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DJI Mini 3 Pro (Beginner’s Guide)

Are you considering getting the DJI Mini 3 Pro, or have you got one and are not sure how to use it? You’ve come to the right place.

Whether you have been working with drones or got the DJI Mini 3 Pro as your first drone, there’s helpful information here for you.

This will be a comprehensive guide for the DJI Mini 3 Pro where we will talk about:

  • Main features
  • Take-off and landing
  • DJI FLY App
  • Controllers
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • Battery management

Please keep reading to learn more about the DJI Mini 3 Pro and the best way to use it.

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The DJI Mini 3 Pro is the latest and the most premium mini drone from DJI so far. It weighs 249 grams, which means you don’t have to register it unless you will be using it for paid work.

It also features a minimalistic design, measuring 90*62*145 mm when folded and 362*70*251 mm when unfolded. The weight and folding design make it a perfect pocket drone you can carry with you as you hike or travel.

Unboxing the DJI Mini 3 Pro

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is a Ready-To-Fly drone, meaning you don’t need to assemble anything. You can unwrap it and fly it right out of the box – after charging the batteries 😊.

Unlike the previous drones, DJI moved away from selling a standard package and a Fly More Combo.

With the DJI Mini 3 Pro, you get three types of packages: one without any controller, one with DJI RCN1, and another with the DJI RC smart controller. Fly More combos are now sold separately.

All three packages are similar except for the controller. In the box, you get the drone, one intelligent battery, an extra set of propellers, a screwdriver, and a Type C to Type C cable for charging.

DJI Mini 3 Pro exterior features

As mentioned earlier, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is a folding drone. So once you get it out of the box, you will need to unfold it to access all its features.

Start by unfolding the front arms by pushing them downwards, not sideways like other DJI drones. The rear arms are the ones you will now unfold by pulling them sideways.

Front section

At the front top, you will see the forward obstacle detection sensors.

Remember that these sensors don’t sense obstacles at 180 degrees in front of them. They only detect obstacles within 45 degrees, so there will be blind spots, considering it lacks sideways sensors.

Below it is the camera and the gimbal that allows it to be in a landscape and portrait position.

But before you get to the gimbal, there will be a gimbal cover. You should always remove this cover before you fly. To remove it, find the clip at the bottom, press it, and pull the cover out.

After flying, place it back by inserting the top part first, then press the clip to lock it in.


At the rear, there is the battery compartment. When fully charged, insert the battery until you hear a clicking sound, which means the battery has been inserted successfully.

To remove the battery, press the two latches on each side and pull it out.

Above the battery compartment is the USB-C port on the left, where you can connect the drone to the computer, but you can also use this port to charge a battery while it’s in the drone.

Next to it is the SD card slot where you can insert an SD card. The DJI Mini 3 Pro does have 1.2 GB internal storage, but I wouldn’t rely on that, especially if you are shooting 4K videos.

Instead, get a high-speed 256 GB UHS-II SD card.


At the top, there is the Power button that allows you to switch on or switch off the drone, as well as link the drone to the controller.

At the front, behind the front obstacle sensors are the backward sensors. DJI placed them at the front since when the drone is flying backward, the front section is elevated while the rear section lowers.


At the bottom of the drone, you will find the downward obstacle sensors, which also help the drone when landing.

These sensors are always on, even when you switch obstacle avoidance off since the drone must sense the ground before it can land.


Unlike in drones like the DJI Phantom, you must screw in the propellers. But DJI does provide a screwdriver, so that should not be an issue.

However, you also need to note that propellers aren’t the same. For instance, the front right and back left propellers will differ from the front left and back right propellers.

This design helps the drone maintain its flight by canceling out the rotation that would occur if all propellers rotated in the same direction.

In the DJI Mini 3 Pro, the front left and back right propellers will have a mark next to the screws.

Make sure you attach the appropriate propellers to the correct arms and always ensure you have screwed the propellers in tightly since, due to vibrations, loose screws may come off, and the drone will end up crashing.


The DJI Mini 3 Pro comes with two types of batteries.

