DJI Mini 3 Pro review: DJI’s most compact model finally goes ‘pro’
The newest model in DJI’s series of lightweight drones, the Mini 3 Pro, is sub-250g and the mostexciting in the series so far. DJI seems poised to reset expectations for what consumers can expect in such a compact model. With its advanced features and light weight, the Mini 3 Pro promises to revolutionize the drone industry.
DJI brings a refreshed and robust series of lightweight drones that weigh under 250g with the newest model – the Mini 3 Pro. This is the most exciting release in the series yet as DJI promises to deliver what consumers have been wanting in such a small and compact design.
The main advantage of owning a sub-250g drone is that, in the majority of countries, you won’t need to register it unless you’re using it for business purposes. Other places have restrictions on drones that weigh more than 250g at takeoff. This low light video was taken using the Mini 3 Pro’s fast F1.7 lens (ISO 1600).
The Mini 3 Pro’s camera is a game-changer – it can capture stunning 48MP photos and 4K/60p video, making it the first drone of its kind to do so. DJI’s APAS 4.0 software allows the drone to detect and bypass obstacles while ActiveTrack 4.0 promises the ability to select and track subjects, including cars and people. This makes it easier to create professional-grade footage that is sure to impress anyone who sees it.
The Mini 3 Pro comes with a brand new ‘Intelligent Flight Plus’ battery, which gives the aircraft an impressive 47 minutes of flight time. However, this causes the drone’s takeoff weight to exceed 250g. The Mini 3 Pro’s standard battery still delivers a healthy 34 minutes of flight time – three minutes longer than the Mini 2. The DJI RC, a brand new remote, was announced alongside the Mini 3 Pro. In most ways, it’s a vast improvement over the previous RC Pro. So, is all this enough for existing users to upgrade from the Mini 2 or replace a different model? Let’s find out.
- 48MP, 1/1.3″ CMOS sensor
- 24mm (equiv.) lens with 82.1º FOV and a fixed F1.7 aperture
- 4K/60p video
- Up to 4X digital zoom
- H.264 and H.265 recording at 150 Mbps
- D-Cinelike and Normal video profiles
- Raw and JPEG image capture
- OcuSync 3.0 (O3) 1080p/30p image transmission (12 km range)
- Three-way obstacle avoidance (front, back, bottom)
- APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance System) and ActiveTrack 4.0
- ‘MasterShots’ cinematic capture mode
- 47-minute flight time (with Intelligent Flight Plus battery)
- Under 250g at takeoff (with standard battery)
The Mini 3 Pro is a powerful and versatile drone that offers excellent value for money. It features a large camera sensor, high-quality video resolution, obstacle avoidance, and long flight time, making it a great choice for photography and videography enthusiasts.
The Mini 3 Pro can be purchased without a remote, starting at $669. It is compatible with the DJI RC-N1 remote, which is also used for the Mini 2, Mavic Air 2, and Air 2S. The DJI RC Pro remote is also compatible with the Mini 3 Pro. A version that includes the RC-N1 remote costs $759, and the version with the new RC remote costs $909.
|DJI Mini 3 Pro||Mini 2||Mavic Air 2|
$669 (without remote)
$759 (with RC-N1 remote)
$909 (with RC Pro remote)
48MP 1/1.3″ sensor
|48 MP 1/2″ sensor|
|Lens||24mm (equiv.) F1.7||24mm (equiv.) F2.8||24mm (equiv.) F2.8|
O3, 12km, 1080p
OcuSync 2.0, 10km, 720p
OcuSync 2.0, Dual Antenna,
|Max video resolution||4K/60p||4K/30p||4K/60p|
|Video bit-rate||150 Mbps||100 Mbps||120 Mbps|
|Core Intelligent Functions|
APAS 4.0 Hyperlapse Spotlight 2.0
APAS 3.0 Hyperlapse Spotlight 2.0
|Obstacle avoidance sensors||Forward, Backward, Downward||None||Forward, Backward, Downward|
34 minutes (with standard battery)
47 minutes (with Intelligent Flight Plus battery)
|31 minutes||34 minutes|
|Dimensions||145x90x62 mm||131x81x58 mm||180x97x84 mm|
Aircraft and controller
At 145x90x62mm (5.7 x 3.5 x 2.4 in.) folded down, the Mini 3 has a longer, wider, and more robust frame than its predecessor. The propellers are longer, and the frame’s material is lighter to keep it under 250g. The 3850mAh batteries are inserted into the back of the aircraft. There aren’t any lights or a button to power them on; they must be inserted in the drone or charging station to get an indication of how much charge is left.
The Mini 3 has a three-way obstacle detection and avoidance system, with sensors on the top, bottom, and rear of the aircraft. There are no sensors on the sides, which is similar to the Mavic Air 2. The Mavic Mini and Mini 2 don’t have any such sensors. There is no auxiliary light on the bottom for landing.
|The sensors on the top of the aircraft also give it backward-facing obstacle avoidance capabilities.|
APAS 4.0 is an automated obstacle identification and avoidance system created by DJI. It’s not their latest system, with version 5.0 being found on more advanced models, like the Mavic 3 series. While it works up to 2.7K/30p video recording just fine, I found that it would halted the drone and not bypass obstacles when switching to 2.7K/60p video. APAS also does not work when 4K video is activated. In the video above, you can see how APAS detects the tree and creates a path around it for the drone to follow.
