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DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro – Which is Better?

A big question on the minds of many since the official release of the DJI Mini 3 would be: which is better, DJI Mini 3 Pro or Mini 3?

Whenever a new drone is released, especially by DJI, quite a few folks dash to get the newest drone before it is sold out, while others step back for a moment to find out if the newest drone is better than the previous one or even worth purchasing.

Instead of saying which drone is the best, we will be looking at both the Mini 3 and the Mini 3 Pro and their differences and then let you determine which drone is best for your intended purposes or needs.

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Pricing – Combos/Kits

That Pro in the Mini 3 Pro comes at a higher price tag than the Mini 3, close to $200 USD. It is these higher-end Pro specs that make the Mini 3 Pro more expensive than the Mini 3.

Something DJI has continued to do with its latest offering of drones since the Air 2S is to offer a vast array of combo and pricing options, which encompass various budgets.

As of this article, the following Combos are available:

Mini 3

  • DJI Mini 3 (Only) – includes the Mini 3 drone, 1 standard battery, 4 propellers, 6 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, and a USB-C cable.
  • DJI Mini 3 (DJI RC-N1) – Includes the Mini 3 drone, the RC-N1 remote controller, 1 standard battery, 4 propellers, 6 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, 3 various cables to connect the RC to a smart device, a USB-C cable.
  • DJI Mini 3 (DJI RC) – Includes the Mini 3 drone, the DJI RC remote controller, 1 standard battery, 4 propellers, 6 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, 3 various cables to connect the RC to a smart device, and a USB-C cable.
  • DJI Mini 3 Fly More Combo (DJI RC-N1) – Includes the Mini 3 drone, the RC-N1 remote controller, 3 standard batteries, 12 propellers, 18 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, 3 various cables to connect the RC to a smart device, 2 USB-C cables, 3-battery charging hub, shoulder bag.
  • DJI Mini 3 Fly More Combo (DJI RC) – Includes the Mini 3 drone, the DJI RC remote controller, 3 standard batteries, 12 propellers, 18 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, 3 various cables to connect the RC to a smart device, 2 USB-C cables, 3-battery charging hub, shoulder bag.
DJI Mini 3 Fly More Combo (DJI RC)
$798.00

Lightweight and Foldable Mini Camera Drone with 4K HDR Video, 38-min Flight Time, True Vertical Shooting, and Intelligent Features.

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03/01/2024 07:51 am GMT

» MORE: Best DJI Mini 3 Accessories

Mini 3 Pro

  • DJI Mini 3 Pro (Only) – includes the Mini 3 Pro drone, 1 standard battery, 4 propellers, 6 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, and a USB-C cable.
  • DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC-N1) – Includes the Mini 3 Pro drone, the RC-N1 remote controller, 1 standard battery, 4 propellers, 6 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, 3 various cables to connect the RC to a smart device, a USB-C cable.
  • DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC) – Includes the Mini 3 Pro drone, the DJI RC remote controller, 1 standard battery, 4 propellers, 6 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, 3 various cables to connect the RC to a smart device, and a USB-C cable.
  • DJI Mini 3 Pro Fly More Combo (DJI RC-N1) – Includes the Mini 3 Pro drone, the RC-N1 remote controller, 3 standard batteries, 12 propellers, 18 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, 3 various cables to connect the RC to a smart device, 2 USB-C cables, 3-battery charging hub, shoulder bag.
  • DJI Mini 3 Pro Fly More Combo (DJI RC) – Includes the Mini 3 Pro drone, the DJI RC remote controller, 3 standard batteries, 12 propellers, 18 screws, a screwdriver, a gimbal guard, 3 various cables to connect the RC to a smart device, 2 USB-C cables, 3-battery charging hub, shoulder bag.
DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC)
$909.00 $799.95

Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

  • 4K/60fps Video
  • 48MP Photo
  • 34-min Flight Time
  • Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing, Integrated RC and screen
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03/02/2024 09:21 am GMT

» MORE: Best Accessories for DJI Mini 3 Pro

As many are aware, the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro offer Plus battery options as well. These can be purchased separately or as a complete Fly More Combo.

Major Differences

Here we will break down some of the differences between the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro that account for the few hundred dollar price point between the two drones.

Obstacle Avoidance

The obstacle avoidance system in the two drones has to be one of, if not, THE biggest differences between the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro for many, and a serious consideration for those that need and want it.

