Is This The Perfect Drone? – DJI Air 3 Review

Before I dive into the Review, let's see where it fits into the entire DJI Air drone line-up. So, in front of me is the entire Air family of drones. Over the years, there have been quite a significant number of changes. The original Mavic Air was introduced back in January of 2018, boasting a sleek design. This was an impressive offering from DJI but fell short for some due to the weak Wi-Fi transmission system that limited the drone's flight distance.

The second generation of the Mavic Air was released a little over two years later, in April 2020. It finally brought DJI's mid-tier offering up to par with a brand new remote, a design that resembled the larger Mavic Pro, the robust and reliable OcuSync 2 transmission system. Furthermore, the camera was upgraded with a new Quad Bayer sensor capable of capturing 48-megapixel photos and 4K video at 60 frames per second.

At the time, this made the choice between the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic Air 2 difficult because, even though the Mavic 2 Pro had better specs and a larger camera sensor, the Air 2 could take higher-resolution photographs and could capture 4K video at 60 frames per second, whereas the Mavic 2 Pro was limited to 30 frames per second. These two factors alone were swaying people to purchase the DJI Air 2 over the 2 Pro.

Fast forward exactly one year later, in April of 2021, DJI decided to drop a mid-cycle refresh of the Mavic Air 2 with the . This upgrade improved upon the previous drone in three fundamental ways: it added a new camera with a one-inch sensor, upgraded the transmission system—being the first drone with OcuSync 3 or O3—and it introduced new upward obstacle avoidance sensors that actually worked both upwards and forwards when the drone was pitched in that direction. This innovative design added great functionality.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

And so, here we are in July of 2023, and we finally have an upgrade – a replacement to DJI's mid-tier drone, the Air 2S, with the brand-new DJI Air 3. When the Air 2S was released, I thought it warranted being a generational upgrade from the Mavic Air 2.

I was wondering why they didn't call it the Air 3, because it introduced a new camera, a new transmission system, and a new obstacle avoidance system—three significant upgrades that I thought warranted a generational leap, even though we had the same exact airframe. But now that I've seen the extent that DJI goes to make these generational upgrades, it's clear that the Air 3 is basically a brand-new drone from the ground up. I now understand that they go to these considerable lengths when making upgrades from one generation to the next.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

The best way to describe the Air 3 is that it's like a smaller sibling to the larger Mavic 3 Pro. It possesses many of the same features and functionalities, such as omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, an impressive 46-minute flight time, a dual camera system, and it even offers some upgrades like the new O4 transmission system. This means we've officially encountered another predicament like we did with the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic Air 2.

The Mavic 2 Pro is, of course, the superior drone; it was larger and more expensive, but the Mavic Air 2 offered a lot of the same functionalities in a smaller package and was also less expensive. I would argue that the DJI Air 3 provides about 75 to 80 percent of what the Pro offers, and it adds a bit more on top of that, like the aforementioned O4 transmission system. It's also smaller and less expensive.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

So, one has to question whether the Mavic 3 Pro's larger, one-third sensor, and the extra 166-millimeter focal length camera are worth the extra cost. Or would you rather save some money and space in your bag by going with the less expensive Air 3?

This is a predicament I find myself in as well, choosing which drone I want to use. The Air 3 does save a good amount of room in my backpack, but the Mavic 3 Pro's camera is just so good with its larger sensor.

Don't worry, we'll be comparing those drones, as well as some others, in future videos in the coming weeks. So be sure to stay tuned to the channel to see that comparison more in-depth.

For this video, I really just want to focus on the DJI Air 3 itself and cover what this drone is capable of. So, let's start with the body, the design, and the actual aircraft itself.

This drone is substantially larger than previous Air drones, with a larger footprint when it's fully unfolded. But this is all for a good reason, as it's allowed them to enhance what their mid-tier drone can do.

For example, we now have an upgraded set of sensors that cover every side of the drone. So, no matter which way you're flying, when you're in Normal or Cine-flight mode, the drone will detect and avoid obstacles. These sensors are located on the front, the back, and the bottom side of the drone.

