10 Drone Video Tips to Improve Your Videos

Every photographers knows the importance of getting high quality footage from their gear and a drone is no exception. Here are 10 tips to improve your drone videos (and drone shots as well!)

Improve your drone videography with these 10 drone filming tips:

Change Your Gimbal Sensitivity

Filming with your drone one of the first things you might notice is how quick the gimbal pitch speed is. If you go into Advanced Settings you can modify the gimbal pitch speed and smoothness. Play with the settings to find a smoothness you like but anything is improvement over the quick default settings.

Dji App Gimbal Pitch Speed Options

Gimbal pitch settings in the DJI app

Use Simple Angles While Filming

There are plenty of drone filming techniques but the more tilts and twists you do while filming will take your viewer out of the moment. When recording a video on your drone I recommend using simple paths and angles. Simple sweeping and reveal shots will keep your viewer engaged and not make them think they are watching drone footage. If you need more ideas for angles check out this article by Pond5.

Use Manual Camera Settings

Your drone video footage will looks much more professional if you are shooting with manual camera settings instead of auto. When you are panning from a darker area to a brighter area auto exposure will make the lighting in your scene rapidly change. This also goes for white balance, combining manual settings and white balance will make the footage of your video appear more cinematic.

Use ND Filters on Your Drone

If you’re filming a video using the rule of 2 times your frame rate should be your shutter speed is important. When flying during a sunny day using a 1/120th frame rate for a 60fps video will put too much light on the sensor. This leads to higher shutter speeds that will cause your footage to look jittery.

When filming during the day an ND or Polarized filter will do wonders for your frame rate and footage. Think of a filter as sunglasses for your drone. I use PolarPro filters on my Mavic Pro which I recommend and come in a few levels of intensity.

Use D-Log or D-Cinelike Color Profiles

If you’re going to color grade your footage using D-Log or D-Cinelike will give you a flat color profile to get the full potential of your footage from

Know Where to Fly Using AirMap

There is nothing worse than arriving somewhere to fly your drone and finding out it’s a no fly zone. The app AirMap give you an easy to view map of all flight restrictions, including schools, prisons, airports, no fly zones, and more. I highly recommend using AirMap to plan your flight beforehand.

Airmap Nyc

DJI Mavic Pro Tip: Use Portrait Orientation

If you have a DJI Mavic Pro it’s one of the few drones that allows you to turn the camera into portrait orientation.

Additionally you can map portrait capture option to the directional pad on the controller so you can quickly switch between portrait and landscape capture.

Dji Mavic Portrait Capture Option

Portrait capture option in the DJI app

Enable Overexposure Warning

It’s impossible to recover detail from an overexposed shot so enabling the overexposure warning in the settings will help to see when you’re overexposing. With this setting on you’ll see a zebra pattern on overexposed areas.

Enable Grid Lines

To line up your shots better turning on the grid lines in the settings can help with following the rule-of-thirds.

Shoot Using Cinematic Mode

Once you’ve got an idea of what you’re shooting enabling Cinematic Mode in the DJI app will offer smoother videos. Cinematic mode does this by lower the yaw speed and braking distance will be longer.

I hope these drone video tips improve your videos.

Let us know what drone you’re flying on in the comments!

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