Welcome to my review of the Autel EVO II Pro and DJI Mavic 3. I’m ultra-excited for this one, as these two drones boast some of the most cutting-edge camera technology available in today’s consumer models.
The EVO II Pro has been one of my tried, trusty, and true drones since it was originally released in 2021, although I did treat myself to the V3 bundle edition when that was released.
I also couldn’t miss the latest in the Mavic line, and I’m so glad I did, as the Mavic 3 is showstopping.
You know how it goes, though. There can be only one! So, which is it?
This guide will explain the differences between these excellent drones and how they intersect. I’ll incorporate plenty of my personal flight experience to help you see why the DJI Mavic 3 is my preferred drone of the two.
You might have a different opinion, and that’s perfectly fine! I want you to find a drone you’re happy with, so let’s get right on that!
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Autel EVO II Pro
The EVO II Series is and has always been one of Autel’s best.
The Pro stands out for its undeniable appeal and more high-end features than you can shake a stick at.
DJI has struggled to beat the camera quality of the V3 edition, and its obstacle avoidance is also the stuff of legend.
It’s foldable, colorful, and all-around an exceptional drone. I’ve had a blast using mine since it’s come out. It’s a drone I find myself continually coming back to.
These are just some of the reasons why:
- Its unbeatable one-inch Sony CMOS camera sensor for achieving 6K Ultra HD videos and 20 MP images. The image quality might not be the best on the market (though it was fine in 2021), but that video quality is performance-driven for your most hard-hitting projects.
- The advertised flight time of 40 minutes. It’s not the highest on the market anymore, but it’s still pretty darn impressive, especially if you have a lot on your plate you need to get done with your drone.
- Its all-encompassing obstacle avoidance system is achievable through two IMUs, ultrasound, camera, and visual sensors (12 of those), with 19 sensor groups in all. This drone sees practically all!
- Dynamic Track 2.0 allows the EVO II Pro to follow an item’s trajectory by tracking its speed and location. It’s sophisticated tracking at its finest, and this drone can follow more than 60 moving objects simultaneously.
- Compatibility with Live Deck II, a multi-port HDMI output system for real-time live streaming and projection monitoring. Social media stars and influencers take note, as this feature is a must!
DJI Mavic 3
Do you want to take your drone imaging to the next level? I think most of us would answer an unequivocal, resounding yes! If so, there’s the DJI Mavic 3.
This drone is about the same age as the EVO II Pro, as it was released in late 2021. Its claim to fame is its dual-camera system. One is a Hasselblad L2D-20c camera, and the second is a tele camera.
Together, they are some of the best on the market. Advanced smart features and safety round out this amazing drone.
Here is a closer look at what makes the Mavic 3 shine:
- A Hasselblad camera with a 4/3 CMOS, a dynamic range of 12.8 stops, adjustable aperture, Vision Detection Auto Focus Technology, and 20 MP resolution. This camera also boasts Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution and 5.1K video resolution with 10-bit D-Log and Apple ProRes support.
- A tele camera with 28x Hybrid Zoom and a Pro Mode for RAW photos and manual settings. This camera has a ½-inch CMOS and shoots in 12 MP in single-shot and burst modes. It also features a 4K video resolution.
- A top-of-the-line safety system, including an omnidirectional obstacle sensing system, Vision Assist, APAS 5.0, multi-directional awareness, Nocturnal Assistance, and enhanced zoom precision from the telephoto lens. You’ll always feel safe when you fly this drone.
- A mind-blowingly long battery life of 46 minutes is that much more impressive considering the size and weight of the Mavic 3.
- Many Intelligent Flight Modes you’d come to expect from a DJI drone, including ActiveTrack 5.0 for excellent subject tracking, autonomous flight modes in MasterShots, QuickShots, Panorama, and Hyperlapse. These modes give you more versatility as you strengthen your drone portfolio.
I’ve logged hundreds of hours between these two drones without even trying.
It’s so simple to get lost in their immersive, impressive features that before I know it, whoops, a whole afternoon has gone by.
Professional pilots of all levels can generate the type of footage that turns heads and gets project managers interested in working with you by using either of these two drones, but which one stands out more?
