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Does DJI RC Pro Work with Air 3 (Answered)

Anyone who has had an opportunity to fly the Air 3 knows it takes very good photos and exceptional video.

More importantly to some, it flies great! Even if you have not flown one, YouTube is full of videos attesting to this.

As someone who owns and chooses to fly the Air 3 regularly, the control experience is so much better with a smart controller.

The question is, does the Air 3 work with the robust, all-in-one, and expensive, DJI RC Pro smart controller?

Currently, the DJI RC Pro does not work with the DJI Air 3 or the newer DJI Mini 4 Pro. In this article, we will discuss the reason for this as well as the smart remote controller that works with the new Air 3 series.

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Why the DJI RC Pro does not work with the Air 3

Simply put, the DJI RC Pro does not currently work with the Air 3 because the RC Pro is built to work with one version of DJI’s transmission system, OcuSync 3.0/3+, and the DJI Air 3 uses the newest version, OcuSync 4.0.

» MORE: DJI Transmission System (Everything You Need to Know)

OcuSync

OcuSync is DJI’s proprietary video and signal transmission system used to communicate between their drones and remote controllers.

OcuSync has been used in most DJI drones since its release with the original Mavic Pro in 2016.

Before OcuSync, many DJI drones were using a hybrid Wi-Fi transmission system that was not only weak but had to battle interference from outside sources.

With this antiquated system, flying even a few hundred feet away from you could be problematic.

OcuSync has seen many technical upgrades and versions since then, ranging from OcuSync 1.0 all the way to the current OcuSync 4.0 (O4). All these upgrades systematically improved signal penetration and distance.

The DJI RC Pro was built to work with OcuSync 3.0/3+ and that’s it.

There appears to be no backward compatibility built into it, and at this point, we do not know if forward compatibility is a possibility either.

The current list of DJI drones that work with the DJI RC Pro are:

The Air 3, along with the Mini 4 Pro, has the latest and greatest version of OcuSync, OcuSync 4.0.

This transmission system greatly improves the range, signal penetration, and interference resistance of the drones and controllers using O4.

While it improves in all of these areas, it simultaneously keeps the Air 3 from using any OcuSync 3-based remote controllers, including the DJI RC Pro.

» MORE: DJI OcuSync 3.0 (Explained For Beginners)

The Smart Controller that works with the Air 3

Although the DJI RC Pro does not work with OcuSync 4.0-based drones, like the Air 3, there is a viable smart controller that does indeed work with the Air 3.

This is the DJI RC 2.

The RC 2 is an updated version of the much-loved DJI RC that was originally launched alongside the Mini 3 Pro.

For those who are unaware of either remote controller, the DJI RC is a lower-cost alternative to the DJI RC Pro.

Likewise, the new DJI RC 2 that works with the Air 3 is also a cost-efficient alternative to the RC Pro.

Like the RC Pro, the DJI RC 2 is an all-inclusive device, having a built-in 5.5″ touchscreen on an Android platform.

Unlike the RC Pro, the RC 2 exclusively runs the DJI Fly app only. You cannot install 3rd party apps on it.

I own and use the DJI RC 2, with both the Mini 4 Pro and Air 3, and thoroughly enjoy every minute of using it. Nothing currently beats flying the Air 3 than using the DJI RC 2.

» MORE: DJI RC 2 Review (Everything You Need to Know)

Benefits of using the DJI RC 2

As there are currently only two remote controller options available for the Air 3, we highly suggest getting the all-in-one DJI RC 2 over the RC-N2 for the reasons we’ll be pointing out.

Integrated Screen

Like the DJI RC Pro, the RC 2 has an Android-based, 5.5″ integrated screen. This screen is the exact same size as the screen on the DJI RC Pro.

Although slightly less bright than the DJI RC Pro’s screen (which is 1000 nits), the 700-nit screen on the DJI RC 2 is plenty bright, even during extremely bright summer days.

If you add a matte screen protector to the RC 2, everything should be viewable in pretty much all conditions.

I use my DJI RC 2 regularly at extremely bright Florida Gulf Coast beaches and never have a problem with visibility.

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For DJI RC and DJI RC 2

  • Mini 3
  • Mini 3 Pro
  • Mini 4 Pro
  • Air 3
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» MORE: How to Fly DJI Air 3 Drone (With DJI RC 2)

Convenience

With the screen being integrated into the remote controller and running the DJI Fly app, there is no longer a need for an attached smartphone or smart device.

However, to get the area maps when flying, it is suggested to tether to your smartphone hotspot briefly.

It only takes a few moments to do so. This is, of course, optional and totally up to you.

Deploying or launching the Air 3 takes less time than it would to pull out a cell phone, attach the cables, turn on the RC, and open the DJI Fly app.

The process for getting in the air is as simple as turning on the RC 2 and the Air 3.

Because there are no connection cables to be concerned with, that’s one less thing to worry about either breaking or losing.

I have been on jobs before where the connection cables either failed or were left home, bringing filming to a halt.

