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DJI Air 3 Beginners Guide (Step-by-Step Guide)

The DJI Air 3 is an excellent choice for those wanting something larger than a Mini 3 Pro, but not quite as large as a Mavic 3.

Like its predecessor the Air 2S, the Air 3 hits the sweet spot between cost and features ratio, offering quite a bang for the buck, while sporting some of DJI’s newest and innovative features.

If you are new to drones in general and the Air 3 is your first drone, we will be going through the steps needed to get you up and running.

We’ll be considering:

  • What’s in the various Air 3 combos
  • Charging all of the batteries
  • Installing the Propellers
  • Downloading, Installing, and setting up the DJI Fly Software
  • And more

Hopefully, after reading this guide, you, as a new Air 3 owner, will have all of the tools needed to get up in the air safely.

Best Drone Courses for Beginners (Part 107 & More)

To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.

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Air 3 Overview

The DJI Air 3, as the successor to the Air 2S, comes complete with dual 1/1.3″ cameras, with focal length equivalents of 24mm and 70mm, respectively.

The 24mm wide angle lens and the medium tele 70mm lens both take excellent photos and shoot videos in identical resolutions.

What has stumped many in the drone community is why DJI decided to use smaller Mini 3 Pro-like camera image sensors (1/1.3″) for the dual camera system as opposed to the larger 1″ sensor found on the Air 2S.

DJI Air 3 Beginners Guide (Step-by-Step Guide)

Time will tell, but perhaps this was to improve the overall gimbal functions associated with a lighter dual-camera setup, as there have been quite a few reports of the large gimbal in the Mavic 3 Pro suffering from micro shutters.

Maybe DJI will have a surprise in store with an Air 3S or Pro model in the future, with larger cameras?

With the Air 3 redesign, it is not only a fair bit heavier than the Air 2S but it is slightly taller and longer as well.

For those new to the Air series or drones in general, this might be a moot point, as the Air 3 really travels well in its own shoulder bag (included in the Fly More combo) or in most photography or drone backpacks.

» MORE: Can I Fly DJI Air 3 Without a License (Read This First)

dji air 3 vs 2s

Another important addition to the all-new Air 3 is omnidirectional obstacle sensing.

This feature is important to seasoned drone operators and new pilots alike, as it allows the Air 3 to fly with 360-degree obstacle sensing coverage, making it ideal for complex active track paths and waypoint missions.

It also adds protection for those nervous when flying drones in dense areas.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 vs. Air 2S (Here’s My Choice)

Air 3 Combos

Here at Droneblog, we really like the trend DJI has set and followed in the past few years, releasing their drones with various combos and options that fit into a wide variety of budgets and needs.

The Air 3 is no exception to this rule and comes in three different combos.

With there being so many options to choose from, the question oftentimes asked is if a Fly More combo is really needed, or should someone start off with just the RC-N2 remote controller, the Air 3, and a single battery and go fly.

We tend to side with buying a flymore combo, especially if planning on really using the Air 3 regularly.

To put this into perspective, if planning on buying the Air 3 with the RC-N2 only (the standard remote controller version), and later just adding on two batteries, it would ultimately be cost-effective to purchase an RC-N2 combo initially for less, and get more in the combo.

As of the writing of this article two Air 3 batteries, cost about USD $320 combined.

That now puts the Air 3 with RC-N2 and 3 batteries (2 bought later) at approximately $1400. The RC-N2 Fly More combo is selling at $1349.

If you want the shoulder bag and battery charging hub (which we recommend), that is an additional $60 for the bag and $100 for the hub, putting this piece-mail price close to $1560.

You can see where we are going with this.

In our opinion, if possible, go with either Fly More combo initially, as you’ll save quite a few dollars doing so.

If not able to, then the Air 3, RC-N2, and one battery combo will get you up in the air for a fair amount of time.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 vs. Mini 3 Pro (Here’s My Choice)

Air 3 DJI RC2 Fly More Combo

Editor's Choice
DJI Air 3 RC 2 (Fly More Combo)
$1,549.00

DJI Air 3 Fly More Combo with DJI RC 2 (screen remote controller), Drone with Medium Tele & Wide-Angle Dual Primary Cameras for Adults 4K HDR, 46-Min Max Flight Time, 48MP, Two Extra Batteries.

