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Waypoint camera action limitations on photo shooting modes (M3 and M3 Pro)?

You are seemingly uninformed re: Litchi, and the entire issue of on-board autonomous waypoints vs. "virtual stick" operation. Have you ever even used Litchi?

"gimbal [sic] pitch and direction of the camera is uploaded to the aircraft, so , even when the signal is lost for a short ( or longer) time the flight is exactly executed as planned" has nothing to do with Litchi or DJI Fly waypoints.

It's a function of the aircraft model.

W.r.t. autonomous waypoint operation, if the aircraft supports it, it works the same for Litchi as for Fly.
I think you need to use Litchi again. I used it for more than a 1000 flights with my Mavic 2 Pro's. They do not use virtual stick operations. Once the flight is uploaded you can switch off the RC and wait for the AC to come back and land nicely next to you. Once connection is lost though the gimbal pitch will NOT be adjusted anymore. That's what Mavic 3 Waypoints does indeed. Without that the video below would never have been possible with Litchi. The AC (M3) was already flying more than 10 minutes without connection and still gave the perfect pitch to the gimbal when arriving at the castle.

 
I think you need to use Litchi again. I used it for more than a 1000 flights with my Mavic 2 Pro's. They do not use virtual stick operations. Once the flight is uploaded you can switch off the RC and wait for the AC to come back and land nicely next to you. Once connection is lost though the gimbal pitch will NOT be adjusted anymore. That's what Mavic 3 Waypoints does indeed. Without that the video below would never have been possible with Litchi. The AC (M3) was already flying more than 10 minutes without connection and still gave the perfect pitch to the gimbal when arriving at the castle.

Yes, correct. However, as I said, this has nothing to do with Litchi.

It's the Mavic 2 Pro, which supports autonomous waypoint flight. A drone I have had, flown a lot with Litchi, and am beating myself bloody having sold it because of this very issue, and the dashed expectation of having this capability with Litchi on the Mavic 3. It's the reason I haven't bought one yet.

I have an Air 2S which works with Litchi, but through Virtual Stick mode. Same story with Litchi support for the Mini 2, and their new app in beta for the Mini 3 / Mavic 3E, Litchi Pilot.

All Virtual Stick. Same with all other 3rd party apps.

At present, Litchi does not support any variation of the Mavic 3 model. Therefore, the only way to perform waypoint missions on the Mavic 3 is with the very limited functionality that's been added to DJI Fly, which, as I mentioned, doesn't compare well to Litchi.
 
I tried a few waypoint missions with my Mavic 3 Pro recently (and I think questions 1 and 3 below would also apply to regular Mavic 3). I encountered a few surprises on shooting modes that did not work. Wondering if these actions are simply unsupported or if there is something else going on. I'm using the RC Pro controller, and I planned the mission in advance offline in the Fly app. I'm using the latest firmware for the RC Pro and the M3 Pro, and also the latest Fly app version, as of July 1, 2023.

1) Ran a pre-defined mission which was set to take photos at various waypoints (via "take photo" camera action). Prior to starting the mission, I set the mode to Photo, with Automated Exposure Bracketing (AEB) selected (5 shots), with RAW+JPEG selected. So, I expected the camera to take a rapid 5 shot AEB series for each of the "take photo" actions assigned to the waypoints (as would happen if I manually pressed the snapshot button). The waypoint mission ran fine generally, and did take the photos at the proper points, but AEB was NOT used --- instead it automatically turned AEB off and just took regular single-shot photos. I tried multiple times and even tried turning AEB back on between wayoints but each time it was deactivated by the waypoints and just regular shots were taken. Note that I had 5 second hover periods assigned to each of the photo waypoints to allow plenty of time for the AEB shots to be completed.
So, is this a known limitation that only single shot photos can be taken?
And, as a workaround, would a waypoint hover setting allow me to take the shot manually and have the AEB 5-shot mode actually work?

2) Ran two other waypoint mission for videos, one video mission with the main Hasselblad camera at 1X, and one using the medium 70mm telephoto at 3X (this question is unique to M3 Pro, but could also relate to using the tele on M3). The same mission was run for both, the only difference was that prior to each mission I manually selected the 1X or 3X camera, respectively. An early waypoint was used to "start recording" and the final waypoint was used to "stop recording". First mission ran fine with the 1X camera, as expected. Second mission ran OK except that when video recording was started by the waypoint, the camera setting reverted automatically from the 3x tele camera setting back to the 1x main camera, so the entire recording was on the main camera, just like the first mission.
So, again, is this a limitation where waypoints can only use the main Hasselblad camera for videos and cannot use the 70mm tele camera for videos?
And, as a workaround, could I start recording with the medium 70mm tele (or the 170 tele for that matter) PRIOR to starting the mission, and then start the mission and expect that camera to be used throughout (in this case I would remove the start and stop recording actions from the waypoints)?
Note: I'm not interested in digital zoom here as I know that can be set using the waypoint zoom setting -- my question is about using medium tele instead of the main wide camera for waypoint recording actions.

