If you’re looking for superior image quality, DJI is one of the best drone brands you can select.
This dependable, high-quality brand produces drones at various sizes and price points, but which reign supreme for image clarity?
These are the top DJI drones for image quality:
- Mavic 3 Pro
- Mini 3 Pro
- Mavic 3 Classic
- Air 2S
Each drone has an image quality between 20 and 48 MP and crisp video quality to match.
In this guide, I’ll review each drone with specs and share some pointers for narrowing down your options.
1. DJI Mavic 3 Pro
Dimensions: 347.5 x 290.8 x 107.7 mm unfolded without propellers
Weight: Up to 963 g
Max Range: 9.3 mi
Max Altitude: 6,000 m
Max Speed: 21 m/s
Max Flying Time: 43 mins
Camera: Hasselblad with 4/3-inch CMOS, tele camera with ½-inch CMOS, and medium tele camera with 1/1.3-inch CMOS
- Unparalleled triple-camera system lets you shoot in all sorts of dynamic situations
- Great encoding support
- Amazing flight time of over 40 minutes
- APAS 5.0 omnidirectional obstacle sensing included, which is DJI’s best
- Varied automated flight features to help you capture that perfect shot
- It’s quite expensive
- It’s a heavier drone
The Mavic 3 Series is a favorite among serious drone photographers, but DJI might have outdone themselves with the Mavic 3 Pro.
The aptly-named drone boasts three cameras in one, each with its own unique lenses and sensors for capturing different levels and angles in your photography.
Create rich compositions on the go with a single tap as you set the appropriate focal length.
So which cameras are included?
The Hasselblad is the main camera. Its 4/3-inch CMOS produces 20 MP image quality with an aperture ratio of f/2.8 to f/11. It can shoot in 12-bit RAW and maintain a dynamic ratio of 12.8 stops.
The Hasselblad camera includes DJI’s upscale color technology, Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution, or HNCS.
If you’ve used other drone cameras and felt like they’ve sapped away the color of your photography, wait until you try HNCS.
It brings back that natural depth of color you recall when you were in your shooting location. You can skip the filters and hours in post.
The medium tele camera has a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor that shoots in 48 MP quality. It’s the best camera quality of the three, proving why DJI is such a pioneer in the drone photography game.
But wait, that’s not all. The medium tele camera boasts 3x Optical Zoom and an aperture setting of f/2.8.
The third camera is the tele camera with a ½-inch CMOS lens. It shoots in the lowest image quality, 12 MP.
However, it features 7x Optical Zoom and 28x Hybrid Zoom to make up for it. Its aperture is f/3.4.
These three cameras are ready to capture your most inspired footage yet, from untamed wildlife to urban architecture and everything in between.
The Mavic 3 Pro doesn’t slack when it comes to video.
Its cameras shoot in 4K at 120 fps or 5.1K at 50 fps. Built-in 10-bit D-Log supports vibrant, more colorful footage, even under the cloak of night.
With such a great camera system, you better believe DJI added more encoding support. This drone supports Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT, and ProRes 422 HW encoding.
What if you take a flurry of images or some long videos? The Mavic 3 Pro includes a 1TB SSD card built right in. I’m not saying you can’t fill that up, but it will take a while.
The Mavic 3 Pro boasts an extended flight time of over 40 minutes, so whether you’re using its triple-camera system for fun or a job, you should have plenty of time to do your thing.
This drone is equipped with DJI’s latest and greatest omnidirectional obstacle sensing, APAS 5.0 (at least as of this writing!), which includes eight vision sensors with wide angles for safer flights, almost no matter your circumstances.
O3+ transmission, which is also the best DJI has to offer at current, allows you to transmit HD footage in 1080p quality at 60 fps up to 15 kilometers away.
The suite of Intelligent Flight Modes the Mavic 3 Pro boasts is also impressive.
Your options include MasterShots, Cruise Control, Panorama, Advanced RTH, FocusTrack, WayPoint Flight, and QuickShots.
2. DJI Mini 3 Pro
Dimensions: 171 x 245 x 62 mm
Weight: Under 249 g
Max Range: 12 m
Max Altitude: 4,000 m
Max Speed: 16 m/s in Sport Mode
Max Flying Time: 47 mins with the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus
Camera: 1/1.3-inch CMOS
- Incredible camera that shoots in 48 MP image quality, the best DJI has to offer
- Lightweight enough that you don’t have to register it
- You should be able to fly this drone under laxer laws due to its weight
- It has obstacle detection and avoidance
- Accessible pricing
- The tri-directional obstacle sensing isn’t the most current
- Its version of APAS is outdated
- It has an older image transmission system
What if you want a high-quality camera packed in a smaller, more lightweight frame? That can be no other than the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
Its 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor can produce 48-MP images and HDR video, the cream of the crop. Included dual native ISO and an elevated dynamic range make it a joy to shoot with this camera.