We’ve concluded that the DJI Mavic 3 is a better drone than the Autel EVO II Pro. Its high-level dual-camera system, extensive variety of photography and videography features, Intelligent Flight Mode suite, and multi-option safety features make the Mavic 3 one of the top drones in the sky, even years after its release.
Here at Droneblog, we only promise the best through extensive testing and flight logs. The Mavic 3 fits the bill.
It does feel tough leaving the EVO II Pro out in the cold, so to speak, because this is an amazing drone. It paved the way for what drone technology can be.
It has the better video resolution, even between the Mavic 3’s two cameras, and its safety technology is more than sufficient given this drone’s age and price.
Its Dynamic Track is truly awesome, usurping DJI’s in this case.
All that said, I’m sticking with my choice of the Mavic 3.
What are the main differences?
The dissimilarities between these drones are what make them so fascinating. (Well, that, and all those dazzling videography and photography settings and modes.)
Here is more info on those differences.
- Number of cameras: The most obvious difference between this Autel and DJI drone is the number of cameras. The EVO II Pro has one very capable camera, while the Mavic 3 has two, a Hasselblad and a tele camera with DJI’s Hybrid Zoom technology.
- Image and video resolution: The main Hasselblad camera of the Mavic 3 has the same image resolution as the EVO II Pro, 20 MP. The tele camera only shoots in 12 MP, though, a noticeable quality drop. The video resolution is capped at 4K for the DJI drone, while the EVO II Pro shoots videos in 6K Ultra HD.
- Zoom capabilities: Both drones can zoom, but not to the same degree. The Mavic 3’s tele camera supports 28x zoom, while the EVO II Pro’s one-inch CMOS sensor is only capable of 8x digital zoom or 4k lossless zoom. Those are still great in their own right, but not compared to the Mavic 3.
- Colors: This is a small point, but it still counts. The EVO II Pro is available in a striking orange, while the Mavic 3 only comes in dark gray. Besides the fun color variation, the bright orange of the EVO II Pro also increases its visibility when flying it.
- Weight: The original Mavic 3 weighs a svelte 895 grams. Okay, I know that’s heavy compared to drones under 250 grams, but when you consider this drone has two cameras, it ain’t bad! The EVO II Pro is over 1,000 grams, weighing approximately 2.6 pounds. It’s a heavyweight, for sure!
- Cost: The last substantial difference between these drones is that ching-ching. The EVO II Pro is anything but inexpensive at over $2,000, but the Mavic 3 costs closer to $2,300 and can be priced at up to $4,800 if you want all the bells and whistles DJI offers.
Autel EVO II Pro
Although the EVO II Pro V3 is not the latest drone in Autel’s roster, it’s still one of the best.
And I’m writing this in 2023, two years after this drone came out.
If you’re into any tech, you know how fast time moves. Two years is like an eon. In most instances, a drone like the EVO II Pro would have become outdated several times over, but it’s still a shining example of what a drone can do.
The Sony CMOS sensor is a good size at one inch.
That’s what enables this drone to shoot in 6K Ultra HD, which is some of the best video quality you can find in a consumer drone, period. It’s better than the Mavic 3’s video quality.
You’d have to buy an ultra-fancy commercial DJI drone like the Ronin 4D for over $6,500 to get your hands on a 6K camera from DJI.
And that’s coming from a brand that many agree is a leader in drone technology.
The 20 MP image quality is merely scratching the surface.
You can fine-tune the aperture to your liking, setting it anywhere from f/2.8 to f/11, and adjusting how much light your shots have to set your mood, subject, and environment. Your social media audience will gleefully anticipate your every post.
Get on out there after dark (you know, if you’re legally allowed to), and don’t stress one iota about image noise. The EVO II Pro has Autel’s Moonlight Algorithm 2.0.
Night photos and videos will surely benefit your portfolio vastly, showing the full scope of what you can achieve with your drone camera.
How much time do you spend in post? Prepare to cut it down. The EVO II Pro’s 12-bit DNG files have awesome color-rendering abilities, especially over a traditional 10-bit system.
