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DJI Mavic 3 vs. Mavic 3 Cine (Which One is Best?)

As an experienced drone expert with countless hours of flight time, I’ve had the privilege of testing and comparing various drones.

Today, we embark on an exciting head-to-head comparison between two exceptional drones: the DJI Mavic 3 and the DJI Mavic 3 Cine.

Having had the opportunity to fly the two drones, and test and scrutinize their performances, I am here to help you with your decision-making process.

In this article, we’ll provide a clear and concise overview of these drones, assisting you in determining which one best aligns with your needs.

We will break down the differences, benefits, and ideal user profiles for each, empowering you to make an informed choice. 

So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s dive into this DJI Mavic 3 vs Mavic 3 cine comparison.

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Brief Overview

DJI Mavic 3

With a weight of 900 grams, Mavic 3 offers a spectrum of professional features at a price tag that caters to passionate drone flyers.

It comes equipped with:

  • 1 inch CMOS sensor 12 MP camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal.
  • 5.1K 50 fps video resolution.
  • 8 GB internal memory.
  • 46 minutes flying time.
  • 15-kilometre Video Transmission.
  • Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing.
  • Advanced Auto Return.
  • DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller.
  • Max speed of 21m/s.
Droneblog's Choice
DJI Mavic 3 (Fly More Combo)
$2,945.00

Drone with 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, 5.1K Video, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, 46 Mins Flight, Advanced Auto Return, with DJI RC-N1, Two Extra Batteries, Gray.

Buy from Amazon
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03/07/2024 11:56 am GMT

DJI Mavic 3 Cine

Living up to DJI’s reputation for innovation, the DJI Mavic 3 Cine series was created explicitly with filmmakers in mind. These users require high-quality cinematic footage.

From a general perspective, this drone is more or less the same as its predecessor, the Mavic 3, with a few improvements on the camera, memory, and Apple ProRes capabilities.

Some of its features include:

  • 4/3-inch CMOS sensor.
  • 20 MP camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal.
  • 5.1K 50fps video resolution.
  • 1TB Internal Memory.
  • 46 minutes flying time.
  • Apple ProRes support.
  • Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing.
  • Advanced Auto Return.
  • DJI RC Pro remote controller.
  • 15-kilometre video transmission range.
  • Maximum speed of 21m/s.
DJI Mavic 3 Cine
$4,999.00 $4,399.00

Premium Combo - Camera Drone with 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, 5.1K Video, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, 46-Min Flight, Apple ProRes 422 HQ, Max 15km Video Transmission

Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/07/2024 03:06 am GMT

Quick Verdict

Although the two drones are more or less the same, after having had the chance to test and push the two drones to their extremes with the aim of finding their differences, the results are clear.

  • The DJI Mavic 3 is the ultimate aerial performer. For drone enthusiasts, hobbyist, or professionals in need of a versatile drone for various applications, the Mavic 3 is your recommended choice.
    • With features such as an extended flight time that far outweighs its competitors, 5.1K video resolution, and a 20 MP camera, it offers exceptional features at a relatively affordable price.
  • The DJI Mavic 3 Cine is the Cinematic Master. If you are a professional filmmaker, content creator, or someone demanding the highest quality in videography with a budget that can’t meet the DJI Inspire 3, the Mavic 3 cine is the ultimate choice.

In all my tests, the Mavic 3 excelled in terms of versatility and overall value for money.

However, the Mavic 3 Cine is far superior, considering its exceptional camera quality and cinematic capabilities. As such, your selection ends up being a matter of your intended use.

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

What are the differences?

Fasten your belts as we dive further into the specifics that set the two drones apart, explaining why one drone is $2,000 more expensive than the other.

Camera Sensor Size

Even though both drones come with two cameras, a main Pro camera and a telephoto camera, and Hasselblad Natural Color Solution, the Mavic 3 Cine reigns supreme.

Equipped with a Hasselblad L2D-20C camera with a 4/3-inch sensor that can capture photos at 20MP, it is superior to its counterpart the Mavic 3’s Hasselblad.

