You know the old saying, “birds of a feather flock together,” right? I mention that because if drones were birds, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro and Mavic 3 Pro Cine would certainly flock together.
These drones are two sides of the same coin but are not identical, or else there would be little sense in writing this review.
There are enough discrepancies between them that you have a hard choice to make if you’re wrestling between which is better.
Well, the good news is you can’t go wrong no matter which you choose. However, you’re here to find the right one, so let’s have at it.
This guide will review the differences between the DJI Mavic 3 Pro and Mavic 3 Pro Cine, digging into the nitty-gritty of these drones, such as features, specs, and performance. Between the two, the Mavic 3 Pro Cine is my drone of choice.
Will you agree with my assessment or go your own way? That’s up to you, but you will have my guidance (and support!) the entire way.
Join me as I take you through the intricacies of these excellent DJI drones to reveal the winner.
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
DJI Mavic 3 Pro
The Mavic 3 Pro continues the proud lineage of Mavic drones.
Released in May 2023 after the Mavic 3, Mavic 3 Cine, and Mavic 3 Classic, the Pro proved the capabilities of DJI’s camera technology with the introduction of its triple-camera system.
The freedom to select your photographic mood, seamlessly switching between three capable cameras as you see fit, is the ultimate dream for many pro drone pilots specializing in photography.
You no longer have to bring a whole fleet of drones, switching from one to another to get the right shot. It’s all achievable in one.
Here are the best features of the Mavic 3 Pro:
- The top-line triple-camera system with one Hasselblad camera (4/3 CMOS) that shoots in 20 MP, a medium tele camera (1/1.3-inch CMOS) with 3x Optical Zoom that shoots in 48 MP, and a tele camera (1/2-inch CMOS) with Optical Zoom, Hybrid Zoom, and 12 MP image quality.
- 5.1K video quality at 50 frames per second or 4K at 120 fps with professional videography support such as Apple ProRes, HLG composites, Night Shots, Hyperlapse, and DJI’s 10-bit D-Log color profile.
- A hearty battery that flies for over 40 minutes, allowing you to complete more commercial shoots before calling it a day. Even if the battery doesn’t last the full advertised 43 minutes, you can expect to get close to 40 minutes every time.
- Some of the best DJI safety features you can find in a consumer drone, from APAS 5.0 to omnidirectional obstacle sensing with wide-angle vision sensors and multi-directional visual assistance.
- Enjoyable yet intuitive smart features, including Advanced RTH, Cruise Control, FocusTrack, Waypoint Flights, Panorama, MasterShots, and QuickShots to unlock the full potential of this drone.
DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine
To know and love the Mavic 3 Pro is to know and love the 3 Pro Cine. It came out on the same day as the Mavic 3 Pro, May 25th, 2023, as a complement to the OG.
In many ways, the Mavic 3 Pro Cine is the Mavic 3 Pro. It has the same incredible triple-camera system, the Intelligent Flight Modes that made many so excited to fly it, safety features, and an exceptional battery life.
Then, there are all the additional features it boasts, such as:
- More wide-scale encoding support, including H.264/H.265, Apple ProRes 422, 422 LT, and 422 HQ. This encoding doesn’t apply to one of the cameras but all three, so you can take immersive videos in up to 5.1K quality with codecs that take up less storage, maintain quality, and allow for editing in real time.
- An included 1-terabyte SSD hard drive that can store more photos and videos. Between that and the increased time you’ll spend on the field with the lengthy battery life, you can focus more on your projects rather than charging your battery or changing out SSD cards.
With so many overlapping features between the Mavic 3 Pro and Mavic 3 Pro Cine, you might think I struggled to come up with a favorite.
Actually, it was just the opposite!
Unlike some of the reviews I’ve done on this blog, where I’ve grappled with narrowing it down to one, this choice came easily.
The 3 Pro Cine is the better choice between it and the Mavic 3 Pro, although perhaps better isn’t the right word here. Rather, it has more: more codec support and more storage space. If you can have all those features plus industry-leading cameras, battery life, safety features, and intelligent modes, why wouldn’t you go for more?
There is nothing wrong with the Mavic 3 Pro on its own. It’s a perfectly capable drone for social media stars, commercial pilots, and anyone seeking a drone with some of DJI’s most innovative features to date.
The Mavic 3 Pro Cine’s extra features are like the cherry on top of what’s already a delicious sundae. You’re fine without it and will still enjoy your ice cream all the same, never missing it.