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02/27/2024 03:32 am GMT

Includes:

  • DJI Air 3
  • DJI RC2 Remote Controller
  • 3 x Intelligent Flight Battery
  • 3-Battery Charging Hub
  • Shoulder Bag
  • USB-C Cable
  • Front Sensor and Gimbal guard
  • 8 Spare Props
  • Connection Cables

Air 3 RC-N2 Fly More Combo

DJI Air 3 RC-N2 (Fly More Combo)
$1,349.00

DJI Air 3 Fly More Combo with DJI RC-N2 Remote Controller, Drone with Camera for Adults 4K HDR, Medium Tele & Wide-Angle Dual Primary Cameras, 46-Min Max Flight Time, 48MP, Two Extra Batteries

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02/27/2024 01:32 am GMT

Includes:

  • DJI Air 3
  • DJI RC-N2 Remote Controller
  • 3 x Intelligent Flight Battery
  • 3-Battery Charging Hub
  • Shoulder Bag
  • USB-C Cable
  • Front Sensor and Gimbal guard
  • 8 Spare Props
  • Connection Cables

Air 3 Standard RC-N2 Combo

DJI Air 3 (RC-N2)
$1,099.00
  • Tele & Wide-Angle Dual Primary Cameras
  • 46-Min Max Flight Time
  • Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing
  • 48MP Photos, 4K/60fps HDR, up to 20Km Video Transmission
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02/27/2024 01:27 am GMT

Includes:

  • DJI Air 3
  • DJI RC-N2 Remote Controller
  • 1 x Intelligent Flight Battery
  • USB-C Cable
  • Front Sensor and Gimbal guard
  • 2 Spare Props
  • Connection Cables

Battery Charging

The Air 3 boasts 46-minute flight times, which is quite a feat for a drone of this size. When adding three batteries into the mix, the Air 3 stays in the air for quite a while.

In real-world usage, landing around the 25% mark, I consistently get 33 minutes or so of flight, pushing the time to an hour and a half on three batteries, without even using the power transfer feature (more on this soon).

If you have opted to go with the Air 3 and DI RC-N2 only, the one included Air 3 battery can be charged without using a 3-battery charging hub and will get you a decent amount of flight time.

» MORE: Drone Battery Care (All You Need to Know)

DJI Air 3 Flight Batteries

When you unpack the Air 3 batteries, there will be some charge in them.

Although excited and tempted to fly the drone immediately, it is best to fully charge all of the batteries that come in the combo first, whether the single battery option or the three batteries in the Fly More combo.

To charge a battery within the Air 3:

Step 1: Open the USB-C and SD card port at the back of the Air 3.

dji air 3 charge battery

Step 2: While the Air 3 is off, plug the USB-C side of the included USB-C cable into the rear of the Air 3.

Step 3: Plug the USB end into any 65-watt charger (not included, recommendation below).

dji air 3 ports

To charge batteries in the charging hub:

Step 1: Insert all three Air 3 batteries into the charging hub.

Step 2: Insert the USB-C end of the included USB-C cable into the charging hub.

dji air 3 charging hub

Step 3: Insert the USB end into either a 65-watt charger or a 100-watt PD charger (not included, recommendation below).

Note: If you already have a 65-watt charger, that will work, however, a 100-watt PD charger will charge all of the batteries faster.

Step 4: Connect your DJI Remote Controller to your 65 or 100-watt charger to charge.

You are able to check the charge of each individual battery by single-pressing the power button on the battery.

Likewise, when you insert all three batteries into the charging hub, the LED lights will alert you to how much power is in all three of the batteries.

As mentioned previously, there is an option that allows power from the remaining batteries to be transferred to a single battery with the most battery life.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 vs. Mavic 3 (Here’s my Choice)

To use the power transfer feature (Accumulating Power Mode):

Step 1: Insert all three batteries into the unplugged battery hub.

Step 2: Press and hold the black function button until the LED indicator changes from yellow and blinks green.

Step 3: To stop the power accumulation function, simply press and hold the Function button until the LED status turns yellow.

Again, the remaining power from multiple batteries will transfer to the battery with the highest remaining power.

So, Instead of having 3 partially powered batteries, you can now have one fully, or close to a fully, charged battery for your next flight.

