DJI Mavic 3 Classic – First Impressions and full flight!

What's going on, guys? Billy here, and today we're going to be taking our first flight with the new DJI Mavic 3 Classic.

The reason that I'm putting all of those air quotes in here is because this is not a new drone at all. I've been flying this same drone with my Mavic 3 for the past year now. The only difference is the Mavic 3 Classic now doesn't have a telephoto camera to make it more affordable.

So we'll touch more on that, I figured we'd go for again our first flight with this drone, first flight with the drone nonetheless. But I've been flying the same airframe for quite some time now.

YouTube video

So we are now up to five different iterations of the Mavic 3. We've got the Mavic 3 Classic, the Mavic 3, the Mavic 3 Cine, the Mavic 3 Enterprise, and the Mavic 3 thermal. (Update: DJI has since the launch of this video also introduced the Multispectral, adding a 6th version in the Mavic series.)

Which means, DJI is getting a lot of traction through this airframe. now I would say that the Mavic 3 Classic is both the most interesting and least interesting drone release. The most significant and least significant drone release from DJI here in the fourth quarter of 2022.

You look at the price of the Mavic 3. that drone is an all-out beast but coming in at a little over two thousand dollars puts it out of reach for most everyday people that want to fly their drone.

This coming in at like $1,467, I'll correct myself on the screen, but coming in at a much more affordable price for the drone only makes this more attainable for the everyday flyer

I think that DJI when they first came out with the Mavic 3 and the Mavic 3 Cine, they thought to themselves this is going to be our pro flagship drone. But there was kind of a big gap in between the Air 2s and the Mavic 3.

Dji Mavic 3 Classic - First Impressions And Full Flight!

There was a thousand-dollar difference, and now this kind of puts it right in the sweet spot in between Air 2s and Mavic 3. Now the transmission is great we are flying here with the uh RC, the DJI RC.

So there's two different bundles, or really three different bundles.

  • You can buy the drone by itself
  • You can purchase the drone with the older RC-N1 remote controller so that's the stock RC that you use your phone with or
  • You can purchase it with the newer DJI RC that has the built-in screen
  • You also can use your RC Pro with the Mavic 3 Classic

So they've kind of got this universal remote thing going on amongst all of the controllers, which is nice because you can buy just the drone save some money, use your old remote controller it works just fine. Or if you wanted to you could upgrade to a newer remote controller.

Now personally for everything that I've done over the past year I've always reached for my Mavic 3 Cine. It's just got the best camera, the best airframe, the best obstacle avoidance, the best specs. Really, it is the best drone that you can purchase but the price tag…

$2,049 dollars for just the Mavic 3 is a big ask. And if you're looking at purchasing the Mavic 3 Cine for five thousand dollars, I mean that's just on a totally different uh weight class there.

So now that you can get in with this airframe and that four-thirds camera at a price of you know under fifteen hundred dollars really makes me question what is the best buy? Because I always thought the Air 2s was the best value for the money coming in at a thousand dollars.

Sure, you might spend a little bit more if you want the Fly More Kit or some extra propellers, some extra batteries and stuff. But now that you can purchase this beast of a drone for under fifteen hundred dollars…

So let's see the reason that I love this drone so much is for the flight time. Right. I mean we just ripped all the way down about half a mile and then flew a half mile back in sport mode the entire time.

It's a little bit windy. It's like 75 degrees in November. It's crazy. But it's a little bit windy today, and we only drained 12% of our battery. Look in the top right corner right now. It estimates that we can fly for another 40 minutes just sitting there, just hovering. So the flight time is just downright nuts.

I'm able when I'm doing like real estate or construction shoots to literally use one battery throughout most of my morning, put the drone up get the shots I need, move on to the next one.

So the flight time is outstanding. But really the reason that I kept reaching for this drone was the camera and it wasn't the telephoto lens. I mean, I never used the telephoto camera. I always used that main camera, the four-thirds camera, because of the dynamic range, the color science.

Dji Mavic 3 Classic - First Impressions And Full Flight!

So, now that you can get that for $1,467, that's in my opinion what makes this the most interesting release. The most significant release is that price point.

I think that that's what a lot of people are going to agree with because when the Mavic 3 came out people were like Ah that's a great piece of technology but it's a lot of money.

And this thing just feels as smooth as ever. Now I'm shooting in 5.1 K 30 frames per second. I'm just leaving it on auto-exposure because we're kind of ripping around doing our first flight here. Again there's not much to gauge because I've used this drone now for the longest time.

The only difference is the camera on the front. But again it it makes a cut in an area that I think not many people are going to be using right.

Like nobody that I know of is using the telephoto lens I mean they've made some great improvements to it, but the 7x is just kind of like a weird focal length.

If they gave us like a 3X optical, sure we couldn't zoom in that far, but I still think that at that range, it's a good, uh it's a good use case when flying.

I mean, look at the dynamic range of the camera. I'm just looking through my screen right now, but I can tell that even though some of these buildings are backlit, the video is going to look beautiful.

