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DJI Mini 3 Pro Review

Not too long ago when we thought about the most popular drone, the DJI Mini 2 was the one that came into our minds. However, today things have changed, and the Mini 3 Pro is the new king of consumer drones under 250 g (8.8 oz).

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is the perfect drone for those who want to initiate themselves in this field, whether they want to do it professionally or as a hobbyist.

Despite a significant price increase, it still represents an incredible deal because it includes functionality often seen only in much more expensive drones.

The Mini 3 is capable of recording video at 4K/60 FPS, capturing footage in a new vertical mode, avoiding obstacles thanks to its new sensors, and delivering stunning 48 MP images with its bigger 1/1.3” CMOS sensor and wider aperture.

By enhancing every significant component, the most recent market king usurps his brother from the throne, but does this improvement justify the significant price increase?

To find out, keep reading.

DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC)
$909.00

Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone with 4K/60fps Video, 48MP Photo, 34-min Flight Time, Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing, Ideal for Aerial Photography and Social Media

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08/13/2022 12:07 am GMT

Mini 3 Pro Key Specifications

Weight<249 g / <8.8 oz (International version)
Max SpeedSport mode: 57.6 km/h (35.4 mph)
Normal mode: 36 km/h (22.3 mph)
Cine mode: 5.4 km/h (3.3 mph)
Maximum service ceiling (above sea level)Standard battery: 4,000 m (13,123 ft) Plus battery: 3,000 m (9,842 ft)
Max flight timeStandard battery: 34 min Plus battery: 47 min
Maximum Wind Resistance38.5 km/h (23.9 mph)
Operating Temperature -10° to 40°
Sensor1/1.3” CMOS
Aperturef/1.7
Effective Pixels48 MP
Max Image Size4:3: 8064×60487 (48 MP)
16:9: 4032×2268 (12 MP)
Video Resolution4K: 3840×2160 @24/25/30/48/50/60 FPS
2.7K: 2720×1530 @24/25/30/48/50/60 FPS
FHD: 1920×1080 @24/25/30/48/50/60/120 FPS
Supported File SystemsFAT32 (<32 GB)
exFAT (>32 GB)
Photo FormatJPEG/DNG (RAW)
Video FormatMP4/MOV (H.264/H.265)
Supported SD CardsUp to 512 GB
Max Transmission Distance (Common Scenarios)-Strong interference (e.g., city center) approx. 1.5 – 3 km (0.9 – 1.8 mi)
-Moderate interference (small towns) approx. 3 – 7 km (1.8 – 4.3 mi)
-No interference (rural areas) approx. 7 – 12 km (4.3 – 7.4 mi)
Live View Quality1080p@30fps
Device AppDJI Fly
Required: Android 6.0 or later / iOS v11 or later.

What is new in the Mini 3 Pro (vs the Mini 2)?

The Mini 3 Pro comes with three important changes compared to its predecessor; the design, the gimbal (camera included), and the obstacle avoidance system.

Redesigned

Most of us did not consider the possibility of an aircraft redesign when we began thinking about the new mini drone by DJI. Therefore, it was something that caught us off guard.

The new structural design, along with a larger set of arms and propellers, helps increase flight time.

Revolutionary gimbal

The redesigned gimbal of the Mini 3 Pro, another unexpected upgrade, is perhaps the most fascinating change.

The drone can now tilt the camera 180 degrees, which was previously only possible in this price range when using the amazing Parrot Anafi. Because of this, the new gimbal enables the user to take vertical photographs and videos.

Obstacle Avoidance System

One of the features most requested in the DJI mini drone was the inclusion of an obstacle avoidance system. With their newest release, this has become a reality, making the Mini 3 Pro the safest 250 grams drone by the Chinese company.

The new Mini 3 mounts forward and backward dual vision sensors, allowing the drone to use  FocusTrack features for the first time. We would have loved to see lateral sensors, but unfortunately, this is not the case.

More is better in drones

Regarding the rest of the improvements, more simply means better in the drone world.

