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Best Video Settings for DJI Mini 3 Pro (Explained for Beginners)

It is abundantly clear that the Mini 3 Pro is both an excellent drone for photography and equally as impressive when it comes to shooting video.

As with any camera, whether it be a drone, mirrorless, or DSLR, if the initial video settings are not correct, the end product will not highlight the capabilities of the camera.

Oftentimes, the results can be quite poor.

We will be going over video-related definitions, tips, and the best settings for ISO, Frame Rate, Shutter Speed, White Balance, and Color Profile settings to get the most out of the video produced by the Mini 3 Pro.

There is also included Mini 3 Pro video footage with the settings used to achieve the onscreen results.

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Accessing the Video Settings

In order to manually change the settings mentioned in this article, you will need to be in Pro Mode while in Video Mode.

To get to Pro mode:

While in video mode, tap the camera icon on the bottom right of the DJI Fly app live view screen. If the video settings are currently set to Auto, tap the camera icon and it will change to Pro.

ISO

Surprisingly, ISO is not an acronym when it comes to cameras. ISO is simply the value of measure for a camera sensor’s light sensitivity.

On the Mini 3 Pro, ISO 100 is the lowest value (darker) and when shooting video, can be as high as 6400 (brighter).

When shooting video with the Mini 3 Pro, and any drone for that matter, the lower the ISO the better.

Low ISO values ensure that the video footage is not noisy or “grainy”. It is suggested that, whenever possible, shoot with an ISO value of 100.

With the Mini 3 Pro having such a wide and fast aperture of f/1.7, shooting at ISO 100 is easily achievable.

However, there will be times when the “stay at ISO 100 rule” will need to be broken, in order to achieve better scene exposure.

To change ISO settings:

Tap on the right-side bottom section, where the camera icon with the Pro mode label is located. This is reserved for ISO and Shutter settings.

You can now change ISO settings by sliding left and right.

Frame Rate or FPS (Frames per Second)

The frame rate of a video or its FPS means how many frames are shot during a given second. The higher the value, the more frames are in that given second.

When it comes to drone footage, frames per second aren’t as critical as it is for, say, ground camera footage where one might be filming live-action sequences that need to be slowed down or accurately rendering dialogue between characters.

That isn’t to say FPS is not important at all when it comes to drone video. Generally, drones are filming scenes from a fair distance, showcasing entire areas, so oftentimes a low frame-per-second rate of 24 or 30 is perfect.

We’ll briefly discuss a few shooting scenarios and the correct frames per second to capture these.

Scenario 1 – Sweeping Scenic Views

When shooting areas with broad and beautiful vistas, mountains, and lazy water views, 24 or 30 frames per second works great.

24 frames per second is the universal cinematic video standard and something that we are accustomed to seeing in movies.

When shooting at 24 FPS, keep in mind that there is little room for proper speed adjustments in video editors, ie slowing down the footage.

When shooting in 24 frames per second, you will need to be very smooth on the control sticks to avoid jerky flight movement showing up in the footage.

30 frames per second can be used when you’d like to slightly slow down the footage in post (in video editing software), to give it a smoother overall appearance. Videos shot in 30 FPS can be slowed down by 80% in post.

Shooting in 30 frames per second and slightly slowing the footage down in a video editor can smooth out the footage slightly if the drone operator is a little less careful and smooth on the flight sticks.

Scenario 2 – Slow Motion Footage

If planning to shoot slow-motion footage, or “slower-motion footage” this can be achieved by shooting at 60 FPS.

You might want to shoot at this frame rate to capture close-up views of running water, fast-moving boats that are kicking up large wakes and spray, or even faster-moving people and animals.

If you are looking for even more drastic slow-motion shots, the Mini 3 Pro is capable of shooting video at 120 FPS.

If looking to slow down 60 FPS footage in post, you can do so at 40%, whereas the 120 FPS footage can be slowed down to 20%

Note: To get the best video quality, you’ll want to set your Mini 3 Pro to record in 4k resolution if you are planning on shooting footage between the 24 FPS and 60 FPS range. If shooting at 120 FPS, the Mini 3 Pro will drop down to HD resolution.

To change the video frame rate:

STEP 1: Tap on the left-side bottom section, where the camera icon with the Pro mode label is located.