Our Pick
DJI 65W Portable Charger
$79.00 $75.00

Compatibility:

  • DJI Air 3
  • DJI Mavic 3 Pro, DJI Mavic 3/Classic
  • DJI Avata, and More
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100-Watt USB C Charging Station
$19.99
  • For iPad iPhone 14 13 12 11 Pro Max
  • Pixel
  • Galaxy Series
  • Drones and More
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Remote Controller (DJI RC2 & RC-N2)

The DJI RC2 is similar in design to the original DJI RC, while the RC-N2 is pretty much identical to the RC-N1.

The difference between the Air 3’s newer remote controllers to previous versions is the usage of the new video transmission, O4 or OcuSync 4.0.

Because of the new transmission system, two additional antennas have been added to the DJI RC2 which now has two external rabbit ear antennas, in addition to the two internal antennas.

The RC-N2 now has 2 antennas. One in the remote controller and one in the retractable external integrated smartphone holder and antenna.

Like the Air 3 batteries, the batteries in the DJI RC2 or RC-N2 may have some charge in them when initially unboxed.

Although this might be the case, once again it is important to charge the remote controller batteries fully before first-time usage.

As has become the norm with DJI, the Air 3 does not include a power adaptor, but does include a single USB-C cable.

For the quickest charging speeds, it is recommended you purchase a 65-watt or, better yet, 100-watt PD Charger for the Air 3 flight batteries.

With a 65 or 100-watt charger, you will also be able to charge a remote controller while charging the Air 3’s batteries.

» MORE: 27 Best Drone Accessories (I Can’t Live Without)

To charge the DJI RC-N2:

Step 1: Insert the USB-C end of the included USB-C cable into the USB-C port on the bottom of the RC-N2.

charging dji rc n2

Step 2: Plug the standard USB end into your 65 or 100-watt PD charger.

The LED indicator lights on the face of the remote controller will flow and blink to signal charging.

To charge the DJI RC2:

Step 1: Insert the USB-C end of the included USB-C cable into the USB-C port on the bottom right of the DJI RC2.

charging dji rc 2

Step 2: Plug the standard USB end into your 65 or 100-watt PD charger.

The LED indicator lights on the face of the remote controller will flow and blink to signal charging.

Propellers/Installing

Although slightly larger in size than the Ari 2S that it upgrades, the Air 3, with its larger propellers is actually quieter on the ground and in the air than the Air 2S.

air 3 propellers

This may be due to either the pitch the props produce or the newer design.

This is appreciated by those who tend to fly in more populated areas, as well as those new to flying who may be a bit cautious when flying near people.

Like the Air and Mavic series, the drone propellers have a spring-loaded push and twist mechanism, which is more convenient than the screw method the Mini series uses.

When looking closely at the Air 3 propellers you will see that there are two different colored props represented: those that are solid black around the base, and those that have a gray ring around the base.

These two propeller colors likewise correspond to the motors on the Air 3. The black props go with the black motors and the gray with the gray.

If you put the wrong propeller on the wrong motor, the drone will either give a “change propeller” error message and refuse to lift off or may get a few feet in the air and crash.

It is imperative to put the correct props on the correct motors.

» MORE: Best Drone Propellers For Every Purpose (Complete Guide)

To install the propellers:

Step 1: Unfold the arms and legs on the Air 3.

Step 2: Find the propeller base color that matches the motor color you will be installing the prop on.

installing air 3 propellers

Step 3: Fit the propeller onto the motor, then, pinching the motor with your index finger and thumb, push and twist the propeller on.

Depending on the motor, this motion will either be clockwise or counterclockwise.

dji air 3 motor

» MORE: How Long Drone Propellers Last?

SD Card

If you’ve purchased either the standard Air 3 kit with the RC-N2 controller, or with the DJI RC2, an SD card will eventually be needed if you want to record 4k videos or take 48MP photos.

The Air 3 does not include an SD card, however, below is a list of DJI-recommended SD cards that we likewise like and recommend, along with information for these cards:

» MORE: How to Format SD Cards in DJI Drones (Quick Steps with Photos)

SanDisk Extreme/Pro Lines

The SanDisk Extreme and Extreme Pro lines are made for the conditions we might find our drones in. They are reportedly Temperature proof, Waterproof, and Shockproof.

The Extreme series has read speeds up to 160MB and write speeds up to 60MB, perfect for 4k video recording and burst shooting on the Air 3.

These features apply to the 128 & 256 GB versions as well.