You will see bright colors exploding here, there, and everywhere with support for over 68 billion colors.
Don’t worry. Your photos and videos never look garish. The color support is natural and breathtaking.
How does tracking up to 64 simultaneous objects sound? It’s an unsung capability of the EVO II Pro and one of my favorite features.
I’ve never tracked that many objects at once, but just knowing I could is awesome. I love how accurately this drone tracks people, vehicles, and animals.
The obstacle avoidance system is one of the best on the market. This drone has nearly 20 sensor groups to cover all its bases.
The EVO II Pro might not be a beginner drone, per se, but you need to be ready for anything, no matter your drone experience level.
You can get so caught up using features like Dynamic Track 2.0 that oops, you almost completely missed that tree. That’s what the 360-degree obstacle avoidance is there for!
DJI Mavic 3
The DJI Mavic 3 reinterprets what it means to be at the top of its game.
This drone for the professional photographer already stands out due to its fantastic 4/3 Hasselblad camera.
Of course, it’s not the first Mavic to have this camera, which is why DJI took it to the next level by adding a tele camera.
But first, let’s heap praise on the Hasselblad L2D-20c camera, because it deserves it.
Its 5.1K Apple ProRes support, VDAF, 20 MP image quality, dynamic range, 24-millimeter focal length, and editable aperture equip you with the tools you need as a professional drone videographer and photographer.
The Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution, or HNCS, is bright yet natural, a staunch and solid competitor to the 60+ million colors the EVO II boasts.
If you compare your videos or photos shot on the Mavic 3 to another drone photographer without that drone, yours will look more vivid every time.
You’ve always got to have an edge as a pro drone pilot, whether carving out your niche on social media or seeking new clients.
That’s one of HNCS’s best advantages. You’ve also got 10-bit D-Log for even more natural color composition.
Night Shots answers the EVO II Pro’s challenge of which drone has what it takes to stand toe-to-toe with the Moonlight Algorithm 2.0!
The tele camera has Hybrid Zoom up to 28x, but you can’t set the aperture or focal length. This camera also only shoots in 12 MP, so it’s not designed for use as your primary camera.
However, it’s got Explore Mode and Pro Mode, the former of which sets the zoom according to the subject and the latter of which takes images in RAW for more image quality data.
The more hands-off a drone can be, the better! You can focus on the fun parts of flying and let the Mavic 3 handle the rest.
The omnidirectional system leaves no stone unturned.
The vision computing engine finds obstacles from all around it thanks to its Horizontal Omnidirectional Vision System and Upward Vision System.
Multi-directional vision assistance, enhanced zoom precision, Vision Assist when autonomously flying the drone in some modes, Nocturnal Assistance for flying after dark, and the Advanced Pilot Assistance System or APAS 5.0 is the best DJI offers as of this writing.
You won’t worry one iota about drone crashes with this bad boy.
The autonomous flight modes at your fingertips, courtesy of DJI’s Intelligent Flight Modes, never fail to impress.
Draw your way to a fun drone flight using Waypoints, use QuickShots modes to launch the Mavic 3 on a predetermined course (while it records video the entire time), or take a larger-than-life Hyperlapse.
Expand your worldview with Panoramas that will leave your social media audience or clients in awe.
MasterShots will select the right flight mode and route according to your environment, while ActiveTrack 5.0 will lock onto your target.
It’s maybe not as great as Autel’s Dynamic Track, but still pretty great in its own right.
Nearly everything about the DJI Mavic 3 is top-of-the-line. Most importantly, the battery life is incredible, which will save you from buying many extra batteries for backup.
Winner: DJI Mavic 3
The Mavic 3’s camera system will blow you away.
Although the image quality of the tele camera leaves something to be desired, it’s the Hasselblad camera that’s the real star of this show.
Like a leading showman, it excels in all the right ways, from clear image quality to color support, adjustable aperture, Apple ProRes support, high video quality, a higher dynamic range with more shadows and highlights, and retained image data.
These features reduce your time in post, allowing you to upload your content to your waiting audience almost immediately.