One is the ultralight battery that lasts about 30 minutes and keeps the drone weighing under 250 grams. This battery will be labeled “Ultralight 249 Grams.”

The other one is the extended battery that can last up to 47 minutes and will not have any labeling.


The DJI Mini 3 Pro works with two controllers. Let’s look at each and the features they have.


This is the standard controller you may have come across in previous drones, such as the DJI Mini 2 or the DJI Air 2S, where you will use your smartphone for the live video footage and the app.

The main features you will see are the joysticks, which you will use to control the drone.

But when setting the controller up for the first time, the joysticks will be placed at the bottom.

Just remove them and screw them into the available holes. And once you are done, place them back at the bottom for more accessible storage.

At the top of this RC is a clamp, which you pull out. This clamp holds your phone and acts as the antennae or receiver, allowing a stronger connection between the drone and the controller.

Once you pull it out, there should be a cable to connect to the smartphone. DJI provides cables for both iOS and Android devices. Place your smartphone in the clamp and connect your smartphone.

Below are other buttons that you will find on this controller and what they do.

  • FN – This is a Function key at the top left, and it’s a customizable button to which you can assign any task.
  • Camera switch button – This button is at the top left, allowing you to switch between video and photo modes. This feature is available on the app too.
  • Mode switch – In the middle, there is a button that allows you to switch between Normal (medium speed), Cine (Slow speed), and Sport (fast) modes.
  • Power – Next to the Modes button to the right is the Power button, where you switch the controller on or off.
  • RTH – Next to the Modes button on the left is the Return to Home button that allows you to initiate or cancel Return to Home.
  • Gimbal dial – At the top, next to the clamp on the right, is a dial that allows you to move the gimbal up and down.
  • Shutter button – On the other side of the phone clump is the button that allows you to take a photo or start and stop recording when in photo mode or video mode, respectively.
  • USB C – At the bottom is a USB-C port to charge the controller.


This is a newer controller that DJI first introduced with the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

It comes with a 5.5-inch screen display, eliminating the need for a smartphone, and it has some extra features and some limitations compared to the RCN1.

The joysticks are placed at the same position as the RCN1, but the RC has two customizable buttons at the bottom, the C1, and C2, and the joysticks can also be removed and placed at the back top section.

At the top, between the joysticks, are the Mode switch buttons in the middle, RTH on the left, and the Power button on the right, just like in the RCN1.

The Home button also acts as the Pause button when recording or using intelligent flight modes.

And at the bottom is the USB-C port for charging. Next is a flap covering the SD card slot and a host USB port.

The DJI Fly App

This app allows you to access several other features of the drone. You practically can’t fly without it.

When using the RCN1, you install the app on your smartphone by downloading it from DJI’s website, but with the DJI RC, the app is pre-installed in the controller.

Once you install the app and open it, you can access a screen with the following features.

  • Location status – Here, the app lets you know the status of the location you are flying in and recommends flying Spots where you can fly.
  • Tutorials – At the top right, you can access tutorials that DJI has made available for the DJI Mini 3 Pro when connected to the internet.
  • Album – At the bottom left is the Album where you can access all of your footage.
  • Skypixel – This is DJI’s social media platform for sharing footage and learning from other DJI drone owners.
  • Profile – Here, you will be asked to create a DJI account if you don’t already have one.
  • Go FLY – This is the button that ushers you into the screen where you can view the drone’s live footage and several other settings, as we will discuss below.

Back button

This is the arrow-like symbol pointing left. It allows you to back to the screen where you tapped GO FLY.


This shows the mode you are in. The DJI Mini 3 Pro has three modes: Sport, Normal, and Cine, and you can access them on your controller.

  • Sport – Sport mode is perfect when you need to fly fast to a destination.
  • Normal – Normal mode is smoother, and you can use it for filming or normal cruising.

Flight Status

This is a section that updates you on the nature of your flight. You can click on it, and the first thing you will see is the Flight Status.

If you are flying with enough satellites, in authorized zones, and without any issues, it will say “Normal.” Otherwise, you will get an error that you will have to troubleshoot.

Below the Flight Status is where you set the RTH, which should be higher than any structures or trees in the area.

