DJI Mini 3 Pro Active Track vs Skydio 2+: Tested & Footage!
This time today, ive got a complete, autonomous tracking comparison between the new dji mini 3 pro and the skydio2, plus there we go now its the plus. Now, while there are plenty of differences between these two drones, including the features and the price, i am hyper focused in this video on the autonomous tracking bits, both the obstacle avoidance, as well as the actual tracking itself, and for this video im. Taking this out in the real world to do real world tracking on real world circumstances with real world trees, none of this, like walking around a football field sort of stuff were going out and were gon na were gon na see what we push these things to Now i have lots of experience with both of these drones in a tracking standpoint for todays test im doing a back to back scenario, so im going out in the exact same day, time conditions all that stuff, literally just back to back on the exact same route. Todays course gives each turn about 30 to 40 meters before its right into this tree tunnel, dodging trees, ensuring its still tracking me along the way. If it gets out of the tunnel, then we go into kind of the forested section here here they have to go under trees, as well as over trees around trees, while tracking me on a small trail and then finally, if they clear all that well get to Some more high speed, open bits, and maybe a few other things tossed in there – is to really push these things to their limits.
Now, while both of these drones are completely autonomous and tracking, i mean theyre, looking at you as an object and tracking you as an object as opposed to tracking a controller or something like that in the case of the dji drones, you still have to either take Your controller with you or have someone else hold on to the controller, so in this case im taking my controller with me using a bike, mount spike mod costs like 20 bucks or so ive, got in the corner up there just simply mounts onto my bike, and I put my phone into it. Works super well even mountain biking and stuff, like that. That of course means im using the standard, remote control with my phone as opposed to the new dji rc. I have used the dji rc in active tracking test theres a fixture right. There me doing exactly that. I just dont have a great bike mount for it, so for todays test to keep things kind of simple im going to use just the older remote im. Also not going to use the skydio beacon for the skydio, because thats one extra and two, because i want to see its native internal tracking capabilities now when it comes to sports tracking theres, really two parts to that. The first is the actual tracking of the person itself in terms of autonomously following that object, however, the second piece is arguably more important, which is the obstacle avoidance portion of it, and both these drones have different sensors to do that in quite a bit different way.
So in the case of the mini three, its got three sets of sensors its got these frontwards ones right there you see at the top its got these two bottom ones that are right there and then its got two rearward ones right there. Now, in the case of the mini 3d, sensors have two different kind of ranges for the field of view. They have a horizontal range like this and they have a vertical range like this for the front sensors, as well as the downward sensors. Those two vertical ranges actually overlap to form a much bigger picture in terms of obstacle avoidance. The rear, rear ones are also pretty wide, but not quite as wide as the front rear facing ones thats. Something to be aware of the core thing. Thats missing, though, is side obstacle, avoidance sensors. There is nothing on the side here like there is no scadio or even the dji mavic 3.. Meanwhile, in the case of the skydio drone, it has six obstacle avoidance, sensors and the camera itself. So the six sensors are right here there there on the top, and then you flip it over another set one two three and then it has the camera for the tracking, and the same is true of the dji mini 3.. It uses its front camera for the actual tracking itself versus these. Other cameras are all about obstacle avoidance for the skydio. It therefore has complete 360 degree obstacle avoidance, meaning it shouldnt hit anything, no matter which direction its flying sideways forward backwards.
With that lets get straight into the testing starting off with the mini 3.. Okay. So at this point, ive got the mini 3 up in the air theres a couple quick things. We want to always double check. The first one is to ensure that were in normal mode, youll see if i go to sport mode right there obstacle avoidance, isnt, available, thats super important understand, even though were doing a sport sport mode about flying fast without obstacle avoidance enabled, as you can see right Over here, this would end very very quickly without that enabled so ive got that back to normal mode right there and youll notice. When i do that by the way in the upper right hand corner you can see that thing go to red. That is the obstacle avoidance sensors, so were back to white, which means youre good to go tap this up here as well, and look on the safety tab, the very very top – and you can see obstacle – avoidance action bypass – means its going to go around whatever we Have as opposed to just simply stopping and waiting for the next command below that weve got the display radar map. That shows me what it sees as obstacles, so, if it does hit something later on, we can see whether or not it actually saw what it hit. So that the next thing is to double check the resolution – 4k 30 thats the maximum allowed for active track.
