DJI Mini 3 Pro review: The most professional lightweight drone, for a price
Now it has brought much of the same technology to an even tinier drone, the midi 3 pro its more capable on paper than the mavic air 2. But is less than half the size it weighs under 250 grams, but can detect obstacles all around and packs a sensor larger than most smartphones. Unlike the mini 2, it has 4k at 60 frames per second and 120 frames per second hd, plus many of the ai features found on the mavic 3 like active track, quick shots and master shots at the same time, its far more maneuverable than the mavic 3 And introduces an optional remote with a built in screen, the mini 3 pro costs between 670 and 910 dollars, though so its one of the most expensive lightweight drones out there to see if it could justify that price. I took it for a spin with help from my drone pilot friend, samuel de jour. The key selling point of the dji mini 3. Pro is the size it weighs 249 grams, so its portable for travel, adventure activities and more and as its under 250 grams. You dont have to register it or have a pilots license in the u.s and other countries. The standard battery delivers up to 34 minutes of flight time according to dgi running it to exhaustion. We saw about 30 minutes max and the return to home warning started. After about 25 minutes with a drone so light, those numbers depend heavily on wind and other factors.
If thats not enough, dji offers the optional intelligent flight battery plus that boosts endurance to 47 minutes max. However, dji notes that the higher capacity battery isnt available in the eu and other regions due to local regulations helping that endurance is a new aerodynamic body design that tilts when flying forward to reduce wind drag. It also allowed dji to use bigger propellers to increase propulsion efficiency. The mini 3 pro detects objects in front behind and below thats key for mountain bikers and others who might want to film their adventures in tricky environments like forests, dji claims its 1080p ocusync 3 rc. Video transmission works over 12 kilometers, but youll need a direct line of sight to achieve that. As usual. Videos and photos are saved on microsd cards and theres, a small 1.25 gigabytes of internal storage, the camera gimbal tilts down 90 degrees and up 60, more than double the mini 2 and mavic air 2.. The higher upward angle makes it useful to capture dramatic shots of buildings, cliffs and so forth. The camera has a relatively large 48 megapixel, one by 1.3 inch sensor, bigger than the one on the iphone 13, and only about 40 smaller than the dji mavic 2 pros. One inch sensor it offers dual native iso for improved hdr and low light sensitivity and a 24 millimeter, equivalent f 1.7 fixed aperture lens. As with many smartphones, you can shoot high res 48 megapixel images or combine 4 pixels into one for 12 megapixel photos with improved light sensitivity.
Video specs are impressive for a small drone too 4k and 2.7 k are supported at up to 60 frames per second or you can do 1080p at 120 frames per second, it has a two times: digital zoom for 4k and four times for 1080p. Another cool trick is true: vertical video mode for social media sharing to maximize quality. The gimbal physically turns the camera sideways for both video and photos, maintaining the same resolution. If youd rather not use the smartphone and the usual dji rcn1 remote, you can get the midi 3 pro with a new rc remote that has a built in screen. It looks and feels cheaper than djis 1100 rc pro and the display isnt as bright or crisp, of course, but its large lightweight bright enough and extremely convenient. It just makes shooting that much easier and more fun. When you dont have to pull out your smartphone and then connect it to the controller, unlike the rcn1, though it has separate triggers for photos and video hitting each of those triggers will change the mode automatically between video and photos, which is very convenient. It also has two dials now, instead of one with the first one, tilting the gimbal and the second one controlling the zoom, the joysticks are stowed underneath and it has usb charging and host ports along with a micro, sd card slot for screen recording overall, its a Nice and overdue addition to djis remote rc lineup, one big complaint with the mavic 3, was that many key features like active track werent available on launch.
Luckily, i was able to test nearly every function on the dji mini 3 pro since its small and looks very maneuverable. The first thing we wanted to see was the apas 4 obstacle detection and active track following to do that. We grabbed a mountain bike and headed to a forest pitting the mini 3 pro against a mavic 3.. As we expected, the mini 3 pro destroyed the larger drone. It followed nathaniel with greater agility, avoiding nearly all trees. Only once did its sensors miss a small branch, but the minor crash didnt cause a scratch thats another benefit of a small drone, theyre less likely to be damaged in an accident. The mini 3 pro also acquitted itself well in various quick shots and master shot scenarios. Avoiding obstacles like a roof. Those functions designed to automatically give you some cool shots to share on social media all worked flawlessly. The quality is limited to 1080p when it comes to image quality. The news is mostly good by and large, video was sharp and color accurate. What youd expect on a good smartphone, but not the same caliber as a mirrorless camera or the mavic 3? Of course, however, the automatic mode tended to overexpose bright objects, so i had to fuzz with settings to reduce that it does offer a fully manual pro mode for both video and photos to control, color balance, shutter iso and more. However, most users likely will leave it in automatic mode and tweak the exposure compensation settings when needed its nice to have 60 frames per second at 4k to get smoother video with fast moving subjects.
The addition of true 120 frames per second slow mo at 1080p is also a great option for birds in flight, for example. However, keep in mind that active track, quick shots and other features dont work in those modes movie files are limited to 8 bits of color depth, 420 sampling and a 150 megabit per second bit rate, so theres not a lot of room to adjust exposure afterwards. Theres no log setting either, though it does offer a cine look d mode that helps boost dynamic range, a bit as with any smallish sensor. Low light sensitivity is decent but not great shooting over a brightly lit town. The mini 3 pro video was far less clear than a similar scene, shot with a mavic 3., the low bit rate and lack of 10 bit color depth. Didnt. Give me too many options to fix it later either. Unlike with video, you can fix over or under exposed photos if you use the raw dng format, the 48 megapixel images are very sharp and, with the bend 12 megapixel mode enabled raw images retain extra detail in low light, though image quality isnt perfect. It helps to remember that this is a one thousand dollar lightweight drone. It beats all other models in that category and its better than many heavier drones too. Music djis mini 3 pro is the new king of the lightweight drones, its well suited for adventure sports nature. Hiking and more thanks to the impressive tracking and obstacle avoidance image quality might not be good enough for some pros, but its perfect for rugged activities and even suitable for paid gigs like weddings events and more samuel.
Who does exactly those types of things thinks that the mini 3 pro and a mavic 3 is a killer combination? Its main competition is the 900 hotel, evo nano plus, currently the best lightweight drone available. It has a similar 48 megapixel one by 1.27 inch camera sensor. Three way: obstacle avoidance subject: tracking and more, however, battery life is only 28 minutes, its limited to 4k 30p, with no 120 frame per second option and doesnt offer a remote with a screen with djis, better name recognition and marketing punch. The mini 3 pro is likely to grab more attention. Luckily, anyone who buys one wont be disappointed its now available, starting at 670 or 910 dollars with the rc remote thanks for watching and if you enjoyed this video, please hit like and subscribe, and for more on technology check out engadget.