So, this drone only starts at $469. And from there, DJI offers a lot of great packages, bundles and upgrades that you can add on to change the controller style or add on more batteries, like with our Fly More Combo.
So, you have a great entry-level drone here at $469. That's a good price for what the Mini 3 delivers.
Now, as always, you guys know we did our first flight with the DJI Mini 3 drone, which is super quiet.
But we'll go ahead, we'll fly way down the river in sport mode, Schuylkill River here, and then we'll bring it back.
What makes the Mini 3 an entry-level drone?
So, let's talk about what makes this an entry-level drone.
So, we don't have the ability to capture 40-megapixel photos, only 12-megapixels here with this camera.
We also can't shoot in higher frame rates. So, no 4K at 60 or 48. We're locked at 4K 30. Also, we can't capture 1080p video at like 120 frames per second. So, the camera is still phenomenal. It still has the same sensor.
We just don't have the same functionality as what the Mini 3 Pro offers. Which by the way, we are recording 4K at 30 frames per second right now.
DJI also dropped the transmission in this drone from O3 down to O2, but that's still going to give you plenty of range.
It gives you a great signal. I mean, right now we're a half mile down the river right now we still have perfect signal the bars have dropped to four, but regardless we still have a great picture here coming back from the drone.
Our live feed is nice and clear, and we have perfect control over the drone.
All right now, let's bring it on back. I have not messed with my gimbal settings yet now.
Again, they've kind of stripped them down. The drone itself is also stripped down as it doesn't have any obstacle avoidance on it.
So, there are no sensors on the front or rear of the drone. The Mini 3 Pro does have that forward and backward obstacle avoidance. But again, not here on the Mini 3 drone.
And, I think the biggest overall thing that makes this so beginner-friendly is the fact that it's small, it's portable, it's lightweight.
It's under 249 grams, which means you won't have to register in certain areas that you're in with the country that you're flying in.
So, because this falls under the 250-gram limit here in the United States, you won't have to register with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Note: this is only true as long as you fly the Mini 3 recreationally. As soon as you use the Mini 3 for commercial purposes, you will need to have your Part 107 Certificate and register the drone with the FAA.
That does mean you still need to follow all the local rules, and guidelines, things like that can't fly over 400 feet (See also: How high can I fly my drone).
You can't fly out of your visual line of sight. You can't fly over people. Just because it's small and tiny doesn't mean you get to skirt the rules.
But it does mean you can skip the registration. Although, I don't know, the registration isn't all that much of a hassle to me.
So again, I feel like I've been flying this drone forever because I've had the Mini 3 Pro for a year now. But it's great to kind of see, now, with this drone, what they can do in terms of making it more affordable for more people to access it.
DJI Mini 3 has increased flight time
Now, there is technically one upgrade with this drone over the Mini 3 Pro, and that is the flight time.
The flight time of the Mini 3 here is 51 minutes with the extended battery. I mean, that is the longest-flying consumer drone from DJI ever.
They have never made a drone in their consumer line that has flown for longer than this, which is really impressive.
I mean, right now just, hovering at 86%… I hear a train. There's a train coming down. We will try to chase it, Oh yeah, there it is. Oh, you know what. Let's go in the opposite way. Let's see if we can catch it with the Mini 3.
Sorry. I totally lost track. Whenever I'm trying to chase trains, though, it's like. I can like hear it. It's like, I don't know if we're going to be able to make it. The Mini 3 is quick, but not that quick.
Whenever I'm chasing trains down to Ben Franklin Bridge, it's like, once I hear the train, I'm just I'm getting ready. So, it's like, it's ingrained in my brain.
So yeah, it's great to see what DJI can do in a more affordable package here.
That's why I enjoy doing this first flight just to kind of show you that hey, for $469, for the drone only, you get a package that is way better than what others are delivering for the same price point.
So let's go ahead and do a nice reveal up and over the trees here in the maniac
Will actually go into normal mode again. I have not changed my settings here, so might be a little rough on the sticks.
But again, for a sub-250 drone, this flies beautifully. It's a little bit windy. It's a little bit chilly as well.
But regardless, you can't tell that it's windy because the drone and the gimbal are doing a great job at stabilizing out that video.
You have a little bit of an overcast today, which is kind of a bummer. Also, I've just left my camera settings on automatic just for the first flight because we're going to be buzzing all around.
The image quality still looks great. I mean, personally, I never really captured all that much video at 4K at 60 frames per second, so 4K 30 is perfectly fine for what I need.