If you’ve ever used another drone camera that didn’t thrill you, this one will impress with its shadow and highlight retention.
The aperture ratio is f/1.7, and the camera supports 2.4 μm pixels. If you want color, you’ve got it, as the Mini 3 Pro’s camera includes a D-Cinelike Color mode for injecting more color back into your world.
But don’t worry, the colors always look natural, so you don’t have to stress about oversaturation marring your photography.
The rich color profile also reduces your time in post so you can plan your next drone adventure sooner.
The Mini 3 Pro’s adjustable gimbal lets this drone effortlessly switch between vertical and horizontal photos and videos.
You can also explore greater horizons with Intelligent Flight Modes like Panorama, MasterShots, Digital Zoom, FocusTrack, and Hyperlapse.
Dual-vision sensors can detect the Mini 3 Pro as it moves downward, forward, or backward.
This isn’t the most robust obstacle detection DJI offers (see the Mavic 3 Pro for that), and the drone’s APAS is already outdated (APAS 4.0).
However, the Mini 3 Pro is a much more affordable drone than most on the DJI roster, so that could explain why it doesn’t have the best safety features.
You’ll have to remain very cognizant of your surroundings when flying this drone.
The DJI O3 transmission system is impressive in its own right, with 1080p at 30 fps live transmitting at 12 kilometers away. However, it too is older, which might matter if you’re a stickler for that sort of thing.
Its battery is amazing if you spring for the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, as you can fly for almost 50 minutes.
Want to learn more about the Mini 3 Pro’s range? Click here!
3. DJI Mavic 3 Classic
Dimensions: 347.5 x 283 x 107.7 mm unfolded
Weight: 895 g
Max Range: 9.3 mi
Max Altitude: 6,000 m
Max Speed: 21 m/s
Max Flying Time: 46 mins
Camera: Hasselblad 4/3 CMOS
- One of the more affordable drones in the Mavic series
- The Hasselblad L2D-20c camera is a workhorse, taking 20 MP images and high-quality videos
- This drone has the best in DJI obstacle detection (as of this writing)
- HNCS recalls more colors for footage you’ll adore
- Amazing battery life
- Could use more Intelligent Flight Modes
One of the newer drones in the Mavic family, the Mavic 3 Classic is a simplified version of the Mavic 3 Pro. It has only one camera, a Hasselblad with a 4/3 CMOS sensor, but it can achieve amazing things.
The L2D-20c camera is professional-grade with 20 MP image quality, 12.8 stops in its native dynamic range, a 24-mm focal length, an adjustable aperture of f/2.8 to f/11, and 12-bit RAW images.
Oh, and did I mention the Vision Detection Auto Focus Technology, also known as VDAF? What about HNCS?
That’s right! You’ll enjoy unparalleled focusing and color retention when shooting with this extraordinary Hasselblad camera.
The video quality isn’t too shabby either, as the L2D-20c camera supports 5.1K quality at 50 fps or 4K quality at 60 fps.
You can rely on DJI’s 10-bit D-Log so your videos look every bit as colorful as you remember when you took them.
The Mavic 3 Classic features Night Shots, a videography mode for low-light shooting.
This mode is more versatile than its name would suggest, as it’s designed for any situation where you don’t have a lot of light, even sunrise. You can kiss the noise goodbye!
The hardy Mavic 3 Series batteries enable the Mavic 3 Classic to fly for 46 minutes total before requiring a recharge. Well, that’s the advertised time in ambient conditions, but it’s still super-impressive.
If you’re not so thrilled with the Mini 3 Pro’s outdated obstacle sensing, you should like the Mavic 3 Classic more.
It was released in late 2022, and so it has APAS 5.0 and omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, including a horizontal omnidirectional vision system and an upward vision system.
You’ve also got O3+ transmission, which is awesome!
This drone’s automated flight modes include Waypoint Flights, Cruise Control, and Advanced RTH.
4. DJI Air 2S
Dimensions: 183 x 253 x 77 mm unfolded
Weight: 595 g
Max Range: 7.5 mi
Max Altitude: 5,000 m
Max Speed: 6 m/s in Sport Mode
Max Flying Time: 31 mins
Camera: 1-inch CMOS
- Its big camera sensor can produce impeccable photos in 20 MP quality
- It supports RAW photography without noise
- It can build composite shots and has other features to save you time in post
- The color profile for videos is amazing
- The range of automated flight modes is impressive, even if some of them aren’t the most current versions
- Its transmission system is outdated
- It doesn’t have the latest version of APAS
- The battery life is short compared to the other drones on this list
The size of the Air 2S’s image sensor has cemented its spot on this list despite not being the newest in the DJI family (it was released in mid-2021 if you need the reminder).
Between the sensor and its support for 2.4 μm pixels, the Air 2S can shoot in 20 MP image quality. Its video quality is 5.4K at 30 fps and 4K at 60 fps, which isn’t bad for a drone its age.