3) Extra question (which I have not yet tried but would like to confirm): I'm assuming that there is no automatic way to combine automated photo camera actions with automated start/stop video actions in the same mission, simply because the waypoints can only take action on the camera mode that was selected manually prior to starting the mission (ie photo or video) -- correct? Or, are waypoint actions capable of switching the mode automatically -- eg, if initially set to photo mode, but the "start record" action is used, would that action cause video mode to be entered? I'm pretty sure not, but would like to verify that there is no way to do this.


Thanks.
I wrote the original post. Wanted to update this thread with some additional insights from additional test flights I've done recently that show I can overcome some of the limitations I posted about...

Using the medium tele camera with waypoints:

Regarding M3 Pro waypoint missions not being able to use any camera other than the main Hasselblad camera, I've found that it is possible, despite DJI weighing in saying that only the main camera is supported. I guess it might be considered a slight "hack" but here's what I did to allow the medium 70mm tele on the M3 Pro to be used both for automatic waypoint photos as well as automatic waypoint videos -- the solution was quite simple:
I found that if I manually selected the desired camera (ie, selected the 3X medium 70mm tele) AFTER launching the waypoint mission but PRIOR to reaching a waypoint with a camera action, all subsequent waypoints with camera actions would continue to use that same selected camera. So, with that simple method, I was able to take automated waypoint photos and videos with the 70mm tele camera -- that was a nice discovery.
The problem I saw previously happened because I was selecting the desired camera BEFORE launching the waypoint mission, and then when the waypoint mission was started, the camera would always automatically be reset to the main Hasselblad camera.... so waiting until after mission launch to select the camera seems to make all the difference.

Taking AEB photos in a waypoint mission:
In my additional test flights, I continued to verify that automatic waypoint photos cannot take any photo type other than single shot (which DJI confirmed as a limitation). Any time I set the photo mode to multi-shot AEB prior to reaching a photo waypoint, the photo camera action at the waypoint would always turn off AEB mode and take a single shot (I had waypoint hover periods set to accommodate a stationary period for the multiple shots, but it did not matter).
So, as a workaround, I would set the photo waypoint to just a hover period (up to 30 seconds), with no automatic camera action --- then, when the hover period started I knew the waypoint was reached and the drone was stopped, I would simply hit pause (either the RC pause button or the on-screen pause button) at which point I was free to manually take any type of photo, including AEB --- so, although it required a manual interaction at each AEB photo point, it was a solution that worked for me --- I was still able to get the full benefit of the pre-planned waypoint positions, headings, and gimbal angles, so that running the mission on different days/times would produce identical shot composition. Also, fwiw, the pilot can pause the waypoint flight at any time and at any point between waypoints, and take AEB shots manually at that time while the drone is paused/stopped, followed by a resume to continue the mission.

Mixing automated video recording with automated photo shots in the same mission:
While automated photo and video start/stop actions can't be done at the same waypoint, and photos can't be taken while video is being recorded, I did verify that I can take photos at certain waypoints, and also start and stop video recording at other waypoints, meaning that the mission can automatically change from photo mode to video mode in the same mission, or vice versa. This is something I was not sure was possible (good to see that it is) given that waypoints generally can't change shooting modes or photo/video settings.

So, hope that helps for anyone who might be interested in getting a bit more out of their waypoint missions. Would like to hear from anyone who has other insights or workarounds for these particular issues using the tools available for the Mavic 3 / Mavic 3 Pro.


BTW, I understand that most likely none of these limitations are present when using Litchi or (even better) Dronelink, but since neither of those apps are available for the Mavic 3 or Mavic 3 Pro due to the lack of a released SDK, those solutions are of no value for these drones. Dronelink does support the Mavic 3 Enterprise, but the M3E has other issues that limit its creative camera capabilities, such as not supporting 60fps and not supporting D-Log profiles.
 
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@dar1 nice find!

Doesn't help your situation, but for those following, Litchi is out with a beta of their new app, Litchi Pilot, which supports the M3E (which very few of us have). Multiple actions at a waypoint are supported, such as stopping video, taking an AEB set, then restarting video before heading to the next waypoint.

Also available for the Mini3P. Limitation right now is mission creation/planning not supported in Litchi Pilot yet... missions must be created in Litchi or Mission Hub, then downloaded to Pilot.

I'm headed out right now to play with it on the Mini3P.
 
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@dar1 nice find!

Doesn't help your situation, but for those following, Litchi is out with a beta of their new app, Litchi Pilot, which supports the M3E (which very few of us have). Multiple actions at a waypoint are supported, such as stopping video, taking an AEB set, then restarting video before heading to the next waypoint.

Also available for the Mini3P. Limitation right now is mission creation/planning not supported in Litchi Pilot yet... missions must be created in Litchi or Mission Hub, then downloaded to Pilot.

