Evolution of the DJI Mavic 3 – The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better with each Firmware Update

 What's going on, guys? Billy is here, and the is a little over a year old. It's hard to believe that this camera drone came out in 2021. It feels like it came out just last month. It feels brand new, and I think the reason behind this is because of all of the firmware updates that we've gotten that have added brand-new features and functionality over the course of this drone's lifespan.

Not to mention, we also got an entirely new version of this drone in late 2022 called the Mavic 3 Classic, which removed the telephoto camera, therefore making the drone less expensive. We'll touch more on this towards the end of the video to focus more on the updates that this camera drone has received.

DJI Mavic 3 major firmware updates

Here are all of the major changes that came by way of firmware updates. The full patch notes were a bit more lengthy, with smaller updates and changes. And I'll leave a list of every single change made in each firm update down in the description for your reference. These notes here on the screen, though, are each of the major changes that were added to the DJI Mavic 3 over the past year, and as you can tell, we have quite a bit to cover.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

But before we do this, I need to address the elephant in the room, which is the lack of features that this drone was released with. You can look at all the major changes that I just shared with you up on the screen. Things like ActiveTrack, HLG, Panorama, and QuickShots are all features that we'd expect to ship in a drone from DJI on day one. But they were delayed and added through future firmware updates.

Now, I'm a little bit on the fence about this because, personally, I could care less about some of those smart features. To me, a drone that flies well and a camera drone that captures a beautiful photo and video is really all that's important. And all of those other features that came by way of firmware updates down the line were nice to have, but again, weren't really something I necessarily needed from day one.

Last year, I traveled to a ton of different places, and I loved the DJI Mavic 3 for enabling me to capture these spots that I went to in the best way possible. From the flight characteristics to the insane flight time to using the RC Pro too of course, that camera, this drone, actually made me want to fly more and capture more aerial photos and videos.

It was such an effortless experience. By the way, the footage that you're watching is from my 2022 aerial recap video, which is over nine minutes of my best aerial footage capture. Last year, if you haven't seen it yet, I will leave a link below and in the top corner because it's personally one of my favorite videos that I've ever put together.

With that said, the Mavic 3, when it first came out, was the best drone, hands down, that you could purchase on the market, and now a year and a half later, it still holds that title after all of these changes. So why don't we take a little trip down memory lane and see what DJI has done over the past year and a half to beef that drone up to where it sits today.

Dji Mavic 3 Cine With Nd-Filter. Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update.

DJI Mavic 3 first firmware update – V01.00.0320

All right, so the first update we received was in December of 2021. So this was the first month after the drone was released. And this was like cleaning up some issues and just addressing some things as a formality, right? It's like the initial update that comes out once everybody gets it in their hands and they find little things wrong with the drone.

So they added FocusTrack, MasterShots, and Hyperlapse. Thank God they added Hyperlapse that quick because that's a mode that I use all the time. You guys know I've been posting Hyperlapses like crazy over on my Instagram. They also added the option to capture. Raw-only photographs, which is nice because I never liked having to capture raw and JPEG images and then just trash the JPEG.

So that was a good addition. They also reduced the noise in ProRes on the Mavic 3 Cine. I didn't really notice a big difference, but I thought that was a huge change just because they're addressing the actual video quality. So I did add it here in this list. They also reduced some occasional vibration of the aircraft arms in certain scenarios.

I personally. I didn't encounter this, but this is definitely something that's scary to experience. You might think your drone is going to fall from the sky, so it's nice. They addressed that super quickly.

They also improved our RTH performance. They improved obstacle avoidance performance, and they also improved hover stability. So again, this was like a lot of just general clean-up that kind of made the camera drone just a little bit better right after release.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update 1

Second DJI Mavic 3 firmware update – V01.00.0500

Now moving into the second update that the DJI Mavic 3 received, this came in January of 2022, so just two months after the drone's release. And just one month after that initial , this added a lot of shooting modes that weren't available from day one and weren't available after that first update.

So again, this is adding things that probably should have been there on day one. So we got QuickShots. These are like Dronie, Rocket, Circle, Helix, Boomerang, and Asteroid. We're familiar with these since back, like with the Mavic Air, which was when they first came out. We also got the panorama shooting mode as well as the burst shooting mode added when capturing photos.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

We also could now digitally zoom when capturing video in the normal color. We could also add a color display assist when capturing video in D-Logs. We could get an understanding of what the video would look like when it is color graded, and that can help us properly expose the image. They also added quick transfer for transferring files quickly between your phone, your remote controller, and your device.

They also added support for sending a return to home altitude for advanced return to home. And then, finally, just some miscellaneous things. They also added USB mode for the Mavic 3 Cine. So now, when you plug the Mavic 3 Cine in order to access the files on your internal SSD, it would actually turn the fans off, turn the motors off, turn off the gimbal so you wouldn't have the drone actually still turned on. It would just be accessing the actual hard drive or the SSD inside of the drone.

