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Rookie error...


Well-known member
Jan 3, 2019
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Adelaide, South Australia
Well, after 13 hours of flight time with the Bebop 2 since the start of the year I thought I was getting the hang of it, but I made a dumb mistake today...

I'd found a great location to explore, about 45 minutes' drive from home. Used up one battery getting some initial footage, then found a better vantage point to fly from and took off again with a fresh battery. I decided to begin by taking a couple of DNG stills, which is not something I normally do, then switched back to video mode and spent the next 15 minutes getting some awesome video footage.

The first inkling I had that something was wrong was the suspiciously short time it took to download the media to my laptop when I got home. As soon as I looked at the files I knew immediately what had happened. The lesson I learned was that, while FreeFlight Pro automatically starts video recording as soon as you take off, if you stop recording to switch to camera mode to take a DNG still, it does not automatically re-start recording video when you switch back to video mode... so I'd actually spent the whole time flying around carefully executing a bunch of beautiful cinematic shots while not recording any of it...

Obvious, in hindsight, but an easy mistake, I think. In my normal flying I am used to the drone always recording; I never, ever have to manually start recording. Even if you take a JPG snapshot using the A button on the controller the video recording continues. So it just didn't cross my mind at the time that after switching to camera mode to take a DNG and then switching back to video mode I'd need to manually hit the record button.

Interestingly, in FPV, which I often use, there is a really prominent text box in the middle of the screen that says 'NOT RECORDING' or somesuch if recording is off, so you can't miss it. In regular LOS mode, which I was using today and which I would think is more intended for 'serious' videography, there is no such indicator - the only indications that it is not recording are the absence of the tiny red dot next to the capture mode icon, and the fact that the record icon looks slightly different - neither of which are very obvious on a small phone screen in sunlight.

Anyway, a cautionary tale that hopefully might save someone else from making the same mistake...


Yeah I think we've all been there. A warning of that type wouldn't go amiss.
Thanks for sharing your experience so some of us other noobs can learn from it.
I keep intending to take my Anafi to a nearby field to run through all the different options, settings and flight modes - but i usually end up having so much fun that I forget that plan in favor of "zipping around real high or fast and looking at cool stuff."
Then my batteries wear down or my kids get bored and it's back to home base.
In DJI they actually disable autostart record so if you forget to start (like two days ago) you have zero. I think all Parrot and DJI drones should autostart recording in video mode you can always extarct frames in Adobe Premier Elements in the event of an error.

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