What's going on guys? Billy here, and the DJI Mavic 3 is a drone that has gotten significantly better with every single update. I mean, when we look back at all of the firmware updates that we have received in the year that this drone has been out… This is now a fundamentally different drone that has truly been refined with the addition of the Mavic 3 Night Video Mode.
Sure, some of the features probably should have been available from the release date… but we have now gotten to the point where DJI is adding abilities that we didn't expect to receive.
There's a lot of really good changes and updates in here, so if you want to screenshot this list, you can do so … but I really want to focus on 3 of the biggest changes first here.
- Added Mavic 3 Night Video Mode in recording mode, supports 4K30fps and ISO 800 to 12800.
- Added Output Quality settings for Hyperlapse, select from High and Preview options.
- Added ISO 1600 for D-Log.
- Added Spotlight and POl when using tele camera, supports static subject.
- Added Cruise Control. Set one of the customizable buttons of the remote controller to Cruise Control to enable this feature.
- Added Gain and Expo Tuning. The maximum flight speed, brake sensitivity, and other settings can be adjusted in different flight modes.
- Added support for EU C1 certification.
- Added support for RID In the United States.
- Optimized the name rule for footage, the footage name is incremental after formatting.
- Fixed Issue: color was abnormal in DNG photos.
DJI Mavic 3 Night Video Mode
So let's kick things off with what the title of this video is and that is the new Mavic 3 Night Video Mode?
If you remember, I shared some initial clips when the Mavic 3 dropped last November, and I was absolutely floored at the image quality and clarity as the ISO was increased to compensate for the disappearing sunlight. Fast forward one year later, and DJI has improved upon this already great drone for shooting low-light video.
So I'm going to put some clips up here on the screen taken with the Mavic 3 Classic using Mavic 3 Night Video Mode here in the city of Philadelphia and remember, the Mavic 3 Classic has the same main camera as the Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine, so no matter which of these three drones you have, your footage will look similar.
Now basically, the way that this works is through Mavic 3 Night Video Mode. The drone now allows you to increase the maximum ISO to 12800, it previously would cap out at 6400 ISO, which I actually thought was plenty for capturing cityscapes.
The one caveat is that it runs a level of noise reduction on the video that is saved to the SD card, so it technically isn't the “raw” or “untouched” video, so to speak.
It's kind of like the SmartPhoto function except now for video. SmartPhoto is basically an HDR photo software that spits out a processed JPG image, so software onboard the drone and DJI Fly App is working magic before you get to see it.
I attempted some angles around the city that I previously wouldn't have tried, like towards Fairmount park showing the Art Museum. There just isn't a lot of light in this direction when facing away from the city, but the extra bump in the ISO really helped with evening out the exposure of this composition.
Just as a quick note, the MINIMUM ISO in this shooting mode is 800 so you wouldn't want to shoot with it during the daytime thinking that you are going to get a cleaner-looking image.
Now, if we backpedal and show some footage that I captured at 6400 ISO without using the Mavic 3 Night Video Mode, you can see that there is quite a good amount of noise. Especially if we compare this to one of those clips captured in the night mode, the difference is clear.
We are shooting at a higher ISO, and the image looks more clear – so the noise reduction is definitely doing a good job at keeping this frame looking clean.
Going back to a full-screen look at this clip shot at 6400 ISO – running noise reduction on our own does the trick to clean up this shot while preserving a good amount of clarity. Just for reference – I am using Final Cut Pro's built-in noise reduction, which does a really good job in most of the scenarios I've thrown at it.
Just for another look – this is a clip captured at 3200 ISO, where there was enough light to keep the Iso down, thus mitigating the amount of noise in the image. This is right out of the camera, and honestly, there isn't a huge need to run any noise reduction. Maybe I would on a very low setting, but again, this is a very sharp and clean-looking image right out of the camera.
So this new Mavic 3 Night Video Mode is DEFINITELY very helpful, but I wish that DJI would also give us the option to shoot at 12800 ISO on our own outside of the night mode so that we can clean up the noise on our own.
I feel like the image quality when shooting in the night mode isn't as crystal clear as when I run noise reduction myself – but look, I am very happy with the lowlight performance of this drone. It was only a few years ago that these drones looked horrible when taking nighttime videos. It's really come a long way.
DJI Mavic 3 Cruise Control
The next new feature I want to cover is one that made its way over from DJI's FPV Drones to the Mavic 3 line, and that is cruise control.