As regular users of SanDisk, we highly recommend these lines of cards.

Recommended
SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO microSD
$29.84
  • Write Speeds of up to 140MB/s: Capture fast-action photos or shoot 4K UHD video with write speeds of up to 140MB/s.
  • Load Apps Faster with A2
  • This card is shockproof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and X-ray-proof
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02/25/2024 08:21 pm GMT

Our Pick
SanDisk Extreme 256GB V30 A2 microSDXC
$27.99 $25.85
  • Up to 130MB/s write speeds for fast shooting
  • 4K and 5K UHD-ready with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30)
  • Rated A2 for faster loading and in-app performance
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02/27/2024 03:51 am GMT

Lexar 1066x

The 1066x line is specifically designed for action cameras, drones, and other high-end end electronics.

For the budget conscience, the Lexar 1066x has SD cards that come in a few dollars less than SanDisk currently.

Lexar Professional 1066x 256GB microSDXC UHS-I Card
$34.99 $22.99
  • Professional-level performance for action cameras, drones, or Android smartphones
  • Leverages UHS-I technology to deliver read speeds up to 160MB/s (1066x)
  • Designed for durability in harsh conditions
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02/26/2024 12:46 pm GMT

Samsung Evo Select/Plus Lines

In addition to being waterproof, shockproof, temperature proof, and X-ray proof, the EVO Select and the Evo Plus series are also magnetic proof.

The Evo line has read speeds up to 100MB and write speeds up to 60MB. Additionally, as of this article writing, specific Evo SD cards on currently on sale.

Samsung EVO Select 256GB V30 A2 microSDXC
$24.99
  • Superfast U3, class 10 rated transfer speeds of up to 130MB/s¹,²and UHS-I Interface
  • Available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB
  • Complete with water⁴, temperature⁵, X-ray⁶, ⁷magnet, drop⁸, and wears⁹ out protection; Backed by a 10-year limited warranty
Buy from Amazon
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02/25/2024 06:31 pm GMT

Kingston Canvas Go Line

Made for action cameras and drones, the Kingston series has transfer speeds up to 170 MB and supports the A2 App Performance Class.

This series of cards is water, x-ray, temperature, shock, and vibration proof.

Drone Specific
Kingston 256GB Canvas Go Plus MicroSD Memory Card with Adapter
$29.55
  • Fast read speed up to 170MB/s and write speed up to 70MB/s 
  • Speed Class 10, UHS-I, V30, A2 for high-performance and full HD video recording
  • Water proof, magnet proof, temperature proof, and x-ray proof
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02/26/2024 01:01 pm GMT

If you purchased the DJI RC2 kit, there is also an SD card slot in the remote controller.

The SD card in the controller is used specifically for either screen recording or screenshots.

If not planning on screen recording, an SD card can be stored in the SD card slot in the DJI Remote and serve as a backup, just in case the Air 3 SD card has been left at home inadvertently.

» MORE: SD Cards for DJI Drones (What You Need to Know)

Inserting & Ejecting SD Cards

The SD card slot for the Air 3 is located in a covered port at the rear of the Air 3, beneath the battery.

To insert or eject the SD card:

STEP 1: Pull the rear port cover down and to the right (this houses the USB-C and SD card slots).

dji air 3 sd and charging port

STEP 2: With the Air 3 powered down, insert the SD card, with the pins facing upward, until the card clicks into place.

dji air 3 sd card insert

STEP 3: Close the rear port cover.

dji air 3 from behind

DJI Fly (Flight Software)

To fly the Air 3, DJI software is used via either your smartphone or electronic device and connects to your remote controller, enabling a connection between the drone and remote controller, which is essential for flight.

The software that works for the Air 3 is the DJI Fly app. If you have a DJI RC2 combo, the DJI Fly app is pre-loaded on the remote controller.

If you are using an electronic device with the RC-N2 controller, you’ll need to download the software.

» MORE: DJI App Not Working? (Ultimate Troubleshooting Guide)

Where to Download DJI Fly

If you are using either an Android or iOS phone or tablet, the links to download the DJI Fly app for the Air 3 are as follows:

Please note: the DJI Fly app for Android is only available online at the link above and is no longer available in the Google Play store.

Setting up your DJI Account

With the DJI Fly software installed, a DJI account will need to be created, if not previously done.