The EVO II Pro is no slouch either. Its 6K Ultra HD video is unmatched by the Mavic 3, which is saying a lot, considering this Autel drone has just one camera.
Winner: DJI Mavic 3
Let me just preface this by saying it was so difficult to pick a winner here.
Both these drones perform beautifully, with long battery lives, nighttime modes, autonomous flight options, and sterling video and image quality.
I’ve had such a fun time flying both, but I know you’re only seeking one winner, and I’m here to deliver.
I feel the Mavic 3 has the edge over the EVO II Pro in a few areas of performance.
Most notably, there’s safety. I always gush over the EVO II Pro’s 19-sensor omnidirectional obstacle avoidance because it’s truly amazing.
Few drones can compare to that level of safety, but the Mavic 3 is one of them.
It has the best edition of APAS to date, APAS 5.0. DJI could have stopped there, but they didn’t.
They also equipped the Mavic 3 with nighttime flight assistance, multi-directional awareness (back, right, forward, and left), Vision Assist when flying the drone autonomously for better obstacle detection, and wide-angle vision sensors.
In short, it’s the total package.
Another reason I gave this category to the Mavic 3 is because it has more smart flight modes.
Its Advanced RTH is smarter than ever, and between ActiveTrack (the latest edition too, might I add, at least as of the time of this publication), MasterShots, QuickShots, and bonuses like Hyperlapse and Panorama, you have many modes to explore with this ultra-fun drone.
The EVO II Pro doesn’t offer nearly as many flight modes, leaving you wishing for more.
Of course, the EVO II Pro is more wind-resistant, capable of withstanding winds of around 39 miles per hour, notes Autel.
I’ve tested it in blustery conditions over 40 mph, and it handled like a champ.
The Mavic 3 only has wind resistance to 26.8 mph, although I’ve flown it in conditions over 30 mph. I wouldn’t push it much beyond that.
Winner: DJI Mavic 3
Is either of these drones what I would call portable? Not particularly. I mean, they’re no DJI Mini or EVO Nano, but they’re still ready for adventure.
After all, the EVO II Pro fits in your hand. Granted, it takes up your entire hand, but it does still fit.
It’s heavy enough that you’ll have to register it when using it recreationally, but that’s not exactly what this drone is made for.
The Mavic 3 is not much smaller or more lightweight. It folds down like the EVO II Pro but is still bulky.
RC compatibility and long-range flights
Winner: Autel EVO II Pro
How about a controller comparison?
The EVO II Pro uses the Autel Smart Controller SE. This exceptional controller looks and feels like a Nintendo Switch but without any Joy-Cons.
It has a touch screen that’s more than six inches and OLED quality.
Its transmission distance is 9.3 miles in HD quality, an accomplishment achieved by the awesome eight-gen processor. It’s even waterproof and has an IP43 rating.
On the DJI side, the Mavic 3 uses the DJI RC Pro, which is also compatible with the Air 2S and Mavic 3 Cine.
It features a performance processor, an illuminated screen, and O3+ video transmission technology.
The screen is smaller at 5.5 inches (versus 6.5 inches for the EVO II Pro) but has 1,000 nits of brightness.
The image quality is also lower at 1080p. Plus, it’s not a touchscreen.
Winner: DJI Mavic 3
The EVO II Pro has a mind-blowingly long battery life of 40 minutes, but the Mavic 3 does one better at 46 minutes.
Of course, those numbers don’t matter anyway, as they’re only estimates. The EVO II Pro has lasted in the skies for me for about 36 or 37 minutes, and the Mavic 3 at about 42 or 43 minutes.
If you fly either drone in windier conditions, that will reduce the battery life further, but these two drones are no different from any other in that regard.
Ah, what a journey it’s been comparing the Autel EVO II Pro and DJI Mavic 3.
For drones released in the same year, they have some vastly different features, whether it’s dual cameras, exceptional tracking, or smart modes.
While I wholeheartedly embrace the Mavic 3 as the better drone between the two, the EVO II Pro deserves every ounce of love it’s received.
It’s still a leader in drone technology all these years later, forcing DJI to release better drones like the Mavic 3!