Note: The left side of this area is the video option, whereas the right side is reserved for setting the ISO and Shutter Speed.

STEP 2: Scroll down to the RES&FPS section and use the second slide area in that section to set the frame rate.

To change the video resolution:

STEP 1: Tap on the left-side bottom section, where the camera icon with the Pro mode label is located.

STEP 2: Scroll down to the RES&FPS section and use the first slide area in that section to set the video resolution.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed serves two very distinct purposes when it comes to photos and videos.

Exposure

If the video needs to be brightened or darkened, outside of the ISO values, you can up the shutter speed, which will darken the footage, or slow the shutter speed, which will brighten the footage.

The Mini 3 Pro will adjust the shutter speed when in Auto Mode, to brighten or darken the scene.

Since we are advocating shooting in Pro Mode for the best video settings, we definitely do not want the shutter speed adjusted automatically or outside what is mentioned next.

Achieving Proper Motion Blur

Motion blur is a very important aspect of shooting film. If the shutter speed is too low, then video footage will look extremely blurred, while too high a shutter speed will result in the footage being choppy.

When it comes to shooting video, the shutter speed should not be used to properly expose the video, but instead, it should be used to achieve proper motion blur.

To do this, the 180-degree rule comes into play.

The 180-degree Rule

When it comes to shutter speed and achieving the proper motion blur for the FPS you are shooting in you’ll need to have your shutter set to double (180 degrees) your frame rate.

This means if you are shooting at 24 Frames per second, you’d want your shutter speed to be double that, in this case, 1/50 of a second, since the Mini 3 Pro does not have a 1/48 option.

For 30fps, 1/60, and for 120fps, 1/240.

With the 180-degree rule applied, all of your footage will have the proper motion blur the eye is accustomed to seeing in video footage.

To change shutter speed:

Tap on the right-side bottom section, where the camera icon with the Pro mode label is located.

You can now change Shutter Speed by sliding left and right.

White Balance

The white balance option in the Mini 3 Pro, as with every camera, evens out the color temperature in an image or video to make the image look more natural (removing too much yellow or blue casts). 

This is done by bringing in opposite color temperatures that help bring the whites back to neutral, which affects the entire color of the footage. 

The Mini 3 Pro allows the white balance to be set to Auto, even when shooting in Pro mode, so you’ll want to be aware of this.

Manually Select White Balance

When choosing the best settings for video, you’ll want to take the white balance out of auto mode and set it manually.

This may seem difficult at first since the Mini 3 Pro does not have set white balance profiles like Sunny and Cloudy, which was in the DJI Go 4 app many might remember.

Why should the white balance be set manually, instead of letting the Mini 3 Pro choose it?

This is because as the lighting conditions change periodically the Mini 3 Pro will try to change the white balance of the footage while flying through a scene.

This can sometimes be jarring if too drastic or appear unprofessional for those delivering paid content to clients.

Instead, it is better to set the white balance, shoot the scene, and if the sky gets cloudy or sunnier, stop shooting, adjust the white balance, and then continue shooting.

Here is an easy way to set the white balance manually:

STEP 1: Set the white balance to auto and make a mental note of the Kelvin (k) number – 5000k, 6000k, etc.

STEP 2: Turn off Auto White Balance and set the slider to the (k) number you made a note of. Now the white balance will stay at that setting.

As the lighting changes, you can either move the slider slightly right or left to adjust for the color temperature change, or simply repeat Steps 1 and 2.

Color Profiles

The Mini 3 Pro currently has two color profiles: Normal and D-Cinelike. Depending on which color profile you choose, you’ll either be shooting in 8-bit or 10-bit.

When it comes to color depth (8-bit or 10-bit), we are referring to the amount of color and the variety of shades a camera can record in.

The higher the bit depth, the more colors can be used to enhance a video’s detail and visual quality. With this comes better, more realistic, or even more creatively color-graded footage.

Videos recorded in 8-Bit utilize RGB using 256 colors per channel, meaning 8-Bit can display a little over 16 Million colors (16.7 Million to be exact).

In comparison, videos recorded in 10-Bit use 1024 color levels per channel, displaying over 1 billion colors (1.07 Billion). With all of this access to color and shades, footage can be more true to life.

Note: Since we are talking about the best video settings for the Mini 3 Pro, we encourage you to shoot in the 10-bit color profile which would be D-Cinelike.

