This little drone is jam-packed and full of features often reserved for higher-priced and much larger drones. Here are some of the key features to look out for when thinking of buying a drone.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a 1/1.3 sensor that slightly larger than the Mini 2’s but smaller than the Air 2S’s. It has an f/1.7 fixed aperture that produces excellent footage. A larger aperture allows more light to pass through, while larger sensors provide a wider range of tones, more blur, and better performance in low-light conditions. DJI also equipped the Mini 3 Pro with an 82-degree FOV and a 24mm lens to enhance its capabilities.
The Mini 3 Pro has two different colour profiles – Normal and D-Cinelike. Normal provides standard footage which you can adjust a little in your editing software. On the other hand, D-Cinelike offers a flatter colour profile, giving you more flexibility in editing. The Mini 3 Pro shoots in HDR, unlike other drones where you can switch in and out of HDR; all your videos will be in HDR with the Mini 3 Pro.
DJI is really good at making batteries for drones. The Mini 3 Pro has two different batteries included: one that lasts for 34 minutes and another that lasts for 40 minutes. This is a longer flight time than other mini and Mavic drones, including the Air 2S.
You might be familiar with the Mini drones that had no obstacle avoidance features. Still, the Mini 3 Pro comes with Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing which is part of the Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS). However, it’s important to note that these sensors only detect obstacles in the front, back, and downward directions, so you should be cautious when flying the drone sideways. It’s not as comprehensive as the obstacle avoidance systems found on more expensive drones, but it works well.
The Mini 3 Pro has intelligent flight modes such as ActiveTrack built-in, which works exceptionally well when combined with obstacle avoidance. It comes with three modes under FocusTrack, which we have elaborated on. You can activate ActiveTrack while hiking, biking, running, or jogging, allowing the drone to follow you.
ActiveTrack – The drone has a feature called Follow Me mode which allows it to follow either you or an object of your interest. To activate this, simply draw a box around the subject you want the drone to follow.
POI (Point Of Interest) – When using this flight mode the drone automatically “orbits” around a chosen object, simply choose the direction you want to orbit and the speed and the drone does the heavy lifting for you.
Spotlight Mode – This intelligent flight mode allows you to pick a subject and the drone will automatically keep the subject centre frame, allowing you to fly the drone without worrying that your subject gets lost.
Being mindful of your surroundings when flying a drone is essential for its safe operation, but with the DJI mini 3 Pro, you get the added bonus of “hazard avoidance” sensors minimising any mishaps which may occur. There are three settings for hazard avoidance.
Brake – This setting enables the drone to halt its movement upon detecting an obstacle. However, if you opt for the Brake setting, you will need to take manual control of the drone every time. Keep in mind that this may affect the quality of the footage.
Bypass Mode – When in Bypass Mode, the drone will navigate around obstacles to continue flying. However, it may not detect small obstacles such as electric lines, twigs, or grass. Therefore, it is important to remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
Off – Not recommended for beginners, you have the option to turn off obstacle avoidance. However, this should be avoided specifically when flying in areas that have trees, buildings, or other barriers.
One thing to mention is that the drone has 3 “speed” modes, C (Cinematic), N (Normal) and S (Sport), a word of warning when Sport mode is activated, hazard avoidance is automatically turned off, be careful flying fast!
The DJI Mini 3 Pro offers various shooting modes that simplify the creation of cinematic footage. These modes are MasterShots, Hyperlapse, QuickShots, and Panoramas. Here is a breakdown of what each mode can do.
MasterShots – With MasterShots, you can record a subject seamlessly through various movements like circling, pitching up, and flying forward. These modes are especially useful when you need to film yourself, landmarks, buildings, or scenery. Doing these shots manually can be challenging, but MasterShots uses AI to execute them flawlessly. Moreover, you can use the templates available in the DJI app to edit your videos.
Hyper-Lapse – These shots are taken with a drone that flies slowly while capturing footage, which can then be compiled into a shorter video using the hyper-lapse feature. To use this feature, you program the Mini 3 Pro drone to follow a predetermined route. An example of a hyper-lapse video would be one where you see fast-moving vehicles on a highway, with cloud movement and shadow direction indicating that the footage was taken over a longer period and condensed into a shorter video.
The mode I’m referring to lets you capture multiple images of a single area and merge them into one large photo. This is not possible with a regular drone camera lens. Keep in mind that the DJI Mini 3 pro’s lens has a small 82-degree field of view and a 24mm focal length, which might not be enough for certain shots.
QuickShots is a simpler version of MasterShots. As indicated earlier, MasterShots will simultaneously film the subject in several moves. But if you want to film the subject one move at a time, use QuickShots. Moves like Helix, Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Boomerang, and Asteroid are performed automatically.
The Mini 3 Pro can record videos in 4K at 60 frames per second, which is the highest resolution available. You can shoot in slow motion by switching to 1080 with 120 fps. Recording at 4K 60fps is recommended if you plan to slow down the video later. It is impressive because most devices and streaming platforms like YouTube support it. Shooting at a higher frame rate can enhance the video’s detail, but lower fps options should still be explored to compare results.
The Mini 3 Pro drone has a 12MP camera that can produce high-quality photos. Additionally, with the Quad Bayer technology, you can now get a photo that has four times the original resolution, resulting in 48MP photos.
So, which should you use?
It’s difficult to give a straightforward answer to your question. Sometimes using the 48MP option will enable you to use a low ISO, whereas using the 12MP option may require a higher ISO. However, for certain scenarios, the 48MP option might result in some noise in your footage. It’s important to keep in mind that the 48MP from a Quad Bayer sensor isn’t precisely 48MP; it’s slightly smaller than that. But, it often produces superior images than the 12MP option.
The camera has a zoom feature that allows you to film objects that are far away or add depth to your footage. Depending on the resolution you choose, you can access different levels of zoom. At 4K, you can zoom up to 2X. At 2.7K, you can zoom up to 3X. And at 1080p, you can zoom up to 4X.
This is one feature which to be honest is a bit of a letdown, you get around 1 GB of storage on the drone itself, which quickly gets used up, a micro SD card is essential to boost the storage capacity of the drone.