DJI Mini 3 Pro Review – A Tiny Drone with BIG Upgrades
They have made a lot of improvements and changes. So this here is the mini 3 pro and its designed, unlike any drone that weve seen from dji when we went from the mini 1 to the mini 2, the same body style was kept with a few minor changes, but this go around. We have a complete redesign to the drone and you can tell that dji had fun with this one now to get things started here. I figured id mention a functional difference. Thats taken me a little bit of time to get used to on every single mavic drone released up until this point dating back to the original mavic pro the front arms swing outwards while the bottom legs fold, underneath the mini 3. Pro. Here, though, is a little bit different in that the front legs fold under and the back legs swing out, so its reversed, which has really messed with my muscle memory. Now that we have those arms unfolded, though walking around the drone youll notice that the mini 3 is physically larger than previous mini drones from dji, but still maintains a sub 250 gram weight. That is, if you use the standard battery theres, also a plus version of this same battery that provides a longer flight time which pushes the weight over 250 grams, but well get more into this shortly. To continue our walk around of the drone, the battery slides into the back of the drone, where theres also a usbc port for charging and transferring files, as well as a micro, sd card slot.
This is all very reminiscent of older mini drones, as they had the same setup here in the rear. Now, instead of being placed underneath, the power button has been relocated to the top side of the drone, which makes it easy to get to when sitting on the ground. Theres. Also a set of four leds that display the remaining battery up here. On top now newly introduced this year to djis mini series of drones is obstacle avoidance and they definitely didnt skimp out by just adding smaller infrared sensors that would save weight, but also be less effective. No. Instead, they have six total of vision. Sensors with two facing forwards, two facing downwards and two facing backwards, although these back sensors are actually located on the front of the drone, this is another sign to me. The dji had a lot of fun designing this drone to be functional, but also different. This sensor setup kind of reminds me of the air 2s, with these two funky upwards, yet forwards facing optical avoidance sensors, but taking a look at the mini 3 and these kind of forward placed backwards. Sensors. I really dont know if theyd have much room to put them on the back side of the drone, because most of the space is taken up by your usb c port and the micro sd card slot, as well as the battery underneath of here. So again, i dont know how much room theyd have to actually put these sensors on the back side of the drone i do just want to mention, though, also as were on this topic of micro sd card.
It is really difficult to get this inserted. Like the threshold youve got to push it really far in so, i would say, make sure that youve got long fingernails so that you can get the micro sd card in and out or what i like to do is carry around a small little sim card, ejector Tool so that if i need to get the sd card in or out its really easy to do so now, also new this year for djis mini class of drones, weve got two status leds, both of which are located on the front arms to see the heading Of the drone and know its current status before on previous mini drones, we just had a dinky little led on the back side, but now weve got two of them and they are much easier to see. Now. Personally, i really love the design of this drone and it stands both when sitting on the ground and flying in the air. For some reason, it kind of reminds me of like a frog with this larger front section and, of course, those sensors. Looking like the eyes now, looking on the front here, we have this interesting, looking camera with a gimbal design that at first looks really complex thats, because, with the push of a button, the entire camera can rotate vertically to capture full resolution. Portrait photos and videos, which is something that we havent seen on a dji drone since the original mavic pro released six years ago in late 2016.
. Now this, of course, is still a three axis mechanical gimbal, so your footage will be super smooth. As you fly right within the app you can switch between horizontal and vertical shooting by using the rotate button thats just above the zoom toggle. Next to the record button. Its over there on the right side of the screen. Now i want to highlight this drones design around the gimbal itself, because dji paid really close attention to make sure that youre able to get a full range of motion when pitching the camera up and down something that ive complained about with previous dji drones. Is that the camera is positioned too far underneath of the actual front portion of the body? So, as the drone is flying forwards and pitching forwards, it begins to get in the way of the camera, and when that happens, the software knows and it pitches the gimbal downwards. So like with the mavic 2 pro here when flying in sport mode at top speed, you couldnt keep the gimbal level with the horizon and it ruined a lot of shots. The mavic 2 pro was by far the worst with this issue, but could you imagine now, instead of shooting a widescreen 16×9 video if youre shooting a vertical 16×9 video, and if you had that similar design, you would continue to get the body of the drone in The frame all of the time now, luckily dji, has given us plenty of room to pitch the camera upwards, with the new design of the mini 3 pro here.
