The DJI FPV and the Mini 3 Pro are top-notch drones at affordable prices for standard consumers. Although their target market differs, these two distinct drones are currently leading choices for many drone pilots.
DJI FPV Drone is a type of drone for FPV flight experiences and maneuverability that is massively different from the Mini 3 Pro.
DJI Mini 3 Pro is made for portability with a weight under 250 grams and with safer standard flights for classic aerial photography or video recordings.
In this article, I want to share all you need to know about DJI FPV vs. Mini 3 Pro in terms of quality and performance and which would be more suitable for you.
DJI FPV vs. DJI Mini 3 Pro – Everything you need to know
To understand the DJI FPV better and to make a fair comparison between the DJI FPV and DJI Mini 3 Pro, you first need to comprehend what FPV is and why it differs from the standard flight style.
An FPV, referring to the First Person View, is a method used to control an aircraft–in this case, the DJI FPV Drone–from the pilot’s viewpoint.
It primarily refers to flying using an FPV headset and the standard Acro Mode flight style (Manual Mode), which is a highly complex method to fly a drone for beginners, but a rewarding flight style once you learn it.
This type of flight style applies only to DJI FPV from our comparison, whereas the DJI Mini 3 Pro embraces a standard method of drone flight assisted by several sensors and safety features.
It’s to be expected that pilots who fly DJI FPV drones may expect more frequent drone crashes and invest more than pilots who adopt only the normal flight mode from the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
The DJI FPV Drone has three flight modes:
- Manual (referred to as Acro)
- Normal Mode
Whereas the DJI Mini 3 Pro also has three modes:
Although the DJI FPV has a Normal Mode, it has disadvantages in the gimbal movement compared to the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
|Gimbal Mechanical Range||Stabilization|
|DJI FPV||Tilt: -65° to 70°||Single-axis stabilization|
|DJI Mini 3 Pro||Tilt: -135° to 80°
Roll: -135° to 45°
Pan: -30° to 30°
The DJI FPV was released in January 2021 and is slightly more expensive, with an average price of $1,000 for the standard version.
This includes the FPV drone, the DJI Goggles 2, and the remote controller, with one battery for the drone and one for the Goggles, plus a few extra accessories.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro was released in May 2022 with two prices for the standard version, around $750 for the model with the Classic Controller and $900 for the same model but with the RC controller that includes an incorporated screen and eliminates the need for you to use your phone when flying the drone.
Weight and portability
If you want to buy a drone with portability in mind, the Mini 3 Pro is for you.
According to DJI, it weighs less than 249 grams, which in most countries will not require registration.
Also, the DJI advertises that the Mini 3 Pro will fit into your pocket – it’s ultra-portable compared to the DJI FPV and many other drones. It also folds for easier transportation and may be a solution for most travelers.
The DJI FPV drone weighs approximately 800 grams at takeoff, which is a lot heavier than the Mini 3 Pro, excluding the volume of the drone itself and the goggles.
Anyone can easily carry the Mini 3 Pro in a backpack; for the DJI FPV, you need to consider its weight and volume when traveling with it.
There are specific backpacks and carrying cases for the DJI FPV drone.
For most drone pilots, weight and portability are not an issue, particularly when traveling by car to use their drones.
As mentioned above, the DJI Mini 3 Pro has two main controllers that could be used for flying the drone.
The standard controller will require you to use your mobile phone and connect it to the controller to have a live image from your drone and for basic functionality.
The RC Controller for the Mini 3 Pro is a fantastic addition where you already have a built-in 5.5-inch HD display with the pre-installed DJI Fly App, and you won’t need a phone connected to fly your drone.
However, the DJI FPV Controller is another story.
You won’t be able to connect your mobile phone to the controller like most drones because there’s no need to, as you will see instead through the DJI Goggles 2.
It will be more challenging in the beginning for most people to use the DJI FPV controller, as you need to learn all the button locations before your first flight.
Once you put the DJI Goggles 2 on, you won’t be able to peak at the controller anymore.
Another difference between the DJI FPV Controller and the Mini 3 Pro Controller is that to fly the DJI FPV in manual mode, you will have to remove the spring tension of the throttle gear.
Your throttle stick will not return to the middle as on the Mini 3 Pro and other drone controllers, allowing you to hover.
Instead, you will have to control the altitude and angle of the drone at all times, whereas hovering the DJI FPV in Manual Mode with the controller is difficult to master.
The quality of both controllers is similar, as DJI tends to be consistent in their quality build. They are not the best in the world, but they are good enough.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro camera is superior to the DJI FPV Camera in photography and filming. Let’s look over the following table for a better understanding, shall we?
|DJI FPV||DJI Mini 3 Pro|
|Sensor||1/2.3” CMOS||1/1.3” CMOS|
|Field of View||150 degrees||82.1 degrees|
|ISO||100 to 12800||100 to 6400|
|Photography||3840×2160 single-image capture||48MP, JPEG/RAW, HDR Supported, and much more|
|Video Recording||4K60FPS, D-Cinelike supported Max video bitrate: 120Mbps||4K60FPS, D-Cinelike supported
Max video bitrate: 150Mbps
The Mini 3 Pro sensor is larger than the DJI FPV.