We're starting to lose some of the color here on the trees which is okay. We're gonna move into the uh the winter time. There's a lot more trains down here than I usually expect.

Another reason I love flying the Mavic 3 airframe is because of how smooth it is. And what's great is like now I can fly this drone without having to risk my Mavic 3 Cine my $5,000 drone.

I mean when you look at the different Mavic 3 options available let's see I'm going to come around and do a reveal of Manayunk here flying low over the trees.

But when you look at the comparison of all of the Mavic 3 drones on the consumer side from the Classic to the traditional Mavic 3 to the Cine.

I've done some tests I've done some you know side-by-side comparisons of h.264 h.265 and prores. And that prores really isn't the reason that the cine was kind of uh I would say you know the choice that I wanted to go with or the drone that I wanted but it was the SSD inside.

I mean, being able to load that up with a bunch of footage throughout the day and then offload it super fast made my workflow a lot easier.

I mean that's really the biggest reason why I enjoyed the Mavic 3 Cine. Also right off of the bat if you wanted the RC Pro you had to go with the Mavic 3 Cine, so that was kind of like the woes of just purchasing the Mavic 3 when it first came out.

DJI Mavic 3 Classic comes in highly recommended

But like as of right now you know with the release of this drone the Mavic 3 Classic, I just don't understand how somebody would want to purchase a Mavic 3 over this.

I mean, I really wouldn't recommend the Mavic 3 over the Mavic 3 Classic to pretty much anybody at all. And the reasoning is just because of that price point and what you get with it.

I mean $2,049 is a lot of money to spend an extra 500 bucks for just the telephoto camera for something, that again, I really don't use. And I don't understand how just taking away the telephoto camera makes it 500 less. Like does it really cost 500 more dollars to put a secondary camera module on there?

I don't know it's just something that I've kind of thought about all right let's do a nice reveal up and over the trees here. God, this drone is just so smooth

I'm also kind of surprised that DJI didn't decide to like say hey, let's make the flight time less on this drone. Let's do something to the camera to make it a little bit inferior to the Mavic 3 or the Mavic 3 Cine. Just to give those drones that extra oof, but quite frankly, this drone does everything that those drones do. It just is a little bit less expensive.

So I think that DJI realized like hey we're not selling a lot of these Mavic 3, and look, I mean, I don't know any information it's not like I've been told this. But it's just kind of a speculation, maybe they weren't selling the Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine because of that price point. And they wanted to make some sort of cuts so they could come out with a more affordable option here.

Ever since this time change also the sun angles a little bit lower it's going to be a little more difficult to get good looking video, but again this is kind of a true testament to how good that dynamic range is.

I mean we've got some pitch blacks in the shadows over here. And we've also got some really bright highlights from the sun hitting off the siding on these row homes.

All right, I'll tell you what, the experience with the remote controller. I love flying with the DJI RC.

So when you look at the three different options for the Mavic 3 Classic, you have the drone itself you have the RC-N1, and you also have the um new DJI RC here.

Personally, I'd probably splurge and set spend the $1,749 for this extra remote controller here, or for the controller with the built-in screen here. Just because this experience is so much better than having to use the other controller use your phone. You've got a Micro SD card slot built-in right here so you can screen record and save everything that you need.

Dji Mavic 3 Classic - First Impressions And Full Flight!

So personally I enjoy using the built-in screen controllers. Whether it's the RC Pro. Whether it's the RC. But again if you already own a drone that has the RC-N1, you want to save that money and just pick up the drone itself power to you.

I mean that's why I always thought that DJI should have released drones on their own and let people use old controllers. And I'm happy that I'm finally seeing them do that I mean it kind of will allow you to eliminate waste. Like you don't want to continue to just cycle through controllers use this same controller. And also the designs we have right now are good so it's not like I'm itching for a new controller design. So it's kind of a good middle spot to be in.

Get a nice reveal up and over these trees of the pencoy bridge. Yeah so I went in and I kind of tweaked all of my settings with which with a new update are now more fine-tuneable. Is that a word, fine-tunable?

You can now change your gain and expo settings which is awesome. Kind of a product of using auto exposure. Things start to get blown out when you look down at the uh at the ground here.

Let's go ahead we'll flip it back into sport mode and fly on down to that bridge.

I mean look the Mavic 3 Classic is everything that the Mavic 3 was except without the telephoto lens. it's everything that you wanted in a drone from the long flight time to the omnidirectional obstacle avoidance.

It is good at handling the wind. Of course, the camera is beautiful you know we kind of heard these rumors of the Mavic 3 Classic coming out and I just found it to be hard to think that they would actually do something like that. Release a drone like this, because it would cannibalize the sales of the Mavic 3 and the Mavic 3 Cine.

Now, I can understand that if you're working on a professional production set and you need a drone that is able to shoot in prores. I mean, there's really no way around picking up the Mavic 3 Cine.

Dji Mavic 3 Classic - First Impressions And Full Flight!

But just remember, like, if you're on the fence of which drone to purchase. I mean right now if I kind of had to break down the different drones that we have in terms of our options.