STEP 1: You can easily set up your DJI account by launching the DJI Fly app and going into Profile.

dji fly app

STEP 2: Once in the Profile Screen, go to Log In.

STEP 3: Input the phone or email you would like to register with and be sure to check off the “I have read” section at the bottom.

STEP 4: Create your DJI Account by setting up a password for the email address you are using to log in to your DJI Account.

STEP 5: Enter the Captcha info and submit.

You’ll now be brought to the main profile page. You will see you have been set up as a generic DJI User.

STEP 6: To change your name and profile picture, tap your current djiuser_ name (this will bring you to the Profile details page, and you can change your DJI username to whatever you’d like, as well as upload a profile picture.)

Navigating the DJI Fly app Main Screen

It’s now time to go into the DJI Fly app and get familiar with flying for the first time!

Connecting to the Fly App

STEP 1: If you are still in the Fly app, Exit the app. Connect your smartphone to your RC-N2 controller, as seen below.

Insert smartphone
Connect USB-C/Lightening cable

If you are using the DJI RC2, then simply go back to the home screen and connect the Air 3 using the connection guide.

STEP 2: Open the DJI Fly app and turn on the RC-N2.

To power on the controller, press the power button once, then long-press-hold until the RC makes a power-on signal. The lights will also flash.

» MORE: Do I Have to Register My DJI Air 3 (All You Need to Know)

The Home Screen

The main screen in the DJI Fly app houses all the important flight information you will need to fly your Air 3

You should see along the top:

  • Aircraft Battery percentage – flight time remaining
  • RC (Remote Control) signal strength
  • Obstacle Avoidance mode – whether it is off, set to bypass, or hover
  • Number of locked satellites (it is best to fly after 7-12 satellites have been locked)

If you press the battery percentage icon, you are given more detailed information regarding:

  • How many minutes until RTH (return to home)
  • How many minutes until the drone force lands
  • How many minutes until the batteries are completely depleted

At the bottom of the app, you’ll see the following:

  • How fast you are flying
  • How far out the drone is from your current position
  • How high the drone currently is AGL (above ground level)
  • Drone positioning (Map)

By tapping the Map icon (bottom left – small up-arrow), you can get into 3 different Map views:

  • Radar
  • Small Map view – after tapping the image of a map in the lower right-hand corner of the radar map.
  • Large Map view – after tapping the center of the small map view.

» MORE: 

In-App Options

To get into the many Fly app options, press the 3-button menu at the top-right of the screen.

In the options, you will see the following tabs:

  • Safety
  • Control
  • Camera
  • Transmission
  • About

We will go through the tabs that are specific to getting up in the air safely and take a few pictures and videos.

OBSTACLE AVOIDANCE

The new Air 3 now has omnidirectional or 360-degree obstacle avoidance, enabling newer pilots to fly safer.

The obstacle avoidance settings are one of the more important options that need to be set correctly and have an impact on those new to flying drones.

There are three options for obstacle avoidance: Bypass, Brake, and Off.

OFF – This means that the omnidirectional sensors (top, sides, rear, and front) are inactivated, allowing you to fly your drone into any obstacle that might be in the Air 3’s flight path.

Many fly with obstacle avoidance options off, to get close to objects and fly in tight areas that would not be possible with the sensors on and stopping the flight.

BYPASS – This enables the Air 3 (when in a straight line) to automatically go around an object currently in its way. The Air 3 will pick the best path to do so.

BRAKE – When enabled, the Air 3 will basically stop and hover when an obstacle presents itself. You will then be able to determine the best route to take to get around the object.

RADAR MAP

This option, when on, will give you a real-time on-screen view of how far objects are in front of, on the side of, and behind the Air 3.

This is actually a great option to have if you are flying with the obstacle avoidance system off, as you will be presented with audible and visual alerts when close to objects, without being slowed down.

» MORE: Best Drone Mapping Software

FLIGHT PROTECTION

This particular section is one you will really want to pay attention to and be sure to set.

In the Flight Protection tab, you can set the Maximum Height the Air 3 can fly, Its maximum flight distance, and the RTH (Return to Home) Altitude.