The Mini 3 Pro gives you more flight time, more frames per second in your 4K videos, bigger pixel counts in your images, an increased flight range, extra bitrate, and better image quality on your device’s screen…

The new mini from DJI isn’t perfect, but it’s getting there.

Key DJI Mini 3 Pro Takeaways

Now that we have seen some technical data, let us now focus on some of the key aspects of the latest mini-drone.

We will also analyze how it differs from its predecessor since, let’s face it, even though the Mini 3 Pro is a fantastic drone, it might not be the ideal option for you (mostly because of its price).

Bringing vertical video to mini drones

The Mini 3’s ability to capture vertical 4K video and photos is a nice and unexpected new feature.

This aircraft can be your greatest ally if you are a Vlogger, a seasoned traveler, or in charge of social media accounts that need video and images to be posted daily.

The new feature was built with social media in mind. Although you may achieve the same results by cropping your 16:9 footage to the one delivered by the drone, being able to capture the content directly in the intended format will save you a lot of time.

Improved Transmission Stability

The improved transmission range and stability is probably the most tricky feature to talk about in this review at the moment.

According to the specifications, the Mini 3 employs OcuSync 3.0 to give an extended operational range of up to 7.4 miles and an upgrade from 720p to 1080p in the transmitted video resolution.

Unfortunately, the DJI Mini 3 has been experiencing some connectivity issues that have restricted the drone’s range, much as was typical with the DJI Mini 2.

Regarding the video resolution, even though it is not innovative, as we have already seen in the DJI Air 2S and other drones created by the competition, it is a significant advancement and should be the norm in drones released this year, and maybe in the next one as well.

Hopefully, DJI will solve these transmission issues soon enough.

Better flight times?

The limited flight duration provided by lithium polymer batteries is the main area where drone technology still needs to advance.

Finally, this aspect has seen significant improvement thanks to the new intelligent flight battery plus, which can keep your Mini 3 Pro in the air for up to 47 minutes (on paper).

These batteries only have two significant drawbacks: they are only offered in a few regions,  and using them means surpassing the 8.8 oz (250 g) weight.

As we have covered in other articles here on Droneblog, the standard intelligent flight battery included with the Mini 3 Pro offers between 20 and 22 minutes of flight time, which is very similar to the times we get with the Mini 2.

We understand the limitations this technology has at the moment, but it would be much appreciated if DJI told us in the drone specifications the real flight times.

Furthermore, we would love to see an improvement in flight time with the standard battery. Market leaders are specialists at innovation, right?

Obstacle Avoidance System

Probably the most requested feature not seen in the Mini 2 was the obstacle avoidance system. This is one of the biggest inclusions in the new Mini 3.

Despite tests demonstrating that the system does a good job of avoiding obstacles and assisting FocusTrack in the tracking of subjects, this feature leaves us with nothing but a bittersweet taste in our mouths. It lacks side sensors, and several users have already complained that they crashed their drones as a result.

In all fairness, maybe adding them would have meant exceeding the weight limit for this type of aircraft, but we cannot help but dream about them.

Enhanced Intelligent Functions

Having a drone with an obstacle avoidance system opens the door to new possibilities, such as flight modes.

The Mini 3 Pro comes with many new intelligent Functions. Let’s have a look at them and what they do.

  • Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems 4.0 (APAS)

Available only in normal and cine modes, when APAS 4.0 is enabled, the aircraft will obey human orders and choose a route depending on input from the control sticks and the surrounding environment.

The Mini 3 Pro may be regarded as the safest DJI mini drone because of this system, as the APAS helps the pilot avoid obstructions and get smoother footage, which enhances the pilot’s flying experience.

To achieve this, as the pilot moves the stick forward or backward, the aircraft will pass over, under, or to the left or right of the obstruction.

Although not perfect, this type of system appears to perform well, adding to the Mini 3’s large list of capabilities. Nevertheless, you should not rely entirely on it.

  • FocusTrack Modes:

FocusTrack is a DJI system that enables drones to track targets. It features ActiveTrack 4.0, Spotlight 2.0, and Point of Interest 3.0.