D-Cinelike

D-Cinelike, like Sony’s S-Log or Canon’s C-Log, is a fairly flat video color profile that is specific to higher-end DJI consumer/prosumer drones.

The D-Cinelike 10-bit color profile contains more information that can be modified and adjusted, along with being able to apply Cinema LUTs (lookup tables), for a more cinematic appearance.

When D-Cinelike is chosen the footage will be recorded in 10-bit. In addition to recording in D-Cinelike, you can either choose the h264 or h265 codec (high-efficiency video coding).

Note: The h265 codec is better, but takes up more sd card space than h264 and will cause the machine you are using for editing to work harder and possibly slower.

Shooting in a 10-bit color profile enables you to extensively color-grade your footage in a video editor without the fear of destroying the footage, due to color artifacts related to pushing the color too far.

To access the color profile settings:

STEP 1: Tap on the left-side bottom section, where the camera icon with the Pro mode label is located.

STEP 2: Scroll down to the Color option and set the color to D-Cinelike and the coding format to H.265

Note: If you are planning on uploading your videos to youtube, we also suggest setting the video format to MP4, which is right under the Color settings.

Best Video Settings Recap

  • ISO 100
  • 24/30 FPS
  • 1/50 or 1/60 Shutter Speed
  • Manual White Balance
  • D-Cinelike (10-bit color), H.265
  • MP4 video format
  • 4k Resolution

Tips for Shooting Better Video

ND Filters

This might be one of the best tips for video shooters. As mentioned earlier, if you are using the settings suggested here, outside of ISO there aren’t many things one can do to change the exposure of the video footage being shot.

The aperture is fixed at f/1.7, so this can’t be used to darken the footage by choosing a more clamped-down f-stop like you can on the Mavic 3 series.

Also, as mentioned the shutter speed needs to be double the frame rate, so this can’t be used to darken the footage either.

ND filters act as sunglasses for cameras, so the only available option for footage that is too bright is to use an ND filter to moderate the amount of light coming into the camera.

There are quite a few manufacturers that make ND filters for the Mini 3 Pro and we suggest the following:

NEEWER ND Filter Set
$50.49 $38.99

Compatible with DJI Mini 3/Mini 3 Pro, 6 Pack Neutral Density Filter Drone Lens Accessory with Aluminum Alloy Frame, Multi Coated HD Optical Glass: CPL ND8 ND16 ND32 ND64 ND128

Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/06/2024 11:16 pm GMT
K&F Concept Variable ND Lens Filters Kit
$39.99

DJI Mini 3/ Mini 3 Pro Variable ND Lens Filters Kit ND2-32+ND32-512(2 Pcs), Variable ND Filters 1-5 Stops + 5-9 Stops Compatible with DJI Mini 3/ Mini 3 Pro.

Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/06/2024 10:31 pm GMT
Freewell All Day – 6Pack ND Filters – DJI Mini 3/Mini 3 Pro
$49.99 $39.99
Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/08/2024 01:11 am GMT

Composition Related

The DJI Fly app has quite a few tools to aid in the composition of video footage. Turning these on can aid in framing your shots and keeping subjects center-frame if that is what you are going for.

Grid Lines

Gridlines are broken into 2 types, with the addition of a center target.

These being:

  • Rule of Thirds
  • Diagonal

Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds overlay has 9 equal blocks that divide each frame.  There are 4 intersecting points on these lines and placing your subject on one or more of these intersecting points creates more compelling compositions than just having the subject in the middle of the screen

Diagonal and/with Center Target

These lines aid in framing up your shot.  For some, the diagonal lines may be an added distraction, whereas, for others, they are useful when you’d like a particular subject (boat, jet skier, or something else) to be front and center in the picture.

To access the gridlines and center target options:

STEP 1: Open the options menu in the upper right-hand side of the DJI Fly app live view screen.

STEP 2: Go to the Camera Tab.

STEP 3: Scroll down to Gridlines and choose either Diagonal, Rule of Thirds, Center Target, or all three.

When it comes to “Best” for any subject, it can all be very subjective. In light of this, our “Best” video settings are simply settings that we recommend or suggest for getting the most out of the Mini 3 Pro camera.

Feel free to test and play around with various video settings to get the best setup for your style of video shooting.