Three Things That Will Spoil a Day of Drone Flying
1. Needing a Firmware Update
DJI pushes out firmware updates for drones and Remote Controllers on a regular basis. They are easy to download and install if you are at home with nice fast internet access. If you wait until you are out in the middle of nowhere to power up your drone and discover that it needs updated, it can be a long wait while it downloads over your cellular network. Of course, the drone needs to be powered up while it’s installed, so you will drain one of your batteries as well.
The moral of the story is before you head out to fly, power everything up. The DJI GO4 app will automatically check to see if your firmware is up to date. If you need an update you can download and install it in just a few minutes.
2. Assuming Everything is Charged
Few things are worse than getting out to a location to fly and discovering that you forgot to charge your batteries, remote controller or phone. Take a minute before you head out to check the charge levels on all your devices.
We all know that batteries lose some of their charge over time. What many people don’t know is that your drone batteries are designed to discharge themselves if they are not used for a specified period of time.
DJI incorporates this “Smart Battery” technology because Lithium Ion batteries last longer if they are not stored fully charged. The default period until a battery discharges is 10 days.
You can change that in the Go4 App by tapping on the battery icon near the top right corner of the screen to open the battery preferences.
Now scroll down until you see "Time to Discharge.” Tap on the box to the right and select one of the options form 1 to 10 days.
3. No Memory Card
It’s never fun to get all set to fly only to discover that your memory card is still in your computer back home. This one won’t technically spoil your day of flying, you just won’t have high quality photos or video to remember it by.
Now if you’re flying a Mavic Air, this is a non-issue because you have 8GB of memory built into your drone. That will be plenty of space for a few batteries worth of shooting.
If you have any other DJI drone you're not totally out of luck. When you try to take a picture, you will get this warning.
When you tap "OK" you will see that the shutter button has a little icon of your mobile device. You will be able to take still photos and video, but they will be lower resolution than if you had a memory card inserted. They will be fine for viewing online, but you won't be able to make large prints.
My advice? Buy an extra memory card and keep it tucked away in your bag along with your drone. Fortunately, cards are cheap. It will be worth the few bucks you’ll need to invest in a spare to be able to capture high quality images and video.