Are you a drone fan who has heard nothing but praise for the DJI Mavic 3 but still wants to weigh the pros and cons before making a purchase? Or maybe you’re a Mavic 3 owner who’s curious about the device’s flaws.
The DJI Mavic 3, without a doubt, features exceptional specs and is a pleasure to fly, but like all UAVs, it is not without flaws.
Common issues with the DJI Mavic 3 include the restrictions of the D-log color profile, lower flying time, and difficulty hand-catching the drone. Other drawbacks include geofencing owing to the DJI Flysafe, a simple remote, and the drone’s high price.
The Mavic 3 can get the greatest shots while remaining rock steady even in high winds. It’s faster than its predecessor, and the controls are easy enough for a newbie to figure out in minutes.
However, in the ten months that I’ve had my DJI Mavic 3, I’ve run into a few issues that I want to bring to your attention.
1. Super expensive
It’s no exaggeration to say that the DJI Mavic 3 is among the most costly drones available. When compared to its siblings, the drone truly stands out as exceptional.
However, the cost is so prohibitive that many enthusiasts won’t mind settling for other drones.
It’s important to note that there are three different Mavic drone bundles available, including:
- DJI Mavic 3- $2,049
- DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo- $2,849
- DJI Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo- $4,999
Note: These costs are based on the DJI Store as of October 2022. The retail price of a Mavic 3 might be as high as $6,000 when factoring in the purchase price, add-ons, buyer’s location, shipping costs, and taxes and inflation.
A backpack will set you back $300, while extra batteries would set you back more than $200.
The two advanced remote controls, DJI RC and DJI RC Pro, cost $309 and $1,199, respectively.
These will provide you with a brilliant HD display, smooth control sticks, precise control over the shots you’re taking, and exceptional audio and video performance. But this is simply prohibitively expensive.
It’s absurd that you can’t acquire these basic items for $2,100.
One of the most serious issues I’ve had with the Mavic 3 is the D-log color profile. I understand that the D-log keeps highlights from seeming washed out or overly brilliant and shadows from appearing excessively dark.
However, the color profile on the Mavic 3 does not impress me. For starters, Mavic 3 provides three color profiles:
Thumbs up for the camera quality due to the vast range of frame rates, resolutions, and color frames that can accommodate any need or shot, thanks especially to the new color display aid and REC. 709 upgrade, which provides a more vibrant color effect.
However, the D-log still limits your ISO possibilities (the artificial light that brightens images). You cannot select anything other than these two options.
Perhaps DJI intended to eliminate noise and grain in the footage. However, for the money you pay for this drone, D-log should not limit your possibilities.
Another issue with these ISO numbers on the Mavic 3’s D-log is that you can’t see what you’re shooting (not on Mavic 3 Cine).
Updated features don’t work perfectly for D-log.
DJI debuted the Mavic 3 without intelligent flight modes, but the company worked hard to fix this issue.
The new firmware update brings MasterShots and ActiveTrack 5.0 to the drone, which were previously unavailable. Unfortunately, the majority of these new features are incompatible with the D-log color profile.
Keep in mind that you cannot use these clever flight modes when filming in 5.1k. To use any of these modes, you must first switch to standard 4k 60/30 frame rate. You may be questioning why a professional should employ intelligent flight modes at all.
However, as someone who has been in the drone industry for a long time and frequently captures videos in my profession, I would like to contest that no feature should hinder you in any manner.
3. 5.1K video resolution
It’s fantastic that the Mavic 3 can capture video in 5.1k at 50fps, 4k at up to 120fps, and 1080p at up to 200fps, all in either H. 264 or H. 265 at 10-bit.
Still, the Air 2S and the Evo are superior in this regard because they are capable of recording at a smooth 5.4k resolution.
With higher pixels, you can take crisper photos and edit your videos and photos more thoroughly in post-production.
4. Flight time
The short amount of time the Mavic 3 can stay in the air is another major issue. DJI claims the Mavic 3 can fly for 46 minutes thanks to its upgraded propulsion system and 5000 mAh battery.
However, the total flight time of my drone is only 35 minutes, and the hovering time is even shorter.
