The DJI Mini 3 Pro is an excellent all-around drone, as it fits into many different scenarios. For those new to the hobby, it is a great drone to learn to fly drones.
Travelers and those on vacation will love its portability. For social media-orientated operators, the Mini 3 Pro is a very capable media-producing drone. For those that are photography and video professionals, in a pinch, the Mini 3 Pro is a solid backup drone.
The Mini 3 Pro is absolutely worth buying, whether you are new to the hobby, upgrading from a previous Mini drone, looking to add a fun addition to your fleet, or looking to create great online media content.
Major Technical Details/Specs
|Maximum Flight Time||34 Minutes – Standard Battery|
|47 Minutes – Plus Battery|
|Operating Temperature||14° to 104° F or -10° to 40° C|
|Obstacle Avoidance||Forward, Backward, Bottom|
|Camera Sensor||1/1.3-inch CMOS|
|Camera Lens||FOV (Field of View): 82.1°; 24mm Equivalent|
|Photo Format||JPEG & RAW (DNG)|
|Max Video Resolution||4K 60FPS|
|Max Video Bitrate||150 Mbps|
|Color Profiles||Normal, D-Cinelike|
|Supported Memory Cards||UHS-I Speed Class 3 or above; up to 512GB|
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
DJI Mini 3 Pro Full Review
When I got into the hobby of flying drones so many years ago, I flew recreationally quite a bit. Once I began using drones professionally for clients, I no longer flew “for fun”, as commercial flying took up all of my time.
Enter the Mini 3 Pro, the drone I didn’t know I needed. The Mini 3 Pro has changed the way I fly. This might sound drastic. However, it is true.
The Mini 3 Pro is so convenient and fun to fly (with the DJI RC) I find myself bringing it almost everywhere I go, whether or not I intend to fly.
Because of the Mini 3 Pro, I am once again making time to fly recreationally.
As with most of the newer lines of DJI drones, there are Mini 3 Pro purchase options to fit pretty much everyone’s needs and budget:
- DJI Mini 3 Pro – Includes 1 standard battery and the RC-N1 Controller
- DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC) – Includes 1 standard battery and DJI RC with an integrated 700nit screen
- DJI Mini 3 Pro (No RC) – Includes 1 standard battery and the drone only
In addition to the above-mentioned purchase options, there are also 2 Fly More Combos that are sold separately from the Mini 3 Pro options:
- Mini 3 Pro Fly More Kit – Includes 2 standard batteries, spare props, charging hub, and carrying bag
- Mini 3 Pro Fly More Kit Plus – Includes 2 plus batteries, spare props, charging hub, and carrying bag
What option is right for you?
This is a question that is asked a lot, especially from those that are new to drones.
The correct option for you would be based on a few different things, such as:
- Do you already own an RC-N1 controller from previous drones, as they work with the Mini 2, Air 2, Air 2S, and Mavic 3/3 Cine?
If so, the Mini 3 Pro (No RC) might work well for you, especially if budget/cost is a concern.
- Are you new to drones and looking for a cost-effective package that’ll get you up in the air immediately?
Then the standard Mini 3 Pro would be the way to go. The RC-N1 is included, and this package is a few hundred dollars less than the DJI RC option (cellphone or smart device required).
- If there are no budget concerns and you’d like the best experience of the 3 options, the Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC would be perfect for you. The 700nit integrated screen will get you up in the air and flying in record time.
Thoughts on the 2 Fly More Combos
If you are familiar with my reviews, then you have heard me say time and time again that extra batteries are a must.
Although the standard battery included with the Mini 3 Pro will get you a solid 30 minutes or so of flying (more on that later), it is simply not enough. Purchasing a Fly More Combo is almost a necessity.
Below is the entire list of what is included in the standard and plus Fly More combos:
- 2 Intelligent Flight Batteries (Standard or Plus – depending on Combo)
- 1 Two-way Charging Hub
- 2 Pairs of Propellers
- 12 Screws
- 1 USB 3.0 Type-C Data Cable
- Shoulder Bag
While I’ll be speaking more on the Propellers and Batteries later, I thought I might mention the shoulder bag.
