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Is the DJI Mini 3 Pro Worth It? (Read This Before Buying)

It seems lately that DJI has been hitting home run after home run with the release of its latest offerings of drones, from the much loved Mini 2, to the budget-friendly prosumer Air 2S, to the photographer and videographer’s workhorse, the Mavic 3 Pro.

Over the past 3 years, DJI has offered 3 forms of (Mavic) Mini drones; the Mavic Mini, DJI Mini 2, and the DJI Mini SE.

On May 10, 2022, the drone community was introduced to yet another Mini offering by DJI, the 4th in its line, the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

And so many people love it, for a good reason.

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is worth it for 1st-time drone owners, those looking for a 250g drone, anyone looking to record and take pictures in true portrait mode, those looking to spend a bit less than the Air 2S, and drone operators looking for a lower-priced RC with an integrated screen.

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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03/06/2024 03:36 pm GMT

Who is the Mini 3 Pro for?

The Mini 3 Pro occupies an excellent position, being accessible to new drone owners, professionals looking to add a very small and lightweight drone to their fleet as a backup, and everyone in between.

For now, we’ll focus on 3 groups who might enjoy the Mini 3 Pro.

New Drone Owners

Because of the size and cost of larger drones like the DJI Phantom and Inspire Lines, Yuneec’s Typhoon and H series, and other notable drones, many new drone pilots are looking for a drone that is smaller (or even tiny) in size, with some decent capabilities, and also affordable.

This is where the Mini 3 Pro really shines.

Its small footprint and weight of 249g make it easier to learn how to fly. It is not as intimidating as a large, angry-bee-buzzing, heavyweight drone.

It is also nimble in the air while being one of the more quiet drones on the market, meaning it won’t draw overly undue attention to itself.

This is also a plus for new drone owners, who might be nervous about flying in public.

Did we mention the price?

While the Mini, Mini SE, and Mini 2 range between $299USD and $599USD, the Mini 3 Pro has various packages ranging from $669 (with no remote controller included) to upwards of $1100 if you purchase the Drone, RC Controller, and Fly More kit.

Considering all the tech and abilities packed in the drone, many find this to be an excellent price point.

See below the 3 packages offered by DJI.

Our Choice
DJI Mini 3 Pro (Standard)
$695.00

Includes DJI RC-N1 allowing you to pack light and enjoy the creative experience.

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03/07/2024 07:02 am GMT
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
Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/06/2024 03:36 pm GMT
DJI Mini 3/Mini 3 Pro Fly More Kit (Drone & RC Not Included)
$219.00

Includes Two Intelligent Flight Batteries, a Two-Way Charging Hub, Data Cable, Shoulder Bag, Spare propellers, and Screws

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03/06/2024 05:01 pm GMT

Photo/Video Professionals (as a backup)

The next group that might appreciate the Mini 3 Pro (as a possible add-on/backup to their current arsenal) would be Photography and Videography Professionals.

We’ll be going into more detail on the features that truly make the “Mini 3 Pro worth it” shortly. However, some of these features really stand out for professionals, such as:

  • The new plus-sized battery boasts up to 47-minute flight times (we know you’ll never get that in real-world scenarios, 40 minutes is more like it).
  • True vertical shooting negates having to shoot in landscape and then cropping either the photos or videos in post.
  • A 3-way obstacle avoidance system, opening up the addition of master shots and other modes currently not found on the Mini 2.
  • Being able to shoot video in the 10-bit D-Cinelike color profile.

Solo Content Creators and Travel Vloggers

Of course, Content Creators and Travel Vloggers also fall within that professional category. However, I wanted to give these individuals their own section as they specialize in certain areas.

Content Creators and Travel Vloggers might specifically enjoy the sub 250g weight and longer battery life the Plus batteries offer.

For the content creator on the go, packing a camera bag lightly is a must. Having an ultra-portable drone with professional-grade specs is definitely a needed addition.

If you add to the lightweight, small footprint, and long battery life, additions like vertical shooting and 10-bit color, you truly have a traveler’s dream drone.

Features that make the Mini 3 Pro “Worth It”

Camera

The Mini 3 Pro camera has upgraded in size and aperture, from the Mini 2’s 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor with a fixed 2.8f aperture to a 1/1.3″ CMOS sensor with a fixed 1.7f aperture.

This means that the Mini 3 Pro, due to its slightly wider aperture and larger sensor, has better low light capabilities than its predecessor.

