Good day, folks. Shawn here, from Air Photography. It's hard to believe that the DJI Mini 3 Pro has been out for one year. It was first announced by DJI in May of last year. They started shipping at the end of May and into early June. I think it was around this time last year that I received mine.
In my humble opinion, I believe the DJI Mini 3 Pro is one of DJI's more important drone releases in the last couple of years. I say that because in the past, if you wanted a sub-250-gram drone, or needed one, you had to sacrifice image quality and features. However, that's no longer the case with the Mini 3 Pro. The Mini 3 Pro introduced a brand-new camera with its 1.7 aperture. You can capture stunning content in many different types of lighting conditions.
On top of that, you don't have to sacrifice intelligent flight modes, as the Mini 3 Pro contains most of the intelligent flight features that DJI's higher-end drones have. Things like Focus Track, which includes your Spotlight, Point of Interest, and Tracking. On top of that, you're able to capture Master Shots and create hyperlapses, and it does a really good job in all of those scenarios.
Now, with the launch of the Mini 3 Pro, there were a few hiccups for some people, most notably in Canada. Many of us were having range issues. The problem was that the transmission range was bumping down into the CE mode, which basically dictates how much power is allowed for transmission. However, DJI did get that corrected fairly quickly, and I no longer have those range issues.
DJI Mini 3 Pro transmission range
Since we are on the topic of range, I find that the Mini 3 Pro does not have the same range as something like my DJI Air 2S or even my DJI Mavic 3. I've done numerous range and signal strength testing, and my Mavic 3 Pro performs the best overall. Although they're both OcuSync 3, with my Mavic 3, it's no issue to get out about eight kilometers in an open environment like this. However, my DJI Mini 3 struggles to get past four kilometers.
Now, really, it's not too big of an issue, because with drones, in most Countries, when it comes to mini drones, you have to stay within line of sight. That's a little bit different here in Canada. We are allowed to fly our sub-250-gram drones farther than visual line of sight (BVLOS). And really, at four kilometers, that's more than enough to get out and capture what I need.
When it comes to flying in more congested Wi-Fi areas, such as cities, it actually performs quite well. And I think it performs neck to neck with my Mavic 3 when it comes to penetration and signal strength when you are flying in a city around obstacles and lots of Wi-Fi interference.
Improved camera on the DJI Mini 3 Pro
Now, of course, the camera is one of the big improvements of the Mini 3 Pro. And that was a significant step when it comes to mini drones. After all, the camera is one of the most important components of the drone. Most of us fly these things to capture nice cinematic video, so having a good camera is very important. The Mini 3 Pro's camera was quite an upgrade over the DJI Mini 2. And as mentioned, its 1.7 aperture does a great job in many different types of lighting conditions.
The Mini 3 Pro can capture stunning 4K video. On top of that, it also has the ability to orient the camera vertically without having to crop your video. This feature allows you to export higher-resolution videos and fully utilize your sensor. While not important to everybody, not everyone needs to film vertically, it is convenient for me to have this feature when I want to film for my social media channels. It makes sharing in the vertical format quick and easy, as you can just download it, and it's already in the correct format.
Intelligent Flight Features on the DJI Mini 3 Pro
Another significant improvement over the Mini 2 is the inclusion of all of DJI's intelligent flight features such as Tracking, Spotlight, and Point of Interest. These intelligent flight features may not appeal to everyone, and I myself mostly manually fly my drone. However, I do use them from time to time, especially Spotlight and Point of Interest. Tracking is a feature I don't use a lot, but it's nice to have when needed.
As mentioned, the Mini 3 Pro weighs less than 249 grams, which is of utmost importance to many people in various countries. In some countries, mini drones are really the only option for flying. Even if the weight is not a significant factor for you, the small form factor and ultra-lightweight can be essential to many. If you need to travel light, or if you're a backpacker and you want a high-performance, ultra-light drone, the Mini 3 Pro is an excellent choice. It's super lightweight, so it's not inconvenient to bring along on day trips, adventures, or sightseeing. If you're packing it for a backpacking trip, it won't add much weight to your gear. Furthermore, the batteries are quite small compared to something like the Mavic 3 series. So if you need to pack several batteries, it won't weigh you down.
The Mini 3 Pro is a perfect choice for those who want to travel with something that's not cumbersome to carry along. When it comes to batteries, DJI did something interesting with the Mini 3 Pro; they provided two types of batteries. One is more suited for longer flight times, and the other keeps the drone under the weight limit. You get to choose whether flight time or weight is your priority. The flight time with the Plus Battery is quite good; you can get 47 minutes of rated flight time. However, you can still get 34 minutes of rated flight time with the smaller battery. It's really nice to have a choice whether you want to fly longer or need to adhere to the sub-250-gram rule.
One slight limitation of the Mini 3 Pro is flying it in wind. Although it is rated for a level 5 wind, it can struggle on fairly windy days. I have flown the Mini 3 Pro on some pretty windy days and I've been fairly pleased with the performance. The footage is stable, and unlike some sub-250-gram drones, it doesn't lose much of its power in the wind.
On a windy day, the Mini 3 Pro will slow down quite a bit, reducing speed and draining the battery faster, but generally, it performs well. On really windy days, I personally opt for the DJI Mavic 3 or my DJI Air 2S, as they tend to perform better due to their additional weight. Ultra-light drones can get blown around a bit, so if you live in a windy environment and will be flying in the wind often, a larger drone might be a better choice for you, assuming the weight is not an issue.
DJI RC with the DJI Mini 3 Pro
Another interesting product DJI launched alongside the Mini 3 Pro was the DJI RC. This was a significant release as it is the first time you could get a smart-style controller without spending an exorbitant amount of money. While it is not as robust and feature-rich as the RC Pro, it comes at a fraction of the cost.
The DJI RC can be used with the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
Its screen brightness is 700 nits, compared to the 1000 nits of the RC Pro, but it is generally usable in most lighting conditions. Unlike an iPhone, which tends to dim quickly on bright, sunny days, the DJI RC's built-in screen maintains its brightness, making it quite practical. Additionally, it provides the convenience of quickly getting your drone in the air without the need to connect a phone.
However, if you already own the RC Pro, it is fully compatible with the Mini 3 Pro and offers a nice flight experience. While it is slightly pricey, the DJI RC is likely a better choice for most people.
If your budget allows, you can also upgrade to the better but more expensive DJI RC Pro.
Like all DJI drones, the Mini 3 Pro that was released on launch day differs quite a bit from the drone we have today. DJI does an excellent job releasing firmware updates to fix problems, add new features, and enhance existing ones, and this is definitely the case with the Mini 3 Pro. It has had several firmware updates that have greatly enhanced it, including the ability now to fly it with goggles and the DJI Motion 2. This is a feature many people, including myself, have been waiting for. Although I don't use it often, it's a nice feature when I want to fly with goggles.
In conclusion, the Mini 3 Pro is a great choice for both beginners and seasoned pilots. If you're looking for your first drone that performs well and is safe to fly, the Mini 3 Pro, with all the safety features of DJI's larger drones, is definitely one to consider. Even for seasoned pilots, it makes a great backup or secondary drone. Personally, I reach for this more often than my Mavic 3, simply for sheer convenience.
After flying the Mini 3 Pro for the past year, I can say it's a reliable drone that has captured a lot of great content. It's been enjoyable to fly, and I'm looking forward to taking it on the road this summer. I hope you found value in this video, and if so, please give it a thumbs up, it is truly appreciated. I'll see you in the next one.
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