The aperture is wider, allowing more light to come into the camera sensor, which is better for photographing or filming in low light. It supports a wide variety of photography with a performance of 48 megapixels.
The DJI FPV can only capture images from the videos because it’s not meant for photography.
As for filming, the Mini 3 has a higher bitrate than the DJI FPV, which may reflect a better video quality. Both drone cameras can record in 4k60fps and D-Cinelike for color grading.
Flight times and safety features
Both drones have decent battery life with reasonable flight times.
- The DJI FPV max flight time is about 20 minutes, as described by DJI. After performing several tests, the DJI FPV in Manual Mode can safely fly for only about 12 or 14 minutes, depending on the weather condition and flight style.
- In the case of the Mini 3 Pro, we have a flight time of 47 minutes, according to DJI, if you use the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus (only available in some countries) and 34 minutes with the Intelligent Flight Battery.
The flight time can be slightly extended, but I do not recommend draining the battery to zero as it may decrease battery life expectancy and put your drone at risk of crashing.
In reality, you can expect less flight time, as mentioned. However, if we take off the DJI FPV Drone and the DJI Mini 3 Pro simultaneously, the Mini 3 Pro will always remain in the air longer.
As for the safety features, the Mini 3 Pro has, surprisingly for its size, a decent number of obstacle avoidance sensors and the ability to automatically return home (to the takeoff position) and land safely.
Although the DJI FPV has only four obstacle avoidance sensors (two in front and two on the bottom) with an auxiliary light for safe landing even in low light, those sensors are only active if flying the drone in Normal Mode.
Note: No sensor is active in Manual Mode on the DJI FPV, and the slightest mistake may cause an unwanted crash.
The only safety feature in the Manual Mode available for the DJI FPV drone is the emergency stop, which will stop the drone in position, switch automatically to Normal Mode and hover until it receives new commands from the pilot.
The return-to-home function is also available to the DJI FPV.
In most countries, including the US, if you fly an FPV, you’re obliged by law to have a spotter (another person with you) that can monitor the drone and have it in sight (as you won’t be able because of the goggles).
Intelligent Flight Modes
The DJI FPV Drone doesn’t have any Intelligent Flight Modes. It’s not meant to fly as such.
The Mini 3 Pro has several Intelligent Flight Modes, such as FocusTrack, Hyperlapse, MasterShots, and QuickShots. Each of these has more options available when using the specific flight mode.
Maximum flight distance
- The maximum flight distance advertised by DJI for the DJI Mini 3 Pro is 18 kilometers with the Intelligent Battery and 25 kilometers with the Intelligent Battery Plus in clear conditions (no wind).
- DJI FPV has a maximum flight range of 16.8 kilometers in clear conditions.
Remember that in reality, the flight distance for those drones should be lower than advertised and meteorological conditions, flight styles, altitude, battery life, signal strength, interferences, and many more factors influence it.
For example, I got to fly my DJI FPV drone (Manual Mode) into mountains at over 2000 meters of altitude with moderate wind speed and direct line of sight.
The drone struggled to go farther than 4 kilometers without drastically decreasing the image transmission quality and battery life because of the wind gusts. I had to return it home to remain safe.
Always keep your drone in your line of sight.
When to choose the DJI FPV Drone over the DJI Mini 3 Pro
The DJI FPV drone is a good choice over the DJI Mini 3 Pro when you want to get started flying FPV drones, prefer an immersive experience of bird’s eye view via the goggles, and in particular, when you’re looking to record some unique videos.
You can record with the DJI FPV drone in Manual Mode and take some remarkable videos you can’t record with other drones or devices (except for FPV acro drones), such as diving down the mountains, ultra-fast flight with low-altitude cruising, and even unique freestyle recordings.
As a warning, never fly the DJI FPV in Manual Mode or any other FPV drone unless you have more than enough training in simulators to avoid crashing the drone.
Another reason people choose to fly the DJI FPV Drone over the Mini 3 Pro or any other drone, in general, is because of the adrenaline rush when flying manually.
This may be the perfect choice for people looking for new challenges.
When to choose the DJI Mini 3 Pro over the DJI FPV Drone
The DJI Mini 3 Pro is a perfect choice for portability, for the ability to fly legally with fewer rules and regulations (depending on the country or state), and if you aim for aerial photography or stunning cinematic videos.
I recommend the Mini 3 Pro over the DJI FPV when you’re just getting started flying drones. This is a perfect choice thanks to its many safety features and simplicity compared to DJI FPV.
There could be more reasons to choose the Mini 3 Pro instead of the DJI FPV, such as using the drone for inspections (commercial use), social media, vlogging, and even for creating short films.