The Mini 3 Pro is a great drone for anyone who wants to try their hand at aerial photography without having to spend a lot of money. It’s compatible with the RC-N1 controller, so if you already have a Mini 2, Mavic Air 2, Air 2S, or standard Mavic 3, you can use that same controller to power this drone. The Mini 3 Pro is very lightweight and can accommodate most smartphone models. Clamping them in is a bit awkward, but overall it’s a great drone for the price.
|The DJI RC remote, with four built-in antennas, has some improvements compared to the DJI RC Pro. There is also a microSD card slot on the bottom for memory expansion.|
The DJI RC remote is a top-of-the-line device that comes with the Fly More Combo. It’s much lighter than the DJI RC Pro (385g vs 680g) and is more comfortable to use. The wheels on the top of the remote make it easy to adjust the gimbal tilt and zoom in and out. There are also slots for the joysticks, and their base is thicker.
The remote for the Mavic 3 has been pared down, with no back button– you simply swipe the screen to navigate the app. I tested it out by putting the joysticks in the carrying case, and one of them bent and couldn’t be used. This doesn’t seem like an issue with the RC controller, which is sturdier and has a dedicated slot for storage.Vertical video makes a comeback on the Mini 3 Pro, thanks to a gimbal that can rotate 90º to vertical orientation.
Photos and video
The Mini 3 Pro comes with a powerful camera that can capture stunning images and videos. It has a 48MP, 1/1.3″ CMOS sensor that enables it to take dual native ISO pictures and videos, as well as tone-mapped HDR footage. Additionally, it can rotate to portrait orientation, which is perfect for taking social media-friendly vertical images without sacrificing quality.
The Mavic Air 2 offers several photo shooting modes: single shots, 48MP shots, AEB in brackets of 3 and 5 images, Burst mode, and Timed shots. SmartPhoto, a feature that adjusts sun, skies, and trees exposure, is not available on the Mini 3. While 48MP shots contain more data and are higher quality, you can only shoot them as a single image. Shooting in Burst, AEB, or Timed modes automatically gives you a 12MP shot.
|The Mini 3 Pro has an F1.7 aperture and ISO that goes to 6400, making night shots possible.|
The Mini 3 is the first sub-250g drone to offer 4K/60p video with either an H.264 or H.265 codec, as well as 4K/30p video in HDR. 1080p/240p Slow Motion video is also available. It’s important to note that choosing to shoot at any frame rate over 2.7K/30p will disable APAS 4.0 and FocusTrack, meaning that stopping and bypassing obstacles, plus tracking and following subjects, is not possible while recording 4K video.
|The Mini 3 Pro camera has an F1.7 fixed aperture and can digitally zoom in on subjects up to 4X when recording 1080p footage.|
Although 48MP images contain more data and are higher-quality, you can only shoot them as a single image. Shooting in Burst, AEB, or Timed modes automatically gives you a 12MP shot.
Who’s it for?
Please note that if you purchase the Mini 3 Pro with the Intelligent Flight Plus batteries, which give you up to 47 minutes of flight time, the drone will be over 250g at takeoff. In many countries, you will need to register it before you fly. If you choose the regular Intelligent Flight batteries that only give you up to 34 minutes of flight time, it is not mandatory to register it in the US – unless you plan on using it for professional purposes. Always check your local laws and regulations before proceeding.
The Mini 3 Pro is designed for consumers, as evident in features like MasterShots and the vertical photo feature. However, it’s easy to carry and fly, which makes it a viable option for professionals, too. That said, DJI’s drones with a larger CMOS sensor might be the better choice for professionals since they have cameras with variable apertures. This makes it easier to adjust exposure settings in-flight and eliminates the need for ND filters.
Anyone looking to upgrade from their Mini 2 or Mavic Air 2, looking for enhanced features and connectivity, may find the Mini 3 Pro a helpful upgrade.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Mini 3 Pro turned out. It’s beautifully designed, maneuvers masterfully, handles challenging weather conditions brilliantly, flies quietly on an average of 45 minutes per battery charge (with extended battery), and maintains a solid connection with the controller. DJI has really built something spectacular with an improved remote control and quick connectivity to GPS. This is a must-have sub-250g drone for any pilot beyond the hobbyist set.
DJI has proved with the release of their newest drone, the Mini 3 Pro, that they are still a leading company in consumer-grade drones. It’s exciting to see what new advancements and products they come out with next, especially after seeing how great the Mini 3 Pro is.
What we like
- 4K/60p video
- Up to 47-minute flight time (with extended battery)
- Vertical shooting
- RC Pro remote
- Aerodynamic design
What we don’t
- Digital zoom
- ActiveTrack is not functioning yet
- Lack of ADS-B and AirSense