The DJI Mini 3 Pro is one of the most recent releases by DJI. It’s small, light, and packs a whole range of features that any drone enthusiast would love.
So what are the main features of the DJI Mini 3 Pro?
The DJI Mini 3 Pro shoots in 4K at 60fps, though you have an option to use the 2.7K or the 1080p resolutions. Other features include a 34-minute flight time, Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing, and a 12-Km range.
Like most DJI drones, you also get intelligent flight modes.
Make sure you keep reading to learn more about the main DJI Mini 3 Pro features and how to get the most out of them!
Let’s look at each feature of the DJI Mini 3 Pro in detail.
Gimbal Design + Vertical Shooting
One of the most fascinating features of the Mini 3 Pro is the gimbal design.
It has a pivot system and a notch at the top that keeps the gimbal in place even when accelerating the drone quickly.
This is unlike the Mini 2, which, even though it has a decent gimbal design, sometimes, when you pitch, the gimbal tends to face up.
With the Mini 3 Pro, the gimbal keeps the camera balanced even when flying in Sport Mode. The notch at the top also makes vertical shooting possible.
Unlike in other Mini drones, you can actually change the camera from a horizontal position to a vertical position, allowing you to take portrait shots.
If you love posting videos and photos on social media, you know that you may need to crop out some of your footage. Thanks to this feature, now you don’t have to.
Size, Weight, and Design
Despite having way more features than the other Mini drones, the Mini 3 Pro still comes in a small, sleek package that weighs less than 250 grams.
When unfolded, it may seem a bit larger than the Mini 2, but it’s way smaller than the Air 2S or the Mavic 3, and the foldable design makes it a perfect traveling drone.
You can easily place it in your pocket and walk around with it, and you definitely won’t feel its weight in your backpack.
However, the Mini 3 Pro does come with two sets of batteries. A standard one keeps you under 250 grams, and a larger capacity battery that lasts longer but weighs more adds over 250 grams.
If you don’t want to register your drone with the FAA, then stick with the lighter battery.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro comes with a 1/1.3 sensor, which is slightly larger than the Mini 2’s but not as large as the Air 2S’s.
Coupled with the f/1.7 fixed aperture, the Mini 3 Pro produces some of the best footage.
A larger aperture means more light can go through, while larger sensors give you a more comprehensive tone range, add more blur, and work better in low light.
To make it even better, DJI added an 82-degree FOV and an equivalent 24mm lens to the Mini 3 Pro.
A great addition to the Mini 3 Pro was the two different color profiles, Normal and D-Cinelike.
Normal gives you standard footage that you can slightly adjust in your editing software, while D-Cinelike provides a flatter color profile, giving you more room for editing.
Overall, the Mini 3 Pro shoots in HDR. Unlike in other drones where you have an option to switch in and out of HDR, there’s no such switch in the Mini 3 Pro, and all your videos will be in HDR.
I’ve got to hand it to them. DJI knows its way around batteries.
As mentioned earlier, the Mini 3 Pro comes with two batteries, a 34-minute battery, and a 40-minute battery.
That’s a pretty long flight time for a mini drone, longer than the Air 2S and other Mavic drones.
Obstacle Detection and Avoidance
Finally! If you have used any of the other Mini drones, you will know that one of the most disappointing issues was that they lacked obstacle avoidance.
We felt it even more when an SDK that made Follow-Me possible in these drones was released since you couldn’t enjoy this feature fully without obstacle sensing.
The excuse that DJI gave was that they had to omit the obstacle avoidance sensors, among other sensors, to ensure the drone stayed under the 250-gram mark.
It seems like they had our “cry,” and now the Mini 3 Pro has Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing as part of the APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance System).
This system is not as comprehensive as that of the other more expensive drones, but it works just fine. Tri-directional means that these sensors only sense obstacles front, back, and downwards.
FocusTrack + Obstacle Detection
As mentioned earlier, we had to use third-party software to enjoy ActiveTrack on the other Mini drones, but the Mini 3 Pro comes with ActiveTrack built-in, among other intelligent flight modes.
ActiveTrack works best with obstacle avoidance. So, if you’re hiking, biking, kayaking, or jogging, you can activate it and let the drone follow you.
There are three modes within FocusTrack, which we have discussed in detail here. I will highlight them briefly.
- ActiveTrack: This is the actual Follow Me mode where the drone follows you or the object of interest. All you need to do is select the subject by drawing a box around it.
- POI (Point of Interest): The drone circles around the object.
- Spotlight: This mode keeps the subject in focus and allows you to do any other maneuvers you’d want.
Be mindful of your surroundings, though, since this drone will not sense any obstacles on its sides. Like other DJI drones, the obstacle avoidance in the Mini 3 Pro has three settings:
- Brake: This one makes the drone stop when it senses an obstacle. You wouldn’t want to be in the Brake setting for flawless footage since you will have to manually take control of the drone every time.
