DJI Air 3 Long-Term Review of One of My Favorite Drones

Good day, folks. Shawn here from Air Photography. This is my long-term review of the DJI Air 3. Over the last couple of weeks, I released a video—a long-term review of the Pro, the 4, and in today's video, we're going to be focusing on the Air 3. Now, I do believe this has been out for longer than 6 months; I think it's closer to 7 months now, but what an incredible drone this is for the size and the price. Last summer, when it was released, the timing was quite good for me. I was actually just headed out to the East Coast for five weeks, and this arrived about a day or two before I left, so I was able to take it with me and capture some really stunning footage.

Elevate Your Aerial Footage: A Comprehensive DJI Air 3 Review

DJI Air 3 Dual-Camera System

In all honesty, when it was first launched and DJI announced it, I was a little bit disappointed to find out that we were losing our 1-inch sensor. In my opinion, that's what made the so appealing: it had a 1-inch sensor on such a compact drone. Now, with that said, after flying it and examining the footage, all those reservations kind of melted away pretty quickly because the footage was absolutely stunning. Really, when it comes to image quality, sensor size is just one piece of the puzzle. There's a lot that goes into the technology to have a device capture high-quality images and video, and DJI has really nailed it with the Air 3.


Dji Air 3 Long-Term Review Of One Of My Favorite Drones

With the Air 3, DJI introduced a new dual-camera system, which can be very beneficial to some creators. Of course, we have the wide-angle lens, which is good for everyday scenarios, but DJI also included a three-times telephoto camera that can allow you to get very creative.

Dji Air 3 Long-Term Review Of One Of My Favorite Drones

Not only does it just allow you to get closer to the action without losing any quality by using something like digital zoom, but it also allows you to get that compression effect or parallax effect, where it draws the background in closer, and that can be really helpful in grabbing some creative style shots.

Dji Air 3 Long-Term Review Of One Of My Favorite Drones

Honestly, I didn't even think I was going to use that 3x camera as much as I actually have. Both cameras have the exact same sensor, 1 over 1.3 inches; they're both capable of filming in D-log. Both cameras are capable of all the intelligent flight features, so it does allow you to get creative. If you're going to be making an edit, it doesn't matter which camera you're filming on; you're going to be able to color-grade it to have everything look similar.

Now, for those who capture for social media and want to capture in vertical, DJI did make it available on the Air 3. It's done a little bit differently than something like the Mini 3 Pro or the Mini 4 Pro, where the camera flips vertically. With it, you go into the software, and you can set the aspect ratio to vertical. Although, in this mode, it will only capture a maximum resolution of 2.7k. For social media, that's more than adequate. Filming this way is actually a little bit safer and can make it a little bit easier to line up shots, just for the fact that what it does is it darkens the side of the screen, so it shows you where you're going to be capturing, but you still can see what's around you, so you're not so tunnel-visioned. You can still see if there are any obstacles coming up beside you. Of course, the video that is saved to the memory card is going to be in that vertical format, in a resolution of 2.7k, as mentioned.

Dji Air 3 Long-Term Review Of One Of My Favorite Drones

DJI Air 3 Benefits From Range Of Improvements

Now, of course, there were a lot of little refinements to the Air 3, but some really useful features. First of all, when it comes to charging, everything is now charged by USB-C, which is fantastic because every drone I own now, I just need one charger for. It's not like a few years ago, where every drone had a big, bulky charger that you had to take, and that was a little inconvenient if you were on a road trip and you were taking two or three drones with you. You could have a whole case just of chargers, but now you just need one USB-C charger, and all the drones can be charged directly through the drone or with a charging hub.

Dji Air 3 Long-Term Review Of One Of My Favorite Drones 1

DJI adopted the charging hub style from the Mini series for the Air 3, and this design is just really nice because the batteries easily insert, they're held into place. This can be used as a power bank; you can plug your phone into it if you're getting low on power. But they also introduced a really nice feature, a consolidation feature, that if every battery, say, is at 35%, you can install them all in this charging hub, and it will consolidate all the power into one battery. I've actually used that a few times, and it's worked out quite well. It's allowed me to get an extra flight in. Just a little feature, but one that I think is really important, and I would like to see them added to all future drones going forward.