  • Max Altitude – In the US, the maximum altitude a drone can fly, as specified by the FAA is 400ft AGL. There are exceptions to this, such as when flying around high structures (buildings, towers, etc.). To stay in compliance, it is best to set the Max height at 400ft, so you won’t have to worry about it.
  • Max Distance – Also, in the US, the FAA has mandated that drone operators stay within visual line of sight (VLOS), subject to how far a person can see without the aid of binoculars. The Max Distance can be set at “no limit” and then take care to keep an eye on where the Air 3 is at all times.
  • Auto RTH Altitude – This is also very important. RTH (return to home) is a function built into most DJI drones that, when activated (either manually by the operator or automatically at RC disconnect), the Air 3 will stop what it is doing and make its way back to where the home point is set.

If the RTH height is not set at least higher than the highest obstruction where you are flying, the Air 3 is in danger of crashing into whatever it might happen across, if not high enough.

Some choose to have their RTH height set to 400ft and just forget about it.

However, we suggest setting your RTH to 30 or so feet above the height of the highest obstacle where you are flying.

Setting the RTH in this manner can prove to be safer for manned aircraft that might be flying in your immediate area (i.e. helicopters and low-flying planes).

COMPASS and IMU

When flying for the first time with a new drone, it is important to calibrate your Compass and IMU.

The compass (and IMU) in any drone is used for the drone’s positioning, like a standard hand-held compass.

If the drone compass is not calibrated or calibrated correctly, it could result in the drone flying erratically or the loss of the drone (in worse-case scenarios).

Oftentimes, when flying in the same general area, the Air 3 compass would just need to be calibrated once.

If you fly or plan to fly in different geographical areas, or far from home, but in the same state, calibrating the compass is recommended.

To calibrate the Compass or IMU on the Air 3, while in the Safety tab go to Compass or IMU and tap Calibrate, and the Fly app will walk you through how to do so.

In addition, you may be prompted by the Fly app to calibrate either the Compass or IMU if it is deemed necessary.

In those cases, you would follow the on-screen prompts.

» MORE: How to Calibrate a Drone (Ultimate Guide)

ADVANCED SAFETY SETTINGS

An essential safety setting that should be done regularly, based on your situation and where you are flying, is specifying what the Air 3 should do if and when the signal is lost.

There may come times when, due to environmental issues, there is signal loss between the Air 3 and the remote controller, even though the O4 transmission system is very strong.

This might happen in congested areas or other areas suffering from a lot of interference that day.

There are 3 actions the Air 3 can take upon signal loss:

RTH (Return to Home), Descend and Hover

  • RTH – When signal loss is detected, the Air 3 will ascend to the predefined RTH height (as discussed earlier), and return to the drone operator.
  • DESCEND – With this option, the Air 3 will descend, to the point of landing. This might be a good option if you are flying your Air 3 in windy conditions, while over land and not water.
  • HOVER – This will allow the Air 3 to just hover in place when the signal is lost. This is ideal for flying indoors or in areas with a lot of tall buildings or skyscrapers, where RTH would inevitably cause a crash or loss of the Air 3 if it tries to return to your location.

» MORE: 21 Best Long-Range Drones (2023-2024)

Functions of the DJI RC2 & RC-N2

Briefly, we will highlight the various functions of the RC-N2 and DJI RC2 remote controllers.

RC-N2 Controller

The RC-N2 is the standard controller that mimics the RC-N1 in every way, except for a few internal changes.

If you have used the RC-N1 controller, it’ll be very familiar. If this is your first time using the DJI RC-N2, you will hardly even notice it, as it fits in the hand perfectly and is comfortable.

The front of the controller has the following:

  • Power button
  • 4 LED indicator/status lights
  • Cine, Normal, and Sport mode switch
  • Return to Home button (RTH)
  • FN (Function) button which can be customized in a variety of ways
  • Camera button 

The top of the RC has the following:

  • The slide-out integrated antenna and smartphone holder/mount
  • The camera/video trigger button
  • Scroll-wheel to adjust the pitch of the camera gimbal
  • 2 indented pads to lock the smartphone in

The bottom of the RC-N2 has cutouts to store two removable flight sticks.

» MORE: Best Drone Controllers

DJI RC2 Controller

The DJ RC2, like its predecessor the DJI RC, has a bright 5.5″ integrated screen running at a continuous 700 nits.

Unlike the original DJI RC, the DJI RC2 has 2 additional rabbit ear antennas to accommodate the new OcuSync 4.0 transmission system.

Similar to the RC-N2, to power on the controller, press the power button once, then long-press-hold until the RC makes an audible signal. You will soon see the DJI splash screen.

