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DJI Mini 3 Professional Overview: A Gigantic Refresh for a Mini Drone


DJI Minis was once for many who need the very best flight for the least amount of cash. The DJI Mini 3 Professional is what occurs after we pay a little bit further.

Construct High quality

The $760 DJI Mini 3 Professional brings a brand new structural design with tweaks made to the arms and propellers, digital camera gimbal, and impediment sensors whereas nonetheless protecting itself below 249 grams with the usual battery put in. It’s constructed from DJI’s acquainted grey plastic housing which in my expertise has been robust however light-weight.

DJI Mini 3 Pro camera and gimbal cover.

DJI Mini 3 Pro with the vertical camera mode active.

The up to date gimbal now permits for upward-angle taking pictures and may even be turned vertically for portrait-orientation photographs and movies. Within the DJI Fly app, this is so simple as tapping a button to change between orientations and it occurs extraordinarily quick. The included plastic cowl shields the digital camera and prevents the gimbal from shifting round when not in use, however my drawback is that it’s further finicky to place again on in comparison with some other DJI drone I’ve used. Perhaps I simply haven’t found out the trick to it but.

New to the Mini collection are frontward and backward-facing impediment sensors along with the downward sensor. These are utilized in along with APAS 4.0 for not solely stopping earlier than hassle happens however with the ability to routinely discover paths round obstacles too. Sadly, APAS 4.0 isn’t lively for top body fee taking pictures going above 30p.

DJI Mini 3 Pro backside with USB-C charging and Micro SD slot.

The battery lifetime of the Mini 3 Professional is both the completely anticipated about half-hour with the usual Clever Flight Battery or very spectacular 45-plus minutes with the brand new $100 Clever Flight Battery Plus. The Clever Flight Battery Plus has the identical footprint as the usual battery, however it added round quarter-hour of flight time. The caveat is that it’s heavier, which takes the entire drone package deal over 250 grams in weight which then forces you to register it in lots of areas.

The additional battery life is nice, however for a lot of it gained’t be value utilizing if it means developing towards that registration requirement.

DJI RC

With the brand new Mini 3 Professional, DJI additionally launched a brand new elective controller. The DJI RC has a 5.5-inch touchscreen constructed proper in, so no smartphone pairing is important. This display screen has 700 nits of peak brightness which is lower than the $1,200 DJI RC Professional’s 1,000 nits. In vivid daylight, the display screen at most brightness walks the sting of being a little bit too washed out for any form of crucial monitoring, however it’s completely serviceable to get the simply of what the drone is performing. With the spotlight warning turned on and the histogram displayed, the display screen brightness by no means turned an issue for my use.

DJI RC front.

Paired with the 03 transmission system of the Mini 3 Professional, the video monitoring feed is delivered in 1080p and appears nice. There’s a high quality distinction between after I’m on standby and when recording video, with the recording high quality being a step up for extra correct monitoring when it issues.

The DJI RC has a wholesome variety of controls together with separate photograph and video buttons for quick switching and two programmable buttons on the rear. The photograph button is a two-step button identical to on typical cameras the place the primary stage will autofocus and set auto-exposure with out taking a photograph, and the second stage down truly takes the image.

DJI RC rear.

Total, it matches nice in my palms and the rubberized grip prevents clamminess. My one criticism is that I feel the thumbsticks may use a contact extra stress for finer precision.

Picture High quality

Sporting a beneficiant 1/1.3-type CMOS digital camera sensor and 24mm f/1.7 fastened lens, the digital camera can shoot as much as 48-megapixel pictures. that stated, in normal single-frame mode, the photographs are 12 megapixels. Total, picture high quality is spectacular with good dynamic vary and noise dealing with. Colours additionally look nice straight out of the digital camera whether or not taking pictures in RAW or JPEG.

DJI Mini 3 Pro photo sample.

DJI Mini 3 Pro photo sample.

DJI Mini 3 Pro photo sample.

DJI claims that the digital camera has dual-native ISOs, which seems true however I truthfully can’t inform when the change occurs: pictures are at all times a little bit bit noisy it doesn’t matter what ISO I take advantage of. Noise ranges look about the identical from ISO 100 to the utmost ISO 6,400, and if something my take a look at pictures put 6,400 trying cleaner than 100 trying because the grain-type noise. I can see dynamic vary takes successful because the ISO will increase, however the particulars get no kind of blocky.