As it stands, the Mini 3 Pro has three-way obstacle avoidance. Front, back, and bottom sensors.

On the other hand, the Mini 3 only has downward sensors, which are used for RTH (return to home) and precision landing.

Because there are no front and rear sensors, the Mini 3 does not have subject tracking (Focus Track), such as:

  • Follow Me
  • Active Track
  • Point of Interest
  • Spotlight

Also, on the Mini 3, there is no option to turn on APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance System), which in the Mini 3 Pro enables the drone to automatically maneuver around flight path objects or brake when coming towards an obstacle.

If you are one that either relies on obstacle avoidance for safe flying or wants to use Focus Track options, then the Mini 3 Pro would be the obvious choice.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro Obstacle Avoidance (Explained for Beginners)

Camera

Although the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are using the same 1/1.3-inch CMOS image sensor for the camera, with a constant aperture of f1.7, there are a few differences in what the camera can produce photo and video-wise between the 2 drones.

Photos

The Mini 3 is able to take 12mp photos, which is on par with the Mini 3 Pro, however, the Mini 3 Pro has the added option to take 48mp photos, with the help of internal processing.

If this is a determining factor in your buying choice, it should be considered if you as a consumer can tell the difference between a 12mp photo online and a 48mp image that uses processing tricks. Further research just might surprise you.

Something to note, the iPhone 13 Pro, like the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro, produces 12mp photos. Many feel that its resolution is plenty for online and social media content, such as Facebook and Instagram.

Something else to point out is that the camera’s native ISO range (camera sensitivity to light) on the Mini 3 Pro is between 100 and 6400. The range on the Mini 3 is narrower, between 100 and 3200.

For more information on ISO and general drone photography, please see the article below.

» MORE: Drone Photography: Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started

Video

Like with photos, the Mini 3 comes pretty close to the video quality found in the Mini 3 Pro.

There are a few differences between the Mini 3 and the Mini 3 Pro, regarding video, that one should be aware of, depending on what they are trying to accomplish when shooting video.

These being, the Mini 3:

  • Shoots 4k 30fps vs the Mini 3 Pros 4k 60fps
  • Lacks color profiles (D-Cinelike)
  • Has no 10-Bit Color Depth

Because the Mini 3 does not shoot 4k at 60fps (frames per second), it cannot shoot slow motion in 4k.

This doesn’t mean it cannot film in slow motion, as there are options to shoot 60fps in 2.7k and 1080p. It simply means that if you are requiring this slow-motion option in 4k, the option is not there.

Also, 60fps is the highest fps the Mini 3 can go. The Mini 3 Pro is able to shoot 120 fps (albeit in 1080), meaning it can slow the footage down by double that of the Mini 3 top fps of 60.

The last bullet points, no D-Cinelike, and 10-bit color, specifically pertain to those video shooters that also enjoy color grading.

Simply put, color depth is the amount of color and the variety of shades a camera can record. 10-bit color captures 1024 color levels per channel, displaying over 1 billion colors (1.07 Billion).

When shooting in the flatter D-Cinelike color profile, you are able to record in 10-bit.

The Mini 3 8-bit, with only its normal color profile, utilizes RGB using 256 colors per channel, meaning 8-bit can display a little over 16 Million colors (16.7 Million to be exact).

If you find yourself content with shooting video in the normal 8-bit color profile, then the Mini 3 will do just fine for you.

If you are a video shooter that requires more advanced shooting options, then the Mini 3 Pro may be more suited for what you are trying to accomplish.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro 10 Bit (Explained)

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, the Mini 3 actually surprises and puts up better numbers than the Mini 3 Pro.

As it stands the Mini 3 Pro is rated to get max flight times of 34 minutes with the Standard battery and 47 minutes with the Plus battery option.

The Mini 3, on the other hand, is rated to get 38 minutes of flight time with the Standard battery and a whopping 51 minutes using the Plus battery.

Why is there such a difference in the amount of flight time between the two Mini 3s? According to DJI, this is because:

  1. The Mini 3 weighs slightly less than the Mini 3 Pro due to the absence of quite a few sensors, and more importantly
  2. The Mini 3 uses a fair bit less processing power, due to not having to run processes related to the obstacle avoidance system, APAS, and Focus Track.

Although 4 minutes of added flight time might not sound like a big difference, when out in the field it can mean the difference, due to a lack of time, between nailing that hard-to-get shot or missing said shot.

