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DJI Mavic 3 Classic vs. Mini 3 Pro (Here’s My Choice)

Welcome, and thank you for checking out this comparison I’ve made to help you decide whether the DJI Mavic 3 Classic or Mini 3 Pro would be better for your needs.

The DJI Mavic 3 Classic and Mini 3 Pro are a bit old hat by now, so I’ve had enough experience with both of them to have my mind solidly made up on which one is a better drone overall.

In this article, I’ll review the similarities and differences between the DJI Mavic 3 Classic and Mini 3 Pro, my experiences, and why I prefer to keep using the DJI Mavic 3 Classic over the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

Ready? Let’s see why I’ve made up my mind and how this comparison can help you avoid spending your hard-earned money on the wrong drone.

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Overview

DJI Mavic 3 Classic

Released about one year ago, the DJI Mavic 3 Classic was a pleasant budget Mavic surprise that breaks the price barrier and makes this drone more accessible to new drone pilots.

When we’re looking to balance the price with getting the best image quality out of a camera drone, I think… in fact, I’m confident of my answer, that there’s no better drone than Mavic 3 Classic to break this point.

Here’s why:

  • It’s the cheapest drone from the Mavic 3 series, which holds the Hasselblad 4/3 inch unique camera, perfect for professional photography and filming. It’s the largest CMOS found in a consumer drone.
  • It’s one of the few drones with omnidirectional obstacle avoidance sensors, meaning you can avoid obstacles in all directions.
  • Like its bigger brothers, the Mavic 3 Classic still takes advantage of the APAS 5.0 and Advanced Active Track system.
  • It’s compatible with the most advanced consumer RC ever created: The DJI RC Pro.

» MORE: DJI Mavic 3 vs. Mavic 3 Classic: Which Drone Should You Buy?

DJI Mini 3 Pro

On the other hand, the Mini 3 Pro was one of the most purchased drones ever. On Amazon alone, it has tens of thousands of positive ratings and reviews. 

Taking advantage of this drone’s lightweightness, it doesn’t have to be registered in the United States and will benefit from relaxed drone laws in most countries worldwide just because it is under 250 grams.

So, why the DJI Mini 3 Pro?

  • It’s lightweight and portable. It’s perfect for travelers, backpackers, and many drone pilots looking for a small drone that will even fit into oversized pockets.
  • The price is more than reasonable nowadays and is a great choice when looking for a budget drone.
  • Do you love drones with follow-me mode? Although many such models exist, the DJI Mini 3 Pro performs like a king in this scenario.
  • For social media content creators, this drone is one of the very few capable of true vertical shooting mode.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro Long-Term Review (Worth Buying?)

Quick Verdict

Here at Droneblog, we have done extensive testing with both drones and many others and put endless hours into putting them through their paces.

We have ultimately concluded that the DJI Mavic 3 Classic outperforms the Mini 3 Pro in almost every aspect and is much better for hobbyists and professional drone pilots alike.

But we must remember that the Mavic 3 Classic is part of the “Mavic” series, which is known to be more expensive, usually double the price or more than the “Mini” series.

This is a drone designed for professionals and commercial applications, and it excels in everything else as well.

But even with this said, we can’t ignore the Mini 3 Pro. It’s still a fantastic drone.

However, if you’re still itching to acquire the Mini 3 Pro, let me redirect you towards the newest “mini” drone, the DJI Mini 4 Pro, which seems like a better choice in a million ways while sharing similar prices.

» MORE: DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro (Here’s My Choice)

What are the main differences?

When we look at both drones, the key differences are the ones to make the “vs.” comparison. 

And believe me, I love comparing stuff. I’ve been doing it my whole life; even when buying a new laptop, I usually compare it to 10 similar ones to see if I’m making the right choice. 

Differentiating qualities is the best way to highlight the winning aspects of a drone. Let’s see what the DJI Mavic 3 Classic has to offer.