Rather than being a separate flight mode, you need to enable cruise control by setting it as a custom button on your control. To do so, you'll tap on the three dots in the top right corner, go to control, and then select button customization. From here, I set my back C2 button to act as the start and stop button for cruise control.
From here, all you need to do is start flying, and when you reach your desired speed, you press that button, and the drone will lock that speed into place. This is referenced by the speed in the telemetry displayed in the bottom left corner turning a yellow color.
To disable cruise control, you can simply press that same custom button or the red X on the screen, and the drone will come to a halt. Just as a note, you can also lock your vertical speed so you could be flying straight while increasing your altitude, and the drone will lock its speed in both directions.
Personally, I am probably going to continue to get most of my shots on my own so that I can adjust my speed accordingly as I need to, but a great use for this would be to lock the speed of your drone in the direction that you want so that you have less to worry about.
For example, when flying around a subject, you can set your speed in any direction that you want and then just worry about the rotation of the drone and the pitch of the gimbal.
It can also make flying from point to point easier. For example, if you want to bomb out over the ocean to a lighthouse that is half a mile away – you could start flying, put it in cruise control, and just let the drone buzz out on its own.
Of course, you'd still need to be paying attention, but you could stop jamming the right stick forward and just relax while it does its thing.
Tuning the DJI Mavic 3 controls
Now the next change here I want to cover is the gain and expo tuning settings that were added, that in my opinion, is the BEST update that this drone received.
So heading back to the three dots in the top right corner, we will jump to the control section and then select the gain and expo settings. From here, we have the option to change the max horizontal speed, ascent speed, descent speed, the angular velocity, the yaw smoothness, the brake sensitivity, your EXPO settings, and of course, your gimbal pitch speed and smoothness.
These can be customized for each flight mode from normal, to sport, to the cine mode and allow you to significantly decrease your maximum speed if you wanted – all the way down to 2 and a half miles per hour.
Now you might be wondering… why would I want to make my maximum speed slower? Well, when trying to get slow-moving shots, you'd have to be really really careful on the sticks. Like if I wanted to just fly 5 miles per hour to do a slow reveal around a building… I would have to move my stick ever so slightly and if I leaned into it too hard… I would fly too fast and have to restart. Now, I can set my maximum speed to, say 10 mph and have a lot more room on the stick to fine-tune my speed without it just taking off.
I think my plan is to keep the normal and sport mode fully maxed out in terms of speed, and then the cine mode will be my dedicated slow shooting mode. I'll probably bump the max speed down to like 8 or 12 mph and then slow a lot of the other movements down.
Now to wrap this video up, getting into some of the miscellaneous updates. The Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine, with the extra telephoto camera, can now make use of the POI and Spotlight flight mode on static subjects.
This is actually a really useful update because when trying to do an orbit with such a tight focal length, it can be really hard to properly frame your subject.
This addition here makes it a lot easier to get those cool Parallex shots with the compressed distance.
You can also now choose a lower preview quality of your Hyperlapses which takes significantly less time to stitch so it doesn't add any sort of stabilization.
I usually end up just manually editing all of my Hyperlapses from the raw photos so I don't want to waste time on the drone sitting there processing my massive 750-photo Hyperlapse.
So that's pretty much the main things in this update that I really wanted to cover in-depth.
There are a couple of other things I'll quickly mention just kind of round out our bullet point list here. For example, they added the ability to now shoot the log footage at 1600 ISO, so that kinda puts it in line with now the new Mavic 3 Night Video Mode able to shoot at 12,800 iso.
They also added support for EU C1 certification as well as support for Remote ID. I find it so funny that they tucked this all the way down to the bottom and it kind of included it in a big update with all these cool features.
So now, if you update your drone, they are already remote ID compatible. I find it a little bit annoying because right now, I'm getting a little error in the top of the corner that says remote ID error. Sometimes it sits there for like 30 seconds. Sometimes it goes away in like five seconds, but regardless, that's a little bit annoying.
They also optimized the name ruling for the footage after you format the SD card. Personally, I haven't seen any issues in that regard.
They also fixed an issue with the color was abnormal in DNG photos, but look I love the color science of this drone and I haven't noticed any issues, so if they made any changes cool, but regardless, those two are fairly small.
Anyway, guys, big update. I think it's awesome to see that these roads are still getting better and better, and now I'm kind of wondering like what else does DJI have up their sleeve?
Do they have anything else they're gonna add to the drone to make it better? I mean this drone has been out for a full year, and we're still seeing the fundamentals of a change through these really big firmware updates.
Anyway, guys, thank you so much for watching. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, and it's always, I'll talk to you later. Peace.
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