When DJI introduced its Mavic 3 Classic drone on November 2nd, it came with a new ‘Cruise Control’ feature, an update that’s also available to the rest of the Mavic 3 series via a firmware update. Like the name suggests, you hit a button when you’re operating at a comfortable speed and the drone will fly at that exact pace until it’s deactivated. This allows the remote pilot to focus on other aspects of the flight, such as direction and maneuvers, freeing them up to create smoother and more dynamic video footage.
Before this release, the only way you could get your drone to stick to a steady pace, while still letting you control altitude, direction and gimbal pitch, was when capturing a hyperlapse in ‘Free’ mode. Cruise Control also works with Spotlight mode, and APAS 5.0 will still do its job as well.
I was able to test Cruise Control’s stability in windy conditions. The DJI Mavic 3 series can withstand a maximum wind speed of 43.2 km/h (26.8 mph). I activated the feature in winds that were a few km/h slower and found that the drone held its set pace steadily. I would not recommend trying to operate in conditions that exceed the maximum wind resistance, with Cruise Control switched on or off.
Activating Cruise Control, which is also available on the Mavic 3 standard and Cine models with the latest v01.00.0900 firmware update, is not as straightforward as accessing other features. Here is a walk-through of how to get it up and running:
- In the DJI Fly app, select the three-dot icon on the top-right-hand side.
- On the top navigation bar, scroll to the second option: ‘Control.’
- Scroll down to ‘Button Customization.’
- On the top, you’ll see scroll-down menus for the customizable ‘C1’ and ‘C2’ buttons that, in this example using the DJI RC remote, can be found on the back of the remote.
- Select ‘Cruise Control’ and exit the menu.
You’re then ready to use the feature. Once you’ve reached a desired speed and are ready to record a video clip, simply press the button you designated for Cruise Control on the back of the remote. You’ll get a notification on your screen that it’s been activated. On the middle-left-hand side of the app, you’ll see a red ‘x’ icon that you can press to deactivate Cruise Control and return to manual speed control.
Besides the Cruise Control feature, DJI gave the Mavic 3 series a few other updates in this latest firmware version. Recording in the newly added ‘Night’ mode now supports up to 4K/30p footage at ISO 800 to 12800. ISO 1600 is now available for recording in D-Log. Spotlight and POI have been added to the telephoto camera on the standard and Cine models. Color issues in Raw files have been fixed as well.
A new ‘Night Mode’ icon will be found below ‘Normal’ and above ‘Slow Motion’ in the extended Video menu. I tested out ISO 6400 and 12,800 with this new feature; judge the results for yourself below.
As promised in the initial DJI Mavic 3 Classic news announcement, this drone joins the standard and Cine models in having support for EU C1 certification across most of Europe and Remote ID (RID) in the United States.
Full v01.00.0900 firmware update information can be found in DJI’s regularly-updated Mavic 3 Release Notes.