The Mavic 3 Cine’s sensor makes it a perfect fit for filming in low-light conditions, while its bigger pixel size allows for an increased dynamic range.

Additionally, the Mavic 3 Cine comes with its own lens filter used in adjusting exposure settings to achieve certain camera looks. This feature is not available in the Mavic 3.

» MORE: Camera Technology in Drones (Explained)

Memory

At times, when filming or taking photos, that extra memory can be a key determinant as to whether you will cut the shot and transfer the clip to free up space or continue with the shot, maintaining the momentum.

Luckily, the Mavic 3 Cine has you covered. Its 1TB internal storage carries the day when compared to Mavic 3’s 8GB.

With the Mavic 3 Cine, you can focus on other aspects of your flight, worrying less about storage depletion.

Video Quality

Both drones offer 5.1K video resolution at 50 FPS; however, the Mavic 3 Cine offers Apple ProRes HQ – an advanced video codec used by professionals for editing.

This feature gives professionals more freedom during post-processing, resulting in better color grading.

By comparison, the Mavic 3 does not support Apple ProRes, and footage captured by it may require more editing to achieve the desired look.

» MORE: Best Camera Drones Under $2,000

Remote Controller

When it comes to controller ergonomics, Mavic 3 Cine reigns supreme.

Its DJI RC Pro remote controller features a 5.0-inch display that gives convenient access to the drone’s camera feed.

This makes it much easier to use.

In contrast, the Mavic 3 comes equipped with a DJI RC-N1 remote controller that requires an external device like a smartphone or tablet to display the camera feed.

One fact to note, however, is that you have an option of enjoying the capabilities of the new remote controller by upgrading the Mavic 3’s controller to a DJI RC Pro as an optional accessory.

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

Zoom

Due to its larger sensor, the Mavic 3 Cine’s 24-48mm optical lens can achieve 8X zoom (6X optical and 2X digital).

This offers a wider zoom range in comparison to the Mavic 3’s 6X (4X optical and 2X digital) when both are shooting at 4K resolution.

Therefore, the Mavic 3 Cine allows for more creative shot composition, making it the preferred choice.

Flight Time

Both drones offer an impressive maximum flight time of 46 minutes and a range of 30 km, which is way superior compared to their competitors, ensuring you have ample time for your mission.

Obstacle Avoidance

Both drones use the APAS obstacle avoidance system providing 360° obstacle sensing.

The Mavic 3 Cine has an updated version, APAS 5.0, while its predecessor uses APAS 4.0. This system allows the drone to detect objects at further distances and make adjustments accordingly.

In as much as this the system enhances safe flying, it’s too sensitive, oftentimes ruining gentle cinematic shots when it kicks in.

» MORE: Obstacle Avoidance in DJI Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Weight and Size 

With a gram separating them, the DJI Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine share the same weight, 900g, and 899g, respectively.

Their light weight makes them portable and convenient to carry around. 

They also share a similar design and size as well, except that the Mavic 3 Cine features a larger camera.

DJI Mavic 3

At its launch, the Mavic 3 was a testament to DJI’s commitment to innovation and excellence.

Designed to meet photographers and videographers’ thirst for perfection and quality, it opens up a world of possibilities, encouraging its target market to dream big.

Bundled with a Hasselblad camera, optical zoom, and an extended flight time, this drone lets you tell your story by capturing breathtaking aerial landscapes.

This drone boasts of the following standout features.

» MORE: Mavic 3 Review: Is This the Best Camera Drone? (Find Out Here)

Exceptional camera quality

  • 1 inch Hasselblad Sensor. Hasselblad cameras are one of the best, if not the very best, cameras on the market. The Mavic 3 comes with a Hasselblad L2D-20c camera at its center, featuring a 4/3-inch CMOS sensor, which allows it to capture 20 MP still Images and video resolutions of up to 5.1K at 50 frames per second.
  • Zoom. Supporting two cameras, a main camera and a telephoto, the Mavic 3 lets you zoom 6X while shooting at 4K resolution, which by itself is a bargain. 
  • Adjustable Aperture. Besides the high-quality Hasselblad camera, the Mavic 3 is equipped with an adjustable aperture between f2.8-f11. This lets you adjust the camera settings depending on the lighting conditions to achieve a desired image.