However, once you have it, you’re glad you do. It just tops off your experience and makes it more memorable.
What are the main differences?
Finding differences between the Mavic 3 Pro and 3 Pro Cine is like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. They’re there, but it’s tough to track them down.
- Weight: No, codec support doesn’t increase the weight of the Mavic 3 Pro Cine, but its extra storage capacity does. Granted, it’s not by much, but it’s still there, so it must be discussed. The Mavic 3 Pro weighs 958 grams, while the 3 Pro Cine is 963 grams.
- Codec support: The Mavic 3 Pro has only basic Apple ProRes support, while the 3 Pro Cine can support three versions of Apple ProRes encoding: 422, 422 LT, and 422 HQ. Each has a different target data rate in fps and Mbps.
- Price: Neither of these DJI drones is cheap given their amazing capabilities, but the Mavic 3 Pro is significantly less expensive. It retails for around $2,200 if you buy the drone and the DJI RC, and about $3,000 if you upgrade to the Fly More Combo with that remote (the DJI RC Pro is also available for substantially more). The Mavic 3 Pro Cine base price is about $4,800, and it’s over $5,000 if you upgrade to a kit with a microSD card and hard carrying case.
- Default storage: The original Mavic 3 Pro has 8 gigabytes of storage, with 7.9 GB available to use. By comparison, the Mavic 3 Pro Cine has 1 TB of storage, with 934.8 GB available to use. That’s hundreds of gigs more!
DJI Mavic 3 Pro
As a continuation of DJI’s long-running Mavic line, the Mavic 3 Pro takes DJI drones to the next level with its unparalleled triple-camera system.
DJI calls it “flagship imaging,” and can you really blame them, let alone disagree with them? The Mavic 3 Pro has some of the best camera capabilities in one drone because you can switch from one to the other effortlessly.
One of the three cameras is the ½-inch CMOS tele camera that’s 166 millimeters. It has a fixed aperture of f/3.4 and an image quality of 12 MP, but where this camera truly shines is in its zoom abilities.
Its Hybrid Zoom can get in 28x, while the Optical Zoom is 7x. I can’t even tell you how many cool possibilities this unlocks for drone pilots.
You can stand clear across a site and use the Hybrid Zoom to seem like you’re standing right there.
Using drones in lieu of people for projects is already a safer alternative, and features like these make it even safer.
The 1/1.3-inch CMOS medium tele camera has a 3x Optical Zoom that’s not too shabby. However, what really gets tongues wagging about this camera is its 48 MP image quality. It’s also got a fixed aperture of f/2.8 and is 70 millimeters.
That 48 MP image quality is among the best you can find in a DJI drone in the 2020s, and that you can zoom in will ensure higher-quality videos and photos, even from further away.
Then, there’s the Hasselblad camera, a 4/3 CMOS that’s 24 millimeters. It shoots in a moderate 20 MP.
While it doesn’t have any zoom features, you can adjust the aperture from f/2.8 to f/11, determining the right amount of light to allow in depending on the shot you want to take.
The Hasselblad camera does more than that. DJI equipped with it the Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution or HNCS for more accurate color portrayal when capturing videos and photos.
You’ll love the myriad safety features the Mavic 3 Pro has. Nocturnal Assistance determines obstacles in dark or dim conditions, illuminating them so you don’t miss them.
Forward visual support and enhanced zoom precision maintain your focus and perspective when using the telephoto drone.
Multi-directional awareness helps you maintain your forward view and spatial distance when dramatically shifting angles.
Vision Assist, omnidirectional obstacle sensing, and the Automatic Pilot Assistance System or APAS 5.0 round out the exceptional collection of safety features.
For what the Mavic 3 Pro costs, the last thing you want to do is lose or crash yours!
DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine
That brings us to the Mavic 3 Pro Cine, one of the most powerful drones under the DJI umbrella. That’s quite a feat, considering how many of these drones are utter behemoths in areas like image and video quality.
The same triple cameras you know and love in the Mavic 3 Pro are featured in the Mavic 3 Pro Cine, including that unmeasurable video quality of 5.1K at 50 fps.
This drone is also capable of 4K at 120 fps, which obviously isn’t as good but is still fine if that’s all you can shoot in.
The 10-bit D-Log incorporates a lifelike palette of colors into your videography that will win you much-earned acclaim for your work. Your videos will have an extra dash of panache your competitors lack as you explore a billion colors.
Hyperlapse is another fun way to experiment with the triple-camera system of the Mavic 3 Pro Cine, as you speed up a stationary video to show footage in hyper-time.