Below that, you can set the Maximum Altitude, which is helpful in areas with regulations. And Maximum Distance, which helps you prevent flying beyond the allowed limit.

Once you fly your drone and realize how far it can fly before losing the signal, you can set that as the maximum distance in this setting.

Below that is the SD card, which helps you monitor how much storage you have left. You can monitor this as you film to know when to transfer to create more space.

It also allows you to format the SD card in case of an issue.

Battery Information

On the top right section, the first thing you see is the battery information. It shows you the battery power left percentage and how much time is left. When you click on it, you get the information categorized.

It lets you know how much time is left before the drone initiates RTH, how much time is left before it forces a landing, and how much time is left before the drone lands.

Please don’t get so carried away with nice shots or scenery that you forget the battery because the time left will fluctuate a lot depending on the speed, wind, and drone’s weight; ensure you are constantly monitoring it.

I always start flying the drone back when it’s around 30 to 40%, especially if I fly far away.

I have also learned that if you descend the drone’s altitude a bit, especially when it’s windy and you are trying to fly back, you redeem a few minutes of the battery power.

Another battery management tip to know when filming is to never switch to Sport mode when the battery is getting depleted. This will consume more battery power, and the drone may still land in another location.

Remote Controller

Next to the battery information is the strength of the drone’s connection to the controller. You get all full bars when the connection is at its strongest. Monitor it to avoid losing your drone in a fly-away situation.

Later, I’ll show you the settings to use if you lose the connection between the drone and the controller.

Satellite count

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is a GPS drone, so you must be connected to as many satellites as possible for the RTH, navigation, and stabilization to work.

The DJI Fly App should update you in case you have very few or enough satellites, and it will also let you know when it is okay to fly.

Camera settings

The bottom left section is dedicated to camera and video settings, where you adjust things like exposure, ISO, shutter speed, switch between manual and Auto modes, and select intelligent flight modes.

I have discussed the camera settings extensively in this article, including the settings you will find when you click on the three dots (more on these later), where you can add exposure warnings, histograms, and other customizations.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro: How to Adjust Camera Settings

Altitude and speed

At the bottom left, you get information on the drone’s altitude, ascending speed, distance from the controller, and how fast the drone moves horizontally.


On the far left is a map that allows you to navigate. You can use it to always know your location in case you are too far away from home and find your way back to the home point.

The tip of the arrow shows where the drone is facing. You can also switch to compass mode, where the drone will show you the obstacles detected and their direction.

Auto take-off and landing

At the far left is an Auto take-off and landing button. You can automatically take off by pressing it, and the drone will hover until you input other controls.

Once you are done, press the same section, and the drone will land itself.

Screen controls

Besides the settings you can see on the main screen, other features are available, including:

  • Tap and hold – A bubble will appear if you tap your screen and hold. This signifies that you can now control the gimbal up and down like you would in the gimbal dial mentioned earlier.
  • Tap once on the screen – If you want to set the exposure on one section of the screen, you can tap on that section once.

    A yellow box will appear, and a scale with a sun icon will appear on the right where you can increase or decrease the exposure for that section.

    If you want to lock the exposure at that section, tap and hold until you see a locking icon.

More Settings

The three dots on the far right give you access to more settings on the drone. These include:


Below are the settings available in the Safety tab.

  • Obstacle Avoidance Action – Here, you tell the drone what to do if it encounters an obstacle.

    You can set it to Bypass, where the drone avoids the obstacles.

    Brake, where the drone will stop when it senses an obstacle.

    Or Off, where Obstacle Avoidance sensors will be turned off.
  • Display Radar Map – This is the Compass mode I mentioned earlier, where the drone shows you in real-time where the obstacles are and how close you are to them. You can leave it on.
  • Flight Protection – This is where you set the Maximum distance and altitude and the RTH altitude.
  • Update home point – If you move away from the recorded home point and want the drone to fly to your current location, here is where you can update that location.