Even though there are no dedicated sensors on the top of the drone, these side sensors are angled in a way that they can still see above the drone.

So, this drone features DJI's upgraded obstacle avoidance camera hardware. If you compare these to DJI's older drones, the camera hardware was considerably smaller. These new cameras have a larger field of view and can perceive the world around them in a higher resolution with more clarity. As such, the system will be more reliable all around.

Moving on to the topic of changes, the new battery that provides up to 46 minutes of flight time adopts a tube design, much like the Mavic 3. DJI's Mavic series has always had a propensity to incorporate the battery as part of the design of the drone itself, typically clipped in from the top. This new design allows DJI to create a larger battery and a more rigid structure all the way around.

Swiftly, I must also draw attention to the placement of the pins, or the terminals, on the Air 3 battery. They are neatly tucked up towards the end, safely protected from any accidental drops. In contrast, with the Mavic 3 battery, the terminals are at the very end. I can't count the number of times I've gone through Mavic 3 batteries, having to recycle them because they've fallen out of my backpack or slipped out of my hand onto asphalt. Landing on those terminals with any degree of force can damage them, rendering that battery entirely unusable. It's encouraging to see that the DJI Air 3's terminals are better protected.

DJI Air 3 charging hub

Speaking of batteries, I just want to point out the design of the charging hub that you can buy standalone, or that comes with the Fly More Combo. This device is hefty and can charge three batteries, but its size, in my opinion, is unnecessary.

If you look at the charging hubs that have accompanied DJI drones over the past couple of years, they all look different. They all charge different batteries, which have different designs that go with different drones. I understand and can appreciate the variety, but this Air 3 charging hub is excessively large. For instance, look at the Avada charging hub. It's slim and charges up to four total batteries, not just three.

Why couldn't we have something like that? Something that's easy to tuck into your backpack and go? This hub feels almost like a liability. I will concede that you could perhaps use it as a battery case, but at the end of the day, I believe it is overly sized for what we need in a charging hub.

Power accumulation function

However, there is a neat quirk about this battery hub that I thought I would share. By holding down the function or power button, it'll trigger what DJI calls a “power accumulation function.” This feature transfers the energy from the batteries with less charge to the battery with the most remaining charge. As soon as the LED on the side turns from yellow to green, you release it, and the process will begin. The battery receiving power will blink its LEDs as during a normal charge, and the battery that is draining its energy will illuminate its LEDs solidly, as if it were turned on and inside the drone.

I must admit that this is an exceptional feature, making it almost worth carrying around this massive charging hub. Again, perhaps it could be used as a battery case. You wouldn't believe the number of times I've had two batteries that might be down to 25 percent, which really aren't worth putting back up in the air because I would just have to land again. Meanwhile, I may have one battery that's at 50 or 60 percent. So, if I could transfer all of the remaining charge from those two lower batteries into the one, thus maximizing my flight time, that would be a significant advantage when I'm out in the field.

Apart from those two changes, the rest of the design is quite similar for a folding drone. All four arms fold; there are motors on the outside, and LEDs on every arm for monitoring the status and understanding the drone's direction in the air.

The bottom has two obstacle avoidance sensors and two vision positioning sensors to help the drone maintain steady flight. There's a single auxiliary LED to help see the drone at night and allow the drone to better see the ground when landing in low visibility conditions.

DJI has repositioned the USB-C port and micro SD card slot on this drone, placing them towards the bottom and covering them with a flap to keep dust and debris out. I also really appreciate these little notches on the top. They give me a Mavic Mini 3 vibe. However, because the obstacle avoidance sensors are on the back of the drone, these little spots are used to tuck the propellers and hold them in place.

DJI Air 3 design

So yes, design-wise, this drone is very similar to what we've seen from DJI in the past. It just has its own little quirks, design elements, and styling features to make it unique in its own right. However, it's what's under the hood that sets it apart from the DJI Air 2S and puts it closer to what I would call Mavic 3 status.

