What is the Vision Assist Feature in DJI Drones?

By Pilot Institute
Posted on February 16, 2024 - 4 minute read

DJI recently rolled out a new feature called Vision Assist via a firmware update.

They say it is a game-changer for flight safety, but what exactly does it do?

In this article, we go into detail on how the Vision Assist feature works and how you can make the most of it.

Key Takeaways

  • Vision Assist provides improved situational awareness by giving you a live view from your drone’s front, back, and side cameras.
  • The feature is currently available in the DJI Air 3, DJI Mini 4 Pro, and the DJI Mavic 3 series drones.
  • Vision Assist is a handy safety feature if you fly in Sport Mode or use Automatic Flight Modes frequently.

What Is the Vision Assist Feature?

Vision Assist allows you to see live views from your drone’s front, back, and side wide-angle vision sensors. Previously, these cameras were only used for obstacle detection and avoidance. With Vision Assist, you can now see what the cameras are seeing right on the remote controller.

A Mavic 3 Pro drone with the wide-angle vision sensors highlighted.

Vision Assist adds an inset camera view to the remote controller interface. The inset will show the live view from the camera based on the flight direction of your drone. So, you can have the drone’s main camera trained on your subject while simultaneously watching for obstacles on your drone’s flight path.

When the sensors detect an obstacle closer than 5 meters, the inset becomes yellow. The arrow pointing in the direction of the obstacle will turn yellow as well.

If the obstacle distance shrinks to under 2.2 meters, the inset turns red, warning you an impact is imminent.

A diagram of the Vision Assist camera inset. A yellow box indicates an obstacle between 2.2m and 5m away. A red box indicates the obstacle is closer than 2.2m.

Which Drones Have Vision Assist?

Three DJI drones that use Vision Assist: Mavic, Mini, Air.

Vision Assist was originally rolled out as a firmware update for the Mavic 3 series. This includes the Mavic 3, Mavic 3 Classic, Mavic 3 Pro, and their corresponding Cine versions.

Earlier this year, the Air 3 and the Mini 4 Pro drones also received the same firmware update. If you own any of these drones and have yet to see the Vision Assist option, then you should check online for an update as soon as you can. The update should not take any longer than 10 minutes.

Take note that you will also need to be running at least version 1.12.4 of the DJI Fly app to download this firmware update. If the firmware update is not running automatically for you, then you may need to run a software update first.

How Vision Assist Can Help You

DJI Mini 3 drone with controller.

Seeing more of the area around your drone certainly seems like a good idea on paper, but how useful is it really in practice? After all, drones already have obstacle avoidance. Here are some use cases for Vision Assist and why it’s being described as a game-changer.

Flying in Sport Mode

Sport Mode removes the speed limiter in your drone and allows it to really let loose. It’s a great flight mode for when you want to see what your drone is capable of, but it also disables all obstacle avoidance features. The idea of your drone crashing when it’s flying at top speed is something that will make even the most experienced drone pilots pause.

With Vision Assist, you can at least see what your drone could fly into even if the drone’s camera is directed somewhere else. It’s not a perfect solution, and you will probably still need to have very good reflexes, but it’s a lot better than nothing.

Safer Automatic Flight Modes

DJI drones are well-known for their large selection of Automatic Flight Modes. These have been a staple of drone filmmaking, allowing for impressive and dynamic shots with minimal effort.

Letting the drone take the reins completely allows you to take more dynamic shots without being an expert drone pilot. However, it also makes the drone more likely to crash into objects. With Vision Assist, you can keep an eye on exactly where your drone is flying to and intervene if necessary.

A More Foolproof Obstacle Avoidance System

Drone obstacle avoidance systems are invaluable, but they are not perfect. Very small or thin obstacles, such as power lines, may not be detected by your drone but can still cause the drone to crash otherwise.

Vision Assist adds another layer of safety to drone flight. Instead of relying completely on the obstacle avoidance system, you can look at the Vision Assist window yourself to personally watch for any obstacles.


Vision Assist is one of the latest firmware features of DJI drones that can be downloaded as an update in select DJI drone models. It is an excellent complement to current obstacle-detection technology. If you fly in Sport Mode or use Automatic Flight Modes a lot, then it is worth the time to get used to using the Vision Assist feature.

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