As drones are getting more and more popular, the technology and the features that these drones have are also quickly improving. These days there are quite a few drones built to be able to follow you around wherever you go using the Follow Me feature. However, not all drones have this feature. If you’re considering the DJI Mini 2, you may be wondering if it comes with the Follow Me feature.
While most of DJI’s drones come with the Follow Me feature, the DJI Mini 2 does not. That’s because the DJI Mini 2 was designed to be a very light drone that falls under the 250-gram registration limit. The Follow Me feature was left out to streamline and lighten the drone.
Even though the DJI Mini 2 doesn’t come with the Follow Me feature, which is one of the best features that most of DJI’s drones come with, it still is a pretty good machine to have especially if you are looking for a very light drone that is easy to carry around. Even though the Mini 2 doesn’t come with Follow Me, there are a few tricks that you can use to make your DJI Mini 2 drone follow you similar to how the Follow Me feature works.
What is Follow Me?
One of the best features that DJI has incorporated into their drones is the ability of the drone to follow a person or an object in a constant flight path while taking videos of the person or object. In some types of drones, only the camera will track the person or object as the drone flies in place. However, in DJI drone-speak, Follow Me means that the camera locks onto the object, and the drone flies to follow it.
So, what exactly is the Follow Me feature? Basically speaking, Follow Me is the ability of the drone to follow the subject while taking videos of it. While the person is moving and doing all sorts of things, the drone will keep track of them and follow them to take videos with its camera – all while the person isn’t even controlling the drone the entire time.
The beauty of the Follow Me feature is that you can allow the drone to take photos and videos of you while you are doing all sorts of things that require you to use your hands. The Follow Me feature is great to use whenever you are doing activities such as biking, surfing, skateboarding, etc. The drone can shoot you while you are engaged in your activity, without you having to worry about trying to control the drone at the same time or even enlist a friend to take the video for you.
But how does the Follow Me feature work? With Follow Me, the drone is not following you but is following a point of reference that it needs to track using GPS or controller signals. In most cases, the Follow Me keeps track of your phone via GPS or your controller through the unique connection that they have between one another.
» MORE: How Does Follow Me Mode Work in Drones?
Now that you know how Follow Me works, what makes it different from the Active Track feature that DJI drones also come with? Active Track makes use of image recognition instead of GPS to make sure that it follows or tracks a certain person or object. What you do here is to designate the person or object you want your drone to follow so that the drone will keep on following it based on its image recognition feature. In short, it is using its camera to follow that object instead of its GPS.
Follow Me and Active Track may work differently but they do have the same premise, which is to make the drone follow a subject. However, the challenge in relation to these features are obstacles that may be along the way as the drone follows you or another object.
If you are using a drone that doesn’t have good sensors that can detect obstacles and avoid possible collisions, it is best to use both Follow Me and Active Track in places that are wide and open so that the drone won’t end up colliding with something while it is following its subject.
Does DJI Mini 2 have Follow Me?
You may already know that most of DJI’s drones come with this Follow Me, as DJI is famous for it. But even among DJI drones, some may have better Follow Me functionality because they come with better sensors and other similar technology. The point is that most of DJI’s drones are enabled to have the Follow Me feature. But does the DJI Mini 2 (or the Mavic Mini for that matter) come with this feature?
The DJI Mini and Mini 2 are immensely popular drones thanks to how small and light they are compared to other drones. While not exactly toy drones, these drones are quite similar to toy drones in their size and weight but are actually pretty advanced in terms of their technology and features.
Of course, these drones are popular thanks in large part to how easy it is to carry them around wherever you go since they come with a very light build and frame. On top of that, DJI Mini and Mini 2 drones are very popular because, at 249 grams, they dispense of the need for you to have your drone registered with the FAA as the requirement is only for drones that are at least 250 grams. With these things going for them, it is quite easy to understand why the Mini and Mini 2 are so popular for so many drone owners out there.
However, what you should know about the DJI Mini and Mini 2 is that these drones do not come with the same full kit of features that other DJI drones come with. This includes the drones’ lack of the Follow Me feature, among others. In short, the DJI Mini line does not come with the Follow Me feature that can be seen in almost all of DJI’s other drone models.
The very reason that the DJI Mini line doesn’t come with the Follow Me feature is the very same thing that allows it to be so popular—its size. Because DJI wanted to keep the Mini under 250 grams, there was a need to trim down its weight by removing some of the features that only make it heavier. Something as simple as a Follow Me feature might not be much the added electronic components to make it function properly would almost certainly put the drone over 250 grams. This is the main reason DJI did not include such a feature with either the Mini or the Mini 2.
In short, the DJI Mini line is simply stripped down to the point that these drones lack a lot of different features that users could have found quite useful. Still, that doesn’t mean that the DJI Mini drone is a bust for all other purposes as well. These drones are still very much functional despite their lack of a Follow Me feature or some of the other popular DJI features. And, as you will learn, you can still make use of this drone in a way that allows it to mimic the Follow Me feature but in an entirely different way.
How to make your DJI Mini 2 follow you
While the DJI Mini 2 does indeed lack the native Follow Me feature that most other DJI drones have, it doesn’t mean the Mini 2 isn’t the right drone for you, because you can still get your Mini 2 to follow you around in a way that is similar to how the Follow Me function works.
The trick is quite simple but will require a ton of practice and timing on your part if you want to get things right and get the drone to follow you in a way that is almost the same as the Follow Me function.
What you need to do is to select one of the Mini 2’s Quick Shot modes. These are the modes that get your drone to move around a particular object while taking a video of it. This is intended to work for objects that don’t move as the drone will circle it to take a video of it.
So what you need to do here is to make yourself the object of attention of the drone so that it will begin to think that you are a stationary object that it needs to follow and then move around to keep track of so that it can take videos of you.
What you need to do here is to draw the square around you so that the drone will recognize you as the object it needs to follow in the Quick Shot mode and then wait for a few seconds for the drone’s camera to begin recording.
Once the drone begins recording, slowly begin moving so that the drone will begin following you. If you get the timing right, your drone will now mimic the Follow Me function without even having it in the first place. However, the difficult part here is that you need a lot of practice and patience, and the right kind of timing to know how to pull this trick off.
This tricks the drone into circling you, but it does it in a linear path, following you, while moving, as the “central” object. It is neat but it does involve plenty of trial and error on your part because it can be difficult to get the drone to pull off this trick.
Also, while it does try to mimic the Follow Me function, it isn’t exactly a Follow Me function such that, when you make a mistake or if the drone loses track of you, it will stop following you and will instead make the circular motion that the Quick Shot mode originally intended it to do. This is why it requires plenty of patience and a lot of trial and error on your part.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time practicing how to make use of this trick and if you believe that it’s not worth the effort and patience to trick your DJI Mini 2 that it does have the Follow Me feature, it might be best for you to just choose the DJI Air 2 instead.
While the Air 2 is indeed a bit heavier than the Mini 2, it does come with the Follow Me feature and is almost as compact and as light. The only sacrifice you will be making (aside from spending more money for a slightly more expensive drone) is that you will have to have your DJI Air 2 registered with the FAA if you want to use it. Aside from that, the size and weight differences between it and the Mini 2 are almost negligible. That’s not much of a price to pay for a drone that comes with more features and better specs.