So no matter, if youre, shooting, horizontal or vertical video, the camera will never shoot downwards. You can even do some cool camera maneuvers as the max upwards pitch angle that the dji fly app will allow you to go to is 60 degrees when shooting in both portrait and horizontal. Now, on this topic of gimbal design, i want to move on from the design of the drone itself and into the camera on the mini 3 pro, which is very similar to the mavic air 2s camera. In fact, these drones are so much alike that the mini 3 pro is almost like a mavic air 2 just shrunk down to be under 249 grams. Anyway, this camera is a complete upgrade from the mini 2s camera, with spec bumps across the board. It has a larger sensor with a f 1.7 aperture. It utilizes a quad bear sensor, so you can capture high resolution 48 megapixel photos. You can shoot 4k video at 60 frames per second and 1080p, video at 120 frames per second, with a max bit rate of 150 megabits per second. So the video that it captures is high quality and retains a lot of information for more flexibility when editing in post. You even have the ability to shoot video in the descent like color profile, for a flatter looking image, resulting in greater dynamic range. The capabilities of the mini 3 pros camera, take it from being just another entry level, beginner drone to something that begins punching above its weight class.
When we look at previous mini drones, they always had cameras that yeah captured great photos and videos, but they were always just average like they were always just good enough. But now that we look at the mini three pros camera, it is above average and i guess thats why they decided to split the name pro on the end. Now, of course, the specs are a great way to establish what this camera can do, but theres no better way to gauge what a camera can actually do than by actually using it lets first start off here with the photos, so i primarily have been shooting in The 48 megapixel shooting mode, which has been difficult because i typically am a bracket shooter. I capture a five shot bracket and allow the drone to automatically adjust the exposure. When i get home, i then go through my photos. I delete the exposures that i dont need and then edit the shot that is properly exposed. So the drone does all of the heavy lifting for me while im flying around. I can even keep those darker and brighter exposures to manually blend the photos in photoshop for greater dynamic range when taking these 48 megapixel photos, though, you can only capture a single shot, so ive been really having to monitor my exposure more while flying now. These images are really crisp, i mean we have an image that is eight thousand and sixty four pixels by six thousand and forty eight pixels.
So you can really crop in if you have to im, always a proponent of shooting in the highest resolution that you can from the air as youre, typically further away from your subject so having these 40 megapixel images is really nice, they even edit. Well as youd. Imagine with plenty of room to push the colors around and you have a lot of dynamic range to pull from the raw files. I get a mavic air 2 vibe from the colors, which is not a bad thing at all. That was such a great camera that produced great images for me during my time, using it, and now that we have that same camera in a much smaller package is all the more better now, just as a quick crash course. The way that the mini 3 pro is able to capture 40 megapixel images with such a small sensor is through whats known as a quad bear sensor, so it basically takes each pixel splits it into four sections. It then gathers light in those four different sections. So therefore, we have a 12 megapixel sensor, thats multiplied by four, giving us 48 total megapixels. Now, on the video side of things, i also dont have many bad things to say: the gimbal is rock solid, and the flight performance of the drone itself gives you the ability to capture some great aerial footage. You can capture 4k video up to 60 frames per second or, if you favor frame rate for slow motion footage you can drop that down to 1080p up to 120 frames per second.
I personally dont do a lot of slow motion videos so, for me, 4k, at 30 frames per second is the sweet spot. Now for this video, i captured all of my examples in the normal color profile and i have to say that right out of the camera, the colors look really accurate to what i was actually seeing with my eye in person. This is great for a drone of this caliber, because a lot of the people that are going to be buying this actually want to share the video directly to social media or with friends and family, without having to do any editing, as i always do with both The photos and videos ill leave a link below to download these images, so you can view them in their uncompressed form right on your computer. Now remember: the mini 3 pro offers a brand new way to shoot, aerial photos and videos, and that is with a camera that rotates vertically for portrait images lets face it. The adoption of these vertical photos and videos has exploded with apps like instagram and tiktok, and with most of our consumption being done on smartphones. It just makes sense that you have a drone that can shoot in the proper aspect ratio to match what these apps are. Displaying in ive captured vertical photos and videos, with other drones, like the mavic 3 in the past, but the way that i did, that was by shooting the video and then cropping down in post, which sure it worked.
But it always was difficult to frame my shots without seeing what the vertical frame would actually look like, and i would lose resolution as i cropped in digitally now, with the camera that can physically rotate im able to properly frame my shots and capture them and edit Them in their full resolution without any cropping, this has been great for capturing aerial videos for instagram reels which, by the way, if you dont, follow me over on instagram, yet be sure to do so at kyle as im gon na be posting a lot of content Captured with my mini three pro over there now moving on from, there lets quickly discuss pricing and different packages available for the mini 3 pro, because i think that this drone offers more packages than probably any other drone that dji has released. So, for the first time in their gps, drone lineup dji is offering the ability to buy just the mini 3 pro. So the drone only with no remote controller and thats because it uses their rcn1 remote controller thats been sold with every other drone that djs released in the past two years. This option will sell for 670 and allows those that already own a dji drone to save some money and just use the remote that they already have. If you dont own one of these remotes already, though, and youre looking to start from scratch, then you can choose from the two other options: one that ships with the standard rcn1 remote for 760 or you can upgrade to the brand new dji rc for 910, which Well, touch on here in just a few seconds now in terms of the bundle with all of the accessories.