» MORE: DJI Fly App (Everything You Need to Know)

Price

One of the biggest benefits of the RC 2 is that the RC 2 is a lot less expensive than the DJI RC Pro.

Even though the RC Pro does not currently work with the Air 3, it is great to see that DJI has provided an all-in-one solution for the Air 3 that does not cost north of $1,000+.

DJI has been selling the DJI RC 2 at less than half that price. However, due to its massive popularity, the remote controller is almost always out of stock.

If you have an Air 3 with DJI RC-N2 and are looking forward to purchasing the DJI RC 2, there are official DJI ones on Amazon.

Original Air 3 Smart Remote Controller
$410.00 $369.00

5.5 Inch Full HD Screen Image Transmission System of DJI RC2 Remote Control for DJI Air 3

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03/07/2024 12:41 am GMT

DJI RC 2 Features

Below is a current listing of what buttons and functions the RC 2 has.

The face of the DJI RC2

  • Return to Home button (RTH)
    • When pressed and held, the Air 3 will automatically return to the location marked as home in the DJI Fly app. RTH options can be adjusted.
  • Cine, Normal, and Sport mode switch
    • Cine – slow smooth flight with dampened controls, tailored for getting cinematic shots
    • Normal – straight out of the box, standard control speed
    • Sport – allows the Air 3 to fly at speeds up to 46.9mph. This mode turns off all obstacle-avoidance
    • Power button (press then long-press-hold to turn on)
    • 4 LED indicator/status lights and a Power On LED
    • 4 green LED: 75% – 100% battery life
    • 3 green LED: 50% – 75% battery life
    • 2 green LED: 25% – 50% battery life
    • 1 green LED: 0% – 25% battery life
    • 2 Removable Control Sticks and Stick Holder

» MORE: DJI Air 3 – Battery (All You Need to Know)

The back of the DJI RC2

  • C1 and C2 buttons. Can be customized as follows:
    • C1 Button
      • Recenter/Tilt Gimbal Down
        • Follow/FPV
        • Auxilliary Lights
        • Cruise Control
        • AE Lock On/Off
        • Increase EV
        • Decrease EV
        • Camera Settings
        • Switch Cameras
        • Plan Waypoint Flight
    • C2 Button
      • Recenter/Tilt Gimbal Down
      • Follow/FPV
      • Auxilliary Lights
      • Cruise Control
      • AE Lock On/Off
      • Increase EV
      • Decrease EV
      • Camera Settings
      • Switch Cameras
      • Plan Waypoint Flight
  • 2 Slots to store the removable control sticks
  • 2 recessed mounting holes
  • Vent

» MORE: DJI Mavic 3 Classic vs. Air 3 (Which One is Better)

The top of the DJI RC2

2 scroll wheels/dials

  • Left dial. Not customizable.
    • Gimbal up/down
      • Right Wheel/Dial. Can be customized as follows:
        • Zoom In/Out
        • Adjust Focal Length
        • Adjust EV
        • Adjust Shutter Speed
        • Adjust ISO
  • Video record button
  • Photo shutter button
  • 2 internal/integrated antennas
  • 2 rabbit ear adjustable antennas

Button/Dial Modifiers

Additionally, there are modifiers or button and dial combinations that perform certain functions as well and can be changed:

  • C1 Button + Right Dial
    • Zoom In/Out
    • Adjust Focal Length
    • Adjust EV
    • Adjust Shutter Speed
    • Adjust ISO
  • C2 Button + Right Dial
    • Zoom In/Out
    • Adjust Focal Length
    • Adjust EV
    • Adjust Shutter Speed
    • Adjust ISO

» MORE: Does DJI Air 3 Have Return to Home (Explained)

The bottom of the DJI RC2

  • SD Card Slot
    • Can accept SD cards up to 256GB
  • USB-C Port
  • Mounting Holes – for lanyard clasps, etc.

» MORE: Best SD Cards for DJI Air 3

Comparison with the DJI RC Pro

DJI RC Pro - 1000-Nit display
$1,199.00 $1,009.00

High-bright display, powerful performance, efficient control, outstanding audio, and video performance.

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03/07/2024 04:07 pm GMT

Although the the DJI RC Pro is not available for the Air 3, the RC 2 is the absolute best, integrated solution for flying the Air 3.

The RC 2 is comparable in many ways to the RC Pro in that it has a 5.5″ integrated Android-based touchscreen, running the DJI Fly app.

In terms of brightness, with the proper addon, like a matte screen protector, the RC 2 700-nit screen is highly visible even in extreme light conditions.

The RC 2 is more lightweight and smaller than the large, brick-solid RC Pro.

This size and weight difference makes the RC 2 easier and more convenient to carry, especially when packing minimally for a day of shooting content.

Add to the mix the fact that the RC 2 is substantially less expensive than the RC Pro and it is much more accessible to those new to flying drones, as well as recreationists.

Right now, as of this article’s writing, the DJI RC 2 is the best all-in-one remote controller solution for the Air 3.

» MORE: DJI RC Pro Review (Everything You Need to Know)