Memory

The Mavic 3 comes with 8 GB of internal memory, which is quite small considering the size of photographs and videos taken by the drone. 

Flight Time

With a flight time of up to 46 minutes flying and 40 minutes hovering, in ideal environments, the Mavic 3 takes away your worry of constantly having to recharge while shooting.

Armed with 3 batteries, you won’t have to carry around the charging unit since you’ll have around 2 hours of flight, which in most cases is more than enough to finish your mission.

» MORE: Top 5 Drones with the Longest Flight Time

360° Obstacle Avoidance

The Mavic 3 is equipped with wide-angle obstacle sensors facing all directions.

It senses obstacles all around it and gives the necessary warning or adjusts accordingly, letting you pull complex shots in areas with obstacles without fear of crashing.

Remote controller

The Mavic 3 comes equipped with a DJI RC -N1 remote controller if bought as a base version, which requires an external device like a smartphone or tablet to display the camera feed.

This, however, is as fully compatible and user-friendly as the Mavic 3 Cine with the DJI RC Pro remote controller.

» MORE: Best Drone Controllers

Noise level

Mavic 3 features efficient speed control and large, quiet rotors that make it relatively quiet during flight. This feature comes in handy when undertaking photography and filming in serene environments.

DJI Mavic 3 Cine

Designed to cater to videographers’ needs the DJI Mavic 3 Cine builds on the successes of the Mavic 3 standard while pushing technological advancement to its edge.

The “Cine “in this drone stands for cinematography. 

Camera Quality

The Mavic 3 Cine has two cameras: the main camera and the telephoto camera. Both cameras are Hasselblad cameras.

The drone’s L2D-20c main camera has a 4/3-inch CMOS sensor that captures 20MP still images in 12-bit RAW format.

It can shoot video in 5.1K at 50 frames per second (fps) and 4K at 120 fps.

The second camera (telephoto) has a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor that captures 12 MP still images allowing you to capture distant subjects.

» MORE: Best Professional Drones for Commercial Use (Consider These Things)

Video Recording

With its camera quality, the Cine lets you choose which resolution best fits your purpose.

At its highest is 5.1K resolution video at up to 50 frames per second at a bitrate of 200mbps, followed by 4K at 120 fps and lastly 1080 HD at 200fps.

In addition, it supports Apple ProRes HQ that uses Hasselblad Natural Color System with a 10-bit D-log profile to produce accurate color straight from the camera.

This offers great flexibility in the video editing phase.

Adjustable aperture

The Cine’s main camera has a 24mm prime lens with an 84° field of view.  This lens has an adjustable aperture from f/2.8 to f/11 that lets you cope with different light conditions.

Its second camera has a fixed aperture of f/4.4 which uses sensors on the drone to capture distant information.

» MORE: What is a Cinelifter? (Explained by a Professional FPV Pilot)

Zoom

The Mavic 3 Cine’s 24-48 mm optical lens lets you zoom 8X while shooting at 4K resolution on the main camera. The telephoto has a 28x Hybrid zoom.

This feature, however, comes with a limitation on manual adjustments of the camera when engaged.

Memory

The Mavic 3 Cine comes with 1TB internal of memory built in, and the one micro-SD slot on the drone’s chassis is easily accessible. You do not need to unfold the arms to access it.

Flight Time

Just like Mavic 3, the Cine has a flight time of up to 46 minutes flying and 40 minutes hovering in ideal environments.

Two or three batteries should be enough to complete your mission.

Omnidirectional Obstacle Avoidance

The Mavic 3 Cine has multiple wide-angle obstacle sensors facing all directions. It senses obstacles around it and gives the necessary warning.

