DJI Mini 3 Review: A spendy, refined entry stage drone: Digital Photography Review

In late 2019, DJI launched their first sub-250g drone. Since then, two different fashions within the DJI Mini household have been launched. The brand-new DJI Mini 3 is a barely pared-down mannequin that gives some enhancements in comparison with its predecessor, the Mini 2, akin to longer flight time. Positive, you will not get the superior options from the Mini 3 Professional, however when you don’t want 4K/60p video, impediment avoidance or topic monitoring, and even bells and whistles like Hyperlapse, then this is likely to be the light-weight drone for you.

The Mini 3 has an nearly an identical digicam to the Mini 3 Professional and may shoot in Portrait mode as nicely.

Very like the remedy we gave the Mavic 3 Traditional final month, this preliminary overview will cowl our impressions of the Mini 3 and who we expect it’s most fitted to, particularly because it’s being launched into the height vacation purchasing season. Is it price upgrading from a Mini 2 when you’ve got one already? Or would you be higher off trying on the Mini 3 Professional? Let’s discover out.

Key Options

  • 12MP, Sort 1/1.3 (10 x 7.5mm) sensor
  • 24mm (equiv.) lens with a hard and fast F1.7 aperture
  • Portrait capturing
  • Potential to zoom as much as 4X on video
  • 4K/30p video
  • H.264 codec and 100 Mbps bitrate
  • Uncooked and JPEG picture seize
  • OcuSync 2.0 (O2) picture transmission – 10 km (6.2 mi) vary
  • Downward Imaginative and prescient Sensing
  • Appropriate with DJI RC distant
  • As much as 38 or 51 minutes flight time
  • 249g
What we like What we do not
  • Sort 1/1.3 (10 x 7.5mm) sensor
  • Fastened F1.7 aperture
  • As much as 38 or 51 minutes of battery life
  • Quiet flight
  • Appropriate with a wide range of DJI remotes
  • Nonetheless a bit dear
  • Can take a couple of minutes to begin up on chilly flight
  • No D-Cinelike profile or 10-bit colour
  • No impediment detection or avoidance sensors

In comparison with…

The Mini 3’s design is sort of an identical to that of the Mini 3 Professional. The gimbal and digicam are virtually the identical. They will rotate to seize social-media-friendly vertical video as nicely. DJI additionally says the digicam’s 4-in-1 pixel know-how (recognized elsewhere within the imaging world as Quad Bayer) creates 12MP photographs with 2.4μm efficient photosites in comparison with the 1.2μm within the Mini 3 Professional’s sensor when it output 48MP photographs.

Mini 3 Mini 3 Professional Mini 2
Value $409 (with out distant)

$499 (with RC-N1 distant)

$639 (with DJI RC distant)

$658 (RC-N1 Fly Extra combo)

$798 (DJI RC Fly Extra combo)

$669 (with out distant)

$759 (with RC-N1 distant)

$909 (with DJI RC Distant)

Fly Extra Equipment a further $189

$449 Common

$549 Fly Extra Combo

Digital camera 12MP, Sort 1/1.3 48MP, Sort 1/1.3 12MP, Sort 1/2.3
Digital Zoom 4K: 2x, 2.7K: 3x, 1080p: 4x 4K: 2x, 2.7K: 3x, 1080p: 4x 4K: 2x, 2.7K:3x, 1080p: 4x
Video Profile Regular Regular, D-Cinelike Regular
Video decision 4K/30p 4K/60p 4K/30p
Video bit-rate 100 Mbps/H.264 150 Mbps/H.264 and H.265 100 Mbps/H.264
Video tranmission DJI O2, 720p/30p, 10km DJI O3, 1080p/30p, 12km DJI O2, 720p/30p, 10km
APAS None APAS 4.0 for Highlight and ActiveTrack None
Impediment avoidance sensors Downward Imaginative and prescient Positioning Ahead, Backward, Downward Downward Imaginative and prescient Positioning
Flight time 38 minutes/51 minutes* 34 minutes/47 minutes* 31 minutes
Core Clever Features


APAS 4.0 Hyperlapse Highlight 2.0
Level of Curiosity 3.0 ActiveTrack 4.0 MasterShots


Dimensions 148x90x62 mm 145x90x62 mm 138x81x58 mm
Weight 249g** 249g** 249g

* Longer period requires heavier 28.4 Wh ‘Flight Battery Plus,’ not out there in all international locations
** 249g weight when utilizing normal 18.1Wh ‘Clever Flight Battery.’

What’s noticeably absent in comparison with its Professional brother is DJI’s 10-bit D-Cinelike profile, which supplies you way more post-processing flexibility.

The Mini 3 is appropriate with DJI’s RC distant that powers the Mavic 3 sequence, and its RC-N1 distant as nicely. You should purchase the Mini 3 as a standalone unit when you’ve got both of those remotes in your possession.

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Preliminary ideas

The Mini 3 flies, handles and maneuvers identical to the Mini 3 Professional. The one actual distinction is its lack of impediment avoidance sensors. Once I was testing out each, facet by facet, the Professional would beep because it was approaching a tree department above, which may be helpful.