All the features we’ve discussed that make DJI drones such powerhouses for shooting in low-light situations are present in the Air 2S.
It maintains vibrancy and sharpness in conditions that would normally generate a lot of noise, and it retains a high resolution, color profile, and dynamic range well.
Even videos don’t lose one iota of vivaciousness with the one-billion-color 10-bit D-Log M color profile.
Many DJI drones offer great RAW support, and the Air 2S is no exception. It has a varied dynamic range adjustable to 12.6 stops designed to reduce your post-processing time.
Speaking of saving time in post, one of the best features the Air 2S has to offer in the realm of photography is its smart HDR tech.
This DJI drone will automatically merge your photos into one amazing composite shot with all the best features.
Intelligent Flight Modes, here we come! You’ve got MasterShots, Panorama, Hyperlapse, Point of Interest, Spotlight, and ActiveTrack.
This isn’t the latest edition of FocusTrack given the drone’s age, mind you, but still sufficient for most day-to-day drone photography.
Although the APAS edition is already out of date, the four-directional obstacle sensing is surprisingly current.
It’s not the most advanced obstacle avoidance tech DJI has created, but it should keep you safe, even if your drone achieves fast speeds.
The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast or ADS-B data is another additional safety feature that makes up for the older or less advanced features above.
5. DJI Avata
Explorer Combo – First-Person View Drone with Camera, UAV Quadcopter with 4K Stabilized Video, Super-Wide 155° FOV, Emergency Brake and Hover, Includes New RC Motion 2 and Goggles Integra.
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06/10/2023 09:41 pm GMT
Dimensions: 180 x 180 x 80 mm
Weight: 410 g
Max Range: 10 km
Max Altitude: 5,000 m
Max Speed: 27 m/s in Manual Mode
Max Flying Time: 110 mins
Camera: 1/1.7-inch CMOS
- It has one of the best cameras and sensors DJI has produced yet
- Dual stability modes keep your footage clear even if you test Avata’s speed limits
- Lightweight and travel-friendly
- O3+ transmission system for high-quality video transmission at a good range
- It’s an FPV drone, so you must learn to fly it before launching
Avata has become the talk of the town since its release in August 2022. It’s not your average DJI drone, as it’s an FPV drone. That means it requires a whole different set of tools to operate.
If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best cameras DJI has produced to date.
Avata boasts a 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor that can shoot in 48 MP image quality and 4K video quality at 60 fps.
The super-wide 155-degree FOV expands your photography range. D-Cinelike color produces a natural, gorgeous color range that will make you wonder why you’ve ever used another drone camera.
Since it’s an FPV drone and it can go remarkably fast in Manual Mode, Avata has not one but two electronic image stabilization modes, RockSteady 2.0 and HorizonSteady.
Avata is portable, light, and designed for travel. If you have experience flying FPV and you’re looking for a new drone for work or play, you’ve found it.
What about safety features?
Avata has plenty, including a downward obstacle sensing system with binocular vision (perfect for flying indoors, if you’re into that sort of thing), propeller guards, and Turtle Mode so the drone can automatically right itself if it lands upside down.
The O3+ transmission system is a beaut, and the Avata also has 2T2R omnidirectional antennas for clear footage as you transmit it.
Best DJI drones for image quality – Buyer’s guide
Although you can’t choose wrong if you buy a DJI drone, you should still be a bit choosy in your decision-making.
This buyer’s guide will help you pick a good drone based on the following considerations.
DJI is the pinnacle of drone excellence. If you want high quality, you must be willing to shell out more money than other drone brands.
However, DJI drone prices run the gamut. Some drones, like the Mini 3 Pro, are only a few hundred dollars, while drones in the Mavic series are a few thousand.
A higher budget will yield a better-quality drone, so it’s worth saving up for a good DJI drone.
As I mentioned in the intro, all the drones on this list have an image quality between 20 and 48 MP.
There’s a pretty stark difference, so if you can, lean more towards the DJI drones that produce 48-MP images unless the ones with lower image quality have other features you don’t want to go without.
This is a big one, especially if you’re an inexperienced pilot.
Even DJI’s most basic obstacle avoidance in drones from 2020 or 2021 beats most of what’s on the market nowadays, but if you can get the most advanced obstacle avoidance features, I’d recommend it, especially for beginners.
More seasoned pilots can use a slightly outdated obstacle detection system or APAS and still do fine.
Another significant consideration is the battery life of your drone.
Every drone I reviewed can fly for at least 30 minutes, and most of them can do over 40 minutes, so you shouldn’t be left wanting for much.
Intelligent Flight Modes
Automated flight modes enable beginners to feel masterful and help seasoned pilots focus more on photography and videography than drone flight.
DJI are pioneers in what they call Intelligent Flight Modes, which are often imitated but never replicated.
The more smart flight modes, the better!
The last consideration is portability. Some DJI drones excel in this department more than others. The Mini 3 Pro is the most portable on this list by far, followed by Avata.