Skip to content

Drone video over Albert Park Lake


When it comes to capturing images and video, light is almost everything. Despite knowing better, I sometimes fall into the trap of believing that high quality gear will produce great images regardless of the conditions. I bought the DJI Mini 3 Pro just over a year ago and the few times I have captured video I’ve been disappointed with the results. This has nothing to do with the drone itself, I’ve just been limited to flying in the middle of day when the sun is too high and harsh or during overcast, boggy weather.

This year I’m making an effort to start producing high quality images and videos again. That means working around my company and family commitments to find the right conditions to capture the footage I want.

At this point just getting out to fly and shoot at the right time is more important than the subject itself. Albert Park Lake is just a few minutes from home and the south eastern end of the lake provides an expansive view of the growing Melbourne skyline. I got there around 8:00pm just as the sun began its final descent. There wasn’t much in the way of interesting cloud formations, so a pastel sunset was off the cards, but the light was still warm and pleasing.

I’d recently purchased the larger battery for the Mini 3 Pro, which according to DJI extends the flight time out to around 50 minutes. I certainly noticed some increased battery stamina but I don’t think I managed more than 35 minutes of flight time. However that is a very unscientific observation, I’ll have to do some more testing.

One thing I did notice is the surprisingly limited range of the Mini 3 Pro RC controller. I was getting weak signal warnings at around 1,000 meters - which is well below the advertised 8km range.

I shot the footage in D-Cinelike mode for a bit of extra latitude when grading in Davinci Resolve. I also wanted to learn, well relearn, how to do some camera tracking in Fusion and pin some text to one of the palm trees hugging the contour of the lake. I followed this tutorial to get the job done.

Overall quite happy with the results.