While I normally like to get hard cases for all of my drones, in this case I opted to stick with the shoulder bag.
The main reasons for doing so are:
- I’m not using the drone commercially, so a rugged case is not really necessary,
- And the shoulder bag is convenient, low-key, and unassuming.
The shoulder bag resembles the Air 2S shoulder bag but is just slightly smaller. Everything included in the Fly More combo fits…albeit kind of snugly.
In addition to putting everything included in the Fly More combo in the bag, I also put my 3rd party ND filter set in there, as well as a fairly large aftermarket 30-watt multi-charger, and there is just about enough room for everything I have Mini 3 Pro-related.
I’m a big fan of the charging hub. It was designed to be brought with you while keeping all of the batteries together in one place, not sliding or bumping around in a pouch, pocket, case, or bag.
A complaint I initially had was that there is nowhere to find out how much remaining battery power there is in each battery without putting the battery in the Mini 3 Pro, as there is no indicator on the physical batteries.
This has been addressed with the battery hub. As can be seen above, you can check each battery’s remaining power on the hub itself by simply pressing a button on the side of the hub.
You’ll be presented with LED light indicators on the bottom of each battery chamber for approximately 5 or 6 seconds. Next to the LED indicator button, there is also a full-sized USB slot used to charge your other electronic devices, using the batteries in the hub and your charging cable of choice.
Again, the battery hub is well thought out and executed.
Both combos include 2 batteries. However, the plus combo includes batteries that are rated to fly for 47 minutes. I personally do not have plus batteries and am using a standard Fly More kit.
Leisurely flying my Mini 3 Pro the past month and even with extensively filming various areas, I never ran out of batteries.
A major con many are commenting on is that there is no power adaptor of any kind included in either the Mini 3 Pro purchase options or in the Fly More combo.
This is akin to Apple omitting their power adaptors for new iPhones. While this might only be a nuisance for iPhone users (as they most likely have adaptors from previous phones), for Mini 3 Pro owners, it is more than a little irritating.
As it stands, in order to charge the battery in the Mini 3 Pro itself or the charging hub, you’ll need to purchase a separate 30-watt charger. While not extremely expensive, having to pay an extra $19USD seems like a cash grab.
If you have a 30-watt Apple iPad charger at home, this will work for you. If not, you’ll need to purchase an adaptor.
The 2nd con, for me, as a video shooter, might not affect many. With the Air 2S and Mavic 3 Fly More combos, an ND 4/8/16/32 filer set was included, but with the Mini 3 Pro, there is not.
Included ND filters are great for video shooters, as it enables you to get the proper motion blur, using the 180° rule, immediately upon flying the drone for the 1st time.
Having none included meant either waiting for 3rd party manufacturers to distribute their own or purchasing DJI’s very expensive sets, which contained fewer options than many 3rd party manufacturers.
The Mini 3 Pro Drone
The Mini 3 Pro has deviated somewhat from the DJI Minis of the past, ditching the sleek, aerodynamic front for a more organic, almost frog-like appearance.
This change appears to have been done to accommodate the new front sensors.
One thing that has to be mentioned right off the bat is that the Mini 3 Pro is a sub-250g drone. Because of this, materials had to be used that lighten up the drone, significantly. When you pick the drone up for the first time, the thinness and lightness of the drone are almost alarming (for those that have never flown a DJI Mini drone).
To me, it almost felt like a toy. Don’t let the weight fool you, however. When turning the Mini 3 Pro over and over in hand, it is clear to see that DJI put together a solid, albeit, very light and capable drone.
Even though very light, the drone is not flimsy whatsoever. On the contrary, the Mini 3 Pro is pieced together quite well.
One of the things new to the Mini line, and, dare I say, Mavic line as a whole, including the Air series, is that you can unfold the arms and legs of the drone in any order.
