Drones have caught on biggg in the past few years as the top company in the industry, DJI, continues to make drones that go from beginner all the way to pro. In addition, they have filled some gaps as well like their FPV drone that is the complete FPV system for those that want that adrenaline-rushing form of filming. Today, they mixed two kinds of drones to bring out their most pro, travel-friendly drone yet – the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
Just Announced – the DJI Mini 3 Pro
I have owned or used many DJI drones over the years and there is one kind of drone that is fantastic for travelers. That is the drone that has the word “Mini” in it. That is because it comes in at the magic weight of 249 grams which makes it much more regularly friendly than larger drones. Being under 250 grams means you don’t have to register it with the FAA and you can use it without registration in many other countries as well. That is huge when you are visiting someplace and you just want to grab a nice aerial shot or video and you don’t want to worry about having your drone confiscated (or worse, being arrested!).
One note – this doesn’t mean you are free to fly wherever you want but it does mean you typically have far fewer registration/regulatory things to worry about.
The Mini 2 is already a very nice beginner/consumer drone. It is super compact and takes some decent photos with its 12mp camera and some pretty decent video with its 4K 30fps sensor. But, DJI has just supercharged the Mini lineup with their new drone – and continued the mini tradition of having it weigh 249 grams.
The New DJI Mini 3 Pro – What’s New?
Better, Bigger Sensor
For starters, DJI went with a much larger sensor which means better quality photos and videos as well as it being able to capture some better video/photos in lower light. For people that love capturing stuff at sunset, having a larger sensor means that you won’t have as much “noise” in your image and can be a cleaner final product. So, that’s a big start.
But, they also really ramped up the photo capturing with a new 48 megapixels in that new, larger sensor. While that does mean that you have a better ability to crop in some, it is still a small sensor so you can’t go crazy with the cropping like you would with something like a cropped sensor camera, a full frame, or even like you could with the DJI Air 2S. But, it does help.
New Video and Tracking Features
They have also bumped up the video capturing ability with a nice boost to 4K at 60 fps which helps for some nice, smooth slow motion playback or you can use the 60 frames per second to get a nicer sport view if that is what you want.
Oh, and they have also introduced true vertical ability for those of you that want to capture video like that for TikTok or Instagram. There is also a better obstacle avoidance sensor system and new active track to make tracking work a lot better.
DJI claims up to 34 minutes of battery life but I saw some reviews that put it more like 25 minutes. Of course, that would go lower if you are flying into windier conditions or something. Speaking of wind, for such a tiny drone, it appears to handle those windy conditions pretty well.
One of the packages available (the one that costs $909, up from the $699 basic drone) has a new remote control with built-in display. That can be a huge help during travel because it means you don’t need to use your phone and have that battery drained and you can have a dedicated 5″ display for your drone needs. It is still small, though, so no trouble sticking it someplace in your day bag for when you are out and about.
The earliest you can get this is when the package with the remote ships starting May 24. The regular package and remote is not available until August and that date is slipping rapidly so get your pre-order in if interested with that!
Here are two video reviews from two of my favorite reviewers. They each give a difference perspective, Ray at DC Rainmaker with the sport aspect and Parker from Fulltime Filmmaker with the cinematic/video perspective.
Buy or No?
For me, I am sticking with my Mini 2. I don’t use it as often as I want already and when I do, it is working just fine for my needs. But, if you are looking for a drone, the new Mini 3 Pro could be the perfect option. If the size and weight is not an issue for you, you should look at the Air 2S which has a much larger sensor and things like 10 bit depth which helps substantially when it comes to color correction since it retains more data.