There’s no doubt about it: the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the best drone I’ve flown yet. DJI announced its newest drone, the Mini 3 Pro, today. And I managed to get my hands on one early!
I only wish this drone existed years ago. It’s everything you want in a drone: excellent image quality, incredibly small and light, super simple to set up and get in the air — and best of all, it’s safe and stress-free to fly.
It basically is a best-of list of every drone feature. While not the absolute best in every category (other more powerful DJI drones like the Mavic 3 and Matrice line certainly beat out the Mini 3 Pro on certain individual specs), it is the best overall drone you’ll find on the market today when you factor in the small size and price tag. By combining the small size of the Mini and Mini 2 drones with the powerful specs found in the DJI Air and DJI Mavic series of drones, the Mini 3 wins on basically every front: camera system, battery life, and intelligent features.
Oh yeah, and the price point? It starts at just $759 (or an even cheaper $669 if you already have a remote controller).
And while — of course — I do wish this drone existed years ago, many of its features address the trends of day: namely vertical video. It’s likely the video format you want for TikTok or Instagram, and now it’s possible to film vertical video directly from your drone.
Among the other highlights on the DJI Mini 3 Pro:
- Weighs less than 249 grams
- 4K/60fps video
- 34 minute flight time
- Tri-directional obstacle sensing
- 90° gimbal rotation (that’s for shooting vertical imaging, typically for social media)
Purchase the DJI Mini 2 starting at just $669 (no controller) or $759 with controller now from:
Learn more about this TikTok-inspired drone filming style, and more of these standout features, in my review and guide to the DJI Mini 3 Pro here:
Super light and small design (under 249 grams!)
Upon getting your hands on this drone, it’s impossible to ignore how light and small it is. The small size serves a couple beneficial purposes.
For starters, weighing under 249 grams makes this drone exempt from many forms of regulation. Many countries classify drones based on their weight, and build in more regulations or restrictions based on that). Typically the larger the drone, the more regulation it is subject to. In many countries, including the U.S., drones weighing under 249 don’t need to be registered.
That removes paperwork burden off the pilot. It’s also theoretically safer. After all, the premise of the 250+ gram regulations is that larger drones bring greater risk, while smaller drones do not.
And for a traveler like me, the sub-250 gram drone is imperative. Many of you know that my other job is a travel writer (heh, no, this site is not my full-time job), so I’m always on the go. With that, I hate checking bags or packing more than I need to. I loved bringing my first DJI Mavic Mini with me to Hawaii, and the Mini line is really the only one that I’m willing to travel with. The Mini 3 now gives me even better features than the Mini or Mini 2, but that same small size.
With past trips, I’d only pack larger drones (yes, that even includes the DJI Mavic) if I definitely knew I’d be flying drones. But with the Mini (and this Mini 3 Pro) I can pack it for nearly every trip, as it takes up so little space in my backpack.
34 minutes of flight time (and 47 minutes, kind of)
With this drone, you get an incredible 34 minutes of flight time on a single charge. DJI says the longer flight time vs other Mini drones is possible due to a completely new structural design Most notably, the arms and propellers were adjusted for more aerodynamic flight.
And it gets better. DJI also built a complete separate battery that it calls the “Intelligent Flight Battery Plus.” This battery comes with an additional cost, but with it you get a maximum flight time of 47 minutes on a single charge. That’s pretty unprecedented capability for a drone this small.
An important note though: the more powerful batteries are also heavier. When flying with the “Plus” versus the standard Mini 3 battery, your drone’s weight will exceed 249 grams. If you’re flying in an area that regulates or restricts drones weighing 250 grams or more, you’ll need to make sure you’re compliant with the laws (which in the U.S. means registering your drone).
And actually, the DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Battery Plus is not even available in all countries and regions.
To get the Plus batteries, you’ll have to pay an additional $249 for the DJI Mini 3 Pro Fly More Kit Plus, which includes 2 Intelligent Flight Batteries Plus, a two-way charging hub, two spare sets of propellers, and a shoulder bag.
The Mini 3 is the first in the Mini line of DJI drones to include Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing. It’s also the first of the Mini lineup to integrate APAS and FocusTrack.
While not entirely crash-proof, you do have forward, backward, and downward visual sensors, which makes it at least close to crash proof. And with forward and backward dual-vision sensors at the very front of the drone, that design broadens sensing range for even safer flight. The forward and downward sensors have an even wider field of view than previous designs which also expands coverage.
So what exactly do these sensors do? DJI calls it Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS)
4.0, which automatically detects obstacles. If it spots any, then the drone seeks a safer path to continue on its way, while also navigating around obstacles during flight.