With an improved interface, it now displays obstacles detected to within a fraction of a foot. It also has Airsense Tech Fly that warns of approaching aircraft.

» MORE: Best Drones with Obstacle Avoidance

Remote Controller

The Mavic 3 Cine uses the DJI RC Pro remote controller, which is user-friendly and intuitive.

It transmits a 1080 pixel at 60fps live feed, allowing the pilot to enjoy beautiful colors and crisp images, delivered in real-time.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Camera

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Cine

The Mavic 3 Cine’s 4/3-inch, 20 MP camera offers superior image clarity and dynamic range in comparison to most drones on the market.

This larger sensor ensures the photos and videos captured stand out with exceptional detail, making it the ideal choice for photographers and videographers.  

Rule of thumb: The larger the sensor, the higher the exposure to light, thus the more color ranges the drone is able to capture.

» MORE: Best Camera Drones Under $5,000

Video quality

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Cine

Both drones offer a maximum resolution of 5.1K at 50fps.

However, the Mavic 3 Cine’s wide sensor and support for Apple ProRes HQ allows it to capture more color range while retaining great flexibility in post-production.

Adding its internal memory size makes it a filmmaker’s best tool.

» MORE: Best Drones for Night Time Use (Photography & Video)

Zoom

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Cine

The Mavic 3 Cine again carries the day with its wider lens capable of attaining 8X zoom while recording in 4K. The telephoto can zoom to 28X.

Though not bad, The Mavic 3’s 6X zoom while shooting at 4K feels inferior.

Memory

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Cine

The 1 TB of internal memory found in the Mavic 3 Cine is way bigger than the 8GB found in the Mavic 3.

This removes the burden and extra cost of buying an external SD card and increases your flexibility and options.

Remote controller

Winner: DJI Mavic 3 Cine

Considering controller ergonomics, the DJI RC Pro for the Mavic 3 Cine is way more appealing and easier to use than the Mavic 3’s DJI RC -N1 or DJI RC, without the need to buy these separately.

Flight time

Winner: Tie

Both drones offer an impressive 46 minutes when flying and 40 minutes while hovering, at least for officially published flight times.

Real-life flight times are consistently 3-5 minutes less than this.

» MORE: Smart Features in Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Obstacle Avoidance System

Winner: Tie

Both drones use multiple wide-angle obstacle sensors facing all directions that sense obstacles around them.

They have essentially the same obstacle avoidance maneuvers and options.

They both also have Airsense Tech Fly, which detects aircraft around the drone.

Range

Winner: Tie

Thanks to OcuSync 3+, both drones enjoy a 30 km maximum flight distance with 15 km video transmission range in an open field.

» MORE: Long Range Drones: Ultimate Guide

Speed

Winner: Tie

Both drones enjoy a maximum speed of 21m/s, making them extremely fast and agile.

Weight

Winner: Tie

The DJI Mavic 3 Cine weighs 899g while Mavic 3 weighs 900g. Thanks to their lightweight design, both drones are easy to carry around.

» MORE: Average Weights of Common Types of Drones

Conclusion

Looking at the comparison above, the choice is clear.

The DJI Mavic 3 is an excellent choice for those who want impressive aerial photography and video capabilities.

If you are seeking a drone that offers great video quality, captures high-quality images, and offers extended flight time for diverse use, yet are limited financially, the Mavic 3 is the best fit.

On the other hand, the Mavic 3 Cine is the preferred choice for photographers and videographers who prioritize cinematic excellence.

Its wider sensor, optical zoom, and 10-bit D-log color profile make it a force to reckon with for those seeking to create cinematic scenes.

In the end, your choice should match your specific requirements and future aspirations.

Whether you are looking to conquer the skies with all-round drone capabilities or craft cinematic capabilities from above, your choice is clear.

Choose a drone that perfectly serves your interests.

» MORE: DJI Mavic 3 Classic vs. Air 3 (Which One is Better)