- Off: You could switch off the obstacle avoidance, though that’s not advisable, especially when flying in areas with trees, buildings, and other barriers.
- Bypass: The drone will avoid obstacles and keep flying when in Bypass Mode. However, keep in mind that small obstacles like electric lines, twigs, or grass may not be detected. So, again, always be mindful of your surroundings.
This is another area that DJI excels in.
DJI uses a state-of-the-art transmission system known as OcuSync, allowing the drone to switch between 5.8 and 2.4 GHz.
The Mini 3 Pro came equipped with the latest version, the OcuSync 3.0, which gives it a range of up to 12 kilometers (7.4 miles).
Of course, you will not need to fly the drone that far from you since it’s not allowed in most regions, and the battery power may not allow it, but for short-range flights, you can enjoy some of the most robust transmissions.
Intelligent Flight Modes
The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a wide range of shooting modes that you can use to create cinematic footage easily. These include MasterShots, Hyperlapse, QuickShots, and Panoramas. Below is what you can do with each of them.
MasterShots allows you to automatically video a subject through a wide range of movements such as circle, pitch up, and fly forward.
These modes come in handy when you want to film yourself, a landmark, a building, or any other scenery.
Doing these shots manually could be hectic and difficult, but MasterShots uses AI to execute them effectively and even gives you templates where you can edit your videos right in the DJI app.
These are aerial time-lapse shots, where once you launch the drone, it flies slowly as it takes the shots. You can then compile the footage into a shorter video of a few seconds where everything moves fast.
You set a pre-determined route that the Mini 3 Pro will follow and activate the feature.
An excellent example of Hyperlapse is where you see vehicles moving very fast along a highway, with cloud movement and the direction of the shadows showing that the video was taken over a more extended period and then compressed into a shorter time.
There are four ways in which you can use Hyperlapse:
- Course Lock: The drone flies through a predetermined course as it takes the shots.
- Circle: This allows the drone to create a Hyperlapse as it circles the subject.
- Free: The drone flies in any direction.
- Waypoint: Here, you select the path the drone will follow in about five points.
This mode allows you to take several shots of one region and stitch them together to form one large image that wouldn’t be possible with a standard drone camera lens.
As mentioned earlier, the DJI Mini 3 pro has an 82-degree FOV and 24MM lens, which may be quite small for some shots.
QuickShots is a simpler version of MasterShots.
As indicated earlier, MasterShots will simultaneously film the subject in several moves. But if you want to film the subject one move at a time, use QuickShots.
Moves like Helix, Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Boomerang, and Asteroid are performed individually.
The highest video resolution on the Mini 3 Pro is 4K at 60fps, which is all you will need.
You can switch to 1080 at 120 fps when you need to shoot in slow motion. If you want to slow down the video later, 4K 60fps is the best way.
I find 4K incredible because most devices still support 4K, including streaming platforms like YouTube.
Secondly, shooting at a higher frame rate reduces the light that goes into the camera and helps you get more detail, but you can still test the lower fps and gauge the results you get.
You also get 12MP and 48MP resolution photos when shooting with the Mini 3 Pro, which are quite great.
Now, this drone’s camera is a 12MP camera, but through Quad Bayer technology, you can now get a photo that’s four times the original resolution.
So, which should you use? There’s no clear-cut answer to that.
In some cases, the 48MP allows you to keep the ISO low, while the 12MP may require you to use a higher ISO than is required.
In other cases, 48MP may cause some noise in your footage. Remember that 48MP from a Quad Bayer isn’t exactly 48MP. It’s slightly smaller than that, but it often gives you better images than the 12MP.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro allows you to choose between two controllers.
There’s the RC-N1, which is similar to the controller included with the Mini 2 or the Air 2S, and the DJI RC, a smart controller with an inbuilt screen.
The RC-N1 is cheaper, and if you have the DJI Mini 2, you don’t have to buy the new controller.
If you don’t want to use your smartphone, you can pay the extra cost for the DJI RC.
Besides the screen, all the other features are pretty similar.
Two of the main features that you will love using are the dials at the top. The one on the left allows you to switch the camera up and down, while the one on the right allows you to zoom in and out.
If you want to film an object that’s a bit further or you wish to add some parallax to your footage, you will enjoy the zoom feature.
At 4K, you have access to the 2X zoom. At 2.7K, you get 3X zoom. And at 1080p, you get 4X zoom.
Unfortunately, the Mini 3 Pro lacks internal storage. You only get about 1GB of storage, which will quickly fill up.
That’s not a dealbreaker since you can always get third-party SD cards, but it would be handy to have at least 8GB of internal storage in case you forget your SD cards.
Should You Get This Drone?
Should you buy the DJI Mini Pro 3? Absolutely.
This drone is a perfect first drone. If you were considering getting the DJI Mini 2 as a beginner drone, I’d recommend you pay extra and get the Mini 3 Pro instead.
Even though you have the Air 2S or Mavic 3, for a small travel drone, the Mini 3 Pro is a perfect choice.