The sensors also serve another purpose: better photography. DJI calls this the FocusTrack suite, which allows pilots to select a subject. The drone then automatically keeps the subject within the center of the frame during flight— and is still able to automatically plan a safe flight route.
automatically planning a safe flight route.
A better camera system than previous Mini drones
Speaking of better photography, this drone does better than past Mini models. Here are some of its camera specs:
- A 1/1.3-inch CMOS camera sensor with dual native ISO: This level of tech was previously only available on cinema and some micro single cameras. Plus, it captures 2.4μm pixels for more image detail, which is especially helpful in low lighting and night.
- Aperture: f/1.7, which is ideal for low light and nighttime performance. The Mini 3 Pro actually offers the same aperture and ISO as the DJI Mavic 3.
- High quality capture: It shoots images at up to 48MP and video at up to 4K/60fps.
- Digital video zoom: It’s available up to 2x in 4K, up to 3x in 2.7K, and up to 4x in Full HD.
- HDR video recording: This is available at frame rates up to 30fps.
And because it is a drone, after all, there are many autonomous video capture modes. And most of the capture modes found in the DJI Air and Mavic series are now available on the Mini 3 Pro. This drone’s flight modes include:
Focus Track Suite
This suite of shooting modes focuses on a subject, and then flies relative to that subject. Within this suite comes:
- Spotlight 2.0: keeps the subject in frame while you fly manually.
- Point of Interest 3.0: circles the subject in a set flight radius and speed.
- ActiveTrack 4.0 Trace: follows the subject at a constant distance.
- ActiveTrack 4.0 Parallel: follows the subject while flying beside it at a constant
- angle and distance
One note: FocusTrack is not available while recording 4K/48fps, 4K/50fps, 4K/60fps, 2.7K/48fps, 2.7K/50fps, 2.7K/60fps, 1080p/48fps, 1080p/50fps,
1080p/60fps, or 1080p/120fps video.
This suite of shooting modes takes a video burst as the drone autonomously flies a pre-programmed path. Those routes are:
- Dronie: Like an aerial video selfie, the drone flies back and up with the camera locked on the subject.
- Helix: The drone flies up and spirals around the subject.
- Rocket: The drone flies up with the camera facing down.
- Circle: The drone circles around the subject.
- Boomerang: The drone flies around the subject in an oval path, ascending as it flies
- away and descending as it returns.
- Asteroid: The drone creates a shot that begins as a sphere panorama high above the subject and ends with a normal shot hovering near the subject.
With this feature enabled, the drone keeps the subject in the center of the frame while executing different maneuvers in sequence to generate a short cinematic video.
This feature automatically generates a dynamic timelapse where the drones flies on a set path.
And as far as getting all that content online quickly, the Mini 3 Pro supports Wi-Fi high-speed download to get your footage to your mobile phone so you can share photos immediately.
A fresh gimbal redesign made for TikTok
Gimbals don’t tend to receive a ton of attention. They’ve worked well since DJI introduced them as a built-in feature in its Phantom 3 drone. They got smaller with the Mavic line. But this complete gimbal redesign now allows for not just the traditional horizontal video, but now enables tilt-up shots and vertical shooting. That’s the type of shooting that most people are familiar with taking via their smartphones — and what you see on TikTok and Instagram reels.
To make this mode happen, simply press a button to rotate the camera 90 degrees for True Vertical Shooting. That gets you photos and videos in portrait orientation without needing to zoom in or crop your original image, as you previously had to.
We first saw such a gimbal introduced by competitor Autel through its Evo Lite and Evo Lite+ drones, but this is the first time we’ve seen a gimbal capable of shooting vertically in a DJI drone.
Add-ons to improve performance (including a sweet DJI RC)
The DJI Mini 3 Pro starts at just $669 if you already have an existing, compatible controller, or $759 for the version with the standard DJI RC-N1 controller.
But DJI also offers a number of add-on accessories that make your flying much better.
The most standout add-on is the DJI RC — and I wouldn’t fly without it. This lightweight remote controller has a 5.5-inch built-in touchscreen. Since the controller has the DJI Fly app already integrated in it, you don’t need to download the app to your own smartphone and tablet to connect to the drone and see what the drone is seeing. Control everything through the DJI RC — no personal smartphone needed.
I’m a huge fan of this ever since I first experienced the built-in screen on the controller with the Yuneec Typhoon H back in 2016. I hate having a third-party device (in this case my Apple iPhone), as it’s one more variable to worry about. Heck, I could leave my phone at home and still fly drones.
Even better, it’s not really that expensive, and you can still have the DJI Mini 3 Pro with the DJI RC for under $1,000. The DJI Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC retails for $909.