If you shoot sunrises, sunsets, or even at night, the quality of the shots will be better.

Is the DJI Mini 3 Pro Worth It - Camera

On the picture side of things, the Mini 3 Pro is capable of shooting 48MP photos, using a similar process and technology that the Air 2 utilizes.

While the true nature of the images being 48MP comes into question by purists, tests have shown that the images shot in 48MP are a bit better than those shot at 12MP on the Mini 3 Pro.

In terms of video, like its larger sibling, the Air 2S, the Mini 3 Pro can shoot 4K 60FPS, which is a great addition to a drone of this size and weight.

Not only can the Mini 3 Pro shoot 4K60, but it can also shoot in the flatter D-Cinelike color profile, in 10-bit color. This is a welcome addition for those that like to do extensive color grading with their video clips.

Is the DJI Mini 3 Pro Worth It - Camera

Size & Weight

As the “Mini” name denotes, the new Mini 3 Pro is also a sub-250g drone, like its predecessors. For many, this is great news, as it means that the Mini 3 Pro is not subject to drone registration in the US.

This does come with a caveat, though.

If you are a Part 107 Certified drone operator and use the Mini 3 Pro for commercial work, you will have to register it, regardless of the weight.

» MORE: Do I Need a Drone License to Post Videos on YouTube?

In regard to the size of the drone, while being slightly larger than the Mini 2, the Mini 3 Pro is still ultra-portable and smaller than the Air 2S.

Many owners and testers have commented that it is easy to put the drone in cargo pants/shorts pockets and how little room the drone takes in photography bags and backpacks.

Is the DJI Mini 3 Pro Worth It - Size & Weight

Something new for the Mini 3 Pro is how the legs and arms fold. With the new design, you can fold/unfold the legs and arms in any order.

Previously, with all DJI’s folding drones, there was a set procedure or pattern for folding and unfolding.

Now you can get set up and in the air slightly faster, without the worry of perhaps damaging the legs because of twisting/folding them incorrectly.

Battery Life

New with the Mini 3 Pro is the Plus battery option, which is a separate purchase from the standard batteries that come included with the drone.

The actual name is the DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Battery Plus.

What is the Plus battery? This new Plus battery is a 3850 mAh battery (up from the Mini 3 Pros standard 2543 mAh battery), boasting maximum flight times of 47 minutes.

Although we wouldn’t see those times in typical real-world usage, 40 or so minutes can reasonably be expected.

With those longer flight times and the higher capacity battery comes more weight.

If you are flying with the new Plus battery, the Mini 3 Pro will no longer be a sub-250g drone and will need to be registered.

Obstacle Avoidance Sensors

Because of the 250g weight limit DJI was going for in the Mini and Mini 2 and the prior technology limitations, those drones did not have any sort of obstacle avoidance.

This has changed with the Mini 3 Pro.

The Mini 3 Pro comes complete with tri-directional sensing: forward, rear-facing, and bottom obstacle avoidance, bringing it up to the level of the Air 2.

Although it does not have the additional top sensors that the Air 2S has, the three sensors make the drone not only safer to fly but also opened the door to the inclusion of Focus Track, which we’ll touch on soon.

With the sensors enabled, when in the DJI Fly app, you will have a visual display of nearby obstacles and audible alerts.

The different avoidance modes are:

  • Mode 1 – STOP. When the Mini 3 Pro approaches an obstacle, it will simply stop flying, allowing you, the pilot, to decide the best course of action.
  • Mode 2 – BYPASS. Here the Mini 3 Pro is constantly building a virtual wire framework of the environment it is flying through. When an object is approached, the drone will find the “holes” in the framework and choose the best course to continue the flight.

Note: In BYPASS Mode, while bypassing an obstacle, you won’t be able to steer the drone left and right. The Mini 3 Pro will make its own slight adjustments left and right.

New Intelligent Flight Modes

With the addition of obstacle avoidance sensors comes added Intelligent Flight modes. One of the most welcomed additions would be Focus Track, including:

  • Active Track (follow me mode) – Allows tracking a selected moving subject, such as a person or a car or bike, just to name a few.
  • Spotlight – Highlight a subject of interest and fly while keeping that subject in the center of the screen.
  • POI – Flies an orbit around your selected subject. You can set the desired radius.

There are a whole host of other intelligent flight modes included as well, such as Mastershots and Hyperlapse.

60-Degree Tilt (Upwards)

When you look at many of the DJI folding drones, they have the option to tilt the camera upwards 20-30 degrees. This adds a great new perspective when flying beneath objects.