We've already mentioned the flight time, which is probably one of the standout improvements made with this drone. Now, every drone from every class in DJI's lineup has over 40 minutes of flight time, which is just astounding to consider.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

What has really captivated me, though, is the drone's speed and its transmission system. The speed, both horizontally and vertically, has been significantly increased over the Air 2S, making this drone as fast as the Mavic 3. Even though the difference in speed between the Air 2S at 42.5 miles per hour and the Air 3 at 47 miles per hour is only about five miles per hour, you can discern a considerable difference in the flight characteristics between these two drones.

Whenever I had the Air 2S in the air, it always felt like a mid-tier drone that didn't handle wind as well and wasn't as punchy as, say, a larger Mavic 3 or even Mavic 2. However, the DJI Air 3 has completely altered that perception with new flight characteristics that, I would argue, make it even more potent than the Mavic 3. Just to give you an example of what I find most impressive, the ascent and descent with this drone, demonstrated while flying up and down the Schuylkill River here in Philadelphia, shows that this drone can truly perform.

Especially when you're moving vertically, you're able to drop this drone down to the ground so swiftly, and vice versa. If you need to raise your altitude quickly, it's able to climb at an astonishing rate. This holds even when you're flying at full speed horizontally while raising your altitude as quickly as possible. At this point, the motors are working as hard as they possibly can. You can maintain a speed of around 40 miles per hour horizontally while also achieving your maximum vertical speed, upwards of 18 miles per hour.

The first couple of times I had this drone up in the air, it actually took me by surprise. This drone does not feel like any of the previous Air drones. Numbers are one thing on paper, but you've got to experience the Air 3 and its speed for yourself to fully understand how much of an upgrade it actually is, especially over the Air 2S, but also over the Mavic 3 series: the DJI Mavic 3, DJI Mavic 3 Cine, DJI Mavic 3 Classic, and DJI Mavic 3 Pro.

Despite having the same airframe, the Air 3 here is quicker. I believe it is more agile and allows me to do what I enjoy most: chase after boats, cars, and any moving subjects. This drone moves effortlessly through the air, going exactly where I need it to, and does it quickly. I can't say the same about previous Air drones.

They've always been the mid-tier drones that really couldn't handle themselves in the air as well as the larger, more expensive Mavic drones. But now, the DJI Air 3 is the best-handling Mavic-style foldable drone that DJI produces.

To give you one more real-world example, I was taking some low-level video of a pool at a house for sale and then wanted to transition to taking a shot that showcased the entire grounds. With the speed of this drone, I was able to ascend over the trees astonishingly quickly. Even just looking at the live view from the camera really demonstrates how swiftly this drone can move.

New DJI OcuSync 4 video transmission system

Now, let's discuss range, which is one of the more important things to discuss, as DJI has upgraded the transmission system in the Air 3 and now has OcuSync 4. This means it's the top dog; it is the drone with the best signal strength and the best range that DJI sells, on both their consumer and enterprise side.

Interestingly, the Air 2S was the first drone to introduce O3, and the Air 3 is now the first to introduce O4. This may be a coincidence, but it seems like DJI likes to introduce their new transmission systems with the Air series of drones.

At this point, there isn't much to say about these transmission updates because DJI's OcuSync system is just so exceptional. Without a waiver, I wouldn't even be able to take advantage of the full range this drone offers, at 12 miles.

However, what's always nice about these upgrades is that the signal strength gets much better at closer distances. For example, with O4, you'll have a better connection when your drone is within a few thousand feet away, ultimately resulting in an all-around better experience. This is because you'll get the photos and videos you need due to a stronger live feed coming back from the drone to your remote controller.

Now, even though this is a generational update, from O3 to O4, I haven't noticed much of a difference. I've flown the DJI Air 3 side-by-side with the DJI Mavic 3 Pro in a variety of environments: from the mountains up in Nova Scotia, to urban environments like Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore, and even in remote areas like the deserts of .

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

Both drones performed phenomenally. I think that just goes to show that O3 was already very good. At the end of the day, this is the main factor that separates DJI from the competition: their transmission system. I mean, what's the use of a good drone with great hardware, that's fast and has a great camera, if you can't fly it more than a thousand feet away without the signal breaking up? You bought your drone because you want to fly it where you please. You want a good range, and the ability to take great photos and videos. All of this comes down to the transmission system.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

For those who might be curious about specifics, there is indeed a hardware difference between the Air 3 running O4 and any of the previous drones running O3, like the Mavic 3 and Air 2S. The Air 3 has a total of six antennas on the drone itself, compared to the four found on those previous drones. This means a stronger signal is being sent to and from the drone.