Dji Air 3 Long-Term Review Of One Of My Favorite Drones 2

No noise complaints with the Air 3 drone

The Air 3 is a nice, quiet drone, which can be important. Not everybody's a fan of drones, so when you're out flying, you don't really want to draw a lot of attention to yourself. So with the Air 3, you can get up, grab your shots, and most of the time, depending on how many people are around, a lot of people aren't even going to know you're flying. Now, in my opinion—and this is just an opinion—I think the design of the Air 3 is really sleek. In fact, it's probably one of my favorite designs of any drone that DJI has released. When it's folded up, it is a nice, compact drone, so it is easy to take along with you if you're traveling or doing any kind of hiking, and you just want to carry a small pack with you.

On top of that, the bag that they included with the Air 3, if you get the Fly More combo, is actually quite nice. It's actually probably one of my favorite bags that DJI has released. I actually like it so much that I quite often use it just as a day bag if I'm out hiking, whether I'm bringing a drone or not. Sometimes I'll just take the drone right out of the bag and just put my other camera gear in it. It's just a nice size, not too big, not too small.

If you're a person who wants to fly your Air 3 with goggles, DJI did release a that made it compatible, so you can fly it with the Goggles Integra or the Goggles 2 and the DJI Motion 2. They still haven't officially made it compatible with a regular controller yet. I do hope that comes sometime in the near future. And in typical DJI fashion, they have released several firmware updates for it. That's one thing you can always count on with DJI: they're going to support their products and improve them, fix problems, but also add new features.

Dji Air 3 Long-Term Review Of One Of My Favorite Drones

That includes some of the AR features that we've seen first introduced on the Mavic 3 Series. It has the drone shadow, so you always know where the drone is going to land; the AR return to home route, so you can always get a good visual of the route that the drone is going to be taking back on a return to home; and it has the vision assist, where it uses the obstacle avoidance cameras to help you take a look around. That can be beneficial in some scenarios.

The Flight Time is Really Good

The flight time on the Air 3 is actually quite good. It's rated for 46 minutes. Of course, in real-world scenarios, you're never going to get quite that, but you can fly for a good amount of time. Depending on how you're flying and the conditions, you can easily expect to get up to 39 minutes, perhaps even a little more.

The Air 3 has all the intelligent flight modes that you've come to expect from DJI, including cruise control. It has night mode, and in a recent firmware update, they added that new 360 tracking that we first saw on the Mini 4 Pro. That tracking is very powerful, and just with a touch, you can move the drone anywhere around you in a 360-degree space. Because with the Air 3, it has 360-degree omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, you know you're going to have a safe flight if you're using some of the intelligent flight features.

Dji Air 3 Long-Term Review Of One Of My Favorite Drones

With the Air 3, they increased the speed at which it can fly compared to the Air 2S. The Air 2S was rated for 19 meters per second flying forward. With the Air 3, it's now rated for 21 meters per second, and that's the same as the Mavic 3. Not only that, the ascend and descend are a lot faster, ascending and descending at 10 meters per second, which is quite fast. The Air 3 is nestled nicely in between the Mini 4 Pro and the Mavic 3 Series when it comes to price, performance, and size, so it will be a great choice for many people.

Well, folks, that's basically my long-term review of the Air 3 after flying it for the past 6 months. Hopefully, you enjoyed this video and got some value out of it. Give it a thumbs up if you did; it's always greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot for watching, and we'll see you in the next one.

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Shawn Air Photography
Shawn Air Photography

Hi my name is Shawn and I love filming and capturing this beautiful planet of ours with my GoPro and DJI drones. My channel features some of the camera gear I really enjoy and want to share. Every week I will be uploading new unboxings, reviews and tutorials for your GoPro and drones to help you get the most out of them. Tips and tricks that will help you capture beautiful cinematic drone videos as well as stunning time-lapses.

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