On my Phantoms and Mavics, I particularly liked shooting this way while passing between trees, under bridges, and through tight spaces.

The Mini 3 Pro takes this even further.

If you notice the odd-looking notch on the front Mini 3 Pro, that is there to allow the camera to tilt up a full 60 degrees, giving an even better view when flying beneath objects, like clouds, etc.

Vertical Mode

As was also mentioned earlier, a big selling point by DJI to the masses is that the Mini 3 Pro can shoot in true vertical mode.

This is a mode that has garnered a lot of attention online, especially from YouTube Solo Content Creators.

Back in 2016, when the original Mavic Pro came out, it likewise had vertical shooting mode. This, of course, is when the drone’s camera can rotate from horizontal (landscape) shooting to vertical (portrait) shooting.

In 2016 posting pictures or even recording video in portrait mode wasn’t really a big thing, as Instagram, Snapchat, and (eventually) TikTok were not as huge as they are now.

With an influx of users posting so much in portrait mode to social media sites as stories, vertical shooting is a nice addition to the capabilities of the Mini 3 Pro.

When shooting vertically, you no longer have to crop a landscape photo and move your wanted Centerpoint or point of interest in post.

Also, by shooting vertically, you are seeing the entire field of view that the Mini 3 Pro sees vertically, all 24mm equivalent of it, and not just a cropped center.

DJI RC Controller

The new DJI RC Controller is perhaps one of the more exciting hardware additions to the new Mini 3 Pro.

As of the writing of this article, the DJI RC not only works with the Mini 3 Pro but also the Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine, per DJI.

The DJI RC, like the DJI Smart Controller and DJI RC Pro Controller, has a 5.5-inch integrated screen, which runs the DJI Fly app.

Is the DJI Mini 3 Pro Worth It - DJI RC Controller

Sadly, unlike the smart controllers, the DJI RC only runs the DJI Fly app and not any 3rd party apps.

There are two immediate reasons why the DJI RC for the Mini 3 Pro is a fairly big deal.

Cost/PricingOST/PRICING

Unlike DJI’s current Smart Controller offerings, the standalone price of the DJI RC is relatively inexpensive, by comparison.

The now discontinued DJI Smart Controller sells new for $988, whereas the brand new DJI RC Pro retails at $1199.

By comparison, the DJI RC is $309 if bought separately. If you choose to buy the Mini 3 Pro package with the DJI RC included, it’ll run you just $150 more than the cost of the package with the RC-N1 (standard) controller.

Is the DJI Mini 3 Pro Worth It - DJI RC
DJI RC - Lightweight, 4-hour battery life
$309.00 $255.06

Remote Controller for DJI Mini 3 Pro/DJI Mavic 3/DJI Mavic 3 Cine, Lightweight Body, FHD Screen, 4hr Battery, Precision Control Sticks, O3+ Transmission

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03/07/2024 03:56 pm GMT

Integrated Screen

While the standard RC-N1 is an ergonomic and solid piece of hardware, having a remote controller with a dedicated screen for displaying the DJI Fly app is an excellent addition.

One of the great things about the Mini line of DJI drones is their relatively small size. That in itself lends the drone to be a traveler or outdoors lover’s dream.

When you think about the compact size, having a dedicated screened remote makes the experience better because you can launch the drone faster, as there is basically only the drone and controller to worry about.

With the standard RC-N1 and smart device setup, you have to:

  1. Connect the device to the controller.
  2. Turn on the controller.
  3. Turn on the drone.

While up in the air, you might have notifications interrupting the flight, and then if the smart device is an Apple product, the screen will inevitably dim when it’s too hot.

Now, with the DJI RC, you only have to turn on and connect the controller to the drone. Gone are those times of the pesky phone notifications disrupting the flight.

Additionally, the 700 nit brightness screen (while not as bright as the DJI RC Pro’s 1000 nit screen) is about the same brightness as many cell phones and is a continuous brightness, with no dimming. Nice.

Conclusion

We briefly touched on some of the more intriguing features that the Mini 3 has to offer for the general drone buying public.

If you are new to flying drones or a solo content creator, the Mini 3 Pro might be exactly what you are looking for.

Or if you are a video professional, you might like to have the Mini 3 Pro as a backup, as it will indeed shoot good quality 4K video.

If you currently own an Air 2S and are contemplating a slight side grade, be sure to take a look at our article that compares the Min 3 Pro with the Air 2S.