    You can set the home point to where the drone is or where the controller is.
  • Sensors – Here, you can calibrate the drone’s Compass and IMU. They both have on-screen prompts that will guide you through the process.
  • Battery info – Here, you get information on the battery, such as its cycles, voltage, nature of cells, and how many times you have charged it.
  • Unlock Geo Zone – If you are in an area where your drone flight is restricted but have permission to fly, you can unlock the zone through this setting.

    Depending on the zone’s classification, you will have to fill in some information to unlock it.
  • Find my drone – This feature helps you find your drone in case you lose it. It will show its last know location on the map and direction since the battery may be dead by the time you get there.

    You can also initiate flashing and beeping to make it easier to find.

At the bottom is the Advanced Safety Settings, which include:

  • Signal lost – Here, you tell the drone what to do if the signal is lost between it and the controller. It can either Hover, Return to Home (RTH), or Descend. You can choose either depending on where you are flying.

    If you are outdoors, RTH is the best option. Hover is best when flying indoors, and Descend could work in both situations when you’re sure what’s beneath it.
  • Emergency Stop – If you want the drone to stop midflight, you can pull the joysticks inwards or outwards. This can come in handy in an emergency and you don’t have time to fly back.


Below are the settings in the Control tab.

  • Units – Here, you can select the units you want to use depending on where you live. In the USA, you can use Imperial, and in the UK, you can use Metric.
  • Subject scanning – When switched on, the drone will automatically detect subjects and place them in the camera view.
  • Gimbal – Here, you can adjust everything to do with the gimbal. You can switch to FPV mode to add some motion to the footage or leave it in Follow Mode, where the Horizon is always level.
  • Advanced gimbal settings – Here, you get to adjust the gimbal’s speed in Cine, Normal, or Sport mode by adjusting things like pitch and yaw smoothness and rotation speeds.

    DJI later replaced these with Gain and Expo settings which I have also talked about in how to adjust camera settings for the DJI Mini 3 Pro, and how to get the best footage.
  • Gimbal calibration – In case you are experiencing gimbal failures or getting shaky footage, you can recenter or recalibrate the gimbal here.
  • Remote controller – Here, you can select the mode to use with your controller (you can use the default Mode 2), customize the customizable buttons in the controllers, calibrate it, and adjust the controllers’ responsiveness to your inputs.
  • Flight tutorial – Here, you get another tutorial on how to use the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
  • Reconnect the drone with the controller – At the bottom, you can re-pair your drone with the controller.


Here, you get to control the channels the drone and controller communicate in and the channel modes. You can always leave these as default when starting out.


To find out the drone’s specs, available software updates, and any other information about the drone, you will get it in this section.

How to fly the DJI Mini 3 Pro

Now that you know the drone’s features, let’s go through how you can take off and some basic controls you will need to know as a beginner. Below is an essential checklist to make sure everything is ready for take-off.

  • Make sure you are in an open space where the drone will not likely run into anything.
  • Find a flat surface to take off from and ensure there are no obstructions.
  • Make sure the drone and controller are fully charged.
  • Check for any physical damage to the drone, battery, propellers, and controller.
  • Make sure you are connected to the internet, and watch out for any prompts to update the firmware.
  • The drone and the controller should be paired right out of the box. But if they are not, reconnect by going to Settings-Control.

Taking off

You can choose to take off manually or automatically. As a beginner, I’d recommend you use the manual method to gain muscle memory of the controls. Auto take-off is pretty straightforward.

As I mentioned earlier, press the icon on the left side of the screen, and the drone will take off. Below is how you do it manually.

  • Power on the drone and the controller by pressing the power buttons once and then pressing again and holding for a few seconds.
  • Check for any errors on the app or firmware updates. If it’s all good, tap GO FLY, ensure you have enough satellites, and ensure the drone indicates it is ready to take off.
  • Push both sticks down and inwards to arm the drone. The propellers should start rotating.
  • Press the left stick upwards, and the drone will start ascending. You don’t have to go too high if you are in an open space.
  • As long as there are enough satellites, the drone will hover in place. The left stick also yaws the drone, so test the yaw left and right.
  • The right stick is for pitching forward and back and for rolling left and right.
  • To land, find a good spot, descend gradually until you reach the ground, then push the left stick further down to disarm the drone.