The face of the DJI RC2 has the following:

  • Return to Home button (RTH)
  • Cine, Normal, and Sport mode switch
  • Power button (press then long-press-hold to turn on)
  • 4 LED indicator/status lights and a Power On LED
  • 2 Removable Control Sticks

The back of the DJI RC2 has the following:

  • C1 and C2 buttons
  • 2 Slots to store the removable control sticks

The top of the DJI RC2 has the following:

  • 2 scroll wheels (these are black and slightly grippy, compared to the original DJI RC’s aluminum wheels)
  • Video record button
  • Photo shutter button
  • 2 internal/integrated antennas
  • 2 rabbit ear adjustable antennas

The bottom of the DJI RC2 has the following:

  • SD Card Slot
  • USB-C Port
  • Mounting Holes

Camera

The focal lengths on the Air 3’s two cameras are 24mm and 70mm equivalents.

The 24mm camera has an f1.7 aperture, while the 70mm has an f2.8 aperture.

Switching between the two focal lengths is quick and easy and can be done in two different ways, which will be discussed shortly.

Many drone cameras use digital zoom when zooming in on a subject, and because of this, the image quality is lost, as the image is just being digitally enlarged.

» MORE: How to Dolly Zoom With a Drone (Step-by-Step Guide)

On the Air 3, there is no quality loss when using the medium tele camera, as both the 24mm and 70mm cameras take the same resolution photos and videos.

Using a back-lit stacked image sensor on both cameras, the images produced by the Air 3 do indeed look nice, even in less than optimally lit environments.

Expanding on this, the Air 3 has the option to shoot in Night Mode. In this mode, the ISO maximum is increased from 6400 to 12800, while also applying a bit of noise reduction automatically.

If you are looking to shoot vertical content (videos), the Air 3 is able to do this as well, by cropping the horizontal image, in camera. We will also discuss this shortly.

Note: When shooting vertical videos, the usable resolution drops from the maximum 4k to 2.7k and 1080p respectively.

» MORE: Drone Night Flight: How to Safely and Legally Fly a Drone at Night

To switch between the 24mm and the 70mm Tele Lens to Zoom in/out:

Method one pertains to both photos and videos, while method 2 applies only to videos.

Method 1

Locate the 1x (24mm wide) and 3x (70mm tele) icons on the Live View screen.

If 1x is already chosen, simply press 3x and you will zoom in. Likewise do the reverse to go into 24mm wide angle.

Below are two examples, at 145ft of 1x and 3x zoom:

dji air 3 camera
1x – 24mm Wide
3x – 70mm Tele

Method 2

The second method only works when in video mode.

This method can be done using the scroll wheel on the face of the DJI RC2 integrated screen controller while filming.

Step 1: Set up the scroll wheel by going into the main menu (3 dots) and then going to the Control Tab. Go down and press Button Customization.

Step 2: While in Button Customization, go down to Right Dial and set the option to ZOOM IN/OUT.

Step 3: Set the mode to Video and you’ll be able to use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out smoothly.

To shoot vertical videos:

Step 1: Go into video mode.

Step 2: Activate/enter PRO mode.

Step 3: Tap the left area of the Pro mode screen and under RES/FPS scroll to the right until you see 1080p [19:6] and 2.7K [9:16]. Choose the higher resolution of 2.7K [9:16].

Downloading images and videos from the Air 3

There are various ways to access and download the content on the DJI Air 3.

One method is the direct connect method, which can be done by directly connecting the Air 3 to a PC or Mac using the included USB-C cable.

The second method is using an SD card reader. To do so, simply:

  • Remove the SD card from the Air 3
  • Insert the SD card into the reader
  • Plug the SD card reader into a computer

Afterward, you can then view and edit the information directly from within a directory on your PC or Mac.

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This is a convenient way to transfer/download files, as the Air 3 does not need to be physically present or connected to a computer to do so.

There is also a Quick Transfer feature that allows content from the DJI RC-N2 to be wirelessly exported to a smartphone or device.

Below is the article that goes through all of the steps needed, in detail, to download content from the Air 3 to either a PC or Mac or even a smartphone or device, using the QuickTransfer feature.

» MORE: How to Download from DJI Air 3 (Step-By-Step Guide with Photos, Screenshots & Video)