One other space that impressed me was how effectively the digital camera dealt with backlit scenes. Lens flare is principally relegated to a tiny inexperienced dot and at simply the precise angle within the very far corners there may be inner digital camera reflections. Total, the lens holds down distinction a lot better than I anticipated in tough conditions.

Comparison of ISO 100 and ISO 6,400.
Comparability of ISO 100 and ISO 6,400. 100% crop. Surprisingly, the DJI Fly app reported each exposures as -1.7 EV whereas taking pictures them. The faint diamond sample is from the material I used to be taking pictures.
Straight out of camera before shadow recovery.
Straight out of digital camera earlier than shadow restoration.
After recovering the shadows.
After recovering the shadows. Noise within the shadows turns into way more pronounced and blocky, however there’s nonetheless picture data there.

Video High quality

After I have a look at the little Mini 3 Professional and the tiny digital camera on it, it’s onerous to consider the video high quality can be excellent. Nonetheless, even in robust winds, the Mini 3 Professional carried out effectively past expectations to create clean, wealthy footage.

It may possibly shoot at 4K as much as 60 frames per second, or 1080p as much as 120 frames per second. There’s additionally HDR recording as much as 30 frames per second. All of this may be carried out in a horizontal body and even vertically to retain all of the decision for social media posting. Under are comparisons of 100% crops taken from 4K, 2.7K, and 1080p footage. I see nearly no distinction intimately.

DJI Mini 3 Pro 4K frame grab. 100% crop.
DJI Mini 3 Professional 4K body seize. 100% crop.
DJI Mini 3 Pro 2.7K frame grab. 100% crop.
DJI Mini 3 Professional 2.7K body seize. 100% crop.
DJI Mini 3 Pro 1080p frame grab. 100% crop.
DJI Mini 3 Professional 1080p body seize. 100% crop.

Under is a brief video shot round sundown in windy situations for a way of video picture high quality at 4K 30p. It was shot in “Regular” shade mode with no put up shade corrections. The DJI Fly app stored warning me it was going to pressure a touchdown as a result of the wind was too robust, though it by no means did. As you possibly can see within the first clip, it was onerous to stay in a set place and keep steady with the wind, however including any sort of motion drastically lowered these results to the purpose it’s onerous to inform apart from by trying on the grass blowing round.

DJI promotes the power to make use of digital zoom for video recording similar to 2x zoom in 4K, 3x zoom in 2.7K, and 4x zoom in 1080p. No matter what digital zoom is used, you’ll need the ultimate undertaking to be 1080p in any other case the outcomes get fairly messy. Two instances zoom in 4K appears unhealthy, however when downsampled to 1080p it turns into satisfactory, and the story is identical with 3x at 2.7K. Under is a digital zoom comparability the place the video itself is 1080p.

A Gigantic Refresh for a Mini Drone

Persevering with to up the ante, DJI is refusing to decelerate within the drone market regardless of being on prime now for years. This new drone brings numerous enhancements to the Mini type issue with a greater digital camera and gimbal system, prolonged battery life, extra steady flight efficiency, added impediment sensors, plus all of the little issues like ActiveTrack, a D-Log shade profile, and HDR video.

Are There Alternate options?

That is the fourth launch in DJI’s small drone lineup following the Mavic Mini, Mini 2, and Mini SE. The Mini 3 Professional clearly stands out as a next-level enchancment over earlier fashions in each side, but when the considered buying a model new drone that will or might not unintentionally crash or drown the primary time you fly it haunts you, spending a bit much less will be the solely approach to really feel relaxed. However, the Mini 3 Professional is the primary of the Mini collection to have any impediment avoidance sensors in any respect on the entrance and rear, so it’s nonetheless a tricky resolution.

DJI Mini 3 Pro in flight.

As an proprietor of the DJI Mavic Air 2, the brand new Mini 3 Professional looks like it’s all the pieces I like about my drone however higher, in a smaller package deal, and with longer flight instances. If I have been to purchase a drone at the moment, I’d go along with the Mini 3 Professional over the Air 2 (to be clear, I don’t imply the Air 2S).

Ought to You Purchase It?

Sure. The DJI Mini 3 Professional is a high-quality drone in a tiny package deal. The those who need the very best pictures and don’t care how massive the drone must be or how a lot they should spend produce other choices, however for nearly everybody else, that is the precise drone to purchase.

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