DJI Mini 3 Pro Two-Way Charging Hub and DJI 30W USB-C Charger
This charges your Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Batteries in sequence. Meanwhile, the separately-sold DJI 30W USB-C Charger charges an Intelligent Flight Battery from completely dead to an 100% charge in 64
minutes. The Intelligent Flight Battery Plus (that’s the heavier battery with 47 minutes of flight to offer) requires 101 minutes to charge.
DJI Mini 3 Pro ND Filters Set
You’ll want these if you typically fly in bright conditions. The filters here are ND 16/64/256.
DJI Care Refresh
While not a physical product, it is a product of sorts. DJI Care Refresh is DJI’s extended warranty plan covering accidental damage to your drone, including flyaway, collisions, and water damage. For a nominal additional charge, you can have your damaged product replaced if an accident occurs. This extra plan is available as a one-year and two-year plan.
Is the DJI Mini 3 Pro worth it?
This is the best overall drone for most people. With the Mini 3, it feels like DJI curated the features and specs that most people prioritize and merged them together. Sure, you’ll make some tradeoffs in picking this drone over a higher-end Mavic 3 or Matrice. And you’ll pay more than you would for the Mini or Mini 2 — but you’re getting way more advanced features than those drones offer.
At just about $1,000, the Mini 3 is absolutely worth it for both relatively new drone pilots (I still recommend practicing on a cheap toy drone if you’re brand new) given how straightforward it is to fly, as well as travelers, bloggers, vloggers and even many types of professional photographers who don’t need all the features of the DJI Mavic 3.
How much the DJI Mini 3 Pro costs
The base model of the DJI Mini 3 Pro costs $759. It includes the DJI RC-N1 (not the upgraded DJI RC) as well as the standard gear you need to fly, like a battery, propellers and charging cords.
If you’d rather have the DJI RC Pro (which I recommend), you’ll pay $909.
If you have a DJI Mavic Air 2 or Mini 2…
DJI also did something that I consider pretty generous for its loyal, returning customers. If you already own a DJI RC-N1, you can recycle it, of sorts.
If you currently have a DJI Mavic Air 2, Air 2S or Mavic Mini 2, you likely already have a DJI RC-N1 controller. If you upgrade to the DJI Mini 3, you can save money by keeping your old controller, as the DJI Mini 3 Pro with no remote controller retails for just $669.
If you want more accessories…
DJI has historically offered a Fly More Kit, that includes items like bonus propellers and batteries, a shoulder bag, and more. This time around, DJI is offering multiple Fly More Kits, which are basically bundled accessory packages. They are:
The DJI Mini 3 Pro Fly More Kit ($189): Includes 2 Intelligent Flight Batteries, 1 TwoWay charging hub, 2 sets of propellers, and one shoulder bag.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro Fly More Plus Kit ($249): Includes 2 Intelligent Flight Batteries Plus, 1 Two-Way charging
hub, 2 sets of propellers, and one shoulder bag.
All other accessories will be sold separately.
The a la carte style makes it easier to pick and choose what you need. If you already have a controller but want the new Mini 3 Pro, plus spare batteries and a bag, you could pay $669 plus $189 for the Fly More Kit ($858). If you want the DJI Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC, and you want the fancy plus batteries, you’d pay $909 plus $249 ($1,158 total). That’s not much more than the $999 Air 2S, but wraps plenty more features in a smaller size.
Drone Girl’s review of the DJI Mini 3 Pro
I am absolutely fanatical about this little drone. The DJI Mavic 3 is a showcase of everything that DJI’s drones can do.
Previous Mini drones felt like cheaper, entry-level drones. With this, you’re looking at the first high-end drone existing within the sub-249 gram DJI Mini series.
The base $759 price point feels highly approachable for someone looking for their first high-quality drone, and is even doable for pros to add another one to the collection.
No drone packs this many features into such a small size — and for a traveler like me, portability is key. Packing that many specs into a small UAV is no easy feat — and it feels like it should cost more. It’s easier to make something big and heavy. It’s harder to have all the features in a smaller drone.
For DJI to deliver such a solid drone at under $800 is incredible. And given how DJI enables you to buy the drone without the controller, existing Mavic Air 2 or Mini 2 owners might seriously consider upgrading.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro ships this summer. With most retailers, including Amazon, pre-ordering allows you to guarantee your price. It’s set to be released on June 29, 2022 from most retailers.
Pre-order the DJI Mini 2 starting at just $669 (no controller) or $759 with controller now from:
Stay with the Drone Girl for more Mini 3 Pro content coming all week!
What do you think about the new Mini 3 Pro? Leave your comments below!
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