In comparison with the Mini 2, Mini 3’s physique is extra sturdy (regardless of being the identical weight) and may deal with robust winds way more effectively. I additionally observed that the Mini 3’s gimbal is much extra secure than that of the Mini 2, which in my expertise tends to tilt.

The Mini 3 offers you brighter, cleaner colours and a clearer picture in comparison with the Mini 2.

Immediately, I observed that the Mini 3’s digicam, with its bigger Sort 1/1.3 (10 x 7.5mm) sensor and F1.7 aperture, gave superior picture high quality to the Mini 2. The colours are a lot brighter and the photographs are cleaner, total, with much less blotchy noise. This made utilizing the elective DJI RC controller, with its built-in LCD, a pleasant expertise. Working collectively, the Mini 3 and DJI RC distant management felt like a contemporary piloting expertise.

From high to backside, the Mini 3 Professional, Mini 3 and Mini 2 stack up in a different way at evening. The identical settings have been used. It is clear that the Mini 3 has a much better, much less noisy picture at evening when in comparison with the older Mini 2.

One factor I observed, although, is that lights and indicators are a bit blown out in evening video footage. You’ll be able to’t actually learn the signal on high of the lodge I used to be filming in my pattern clip. Additionally, after I tried a reveal shot, the footage was a bit out of focus till I finished transferring the gimbal and let it sit nonetheless.

The Mini 3 Professional (left) and Mini 3 (center) are nearly an identical in construct. The Professional has two sensors in entrance whereas on the Mini 3 these are vents.

One other factor that irritated me was that it took a while to connect with sufficient satellites (between 10 and 12) to get correct GPS on a chilly flight (the primary preliminary launch in a 24-hour interval) and once more on the next flight. Additionally, I needed to recalibrate the compass when flying in an city setting at evening. I used to be flying a tester unit, and utilizing a short lived Fly app account, however I hope when it launches these laggy hang-ups aren’t current.

The Mini 3 Professional is the one sub-250g of DJI’s to have impediment avoidance sensors. When you’re not going to register your drone, be sure you’re utilizing a battery that claims “Extremely Gentle” as it should preserve it at 249g, just below the registration requirement.

What I missed greater than something is the power to seize Hyperlapse footage. It’s additionally unlucky that the D-Cinelike profile isn’t included, although I can see DJI’s logic in justifying the worth for the following tier up. That stated, if I had a Mini 2, I will surely improve – particularly given the longer flight time. Since I personal a Mini 3 Professional, myself, I’ll preserve ahold of that as I really feel a bit spoiled with all its choices.

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Who’s it for?

The Mini 3 is a modernized entry-level drone. In the beginning, it is fitted to individuals who desire a up to date sub-250g drone that may seize first rate images and video clips. That stated, provided that capturing in ‘Auto’ mode at evening tends to blow out lights, some data of adjusting digicam settings can be useful when you’re filming evening footage, as you may get higher outcomes utilizing the ‘Professional’ (handbook) settings.

Because the Clever Flight batteries on the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Professional are interchangeable, this might both function a backup mannequin to the Professional or a starter level to a doable future improve if the pilot decides they want extra superior settings. Anybody who enjoys the MasterShots characteristic, the power to trace and observe topics, making a Hyperlapse, or capturing 4K/60p video goes to wish to purpose straight for the top-tier Professional choice.

When you do not wish to use your smartphone, the DJI RC distant solely prices $309 and is appropriate with the Mini 3. It won’t work with the Mini 2.

The silver lining to the Mini 3’s lack of impediment avoidance sensors is that DJI has introduced again their light-weight 360º Propeller Guard for it. This add-on successfully lets you fly in tighter areas with out having to fret a few collision. You could wish to avoid tree branches with small protruding twigs, however stable surfaces will not be a difficulty.

Even when you’re a cautious flyer, these additional prop guards would possibly show you how to for the reason that Mini 3 lacks collision detection.

My younger daughter discovered the way to fly inside our home along with her Mavic Mini and was assured even when she bumped right into a wall, because the drone bounced off surfaces and saved going. When you really feel like staying indoors to apply flying, this accent is price selecting up. The downward imaginative and prescient sensors will preserve the drone regular in a house or open indoor house, which helps you to log some apply time with out getting frostbite exterior.

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Total, I’m happy with the way in which the Mini 3 performs. After flying it, nonetheless, I preserve coming again to the worth. The Mini 3, bought as a standalone product, is sort of as dear as a Mini 2 plus distant. For absolute rookies, I feel that is in all probability nonetheless the package to get, not less than so long as it is nonetheless out there.

However the Mini 3 is certainly the entry-level sub-250g mannequin for individuals who count on a extra premium expertise. It is lacking a couple of bells and whistles, however this drone has sufficient tech inside to make it easy flying for nearly anybody, and it packs some noticeable picture high quality enhancements too. When you can afford the few hundred additional {dollars}, the Mini 3 is a worthwhile funding.

Pattern gallery

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