  • The DJI Mavic 3 Classic camera is the leader of any consumer drone. Although it has only one camera, whereas the newer Mavic 3 Pro has three, the Hasselblad 4/3 inch shares the same qualities across all the Mavic 3 series. The large sensor will benefit the Mavic 3 Classic with much better image quality, higher dynamic range, better low-light performance, excellent post-processing qualities, and even higher resolution than anything else we find in consumer drones from DJI.
  • Having a drone with an omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system will make someone’s job much easier. From a beginner flying this drone to a professional drone pilot, accidents can happen. The anti-collision sensors and drone safety features should stop the drone before it collides with an object, from any side and angle. That’s the Mavic 3 Classic!
  • The Active Track found in the Mavic 3 series is 5th generation, the newest one. It’s advanced enough so that even if you tell the drone to return to you automatically, it will carve a path through obstacles if not in direct sight and should safely return to you. Yes, it’s that advanced. The Mini 3 Pro Active Track cannot do that with such accuracy. 

With all the fuss around the Mavic 3 Classic, I feel I’m not giving the Mini 3 Pro a chance.

I love my Mini 3 Pro. And why shouldn’t I? 

Here’s how we can differentiate the Mini 3 Pro from the Mavic 3 Classic:

  • It’s so tiny and lightweight that you’ll even forget it is in your backpack. Yes, that’s true. You will never feel the additional weight of the drone in your bag if you’re traveling. And yes, we did mention the simple advantage of having a drone sub-250 grams.
  • The Active Track and Follow-me Mode have been improved… and improved… – With so many owning the DJI Mini 3 Pro, it is likely DJI had more than enough analytical data to improve the active track of this drone, even if it’s the 4th version, to it’s absolute best. I don’t like risking my drones, but there are so many videos where the DJI Mini 3 Pro navigates an entire forest while in follow-me mode without any issues.
  • It’s nearly a budget drone. It’s much cheaper than the Mavic 3 Classic and most drones. While keeping this in mind, budget has always been an issue for many drone pilots. A drone hobby can be costly, and the Mavic 3 Classic can make a hole in your budget. The Mini 3 Pro, not so much, especially if you’re aiming for the basic version with one battery and the DJI RC-N1

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

DJI Mavic 3 Classic

The Mavic 3 Classic is part of the Mavic 3 series. It is currently the most advanced consumer drone series created by DJI. 

Originally released in November 2022, this drone is a cheaper version of the Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Pro. 

But how?

The Mavic 3 Classic will perform the same as the aforementioned drones in every single aspect, from flight range, similar flight times, anti-collision capabilities, Active Track, Waypoints, and so on. 

But there’s one key difference that makes this drone cheaper than the others.

Initially, with the DJI Mavic 3, we had two cameras, one of which was the Hasselblad, whereas the other was a zoom camera capable of zooming up to 28 times. That’s crazy, right?

Then we had the DJI Mavic 3 Classic and, afterward, the Mavic 3 Pro.

The Mavic 3 Pro now has three cameras; in addition to the cameras found in the Mavic 3, the Pro version has a medium tele camera, filling the void between the Hasselblad and the zoom from the telephoto camera.

Now, what about the DJI Mavic 3 Classic?

This drone has only one camera. That’s it. 

Stripped of the zoom option, we have a lower price. Not many drone pilots need a zoom camera, especially since the original one is not top-notch. 

The key aspects of the Mavic 3 Classic are:

  • Hasselblad 4/3-inch Camera
  • Omnidirectional anti-collision sensors (total coverage)
  • Advanced Active Track & APAS 5.0
  • Long flight time, up to 46 minutes per battery.
  • Can easily fly long-range
  • Compatible with the DJI RC Pro
  • It can be operated in cold (freezing) environments.
  • It can film in 5.1k at 50fps or 4k at 120fps for superb slow motion.
  • Excellent wind resistance and 3-axis gimbal stabilization.
DJI Mavic 3 Classic w/built-in 5.5-inch HD display
$1,749.00

Includes:

  • Drone
  • DJI RC remote controller
  • Battery
Buy from Amazon
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03/03/2024 07:31 pm GMT

DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI creates and releases “mini” drones like hotcakes.

Since we saw the Mini 3 Pro for the first time in April 2022, the DJI Mini 3 has come out, and now we have the notorious game-changing DJI Mini 4 Pro.

This drone appeals more to hobbyists who want a small, lightweight drone that is perfect for travel and to benefit from relaxed drone laws.

And the Mini 3 Pro has been doing wonders in these cases. 

But what about the image quality? Can it be used professionally?

With a 1/1.3 inch CMOS, the camera found in Mini 3 Pro will underperform the Mavic 3 Classic one. 

However, the same camera outperforms most drones, making the Mini 3 Pro a well-chosen drone for many scenarios.