DJI should have done better with this drone, considering the price. Indeed, they would have opted for longer-lasting batteries that allow the drone to stay in the air for at least an hour.
A delay of more than 10 minutes is unacceptable, especially given the company’s prominence in the market.
At first, I believed the fault lay with my batteries, but after taking another Mavic 3 for a spin, I realized that they all suffer from the same issue. DJI needs to be more forthcoming with its information.
5. Twitching when hand-catching the drone
Nothing irritates a drone pilot more than not being able to land the drone by hand. The Mavic 3 appears to elude hand capture. It’s as if it recognizes the hand as an impediment or object and avoids colliding with it by wobbling left and right in the air.
The truth is that a series of firmware updates have minimized the shaking, but even after several resets, the drone still appears to twitch slightly when attempting to grab it.
Of course, there is a solution; simply turn the drone to sport mode, and it will land safely in your hands. You can also simply land the drone on a level area.
However, given the price of this device, this is an issue that DJI might have avoided. It should be noted that prior drone versions did not have this problem, so future firmware updates might just solve this problem for good.
6. DJI Fly Safe
DJI Fly Safe, included on previous DJI drones and now standard on the Mavic 3, uses GPS to designate off-limits regions. The goal here is to encourage people to follow the law and maintain a secure environment.
However, it’s really annoying if you want to fly your drone in a restricted location if you travel frequently, especially outside the United States.
If you’re in a place where the DJI Fly Safe does not have any records of the rules and regulations, your drone may not even launch.
Of course, you can bypass restricted airspace and pilot your drone wherever you like with just a little bit of work.
You can use Self-Unlocking or DJI Fly Safe Unlocking to get over the geofencing and fly in restricted airspace.
However, it hurts that DJI can dictate where you can take you can take your drone flights. DJI should provide its customers the option of deciding for themselves whether or not to fly in no-fly zones.
7. Basic remote
Many people may believe this isn’t a huge deal, but DJI should have designed a better remote for pro drone pilots and a device that costs two grand. The remote has no LCD screen and functions similarly to the Air 2S remote.
Telemetry data on the remote is desirable, especially for such high-end equipment. A zoom wheel and camera switch buttons should also be included on the remote.
Why build a drone with two cameras but no basic functionality due to the limitations of the controller?
To address this issue, DJI suggests purchasing an updated or advanced remote (DJI RC or DJI RC Pro).
The improved remote includes all of the capabilities that a pro flier requires for convenient aerial shooting, but you’ll have to pay up to $1,000 for it.
Will DJI solve the Mavic 3 issues?
Many drone fans wonder if DJI will find a solution to the issues that their most professional drone, the Mavic 3, is experiencing. Perhaps DJI will address these issues in the future, as they have with their latest firmware releases.
As previously said, GPS acquisition was the most difficult issue with the Mavic 3 when it was released. Previously, GPS acquisition was slow, taking around four minutes to acquire enough satellites for take-off.
In March 2022, a firmware update increased the speed of the GPS search. Gathering all satellites and updating the Home Point now takes roughly 50 seconds.
The recent firmware update brought with it new customization features, giving you more control over functionality.
Simply go to control settings (on RC Pro), scroll down, and you’ll see a slew of options for changing and adjusting your customizing buttons and dial. When flying, you no longer need to remove your fingers from the sticks.
In May 2022, a firmware update (v01.00.0642) added HLG, a D-log color aid, and a wide-angle lens.
You may also now watch videos in ProRes LT and ProRes 422. That implies that overall file sizes have shrunk, providing you more space to save files even after a full day of shooting.
Autofocus is also much improved, and you can now choose the shutter settings.
It seems like DJI will solve Mavic 3 problems.
There are further improvements, which suggests that DJI may address these concerns sooner rather than later.
To be honest, the Mavic 3 is a drone powerhouse, and the benefits far exceed the drawbacks. If you’re a pro drone pilot, now might be the time to purchase it.
Now that you’re aware of the issues that the DJI Mavic 3 has despite its many excellent features, please share your thoughts on this drone with us.