I am noticing a little bit of breakup here, only about 1,300 feet away. We've got about three bars. Again, we do have the different O2 or Ocusync 2 transmission system in this drone. It's not O3.
O3 has been a big step up from O2, but for what you need this for, I mean you saw like a little half mile down that way, you're still going to be able to get a great signal out of this drone.
I mean O2, they call it O2 now, but Ocusync 2 was always the standard until they brought along O3. And then O3 was like, wow, this is so great.
The DJI Mini 3 is so quiet
Something I can't get over also is how quiet the DJI Mini drones are. I mean, that's one of my favorite things about it because if I'm flying in the city, like down near the art museum, I really would rather not make a big scene.
I'd rather kind of be low-key. I don't need people coming up and asking me questions.
Now, I am probably actually going to flip this off the auto camera settings, and it might change here. I'm getting a little bit of, you know… What, we got a disconnect here. Let's see, I wonder why they're disconnected was it… It just immediately reconnected, so that's a little bit strange.
And I think that the recording might have started over again. So sorry if there was a black screen there. Let's test this again, let's see if, I click that those camera settings. Okay. No, I guess because I'm already recording I'm locked in automatic camera settings which is…
Whatever, we'll get this nice little pullback reveal here of the train. But see here's the thing with the auto camera settings, it's going to shift the exposure dramatically once we show this guy.
That's why I always love to film in manual, just because you get such a better-looking image in terms of exposure. it's more even throughout your video.
That's the one thing about drones, you always show a good amount of the sky, and the sky is so dominant.
There's a big bird. That big bird would take out my little drone. All right, let's fly on down to the bridge again.
DJI Mini 3 remote controller options
So, the remote that I'm flying with here is the DJI RC. it's their newest remote controller.
They've got other remotes that you can use with this drone, like for example the RC-N1.
So, that's going to actually be included in the less expensive package if you want to use your phone with your remote controller.
I actually really like that remote still. I mean, I still think that it has its place, but for me, I've really enjoyed flying with the built-in screens personally, just because it makes it so easy to turn the drone on. Turn the remote on. Not have to get my phone out. Not have to connect it.
So, really, I do prefer the built-in screen. And I like that DJI came out with the RC because it's a less expensive version of the RC Pro.
I mean, it's way less expensive and still gives you a great feel. In fact, there are things I prefer about this remote over the RC Pro, like its lightweight design.
Now our maximum speed is right at about, I'm trying to remember off the top of my head, 34, 35, 36 miles an hour.
Right now, we're getting about 34 miles an hour running down the river here, which is really a great speed for a drone of this size.
I mean, really it's just a joy to fly and as always. I mean, I say this in a lot of my videos, but DJI's flight software is just among the best in the Drone Industry.
So, when it comes to like the flight characteristics of the drone. How it flies. How it feels. It's super responsive and of course, like, it's super smooth when it flies.
You saw flying up and over Manayunk there, kind of trying to get that reveal shot. It feels so smooth.
They all fly so similarly, but they just have those little incremental improvements that make them better and into their own drone.
Like the mavic 3 of course has six sensors all the way around. Has obstacle avoidance all the way around. Has omnidirectional obstacle avoidance.
You know it has the larger camera. It has the auxiliary LEDs underneath the drone. So, those things kind of separate that drone.
The Air 2s is kind of that mid-tier drone. I really like the wide field of view on that one-inch sensor.
And then the Mini 3 Pro was like a better version of the Mini 3 here. But DJI has quite the lineup right now of drones, and really I can't, cannot recommend any of them.
Like there's, not like… It's not like, I could say, hey the Mini 3 Pro is no good, you need to go with the Air 2s.
Or the Mini 3 here is no good, you need to go with the Mini 3 Pro. They all serve their function, which, I think, is awesome to see that DJI is doing that.
So overall, the flight is super smooth. it seems like we have a little bit of wind. Kind of coming up river, which is kind of strange.
But it seems like we were getting a little bit of a better battery estimate coming up, as well as a faster top speed.
Let's go ahead and do a rotation around our water tower here. You know what, let's do another test. Let's see if we tap on auto, yeah it kind of seems like because I'm already recording I'm not able to switch out of Auto, which is no problem.
Now, another thing with this camera is that it rotates vertically. I can't believe I forgot to mention that. So just like the Mini 3 Pro, this camera rotates fully vertically.
