So, I'm currently in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, and for the past week, I've been testing the new Firmware Update on the DJI Mavic 3 Pro. This new firmware is available for all Mavic 3 drones: DJI Mavic 3, Mavic 3 Cine, Mavic 3 Classic, Mavic 3 Pro, and Mavic 3 Pro Cine. I might have forgotten one, but no matter which Mavic 3 you have, it's compatible. There are many fantastic changes, but one feature has revolutionized how I film with this drone.
For a brief overview, these are all the changes made in this firmware update for the Mavic 3. Some are specific to the Mavic 3 Pro, catering to the 3x medium telecamera. However, most apply across the entire Mavic 3 line. If you'd like, take a quick screenshot of these changes for your reference. Now, let's delve into them individually.
The first change, Vision Assist, has transformed my drone-flying experience. Now, I miss it when flying any other drone, be it the Air 3, Mini 3, or even the Inspire 3. Vision Assist lets you use the vision cameras, the obstacle avoidance cameras, to see the drone's surroundings. You can swipe between map view, compass view, and the new Vision Assist view. You can even view it full-screen and see the front, left, right, and back of the drone without moving it. Using the obstacle avoidance cameras on the drone's exterior, I can, for instance, orbit a building and see what's directly to my drone's left, keeping the camera focused on the subject and not worrying about crashing.
This feature is beneficial for various shots. If I wanted a reveal shot, flying backward to showcase a mountain, I'd be essentially flying blind without knowing what's behind the drone. At high altitudes, there's less risk, but Vision Assist provides peace of mind.
You can also look forward, which seemed odd initially. But imagine you're tracking a ravine from a bird's-eye view; you can see obstacles ahead without tilting your camera. The feature automatically shows the direction in which you move the drone. Having experienced this with the DJI Mavic 3, I think flying other drones feels like flying blind. Even if the image isn't perfectly stabilized or has contrasting dynamic ranges, it helps identify obstacles.
I rely on the Mavic 3's obstacle avoidance due to its precision and omnidirectional sensors. However, seeing actual obstacles provides additional reassurance.
AR Return to Home
The firmware introduces three augmented reality tools for navigation. The first is the AR Return to Home Route. When you activate Return to Home, it displays the drone's route on screen. Trusting the obstacle avoidance of the DJI Mavic 3 is easy, but seeing its flight path is reassuring. In wilderness areas, obstacles are fewer. However, in urban areas like Philadelphia, where I often fly, navigating around buildings, towers, and power lines can be challenging. Seeing the drone's exact flight path provides peace of mind.
AR Home Point
The next tool, AR Home Point, displays your drone's take-off point onscreen. Previously, I'd advise users to follow the red line on the map to manually return their drone. But now, this information is directly on the main screen. While not new to DJI's enterprise drones like the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise, M30, and M300, it's a valuable addition to the DJI Mavic 3.
AR Aircraft Shadow
Lastly, AR Aircraft Shadow indicates where the drone will land, becoming visible from 50-60 feet above the ground. It helps pilots gauge the drone's size and landing space, especially in tight spots. These augmented reality tools enhance navigation and situational awareness, ensuring you don't lose your drone in the sky.
Another feature is the Frame Guide. It offers multiple aspect ratios for shooting, such as CinemaScope, vertical, and 4×3. While the drone doesn't capture video in these resolutions natively, and post-production cropping is necessary, it's convenient for framing shots, especially for social media like Instagram or TikTok.
The firmware also introduces the option to toggle Downward Vision Positioning on and off, which enhances the drone's hovering stability. For instance, when testing its return to home, it adjusted its landing spot to avoid obstacles like benches.
10-bit D-log M and HLG using the 7x camera
Wrapping up the main changes of this firmware update for the Mavic 3, there are specific updates for the Mavic 3 Pro with the 3x and 7x cameras. The Mavic 3 Pro now supports 10-bit D-log M and HLG using the 7x camera, ensuring consistent colors across all cameras. The 3x medium telecamera now offers night shots, master shots, quick shots, and spherical panoramas. This update is truly a game-changer for the Mavic 3, especially with the Vision Assist feature.
Thank you for watching. Please share your thoughts on this update in the comments below, and as always, I'll catch up with you later. Peace.
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