DJI currently occupies a prominent place in the consumer drone market. And if several competitors have tried to steal the show in recent years, the three-letter brand reigns with an iron fist in the sector. A success that it owes to the quality of its products, of course, but also to their plurality.
Whatever your needs or requirements, there is bound to be a drone made for you in the manufacturer’s catalog.
And the question you are probably asking yourself is where exactly is the DJI Mini 3 Pro positioned. Answer in this test.
Focus on packs and accessories
In order to make its drone as accessible as possible, DJI has chosen to offer several packs on the market. With varying prizes.
The basic pack includes the drone, and only the drone. It therefore ignores the controller and it will be of more specific interest to people who are already equipped or who are looking for a second drone for their filming. It will be offered at 739 €.
The following pack includes the drone and the RC-N1 controller, the basic controller. It will cost €829.
The third pack takes things a step further. In addition to the drone, it incorporates DJI’s new controller. It will cost €999 to get your hands on it.
As an option, DJI will offer the Fly More Kit for sale. Either a pack of accessories comprising two additional batteries, a charging station, a bag and spare propellers. For a price of 189 €. A second pack offering the same thing, but with more intelligent flight batteries will also be offered in certain markets, for a price of 249 €. Be careful, however, because the plus batteries will take the drone above the fateful 250 gram mark. This is also the reason why DJI has chosen not to offer it everywhere.
Indeed, at present, the legislation is relatively flexible with drones weighing less than 250 grams. The latter can thus fly close to people, but also fly over buildings or even groups of people. At least temporarily. Beyond this weight, the regulations are stricter and remote pilots must comply with many additional rules. Be careful though, because it is possible that the situation will change in the coming months, as indicated in this article from the Journal du Geek.
If the multiplication of packs may surprise, this strategy is ultimately quite fine. It will indeed allow DJI to address a wider target.
Trendy look and compact dimensions
Whichever pack you choose, the drone will remain the same. And of course we find a form factor close to that of all the other devices of the brand.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro is therefore equipped with four arms, arms ending in rotors and propellers. Much like the DJI Air 2S or the Mavics, these arms can rotate to fold up against the body of the drone. In this position, the Mini 3 Pro will not be much larger than a smartphone. Finally if we put aside its thickness.
This small size and this limited weight are clearly the most beautiful assets of the drone. The DJI Mini 3 Pro will have no trouble being forgotten once slipped into a bag or satchel. It can therefore accompany you everywhere.
This is clearly an asset, especially since DJI has not made so many compromises. On the sensor side, for example, the offer is ultimately quite generous. Two sensors at the front, two above, two below, the Mini 3 Pro will be able to have peripheral vision of what surrounds it. Especially since the sensors placed above can also monitor what is happening behind.
On the other hand, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is not equipped with sensors on the sides. This also means that he won’t be able to spot obstacles by moving sideways.
The connection goes straight to the point with a slot for micro SD cards and a USB-C connector placed at the back. The battery is of course removable. It will therefore be possible to chain flight sessions by juggling several accumulators. Here, and as indicated a little above, you will have the choice between two models: the “intelligent flight battery” batteries with a capacity of 2,453 mAh and weighing 80.5 grams (18.1 Wh, 37 W), or the “intelligent flight battery plus” which have a capacity of 3,850 mAh and weigh 121 grams (28.4 Wh, 58 W).
Another interesting point, the camera is mounted on a nacelle. And not content with being stabilized, it can also swivel downwards to capture magnificent views from the ground. The amplitude will go from 80° to -135° on the Tilt and from 30° to – 30° on the pan.
The DJI-RC, the basic controller provided by DJI in the box, was also very effective. Totally autonomous, it incorporates a touch screen as well as all the usual buttons. Or two sticks, a mode selector, a power button, a take-off button, two triggers, two wheels and two buttons placed at the back. It will also have the advantage of not requiring a smartphone, unlike the RC-N1. Nothing to say about its autonomy. It will be able to last 4 hours in a row with a single charge, which will be quite enough to exhaust, for example, the three batteries of the Fly More Kit pack.
