





Those shots with 3DR is cool and it attracted to me a few years back because I would love some footages like that with a solo (heh) crew.
Hate to hear Android still kinda gimped on these functions tho.






2016-12-22
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Gary Mac
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Since the controller and the drone always know where each other is, it seems like a relatively simple thing to incorporate GPS tracking into the Mavic.  Just tell the Mavic to follow the GPS coordinates of the controller when it loses visual (due to distance, or someone doubling back under the Mavic or a tree, etc.) and then regain visual if possible.  At the distances in your videos, GPS tracking would be sufficient to keep the bike in-frame and should be able to handle 30-40 MPH.  It would be nice to have that feature in ALL tracking modes!
2016-12-22
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StanKC
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Gary Mac Posted at 2016-12-22 21:08
Since the controller and the drone always know where each other is, it seems like a relatively simple thing to incorporate GPS tracking into the Mavic.  Just tell the Mavic to follow the GPS coordinates of the controller when it loses visual (due to distance, or someone doubling back under the Mavic or a tree, etc.) and then regain visual if possible.  At the distances in your videos, GPS tracking would be sufficient to keep the bike in-frame and should be able to handle 30-40 MPH.  It would be nice to have that feature in ALL tracking modes!

Ideally, they do.

Realistically, I have had my Phantom 3 stop in the air quite a few times due to temporary GPS signal loss on either end.

I hope the visual tracking will add another failsafe on top.  Too bad it's too damn cold right now to try these out.  
2016-12-22
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thehippoz
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stealle Posted at 2016-12-23 03:24
Keep active track which follows by using image recognition, but give us another mode that can follow a device with GPS so the Mavic always "knows" where you are even if you are momentarily hidden.

Active track follows the controllers position like the op video. It's the follow mode that's kind of worthless as it uses image recognition.
2016-12-22
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brettt
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StanKC Posted at 2016-12-22 21:20
Follow Me with Phantom 3 was a bit of hit and miss.  I have to tried it with Mavic yet but optimistic from this review.

https://youtu.be/WG9wNNX1O9U

Thanks for sharing, I've seen some of these and tried it myself. Active Track is ok at a short distance on flat terrain with no obstacles and a slow speed... too many restrictions for me. I can spot in some of these videos when they speed up a little and Active Track is about to lose them and they cut to another shot. No chance of getting the nice, long shots like I got above. You're also either stuck flying close to the ground and risking a crash, or going a little higher and basically getting a view of the ground.

Regarding other replies... I didn't say the Solo was perfect or that the Mavic/other drones are terrible (and yeah 3DR isn't technically out of business but is as far as we're all concerned). I have a Mavic and like everything but the Follow/Track modes and the focusing. The Solo was huge and a pain to travel with, and I WISH the Mavic worked for this. But the point remains that DJI's following modes aren't very good, and I've never seen a legit video using them, just "watch me try out Active Track in an empty area, oh wow cool it kind of works a little bit". I'm sick of everyone making such a big deal about them after having a far superior experience with the Solo. And I really hope DJI steps it up and improves the Follow (GPS tracking) mode.
2016-12-23
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EdM
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Gary Mac Posted at 2016-12-22 22:08
Since the controller and the drone always know where each other is, it seems like a relatively simple thing to incorporate GPS tracking into the Mavic.  Just tell the Mavic to follow the GPS coordinates of the controller when it loses visual (due to distance, or someone doubling back under the Mavic or a tree, etc.) and then regain visual if possible.  At the distances in your videos, GPS tracking would be sufficient to keep the bike in-frame and should be able to handle 30-40 MPH.  It would be nice to have that feature in ALL tracking modes!

That's the big problem.   The controller has no GPS built in, it has no idea where it is.   
2016-12-23
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Bruno REDON
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EdM Posted at 2016-12-23 14:46
That's the big problem.   The controller has no GPS built in, it has no idea where it is.

The controller have No GPS, but the phone yes. I think that the problem is not from the aircraft, but the app. There are some third party apps, Litchi and Autopilot. I tried litchi (Android) but the Mavic follows like a drunk man. Autopilot seems to have a very good follow me mode, but app is for Apple only (yet).
2016-12-23
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brettt
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Bruno REDON Posted at 2016-12-23 08:45
The controller have No GPS, but the phone yes. I think that the problem is not from the aircraft, but the app. There are some third party apps, Litchi and Autopilot. I tried litchi (Android) but the Mavic follows like a drunk man. Autopilot seems to have a very good follow me mode, but app is for Apple only (yet).

Yeah I had the same experience with Litchi. I'll have to check out Autopilot.
2016-12-23
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brettt
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Here are some tests... DJI Go iPhone:



Kinda works but maxes out at about 12 mph and camera doesn't pan at all.

Litchi on Android:



This worked ok at a little over 20 mph, with some panning issues when I caught up to it. (I like to have it in front of me when possible so I technically have "line-of-sight".) The second time I tried it though, it took forever to activate then flew around wildly like a lunatic.

Autopilot on iPhone:



(I take a couple minutes to start, was checking out the swaying) The best option for now, though I need to go back and make sure I can focus in the app. This followed nicely, panning appropriately. Still maxed out around 20 mph though, but at least the camera work was nice, though it overcompensated when catching up.

For reference, raw footage of a run on my gold standard:



(Note: too many props due to "superview" setting in GoPro)



2017-1-14
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Bruno REDON
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So autopilot seems to do the job very well. I hope for an android version soon . Follow-me problems are definitely not an aircraft issue but due to bad work on Dji Go and Litchi
2017-1-15
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