However, this isn't the only hardware difference when it comes to the transmission system.When you purchase the Air 3, you have the choice of two different controllers: the RCN2, which is an upgrade over the RCN1, and the RC2, which is an upgrade over the original RC.

These controllers are very similar to their counterparts, to the ones they're replacing. The only difference is they have upgraded antenna hardware. Now, each of these controllers, instead of having two antennas, have four antennas, further boosting the signal that gets transmitted from the controller to the drone.

To dive a bit deeper into our comparison, let's take the RC and RC2, for example. The original RC only had built-in antennas, leading to some people complaining about the range.

This time around, the RC2 has built-in antennas, as indicated by the engraved marks here, as well as two external antennas that fold out. This design is actually very similar to the RC Pro, which has a total of four antennas: two built into the remote, as shown by the engraved markings, and the two external antennas.

This means that, no matter which controller you end up choosing, the RCN2 or the RC2, you're going to get a great range experience. You're going to receive a strong signal from both these controllers, considering the upgraded antenna hardware in both the controller and the drone.

It really just comes down to personal preference. Would you prefer the less expensive RCN2, which is a bit more rugged and you can throw in your bag, use with your phone or tablet? Or, would you prefer the built-in screen of the RC2? You can avoid notifications from your phone and the overheating of your iPhone, which always happens to me.

I would choose the RC2 simply because you get that all-in-one experience. However, I can understand that the RCN2 will definitely be favorable to some people.

DJI Air 3 Dual Cameras

Now, let's move onto probably the most important part for most people watching this video: the brand-new dual camera system here on the DJI Air 3. I want to spend as little time showing you what the camera looks like as possible and more time showing you the actual images taken from this camera. So, let's quickly go through these specs so that we can get to the images.

Both of the cameras here on the drone are basically identical, with the main differences being the focal length and aperture. This is actually a comparable camera to the Mini 3 Pro, with the same sized sensor and very similar specs.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

If you'd like, go ahead and take a quick screenshot of these specs because I now want to roll into some example shots and give you my own personal rundown of what it's been like to take photos and videos here with the Air 3.

I think, right off the bat, everyone is going to be up in arms about the sensor size. DJI has obviously gone with a smaller sensor than the one-inch sensor found on the Air 2S. So, on paper, you might read this as a step back, with the sensor being similar to a drone that is placed lower in their lineup.

I can completely understand that, but I haven't let that mentality hold me back from using this camera and getting great results with it. The photos and videos are incredibly sharp, with great dynamic range, and, in typical DJI fashion, the colors right out of the camera are great.

To keep things in order, let's discuss the video real quick because this is what I've spent most of my time using this drone for. I've been to Nova Scotia, Utah, and, of course, the Philadelphia and Jersey Shore area with this drone. I've used it for a majority of my aerial shoots over the past month. This is for clients on paid shoots and just for fun.

To piggyback off of what I was saying earlier, the flight performance is really important when it comes to using a drone to shoot video because you want the flexibility to fly through the air freely and get creative with your composition. You don't want to be held back by a drone that flies poorly and can't withstand some abuse.

The speed and agility of this drone let me pick up right where I left off with my Mavic 3 Pro, which is a good thing. I didn't feel like I was flying a smaller drone and was able to keep up with anything I needed to do, like getting fast-moving shots of the sweeping landscape up in Nova Scotia, and chasing after some cars and, of course, some boats.

From an image quality standpoint, I really don't have any gripes about the camera. The colors are great right out of the camera, as I mentioned, and there's plenty of dynamic range for even those tough shots where you might be facing the sun when it's low in the sky. I really don't get into using the different color profiles on these drones because it just complicates the post-production workflow.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

I typically end up bringing it to a result that looks just like the normal color profile would when using the sun as your main light source for everything you capture. I find it easiest to just keep it simple. As an example, this clip, flying down low over the pond and then revealing these golfers, looks great right out of the camera.