They also optimize the accuracy of the color correction from these drones. Really, it's not a huge change that I noticed, but I figured I'd mention it, because I love the colors from the drone. And whatever they did, they made the colors look great right off the bat, and with this update as well.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

And finally, they increased the image sharpness from the telephoto camera, that second lens on Mavic 3 Standard, and the Mavic 3 Cine. So this is like the first initial update that they did to this secondary camera to make it a little bit more usable. And you'll see that in future firm updates, they continue to try to make it better.

March 2022 firmware update for the Mavic 3 – V01.00.0600

Okay, moving on to the next update here. This came in March of 2022, so this was about four months after the initial release of the Mavic 3. And I'd say that this is probably the most significant update they were received because it fixed a huge issue, a massive bug that people were experiencing with their drones, and that is the fact that you couldn't establish a GPS connection quickly.

I did some tests, like out in an open field on a golf course. I then brought it to a side street, an old city, which was a really tough environment, and I can confirm that my drone, my Mavic 3, took minutes, sometimes over 10 minutes, to establish a GPS connection. To get enough satellites to then establish my home point, which basically prevented me from flying. As when you establish that home point, you can then fly further away. You can fly up higher, but up until you establish the home point, you're like limited to 100 feet.

And this drone was not establishing its home point as quickly as, say the or the or any of those older drones.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

But luckily, with this one firmware update, they fixed it, and all was back to normal. So that was a huge issue that we had to deal with for like the first four months, but now that's over. This DJI camera drone is operating just like any other drone when it comes to establishing its home point and connecting to satellites.

DJI Mavic 3 firmware update May 2022 – V01.00.0642

Now moving into our next firmware update, I remember when this came out in May of 2022, so just two months after the March update, that fixed the GPS bug. I called this the final big firmware update that the Mavic 3 would receive because it added all the features I thought were missing, but I was wrong. We'll get more to that here shortly, but through this update, they added the telephoto camera photo mode.

So now we could capture a single photo. We could capture AEB (auto exposure bracketed) photos. We could do burst shooting, time shots, and other sub-modes. We could also now take manual control over the exposure, which was nice. They also gave us different video shooting modes with the telephoto camera. So now we could do 4K at 25, 30, and 50 fps, and we could shoot 1080p at 25, 30, and 50 fps.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

We could also adjust our exposure manually when capturing video, but I'd say that this was the big overhaul to the telephoto camera that actually made it a good viable option to use because those photos that came out when zoomed in at seven x at its optical zoom, which looks really good.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update 2

Now moving on from there, we also had HLG added for our main camera, which is something that probably should have been there from the beginning. Personally, I love the color so much that I just shoot in the normal color profile. But HLG is there for those of you that are embedded in that HLG workflow.

We also got 1080p at up to 200 frames per second added when we're capturing slow-motion video with our main camera. So now we. Super slow motion video. I didn't think that they would do this, but they also gave us different ProRes codecs. So we got 422 LT and 422 just regular. So now we are actually able to take advantage of some different codecs when capturing with the Mavic 3 Cine.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

We could also now capture hyperlapses with a one-second interval, which has given me a more creative spin on how to do these hyperlapses. Like, you can really speed up the motion in your frame. It can really look cool. So the Mavic 3 Cine is personally my favorite drone to hyperlapse with because of that feature right there, we now could also use the wide angle lens to use within intelligent flight mode.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

So, for example, we could use the wide angle lens when capturing hyperlapse and doing Master Shots, FocusTrack, and QuickShots. We could also use it for ActiveTrack and things like that. So that's cool to be able to use that on the drone and have access to different flight modes and different shooting modes.

We also had the nifty bypass option added through APAS 5.0, which is something that I never used because they put a disclaimer in their patch note saying the drone might crash. But basically, the drone was now more fluid when trying to dodge obstacles. It seems like their approach at to try to take on , but I know that some people were crashing their drones when using this.

So just a fair warning. Also, DJI came out with that new RC, that was then added through this update in terms of compatibility. You could use the RC with the DJI Mavic 3.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

DJI Mavic 3 firmware update November 2022 – V01.00.0900

So after that big firmer update in May, we actually got another firmer update in November. So this is now six months after our last update, and it's actually a full year after the drone has actually come out.

And they added some features that I never thought would actually be added to the Mavic 3. And this was bundled with the release of the Mavic 3 Classic. So we got a new night mode for capturing video, which basically allows us to crank the ISO.