  • Spotlight 2.0: While the camera is fixed on the target in this tracking mode, you are in control of the aircraft.
  • Point of Interest 3.0: The drone automatically circles the tracked subject.
  • ActiveTrack 4.0: It supports tracking of moving and stationary objects, including cars, people, or buildings, and has two modes: trace and parallel.

Tracking modes are typically enhanced by third-party apps. However, we will need to wait until DJI adds the Mini 3 Pro to their software development kit (SDK), which typically occurs one year after the drone is introduced.

DJI Mini 3 ProDJI Mini 2
FocusTrack ModesSpotlight 2.0 Point of Interest 3.0 ActiveTrack 4.0Not included

Editing and Sharing on the Fly

Another aspect improved in the Mini 3 is QuickTransfer.

Through this feature, customers can wirelessly connect their drones to their mobile devices. It works well for instantly uploading and sharing pictures and videos to social media platforms.

In the latest DJI mini drone, the QuickTransfer rate has been improved by 5 MB/s.

DJI Mini 3 ProDJI Mini 2
QuickTransfer Rate25 MB/s20 MB/s

How the Mini 3 Pro compares with the DJI Mini 2

When looking at the features in the specifications of the new Mini 3 Pro, it’s impossible not to compare it to its predecessor.

Even though the Mini 3 improves nearly all aspects, many of us anticipated even greater enhancements in particular areas, such as flight times. Nevertheless, because almost everything has been improved, it does not mean that the newest version is the right one for you.

The bigger sensor included in the Mini 3 results in better image quality in low-light conditions. Therefore, if you plan to take pictures or videos at night, the Mini 2 cannot rival the newer drone in this regard.

Additionally, the Mini 3 is the only drone that offers recording at 120 frames per second at a resolution of 1080p, making it the only choice if you want to use your drone to create slow-motion recordings.

Similar slow-motion effects are possible in 4K, however at this resolution, recording is only possible at 60 FPS. Although this gives the impression of superior quality, the slow-motion effect itself will be of somewhat worse quality than the one recorded at 120 FPS.

Although higher megapixel counts don’t necessarily result in better pictures, in certain cases they do. If you work on aerial mapping or search and rescue missions, for instance, a greater megapixel count will allow you to zoom in further on your photographs, which might be vital.

In this case, the Mini 3 Pro is also the clear winner, as it offers four times the megapixel count compared to the Mini 2.

As I have already said, the Mini 3 outperforms the Mini 2 in practically every way. But is this the drone that’s suitable for you? You should probably take into account the significant price increase before buying it.

The Mini 2 is still a fantastic deal, so you may not want or need the latest drone’s higher-quality features.

That being said, I would advise purchasing the DJI Mini 3 Pro if you are unsure which model to buy and can afford to spend a little bit extra. Although it may be expensive right now, the extra quality is well worth it.

DJI Mini 3 ProDJI Mini 2
Minimum price$669 (without DJI RC-N1)$449 (with DJI RC-N1)
Flight time34 / 47 minutes31 minutes
Range7.4 mi (12 km)6.2 mi (10 km)
Transmission SystemOcuSync 3.0OcuSync 2.0
Weight8.8 oz (249 g)8.8 oz (249 g)
Max Speed35 mph35 mph
Obstacle AvoidanceTri-DirectionalNot included
Video Resolution4K @ 60 FPS4K @ 30 FPS
Video formatMP4/MOV (H.264/H.265)MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC)
Max FPS @1080p Resolution60 FPS60 FPS
Slow-motion video120 FPS @1080pNot included
Max bitrate150 Mbps100 Mbps
Image Size4:3: 8064×60487 (48 MP)
16:9: 4032×2268 (12 MP)
4:3: 4000×3000 (12 MP)
16:9 4000×2250 (12 MP)
Image FormatJPEG/DNG (RAW)JPEG/DNG (RAW)
Megapixels48 MP12 MP
Photo SphereYesYes
Panorama 180°YesYes
Wide-Angle PhotoYesYes
Camera Zoom2x to 4x, digital2x to 4x, digital
Internal Storage1.3 GBNot included

Crucial Differences

  • Price: The Mini 3 Pro is significantly more costly than its predecessor; the lowest priced model costs $669 and does not come with a remote controller. You must pay $759 if you want the DJI RC-N1 included.

