How To Get Cinematic Drone Footage With The Mavic Pro

Find out how to achieve the most cinematic results with your DJI Mavic Pro by watching this video and following these drone tips! 

Tip 1: Faking A Dolly Zoom With Your Drone

Currently, the consumer level drones on the market are incapable of optical zoom functions. Typical drones like the Mavic Pro, the Spark or the drones in the Phantom series have a fixed wide focal length. So in order to create an epic dolly zoom effect, you need to do this in post-production (in my case I use Adobe Premiere Pro). I shoot my Mavic Pro footage in 4K so that I am able to reframe my shots with ease in a 1080p project. Shooting in 4K also has benefits for achieving this dolly zoom effect as you will need the extra resolution to zoom in. Essentially it comes down to using the scaling tool in your video editor. If your footage is moving inward, you will want to scale it in at the beginning of your shot and then scale it out as the shot moves inward and vice-versa. For a better look at how to do this please watch the video above.

Tip 2: Use Neutral Density Filters

Achieving cinematic results can be difficult with overexposed footage because you'll need to bump up your shutter speed which in turn can make your footage look jittery. In order to get that smooth slower shutter speed, ensure that you have a set of ND filters. I typically keep an ND8 filter on the drone at all times. During sunsets I'll typically put the ND4 filter on. These particular Mavic Pro filters easily slip onto your camera with no hassle. You may need to recalibrate your gimbal after placing the filter on but that's about it! 


Until the cameras inevitably get better on these drones, daytime filming, for now, can sometimes be difficult, especially on bright sunny days. As mentioned above you'll want an ND filter on your camera lens. If you're really looking to get amazing shots, plan to shoot your footage around sunrise or sunset, as you'll get the best looking shots at these times. 


Here's a breakdown on what settings I use when filming with the Mavic Pro

  • Colour Profile: D-Cinelike
  • Frame-rate: 24fps
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sharpness: -1
  • Manual Exposure Settings

Ian McAlpineComment