You cant go any higher than that. Itll. Actually, just tell you thatll fail if you try uh. The other thing to note is that you do have to be in landscape mode. So if i go real quick here to vertical mode im, going to swap this over like this and highlight myself, youll see, do not enter this mode in portrait mode or vertical mode. Just doesnt work at this point in time. Dji says theyre, hoping that eventually everything will be equal across both of those, but for now youve got to do it in vertical sorry horizontal and go ahead and deal with that later in post. So im going to put it behind me here so get over there im going to keep it reasonably low because we got some trees here. Of course, it looks like im clear, which is good, so now im going to go and highlight myself just like that, and you can see now im highlighted, i choose actor track and i got two options: trace and parallel trace means to follow from behind parallel means Off to the side in this case, because we have no sideways obstacle avoidance sensor that would end pretty darn quickly up here. You can do it in other places like the beach and stuff like that, where you got nothing around, but for now uh for now were gon na go one last thing: i wish you always do this. It never. Does this just hit the record button like really, if im in this mode, just hit record we we know we want that so best i can tell.
I am totally clear here: ill, obviously stop if theres someone coming and ill stop if the drone hits something so im going to go down this very, very slight decline. Now were only talking a meter or two going downhill and im just going to slow roll it until im into the trees to see what it does remember. It should see these obstacles at this point in time. Here there we go its lets. Lets look at lowering down just slightly nice. We got nobody in front of us. This is awesome. There we go its going down below that. You can see it sense that right there perfect get me. Let me a little further here than i want uh. Oh getting close to these branches, but so far so good lets see if i can speed up slightly im, only going about 20 kilometers an hour so its like about 13 14 miles an hour uh. You can see its kind of starting to suffer a little bit slowing down behind me a little bit too far back. I could probably lower it slightly. I can do that with control sticks here, bring it down slightly just to see if it gives them more clearance. Maybe itll speed up a bit thats, usually how dji drones work when they get too close to obstacles, their obstacle avoidance, basically, sensors kick in and they slow down. So if im out in the beach or out in other places, ive been going much faster with this.
Without any real problems and hey now that i think about it, this would be an awesome time to whack that, like button, it really does help out this video and the channel quite a bit um its still holding on to me im, not going very fast. My guess here is hes. Anyone coming behind me, nope, oh, you can see hes starting to lose me and its done there. We go nope im going to go ahead and fly it back up to me here. You can see im going full throttle right now forward. Im full stick forward and it just a sense, as its too close to the ground and too close to other objects. Thats really common actually for dji drones when they get within a certain range of the ground to simply just be too cautious and go ahead and slow down versus skydio later on is like balls. The wall lets just roll with it. Theres, just a trail here got some trees around. That might be a better funner test because a little faster because theres no cover right above it and to see how it handles. Hopefully, this mount stays on here, doesnt feel too secure. Today i dont know what i did wrong so far, so good im not going that fast, mostly because its mountain right now but im going way faster than before, weighs i guess ill browse im going faster than before. I was at 24 a second ago and just trying not to slip here, but you can see going forward through here its following me like its not have any speed problems in here.
If i can get a clean stretch to sprint, i will heres some trees, though heres heres some interesting stuff trees everywhere. You know what i mean: theres some trees coming up its about to get spicy folks, okay swing. There well go over under thats a question here over under whats it going to do whats it going to do dont go into it, go around dish kind of maybe over over oh baby, its going over holy cow. Why cant your mavic 3 friend? Do that your big brother, oh and you lost me when you had me: okay, you can do this next stretch. I know you can its an under and then over and then i think, youre home free, i think were out of here. You got it little buddy. You got it there we go going for the under its got the under okay, its going to go around or over, hopefully not through okay, its going under i would have gone over, but you know hey its the boss. Okay, now its got a chance to speed up here, because i got this corner and i need to return uh. Oh youre, gon na lose me in the cornering. Nope still got me. Its still got me its still an altitude or someone coming. So we cant go that way. We can turn around, though okay now dont plunk into that tree. When you make your turn, you can do this no thats a bad idea.