    This indicates that the version of the Mini 3 with the remote controller costs approximately twice as much as the least expensive variant of the Mini 2 ($399 when on sale).

    In other words, the Mini 3 will cost you $360 more than the Mini 2 if you want the remote controller included.
  • Range: The Mini 3 has a maximum range of 12 kilometers, two more than the Mini 2.
  • Speed: This is one of the features that has not changed from one aircraft to the other, so both drones can fly at a maximum speed of 35 mph.
  • Video: On the other hand, the video has seen great improvement on the Mini 3. The newest mini-drone by DJI can now shoot vertically, in records footage at 4K/60FPS. Additionally, it comes with a slow-motion mode for the first time in this category.
  • Bitrate: the bit rate has been improved from 100 Mbps to 150 Mbps (the same as the Air 2S).
  • Obstacle Avoidance: Tri-Directional obstacle avoidance is a characteristic that the Mini 3 features whereas the Mini 2 does not.
  • Tracking Modes: The Mini 2 lacks these since they rely on obstacle avoidance technology. You can use tracking modes with third-party apps, but they are not as accurate, and you don’t have as many options.
  • Remote Controller (DJI RC): The Mini 3 Pro Can be purchased in a bundle with a new controller positioned in between the DJI RC Pro and the DJI RC-N1. The bundle that comes with the drone and the RC controller has a price of $909.

DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. The Competition

We first became aware that the DJI Mini 2 was in trouble a few months ago. Many of the key qualities of this drone had been updated by competitors, decreasing the value of DJI’s product.

However, we all knew that the Mini 3 would launch this year and close the competition’s little window of opportunity for sales. What we did not expect was that it would return with such surprisingly potent new features.

Price

The Mini 3 Pro is the most expensive of the mini drones. Just before it came out, that title belonged to the Autel Nano.

The DJI Mini SE, which costs $299, is the least expensive mini-drone that is currently worth purchasing. The Mini 3 Pro, on the other hand, is more than twice as expensive at $669.

Flight time

As we have seen previously, flight time is mainly what limits drone technology. LiPo batteries do not seem to improve much, so we are stuck generation after generation with similar flight times.

The Mini 3 offers the longest flight time when using the new intelligent flight battery plus, but at the expense of exceeding the 250g limit.

If we employ the standard battery, The Hubsan Zino Mini is the only drone that offers greater flying periods.

Range & Image Transmission

DJI continues to dominate the industry when it comes to range, with competitors only being able to equal what they offer.

Though we could keep asking ourselves, “Do we need that type of range if we have to fly VLOS?”

With a resolution of 1080p at 30 FPS, OcuSync 3.0 not only provides the best maximum range but also matches Autel’s image transmission quality.

Intelligent Flight Modes

The extensive selection of intelligent flight modes offered by the DJI drone is undoubtedly something that the Mini 3 rivals cannot equal.

With the addition of new QuickShots, MasterShots, and sophisticated tracking modes, the Mini 3 is your drone if you want to enjoy flying without really piloting the aircraft.

Obstacle Avoidance System

Similar to those seen in drones like the Hubsan Zino Mini or the Autel Nano, DJI’s mini drone has an obstacle avoidance system for the first time.

Perhaps what differentiates DJI’s drone in this regard is the presence of APAS 4.0, a technology designed to simplify the pilot’s job by assisting with obstacle avoidance and producing smoother video.

