The rumored DJI Mini 3 has officially taken to the air – and the compact drone could be the new sweet spot for beginners looking for their first flying camera.
The Mini 3 is a mix-up of the DJI Mini 3 Pro and older DJI Mini 2. The drone maker claims that the Mini 3 will continue to be available for purchase. It is also lighter than the DJI Mini 2 Pro and is exempt from drone regulations in many countries.
What is the Mini 3 Pro lacking? The Mini 3 Pro’s main features are OcuSync 3.0 connectivity, and obstacle-avoidance sensor (to detect objects in front and behind the drone).
DJI Mini 3 specs
Sensor: 1/1.3-inch (CMOS)
Lens: 24mm f/1.7
Video: Maximum 4K/30p and maximum 2.7K/60p
Photos: 12MP (JPEG, raw)
Flight time: 38 mins per charge
Transmission: OcuSync 2.0
Obstacle avoidance sensors: Only downward-facing
Video bit-rate max: 100Mbps
Wind resistance Level 5
Instead, the Mini 3 uses DJI’s older O2 video transmission. This will mean that the drone’s maximum range as well as the reliability of its connection with your controller will be slightly less than its pricier sibling. Although the Mini 3 Pro has a 1/1.3-inch sensor, it isn’t capable to shoot 4K/60p video. The Mini 3 also has a slightly lower bit-rate of 100Mbps.
For most pilots, these missing features are minor inconveniences and not deal-breakers. The DJI Mini 3 is a major upgrade to the Mini 2 thanks to its larger sensor and vertical video powers, longer flight time, and compatibility with DJI’s new RC controller.
These improvements unfortunately mean that the Mini 3 will be a lot more expensive than the Mini 2.
Price-wise it sits almost exactly between the Mini 3 Pro and Mini 2, starting at $469 / £439 / AU$699 (for just the drone with no controller) and going up to $699 / £669 / AU$1,019 for the bundle with the DJI RC controller, which has a built-in screen that means you don’t need to use your smartphone to get an onboard view from the drone.
DJI Mini 3 price and release dates
The DJI Mini 3 may not be as affordable as its predecessor, the Mini 2, when it was launched in 2020. For example, the Mini 3 bundle with DJI’s RC-N1 controller (the one that has a mount for your smartphone) costs $100 / £100 / AU$80 more than the Mini 2’s equivalent bundle, likely due to a combination of inflation and the Mini 3’s improved features.
Still, the Mini 2 will remain on sale (for now) if you want an even more affordable drone, and the Mini 3 is still significantly cheaper than the premium Mini 3 Pro – buy both drones with the DJI RC controller (which we’d recommend doing, if you can), and the Mini 3 works out $210 / £190 / AU$280 cheaper.
|Row 0 – Cell 0.||DJI Mini 3||DJI Mini 3 Pro||DJI Mini 2|
|Drones only||$469 / £439 / AU$699||$669 / £639 / AU$989||N/A|
|DJI RC-1 controller||$559 / £519 / AU$829||$759 / £709 / AU$1,119||$449 / £419 / AU$749|
|DJI RC Controller||$699 / £669 / AU$1,019||$909 / £859 / AU$1,299||N/A|
DJI also has its ‘Fly More Combo’ bundles available for the Mini 3. These bundles include useful extras such as spare propellers, two intelligent flight batteries, a charging hub, and a shoulder bag. The Mini 3 Pro had the “Fly More Pro” option, but this was an optional extra. However, you can purchase the Mini 3 and the controller together for less than purchasing them individually.
The Mini 3 Fly More Combo costs $718 / £678, with those in Australia instead getting a Fly More Combo Plus bundle (AU$1,118), which includes a battery that promises up to 51 minutes of flight time. If you’re feeling particularly flush and want the ultimate Mini 3 bundle, you can also get a Fly More Combo package with the DJI RC controller for $858 / £828 (or AU$1,378 for the equivalent Fly More Combo Plus bundle).
Analysis: The new DJI sweetspot?
The Mini 3 Pro’s May arrival has taken some of the DJI Mini 3’s thunder. The Mini 3 Pro’s most striking features were showcased in the drone, including a bright f/1.7 lens and 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor. You can also flip the Mini 3 90 degrees to create high-quality vertical videos.
Although it feels like a Mini 3 Pro, its Mini 3 is an impressive upgrade to the Mini 2. We were impressed by the camera module in our DJI Mini 3 Pro Review, and said that it “ISO handling” was “without a doubt excellent.”
Although the Mini 3’s camera is expected to perform similarly to its more expensive sibling, it lacks a 4K/60p mode, and has a lower 100Mbps bit-rate than the Mini 3 Pro’s 150Mbps. The Mini 3’s flight time is 38 minutes longer than its sibling.
It’s a shame some of DJI’s automated shooting modes, such as Timelapse, Asteroid, MasterShots, are missing from the Mini 3, which creates an intentional feature-throttling effect by DJI to create separation among its drone lines. OcuSync 3.0 transmission is not available on the Mini 3, so its maximum range is only 10 km, rather than 12km.
Overall, the Mini 3 is an excellent drone for the price. We’ve seen some excellent discounts on the Mini 2 recently, making it a great entry-level drone.