Let’s have a look over a few key features, shall we?

  • It’s lightweight and portable.
  • Compatible with the DJI RC (remote controller with screen)
  • Has Active Track with Follow-me mode
  • Can film in 4k at 60fps
  • It comes with 3-way obstacle avoidance sensors.
  • It can fly for a long time, especially with the intelligent battery plus.
  • It’s capable of flying long-range.
  • Despite its small size, this drone has decent wind resistance.
  • Vertical mode feature.
DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC)
$909.00 $799.95

Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

  • 4K/60fps Video
  • 48MP Photo
  • 34-min Flight Time
  • Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing, Integrated RC and screen
Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/03/2024 07:27 pm GMT

Head-to-head comparison: DJI Mavic 3 Classic and Mini 3 Pro

Camera system

Winner: Mavic 3 Classic

While the Hasselblad camera found in the Mavic 3 Classic is better in any possible way than the one found on the Mini 3 Pro and other DJI drones, for that matter, you may also be surprised by what the Mini 3 Pro can offer.

With the smaller sensor size, we love how the images taken with the Mini 3 Pro actually look.

It’s a fantastic mini drone and has been the favorite choice for many commercial drone pilots as a backup drone or the one to choose when traveling.

You definitely cannot go wrong with the Mini 3 Pro camera. It has a vertical shooting mode, and if you love capturing videos or images for TikTok, Instagram, or any similar social media platforms, then you’re in luck.

The Mini 4 Pro camera doesn’t differentiate much from the Mini 3 Pro one. But it is better in other aspects. 

Now, let’s get back to comparing the Mini 3 Pro camera with the mega-ultra-winning-kingsize option we have in the Mavic 3 Classic: The Hasselblad.

The 4/3 inch is, in fact, 1.33(3) inches in size. That’s how large the Hasselblad camera is in the Mavic 3 Classic.

To compare it with the Mini 3 Pro, this drone has 1/1.3-inch CMOS, which is 0.769 inches in diameter. 

Without fussing around with too many numbers (I LOVE NUMBERS!), the Hasselblad sensor is nearly double the size of the DJI Mini 3 Pro camera sensor.

In reality, does it make that much difference?

Yes, it does indeed. If you can’t take my word for it, everyone else will tell you the same: The DJI Mavic 3 Classic camera will outperform the Mini 3 Pro in every single aspect (except for vertical shooting).

Indeed, I was a bit disappointed to see that I could not capture vertical content with the Mavic 3 Classic. I mean, maybe you can in a non-traditional way. 

Care to find out how?

» MORE: How to Produce Vertical Content with a Drone (That Isn’t the Mini 3)

Performance

Winner: Mavic 3 Classic

When you try to fly your DJI Mini 3 Pro for the first time, you will be surprised by the flight performance and stability, even in higher winds. I was, at least.

But the DJI Mavic 3 Classic is part of another level of drone technology. It has better wind resistance, is faster, can fly farther, and has better overall stability. 

However, both drones do fantastically, especially when flying in high winds. DJI did a good job there! 

But I don’t think this would be the main selling point. I mean, if you’re really looking for a drone with excellent wind resistance, let me introduce you to the DJI FPV in manual mode. 

Believe me, I am brave enough to fly this drone close to a tornado and then break off without issues. 

As for using Active Track, Follow-me mode, and other intelligent features and flight modes, the DJI Mavic 3 Classic wins again in every aspect simply because it shares the newest 5.0 version with fantastic processing power, whereas the DJI Mini 3 Pro is left behind. 

To share my personal experience again, I don’t love Active Track or rely on intelligent features. They are excellent and useful, but I always love to fly my drone as manually as possible and to be in total control of the drone. I don’t like a computer to fly the drone for me. But it’s still nice to know they’re there if you need them.

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

Portability

Winner: DJI Mini 3 Pro

This category is the only one where the Mini 3 Pro excels and wins over the Mavic 3 Classic. Just wow, do you have an idea how small this drone is?

I mean, yes, I mentioned it can fit in a pocket, but it is not larger than an iPhone Pro Max, only thicker (when folded).

Any DJI drones of the “Mini” series are under 250 grams, very small and portable, can fold, and are perfect for many activities and applications where the DJI Mavic 3 Classic is simply too big to consider.

This is the space where the DJI Mini 3 Pro really shines. 