Basic maneuvers for practice

Once you take off, below are some maneuvers to practice to get a feel of the drone.

  • Vertical box – Take off to about 20 feet above the ground, estimate the starting point, ascend about 10 feet, roll to the right about 10 feet, descend, and then roll left to where you started.
  • Horizontal box – Take off the drone and hover about 20 feet above the ground. Pitch forward about 10 feet, roll right 10 feet, pitch back 10 feet, and yaw left to where you started.

    You can also combine yaw movements.

    When you pitch forward 10 feet, yaw the drone so it faces right, pitch forward and yaw the drone 90 degrees and pitch for 10 feet, and yaw the drone 90 degrees, so it faces where you started, then do it fast to create a smooth motion.
  • Point of interest – Some drones can do a POI automatically, but it’s good to practice doing it manually.

    The best way to do it is to find a subject, point the camera to it, then circle around it using the yaw and the roll inputs while maintaining the drone’s height.
  • Have fun – Feel free to experiment with any other maneuvers you have in mind, switch to Sport mode and fly around the field, and try to record some photos and videos while at it.

DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Modes

After practicing and testing the flight modes, it’s time to test the intelligent flight modes. These are modes that help create cinematic footage fast or that can help spice up your flights.

The DJI Mini 3 Pro has five: Mastershots FocusTrack, Quickshots, Hyperlapse, and Panorama.


This feature allows the drone to follow the selected subject autonomously. All you have to do is select the subject, and if the subject moves, the drone will calculate the best path to follow while keeping the subject in view.

To activate it, you will first need to select the subject.

  • Subject Scanning ON – When switched on in the Control section, the drone will try to detect the subject, and there will be a plus icon next to it.

    Click on the plus icon to select the subject, and there will be a green box around it to show the drone is tracking it.
  • Subject Scanning OFF – When Subject Scanning is switched off, you can select the subject by manually drawing a box around the subject.

FocusTrack has three variations you can choose from. They include:

  • Spotlight – in this mode, the drone will keep the camera focused on the subject, but it will be stationary.

    The drone pilot is responsible for the drone’s movement, and the drone will figure out how to always keep the subject in the frame.
  • ActiveTrack – This is a Follow Me mode where the drone will keep the camera focused on the subject, and when the subject moves, the drone will follow them autonomously.

    Try this mode in an open space since the drone lacks obstacle avoidance.

    You can choose either Trace, where the drone follows you from behind, or Parallel, where the drone will be parallel to the subject as it follows it.
  • Point of Interest – The drone will automatically circle the subject in a perfect circle. All you have to do is fly the drone to an appropriate height, select the direction for the drone to fly the circle in, and set the speed.


This mode allows the drone to record the subject in patterns such as a dronie, rocket, circle, helix, Boomerang, and Asteroid.

Select the subject, as you did in the FocusTrack, and select one QuickShots mode. You can also set the duration and height.

Once it’s done, the drone will come back to where it started.


Mastershots is similar to QuickShots. The only difference is that Mastershots combines all the QuickShots modes into one clip.

QuickShots and Mastershots create a clip that’s ready to share on your social media accounts with minimal editing.

DJI Mini 3 Pro photo modes

Below are the various ways you can take photos with the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

  • Single – Here is where you take one shot.
  • 48MP – This is the highest resolution available on this drone and works best when you want a high-resolution still image.
  • AEB – Here, the drone can take up to five shots in different exposures, allowing you to select the best-exposed photo for use.
  • Burst – This setting allows you to take several photos, especially of a subject in motion.
  • Timed shot – Here, you can create a countdown of up to 15 seconds, allowing you to use your drone as a camera on a tripod.


Here, the drone takes a series of photos over time as it moves. You can choose the motion the drone will move in.

The options available are Waypoints, where you define the path; Circle, where it circles; Free, where the pilot has control of how the drone moves; and CourseLock, where the pilot locks the drone to follow a certain course.


Here, the drone takes a series of photos and stitches them into a Wide Angle, 180-degree view, Sphere, or Vertical.