Up to 12,800, and I was able to get some phenomenal looking shots using that night video because they just look brighter than previously shooting at our maximum of 6,400 ISOs.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update 3

So that was definitely a welcome change. I didn't expect to see. In the same vein, we could also capture D-log video at up to 1600 ISO. They also added some of the focus track flight modes into the tele camera. So now you can access or Point of Interest to get those really cool parallax shots as you move the drone around.

And it made it easier to focus on a subject because being that far zoomed in could make things difficult, and you could end up sending the camera looking all over the place. So this definitely made certain shots when capturing video with the tele camera a lot easier. They also added cruise control.

You could tell the drone in which direction you wanted it to fly, and then you could press a custom button on the back to actually enable cruise control. Let the drone continue to fly at its current speed, whether it be forwards, backwards, up, or down, in whichever direction you want. Press that button, and it would just continue to fly along that path without having to provide any input on the sticks.

They also added gain and expo tuning. This is huge. This allows me to actually now customize how my drone flies and how it responds to stick input. You can also tweak the maximum flight speed, the brake sensitivity, as well as other settings. So this was huge. And also, at the bottom here, the added support for Remote ID.

So everything is all great from top to bottom. We get all these great features, and they added support for . They snuck that one in there in this update.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

December 2022 firmware update for the DJI Mavic 3 – V01.00.1000

Now, the final update that we've received for the Mavic 3 here came in December, and they followed up a very big update with another big update by adding waypoints.

So now, with the Mavic 3 Classic, the Mavic 3 Standard, and the Cine, you can now access waypoints, flight mode, and make use of automated flights that you can repeat over and over again.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update. Waypoints

This is something that people have been literally asking me for years. So the fact that DJI has finally now added it to their top-of-the-line drone is great because I know that people have wanted access to this for some time now.

Personally, it's gonna make my construction jobs so much easier because I can now map out my flight on my first visit, and every time I go back, I can repeat the same exact photos and the same videos over and over again. And it makes it really easy. Now, software updates are not the only way that the Mavic 3 has been improved over its lifespan.

We also got some new hardware, as in a new drone, the Mavic 3 Classic. They came out with basically the same camera drone. The same airframe has everything similar, from the software to the obstacle avoidance sensors to the flight time, to the battery. Everything is exactly identical between the Mavic 3 Standard and Cine and the Mavic 3 Classic.

The only difference is they got rid of the telephoto camera, therefore dropping its price. Personally, I've actually been flying my Mavic 3 Classic more often than my Mavic 3 Cine for the sheer fact that it's less of a liability in the air. It's less expensive than the Mavic 3 Cine.

If, God forbid, I crashed and needed to get it fixed or repaired, I personally never shoot in ProRes, so I don't need the built-in SSD, and the telephoto camera never got much use either, despite all the improvements that had been made through those firmware updates.

Some of the videos that I shared with you at the beginning of this video, like the shots around San Francisco, were actually captured with my Mavic 3 Classic, and because it has the same main camera, the same four-thirds sensor, the colors of dynamic range are on point giving you awesome looking photos and videos.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

So while the Mavic 3 Classic isn't technically an upgrade, it still is a step in the right direction, making a great drone less expensive by removing a feature that not many people need.

Let's be real, right? The Mavic 3 Standard went for $2,050, and the Mavic 3 Classic goes for $1,599, making it a lot more affordable and attainable for that person that might be looking to upgrade their drone or maybe even by their first drone, right? The Air 2S was always such a good deal at a thousand dollars, but now I think that for the extra 600 bucks, all that you get in the Mavic 3 Classic is definitely worth jumping up to that next drone.

Anyway, thank you guys so much for watching. Let me know your thoughts on the Mavic 3 Classic, the Mavic 3 Cine, and the Mavic 3 Standard. I think that the evolution has just been great over the past year and the past couple of months, with all these additions and all these features, and I wonder if DJI is done. Do they have any more firmware updates in store?

Because I wouldn't have guessed that they added night mode or waypoints so they could have some more stuff up their sleeves.

Anyway, thank you, guys for watching, and as always, I'll talk to you later. Peace.

Evolution Of The Dji Mavic 3 - The Camera Drone That Keeps Getting Better With Each Firmware Update

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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.

Articles: 36


  1. Love your history summary. I love the M3, but I’m very disappointed that DJI never provided an SDK for the M3, something that they said on initial delivery would take about a year. The M3E has also been a great addition, but there are a number of features that are available on the M3 that aren’t on the M3E such as different FPS rates, AEB, the list goes on. It feels to me that with the mechanical shutter on the M3E, it should be able to do everything PLUS that the M3 can do. But alas, no. Neither drone solves everything and you could need both to do a single job. I wish DJI were just a little less profit motivated and a little more customer oriented.

  2. On mobile the socials on the side are really annoying because it gets in the way of reading the text. I almost clicked away because of it. Maybe put it somewhere where it doesn’t make it difficult to read the article.

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