Sure, you could get 10-bit color when shooting in HLG or D-log, but I'm usually running and gunning on a daily basis, and using the normal color profile fits my workflow much better.

Now, of course, we can't forget the dual camera system here, which, as I've mentioned in my previous videos about the new Mavic 3 Pro, I find hard to live without. It's so easy to quickly switch between these cameras and capture different looking shots to really spice up your aerial sequence.

This secondary lens gives you an equivalent focal length of 70 millimeters, which makes for some absolutely epic opportunities to really compress your shot.

Take a look at these different clips just off the coastline of Nova Scotia. This here is captured with the main 24-millimeter camera, which shows off the immediate foreground really well, but the background drops off. Instead, with a 70-millimeter lens, it compresses the entire shot and brings the mountains in the background closer for this really epic rising shot.

Now, here's the thing: that secondary 70-millimeter camera that's found in the Air 3 is the same camera as the one in the Mavic 3 Pro. So, both of them share the same 70-millimeter medium tele camera. It's got the same sensor size, the same frame rates, the same video and photo resolution; it's the same camera across the board.

That means that I can share with you these clips taken with the Mavic 3 Pro and not feel too bad about it because I do want to hammer home just how important the 70-millimeter focal length is. Having had the Mavic 3 Pro for longer, I've just been able to shoot more with it.

For example, this road construction job I'm currently taking progression photos and videos of: from one end of the job using the 24 millimeter lens, it's hard to see the other end of the roughly three-mile stretch of road. Moving back, however, and compressing the image with the 70 millimeter lens allows you to basically see the entire stretch of the job a lot more clearly in one single frame.

We also recently had a massive disaster here in Philadelphia with the collapse of the overpass on I-95. I've been documenting the progress of the demolition and construction, and the 70-millimeter lens helped me zoom way far in to capture the small details of what the workers here are working on.

I was able to stay a safe distance away and mix in wide shots of the entire project with the 24-millimeter lens. Remember, you can switch between these lenses on the fly with the push of a button, which makes switching up your shot selection effortless.

Just as another quick note regarding the Air 3's camera kind of versus the Mavic 3 Pro Camera. With the Mavic 3 Pro, we've got two different sensors: we've got the four-third sensor and then the other sensor that's used for the 70-millimeter lens.

So, two different cameras which means you've got two different color sciences to deal with. I've kind of learned how to color-grade both cameras to make them look similar, but with the DJI Air 3, we've got the same sensor across two different cameras. The only differences are the aperture and focal length. Color grading is going to be much easier as the color science is basically the same across both cameras.

Now, here is something interesting: you can shoot vertical video with the cameras on the Air 3, but the camera housing, the gimbal itself, doesn't actually rotate. This is entirely done through software. As you know, when you take a photograph, it is in a 4×3 aspect ratio.

This means that there's extra room above and below the frame when cropped down to shoot a 16×9 video. Well, in order to achieve a 9×16 or vertical aspect ratio, you can select this as a resolution, and the drone will switch its screen to show a 9×16 vertical overlay on top of the 4×3 frame.

This means you're getting a little more room on the top and bottom, and you can get a native 2.7K vertical image right out of the box, right off of the SD card. The results are good too; the video is nice and sharp, even though it's only 2.7K and not 4K.

While I prefer the rotating camera system for shooting vertical videos and even photos because you get the full resolution of the sensor, I've got a feeling that it was a choice between a rotating camera system or a dual camera system on the DJI Air 3. If I had the choice, I would choose the two cameras every day of the week.

Now, I know everyone is going to want to hear about the low-light video shooting here with the Air 3. While the Mavic 3 is still the king in this regard with its larger sensor, from the Mavic 3 Classic, to the Pro, to the Cine, to the regular Mavic 3, that is just hands down going to be a better-looking image at night.