This go around djis decided to sell the fly more kit options separately, so you can buy this bundle at a discount. At any time now, theres two different fly. More kits, youve got the standard battery version which sells for an additional 190, while the plus version with the larger batteries is a 250 add on with the current climate in the world, between inflation, the supply chain shortage and many other issues going on. I would say that the pricing on this drone and its bundles is actually spot on. I mean if i told you two years ago that youd be spending upwards of 650 on a mini drone for just the drone itself. Youd probably think that i was crazy, but once you start to understand that this drone is basically a shrunk down version of the mavic air 2, which is 800, you then start to kind of forgive that price tag and understand why its priced the way that it Is and also the fact that you can purchase this bundle with the new dji rc with the built in screen for under a thousand dollars is actually pretty impressive. I mean just to put it further into perspective. Autels nano plus with a controller that doesnt have a bright built in screen, is retailing for 949 dollars and doesnt offer nearly the same specs as the mini 3. Pro dont worry into the coming days. We will definitely be breaking down the comparison between these two drones more in depth.
Okay, so youve heard me talk about different remote controller options here to be used with the mini 3 pro and, of course, being a remote controller. Snob ive got to dedicate an entire section of the video to go over what our options are. So i dont want to focus too much of my time on the standard rcn1 remote here, because we have seen this controller for the past four to five drones released from dji. But i of course want to mention it in case the mini. Three pro is going to be your first drone, and you have never seen this remote here in your life. Now i overall have enjoyed the ergonomic design of this controller when flying a handful of different drones with it. There is plenty of space to rest, your palms, all the buttons are easy to reach without adjusting your grip having the phone holder at the top places. The screen above your hands for comfortable viewing experience and the sticks are very precise for an overall great flight experience. Now. What i really want to spend most of my time on, though, is this new dji rc here, which fits in between the rc and one remote that we just looked at and the more premium rc pro. This gives you most of the benefits that come with using the rc pro in a smaller, more portable package. The layout is very similar to the rcn1 remote controller on the front here, with the status leds in the center, our flight mode switch, flanked by the return to home button and power button.
And, of course, our two control sticks, the only buttons that are missing here, though, are the function button and the shooting mode switch that would bring you between the photo and video shooting mode. This function, button isnt entirely lost, though, as the new dji rc has two separate custom buttons on the backside of the remote theres, also an added micro sd card slot for viewing and transferring files directly from the rc and thats towards the bottom. Just next to the usb c port, the big upgrade, though over the standard, remote controller, is the built in screen, which is nice and bright to cut through the sun glare when flying outside it isnt as bright as the higher end rc pro with a brightness of 700 nits, but it is still plenty to get the job done. It also alleviates the aggravation of dealing with notifications while flying and you dont have to worry about keeping your phone charged or draining your phones battery, while flying and if youre, specifically flying with an iphone as ive shown in previous videos. It doesnt take a whole lot for the phone to heat up and knock the screen brightness down considerably. This is something that you want to deal with, or worry about with that new dji rc as its able to sustain that 700 nits of brightness during your entire flight. Now this built in screen, of course, also runs android. But something to note is that you dont, have the freedom like youd expect.
What i mean by this? Is you cant swipe up and go to the home screen and access apps like you, would, on the higher end, rc pro youre, pretty much locked into only using the dji fly app, but you can still access the notification center, the settings menu and your files, but Thats about it for this new rc, you might also notice that this is an antennalist design, so they are built into the remote controller which might make you question the reliability of the signal but ill. Tell you what the connection is still super strong for good range and a strong connection through and through. Overall, the ergonomics of this controller are fantastic. This thing fits in my hand like a glove. It is so perfect. The back rubber grips are easy to grab. My fingers are comfortable on the backside, and the remote as a whole is very lightweight, so its easy to fly with for long periods of time. I actually think that this thing is more comfortable to fly with than the larger heavier rc pro. Obviously, your budget and how much you want to spend on a drone is going to dictate which bundle you purchase. But if youre on the fence between the rcn one or the new dji rc id, encourage you to spend a little bit extra and go with the upgraded bundle for all the benefits that come with using a controller with a built in screen, one that is nice And bright i mean breaking it down its only 240, more than buying just the drone itself and its 150 more than the bundle with the standard rcn one.
