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Friday, October 7, 2022

DJI Mini 3 Pro Review: Mini Goes Pro

A giant leap forward. DJI Mini lineup goes Pro.

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It has been a year and a half since the well-reviewed Mini 2 came out. DJI has released its successor – DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro is the newest drone model in the DJI series in the sub-250-gram category.

So what’s inside a mini? It has a small footprint, just as large as your iPhone, which you can carry without the hassle of carrying a heavy load. DJI provides everything modern-day drone users desire in this new compact model.

Say hello to the new DJI Mini 3 and the RC Remote.
Say hello to the new DJI Mini 3 and the RC Remote.
The new DJI Mini 3 Pro has a new battery design that clips to the back of the drone.
The new DJI Mini 3 Pro has a new battery design that clips to the back of the drone.

The Mavic Mini 3 Pro has a bigger sensor than the Mini 2. Its gimbal can also shoot in a vertical orientation. You don’t have to register in most areas since it weighs less than 250g. Some countries restrict drones that weigh more than 250g.

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Design

The Mavic Mini 3 Pro looks quite different from the Mini 2. Unlike its older sibling, it now features tri-directional obstacle sensing (forward, back, and bottom) though it still lacks side sensors that will make it perfect for every beginner. This enables APAS 4.0 and other automated flight modes lacking in the previous generation.

Users should be careful as the gimbal doesn’t have any housing protection as it is protruded, and any front collision will surely damage the gimbal. This design choice allows the gimbal to shoot true vertical and can now angle up to 60 degrees upwards. This new feature is perfect for TikTokers and those shooting for Instagram Reels.

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The Mini 3 Pro comes with a brand new set of propellers. These low-pitched propellers emit very little noise and is the most silent among all DJI drones. When changing propellers, you can use the included screwdriver which uses a Philips 2.00 screw to unscrew each propeller from the arms.

The arms and propellers are now designed longer so that when the drone is flying, the body angles slightly upwards to minimize wind drag and serves as a cooling system for the drone when flying. The arms can now be unfolded in any order you desire.

Similar to the Mini 2, the Mini 3 Pro drone also weighs a scant 249g – just shy of the 250g limit that would need you to register the drone with the FAA or other similar regulatory agencies in other countries. The Mini 3 Pro weighs less than our iPhone Max, making it a joy to carry around and easily fit in our pocket.

The standard battery that comes with the new Mini 3. The Battery Plus options don't have the words Ultra-Light 249g words printed on them.
The standard battery that comes with the new Mini 3. The Battery Plus options don’t have the words Ultra-Light 249g words printed on them.
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The battery in the drone slides into the rear of the drone; just above is a USB-C port and an SD card slot. DJI advertised the flight time as 34 minutes which is exceptional for a drone this size. The drone has a built-in 1.2 GB internal storage for those moments when you forget to bring an SD card.

There’s also the optional Battery Plus, which bumps flight time to as much as 47-minutes, the longest advertised flight time of any DJI drone. However, the battery is not available for sale in certain countries as it will exceed the 250g limit. The 47-minutes advertised flight time is the longest of any DJI drones and exceeds that of the Mavic 3.

The maximum charging power of the Intelligent Flight Battery is 37-watts while that of the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus is 58-watts. It is rated at 2453 mAH and 3850 mAH respectively. Charging the Battery Plus takes 1 hour and 15 minutes while the standard battery takes 59 minutes to fully charge the batteries using USB-PD (Power Delivery) through the two-way battery hub. It supports the newest PD Revision 3.0 protocol.

The New RC Remote Controller

DJI sells the drone without a controller for anybody who’s upgrading and already has a unit. It also comes in an RC-N1 version that is similar to the remotes of the Mini 2, Air2S, and Mavic 3. The best selling option though for this drone is the one paired with the new DJI RC remote. It gives you a pure flight experience.

The new DJI RC remote features 700 nits of brightness, enough to see in bright daylight though not as bright as the 1000 nits the RC Pro has. The DJI RC Pro, however, costs more at $1199. The new remote also has dedicated photo and video buttons on top and two customizable buttons at the back. The two dials control the gimbal rotation and the camera’s digital zoom.

The new RC Remote has hidden antennas located on top along with dedicated buttons for taking photos or videos.
The new RC Remote has hidden antennas located on top along with dedicated buttons for taking photos or videos. There are dials for controlling the gimbal as well as for digital zoom.
Underneath is a USB-C used for charging the remote and a Micro-SD slot.
New user instruction on the RC remote.
New user instruction on the RC remote. The remote controller sticks can be stored at the back of the remote. It is a different design, and you won’t be able to use the sticks from the RC-N1.

The 5.5-inch display of the new remote is a joy to use as you won’t have to drain your mobile phone and go through the process of clamping your phone to the remote. The display uses Occusync 3.0 and is rated for a resolution of 1080p for up to 12 kilometers. Although in our initial test, we are having trouble flying more than 1 kilometer without signal degradation.

We hope DJI will address these signal problems in future updates. We also hope this new remote will be compatible with DJI’s other drones, as having used the RC remote was a comfortable choice of not needing to use your phone.

Performance

Despite its small size, the Mini 3 Pro has good wind resistance and is rated for winds up to 38.5 km/h. The maximum flight speed is at 57.6 km/h in sports mode. We were surprised to see it fly well in windy conditions.

