The DJI Mini 3 Pro is small and light
When you first pick up the DJI Mini 3 Pro, you will notice immediately how small and lightweight it is. If it weren’t for the somewhat large remote controller, you could easily fit the drone into your pocket and take it with you anywhere.
However, while being such a small and lightweight drone, it doesn’t mean that the DJI Mini 3 Pro isn’t packed with features. This drone is able to deliver photo and video quality that previously was reserved for much more expensive and larger drones.
In this post on our DJI Mini 3 Pro first impressions, I will skip talking about all the specs and features of the DJI Mini 3 Pro as you can get that information directly from the DJI website. Instead, this article will discuss our first impressions of flying the DJI Mini 3 Pro in low-light, and high wind conditions here along the Hudson River.
Let’s start with the good, if not great, features of the DJI Mini 3 Pro! We love the simplicity of this small and lightweight drone. If there ever was a drone that is easy to take with you, this is it.
We got the DJI Mini 3 Pro on loan from DJI with both the DJI RC-N1 and the new DJI RC with a built-in 5.5″ display. We think this remote controller is the way to go as you no longer need to use your smartphone, and the display is sufficiently bright to use in sunny conditions.
When starting up the DJI Mini 3 Pro you will also immediately notice how quiet it is. Greg from the Pilot Institute recently measured the noise levels of various DJI drones and confirmed that this one is by far the quietest DJI drone that the world’s largest drone maker has on offer. Small, quiet, and nimble, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is a drone you can take anywhere and everywhere.
While we have never been fans of portrait mode it is hard to deny that vertical images and video have been come increasingly important because of social media sites like TikTok and Instagram. The DJI Mini 3 Pro allows you to record in portrait mode directly from the drone, making it much easier and faster to share your aerial footage on social media.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro has double native ISO and a ‘large’ sensor that is almost twice the size of its predecessor the DJI Mini 2. DJI says that the sensor in the DJI Mini 3 Pro almost performs as if it was a 1-inch sensor. This means that you can shoot and record in low-light conditions and get much better results with lower levels of noise.
Lastly, we love the flight time we get out of the DJI Mini 3 Pro. The standard battery gives us well over 30 minutes of flying, while the optional extended flight batteries prolong the flight time to about 47 minutes in ideal conditions.
Here are some of the things we don’t like about the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro handles well in strong wind conditions but the ultra light-weight drone gets pushed around quite a bit in gusts. This can lead to shaky drone footage. This doesn’t really come as a surprise, when you make a drone this light, of course, there’s going to be a downside to it. And one of them is, that strong and gusty wind conditions can move the drone so much that the gimbal simply can’t keep up.
When we were flying the DJI mini yesterday over the Hudson River in strong wind conditions, we noticed that some of the footage had jerky moments, as a drone and gimbal can only compensate for so much.
However more concerning than the shaky drone footage was the fact that the drone had to work so hard to overcome the gusty wind conditions, that we received overheating warnings on our remote controller. While this created some concern, we were at least initially able to continue flying the DJI Mini 3 Pro without any real issues. However, at some point, it seemed that the overheating of the drone started to impact the O3 video transmission signal. The signal cut out a number of times and at one point we were worried that we were going to lose the DJI mini drone. Luckily the auto Return-to-Home feature had kicked in and the DJI Mini 3 Pro was making its way back to the parking lot from which we had taken off. The drone was flying at an altitude of about 100 feet and was less than a quarter mile away from us when we experienced the loss of our transmission signal.
As you may have seen in other review videos the overheating issue has been experienced by other reviewers as well. I guess when you’re making such a small and lightweight drone with near pro-level video recording capabilities there is going to be a trade-off somewhere. The overheating of the DJI Mini 3 Pro seems to be its Achilles and is something to keep in mind when flying.
Many of you have commented that the DJI Mini 3 Pro isn’t particularly beautiful. Some of you even have said that it’s straight up the ugliest drone you’ve ever seen. And while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we can only say that in this case, function triumphs over form.
To get the best image recording capabilities and keep the weight below 250 grams, a number of sacrifices needed to be made by DJI. This likely extended to the design of the drone. Beauty cannot have been very high on the list of requirements for the DJI Mini 3 Pro to meet. And honestly, as long as the drone delivers beautiful photos and videos, why would you care about the aircraft’s design. I know, we don’t.
And the beautiful
This is the best part of our DJI Mini 3 Pro first impressions. The aerial images and video footage simply look stunning, when you keep in mind how small and light this drone truly is.
Of course, DJI Mavic 3 with its larger sensor, will perform better, but among the small and more affordable consumer drones, the DJI Mini 3 Pro punches well above its weight. This little drone even competes head-on with some of the more expensive DJI drones such as the DJI Air 2S, which has a 1-inch sensor.
Take a look at the images and video footage. The noise level is surprisingly low considering the low light conditions and the small sensor. The colors and contrast are really impressive. As Peter Walbeck pointed out, switching to D-Cinelike for aerial video is almost pointless as you will likely see banding when you try to color-grade the 8-bit footage.
Our DJI Mini 3 Pro first impressions
So, what do we think of the new DJI Mini 3 Pro? Well, for the money, we do not think there currently is a better drone you could buy. While not quite meeting pro standards, this is as close as you can get to pro levels of performance in a drone that weighs less than 250 grams. We applaud DJI for making such as a small and lightweight drone that can deliver in spades and is ‘policy friendly’.
We also love the DJI RC with the 5.5″ built-in display. It is light, easy to take with you, especially without the antennas, and doesn’t require you to use your smartphone. A win in our book and easily our favorite remote controller.
Lastly, we love flying the small and zippy DJI Mini 3 Pro. It is a fun drone to operate and it can still deliver beautiful aerial photos and videos that you can share with your family and friends on social media. Did we already mention that its gimbal rotates 90 degrees? 😉
DJI Mini 3 Pro sample photos and video for you to download
You can download the sample images and video files here. Please keep in mind that these images are protected by copyright and are on meant to be used for your personal viewing. Reproduction or other use of these images is not allowed.
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