However, due to the 1.7 aperture here on the Air 3, we do get a nice clean image at nighttime. I think it looks great, especially when using the Night video mode that gives you a higher ISO range. You're able to get some really clean-looking video clips at nighttime, cleaner than you would with say a Pro or an DJI Air 2S or any of those older drones. So, it definitely is a nice step in the right direction, and shooting at nighttime has become one of my favorite things to do.

Now, don't you worry for those photographers out there; I didn't forget about the photos. DJI has come a really long way with their Quad Bayer sensor technology. For those wondering, a Quad Bayer sensor, like the one found in both the 24-millimeter and 70-millimeter cameras on the Air 3, are 12 megapixel sensor with the ability to split each pixel into four, gathering more light, giving you a total of 48 megapixels.

This isn't always the best as a true full-frame 48-megapixel sensor would give you a better-looking image than a Quad Bayer sensor would, but you can't complain. We've got two of these sensors in one small camera housing on one small drone, that can switch between focal lengths mid-air with the push of a button.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

All these photos that you see were captured at 48 megapixels in RAW and then edited, so you're seeing all of the dynamic range and color adjustments that you can pull from this camera. Again, like when shooting video, the color science has gotten so good that these photos look great right out of the camera, but a slight exposure and white balance adjustment really helps style these photos. For personal taste, I like adding a decent amount of contrast to really give these photos a punch.

Now, for my pixel peepers out there, with the 48-megapixel photos from this camera, you can really zoom in and there's still a lot of detail there. On some of the first Quad Bayer sensor drones DJI released, the pixels would kind of seem smeary when you zoomed in, but with this drone, they have really cleaned that up. It was the Mavic Air 2 that first introduced this new technology to DJI's drones, so it's only fitting that the Air 3 is the one to improve upon it and make it even better.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

As always, I'm going to leave a download link in the description for you to take a peek at some of these sample files for yourself on your own computer. This goes for both photos and videos, so be sure to check that out if you're interested in picking up this drone or maybe seeing how it compares to the drone that you already have.

Download image samples

Okay, wow, so that was a healthy amount of sample photos and videos to gaze upon, captured on the DJI Air 3. If I had to guess, you're watching this video on YouTube, compressed through the internet, on your small smartphone screen.

So, if you want to get a better understanding of what these images look like, please check that data link out in the description. Bring them onto your own computer and go ahead and let me know your thoughts. Because I think that there's a lot to love about the camera system here, but it's kind of brought me to a point where I'm wrestling in my mind like, do I bring the DJI Air 3 or the DJI Mavic 3 Pro on my everyday shoots?

At one point in time, I ditched the Mavic 3 Pro. The Air 3 is in my bag, that is the drone I'm using for weeks on end. Then I go, “Hey, the Mavic 3D Pro is better. It's got a larger sensor, it's got a third camera and it's sitting there in my closet. Why don't I just go use that drone instead?”

Then, I make the switch again and then I think to myself, “Man, I could crash this over two thousand dollar drone on just a small little real estate photo shoot. Why not go and get the Air 3? It's a great drone. It's got 48 megapixels. It's a higher resolution than the 20-megapixel camera.”

So, there are pros and cons, the O4 transmission system right there. There are pros and cons. I'm going to kind of wrestle with that thought process over the next couple of months, probably, which is going to be my daily flyer.

But make sure you get subscribed on the channel, as in the next coming days I'll be doing a full breakdown between Air 3 and Mavic 3 Pro to see which one is right for you.

DJI Air 3 Shooting Modes

Some of these are shooting modes, some of them are just convenience features, and others are safety features built in to ensure that your drone flies as safely as possible. I'm going to highlight the ones in bold that I want to cover in depth in this video, as they are the most important, in my opinion, and I think these are the ones that most people will be using when they pick up their Air 3.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

So, the first of these features is Focus Track. As a whole, this feature is comprised of three sub-flight modes: Active Track, , and Point of Interest, which make capturing video very easy. Active Track, for example, puts the control of the aircraft entirely in the drone's hands. It'll move through space horizontally, vertically, and it will adjust the gimbal to keep your subject of choice in frame.

The Air 3 gets Active Track 5.0, which is DJI's newest version of this software. When paired with those new sensors that we spent so much time talking about, it creates a really great autonomous flight experience with very little worry that the drone is going to crash, even in complex environments.