I'm headed out right now to play with it on the Mini3P.
"Nice find" back at you, as I was not aware of the new Litchi Pilot beta for M3E -- looks like a very recent development. I happen to own an M3E too, but haven't had a chance to do too much with it yet... Unfortunately, while they improved the camera for pro mapping, they dumbed things down for pro photo and video in general, so it's not my first choice drone for video/photo shoot waypoint missions. But knowing that there is finally something out / on its way from Litchi for the M3E is good news, if for no other reason it will be an alternative to Pilot 2 on the RC Pro for mapping planning.
I'm sure you've seen it already, but this thread has a lot of info in it about the beta and important things to know to avoid app crashes, etc:
 
For anyone interested in the original questions I posed, DJI has replied to my OP questions 1 and 2:

Question 1: DJI says: When a waypoint "take photo" action triggers, it can ONLY shoot single photos, no multi-shot or AEB shots are supported. So if anything other than single-shot photo mode is selected prior to the mission, the waypoints will reset it to single shot. To this I say: Why not? All the waypoint software does is automatically trigger a shot, why can't it simply take the AEB shot that the camera was already set up to take??

Question 2: DJI says: For photos or video triggered at a waypoint, only the main Hasselblad camera is supported, so if any tele camera is selected prior to starting the waypoint mission, it will be overridden and changed back to the main wide angle. My comment: Again, why? How does it make the waypoint processing any more complicated to simply take the photo with the camera I selected prior to starting the mission -- if I selected the tele, use the tele!

So these responses show that what I experienced is to be expected as normal operation. My only guess about why these limitations exist is that processing waypoint flight paths on top of processing the higher volume of data from AEB photos or from the M3 Pro's 48MP medium tele is too much processing load. Or, it could be simply another example of a "consumer" drone dumb-down to make the M3E look better.

I'm still waiting on a clarification from DJI on OP question 3.

The fact that the user manual for M3 and M3 Pro doesn't say word about any of these limitations is incredible
Greetings from New Jersey!! I just stumbled on this thread today; Sept 2, 2023, and tried to read through the end replies and/or answers to your questions. I can't find any definitive answer yet to one question I'm interested in chiming in, i.e. question #2- setting the zoom( main to tele) during a waypoint. Granting but not admitting that you have not already found the answer yourself, here's my take: I just tested this "zoom" feature within a waypoint and it seemed to work as expected. Here's how to set it:
1. tap on a waypoint; i.e. 1,2 or 3 etc...
2. The following settings i.e. Camera Action, Altitude, Speed, Heading, Gimbal Tilt, Zoom and Hover will pop-up.
3 tap on the Zoom(with default set to Manual).
4. Tap on the ">" right arrow after "Manual" on the pop-up, the following options will then display;
- Manual, 1-3x and Auto
5. Select tap the 1-3x option and a slider will pop-up.
6. Slide the button to the rightmost end and the value above the "Zoom" will now display "3.0x".
7. Tap the "Apply to All" label for all waypoints or set a different zoom level other than 3.x
8. Tap the "<" the left arrow to return to the previous menu. etc...

Hope this helps!
 
Greetings from New Jersey!! I just stumbled on this thread today; Sept 2, 2023, and tried to read through the end replies and/or answers to your questions. I can't find any definitive answer yet to one question I'm interested in chiming in, i.e. question #2- setting the zoom( main to tele) during a waypoint. Granting but not admitting that you have not already found the answer yourself, here's my take: I just tested this "zoom" feature within a waypoint and it seemed to work as expected. Here's how to set it:
1. tap on a waypoint; i.e. 1,2 or 3 etc...
2. The following settings i.e. Camera Action, Altitude, Speed, Heading, Gimbal Tilt, Zoom and Hover will pop-up.
3 tap on the Zoom(with default set to Manual).
4. Tap on the ">" right arrow after "Manual" on the pop-up, the following options will then display;
- Manual, 1-3x and Auto
5. Select tap the 1-3x option and a slider will pop-up.
6. Slide the button to the rightmost end and the value above the "Zoom" will now display "3.0x".
7. Tap the "Apply to All" label for all waypoints or set a different zoom level other than 3.x
8. Tap the "<" the left arrow to return to the previous menu. etc...

Hope this helps!
Thanks for the post about the waypoint zoom setting, but this really wasn't the isssue I was talking about. I believe the zoom setting inside a waypoint that you're describing is only the digital (fake) zoom for the main wide angle camera, and does not actually allow you to use the other telephoto camera (which has greater true optical zoom) -- I haven't actually verified this but I'm pretty sure these settings just mirror the digital zoom choices you have for the main wide camera on the camera settings.
 
Thanks for the post about the waypoint zoom setting, but this really wasn't the isssue I was talking about. I believe the zoom setting inside a waypoint that you're describing is only the digital (fake) zoom for the main wide angle camera, and does not actually allow you to use the other telephoto camera (which has greater true optical zoom) -- I haven't actually verified this but I'm pretty sure these settings just mirror the digital zoom choices you have for the main wide camera on the camera settings.
Hmmm… Thanks for the clarification. I did not think of this “fake” 3.0x :( I will try to validate this, too. I am also learning:)
 
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