Solid in flight and in photo / video
But it is ultimately in the air that the DJI Mini 3 Pro reveals its full potential.
Entry-level positioning obliges, I expected to be disappointed by its performance, especially in terms of video capture. However, and even if it does not go as far as the DJI Air 2S, it remains particularly effective in this exercise.
On the sensor side, there is a 1/1.3 inch CMOS sensor with a definition of 48 million pixels. The lens is equivalent to a 24 mm and it opens at f/1.7, with a focus between 1 meter and infinity. Shutter speed ranges from two seconds to 1/8000, with sensitivity between ISO 100 and 6400.
In video, the Mini 3 Pro will therefore be able to reach 4K, with a maximum frame rate of 60 frames per second and several intermediate modes such as 24, 25 or 48 frames per second. It will therefore be quite possible to make cinematic shots. Especially since the drone has another advantage: the integration of D-Cinelike.
Reserved until now for higher-end drones, D-Cinelike makes it possible to film in a very flat, very desaturated format, and with a wider dynamic range.
While this format logically requires post-production calibration work, it also offers more freedom and allows the drone to produce much better quality images.
So of course, nothing obliges you to film in this format. Normal mode will suit 90% of Mavic Mini 3 Pro users, but the presence of D-Cinelike clearly opens up the field of possibilities. And it also justifies on its own the presence of the appellation “pro” in the name of the drone.
A video in normal profile (quick calibration):
A video in D-Cinelike (full calibration):
Another important point that will please videographers, DJI will market ND filters to allow you to stay on a slow speed in bright light.
In flight, nothing to say. We still find the three modes dear to DJI: cinematic mode, normal mode and sport mode. For each of them, you can also modify the sensitivity of the sticks.
The drone of course responds quickly and it is very pleasant to use, even on long flights. Moreover, be aware that with one of the batteries provided, you will be able to last no less than 35 minutes under normal flight conditions. And therefore without wind. With the three batteries of the Fly More Kit pack, you can therefore fly for a total of 105 minutes, or close to two hours. Which will be more than enough to have fun, but also to capture magnificent images seen from the sky.
No particular concern in terms of range. It can reach several kilometers. Be careful though, because it will be better not to tempt fate and always keep an eye on your drone in flight.
As for the altitude, it is unsurprisingly limited to 120 meters in France. Note, however, that not all areas are created equal. To find out how high you can fly, it is best to refer to to the map of the Geoportal site.
When it comes to shooting modes, the DJI Mini 3 Pro leaves you spoiled for choice. In video mode, you will have the choice between normal mode, cinematic mode and sports mode. If you activate the latter, then the drone will go faster and it will also be more responsive. Neophytes will therefore have every interest in starting with the normal mode. It should indeed be remembered that the Mini 3 Pro does not include side sensors.
If you want to go further, you can also activate Mastershots. This mode will allow you to capture a scene in style. The drone will indeed take care of everything for you and you will only have to define a route.
The follow-up of the subject also responds present. All you have to do is circle the subject you want to follow on the screen and select the type of follow-up to activate it. Two choices here: front or back tracking and side tracking.
In both cases, the Mini 3 Pro is precise. However, if you enable lateral tracking, keep in mind that the drone will not see obstacles.
It will therefore be up to you to pay attention and ensure that there are no obstacles.
Photos without editing:
Photos with retouching:
The DJI Mini 3 Pro can also take photos. With decent quality. Without reaching the level of dive or the dynamics of a DJI Air 2S, it will be quite capable of immortalizing your aerial shots with panache. And if you go through Lightroom, then you can even fix most of its flaws.
The drone you need?
I think the DJI Mini 3 Pro lives up to its name. It is small, compact, clearly aimed at the general public, but it also offers functions that will interest videographers a little more demanding. Like 4K 60 fps or even D-Cinelike.
That’s what makes it so interesting. He can accompany you in your beginnings, but also later when you have more important needs in terms of capture.
DJI Mini 3 Pro at the best price
Base price: €739