Let us customize. Let us program. Let Us Drone. Have you ever wanted to quickly tilt the camera straight down without having to wait the couple of seconds it takes to tilt the gimbal using the wheel? Some DJI remote controllers have C1 and C2 presets which are customizable buttons that basically allow you to have shortcuts.
Let's look at how to program those buttons and what shortcut options we have.
Do all of DJI's drones have C1 and C2 buttons?
Unfortunately, no, not all of DJI's drone controllers come equipped with the C1 and C1 buttons. The DJI Spark and Mavic Air are two popular drones that do not have the C1 and C2 buttons. I have listed the DJI drones below that do have these customizable buttons and where they are on each controller.
Where are C1 and C2 located?
Mavic 2 Pro/ZOOM
Phantom 4/ 4 Pro/ 4 Advanced
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How to program the C1 and C1 buttons
So you like the idea of shortcut buttons, but how exactly do you go about programming them? Well, it really is a simple process. I'll walk you through it, step by step.
From the camera view screen, go ahead and click on the little remote controller icon to bring up the remote controller settings. Refer to the image below if you forgot what the RC icon looks like.
Scroll down until you come to the section titled “Button Customization”. As you can see in the image below, C1 and C2 both have a designated box that you can click on. Tap on your desired box and scroll through the different options you have. Tap on the actions you would like to designate for both C1 and C2 and they will be displayed in the boxes. That's it, no need to restart or calibrate anything.
Read on in the next section for an in-depth look at each of the options we have when designating the C1 and C2 buttons.
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What shortcut options do I have for C1 and C2?
Now that we've learned how and why to set up the C1 and C2 buttons, let's take a look at each of our options.
Turn on/off Head LED's
Just as the name implies, setting this as a shortcut allows you to quickly turn the red LEDs on or off on the front of the drone.
Why have “Turn on/off Head LED's” as a shortcut?
If you are taking pictures or video in a low light environment you may notice a red glow from the front LEDs. Being able to quickly toggle the lights could come in handy, especially if time is of the essence with your photo-shoot.
modeof automatic light metering in a camera that compensates for differences in the brightness of the central and peripheral portions of the image.”
This will allow the camera to take the appropriate shutter and aperture values for the the center of the image and apply them to the entire image.
Why have Center-Weighted Metering as a shortcut?
Have you ever wanted to take a picture of someone but the sun was behind them and the exposure was way off? Having Center-Weighted Metering on would allow you to get an evenly exposed picture. This would come in handy during other unusual lighting conditions as well.
AE stands for “Automatic Exposure”. This allows you to quickly change your exposure preferences.
Why have AE Lock/Unlock as a shortcut?
If you are shooting a video where there is a combination of dark and bright areas, having the automatic exposure lock on would allow for a more evenly lit video. You've probably seen a video where the camera was constantly adjusting the exposure values and the lighting adjustments where drastic and not in the least bit subtle.
Advanced Camera Settings
As the name implies, this shortcut will quickly take you to the advanced camera settings.
Why have Advanced Camera Settings as a shortcut?
There are many reasons why someone would want to quickly access the advanced camera settings. Being able to pull up these settings allows you to change the EV, shutter, aperture, ISO, and more.
A beginner drone pilot that is still learning the basics of flight and photography probably wouldn't choose this as a shortcut, but the
This shortcut is one of my favorites. If you are flying along with the camera pointed straight out in front of you and you quickly need to look down for whatever reason, this is a handy shortcut.
Why have Camera Forward/Down as a shortcut?
The time when I find this shortcut to be most useful is when I am landing or when I know there is something beneath me. Since I live by the beach, I do a lot of my flying over the water. Being able to quickly look down and make sure that my drone isn't about to take a saltwater bath is very important. You can always tilt the gimbal down to achieve the same effect, but this shortcut makes the movement instantaneous.
Gimbal Follow/FPV Mode
In Follow Mode, the gimbal compensates for pitch and roll movements to keep the image stable. In FPV (first person view) Mode, the gimbal should be locked to the aircraft orientation to give you the FPV feel. I say “should” because some pilots have reported that despite toggling between Follow and FPV modes, they see no difference. This may be due to hardware/software issues.
Why have Gimbal Follow/FPV Mode as a shortcut?
I'd recommend using the Follow Mode when shooting video as this will allow for the smoothest footage. If you will be switching back and forth between shooting video and flying around for fun, having this as a shortcut could be very useful.
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Toggle Map/Live View
If you want to quickly switch between the map and live views, this is a very useful shortcut. The screen size often feels way too small, especially if you are using a phone instead of a tablet. Trying to figure out where you are on that little map in the bottom lefthand corner of the screen can prove to be quite challenging.
Why have Toggle Map/Live View as a shortcut?
Maybe you're really close to a NFZ (no fly zone) or you are using the landmarks on the map as reference points; being able to instantly toggle between the map and live views is very helpful. I often switch to the map view when I want to ensure that I'm indeed flying back on the same route that I ventured out on.
This quickly displays the battery information.
Why have the Battery Info as a shortcut?
Maybe you've had a suspicion that one of your batteries may be faulty. Being able to show the battery info will help you determine if there are any bad cells or discrepancies. You can also quickly adjust when you want the low battery and critical battery warnings to display.
Narrow Sensing (Hold)
Have you ever had your drone stop when attempting to fly between two objects that are close together? This is because of the obstacle avoidance system. The OA is designed to keep our drones from crashing into things, but there are times when it would be useful to be able to fly between narrow objects while we're closely monitoring the drone. If you press and hold the C1 or C2 button, the drone will fly between those narrow objects.
Why have Narrow Sensing (Hold) as a shortcut?
As mentioned above, there will be times when you are attempting to fly between objects and the drone will stop. I find that this happens often for me when I try to fly between trees. If I'm in a wooded area, I've gotten used to assigning narrow sensing as a shortcut for one of my C buttons. Be sure to use caution though as your drone could easily collide with the object you're attempting to nearly miss if you aren't careful.
I personally love the convenience of the C1 and C2 buttons, and wish that they were on every DJI controller. As far as which shortcuts I recommend for you to assign, I'd say that my answer would change for each scenario. If you are more into the photography/videography side of flying, then assign some of those camera shortcuts. If you're more into flying for fun, then assign a couple of shortcuts that will enable you to hone your flying skills. For me, the shortcuts that I use most often are Camera Forward/Down, Toggle Map/Live View, and Narrow Sensing (Hold). What about you? What are some of your favorite shortcuts? Let us know in the comment section below!