We got 2 signal bars in the RC remote when flying just 276-meters with a complete visual line of sight. The drone got disconnected at around 800-meters. Thankfully the return-to-home setting was working and we got to test that as well.
We got two signal bars in the RC remote when flying just 276-meters with a complete visual line of sight. The drone got disconnected at around 800-meters. Thankfully, the return-to-home setting was working, and we also got to test that.

The drone doesn’t have any fan inside as it uses the propellers and the wind to cool itself when flying. We got a heat error when we left the drone on for a few minutes sitting at the table while transferring some photos. A battery overload error also appears when flying the drone in very windy conditions in sports mode over a long period of time.

The Mini 3 Pro can also shoot Hyperlapses and Mastershots at 4K resolution but only in 4K 30 fps and at the standard normal color profile.

Photo and Video Features

DJI Mini 3 features a 1 and 1/3 sensor capable of shooting up to 4K 60 fps. The camera sensor features a fixed aperture of 1.7, letting more light when shooting at night. There’s a 10-bit D-Cinelike that gives you 1024 colors per channel. That allows color grading your videos without the usual banding effect. It also has a Dual ISO mode, a new DJI drone feature.

The camera gimbal and the two new front sensors of the Mini 3 Pro.
The camera gimbal and the two new front sensors of the Mini 3 Pro.
The back sensor and the new camera gimbal design.
A look at the rear sensor and the new camera gimbal design.
The rear sensor is located in front of the drone. DJI says that this is so that the propeller won't interfere with the back sensor.
The rear sensor is located in front of the drone. DJI says this is so the propeller won’t interfere with the back sensor.
The true vertical photo shot with the new DJI Mini 3 Pro loses no pixels when shooting in portrait.
The true vertical photo shot with the new DJI Mini 3 Pro loses no pixels when shooting in portrait.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro captures 10-bit D-Cinelike with a maximum bitrate of 150 Mbps.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro captures 10-bit D-Cinelike with a maximum bitrate of 150 Mbps.

You can shoot 12-megapixel photos as standard and 48-megapixel shots using quad bayer technology. Our tests show photos from this tiny beast are similar to and sometimes better than the Air 2S. The camera can now tilt up to 60 degrees opening new creative ways to take photos and videos. The drone can also take true vertical photos and videos for social media.

The aperture is the largest among all the drones DJI has ever made. For example, the previous Mini 2, the Air2s, Mavic 3, and 2 Pro all feature an aperture of f/2.8. The large aperture, however, means that you have to get an ND filter if you’re going to shoot during the day to get that cinematic look.

These and other features make the mini worthy of the “pro” branding that DJI included in this year’s model.

Fly More Combo

The Fly More Kit and Fly More Kit Plus is sold separately. They include a newly designed bag, two extra sets of propellers, a USB-A to USB-C cable, a two-way charging hub, and two extra batteries. The Fly More Kit Plus includes two bigger batteries that are rated 47-minutes of flight time which are not sold in Europe and other countries as it will bump the weight of the drone to more than 250-grams.

The two-way charging hub includes charges three batteries in sequence starting from the one with the highest remaining battery level. It includes an "out port" that you can use as a power bank to charge your other devices on the go.
The two-way charging hub includes charges three batteries in sequence starting from the one with the highest remaining battery level. It includes an “out port” that you can use as a power bank to charge your other devices on the go.
The newly designed bag included in the Fly More Kits is ergonomically designed to fit your drone and spare batteries and some more. It is a bit smaller than the Mini 2 bag.
The Fly More Kits are now sold separately.
The Fly More Kits are now sold separately.
DJI Mini 3 Pro Sample Video Footage taken using D-Cinelike and color graded using Premier Pro.

DJI Mini 3 Pro Sample Shots

Price

This year, DJI decided to package the drone without the remote. Also, the fly more combo is purchased separately.

DJI Mini 3 Pro

  • Drone only: $669
  • With RC-N1 Remote: $759
  • With DJI RC Remote: $909

Fly More Package

  • Standard Fly More Kit: $189
  • Fly More Kit Plus (includes the larger capacity battery): $249
ProsCons
4K/60p video
True vertical shooting
Up to 45-minute flight time with the new Battery Plus
The new RC Pro remote is a joy to use
More expensive than its older sibling
We miss the old propeller guards that holds the Mini 2
Active Track and Object tracking does not work in vertical video mode
The signal between the remote and the drone is quite erratic despite using Occusyn 3.0
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REVIEW OVERVIEW

DJI Mini 3 Pro

SUMMARY

DJI Mini 3 Pro is the ideal first drone for emerging professionals. True vertical photos and videos are perfect for Tiktok and Instagram Reels. The reliable security performance and intelligent shooting mode make the Mini series finally get rid of the entry-level impression and even surpass the larger Mavic Air 2 to become a full-featured professional aerial camera. We believe that DJI Mini 3 Pro is one of the best aerial cameras for 2022.

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DJI Mini 3 Pro Review: Mini Goes ProDJI Mini 3 Pro is the ideal first drone for emerging professionals. True vertical photos and videos are perfect for Tiktok and Instagram Reels. The reliable security performance and intelligent shooting mode make the Mini series finally get rid of the entry-level impression and even surpass the larger Mavic Air 2 to become a full-featured professional aerial camera. We believe that DJI Mini 3 Pro is one of the best aerial cameras for 2022.