Gone are the days of having to remember and commit to muscle memory the unfolding sequence. Simply pick the Mini 3 Pro up and unfold it any way you find convenient.
As mentioned and as the name Mini denotes, the Mini 3 Pro is a tiny and lightweight drone. The official weight is 249g when using the standard batteries and omitting the use of any prop guards.
The reason so many people are enamored with the weight of the Mini series boils down to one thing in the US: Sub 250g drones do not need to be registered with the FAA. Plain and simple.
As the owner of a small business that uses all types of drones, registering them is no big deal for me. However, for many, registering a drone can be seen as an unnecessary added step that might encroach on a hobbyist’s sense of privacy.
It is good to note the following when it comes to the Mini 3 Pro:
- If you add propeller guards or fly with the plus batteries, you will need to register the drone, as it will no longer fall in the “under 250g” category here in the US.
- If you plan to use the Mini 3 Pro commercially (for the furtherance of business), you will need to register the drone. No exceptions.
Many are asking how the Mini 3 Pro does in windy conditions. I have knowledge of this firsthand, as we have a lot of wind right now, being our rainy season.
As can be imagined from a sub 250g drone, the Mini 3 Pro is indeed affected by the wind and even breeze, for that matter. It’s super light, so it will get moved around way more than an Air 2S or the even larger Mavic 3.
The Mini 3 Pro does a great job at trying to maintain its position in the wind.
What is nice, though, is that even in windy conditions, because of such a great 3-axis gimbal, the video footage produced is not affected nearly as much as the elements pushing on the drone would have you believe. Footage out of the Mini 3 Pro in windy conditions is rock solid.
Vision Sensors (and Intelligent Flight Modes)
Unlike previous iterations of the Mini line, the Mini 3 Pro has tri-directional vision sensors: Front, Back, and Bottom.
The front and back sensors are quite obvious, as seen below (the rear sensors are right behind the front sensors).
I am not one to fly with any vision sensors on, as I like to get footage from within “tight spaces”, however, I did fly a few times with the sensors on, and they work very well.
With the sensors on, you have 2 action options for obstacle avoidance: Bypass and Brake.
- Bypass enables the Mini 3 Pro to take matters into its own hands when approaching obstacles by scanning the area and choosing the best way around the obstacle.
- Brake pretty much does just that. It stops the drone from moving forward when it senses an object.
Either of these actions will get the Mini 3 Pro out of a jam if need be. Even if you are like me and do not fly with sensors on, there is an option to toggle the Radar Map on and off. Having the radar map on enables you to visually see how far away from obstacles the drone is, even with the obstacle avoidance system switched off.
The addition of the 2 new sensors (front and back) means that the Mini 3 Pro can enjoy many of the intelligent flight modes the Air 2, Air 2S, Mavic 2, and Mavic 3 utilize.
- Focus Track:
- Active Track
- POI (Point of Interest)
- Camera Specific Modes:
- Master shots
With the Mini 3 Pro being so small and portable, having these modes makes the shooting experience even better.
» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Modes (Explained for Beginners)
Something I would have loved to see, but understand the Mini 3 Pros limitations, would be the addition of side sensors. No, the Air 2 and Air 2S don’t have them either, but the addition of these sensors would allow Active Track to perform safer. I’ll explain.
When in Active Track, one of the tracking modes is called Parallel, which allows you to move the drone from behind your subject (Trace) and to the side of them (Parallel). As there are no side sensors, crashing into stationary objects is quite possible, as the drone will not sense and avoid them.
While more flight options are always better, in this case, Parallel mode could prove to be disastrous, and awareness of one’s surroundings when in this mode is paramount.
The Mini 3 Pro also lacks top-facing sensors. I scratch my head a little on this for the simple reason that this drone is appreciated for being able to shoot at an upward angle of 60°, being 25 or so degrees more than the Air 2S.
Being able to shoot at that angle means the ability to fly underneath things, like bridges, overhangs, and tree branches.