DroneDJI Mini 3DJI Mini 2DJI Mini SEHubsan Zino MiniAutel Nano
Price$669$449$299$549$649
Flight time34 / 47 min31 min30 min40 min28 min
Range12 km10 km4 km10 km10 Km
Transmission SystemOcuSync 3.0OcuSync 2.0Enhanced Wi-FiSyncleas 3.0SkyLink
Image Transmission1080p @ 30 FPS720p @ 30 FPS720p @ 30 FPS1080p @ 30 FPS2.7 K @ 30 FPS (<1 km)
1080p @ 30 FPS (>1km)
Weight248 g237 g249 g249 g249 g
Max. Speed35 mph35 mph29 mph35 mph33 mph
Obstacle AvoidanceTri-DirectionalNoneNone3 directions3 directions
Special FeaturesDJI Quickshots, Mastershots, and FocusTrackDJI Quickshots
(Follow me with 3rd
party applications)
DJI Quickshots
(Follow me with 3rd
party applications)
Quickshots, Night mode,
Follow me
Quickshots, Orbit,
Active Track

Initial Impressions

My attention was immediately drawn to the Mini 3 Pro’s new design and larger size. The aircraft appears to be a brand-new drone for the first time since DJI’s mini-drones were introduced.

The gimbal, which offers the ability to tilt the camera up to 180° and record/shoot vertically, is a significant component of this revolutionary design.

Photo Capabilities

One of the key elements of this new design is the gimbal, as was already noted, but the camera it carries represents an equal or even greater advancement. After all, many people believe that the camera of a drone is its most crucial component.

Sensor1/1.3” CMOS
Aperturef/1.7
Effective Pixels48 MP
Max Image Size4:3: 8064×60487 (48 MP)
16:9: 4032×2268 (12 MP)

48 vs 12 MP

The Mini 3 has four times the resolution of its predecessor in terms of megapixels, producing excellent photographs for projects like aerial mapping, real estate photography, or even inspection work.

Low-light Results

One of the drawbacks of the Mini 2 was its inability to take good pictures in low light conditions. Now, thanks to a wider aperture, a bigger sensor, and the double ISO feature, the Mini 3 provides great results when shooting at night time, dawn or dusk.

AEB mode

The auto-exposure bracketing (AEB) mode has also been improved. Now, instead of taking two to three images, the drone will capture three to five images to create the desired HDR photo.

Vertical Images

This new feature is great for those who work on posting images on social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook. Forget about having to crop your pictures.

Same as before

Some elements of photography with the Mini 3 are similar to those of the Mini 2, such as taking panorama photos or using interval shooting.

Sensor sizes (upscaled). Image credit: Daniel Cepeda

Video Capabilities

Every aspect of the new camera has been enhanced. A one-inch CMOS sensor was desired by some, while others anticipated the Mini 3’s ability to film at 8K.

The camera on the Mini 3 works superbly and offers a few significant advancements, though we didn’t get either of these two.

Key Video Takeaways

  • Slow-motion video at 1080p / 120 FPS.
  • 4K video at 60 FPS allows you to create a basic slow-motion, impossible when shooting at 30 FPS.
  • Great gimbal stabilization.
  • The 180 ° tilt provides new creative perspectives.
  • The 150 Mbps bit rate matches the one delivered in the Air 2S, a more expensive drone.
  • Vertical video it’s a great addition.
  • MasterShots allows novice pilots to create great content from the get-go.
  • The Asteroid QuickShot is finally in the mini-drone (as many requested).

Frame Rates

In this field, I have to admit that I was expecting a bigger improvement, although doubling what the predecessor offered seems fair.

The Mini 3 can shoot video at 4K / 60 frames per second, exceeding what the competition offers in this category. Right now, there is no other mini drone that can shoot at this frame rate at a 4K resolution.

Slow-Motion

Another new characteristic never seen in a DJI mini drone is the possibility of recording slow-motion videos at 1080p / 120 FPS.

This mode is excellent for capturing videos of subjects moving quickly, such as a person swimming or a car drifting.

D-Cinelike Color Profile

The new D-Cinelike color profile, which debuts in this DJI mini drone, is a crucial new tool for pros.