Internal Storage

Like the Mavic Mini, DJI Mini SE, and DJI Mini 2 before it, the Mini 3 likewise has absolutely no internal storage. This means you will have to purchase an SD card if you want to take pictures and videos.

The Mini 3 Pro, on the other hand, includes 1.2 GB of internal storage. Not a lot by any means, but more than none, and just might come in handy in a pinch.

This means if you purchase a Mini 3 and have not purchased an SD card or two, you will not have a fallback if you forget to insert a memory card into the Mini 3 prior to taking off.

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$26.75

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Connectivity

For those that really want the latest in connectivity when it comes to DJI drones, the Mini 3 is running a previous version of OcuSync, this being OcuSync 2.0.

In contrast, the Mini 3 Pro is running the newest iteration of connectivity called OcuSync 3.0.

What is the difference between OcuSync 2.0 and OcuSync 3.0 and does it matter?

That is another one of those questions where it might matter, depending on what you are looking to do. The OcuSync 2.0 transmission, also found in the DJI Mini 2, has a range of 10km or 6.2 miles, with there being 2 antennas.

The OcuSync 3.0 transmission found in the Mini 3 Pro, has a range of 12km or 7.4 miles. Unlike the Mini 3, there are 4 antennas, making the signal stronger and more reliable.

Now while it is against the FAA regulations in the US to fly BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight), many look at the strength of the transmission system, not how far you can fly the drone.

This is especially important if you are planning to fly in the city or heavily populated urban areas, which have heavy interference. The last thing anyone wants is to be flying around skyscrapers and the signal drop.

The OcuSync 3.0 transmission signal, is not only stronger, but it also uses a newer transmission image solution that transmits a higher resolution (full HD) image to the remote controller over greater distances while also strengthening the anti-interference capability of that full HD image transmission.

This means that you are getting a much higher-resolution image sent to the remote controller itself, while also limiting disconnects.

On the other hand, many reviewers, YouTubers, and hobbyists have mentioned they don’t have any issues with the OcuSync 2.0 system found in the Mini 2. If you are looking to buy a Mini 3, this will most likely be your findings as well.

This is another case of determining what fits your needs and going with the drone that accomplishes these. If you are looking for the current best transmission system in full HD, the Mini 3 Pro will be your choice.

If transmission strength isn’t even a consideration, then the Mini 3 should work well.

Remote Controllers

Earlier at the outset of this article, we talked about the various combos that can be purchased for the Mini 3 and the Mini 3 Pro.

What wasn’t mentioned was all of the RCs that can work with the Mini 3 and the Mini 3 Pro.

Currently, the Mini 3 works with the:

  • DJI RC
  • DJI RC-N1

On the other hand, in addition to the Mini 3 Pro working with those remote controllers, as of the summer of 2022, through firmware updates, the Mini 3 Pro also works with the DJI RC Pro.

This is something the drone community had asked for quite a bit. The Mini 3 Pro being able to work with the RC Pro means that it too can benefit from a brighter nit screen (1000 nits), while also benefiting from additional controller buttons.

Who knows, perhaps in the future Litchi will work with the Mini 3 Pro through the DJI RC enabling more complex flight routines.

The Front Arms

As you may have noticed, the Mini 3 Pro does not have the standard front arms that all of the other DJI foldable drones have.

Because of the Mini 3 Pros redesigned front arms, we are now able to unfold the drone in any order we’d like.

Gone are the days of remembering the unfold sequence to get the drone opened and ready to fly.

For some, this might not be a big deal. For others, this is something that might save a little time here and there, something that is important to those where time is of the essence.

The Mini 3, however, returns to the design queues of the drones before it (sans the Mini 3 Pro), having arms with protruding feet, which DJI says actually adds stability to the Mini 3 when landing.

Thoughts

If you are in the market for a new mini drone and cannot decide between the Mini 3 and the Mini 3 Pro, depending on what you are looking for you cannot go wrong.

There are so many different combos and packages available for either drone, almost any budget can be accommodated.

If you are looking for a great beginner drone with long battery life and a camera that is on par with an iPhone Pro 13, you will do well going with the Mini 3.

If you require a slight step up from the Mini 3, looking for more professional specs like 48mp photos, more slow-motion options, focus track, and APAS, then the Mini 3 Pro will definitely have you covered.

Whichever drone you decide to purchase, fly safe and have fun!