In fact, I would say that at times it's a little too cautious, but I guess that's better than making risky moves resulting in a crash.

Now, Spotlight is similar to ActiveTrack in the sense that when you select your subject, the camera will stay focused on that green box. This means that it will adjust the yaw or rotation of the drone, as well as the pitch of the camera and gimbal up and down.

From here, you can move the drone in space and it'll keep the camera trained on the subject of your choice. This is a really easy way to get smooth shots with very little input on the sticks. It's great for beginners or someone who's just running and gunning.

Point of Interest, on the other hand, is pretty self-explanatory. It orbits a point of your choosing in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. It'll just spin circles around that point all by itself with no input on the sticks until you tell it to stop.

Now, you guys know I couldn't do this entire video without talking about hyperlapses, and believe me, I have been capturing plenty of them with this drone on my travels.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

Unfortunately, you can't take 48-megapixel photos when taking hyperlapses; it limits you to 12 megapixels. However, this drone, just like all the others in DJI's lineup, is capable of capturing these awesome little video clips by taking a bunch of photos over the course of a slow-moving flight.

This feature really hasn't changed much from drone release to drone release, so if you want to check out my full hyperlapse tutorial, it will give you a good understanding of how to get the best results from this feature.

The Air 3 is a particularly great drone to use due to its long flight time and ability to fight the wind effectively. This drone and the Mavic 3 Pro will definitely be my go-to options moving forward.

Moving along, the Air 3 here gets Cruise Control, which is a feature that has only been available on the Mavic 3 Series. This is a great feature that can help alleviate fatigue on long flights and can help you easily nail a shot. I mostly use cruise control when jumping around from spot to spot.

For instance, if I need to fly half a mile out to a lighthouse for photos, I'll get the drone up to speed and then enable cruise control so that I don't have to continue to push the stick down. This feature can also be helpful to alleviate the need to fly the drone in a certain way to capture a specific clip.

For example, if you're chasing after a boat, you can match the speed of the boat, enable cruise control, and then just worry about controlling the drone's position and gimbal placement. The drone will maintain its speed.

Waypoints is another feature that was added to the Mavic 3, so the Air 3 is the first consumer drone from DJI outside of that series of Mavic 3s that can use this feature. This means that you can program points for the drone to fly to and give it actions to complete at each point like taking a photo, starting or stopping a video, and hovering.

This is awesome for completing similar missions on a routine basis or even for setting up complex shots that you might not be able to accomplish on your own, like a reveal or an orbit shot.

Let me know if you guys would want to see an in-depth overview of this feature in the future because there's a lot to get into here to really encompass how this works and how to use it properly.

Is This The Perfect Drone? - Dji Air 3 Review

Wow, so there really is a lot to unpack here. Even though the Air 3 is so similar to the Mavic 3 Pro, the Mavic 3 Pro still has its place. It still has a large sensor in the camera, it still has that extra camera, it still has the upward sensor, and it still has the ability to be used with the RC Pro, which is a better controller than the RC2.

So, I don't know, it's going to be tough for me to decide which drone I use daily. The Air 3 offers the portability aspect, it's a little bit less expensive, so if I crash it, I don't need to replace a more expensive drone. It's got O4 transmission, right? It's a little bit more quiet than the Mavic 3 Pro, so yeah, it's going to be a decision I need to make.

I wanted to make sure this video wasn't as much of a comparison video as much as it was just about the drone itself, to cover what the Air 3 is capable of.

I'd love to hear your thoughts down in the comment section below. I think that this is the upgrade the Air 3 needed, and it's going to be exciting to see where these drones go in the future. Because the Mini 3, the Air 3, and the Mavic 3 are so good in their own rights, it's like, what more could we want in a drone?

Anyway, thank you, guys, so much for watching. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and, as always, I'll talk to you later. Peace!

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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: 29


  1. You know it’s paid review when in photography section one tiny detail is missing: Air 2S is better for photographers (that don’t need 70mm). It would certainly make you more credible, but DJI would hate it I guess.

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