This feature enables the user to capture a wider range of colors and adjust them in post-production to make them shine. It was widely sought via a software update in the DJI Mini 2 but was never delivered.

DJI Mini 2 Video Features vs The Competition

DroneDJI Mini 3DJI Mini 2DJI Mini SEHubsan Zino MiniAutel Nano
Video FormatsMP4 / MOVMP4 / MPEG-4MP4 / MPEG-4MP4MP4 / MOV
Video codecH. 264/H.265H. 264H. 264H.264 / H.265H.264 / H.265
Gimbal3 Axis3 Axis3 Axis3 Axis3 Axis
Resolution4K4K2.7K4K4K
RAW SupportedYesYesNoNoYes
Sensor Size1/1.3″1/2.3″1/2.3″1/1.3″1/2″
Video bitrate150 Mbps100 Mbps40 Mbps200 Mbps100 Mbps
Color ProfileD-CinelikeNot includedNot includedNot includedLOG video
FPS 4K24/25/30/ 48/50/60fps24/25/30fps24/25/30fps (@2.7 K)30fps24/25/30fps
FPS 1080p24/25/30/ 48/50/60fps24/25/30/ 48/50/60fps24/25/30/ 48/50/60fps30/60fps24/25/30/ 48/50/60fps

Quickshots – What is New?

QuickShots is an intelligent flight mode that enables the pilot to automatically record a video of a location or a subject.

The QuickShot called asteroid is the sole addition compared to the DJI Mini 2.

Here is a list of all QuickShots available in the Mini 3:

  • Dronie: After selecting the subject, the aircraft will fly backward while recording it, then it will fly back to its starting position.
  • Helix: The airplane will climb while circling the target.
  • Rocket: With a subject locked on the screen, the aircraft will begin ascending as a rocket would do in a lift-off.
  • Circle: The drone will fly around the subject, just like in the Mode Point of Interest (POI) mode in the old DJI Go app.
  • Boomerang: The drone will make an elliptical path around the target.
  • Asteroid: The aircraft will lift off like a Rocket, but it will finish with a view of your surroundings.

DJI Fly app

The DJI Fly app is here to stay, just as we said when DJI debuted the Mini 2.

An excellent example of this is the fact that all current DJI drones, including the Mavic 3, Air 2S, FPV, and Mini 3, require this application to properly utilize all of its functions.

Although we still miss the DJI Go app from time to time, there is no denying that DJI Fly is simple, easy to use, and offers a great set of sharing tools.

Pros and Cons

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Vertical videos and photosHuge price increase
New FocusTrack featuresTransmission problems (as with the Mini 2)
The Tri-Directional Obstacle Avoidance SystemNo real flight time improvement (standard battery)
4K video @60 FPSPlus batteries are only available in certain territories
Internal storageNo waypoint missions
New DJI RC controllerNo aerial mapping capabilities
Improved gimbal capabilities (180° tilt)Not included in DJI’s SDK since its release
Slow-motion videos @120 FPS in 1080p
Advanced Pilot Assistance System 4.0 (APAS) 
Wider aperture 
New bundle possibilities 
MasterShots 
Quiet 

Takeaways

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is a fantastic drone, which no one can deny. No matter if you are a traveler, vlogger, professional photographer, or hobbyist, its revolutionary gimbal design and the outstanding new 1/1.3″ CMOS sensor will produce the amazing results you would expect.

When compared to its predecessor, the Mini 3 significantly enhances the majority of the key features that make this drone the most popular on the market. The ability to shoot vertically, the slow-motion video, the 4K/60 FPS footage, the light weight, and portability…

It is a great addition to anyone’s fleet, but of course, once again, it is not a perfect product. We understand how DJI wants to categorize its drones by their features, but I will never accept the fact that we have to wait a whole year until the new releases get added to the software development kit so we can enjoy waypoint missions and do aerial mapping with them.

Despite its significant price rise, the Mini 3 Pro still provides excellent value, as DJI drones always do. If you can afford it,  this drone is excellent for practically everything you may want to use it for.

Scoring