Now that the DJI Mini 3 has been out for a few months, there have been a few problems both discovered and fixed. This drone has proved to be one of the best consumer drones for both price and performance.
However, like every piece of technology, there are bound to be some problems.
On the bright side, these problems are isolated in most cases, and there are workarounds if they happen to you.
This article will highlight eight of the most common problems pilots have encountered and walk you through the best ways to solve the problem.
One of the largest issues, when the drone first came out, was the limited transmission range in certain regions. This is one of the issues that has been addressed by DJI, and fixes have been coming in recent firmware updates.
A few other problems that will be discussed in this article are low-quality videos/images, the inability to fly sideways, the failure of the smart controller to download a current map, and long charging times.
Each problem has fixes and, hopefully, the answer you are looking for.
1. Limited transmission range
This is one of the first major problems pilots started to notice with the Mini 3. DJI claimed the drone was equipped with Ocusync 3.0, which is a newer transmission protocol that has a range of 12 km or 7.5 mi.
The problem is that it was not reaching those distances for many pilots.
Part of the problem was that the maximum range changes when there are obstructions between the drone and the controller as well as heavy interference, for example, a downtown suburb.
Even beyond these restrictions, there were accounts of failures in the distance the drone could fly. Luckily this is one of the changes which occurred early in the release process and has since been reduced to only a few isolated instances after firmware updates.
2. Low-quality videos/images
No pilot wants to experience a bad-quality video after a recording is complete. This issue can be traced to the pro controller (or equivalent released with the Mini 3) when a video is played back on the built-in screen.
This can also occur on a phone, but using quick transfer will eliminate the problem and download a full-quality version of the file. This is not really an issue but rather part of the design of the controller.
The controller will only hold a lower-quality video for the sake of saving storage space.
If you want to find the full-quality video, you can download it from the SD card onto a computer or phone.
3. Inability to fly sideways
Every DJI controller uses the same movements to change the direction of the drone. The Mini 3 is no different, but it does have one setting that is only found in newer models.
The Mavic 3 Pro was released as the first DJI drone with a new obstacle avoidance mode called bypass. When this mode is activated, the drone will sense and move around obstacles rather than stopping in front of them.
The Mini 3 also has this mode, and it is the culprit of this error. When you turn bypass mode on, another setting will automatically engage, which disables your ability to move the drone from side to side.
To fix this, simply return to the avoidance menu on the DJI Fly app and find the setting to enable sideways flight again (it is just below the bypass mode toggle).
4. Smart Controller map failure
The Smart Controller is one of the most anticipated features of the Mini 3. It is the first DJI drone to come with its own version of the controller.
The controller has an LCD screen allowing pilots to see in brighter environments and eliminating the need for them to use their phones.
Although the controller is great, there is a disadvantage to using it; uploading maps. If you fly with your phone, you probably don’t notice the need to use cellular data to download your current location to the app.
The smart controller does not have cellular data and therefore does not have the ability to connect and determine where you are flying. This can be frustrating when trying to fly a particular route or area.
The easiest way to fix this dilemma is to use the hotspot on your phone to update your location before you take off.
5. White screen on controller
This is a common problem new pilots have had with this drone and others like it. The screen can go white when Pro mode is turned on and the image is overexposed.
This happens because there is too much light coming into the sensor and is caused by ISO being too high or shutter speed being too low.
Each of these settings can be adjusted by simply pressing the bottom right corner of the screen in the DJI Fly app when the drone is turned on.
There are two ways to fix this problem:
- The first is to turn the camera settings to auto, and it will fix it on its own.
- The second way to fix the problem is to tap the settings and change them to what is best for the environment you are in.
The general rule of thumb here is to keep ISO as close to 100 as possible, and your shutter speed should be double your frame rate.
Another important thing to consider when working with exposure settings is using ND (neutral density) filters which are basically sunglasses for a camera.
They help reduce the amount of light that comes into the sensor in order to give you more freedom with the settings you have access to.
6. SD card failure
Pilots have encountered that, on occasion, the SD card they are using for the Smart Controller does not register or work to hold data.
The most common culprit for this issue is an SD card that is not supported by DJI.
As surprising as it may sound, there is a list of micro SD cards proven to be compatible with the controller.
Be sure to check out their website here to see a list DJI released of compatible memory cards.
Or you can check out our recommendations for the best SD cards for the Mini 3 in this article.
One thing to always consider when purchasing an SD card is to buy it from a credible source and not a third party. This will guarantee you will not end up with a fake card (which will not work 99% of the time).
7. DJI Fly app not working
DJI has come out with some incredible products over the years. Sadly, one of the things they have struggled with is the quality of the applications used to fly their drones.
DJI Fly has almost solved this issue when using it on an Apple device.
However, when using an Android device, the app cannot be downloaded from the PlayStore. You must go to DJI’s website and download it directly from there for it to work on your phone or tablet.
8. Extremely long charging time
This problem seems to occur more with the Mini model than with any other drone. The batteries are smaller, which may make it seem like it needs less power to charge.
This is not the case, and the recommended wattage should be used. DJI recommends at least a 30w charging block to charge the batteries as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Although this does not mean it has to be a DJI-specific charger, it does need to be sufficient to charge the batteries as efficiently.
Most of us can find one of these blocks at home and use that, but always be sure to read how much power can come through it in order to make the most out of the charger.
These are 8 common problems that pilots around the world have reported with the DJI Mini 3. Some of them are simply caused by a lack of understanding, and most of them can be easily fixed by changing settings or your approach.
Always be sure you understand the drone before using it to avoid making some of these common mistakes. If you are new to the drone industry, do your research and see what drone is best for what you need it for.
We all have problems with technology at times, and it can be frustrating, but with the internet at our disposal, nearly all the problems we encounter can be corrected on our own.
The DJI Mini 3 is a phenomenal drone and is one of the best quality drones for the price, which still stands under $1,000. Technology is improving rapidly, and drones like this are taking the world by storm.
Overall this drone has been exactly what thousands of pilots have been looking for, and once you understand these issues, there are few reasons to decide against a purchase of this drone.
It is small enough to fit in your pocket and powerful enough to post on social media and create content with.
All things considered, this is shaping up to be one of the greatest drones on the market.