Oh, my controls are a little bit too sensitive here. I've literally just pulled it right out-of-the-box, came right here and started flying.
I charged up the batteries and just started flying. Ah man, that exposure is all wonky. But yeah, I definitely have to tune in my settings here. Like the gimbal is just way too smooth.
Okay, so really quickly, I'm going to let me… I did an example in my Mini 3 Pro First Flight. We'll kind of go down to that same area.
So, right down here is this old building. Super cool, they restored it. I think it's like a real estate office now. But as we fly down here, I'll go ahead, stop recording.
I'm going to tap on the vertical button here and then start recording again. You can just barely hear it. And now we're filming in vertical.
So, this is a great little function of the Mini 3 as well as the Mini 3 Pro. I really like the fact that DJI was coming out with the Mini 3, and they retained this feature.
They could have just gone and made a less expensive drone and just gone with an old gimbal configuration, but they let us keep this vertical shooting here in the less expensive drone. Which is awesome because like for a shot say around this little clock tower here.
Being able to capture the whole entire thing vertically is awesome. We're still going to be a little bit careful because we don't have those obstacle avoidance sensors. So, there's nothing to save us.
But yeah, we get this nice vertical shot here. And what's great about this right is, like, this is the native aspect ratio for social media apps like Instagram, TikTok.
So, you can capture aerial video that can be posted directly on those platforms without needing to crop or anything like that.
You get the full aspect ratio, the full field of view. One thing that not having obstacle avoidance sensors helps with, it lets you fly close to things.
Like, I think if I was using a different drone there with obstacle avoidance, it would probably kick me out. Or probably throw on the brakes.
Let's do a nice vertical reveal up and over, showing Manayunk here. I feel like, and this is just an initial impression. I feel like the color temperature is a little bit cool.
I think, I'm on auto white balance. I mean, I should be. But I feel like just the entire image is looking a little cool.
So let's do our, you know I'm going to flip back into normal because my gimbal's a little bit more smooth in the normal mode.
So, we'll fly up and over. I know that people are probably watching this and want to like comment nasty things because, I'm shooting and uploading vertical video to YouTube in a horizontal video.
But again this is just a demonstration here. Nice flying up and over. Okay, before anybody kills me in the comment section, I'm going to stop recording.
I'm going to flip back to our horizontal shooting mode and then begin recording again.
The difference between O2 and O3 transmission
Now, let me just say right off the bat I can tell a difference between O2 and O3.
I mean, this caps out at 720p in terms of like your live transmission feedback to the camera, whereas with O3, you get a 1080p downlink.
So that signal coming back from your drone is a full 1080p, full HD. I can tell a difference there in that regard.
But look, I mean, we've been flying right now for about 13 minutes, gosh, that's fairly long, and we still have 50% left in our battery.
And we've been ripping. I mean, I have pretty much been in sport mode the entire time.
So, overall the flight ergonomics, flight character characteristics of this drone are great. I'm gonna kind of bring it down here. Again super small.
The one thing I noticed. I'll bring it down right here in front of the camera. So, the one thing I noticed with this drone, and it's different about the Mini 3, and the Mini 3 Pro is, do you see how it has… And look it's so quiet, I can continue to talk.
It has these feet right here on the front, whereas the Mini 3 Pro doesn't have those. So, this actually has a slightly altered and different design.
Personally, I actually like that design because the Mini 3 rested or the Mini 3 Pro rested, it's going up a little bit.
The Mini 3 Pro rested on these two little front feet right here. So, this does have bottom obstacle avoidance or VPS sensors.
So, it's actually going up with me not touching the controllers uh the sticks but yeah.
So, it actually sits now on these, rather than sitting in the middle, making it a little bit more, I would say, balanced.
So, there we have it, the first light of the Mini 3. If you're interested in this drone, check out the link in the description.
This is going to make like a perfect gift for somebody. A lot of the other drones that DJ has come out with recently have been a little bit out of that like gift price range. Right, or like being able to just go out and purchase it for somebody.
So, this now falls into a perfect spot to be purchased for somebody. I mean if you look at it the price point, $469. Much less expensive than the Mini 3 Pro or even some of their higher end drones like the Air 2s and the Mavic 3.
So, this will be a great entry-level option for somebody who's brand new to flying drones, and doesn't necessarily want to break the bank when they are going out and purchasing one.
Anyway, thank you guys so much for watching. Please let me know your thoughts on the Mini 3 down the comment section below. And as always, I'll talk to you later. Peace.
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