A little buddy. This isnt going to end well come on, find the obstacle behind you good job. You found the obstacle behind you on the turn. The? U turn? Okay, there, its doing the rotation its the usual j turn move its gon na lose behind the bush, though, which i cant. Oh you see me oh, come on come on, you can do it. You can do over the bush over the tree over im right there. Oh, it got me now granted i slowed down a ton, but hey you know. Sometimes you have to help out the little kids here we go under and i think were clear were almost clear. Can you get back to our starting point? One assist one assist, but you know you did good here. You did good now at this point in order to keep the video less than an hour long. You can see its following me. Just fine my speed, this footage all up here and ultimately it only lost me when i eventually outsped it in a section of trees. Quite a bit later on now i go off into the sunset and now, as we go on here, were going to switch into the parallel mode, which is obviously risky in the trees but thats sort of the point. I want to kind of show you where those boundaries are in some of the risks in a relatively safe environment. Theres, no water, this time around active track parallel go here.
We go were backwards, got ta get below this tree, though you cant see the tree. I can see it: oh, no, no, no! No! No! No thats a little bit too close, my friend thats gon na end poorly, oh yeah, frank, brunk, bronc dont touch the prickly ones, dont touch the prickly ones. Oh im gon na be hurting later on, hey little dude youre still alive. I had to try right, i had to see if it could, if it could do it and still i am. I am solidly impressed because i most of the other drones from dji over the last year have been flying directly into tree trunks and tree branches and tree limbs head on no none of the side stuff just kerr plunkage straight on in and you my little friend Youve got it figured out. You should again, like i said before, give your give your big brother a lesson or something like that, because youve got issues now before we move on to the scottie. I just want to clear up one quick thing around the speed limitation that we saw with the mini three. That is because it became within about three meters of some sort of obstacle, maturity, etc. So it reduces the speed to be able to react to that. If i get out in the clear like you see right here, it has no problems following on tracking, in this case, is to about 40 kilometers an hour about 25 miles per hour, uh, both from behind as well as then later on in parallel mode on the Side so speed and tracking isnt really an issue on the mini 3 as long as youve got clearance and space around you, itll fall along just fine so with that lets dive into the scotia 2 plus and see how it rolls or flies or something.
Okay. So here we are ready to roll ive, got the height 4 disabled for this, so that can go as low as it needs to to get around obstacles these trees, otherwise its 2.4 meters on the surface about 8 feet, which might be a bit tight in some Spots so gon na give it all its go here. I trust it. I tap myself its as simple as that, and you can see its gon na track me from the back that b thats indicated right there im just gon na roll down this. Just like i did the other one youll see itll reassociate itself to the back there. In just a second there we go the same kind of speed. I did for the mini three, let it automatically catch up here there we go its moving along no problems now its kind of slow its a bit wobbly, though like theres. Just no reason for all this wobble wobble whip, wobble little wobble, i dont know how you say it. I just swallowed a fly a second ago, so i mean its all over the place here, but its not crashing like to its credit, its holding on for dear life on this like bill and teds wild ride around trees and everything like that. But theres. No real reason, let me just speed up, though see if itll figure things out still, i could stick it out somewhere like i could stick it out to the right.
If i wanted to, though it seems like its doing that half the time by itself im going to increase the height there, we go, and this is admittedly like one of the cooler things that its just very good at assuming it doesnt hit any tree branches. But theyre pretty few and far between you can see its going in and out to try and avoid whatever it sees there. There we go: oh thats, a tight one: oh its going down up and around and im gon na put it over. Here i got some people coming up so im gon na stop it the exact same section of trail we did before it can choose where it wants to go on this its going to set, except for behind just like the other one. You can see its definitely not as smooth as the mini three and thats kind of one of like the characteristic skydio two things uh, probably not for better, but it is what it is, but it does avoid things a lot better, even if its its kind of Wonky about it, sometimes there we go lets have a section here. Its gon na go under it should go under here. Shouldnt, be a problem to pull this off. With this little guy hes, usually pretty good at this uh, oh youre gon na lose me nope. He got me okay, and this is where the uh mini three lost me before that little section right back, there remember id pause and catch it back up again.
