DJI Mini 3 Pro Reviewed by the Great Lobbyist

Here is our review of the new DJI Mini 3 Pro compact consumer drone, which features a lightweight plastic body and gimbal supported 4K camera.

DJI Mini Series, Aerial Videography, Camera Drones, Cameras & Photography

Wednesday September 28, 2022

DJI Mini 3 Pro Review

Big Punch in Small Package

Drone technology has improved a lot over the years, with modern drones being used for all sorts of personal, commercial, and even governmental purposes. In the consumer drone segment, a handful of companies compete for the top spot, with DJI firmly holding on to the crown with its variety of offerings. Today, we look at their latest offering in the truly ultraportable drone segment, the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

DJI-Mini

Build Quality

The Mini 3 Pro is truly a mini drone, with an ultralight body made from plastic that weighs barely 249 grams with the battery included. The propellers are attached to foldable arms that can be packed into the body for easy storage, and you can even remove the individual fins separately for greater reparability.

The camera itself sits in the front, on top of a 3-axis gimbal system which allows for tilt, roll, and pan action, as well as vertical shooting. The body also features dual obstacle avoidance sensors on the top, bottom, and front of the drone, for a true Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing system that works like a charm. The battery is inserted from the rear and can be easily swapped for continuous flight operations.

Camera Performance

The shooting is done with the help of a 48MP 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, which has an F 1.7 aperture and supports HDR shooting by default. You can shoot regular 1080p footage or pick between 2.7K or 4K resolutions, available at 24, 30, 48 or 60fps. You can even go slow-mo at up to 120fps in 1080p mode if you want. The camera also allows you to shoot in D-Cinelike colour mode for a more cinematic look, although the default colour settings aren’t bad either. To sustain shooting in a variety of lighting conditions, the company also provides a set of swappable ND filters with the complete kit.

Other shooting modes include hyperlapse, panorama, FocusTrack, and even a 360-degree mode. You can shoot footage from a variety of angles, with the gimbal sustaining up to 30 degrees of up or down tilt functionality. The files are stored on external SD cards in FAT32 or exFAT format, although you can also livestream the footage from a distance of up to 12kms, thanks to the DJI O3 video transmission system. Once you are done, you can also download the footage using a Wi-Fi connection, with top speeds of up to 25Mbps.

Flight Performance

Despite the small size, or perhaps because of it, the drone is pretty capable in terms of flight performance. It can sustain a max ascent or descent speed of up to 5m/s, with a straight acceleration of up to 16m/s. If that is hard to understand, you can simply say that the drone can achieve top speeds of up to 45kmph in mild wind conditions.

The flight time is also pretty impressive, as you can hover for up to 30 minutes with the regular battery and 40 minutes with the extended version. Similarly, with the standard battery, you get up to 35 minutes of flight time with a maximum distance of around 18kms. With the extended version, this goes up to 45 minutes of flight time and a maximum distance of around 25kms.

DJI RC Controller

You can fly the drone and control all the settings using the new and improved RC controller, which features gamepad-type controls and a built-in display. The display is bright and colour accurate, with a peak brightness of up to 700 nits in outdoor settings. It showcases all the controls for video settings and shooting modes, as well as exposure and tracking locks on the screen itself. In addition, you can also see lots of other useful information, like the speed, distance and altitude of the drone, as well as the signal strength, GPS coordinates and more.

You can control the drone itself with the help of two joystick controls located above the display. In addition to these, you also get a couple of shoulder pad-style buttons for video shooting and taking photos and a wheel slider for digital zoom. The whole setup has been designed to give you the feel of a video game controller in your hand, so you can easily control the whole setup intuitively.

Charging Hub

The final part of the package is a two-way charging hub that can charge up to 3 batteries at a single time in a serial fashion. If you want, you can also use it as a portable charging bank, thanks to its in-built reverse charging functionality. It charges via USB-C and supports charging speeds of up to 30W. The battery itself comes with a capacity of 2453mAh, with the extended version packing in 3850 mAh. While the standard piece is just 80 grams, the extended version bumps it up to 121 grams. The RC controller doesn’t need an external battery, as it comes with an in-built version that can sustain up to 6 hours of non-stop usage.

Pricing

DJI offers the drone as a standalone piece, as well as in a package with various accessories. If you want the body only, you can get it for around $669. If you add in the two-way charger, the ND filters and other small accessories, the package comes up to $759. If you want the whole package with the new RC controller, it comes up to $909.

We would certainly recommend going for the whole package, as the RC controller itself provides you with a lot of value in this price range. Overall, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is a comprehensive consumer drone that can handle all sorts of light use cases. We would certainly recommend it to any first-time enthusiasts looking to get into aerial photography/videography but don’t know where to start.