Let me get some shots of the train down here I'm actually going to flip it off of auto exposure because I'd like to kind of tweak this a little bit.

Also in the camera here we have the ability to have our adjustable aperture, which is nice I also don't have any ND for this drone yet just because it's so new.

So what we are able to do is see we can set our shutter speed appropriately and then we can go and crank our aperture all the way up.

So we'll go all the way to f/11 to help control our exposure that looks good right there maybe yeah f/7.1 is okay. It's a little bit dark down there. I might make it a little bit darker.

But like this is another big thing over the Air 2s, so getting back to what I was saying, if I had to choose between all of the different drones that DJI has available right now. And really I'd only recommend a few like the Mini 3 Pro. The Mini 3 Pro, the Air 2s, the Mavic 3 Classic. I mean, really, those are the three options that I would say people should go with.

It makes it hard to justify purchasing the Air 2s which is hard for me to say because the Air 2s is, like my all-time favorite drone. It's the best value a thousand dollars, you get a one-inch sensor, 20 megapixels. An awesome little drone. Super portable.

But when you look at now the price point of the Mavic 3 Classic, it's hard not to justify spending a little bit more money and getting so much more drone.

I mean, really, you kind of have an option between the Pro for a small portable. Oh man I did not notice I'm going over 400 feet there, um. I didn't I did not notice that. Um, yeah.

So it's it's tough to kind of see like hey you know we have the Mavic 3, or we have the Mini 3 Pro here $700, around 700, little over 700, it's like $749. And then we have the Mavic 3 Classic for double the price.

Like where does the fall into play there? Like why? Unless you were really strict on your budget or tight on your budget would you not say splurge for the Mavic 3? Or go with something a little bit less expensive in the Mini 3 Pro.

I mean there's ways that the Mini 3 Pro is actually better than the Air 2s with its flight time. With the amount of megapixels and the images. I mean really there's a lot to love about that little drone there.

So, right now, DJI's entire lineup goes, Mini 3 Pro, it goes Air 2s, it goes Mavic 3 Classic, Mavic 3, and Mavic 3 Cine.

I think personally, I'm going to be pointing people towards either the Mini 3 Pro if they're new and they want something smaller or the Mavic 3 Classic if they're looking for that upgrade.

Even if you own an Air 2s I think that this drone is a significant upgrade over that Air 2s it's got a much better airframe. It's got a much better camera, and again that price point isn't bad. You can use that controller that you have with your Air 2s to fly your Mavic 3 Classic. And if you don't want to sell the Air 2s you could keep that as a backup.

So overall, I feel like I don't have to say it super impressed with the flight performance of the Mavic 3. I've been flying this airframe now for over a year it's something that hasn't let me down.

I always reach for it no matter what even when I want to go and shoot like vertical videos I end up just using my Mavic 3 and then cropping in on the image. Because the camera in my opinion is that much better than the Mini 3 Pro.

We are facing a little bit of a headwind here. I mean in the fall it's just a little bit more windy. But that's pretty impressive that we're still able to fly at a full at full speed but a nice speed of 26 miles an hour in sport mode.

So this is definitely going to handle the wind better than, say a Mini 3 or an Air 2s. I fact I lost an Air 2 over the water due to some high winds which is kind of a bummer. But regardless this is a much better airframe that's going to give you much more longevity.

You kind of look at how DJI was able to price this drone the way that they did and so low. I mean they're reusing the same airframe for five different drones so they have the ability to make that price point lower.

And I think that some people might be a little bit upset like oh you know I really like when there's different airframes to choose from. And personally I think it makes it more fun when you have these different drones to look at different drones to choose from you might buy one based on how it looks.

I mean you remember the original Mavic Air and the Spark how different they looked? And now we just have a lot of the same drones that have the same airframe.

But honestly, I can't complain with how good it is right like Mavic 3 Classic, $1,469, 79, somewhere around there awesome price point. And it's nice and quiet. Here she comes alrighty oh.

So Mavic 3 Classic, in my opinion, the value proposition here is just insane. I kind of feel bad for people like myself that own the Mavic 3 and then this came out when you purchased this when you purchased that drone and then this drone comes out.

I almost wish that they released all of these drones at the same time. Give us these options right off the bat. Rather than saying, hey we're going to release an inferior drone that is you know a significantly less price with just one feature gone a year later. But I guess they've been able to make their money back on sales of the Mavic 3.

Look regardless. Great drone. Great value proposition. If you're interested in the Mavic 3 Classic, I'll leave a link down in the description to pick one up. If you've got an Air 2s, I think it's a great upgrade.

If you've got the Mavic 3, don't worry there's no reason to go picking up this drone. But maybe I'd be a little bit mad because it was released and it's awesome, and it's a lower price.

Anyway guys thank you so much for watching let me know your thoughts on the Mavic 3 Classic down the comment section below. And as always, I'll talk to you later. Peace.

Dji Mavic 3 Classic - First Impressions And Full Flight!

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Billy Kyle
Billy Kyle

I make videos for the Internet. You can watch all of my drone videos on my YouTube channel and here on DroneXL.

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