So here we go. I know that sections clear because i just went through it theres the same kind of j turn maneuver that we saw the mini 3 do in that spot right there. I wasnt quite sure what we wanted to do with the self its going to go down below this gap here. This is pretty cool. Actually i wish you could see this. My gopros died by now. Okay, i mean its just wild stuff like it is just like tarzan, right now swinging through these trees, trying to follow me yolo. That was the close and its not in front of me right now, because it just decided that yo, i cant figure this out im. Just gon na hang out until its safe out here and then my guess is as soon as i hit the clearing up here its going to get me in front of me. I mean this is insane like its just swinging through trees. Im eating flies everywhere, Applause, its vaguely in front of me, like you, know, technically speaking, yeah, pretty okay, its got it. Okay were getting the clearing time. So now you can see its settling itself out. It sees everything in front of its all clear its getting to a much smoother view here and at this point, im going to speed up some of this footage to get past it. The scotia 2, never once lost me from a tracking standpoint, the entire time. It also was a spoiler, never crashed either.
I can swing it out to the left there and it can do that. It can gain on me so its at my side. Now i watch. I can stick it out in front here. We go three. Two one thats cool its really only something escadio can do this well, okie doke, i didnt, kill anything today. No dji drones killed today. No scotia drones killed today. No phones, no controllers successful days so far. Okay, so with both drones successfully on the ground and not in the canal, lets talk about some of the differences in terms of both the sports tracking and then also the larger differences between these two drones. When you look at sports tracking, as i mentioned earlier, on two components, obstacle avoidance and the actual tracking itself, both drones did a really good job in terms of the actual tracking itself. As long as i was within range, the main issue with the mini 3 is that when i got closer to obstacles, it slowed down quite a bit. So if youre in a tight environment, thats going to be a tough thing to be able to go very fast because it just cant keep up. Meanwhile, the skydio2 had no problems keeping up even when it was like dodging and weaving around trees at full speed. It was doing it at my full speed. I couldnt really shake it. Of course, the mini 3 is limited, that cant go sideways from a tracking standpoint, uh, so its great when its falling from behind.
I had no problems on any of my tests this day or any other day in terms of tracking and obstacle avoidance doing that, but as soon as i put it sideways, you saw it very quickly, ran into a tree and even trying to put it somewhere else. It often went where i didnt necessarily expect it to and thats again with the scadio 2 plus excels, and i can put it anywhere around me and its going to safely do so. The challenge, though, is that when it comes to the video quality and the stability of where that drone goes, the mini 3 is just so much better, as you saw in that one treeline section at the beginning. The mini three stayed right behind me, where it was supposed to nice and clean versus the scottie. Two plus was like a drunk uncle just all over the place. Trying to dodge and weave trees like it was a ski race course, and it does that a lot, and i dont necessarily understand why. But it should be noted, the scotia 2 plus isnt perfect. If i were to slide back here, ive got a previous drone test that i havent quite got around to publishing, yet where the scotia 2 plus ended up in the canal and mind you, you may be thinking about the mavic 3 nope ive got another one of Those too – and here is the broken mavic 3. That also ended up hitting the tree on the same test, and obviously i havent quite got around to doing the warranty on this or even getting the video out.
But the point being, though, that theres just going to be bad days or these drones just dont – do what you expect them to do in an active tracking standpoint. So youve got to understand that there is some risk involved in this. That said, if we take these two aside and kind of compare the larger picture of things – and just this part two, the one thing to keep in mind is that the mini 3 is definitely a drone. Thats 80 percent focused on all the other things. 90 focused on all the other cinematography and photography sort of stuff versus the skydio2 is 80 90 focused on the sports tracking piece of it. So essentially, if youre doing mostly just sports tracking, i would go skadio, but if youre mostly doing everything else, i would go mini three, its really as simple as that. For me, in terms of what i do, the fact that this is so lightweight even with having to take the stupid controller with me all the time makes it really appealing and slightly because i can fit this in my back jersey, pocket, no problem at all. Ive done that numerous times now, even again, with the controller in the back jersey pocket too versus this ultimately requires a secondary bag. Come along with me, im hoping for like a scottie 3 model. We get something closer to this and inversely im, hoping for like a mini four. We get something that i dont have to use a controller kind of like back in the days of the spark.
Now, if you want more information on the mini, three ive got a complete beginners guide, its like 45 minutes. Long of all, these features how they all work linked on the screen right. There ive also got a similar sort of thing for these cinematic skills on the skydio2 plus, as well as, like all sorts of other videos. You see them on the screen as usual.