But be aware that if you’re looking for the Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Battery Plus (for extended flight time), your drone will bypass the 250-gram mark, and you’ll be at a disadvantage in many ways, except for longer flight time.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 / Mini 3 Pro Battery (All You Need to Know)

RC Compatibility and long-range flights

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Classic

The DJI Mavic 3 Classic comes with the OcuSync 3+, whereas the Mini 3 Pro comes with the OcuSync 3. It places the Mavic 3 Classic over the Mini 3 Pro in several more aspects.

Flight Range: The DJI Mavic 3 Classic can fly up to 18.6 miles or 30km, far more than 11.1/15.5 miles (18 or 25 km, depending on the battery) from what DJI Mini 3 Pro can offer.

I never fly my drones that far. In fact, in Europe, we are limited from flying drones long-range just because we are so restricted by “CE” as compared to the “FCC” in the USA. 

The last time I flew a long-range drone, I couldn’t get much beyond 2 miles and a bit before severely losing video signal. Yes, it’s that bad.

So it wouldn’t matter, O3+ or O3, it’s not much difference here. Maybe for signal penetration, yes, the Mavic 3 Classic will do much better.

But another significant difference would be the controller compatibility.

Controller: The DJI Mavic 3 Classic is fully compatible with the DJI RC Pro, the most advanced consumer DJI controller ever released. It’s a Ferrari in terms of drone remote controllers.

So, are you surprised to find that the DJI Mini 3 Pro is not compatible with the DJI RC Pro? It’s not because it cannot be hardware supported, but simply because DJI doesn’t want to create compatibility.

They restrict many devices from being compatible. 

We are delighted to see we have at least the DJI RC, a remote controller with a screen. I love how compact it is and how much time it saves me when preparing to fly a drone.

I don’t have to connect a mobile phone anymore to the DJI RC-N1, open the app, try to fly, and then receive a video call on my phone when the Mini 3 Pro is in the air. 

Ugh! I simply hated that!

» MORE: DJI RC vs DJI RC-N1 (All You Need to Know)

Battery Life

Winner: Tie

When you’re outdoors filming, every single minute the drone is in the air matters. 

DJI rates the DJI Mavic 3 Classic to fly up to 46 minutes and the DJI Mini 3 Pro up to 34 minutes with the simple battery and up to 47 minutes with the intelligent battery plus.

It’s a tie between the Mavic 3 Classic flight time and the Mini 3 Pro with the battery plus. But if we compare it with the standard battery, the Mavic 3 Classic wins again.

However, just to let you know, these numbers are arbitrary, and you’ll never be able to fly these drones for so long.

At least, not unless you fly to 0 percent. This can never happen. 

In reality, we can pull about 6-8 minutes less flight time on both drones to land with about 20% battery left. This is standard across most drones. 

But my advice would always be to land above 20%. Don’t overdrain your battery, as it may suffer in cycles. And it’s risky to land it at the last second.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Modes (Explained for Beginners)

Conclusion

If you’re wondering whether the Mavic 3 Classic or Mini 3 Pro is the better drone for you, after testing both, we have an answer for you.

Pick the DJI Mavic 3 Classic if you can. You can’t go wrong with that.

In fact, the Mavic 3 Classic has the best price-camera quality ratio of all the DJI drones currently available. 

You won’t find any other drone capable of such good quality images and videos at this price. At least not right now.

Currently, I do not even want to recommend the DJI Mini 3 Pro. Not anymore after the Mini 4 Pro release. If you’re looking for a “mini” drone instead, get the newer DJI Mini 4 Pro.

It has an omnidirectional sensing system and Advanced Active Track (Active Track 360), which will outperform the Mini 3 Pro in every single aspect for nearly the same price.

If I’ve managed to raise your interest in the DJI Mini 4 Pro, here’s a link to our review: 

» MORE: DJI Mini 4 Pro Review (Is It Worth to Upgrade?)

But if I made you confused about which one you should choose, the DJI Mavic 3 Classic or DJI MINI 4 PRO, let me break this down for you:

  • Choose the Mavic 3 Classic if you’re strictly looking for better quality images and videos, night or low-light photography and filmmaking, and commercial applications.
  • Choose the Mini 4 Pro if you’re looking for the most advanced lightweight drone ever created for a much lower price for any other type of activity, especially for traveling.

» MORE: DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Air 3 (Here’s My Choice)