If you ascend without full spacial awareness, you are likely to bump into something, which can cause a crashed drone. The absence of these sensors might be because of the weight limit. However, I think the Mini 3 Pro could benefit from them.
We will just address the elephant in the room right away. Yes, the Mini 3 Pro (like most of its DJI siblings) comes complete with geofencing. There’s no getting away from it.
» MORE: Do DJI Drones Have Geofencing? (And How to Unlock Them)
For those new to DJI drones, geofencing is the process of restricting a drone from entering various airspace or geographical zones through the manufacturer’s flight software and firmware.
Areas that are typically geofenced would be around Airports, Helicopter launch and landing pads, concerts and other stadium events and games, and corrections facilities.
The geo zones for the Mini 3 Pro are the same as any of the zones found on the various DJI drones that utilize the DJI Fly app.
However, I did notice something interesting when unlocking a zone in an area I regularly fly in. When I unlock the zone on my Air 2S, there are a series of steps that are needed to do so. On the Mini 3 Pro, a few of these steps are omitted, making the unlocking process slightly faster.
I don’t know exactly which steps are omitted (as I’ve flown only with the Mini 3 Pro the past few times, so I haven’t had the Air 2S to cross-check), but it is noticeably faster.
As mentioned, the Mini 3 Pro is fun to fly. It has that DJI Mavic feel when flying. This is absolutely a good thing.
With many of the non-DJI drones I own, their flights are limited to point A to point B. I use them for business purposes, get the shot, pack them up, and I’m done.
With the Mini 3 Pro, I’ll continue flying, even after all my shots are taken, sometimes draining all 3 batteries, simply because it is great to fly.
Although not as zippy as the Air 2S, the Mini 3 Pro is nimble and deliberate in its flight. I never felt bored when flying it. It is also easy enough to fly for an absolute beginner to get on the sticks and feel confident within only a few flights.
Right out of the box, the Mini 3 Pro flies excellently, so much so that I haven’t changed any of its settings. If you are one to fly slightly more aggressively or maybe toned down even, this is easily addressed using the EXP settings in the DJI Fly App.
If you would like to quickly change the speed of flight without fiddling with EXP values, this can be done directly from a switch on the face of either the RC-N1 or DJI RC you might be using.
The Mini 3 Pro has 3 different flight modes:
There is something that is so significant to me I thought I’d mention it here.
The Mini 3 Pro is the quietest drone I’ve ever owned. Every single drone I’ve had has been loud. When I got the Air 2S, I thought “hey, this is pretty quiet.” Not nearly as quiet as the Mini 3 Pro, as I found out this week using the Air 2S to take aerial shots of the Mini 3 Pro.
Previously, if not shooting for a client, I had reservations about flying recreationally, as people were always showing some sort of irritability around the drones I’ve flown.
With the Mini 3 Pro, no one, and I mean NO ONE, ever bats an eye at the drone. A lot of this is due to its size and ability to be launched from the palm of the hand quickly. The rest is due to not being able to hear it once a couple dozen feet away.
In the video later on in this article, each place I flew (albeit not very visible from the footage I used) was actually around many people. In those 3 video locations, only 1 person acknowledged the drone, and they came over to simply talk about some cool places to fly nearby.
The DJI RC Controller
The DJI RC is a variation of the smart remote controllers DJI has put out in the past.
Like its predecessors, the DJI RC has an integrated 5.5″ screen. The screen brightness is rated at 700 nits, whereas the higher-end DJI smart controllers have 1000 nit screens.
I fly in the bright Florida sun, always. The screen on the DJI RC has been way better for me than any of the iPhones, iPads, or Samsung phones I have used. What is more, the screen brightness is continual, meaning it never ever dims, no matter how hot it gets.
Unlike the original DJI Smart Controller and the newer DJI RC Pro, the DJI RC is quite affordable if purchased separately. If you were to purchase a stand-alone DJI RC, it’s only a few hundred dollars, as opposed to $1,000 or more, like its predecessors.
