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Best Practice to avoid GPS problems AND get smooth footage...

Do you usually fly in GPS mode?

  • I never fly in GPS mode...like EVER!

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Feb 13, 2014
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One of the best tips I received a couple of years ago when I started flying and filming still rings true today. Don't fly in GPS mode. It is such a common problem with DJI products that people have GPS issues and the best way to get smooth footage and avoid those issues is to always fly in Atti mode.

There are a couple of problems with flying in Atti mode but these problems can be avoided with PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! When you are in Atti mode the craft strives to maintain level flight with no stick input and maintain altitude but THAT'S IT! If the craft is moving and you let off the sticks it will keep moving in the direction it was going so you have to have situational awareness and realize the craft will not park itself in the air when you cease stick input.

The WORST part about GPS mode is that when you are filming and you let off the sticks it jerks to a halt and is constantly fighting you when minimal stick input ventures into neutral stick position which ruins smooth shots.

I encourage anyone that wants to get good smooth footage to learn how to fly exclusively in Atti mode and only use GPS to park the craft. If you can get into the habit of launching, flying and retrieving the craft in Atti mode you will be a better, smoother, and safer pilot. All of these amazing GPS tools should be a backup when talent runs out, a safety net as it were.

If you are rarely using GPS mode you will almost completely avoid the already rare GPS problems with DJI products and get smoother prettier shots...and it flies and maneuvers faster too!!!!! Practice Practice Practice!
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I disagree, GPS is a much more efficient way to get precise and well-coordinated movements. Let me see a turn in forward flight in ATTI that doesn't have ugly parasitic sideslip... Controlling the slowdown in GPS mode simply by not stupidly letting the stick go back to center in one go is way easier.

By only using ATTI you're just making your life difficult by ditching a great tool.

I have no problem flying in ATTI if I have to, but GPS lets me get exactly the shot I want, and I use it pretty much exclusively. Never had a single fallback to ATTI in 6h15 of flight either.

BTW you might want to add an "I use both depending on conditions" option to your poll, pointless otherwise.
I only have somewhere between 200 and 300 hours of flight logged between the Inspire and Phantom 2 so there are more experienced guys out there but I have literally found no use for GPS in flight other than parking and waiting. 99% of my paid work is of moving race cars and race trucks with the occasional static shot at the beginning or end of a commercial. All of this means I have no use for GPS mode as it slows the top speed of the craft, slows maneuverability, and generally cripples the craft for what I film.

What kinds of shots are you guys using GPS for? Even when I'm filming static shots I tend to place the craft upwind and use the natural wind to move the craft to get a more organic movement. I am really curious as to what shots you guys are GPS for! :)
There are a number of good uses for GPS (static shots being a good one). I fly atti when I want a nice gliding shot or when I want the wind to take the aircraft for a smooth drifting sequence. For me, atti It's like using a slider or track on a ground based camera.

Glad to have a choice and very impressed by the results Inspire gets
Don't know how much and how many strong winds you have ,but there is a bit to much strong winds where I live,so GPS is very much appriciated.Especially for stills.But I agree when filming ATTI is the best.But I do this when there is almost no wind.
I use both. The best shots I ever got with my mark 1 Phantom were in ATTI. Of course it only had a 2 axis gimbal so there really was no choice. Just like Jon b above, I like to use the wind like a dolly or slider. I'm still getting used to the Inspire so have probably been more in GPS mode. It certainly shifts on the wind in ATTI.

I also have an Aeronavics Skyjib 8 which flies beautifully in ATTI or GPS. I had it 400 feet up in 30 knots gusts a couple of days ago. Those are the days when I stick to GPS! The pictures were rock still solid.
I use both. If I want a nice PAN shot, I stay in ATTI mode. If I need the aircraft to stay in one position for either composition, framing, HDR, scratch my rear, etc. I switch to GPS. I do agree that for panning shots, ATTI works well for *me*.

I believe it boils down to personal preference. For me, I am in total agreement with spencurai for video.

Just for argument, here is one of my stills (HDR). I could not have generated this in ATTI.

Just my two cents.


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