It’s compact, powerful, and comes at an exorbitant price.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro may have been one of the most leaked items in recent years, but thanks to our in-depth DJI Mini 3 Pro review, we can now answer the important unanswered concerns, including how excellent it is.
The Mini 3 Pro is the first premium drone in DJI’s Mini series, which began in 2019 with the DJI Mavic Mini and has long been a low-cost option for beginners. The Mini 3 Pro is unique in that it incorporates high-end technologies such as obstacle avoidance sensors and 4K/60p video recording into a drone that weighs less than 250 grammes. This also means it will be substantially more expensive than its predecessors.
What’s new, then? The Mini 3 Pro improves on the DJI Mini 2, which will continue to be sold. To begin, it has obstacle avoidance sensors that face forwards, backwards, and below the drone. Because it facilitates the introduction of several crucial software capabilities, our assessment considers this a “big leap” for DJI’s Mini series.
These include a variety of focus-tracking modes that allow you to choose a subject to maintain in the centre of your frame and have the drone follow or fly around it automatically. The lack of FocusTrack on the DJI Mini 2 was one of our greatest gripes with that drone, so the Mini 3 Pro is a huge step forward.
Image quality is another improvement on the Mini 3 Pro. It boasts a bigger 1/1.3in CMOS sensor than the Mini 2, and according to our evaluation, “picture quality is incredibly good for such a little and lightweight drone.” The lens’ brilliant f/1.7 aperture, which is substantially brighter than the Mini 2’s f/2.8 aperture, as well as the inclusion of dual native ISO, help with this.
We found the Mini 3 Pro to be a “low-light powerhouse” since it can switch between two native ISO sensitivities (rather than the customary one). When you combine this with a new maximum video bit rate of 150Mbps (up from 100Mbps on the Mini 2) and the option to record in 4K/60p, you have video quality that our competitors can’t match.
Battery life and controller options are the last two upgrades over the DJI Mini 2. The drone’s basic battery claims a maximum flight time of 34 minutes, which is a few minutes longer than the previous model. DJI is now providing a new Intelligent Flying Battery Plus in some non-EU territories, which claims up to 47 minutes of flight time on a single charge. The disadvantage of this battery is that it pushes the drone above the 250g weight limit, which affects whether it needs to be registered with local aviation authorities in some areas.
DJI has also released a new DJI RC controller for drone enthusiasts willing to spend a little extra. While the Mini 3 Pro can be purchased with the basic RC-N1 controller, that pad will use your smartphone as the drone’s viewfinder. Instead, the DJI RC includes a 5.5-inch touchscreen that allows you to use the DJI Fly app without draining your phone’s battery.
If all of this has persuaded you that the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the drone for you, you can pre-order one today for delivery on May 17. Buying the Mini Pro 3 without a controller for $669 / £639 / AU$989 is the most basic bundle. If you already own a controller, this is a viable choice.
If not, the regular package ($759 / £709 / AU$1,119) is available, which includes the DJI RC-N1 controller, which your phone fits into. Instead, how about that new DJI RC controller? That combination will cost you back $909 / £859 / €829, which is similar to the DJI Air 2S in price.
Analysis: An effective but costly update
Compact drones typically lack the capabilities and image quality of their larger counterparts, but the DJI Mini 3 Pro changes that — at a cost.
When purchased with DJI’s new RC controller, the Mini 3 Pro costs around the same as the DJI Air 2S, a larger drone with a larger 1-inch sensor and better wind resistance.
Nonetheless, considering its exceedingly small size and barely discernible weight, the Mini 3 Pro is an extremely appealing option. The advantages of a sub-250g weight range from not needing to register the drone (in the United States, for example) to being able to fly closer to people (if you live in the United Kingdom).
The smaller size has other advantages, such as being able to fit into a camera bag alongside other gear, and the new DJI RC controller is a significant upgrade over the regular RC-N1. The RC controller is “currently only compatible with the Mini 3 Pro,” according to DJI, but the company will “review user reaction and market demand as we decide how to increase its availability.” However, it is now only available with the Mini 3 Pro.
Because of its larger sensor, we still recommend the DJI Air 2S as the finest drone for photographers and videographers, but the DJI Mini 3 Pro is a close second. The Autel Evo Nano is likely to be its main competitor.