The face of the DJI RC has the following:
- Return to Home button (RTH)
- Cine, Normal, and Sport mode switch
- Power button (press then long-press-hold to turn on)
- 4 LED indicator/status lights and a Power On LED
- 2 Removable Control Sticks
The back of the DJI RC has the following:
- C1 and C2 buttons
- 2 Slots to store the removable control sticks
The top of the DJI RC has the following:
- 2 scroll wheels
- Video record button
- Photo shutter button
- 2 flush/integrated antennas
Something I am a big fan of, with this new design, is there are no longer floppy bunny-ear antennas. This has always been a sore spot for me. With the antennas now being built flush into the RC body, gone are the days of broken antennas and bad positioning.
With the new antenna system, it is important to remember to point the controller at the Mini 3 Pro for optimum antenna coverage.
If you are accustomed to flying the newer Mini, Air, or Mavic line of drones, you are aware that the C-buttons on the RC are customizable.
This is the same with the DJI RC. However, with the additional scroll wheel and C2 button, there are quite a few more options.
The options are broken into 3 areas, as seen in the images below:
- Other – Currently, Other has no control options just yet.
Note: The C2 button options are the exact same as the C1 button options below.
With the addition of the Right Scrollwheel, the following options are now available when using the C1 or C2 buttons with the scroll wheel:
With all the bells and whistles and buttons and options, how is the controller in hand?
The standard RC-N1 used to be my favorite remote controller of all time. The DJI RC that comes with the Mini 3 Pro is now my favorite controller.
In-hand it is very comfortable. Some have complained that it is a shame it is so big compared to the tiny drone it controls. In this regard, the overall weight of the DJI RC is its saving grace. If it was heavier, it might be a little fatiguing.
In my option, the newly designed DJI RC is the perfect companion to the Mini 3 Pro. It is lightweight and comfortable to hold for extended periods of time and bright enough for most of the conditions encountered.
There are now two different versions of batteries that can be purchased with the Mini 3 Pro. These are the standard battery with an estimated 34 minutes of flight time and the new Plus batteries with a whopping 47 minutes of flight time.
Having never owned a Mini drone prior to the Mini 3 Pro, I was really surprised at how light the standard batteries really are. Don’t let the small size and weight fool you, as they will give you a solid 30 minutes (give or take) of flight time if you run them all the way down.
Note: We highly encourage you not to run any drone batteries down to 0%.
» MORE: Drone Battery Care (All You Need to Know)
I mention that the standard batteries will last 30 minutes or so and not the advertised 34 minutes of flight time. That is because the flight times mentioned by manufacturers are when the drone is flying in their optimal test environments. Actual user flight times will vary by a few minutes.
When moving up to the higher-capacity plus batteries, the flight time increases to about 42 minutes or so. Again, this is based on real-world usage. For such a small drone, having 40+ minute flight times is a much-appreciated feature.
The Mini 3 Pro batteries are designed very nicely and click into the Mini 3 Pro securely. Not once did I worry about them sliding out.
A few notable things to mention:
- When moving up from the standard-sized battery to the plus-sized battery, there is a significant weight gain. Because of this, the Mini 3 Pro no longer fits into that sub-250g category and must be registered in the US.
- There are no LED battery indicators anywhere on the batteries themselves. To check the remaining battery, you will either have to insert it into the Mini 3 Pro or, alternatively, into the charging hub.
For many, upgrading a drone is to get more features and better hardware than its predecessor. The Mini 3 Pro has done this in every way with the camera.
The 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor is not only larger than the sensors in any prior DJI Mini drone, but it is also almost double the size of the sensor on the Mavic Air 2 (not the Air 2S, which is a 1-inch sensor). With this larger and better camera sensor comes better photos and video.
The Mini 3 Pro also has a very large fixed aperture at f1.7, which allows it to take in more light, than, say, the f2.8 many drones have, taking better low-light pictures and videos.
