Gimbal failure can be a frustrating and disappointing experience for drone enthusiasts, especially with the DJI Mavic 3, one of the best drones for photography but also one of the most expensive.
The gimbal is a crucial component of the drone, as it keeps the camera stable and ensures smooth and steady footage. When the gimbal fails, it can cause the camera to shake or produce shaky footage.
Sometimes, the DJI Mavic 3 will not take off until you fix the gimbal issue. So what causes these problems in the first place?
Several reasons a gimbal may fail on a DJI Mavic 3 include physical damage, software issues, or calibration problems.
This article will discuss the common causes of gimbal failure in the Mavic 3 and provide steps to fix the issue.
DJI Mavic 3 gimbal failure – What is it, and how to fix it?
As already mentioned, the DJI Mavic 3 is one of the best filming drones and a game changer in the filming industry.
DJI Mavic 3 has some great features like the:
- Hasselblad 4/3-inch lens
- ½-inch CMOS
- 5.1K video resolution at 60 fps
- 28X hybrid zoom
- HDR panoramas
- And up to 40 minutes of flight time
But it still faces some issues we can’t ignore.
One common issue surfacing across different forums is the gimbal error issue.
It often happens before the drone takes off or after a few minutes of flight, where the drone gives a gimbal stuck error or the code 40002 or 40003.
Many drone pilots face this issue just after unboxing the drone or after a few flights, causing them to quickly lose faith in the much-hyped Mavic 3.
Let’s look at the causes of the Mavic 3 gimbal’s failure and how you can fix them.
One of the most common causes of gimbal failure is physical damage. This can occur due to a crash, impact, or other forms of physical stress.
Inspect the gimbal and camera for bent or broken parts. If there is physical damage, it may not be fixable and would require the replacement of the gimbal or camera.
To prevent any physical damage, always:
- Fly within the drone’s range. Avoid flying too far away, as this could cause a lost connection, and the drone could fly away or attempt to return home and land in an unfavorable location.
- Fly within the required height to avoid a lost connection, running into other aircraft or birds, and strong winds, which could damage your drone.
- Avoid flying in rain or snow since this could wreck the drone’s internal parts, including those that control the gimbal’s functioning.
- Make sure you’re flying in an area with few to no obstacles. If there are some obstacles, try to fly above them. You should also set the RTH altitude to be above the tallest obstacles.
Switching on when too close to the ground or obstacles
The Mavic 3’s gimbal needs enough room to do the locking, unlocking, and calibration.
So, if you boot the drone too close to the ground where the gimbal doesn’t have room to move or where it may be obstructed by rocks, grass, and other obstacles, you may get a gimbal error.
To solve this, always hold the drone in your hand until the gimbal is ready, then place it on the ground and take off.
Sand, dust, or debris
The Mavic 3’s gimbal is designed to automatically lock and unlock when you switch on the drone.
So, if it will not unlock or gives you a gimbal stuck error, chances are some sand or debris is stuck in the locking mechanism.
To rule this out, switch off the drone and check for any debris in the gimbal section.
You can also aid the gimbal unlocking mechanism by guiding it with your hand but do it gently to avoid causing further damage.
After making sure you’ve removed all the debris, restart the drone and try calibrating the gimbal before taking off.
To avoid dealing with sand or debris, ensure you take off from a flat and clean surface or get a landing pad.
A common reason Mavic 3 users experience gimbal failure is that they didn’t remove the foam yoke and everything else designed to secure the gimbal for shipping.
It can be very frustrating to purchase a drone worth $5,000 or more when its essential feature won’t work. Before you send it back, make sure you unpackaged the drone correctly.
Check YouTube tutorials, the manual, and any other resources for information on unpackaging it.
Another reason your gimbal could fail is that you haven’t calibrated it correctly.
To calibrate the DJI Mavic 3’s gimbal, follow these steps:
- Make sure the drone and controller are fully charged.
- Switch on the controller and then the drone in that order.
- In the DJI App, access the settings by tapping the three dots at the top right corner.
- Go to Control, then scroll down to Gimbal Calibration.
- Choose Auto or Manual mode. Whichever you select, the drone will guide you through the prompts.
- Make sure the drone is on a flat surface, and there are no obstructions below it that will hinder the gimbal’s movements.
Check for any extra weight
If you’re using ND, polar, or UV filters, ensure they’re not adding too much weight to the gimbal, causing the error.
Gimbals are designed to balance so they can move around freely, and even a few grams of unbalanced weight could destabilize them.
Filters from DJI and known brands such as PolarPro or FreeWell are designed with the DJI Mavic 3’s gimbal weight in mind, so also check from whom you buy your gimbals.
Sometimes, gimbal errors (and other errors drones may have) arise from using outdated firmware or an issue with the current firmware.
Before attempting extreme measures, check the DJI App for firmware updates. If there’s an update, you should get a prompt.
If you didn’t, you could force an update using the DJI Assistant 2. Make sure you download the specific DJI Assistant for your drone.
If a software update is the reason you’re getting the error, you can try downgrading by installing a previous version of the firmware if it is available for your drone.
Contact DJI Support
If you have tried every step in this article and your gimbal still won’t work, contact DJI Support for further assistance.
It could be something’s wrong on their end, and they are the only ones that can fix it. If they can’t fix it, you may be asked to send the drone back, and you can get a refund or a replacement.
Always make sure you purchase your drone from authorized vendors who will accept returns.
Many new DJI Mavic 3 owners who complained of gimbal failure were able to return their drones, but some couldn’t since they bought their drones from stores that didn’t accept returns.