Night Shots retains the beauty and wonder of the world around you after dark with less noise, while HLG widens your dynamic range for five-star footage.
Then there is all the Apple ProRes codec support available in the Mavic 3 Pro Cine for greater HQ data density.
Apple ProRes 422 provides full-res video with a reduced data rate of 29.97 fps and 45 Mbps at 1920×1080.
The Apple ProRes 422 LT is among the third highest of the 422 codecs. It’s an editing codec designed to maintain your data rates and storage capacity so you can keep your projects going at full steam ahead.
The Apple ProRes 422 HQ codec is even better than the original Apple ProRes 422 support, maintaining visual quality to the same degree as Apple ProRes 4444.
You can’t forget that this drone also includes DJI’s Intelligent Flight Modes and LightCut, a DJI app for editing on the go. You can make single-tap changes to your videos and photos, improving them with the power of AI.
Panorama uses the wide-angle capabilities of the Mavic 3 Pro’s camera system to take 100 MP images, MasterShots handles all the cinematics for you (including soundtracks and editing), and FocusTrack for the medium tele and Hasselblad cameras use Point of Interest, Spotlight, and ActiveTrack 5.0. You can also use ol’ reliable QuickShots, with modes like Dronie and Rocket.
Flight automation has never been smarter, as the Mavic 3 Pro Cine also uses Advanced RTH for wayfinding, customizable Waypoint Flights, and Cruise Control.
These features take the pressure off you to fly your drone and take photos and videos simultaneously. You can focus on the fun part, the cinematics!
Flagship Triple-Camera Drone
- Tri-Camera Apple ProRes Support with 1TB of storage
- Three Intelligent Flight Batteries, and more
Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine
How about a tense battle between these two Mavic 3 series drones?
Although they share the same camera system, the Mavic 3 Pro Cine has something the Mavic 3 Pro does not: advanced Apple ProRes codec.
Is it such a big deal that the Mavic 3 Pro doesn’t have the same codecs? I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s the end of the world, no.
The Mavic 3 Pro got high marks when it was released, which was at the same time as the Cine edition, and it’s an awesome drone to fly in its own right.
However, this goes back to my point from before. If you can have more, why wouldn’t you want it? I can see maybe skipping the Mavic 3 Pro Cine in favor of the 3 Pro to save some money, but the codecs are worth it, if you ask me.
I would especially recommend the additional video codecs for long-time pro pilots and those eager to give themselves an edge when beginning a commercial drone career.
Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine
Everything about the Mavic 3 Pro is tailored toward performance, from its sturdy three-axis gimbal to its zoom capability so you can stand safely further from the action.
This drone also boasts a strong battery life and DJI’s best obstacle sensing yet, between APAS 5.0 and omnidirectional obstacle sensing.
Since these two drones are otherwise the same outside of a few key features, you might wonder what made me select the Mavic 3 Pro Cine over the OG Mavic 3 Pro.
That’s simple. It has more storage space than the Mavic 3 Pro, which allows you to fly longer without worrying about taking too many videos or photos.
That enhances performance and enjoyment when flying this awesome drone.
Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Pro
Yes, I’m giving this prize to the Mavic 3 Pro because it weighs about 10 grams less than the 3 Pro Cine. The inclusion of the additional storage space makes the latter drone ever so slightly heavier.
It’s a waste not to see the great, big, wide world with a triple-camera system like the one this DJI drone boasts.
You can use the three cameras to their fullest potential when capturing tropical savannahs and craggy mountains.
RC compatibility and flight range
Then, there are the areas where the lines between these two drones get admittedly blurrier, beginning with the RC.
It has a screen, which is one of my favorite features, and DJI equipped the remote with its O3+ video transmission system and 2T4R antennas for sending footage in 1080p quality at 60 fps up to 15 kilometers away.
Here’s another area where there’s no difference between the Mavic 3 Pro and 3 Pro Cine. I tested the battery between both these drones and found they fly for an identical amount of time.
DJI advertises the battery at 43 minutes, but I got just shy of 40 minutes in ambient conditions and even less time when flying in high winds.
The DJI Mavic 3 Pro and 3 Pro Cine are kissing cousins, yet their differences in storage space and codec make the Mavic 3 Pro Cine worth considering over its very capable OG version.
For slightly more money, you can receive a drone that has all the fixings!
I can see if your budget precludes you from doing that, but otherwise, there’s every reason to choose the 3 Pro Cine over the original Mavic 3 Pro.