I think that for the cost, it is definitely worth the upgrade now. I know it has taken us a considerable amount of time to get to the point in the video where we actually talk about what the mini 3 pro is capable of and what its able to do. But, quite frankly, i think that this is the area where we didnt see all that much improvement. I mean thats not to say that this drone doesnt pack a punch, but i think that the camera, the design as well as the remote controller, are the biggest changes implemented here with the mini 3. Pro with that said its great to see this drone joining the rest of djis drones using o3, which gives you a great connection throughout there were barely any times while flying this drone that i experienced any breakup and signal or lag and thats with using two different Remote controllers, the rcn one and the new dji rc, the advertised range of 7.5 miles is also nice, but the best thing about using o3 is that strong signal when flying at a closer distance. The drone itself is also a little rocket ship with great horizontal and vertical speed. Ive touched on this a lot in previous videos that vertical speed is really important to me, because it allows for a fun flying experience and gives you the ability to capture really dynamic shots. As you fly upwards or downwards, i mean, for example, im able to fly down on a subject fast, while still pushing this drone forwards at full speed.
What really impresses me, though, is the flight time, even when using the standard battery 34 minutes of advertised flight time is very respectable. Speaking of batteries remember, i said that there were two different versions and you can tell which is which first of all, by just holding them, theyre very different in weight, but also you can tell by whats printed here on the back side of the casing. The standard battery has the text ultra light 249 grams written on it, while the plus battery is left blank, as the heavier weight obviously pushes the mini 3 pro above 250 grams. You know i really like that they have these two different versions of the batteries and the two different fly more kits depending on what type of flyer you are because, with these batteries, they appeal to different types of people, of course, having a sub 250 gram drone Using a lighter battery appeals to what the mini was originally designed for its keeping it true to its roots, so for those that want to stay under 250 grams, that dont want to register with the faa or with their local aviation agency. They can use this lightweight battery stay under 250 grams, stay under the radar and just fly for fun or, if youre, somebody that wants to buy this drone and youre a serious aerial photographer. You have your license already. You have your 107, maybe or youve registered with the faa. Then you dont care about that weight and you want to go ahead and pick up the larger battery for that longer flight time now, for those of you that are interested here are the differences between the internals of each battery.
The plus version is definitely substantially heavier, but that extra flight time allows you to fly for an almost obnoxious amount of time. I mean 47 minutes of advertised flight time is just crazy. I find myself landing with plenty of battery left because im able to get all the shots that i need with time to spare, and this was prevalent when testing this drone against other drones, the nano plus and the mini 2. I mean i was able to fly a bunch of different locations on the same battery using the mini 3, whereas i had to continue to switch batteries on those older drones. To give you another crazy example, i was doing an active track test flight and when having this drone, follow me from behind the battery wasnt even fully charged, and it was estimating that i still had 50 minutes of flight time up in the top right corner. I mean that is just crazy, so, overall, the mini 3 pro is a beast of a drone. It doesnt feel like youre flying a tiny sub 250 gram drone when youre in the air as its responsive, its nimble its fast. It really is a powerful drone for its size, but thats, not where were going to end this video, because, while the hardware and the camera are impressive, the software inside is also impressive, as dji has added features to this drone that have never been seen in any Of the previous mini drones that theyve released im talking about focus, track with active track, spotlight and point of interest, weve also got a pass.
4.0 weve got master shots and hyperlapse all here in the new mini 3 pro. I think by far the most asked for feature in previous mini drones from dji were those that make up the focus track function, primarily active track, a flight mode that allows the drone to autonomously track a subject of your choice. You can access this flight mode as well as the others like point of interest and spotlight by just dragging a box over your subject of choice from the drones live feed. These have been previously withheld from the mavic mini 1 and mini 2, because they didnt have obstacle avoidance sensors, so the drone would just be flying blind, essentially putting it at a much higher risk of crashing. Something that you have to remember, though, is the top speed of this drone. You arent going to get the performance equivalent to the much higher end mavic 3. That is not only faster, but it also has full omnidirectional obstacle avoidance around the entire drone. This mini 3 pro still gets the job done, though, for a great tracking experience. I tell you what i am super excited about active track being added here to the mini series of drones. Finally, not only for my own personal benefit, i mean i really dont use active track all that much, but for you guys, the people that are buying this drone. I know that youre going to enjoy using active track and for that im happy that dji decided to put it in, because i just cant even tell you how many people were asking for active track in their mini drone and now that its here.
I know that its going to please a lot of people so from there. I think that we have pretty much wrapped up everything that i want to cover here in my initial review of the mini 3 pro theres a lot to unpack here, of course, as there is with plenty of drones on the market, so im gon na be uploading. A lot of great content over the next couple of weeks covering different aspects of this drone in depth so be sure to subscribe and stay tuned here on my channel for new content coming out throughout the course of the next weeks and months anyway. Guys hope you enjoyed the video.