For video shooters, having such a large aperture of f1.7 means needing to have higher value ND filters for sunny weather.
I found that for video, the standard ND4-ND64 values were not cutting it due to our super bright Florida sun. For the Mini 3 Pro, I need to use ND 128+ to get my shutter speed where I need it, using the 180-degree rule. This, of course, is where you shoot double your frame rate to get proper motion blur.
I generally shoot 4k 30fps, so the proper shutter would be 60. With the aperture being so open, there is no way I can shoot with even an ND64 and the footage not be blown out. Thus the higher value ND128+ filters.
If you are a video shooter, you’ll most likely want to go out and get a wide range of ND filters as soon as possible.
The Mini 3 Pro takes excellent photos. Although only a 12MP camera (the same as many cell phones), photos taken with the Mini 3 Pro are sharp and quite good-looking.
What is nice and what professionals will appreciate is that the Mini 3 Pro takes JPEG and RAW images. RAW image files are specifically useful as they capture way more image information than JPEGs, allowing the end user the ability to really edit the photos to their liking.
There is an option to shoot 48MP photos. However, I have not done so. All the images below were taken in standard 12MP RAW and edited in Lightroom.
One of the more talked-about features of the Mini 3 Pro is the ability to shoot in true vertical mode. This means that the Mini 3 Pros camera rotates 90 degrees to take portrait-orientated photos. Those that really find this useful are those that like to post to social media sites like Tik Tok and Instagram.
When shooting vertically, images no longer have to be cropped in an image editing application (like Lightroom or Photoshop), meaning that all of the shot is in the frame and no quality is lost due to in-post cropping.
When shooting vertically, the entire Mini 3 Pros sensor is used, rendering the highest quality photos and videos.
Below are a couple examples of the Mini 3 Pro’s vertical shooting.
As can be seen, the photo quality, again, is very good. While I did edit all of these in Lightroom, the JPEGs that are produced (for those not wanting to edit anything) are crisp and clear.
If the correct white balance and exposure settings are used, the JPEG photos can immediately be shared after taking the shots.
In my line of work, I shoot an equal amount of videos and photos. The Mini 3 Pro is very capable of producing high-quality videos, videos that I would even use for certain clients.
All of this is possible because the Mini 3 Pro can shoot up to 4k 60fps (frames per second), in either h264 or h265, in 10bit D-Cinelike. What does this all translate to? Great quality video that can be color-graded to one’s heart’s content, as can be seen below.
I am still amazed that a drone as small as the Mini 3 Pro is capable of shooting such high-quality video. The Pro in the name surely is evident when you consider how much you can do to ensure the video footage is top-notch.
One of the included features I greatly appreciate is being able to shoot outside the boundaries of a Normal color profile.
The Mini 3 Pro allows you to shoot in the flatter D-Cinelike profile in 10-bit color. A higher bit-rate enables the Mini 3 Pro to capture more colors (1 billion) over that of an 8-bit counterpart (16 million colors).
» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro 10 Bit Color (Explained)
This is huge for those, like me, that do a lot of color-grading and editing, matching drone shots with mirrorless camera shots. While the Mini 3 Pro doesn’t have the DLog profile that the Air 2S and Mavic 3 have, the D-Cinelike 10-bit works well and looks great.
I’ve been having a lot of fun flying and filming with the Mini 3 Pro. It is light, easy to fly, and extremely quiet. The drone is perfect for beginners, travelers, and for those who like to get content to post online.
Is this drone for everyone? Maybe not. Those who shoot professionally and need a main shooter just might opt to get something with a larger camera sensor. I do think that the Mini 3 Pro is well suited for B-Roll and as a backup drone to professionals if needed.
The Mini 3 Pro is a bit pricier than a Mini 2, but it is light years ahead of that drone if you are looking for a worthy upgrade, in the mini category, with pro-like specs.
In my opinion, the Mini 3 Pro is a worthwhile purchase, and I would purchase a replacement if anything were to happen to mine!